11/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Project Runway Episode 4 Recap: The Kitty Cat Inside You

Previously on: the designers formed teams of two for a confusing beachwear/avant garde challenge. Qristyl and Epperson fell in hate, while Ra'mon Lawrence tried to keep Mitchell focused on the task of creating a dress that was equal parts neoprene and dish soap, to no avail.

In the apartments the morning after Mitchell's heave-ho, Nic opines to the rest of the gentlemen that the "talentless people" must be weeded out. Someone's bitchy before he gets his coffee! Epperson tells the men that working with Qristyl was rough, while over in the women's bunker Gordana says that Qristyl didn't stand up for herself (in a growly Eastern European alto that suggests if Epperson had tried to school Gordana like that, he would be dead now).

Out on the runway, Heidi pretends that 13 -- which is the number of designers now left -- has magically transformed from cursed to lucky. And now for the challenge: "Tim is waiting for you in workroom with 13 women who know what they want," Heidi purrs, and then Nic has the most awesome talking head ever in which he muses that these women could be "anything from homeless people to Eskimos." Yes, because these two groups are forever linked by their decisiveness. Also, how amazing would it be if the designers entered the workroom to see Tim surrounded by a group of Alaskan Inuit? "Designers," he would say, "Your challenge this week is to make a form-fitting weather-proof garment using only bone sourced from the La Brea Tar Pits and the skins of animals you find and kill yourselves."

Sadly, when the designers return to FIDM, the women waiting for them are--yawn--the Models of the Runway. I was hoping, personally, for another Mom challenge like they did in season 3... or at the very least some drag queens. Tim says that the models are going to a "special industry event" and that what they wear will be their ticket to the future. Forgive me if I sound unconvinced, but we all know that the one model on the show who really made it so far is going to be shilling beef for, like, the fifth most successful burger-based fast-food restaurant in the country. And no, I will not be dropping the Arby's thing anytime soon.

The designers have $100 and a day to complete their looks. Logan is concerned that his model has a very different style than his own and wonders if this will present a problem (Future Una says yes, Logan. Yes it will.) Johnny's model (I refuse to learn their names, I'm sorry Lifetime. I only have so much space in my brain and I will not give up my library of Pat Benatar lyrics) specifically requests "no jersey," and I'd like to think she means that she doesn't want to look like she's from New Jersey. Apparently Johnny's vision jibes with his model's, because he declares that he is essentially "designing for myself, if I were a black girl." I'll spare you the lyrics to my Fiddler on the Roof -- inspired "If I Were a Black Girl" starring Johnny Sakalis... for now. Epperson's model describes her dream dress with every adjective under the sun, and poor Epp looks stricken. Shirin's model asks for royal blue satin jumpsuit, and I for one hope that Tim overheard this and called for a psych consult.

After a relatively uneventful trip to Mood, the gang is back in the work room. Louise and Johnny discuss who might go home this week and Johnny says, "Me?" I take this as a secret sign from the editors.

Tim checks in. Althea is making a black skirt and smoking jacket, of which Tim approves. Christopher is working with an electric green fabric that Tim generously calls "bold," while his face says "garish." Epperson, per his model's request, is crafting something for a "sexy romantic flowy strong cocktail tiger." Awesome. Qristyl is working on a drapey brown thing that Tim thinks looks messy. Logan fears that his dress looks like a "Smurf prom dress," and Tim almost yells, "Don't use that word again!" I guess he was a Snorks fan...

At this point we break for a brief Epperson interlude, in which he stares longingly at family photos and cries as he talks to his wife on the phone. My husband Jeff wonders aloud if every person in his family is called Epperson and if this is confusing, while Don, a new member of my viewing party, cries, "This dress was made with tears!"

Back in the work room, Qristyl scraps her baggy brown monstrosity for something simple and black, while Logan is hard at work on what he calls a "Gothic Cinderella" dress. (Unrelated but suspicious: every time I type Logan it comes out Lohan. Is the universe trying to tell me something, besides the fact that I cannot type for shit? Discuss.) Shirin's model kind of obviously hates the garment Shirin has made for her. This fills me with glee. (I know, I'm horrible.)

Somehow, even though this is a "one-day" challenge, it is morning, and we are treated to a gratuituous shot of Logan, shirtless, wearing tight silver pants. Is it just me or does Logan look perpetually wet? And is it hot in here? Johnny watches Logan dress, and the sight so excites him that he dons a jaunty cap made of what looks like bicycle tire.

Back at FIDM, as the models are getting ready, Irina interviews that "no one's [design] really looks like crap, but I think Althea's looks like crap." Way to add a surprise ending to that sentence! Nic, whose bitchiness does not depend on caffeine after all, hates on Johnny's and Epperson's designs. Tim comes in to usher the designers out onto the runway and he is so enthusiastic that he makes a gesture that is, I believe, the closest he has ever come to a fist pump.

Out on the runway, Michael Kors is still nowhere to be seen, which is not OK, especially since they have replaced him with a scary, aged version of Austin Scarlett crossed with the half of Siegfried and Roy who got mauled by a tiger.

Nina is also missing, and has been replaced by an editor from Marie Claire. The third judge is a costume designer and stylist named Jennifer Rade. "Oh look, it's the love child of Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Beals!" cries my friend Sam. Quips aside, it is fucking lame to deny us of Michael and Nina at the same time, and to not even bring in a C-list starlet with a fashion line for the guest spot. If I do not get me some Michael Kors next week I will lose my fucking tulle. But I must calm down now, because it is runway time.



Yeah, this is so boring and borderline dowdy that even the model knows she's on the wrong runway. Is She's Got the Look still casting?



"I have a bigger chest than she does, bless her heart," says Sam. But fit aside, I really like this -- so elegant. And satin is a tough fabric to work with.



