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Project Runway Episode 6 Recap: What A Girl Wants

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Hi guys! Fashion Week is over and I'm back on my regular Project Runway beat. If you missed my behind-the scenes look at the Bryant Park show, check it out here. I'll spill some more at the end of this post.

Previously on: The gang designed Marie Claire cover looks for Heidi in a total navel-gazer of an episode. Anthony won for his snappy blue number, while Anna got auf'ed for implying that Heidi would go anywhere near pinstriped formal shorts.

In the Atlas apartments, we see someone asleep clutching a plush sheep doll. WHO IS THIS? I must know! Until I was eighteen I slept with a one-eyed pound puppy named Harold, but I would never have slept with him on national television (sorry, Harold). Anthony drawls "Good morning, gorgeous!" to Seth. He tells us that it felt awesome to win the Marie Claire challenge, but that he doesn't have immunity so he's still got to keep his eyes on the prize.

A wan-looking Janeane tells us that she's feeling drained (and for real, it looks like Edward Cullen just did a keg stand on her neck. Girl is pale.). "The editor of Marie Claire hated my outfit," she moans, like Joanna Coles is more than just an ABS by Allen Schwartz knockoff of Anna Wintour. Jesse, who wears a porkpie hat throughout this entire episode, says that he's reached the point at which being safe and being in the bottom is not good enough. But enough about his secret S&M life...

Out on the runway, Heidi tells the designers that they have new models for this challenge, and that while they may not have very much experience, they are very attractive. So... how are they different from the regular models? By being midgets, that's how! I mean, children, not actual midgets. A bunch of them line up on the runway and my friend Kerry quips, "They're all Heidi's." Ha. So true--she and Seal are just one set of twins away from starting a Von Trapp-style folk group. I was holding out hope that this would be a Toddlers in Tiaras tie-in, but alas the challenge is simply to make a kids look that is age-appropriate and fashionable. The children are all girls and all have names like Savannah and Fantarina and and other monikers that could be either cities or sodas. Jesse predicts that working with children "is going to be a nightmare." Seth, being a child father himself, feels confident that he knows what kids love and what they hate. Amy is ecstatic, because she "loves miniature clothes." Jonathan tells us that he's afraid of kids. "They're... very small," he says, wrinkling his nose. THAT. IS. WHAT. SHE. SAID. Oh, man, I love this challenge.

The gang gets back to the workroom and marvels over how tiny their dress forms are. And they are itty bitty. Anthony notes that he usually designs for the curves of a woman's shape, but "these little girls ain't got no booties and no breasts." And I'll say again, so how are they different from the regular models? Tim comes in wearing a romper and bonnet. Kidding! But a girl can dream. Whatever happened to his theme outfits? He should have come in singing that creepy opening song from Gigi, "Thank Heaven For Little Girls." (This show would be so much more shark-jumpingly awesome if they just asked themselves "What would Tyra do?" before every scene.) Anyway, he tells the gang that each of them have a card with their kid's measurements and that they will not be fitting the mini-models until just before the runway show. They have $50 and one day to complete the challenge.

Emilio interviews that this is a "trippy" challenge. Agreed: it's like they all stumbled out of Auntie Em's farmhouse into a Technicolor Munchkin land. Emilio thinks that other designers will try to put too much of themselves into their designs. In order to stand out from the pack, he is making a generic communion dress that you could pull off the rack at any Kids 'R Us. At Mood, Seth looks for houndstooth and black and white stretch cotton to make a little hoodie. He can't find it until the very last second, but this dramatic arc falls flat. Seriously, nothing exciting ever happens at Mood. Do not even try, editors. Emilio grabs some pale pink fabric and Amy says she thinks pink might be cliche.

Back at Parsons, Jay comments that kids nowadays are fashion forward, and the when they're about 8 years old they start wearing more sophisticated pieces. This just about makes me cry, because here's what I wore when I was eight:

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It don't get more fashion forward than an oversize bow sweatshirt over a turtleneck and leggings. Testify!

