The Project Runway Blog

Emilio Sosa, Thy Name Is Wendy Pepper

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Mar. 5, 2010 ,5:52 am EST

The unconventional-materials challenge always makes me scratch my head and wonder, “How’d they do that?” because, sure, you can design clothes, but can you execute that same vision when your chiffon is sandpaper and your muslin is, um, sheet metal? These are not items that Inherently lend themselves to style, elegance or even comfort, but when these contestants bring out their inner Coco MacGyver to create some amazing garments, I remember why I love this show.

Let’s get straight to the designs:

Literally the first words I wrote down upon seeing Emilio’s "pink string, washers, bolts and a dream" dress micro-dress bikini micro-bikini were WENDY PEPPER SEASON 1 EPISODE 1.

Emilio, thy name is Pepper.


Who can forget the dress Wendy made, when she was still the nicest lady from small-town Virginia, that was a fusion of balloons, breath mints, rope candy and insanity? It’s one of the classic awesomely bad looks in the show’s history. This was Emilio’s less edible version of that design.


After going over budget at the hardware store, Emilio finds himself scaling back to the bare minimum, which is completely the opposite of how much we saw of his model, Holly. Bless her six-foot-tall-Amazon-woman heart, the girl was nearly nekked on the runway. And, yes, her hair and makeup were very very, but she worked that getup like her life depended on it — and that was what saved Emilio from the chopping block. I don’t think Emilio necessarily took a risk; he simply was between a rock and a hard place, and had to pretend the outcome was a risk. The fact that Holly didn’t refuse to wear it (yeah, I’m talking about you, model from Season 4!), and looked surprisingly comfortable in it, saved him. (Plus, what was Emilio’s accessory, exactly? Her big Brigitte Bardot hair?)

Now, let’s move on to I Can’t Believe It’s Not Leather, by Jay. Stella “Leatha!” Zotis herself would have been fooled by this man’s masterful manipulation of the industrial black plastic trash bag. I was afraid for him during Brittany’s fitting-gone-wrong when she couldn’t get her pants over her foot (I’ve seen the woman in person, and if she’s can’t do it, there’s no hope for the rest of us!), because I really wanted him to show off his workmanship.

And let’s not forget the other star of the episode: Maya. That key necklace was perfection — and demonstration of an actual accessory. Janet Jackson circa 1989 would be all over it.

Episode 7: Who Should Have Gone Home This Week?


Poor Jesse. He needed shears and safety gloves to put his outfit together (who else was totally waiting for him to break out a blowtorch?), and he still went home. He thought it was the martini for Anthony (surprise, surprise), but he thought wrong. Watch his final video blog clip now, where he makes that pretty darn clear: