+ More

Thursdays at 9/8c

The official site for "Project Runway" Season 13 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.

laura-bennett-blog-project-runway-blog

Laura Bennett Blog

Blog Home

I'll Have What They're Smoking

By CaitlinBergmann Wed., Dec. 31, 1969 ,7:00 pm EST

The episode begins with Sarah waking up and thinking that reality-TV competition shows might really be about contestant torture. She is also thinking that it is actually her parents who put presents under the Christmas tree, but she's not sure.

Meet Joanna Coles

The contestants gather on the Atlas rooftop to meet Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine, and find out that their challenge is to design a dress that represents the Marie Claire reader. We learn that this reader is intelligent, sophisticated and sexy. (Note to self: Pick up a copy of Marie Claire.) This is a challenge that blogging deities Tom and Lorenzo would call "make a pretty dress." These are the most difficult kind because, believe it or not, good parameters make good design, and this is just too open-ended. The prize does totally rock, though: a billboard in Times Square. All I got was a window at Macy's.

After a shopping trip to Mood, the designers enter the workroom, where Casanova needs advice to get from prostitute to virgin, AJ gets hard-ass, Gretchen thinks Nicholas is copying her, Peach's preppy aesthetic is biting her in the ass, and Jason is working on a gimmick.

Oh, Jason. First of all, Infinity is not a sponsor. Secondly, gimmicks never work. Especially gimmicks that involve the number eight, which when turned on its side is the symbol for infinity. He learned that on "Schoolhouse Rock." And I'm not sure, but I think he also mentioned alien crop circles. Jason, the baggage on your brain is your bowler.

Mondo and his ensemble

Mondo has a classic exhaustion/stress-fueled reality-TV breakdown. He is lonely and after 24 hours hasn't made a connection. His talent is his curse. After a good night's sleep the voices in his head go away, he suits up with a pair of Tribbles and sends a great ensemble down the runway. But not great enough to beat Gretchen, who wins her second challenge in a row. Hence the title of this article, because I want to know in what alternate universe a denim, dolman-sleeved jumpsuit with a retractable neckline and elastic at the ankles is ageless and or timeless. Put down your pipes, people. I challenge you to put that jumpsuit on anyone over 20 in any time but the eighties. The good news is that now that I know what the Marie Claire reader wears, I don't have to run out and buy a magazine.

In other good news, Jason goes home. Here is a bit of information for any future "Project Runway" designer: NEVER use satin on "Project Runway." It is the most unforgiving fabric in all of fabricdom, and if you don't have tons of time and killer sewing skills, don't go there. Satin, luxury cars, crop circles and safety pins are certainly a deadly combination, and the judges have a moment of clarity and send exactly the right person home. Don't let the door hit you in the bowler.

I was so relieved to see Jason sent packing that I forgot about Nicholas still trembling on the runway. Heidi did say that eliminations would be capricious and arbitrary. So, alas, Nicholas is also sent home. I have always said that the winner of "Project Runway" is not necessarily the most talented person in the room. A lot of it has to do with how well you handle the pressure, and Nicholas just didn't have the nads to stay.