I have to hand it to Irina, she turns it out. I'm not crazy in love with the fabric print on the dress, but with the jacket and styling this looks amazing.



I covet this dress, only perhaps a few inches longer, so I could, you know, sit down without flashing people. Sadly this color only works on the tan of skin and flaxen of hair. On me this would transform into the fetching hue of washed-out Band-Aid.



Shirin's model really needs to get that case of Bitchface checked out; I think it might be terminal. The dress is cute enough -- thank goodness Shirin had to good sense to nix the jumpsuit idea -- but looks kind of like something you could buy off the rack at J. Crew. No points for originality.



I like the bodice. If the whole dress had been done in that style and fitted in a slim pencil skirt, I think this would have rocked. Sadly, the puffy blue bottom sends this into 80s prom territory.



Has anyone seen Doctor Doolittle? Remember the Push Me Pull You? This dress is the sartorial equivalent.


It's like Chris' model fell into a satin Chinese fingertrap and can't get out.



I love this. The color is great on the model, and I like the detailing on the dress.



The angle of this particular photo makes the dress look better than it is -- the side bow makes it look kind of lumpen and misshapen from the front. And this, boys and girls, is an example of satin gone awry... although I will concede that the color is nice on her.



You know that Dave Matthews song with the line "Hike up your skirt a little more... and show your world to me"? Yeah, don't know what made me think of that. I do like the overall aesthetic at play here... but the skirt is veering dangerously toward diaper territory. In Althea's defense, it looked better in motion than it does in this photo.



There is nothing wrong with this, but the neck makes me think of how Cabbage Patch Kids are born.



"Hell yes, bitches. I just took the What Sex and the City Character quiz on Facebook, and I'm such a Carrie it is not even funny. Do not even step to my fierceness or I will knock you senseless with this ridiculously oversize bow, in which I have stashed a sock full of nickels that is reserved for haters."



The model looks a bit Lurch-like here, but the dress is cute. I would snip off the twee bit of fabric ruffling in the back... and also would cut this poor woman's bangs, but that is neither here nor there.

The designers assemble on the runway and the following are safe: Louise, Irina, Christopher, Nic, Gordana, Shirin, Ra'mon Lawrence.

This leaves Epperson, Johnny, Qristyl, Althea, Carol Hannah, and Logan, who represent, as per usual, the best and the worst designs.

Old Austin Scarlett loves Carol Hannah's dress, and so do the rest of the judges. Logan's look is roundly loathed and described as cheap and tacky, but Jennifer Rade can't help but tell him "You're really cute and I like your pants and your sneakers." Then, I assume, off-camera she mouthed Call me.

Epperson's model explains that she wanted something romantic and punk and animal-inspired. Heidi then deadpans, "Why, is it that you feel like you have the kitty cat inside of you?" and we had to rewind and watch it twice more because it is hilarious.

Johnny says he was going for fun, flirty, young, and pretty. And then Jennifer Rade unleashes some Extreme Zings on Johnny, including "The purse is the most interesting thing about this outfit." and "The world really doesn't need more of that dress." Johnny takes it in stride, though, saying "I appreciate all of your criticism, because that way when I go forward I can correct them." I like his strategy; by saying out loud "when I go forward" he is attempting to brainwash the judges into making that future come true. It's like dropping the word "sex" a lot when you're around someone you want to sleep with.

Everyone hates Qristyl's boring black dress, and Heidi says that the model has aged 10 to 15 years, which for models "is like dog years." Then Heidi's eyes flash and I start to worry that backstage she has a veterinarian waiting with some euthanasia. Jennifer Rade jumps in and asks Valerie if she likes the dress, and I must reprint the entirety of the exchange because it is so choice:

JR: "Valerie, do you like your dress?"
Valerie: "Yeah, I do, kind of."
JR: "Well, that's why Valerie is not a designer... right?"
Valerie: "...Yeah."
JR: "Thank God."

Someone get this woman her own show.

Althea's suit is widely praised, and the Marie Claire editor says, "Now this is a suit!" I would love to see her wear that to work, I'm just saying. And, aaaaaaah, stop showing old Austin Scarlett, he is SO SCARY. I feel like that man will haunt my dreams now.

Epperson, who I thought had a chance to win this, especially since the editors made such a big deal about him missing his family, is the first one to be sent safely off the runway. And the winner is... Althea. I can't hate on her because she is cute and I think she's a good designer, even though I think this suit is not her best effort. I would have chosen Irina's design over Althea's. Carol Hannah is also safe. And then, in a bit of an upset, Johnny is in. I was pretty convinced that Qristyl and Johnny would be the bottom two. Actually I was hoping for that outcome so that I could write a song parody to the tune of "Frankie and Johnny," but even just writing that I realize that we all dodged an enormous bullet.

The final two are Qristyl and Logan. Qristyl's dress was boring and old, while Logan's was cheap and tacky. However the odds seem solidly stacked in Logan's favor since Qristyl has twice been in the bottom 2, and indeed he is safe (thanks in no small part to those pants, I'm sure.)

Oh, Qristyl. Your magical punim just did not deliver, girl. I will always remember you as I first saw you:

Next week the designers are finally forced to make stuff out of interesting material: newsprint! It's not Gristede's but I'll take it.

Infuriatingly, the promos show that Nina Garcia is AWOL next week. If Kors is not back, there will be hell to pay.

Nothing really happened on Models of the Runway this week. They went to that "industry party," which was attended by the guy best known for designing the T-shirts favored by Jon Gosselin, and got drunk but that was about it. I think they need to have separate, humiliating challenges, like on ANTM, or at the very least make-overs. At the end, Valerie was sent to model-dog heaven (but seriously, girl, check out She's Got the Look.)

See you next week!