Jonathan is doing a dress under a short bolero jacket, which I guess is fitting because bolero jackets are inherently miniature... but which also seems wrong because bolero jackets err heavily on the side of looking ridiculous, especially when worn over a wedding gown (seriously, brides, do not do this. I have watched enough episodes of Platinum Weddings to know that a buttload of Swarovski crystals do not an attractive bolero jacket make.) As Jon sews, he debuts a spot-on Michael Kors impression that rivals Santino's Tim Gunn. "It looks like a seven year-old waitress from Benihana," Jonathan says in MK's disparaging nasal whine. "It's like Memoirs of a Geisha meets Barney." Ok, so Jonathan? My new favorite person.

Mila tells us she's doing an A-line dress, kind of 60s (shocker!) Emilio openly retorts "And it's color blocked, imagine that!" Them sound like fightin' lisps, but Mila just laughs it off, explaining to us that people didn't used to like her for some reason but now they all get along. "You need to add some color blocking to your life!" she tells Emilio. "That could be a sermon," Anthony pipes in. So are they one big, happy family now? This sort of warms my heart but also makes me nervous. Project Runway needs at least one bitch in order to run properly. It's like a spleen: You don't need it to live, but its removal may cause increased susceptibility to infection by bacteria. Wait, that metaphor didn't work...

Nevermind, time for story time with Janeane! She tells us that when she was little, her sister was in a school play as a butterfly and wore a red romper (and can I just say, seriously, elementary school costume director? Weak.) Anyway, Janeane was jealous, and so now is making a red romper and forcing her child model to wear it. For some reason this makes me think of an alternate version of The Shining, in which Janeane sits in a corner talking to her finger in a demon voice: "REDROMPER! REDROMPER!"

Moving on. Seth tells us that his daughter is 11 and went through a punk rock phase (gee, I wonder why?) "Kids want to be interested in their clothes," he says. "They don't want a dull, boring Easter dress." Oh, snap, Emilio, are your ears burning? Janeane worries that she's not being innovative. She has an amazingly objective way of looking at her own sucky work but, sadly, seems to have no way of fixing it. Mila, out of nowhere, says that she thinks it's odd that they haven't seen Tim all day. "Do you think there'll be a twist?" she asks no one in particular. Um, way to set that up, producers.

The next morning at the Atlas apartments, Emilio observes that Jonathan's hair has gotten big. "Go big or go home!" Jon retorts. I feel like Michael Scott today. I can barely repress my thatswhatshesaids. We see Janeane talking on the phone to her boyfriend? Husband? Fish painting? Anyway, she says she misses him and starts crying and, as one commenter pointed out last week, this is tantamount to a death knell. Nice knowing you, Janeane.

Back at Parsons, Tim comes in looking scampy. "Designers, I have a nice surprise for you," he says. Emilio interviews that whenever Tim comes in with a sly look it means trouble. (Ditto whenever he makes his IBS face during critiques.) "These looks will not be walking the runway today," Tim teases in a Ms. Hannigan "We're not having hot mush today," voice. Yup, they're having cold mush: The looks will be walking the runway tomorrow with a corresponding adult look that the designers must make in the meantime. Emilio looks stricken. "How am I going to come up with an adult version of a pink cupcake?" he asks. Eh, it's not so hard; just ask Betsey Johnson. Janeane, on the other hand, is excited, as this gives her yet another chance to self-sabotage and underachieve. Jonathan observes that the adult look gives them the chance to lower the necklines, raise the hemlines, and make sluttier more high-fashion pieces. They get $100 and another trip to Mood in which nothing happens. To make things more compelling next season, Mood should set up an obstacle course like the one they had in Double Dare. The whipped cream might get on some of the fabric, but it would be totally worth it. (Also, get Marc Summers to narrate the action. That guy needs a job. Have you seen Unwrapped? It is painful, although I do appreciate learning how funnel cake is made.)

