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Category: "team challenge"


Episode 3: Teams of Two Little, Too Late

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 4:00am GMT

Project Runway season seven designers in the third episode

This episode has it all: teams of two (including the hostess, Heidi, who always seems to be pregnant), the highest budget in “Project Runway” history, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what’s inspired by who, for how much, until your head is spinning. You may need a scorecard to keep things straight this time around. Tim takes the designers to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to meet 10 other designers — the icons ensconced in the Met’s Costume Collection. Chanels, Balenciagas and Diors — oh my! I was drooling on these gorgeous gowns, as were the runway kids. I hope they were Scotchgarded.

We all know that it’s time for the dreaded (and rightly so) team challenge. The teams are (get your scorecard ready!): Jay and Maya; Jesus and Amy; Anthony and Seth Aaron; Janeane and Ben; Mila and Jonathan; Ping and Jesse; Emilio and Anna.

The first partner of each team is the leader (Ping? Oh no! ...), and they are off to sketch and then spend a whopping $500 at Mood. The footage at Mood is so disparaging of Ping, it was hard to watch ... she loses sketchpads, fabric and money; argues with Jesse; and just looks like a chicken with her head cut off. We know that no good will come of this. Mila is one tough cookie who has decided to go for a ’60s futuristic look. Anthony and Seth Aaron (who, at one point, Anthony pricelessly refers to as “Seth-Ann”) are working on a red, yellow and black dress that Miss Anthony describes as “... a gown for the vice president of McDonald’s.” Love her. To death. I refuse to watch any more episodes if she gets kicked off. And then there’s the mess of Jesse and Ping .... I actually felt sorry for pirate-boy Jesse, who is just trying to “...rein in the crazy.” Perhaps a couture straitjacket would suit Ping perfectly.

But guess what, sports fans? There’s a twist! (Come on, you knew it was coming!) The teams have to make a second “look for less” with $50! And it has to be inspired by one of the OTHER team’s looks. Yipes. Me no likey. You can get out your scorecard and figure out who was inspired by whom, but this was all very confusing, and didn’t play out on the runway as fabulously as I think they planned.

Tim comes through the workroom to gleefully describe Ping’s choice of fabric for their cheap look as, well, cheap. Well, “cheap and cheerful wrapping paper,” to quote him completely. Anthony and Seth-Ann are having a disagreement in front of Tim, and Miss Anthony snaps, “Stop acting up in front of company!” Anthony has seen way too many episodes of “In Living Color” while beading his dress for “Paris Is Burning.” The morning of the runway show, he spits out the jewel, “I’m stacked, packed, and ready to attack!” Project Runway season seven designers Anthony Williams The snaps are flying, the hips are sashaying, the candy is being hidden, the shade is being thrown and the faces are at a full beat. In other words, it’s time for the runway. Throw the dice and steal the rice ....

The judges are: Michael “Tanning Bed” Kors, Nina “Fashion Predator” Garcia and guest judge Matthew Williamson. (As an aside, just to give all young designers hope .... I can remember eight years ago when Matthew Williamson didn’t even have a show at Bryant Park yet, so he got a store across the street to feature photos of his collection in their windows. Just look at him now!)

Team Anthony/Seth-Ann: Black and yellow hoop skirt for the “Queen Bee” in a school play about reproduction. (See left.)
* 4-less look: Kind of cute lace-overlay cocktail dress with pintucked tank top. Better than their couture look, to be sure.

Team Jesus/Amy: Burnout black fishtail dress with ruffled wheels that make a kind of bolero jacket. I kind of like both, but not together.
* 4-less look: Balloon pants that scream “Hammer Time!” You can’t touch this.  

Team Mila/Jonathan: Paco Rabanne meets Tim Burton in a Jane Fonda exercise video. With a little NASCAR couture thrown in? The judges liked this way more than I did.
* 4-less look-black and yellow babydoll dress for the “Queen Bee” in the JonBenet Ramsey version of the school play about reproduction.  Eeeww.

