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Episode 2: "You Say Potato..."

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Jan. 22, 2010 ,4:31 am EST

Project Runway season seven designers in the second episode

“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” One of my favorite sayings, this was written on one of the blackboards in apartments of the designers. In episode two, the producers of “Project Runway” try to kill the remaining 15 designers by making them create pretty party dresses out of burlap potato sacks. Complete with a trip to a farm and everything, (the look on Tim Gunn’s face was priceless—dirt—eewww!) I have to say I think this is one of the most clever and fun challenges the show has ever put forth. It made for a great episode, and an especially great runway show, full of transcendence and tragedy.

My first thought was a famous episode of “I Love Lucy”, where Mrs. Ricardo is duped into literally wearing a potato sack after being convinced it was a piece of designer “couture”. Some of the results of this challenge turned out to be just as ridiculous, if not more so (oh Ping, the producers must truly love you!). I once made a dress out of potato sacks with a skirt made out of 25 pounds of real potatoes. Don’t ask. Just pass the ketchup.

The designers also have access to bins full of trims, ribbons, zippers, buttons, and actual produce. In a couple more tweaks and twists, they have to make the dresses with the models as their clients, and the models get to do the choosing. Poor Mila gets her panties in a bunch when her model mutinies to pair with Miss Anthony. Let the fireworks begin. She also gets chosen last. Boo hoo. “What doesn’t kill me….” Anthony politely describes his model as “verbal” (I believe that means “Loudmouth Bitch” in Anthony-speak) and he and Mila get into the season’s first smackdown. Poor Mila tries her best to hurt Anthony, who turns on his heel, confronts her, and says, “I left my feelings in Atlanta, Georgia.” He turns and walks away. Oh Miss Anthony, fries DO come with that shake!

Early looks around the workroom show Anna cleverly using a fresh potato to make a “potato print” on her fabric (I would have preferred plain fabric and a plate of tater tots), Tim trying to worry the hell out of everyone about the direction they’re taking, and Ping never disappointing with her pearls of wisdom…”Yes, I know—I’m always intriguing.” Project Runway season seven designers in the second episode Cue Tim’s eye roll. On to Amy, who seems to be doing something mysteriously fabulous to the edges of her burlap, and Tim giving poor Jesus a heart attack by sharing with him the simple fact that the challenge was to USE the burlap—not cover it up with trim. Jesus should be panic-stricken for another simple reason. His dress is ugly as sh*t. (See the photo on the left.) “What doesn’t kill me…” You get the picture.

Last peeks as models and designers scurry to the runway show some sort of God-awful hood-hat on one outfit, and many concerns that Ping’s dress is missing something. The back. Uh-oh. And now, grab a big bag of potato chips and get ready for the runway….

We have Michael Kors, the Mayor of Orangetown, Nina Garcia, the Queen of Bitch City, and the guest judge, Lauren Hutton, who’s sex scenes with Richard Gere in “American Gigolo” scarred me for life. Because I was jealous.

• Anthony-Miss Anthony dyed the burlap pink and made a really cute, well fitted swirly pouf dress. She proves that she is so much more than just a couple of snaps up!

• Ping-Top-check. Bottom-check. Front-check. Back-ooops. Ping left her model’s ass swinging in the wind, claiming American garments are hard to understand.

• Ben-Managed to make a stick thin model look more pregnant that Heidi in a pile of dyed pink burlap ruffles.

• Mila-To get back at Miss Anthony, Mila proves she is a contender with a capital “C” with this beautifully constructed grey and silver trimmed burlap cocktail dress from the future. She gets an A+.

• Anna Marie-Her seemingly clever “potato print” turned out to be not-so-clever after all, making her model look like she just came from mud wrestling show. She should have left the real potatoes for dinner, like I told her to.

• Jesse-Okay, pirate boy. This shipwreck of an outfit consisted of a vest and pair of pseudo-jodphurs with black riding boots that belonged on the controversial children’s toy, “Facist Dictator Mr. Potato Head”.

• Seth-Eeeeek! It gets worse! Super strange lampshade skirt and crazy hood-hat-thing make this outfit appropriate for “Idaho—the Musical”.

• Amy-Amazingly light and fluid petal-skirted halter dress, with a beautiful ombre-dyed treatment to the edges of the petals. Stunning.

• Janeane-Can only be described as, “Grey Prison Slut”.

• Jay-Surprisingly light tank dress with a shredded feather-effect bubble skirt in a chic shade of charcoal. Really great work. Makes me excited for this season.

• Emilio-Packing crate stripes thrown on to a burlap sheath while blindfolded. Not so much.

• Jesus-Brown and green stewardess outfit for “Hideous Airways”. I think this outfit actually made Nina Garcia’s eyes hurt. (See photo above.)

• Jonathan-Victoria’s Secret goes down-on-the-farm with this curious (alright, ridiculous) mixture of tater sack and lingerie. Perfect for Eva Gabor, if you’re old enough to get the joke.

• Maya-Something about this look seems like it was made out of a bunch of different colored straw beach purses, and not in a good way. Needs to be in a commercial for Malibu Breeze Coconut Rum.

Project Runway season seven designer pamela petak

• Pamela-Snoresville—and I should know. What seemed like a promising dye job turned into a denim-look dress with almost no interest whatsoever. Plus—it gave the model enough“junk” to fill several trunks. (See photo.)

In a judging with not too many quotable quotes, they did a good job of picking the top (Jay, Mila, and Amy) and the bottom (Pamela, Ping, and Jesus). They chose Jay for the win, even though I would have been happier with either one of the other two. So, let’s see, who do we think is going home? Crazy Jesus who will freak out on camera, Ping, who will cry or laugh or say just about anything for no reason we can decipher, or Pamela, this season’s equivalent to a Pet Rock? Hmmmm……Goodbye, Pamela.

And remember Pam, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger…” Can’t wait to see who they try to kill next week….Until then,

See ya soon,