With 13 hours left in day two, Anthony gets a little bit wound up. "My feet hurt," he says. "Feels like I've been working in a chicken shack. My mom has a bad cough..." Seriously, he goes on and on, like a tweaked-out Teddy Ruxpin who's spent too much time with The Jeffersons. The other designers, half joking and--I suspect--kind of annoyed, challenge him not to talk, placing bets on how long he can last. Someone puts a bandage over his face and Amy makes lips and a lolling tongue out of red tape. After a few minutes, he tears it off; his sassy quips are far too powerful to be kept back by a flimsy piece of cotton elastic.

Tim returns. "No twists, just me!" he says. Really? Damn, I was hoping for a Bratz doll to round this party out. How awesome would that have been? (Answer: Fucking awesome.) Tim checks in with the following designers who are going to end up in the top or bottom three: Jonathan (Tim loves what he's done with the girl's dress... granted, he hasn't seen the adult version, which resembles a toilet-papered tree); Janeane ("You're rocking Halloween!" Tim says of her colors. Janeane is justifiably horrified. And also Tim might be colorblind because that looks red to me); Amy, who is making a pair of pants out of petal-shaped pieces of blue, black and orange fabric ("These pants could either stop the show or they could be clown clothes," Tim says. Can't they do both?); and Seth (Tim loves everything).

The teensy models come in and immediately turn the work room into pure, delicious chaos. Ben has been paired--fittingly--with the shiest, most scared-looking child. "I just want to get a smile out of this kid," he says. The girls try on their outfits and generally look adorable, even Emilio's, who looks as if she is preparing to receive the body of Christ in wafer form. Some of them swarm Anthony, who cries "Where's your momma?" As they leave, Jonathan takes a deep sniff of his armpit, noting that the kids made him so nervous that he stinks. I'd like to think that he's sniffing his pits not to ascertain the odor level but rather to calm himself down, like SNL's Mary Katherine Gallagher.

There are two hours left in the final day. Amy has not been able to make much headway on her clown pants, and wants to see what one leg looks like. Emilio is concerned that he's running out of time, but says he never lets the other designers see him sweat.

We jump to the next day. Janeane sits at a sewing machine chanting "I have to get this done done done done done." REDROMPER! Amy is still not finished with her pants, and they are obviously going to be hideous. This is a rare case in which I would rule in favor of "no pants" over "pants." (Another case? Jon Hamm. But that's getting off-topic.)

Tim comes in and gives his sponsor spiel (I'm in awe of his ability to do this every single episode. If I were him, I would just shout brand names like someone with consumer Tourette's: "L'Oreal Paris! Garnier Fructis! Bluefly.com!") He sends in the children, who have seemingly just been fed cocaine-laced ants on a log; they go NUTS. Jonanthan says that the work room has become like the Romper Room on crack. The little ladies are cutting fabric, making accessories for themselves and, naturally, flocking to Anthony, who is not only the most fun designer but also just as bitchy as a preteen girl. Sample conversation:

Girl 1: "My dog's 77."
Girl 2: "My older sister is my dog."
Girl 1: "My dog's older than your dog."
Anthony: "Do y'all have an off switch?"
Girl 2: "What's an off switch?"

Jesse thinks that Janeane might be in trouble because her look is simple. Jonathan reveals that his strategy was to play it safe to the halfway point and then pull out the big tricks for the judges. Amy has finally finished her pants, and her kid model says to her adult model: "Are you ready for the circus?" HA. Emilio says that he's 75% confident, and that for him that's rare. He bitches that Jonathan's "mother" dress went to "a whole 'nother place" (one can only assume that no matter where that place is, it is Charmin Ultra Soft). Jesse opines that this will either be a ridiculous runway show or it will all be genius. Yes, tough call there, Cap'n Jack. I vote for "farty."

Out on the runway, Heidi introduces the judges: Michael and Nina, who look bored and wooden, and guest judge Tory Burch, who apparently also designs for kids. Ok, here we go. It's take your daughter to (make it) work day--see what I did there? [Insert Krusty the clown sigh.]