Team Janeane/Ben: Shorty-short-short pintucked blah dress with a blah vest. Most of their $500 must have been spent on crack.
* 4-less look: Tackling the ’60s look, they did a good job making a wearable outfit.

Team Emilio/Anna: Innovation-free black version of Simplicity Pattern #5108 “Easy to Sew” bridesmaid dress. Most of their $500 must have been spent on ... crack.
* 4-less look: Cute asymmetrical horizontal-striped dress that had absolutely nothing to do with the inspiration. (See above — “crack.”) Project Runway season seven designer Ping Wu

Team Jay/Maya: Fungus-shoulder gown with tendrils of of twists down the front that flutter as the model walks. It definitely grew on me.
* 4-less look: More elaborate than Janeane and Ben’s original? Almost an exact copy, though.

Team Ping/Jesse: Vintage-y lace top with a bottom that looks like the model sat in glue and then the bargain bin of scraps at Jo-Ann Fabrics. (See right.)
* 4-less look: A gray dress for sunning in the prison yard. Super boring and uninspired. (See above — “crack.”)

Whew! I know that was all very confusing, but all you need to know is that Mila wins with her Paco Rabanne–inspired space-stewardess look, and that Teams Anthony/Seth-Ann and Ping/Jesse end up in the bottom. Heidi warns that one or two (!) of them will be going home. Jesse and Seth are pronounced “safe,” leaving Ping and Anthony to walk the plank ... Oh no! They can’t get rid of Miss Anthony! She’s just getting warmed up with the quips and quotes! Please oh please let him stay ... Ping gets the pong, and Anthony is safe for another week of Southern belle antics.Yay! Poor Ping gives a tearful goodbye in a very sad exit interview. Oh, the cruel mistress that is reality TV.

See ya soon,



Episode 3 Recap: "Surf's Up!"

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 3:17pm GMT

Tim Gunn in flip flops on episode three of Project Runway Heidi “wets” the appetite of the remaining designers by telling them they’re going on a field trip, but not to forget their sunscreen. And before you can say “Cowabunga!” we’re on the beach, with, yes, Mr. Tim Gunn wearing flip-flops. Tim looked as out of place on the beach as Oprah shopping at Kmart. He announced that the designers have to make a fun and fashionable surf-inspired look. And (cue ominous music here) they will be working in teams of two. The teams shake down like this: Shirin and Carol Hannah, Logan and Christopher, Nicolas and Gordana (the battle of the accents!), Mitchell and Ra’mon, Althea and Louise, Qristyl and Epperson, and Johnny and Irina.

We already get the idea that there are rough waters ahead for Qristyl and Epperson, because they are already getting the bad, scary music while shopping at Mood. Fifty dollars and 15 minutes later, all sorts of conflicts are developing. Qristyl tells Epperson “I’m not no damn student!” about his condescending attitude, and Mitchell and Ra’mon have realized that their honeymoon is over after the bowling-bag incident last week.

In the workroom, Irina and Johnny are working on a Bohemian-chic ensemble, and Nicolas and Gordana are making macrame magic, while Nicolas insists that he will single-handedly “bring back the wrap pant.” Please Nicolas, leave it where it was. Favorite workroom line — Mitchell to Ra’mon: “I can’t always tell you that you’re perfect.” Vice versa, I’m sure.

But did all this seem kind of easy and boring? Just a swimsuit, in two days? The smart money is on a twist. And it’s a big one. Tim comes in and announces that there is a note from Heidi, everyone’s favorite Germanic taskmistress, telling them that they will have to make a second look! (This brought back memories, as well as waves of nausea.) Surprise, kiddies ... it’s time for the Avant-Garde Challenge, meaning the second look must be an avant-garde look inspired by the surf outfit. With $200 and another trip to Mood in the morning, the designers go to bed swimming in fear.

