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Grocery Wear

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Oct. 8, 2010 ,6:00 am EDT

In this episode the remaining designers have the privilege of designing "active wear" for Heidi's New Balance line, available exclusively on Amazon. I thought that active wear was gym clothes, but apparently it's what fashionable moms wear to the grocery store. Sort of watered-down sportswear, which you don't wear while doing sports. This would lead us to conclude that while wearing resort wear you can neither do sports nor go to the grocery store, unless it's white before Labor Day. Fashion is hard.

More Episode 11 photosI'm thinking Heidi doesn't get to the grocery store too often, but that doesn't make her any less qualified to a) be a clothing designer and b) know what grocery store moms want to be wearing, now does it?

We learn from Heidi that what moms want to wear to the grocery store are drab colors and gathered, loose-hanging knits. I doubt this, but what do I know? I order my groceries online and have them delivered. (You try dragging five gallons of milk and a case of ramen noodles through the streets of Manhattan.)

Heidi comes to the workroom, where there is a lot of eye rolling and Heidi-hating. I think there are two reasons for this.

First, everyone is exhausted and over this competition. They have hit the wall. Even Mood is over it. They are now sending the designers back to the workroom at Parsons with plastic bags instead of the fancy canvas ones they were handing out earlier in the season.

Second, the designers don't seem to have buckets of respect for Heidi as a designer. I think this is a mistake. She may not get to the grocery store too often, but over the years she has developed quite an understanding of how a garment is constructed, and she has developed the vocabulary to give a decent critique. She used to be all, "I would wear that," and "It looks cheap," and now she asks questions about how fabrics will fall, comments on proportion, and I even heard her use the word craftsmanship two weeks ago. She may have a completely 1980s "Flashdance" aesthetic, but at least she has one. Heil Heidi.

The producers get an A+ this week for torture by not only requiring two additional looks, but also by bringing back auf'ed designers to help construct them. (An earlier attempt at torture with a model mix-up garnered the producers a C- at best.) There is nothing worse than feeling that you have come so far in the competition only to find yourself in a room full of designers again. We are treated to a velvet bag/playground-dodgeball picking scene, then the drama starts.

Ivy is bitter. Ivy is angry. She has always felt she was one of the top designers despite her track record of shi**y work and repeatedly being in the bottom or safe at best. (I do recall one decent outfit from her, but I think I stated even then that I'm nearly 50 so me liking it doesn't count.) Ivy accuses Michael C. of cheating because he used ... wait for it .... TAPE!

How is tape cheating? Hot-glue guns and safety pins are OK, but tape is cheating? Outsourcing the construction of your final collection is cheating (oh no she didn't); tape is not. I can assure you that not a single fashion show in Bryant Park or Lincoln Center or wherever the hell fashion shows happen these days goes down without the use of tape. Also known as Top Stick or double-stick tape. Also used by every stylist in America. And Europe. Do you think Jennifer Lopez kept those puppies in that green Versace without the use of some industrial-strength stick? I want to see Ivy get right up in Donatella's grille and accuse her of cheating.

Designers design and helpers help and gray knits are gathered and it's off to the runway, where we learn that Norma Kamali, who has been in hiding since 1982, has not aged a day.

Rate this week's designsMondo is in the top because he has put together several well-constructed pieces that would not be embarrassing to wear to the grocery store. April is in the top because she used the color black, chiffon and panties again. Andy wins because Norma Kamali loves the graphic quality, so Heidi will be producing all three of his pieces. I hope he gets in on the deal!

Gretchen is in the bottom because her model's Spanxs are showing (been there!). She gets a slap on the wrist for disrespecting Heidi, but she can stay. Michael C. is in the bottom because he still can't style, but this is "Project Runway," not "Project Stylist," so he can stay. Did I miss the memo on harem/Hammer pants being in? That leaves Christopher to go home, and rightly so, with a collection of prison pajamas.

Zebra on crack in aisle three!!!