ANTHONY

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Let's play a game called "Guess the baby daddy." Hmmm .... red and pink and syrupy sweet... I think this pretend paternity test points to...

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George Balanchine's head candy cane from The Nutcracker. Gay as a gumdrop, you say? Well that didn't stop Jim McGreevey!

Seriously, though, I like this. The dresses aren't matchy-matchy but they go together, and each complements its wearer perfectly and appropriately.

AMY

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Wow. Just... wow. I don't think the kid's outfit is so bad. Or maybe my corneas have just been seared out by those pants. Those petal pants! There could only be one explanation for this...

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Yeah, I hear the dandelion from Alice in Wonderland gets around.

BEN

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This is fine, nice. Whatever. The words "shy violet" come to mind. I think this is the product of a same-sex union between momma color block up there and Indigo from Rainbow Brite's Color Kids.

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SETH

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OMG, that kid is so effing cute. And the mom looks sharp, too. There's only one man who could round out this trio:

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Yup, this is Seth's baby, quite literally. Well, his or Beetlejuice's.

JESSE

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I do question the asymmetrical waist of the kid's dress, but I must concede that Jesse's work this week is decent, if a little too close to Nazi Youth for comfort. Let's go with a slightly less reviled dictator for the sperm donor:

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JONATHAN

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I don't think this is so terrible, in the grand scheme of things. I actually like the mom's dress more than the kid's. Anyway, you know what I'm going to do here, right? Of course you do.

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MAYA

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"Mommy, where are we going?"
"To the docks to see daddy, darling."
"Mommy, why is your raincoat so ill-fitting?"
"Cropped jackets are in this season, love muffin."
"Is that your skin or a putty-colored bodysuit? Why don't you have a belly button?"
"What?"
"Why is your crotch so droopy, mommy? Do you have vaginal prolapse?"
"Shut up."
"I don't think those sandals are appropriate for fishing, mommy."
"Oh, thank God, there's your father."

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MILA

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I LOVE the adult coat. The kid's dress I'm a little lukewarm on, mostly because of the dalmatian spots. I don't want to further reference beastialty as I did with the Charmin bear, so we'll just say Mila's mother-daughter duo come from classier stock, namely...

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...the mack daddy of color blocking, Piet Mondrian.

EMILIO

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Spoiler alert: I am shocked--shocked--that this gets Emilio to safety this week. The kid is adorable, even if she looks like the American Girl doll from the turn of the 20th century come to life, but the mom dress is just blech. It makes me itch. It's so matronly and Playboy Bunny pink. The fabric looks cheap, too. Ick ick ick.

Again, I wanted to go with the Pink Panther for the dad here, but so far in this post I've already alluded to Hitler and beastiality (now twice). So I have to go with...

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...Pink Man (who is NOT, regardless of what he might look like, Daniel Day-Lewis), an actual celebrity in Berkeley, CA who rides a unicycle wearing pink spandex and a cape. No word on whether he offers passersby the Eucharist.

JANEANE

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I think the kid's outift is okay, but the big model looks a hot, ink-stained mess. Who's the daddy for this pair?

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HAHAHA. Get it? Black and white and re[a]d all over. Oh, I kill me.

JAY

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These are cute, if slightly Goth. I dig the scarf, though, and the patent leather shoes, and... wait, does anyone else smell hamburgers?

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Side note: Throughout my childhood at a local McDonald's in lower Manhattan, a person dressed in a Grimace costume would play the piano. Only in retrospect does this creep me out.

Heidi calls forward Jay, Amy, Jonathan, Seth, Jesse, and Janeane. Everyone whose name she did not call is safe. Emilio is visibly excited about being safe; even he knows he sucked. Heidi dismisses with suspense by announcing that Jonathan, Amy, and Janeane have the lowest scores. I wonder if they just didn't want to have so many models--and all of the fidgety kids--on the runway at once. Anyway, the bottom three slink off and the judges heap praise on the others.