Ramon Coleman Lawrence's scuba suit design on episode three of Project Runway

Tim visits the next day (flip-flops retired for good), and loves Johnny and Irina’s macrame look (wait, isn’t someone else doing macrame?), hates Mitchell and Ra’mon’s cheap knockoff of a sci-fi costume avant-garde look (see photo) to the extent that Ra’mon scraps the whole thing and starts over while Mitchell seems content with being cute for others’ entertainment), and Qristyl and Epperson get along like oil and water. I’m surprised that Miss Q didn’t rip those dreadlocks off his head and make herself a new doormat. Ouch! But it doesn’t matter, because Logan and Christopher are sure they’re going to win. (At this point I must assert that I see nothing even remotely as fabulous here as the avant-garde look made by me and Christian. I just have to brag a little.)

Ra’mon has pulled out an acid-green minidress for the AG look at the last second and, with 35 minutes until the runway, decides to dye it! Concerned words and looks from Tim don’t dissuade him. Could this be the episode with the dreaded double elimination? Mitchell, still dumb as a bag of rocks, looks into the camera and tells us that he is at home in the bottom two. Really? Well, grab your bag of rocks and get comfortable, Einstein.

On the runway, Michael Kors must be trapped in a tanning booth, because Max Azria has taken his place, and the guest judge is Rachel Bilson (?) I don’t know who she is, either. Grab your board and hang ten, ’cause here they come...

• Qristyl & Epperson: Woods/jungle-inspired dress as the surf look ... The AG look is a strange brown bathing suit with a Blayne-inspired shrug that looked like it was going to make Heidi say those infamous words, “pooping fabric.”

• Johnny & Irina: Swing skirt with asymmetrical sweater woven with macrame detail in the back ... The AG look was woven of brown organza with a huge balloon pouf on the shoulder. Nicely done.

• Mitchell & Ra’mon: Ombré-dyed goddess gown that came straight from Austin Scarlett (surf?) ... AG look is a short origami acid-green mess of a dress that looks like it was worn while murdering a Smurf, with green blood squirting all over it in an unattractive manner. Yuck. Shirin Askari's design on episode three of Project Runway

• Shirin & Carol Hannah: Beautiful flowing print maxi overdress that drops to expose a great Brazilian-style brown bikini ... Their AG look was slightly more red carpet than avant-garde, but super-beautiful, made out of oceans of sculptural blue taffeta. My choice for the obvious win. (See photo.)

• Althea & Louise: Purple bubble with prison-striped bathing suit underneath. Perhaps inspired by Kenley? ... The AG look was a black Gothic rumba dress covered with safety pins. (Hmmmm ... sounds familiar.)

• Nicolas & Gordana: Beautiful blue macrame swimsuit, covered by a hideous pair of white wrap pants. These will not be coming back ... The AG look was something I describe as “Jellyfish Stripper Couture Halloween Costume” minus the stripper pole. Wow!

• Logan & Christopher: They made an ugly hat, with a pair of pants that has a gold highlight in an unfortunate place that makes it look like the model peed herself backstage .... and then, the AG look comes out. Oh Goodness. They made a ball gown for a homeless Southern belle with a leather fetish. There’s avant-garde, and then there’s just frightening.

Let’s boil it down quick: Lots of fighting, accusing and bitching between Qristyl and Epperson, and Mitchell and Ra’mon. The only difference is, Mitchell and Ra’mon are in the top! What? Shirin and Carol didn’t win? They were just safe ... a travesty! Who wins? Ra’mon — with his green Smurf-blood-covered dress! Nina Garcia said it was the best. She must have had a seeing-eye dog making that call. But now, for the big twist ...

It comes down to Mitchell and Qristyl in the bottom two. Mitchell was on the winning team, but admitted to Heidi that he did almost none of the actual work. And with that, for the first time in “Project Runway” history, someone from the WINNING TEAM is eliminated. “Three strikes and you’re out,” gleefully exclaims Heidi. Mitchell isn’t surprised (how could he be?) and sails off into the sunset … without a paddle.

See ya soon,