Jesse tells them that a red coat popped into his head because of Schindler's List. No, just kidding. That would have been awkward. Heidi says she would have preferred the little girl's dress to be straight but that she likes it. MK loves the color combo. Tory Burch likes the use of gray because she "likes unusual colors on little girls." Um, TMI?

Seth is up next. Heidi asks his mini model if she likes her outfit and she says she especially likes the purse. MK thinks both looks are "super and strong," and tells Seth that the black and white jacket is the best-tailored garment they've seen this season. Tory likes that the she feels like she hasn't seen the looks before.

Jay focused on making a drop-waisted, ruffle-trimmed dress for his eight year-old fashionplate and using the same color story and fabrics on the big version. MK thinks they look chic. Tory says that she would notice this mother and daughter walking down the street. Nina wakes up from her brief nap and mumbles that it's modern, urban, New York, and cool.

The top three are dismissed and the bottom three are trotted back out. The tongue-lashings begin.

Janeane says that she wanted her clothes to be comfy and active, something you could wear running around all day. Nina thinks the looks are plain and wishes they had more whimsy. Heidi thinks they look like a cheap mall outfits, but notes that it has nothing to do with the little girl. Tory likes the leggings on the child model but would have preferred a different top. MK says the adult jacket looks like a home ec project.

Heidi thinks that Jonathan's mini-bolero looks uncomfortable and asks the girl what she thinks. "It does push into my skin," she admits. See? Boleros are bad news bears. Nina thinks Jonathan went too conceptual on the adult dress, and Michael doesn't mince words: "It literally looks like she got stuck in a tornado of toilet paper."

Amy painstakingly describes her petal skirt and pants, perhaps trying to run out the clock and avoid the imminent verbal abuse. No such luck: MK says that the kid model looks like the house was on fire and she grabbed everything she could find. "And those pants are just a train wreck," he says. I think "a clown car wreck" would have had more bite, but okay. Nina says that the effect is confusing and circus-like. Heidi thinks both looks are "hideous and bizarre." She asks the girl if she likes her outfit. "I like the sweater," she hedges, but then declares "I would trust Amy's fashion sense." I like this one' she's feisty.

The judges deliberate. Michael quotes A Chorus Line. "Tits and ass will change your life," he tells the group of children. "They sure changed mine." No, kidding. He says, of Amy's look, I think, "Different is nice but it sure isn't pretty." BURN.

Back on the runway, all six contestants await their fates. Jesse is the first one safe. Seth, quite deservedly, in my opinion, is the winner of this challenge, and reacts to the news by leaping up and down. Jay is obviously in. The next one safe is Jonathan, who hugs Amy and then leaves to go TP Michael Kors' house. Amy and Janeane are left in the bottom two. It HAS to be Janeane, right? I mean, it HAS to. And it is. Justice is done, and Janeane cries. "The judges absolutely hated it!" she wails in her exit interview. "But I'm not stopping because Heidi Klum says she wouldn't wear any of my pieces. I'm going international in the next two years."

It is here that I should tell you that Janeane is NOT the person who was missing from the Bryant Park show during Fashion Week. She showed a full collection, although it was obvious based on the work that she had no shot at making it to the top three. I wonder, then, if the person who didn't show a collection just refused or opted out. I'll have to wait until that person gets kicked off and I can ask them about it.

So next week, it looks like the designers are working with hardware store materials, which is great--I love it when they use odd things in place of fabric. At judging someone calls something a "full cheesefest" and another look "a dirty vaccuum bag." Fun!

CAPTION CONTEST WINNER

Congratulations to Erin McArthur, last week's Caption Contest Winner!

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"I can't believe Maya stole the vagina design from your tattoo for her neckline, Ben."

Erin will get an extremely cheap prize that I will fabricate in some way from things I have lying around my apartment.

And now for this week's contest:

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Email me your captions by next Thursday, 2/25. But keep it relatively clean, people. He's talking to a child, after all.

See you next week! In the meantime, if you like these recaps, check out my blog, The Sassy Curmudgeon.