Project Runway Season 8 Episode 7 Recap

Andy South. My favorite look this episode.

Before I begin I have to say I LOVE THIS CHALLENGE. After the events of the past few episodes, especially all the talk about people’s ‘lack of skills’.. it was a stroke of genius to say ok – let’s separate the designer from the seamstress and really evaluate people’s skill sets in each area. I actually think that it is amazing they haven’t done a challenge like this before in all the 8 seasons.

On to the episode. We begin with recapping the events of Episode 6, with another clip of Michael C telling the designers he won and getting the stink-eye from “Grinch-en” and “Conn-Ivy” and then watch as April prepares to move in with the other girls. Obviously there is the potential for some tension there, but the girls are mostly really welcoming to her. Although the whole “we made you a sign” thing was a little weird since it just said “Welcome Designers!” with (april) written below it. Sorry girls. That’s not making a sign. That’s adding someone’s name in tiny letters to an existing sign. Quick cut back to Michael C talking about how he ‘feels like Gretchen, only better.’ Snap!

On the Runway, we have ugly pants on Heidi and eye rolls galore when Michael C is informed of his immunity in this challenge. I don’t love everything Heidi wears but these pants are inexcusable! I am agog.

The designers are told they will be presented with their challenge by a special guest at the marina. It’s the Michael Kors challenge! The designers are asked to design a resort wear piece, keeping in mind that resort wear can encompass everything from swimwear to eveningwear. The designers are treated to MK sunglasses and brunch on the boat while they sketch. Michael C is certain he can nail this one, Michael D is in awe of the view and the boat ride, Mondo doesn’t go on vacations and Casanova is worried this is ‘not his challenge.’ Next, we head to Mood!

At Mood, the designers have 30 minutes to shop. As soon as we hear what Mondo is planning, I am worried for him. It sounds pretty Teen Beach Barbie rather than Wealthy Snob Vacationer.. which is the difference between ‘resort wear’ and regular ‘beach wear’ to me. Ivy and Mike D are encouraged to be true to their aesthetics in their fabric choices. After a cameo from Swatch the designers return to Parsons and Tim brings in the DREADED VELVET BAG. Michael D says it best, “I hate this bag. I hate this bag. I hate. This. Bag.“

The twist is, the designers will be working in teams and they will have to execute each other’s designs. Valerie is paired with Andy. Next button out of the bag is Michael C and…. pause for dramatic drumroll. No one wants to be paired with him. The lucky winner is… Mondo. He is not happy. April is paired with Christopher. Gretchen is paired with Casanova, which leaves Ivy and Michael D. She is immediately concerned about his construction skills not being at par with hers… which only makes me think she is even more of a bitch for feeling ‘better’ than the other designers simply because she knows technical terms they don’t. It’s just so haughty! ‘Grinch-en’ treats Casanova like a retard, making him 10,000 sketches and acting like an ESL teacher.

Mondo surprises me with the things he says about Michael C. I start to get annoyed with him for being so mean and rude, both to his face and to the other designers, but I am really happy to see that he turns around and admits this after he realizes that Michael C is working hard to learn and help. After the events of the past few episodes, it is nice to see someone actually seeing Michael for who he is and accepting his limitations as a self-taught designer, while still respecting him.

Michael Kors comes in for the critiques and I feel like I get a better sense of Michael Kors as a person than I ever have before. He is so goofy! He starts with Gretchen and Casanova, warning both about going too ‘senior’ with their designs and color palettes. He loves Michael C’s fabric and warns both him and Mondo about styling. He likes Christopher’s drapey top and loves where April is going with her sheer dress.
Ivy starts by pointing out Michael D’s deficiencies and how this ‘forced her to simplify her design’ even though the fabrics she chose are bland as a glass of water. I have a feeling, even if she had been the one to execute her design, it would have bored me. Michael D’s garment is difficult to decipher from the sketch but looks alarmingly matronly and I am worried for him. Michael Kors likes Andy’s design but cautions perfection on the hems. He hates Valerie’s color choices.

The models come in for a fitting . Michael D is apologizing soooooo much for his sewing. I feel like he is selling himself pretty short. He is taking Ivy’s blaming attitude and internalizing it a bit. Poor guy. A short aside has us intruding on Valerie’s call home to her mom. Unlike when ‘Grinch- en’ talked to her mom, with Valerie, I actually tear up when she says she doesn’t just want this, she needs it. *sniff.

The next morning Michael D is worried because he isn’t finished Ivy’s garment yet. The fittings begin for the runway and Casanova’s styling is so old I am definitely worried about him. Gretchen’s model is walking around in the background doing some kind of dance and it adds a kind of weird irony to Casanova’s joke that he will be ‘out.’

The way Ivy is watching over Michael D is quite rude… and to me, its pretty obvious why he is having a hard time sewing. Ever been driving with someone watching you? When you are under so much scrutiny and micro-management, it is easy to over-correct and perform worse than you are actually capable of. When someone doesn’t trust you in the first place, there is nothing to lose. You can’t break trust if it doesn’t exist in the first place.

Tim gives the go ahead for the designers to take control of their work and Ivy leaps up into the seat of the sewing machine. I am pretty sure this violates the basic rules of the challenge. She is not supposed to execute the work, only style it and make sure it is runway ready the way she wants it. But whatever. She can’t save this trash anyways.

On to the runway… It is quite interesting to see the designer’s work walk down the runway on a different model than they usually use. The guest judge is Kristen Bell. Michael C’s look is kind of nice. It’s chic and feels very relaxed and dare I say expensive. There is something retro about the look but I like it overall. Mondo’s just screams junior.. and I think a lot of it is the styling. A high heel might have helped, but then again, the design is all around pretty young. Mike D’s look is ok. I think I just don’t completely get it. Ivy’s look is BORING.. but what else can you expect from her? Really though – I don’t understand how it took so long to create this look. It’s a basic top and a shapeless skirt. In muted pastels. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Christopher’s look is relaxed but not a standout. April’s is cool and interesting, but I don’t immediately get resort from it. I get more of a lingerie vibe. Casanova’s look is too mature, especially in the styling. When I see Gretchen’s look, the first thing I think of is that she did a hippie version of Michael C’s design! I don’t know why she thinks she is so much better than him if they are designing essentially the same thing. Her look screams safe to me. I really don’t like Valerie’s look – it looks a little too over-designed and uptight for resort wear. Andy’s is flawless and stunning and really interesting too. My pick for the winner. The designers are called out and Michael D, April and Andy are in the top. Ivy, Casanova and Mondo are in the bottom. Michael D is worried that Ivy might go home and it will be his fault. The designers defend their work and are asked about the collaboration with their seamstresses. This only gets interesting with the top 3 when Ivy tries to undercut Michael D, saying he doesn’t know anything about how clothes go on and off the body – wtf! She is trying to throw him under the bus while they are talking about HIS DESIGN. This does not bode well for when they are on the bottom three in a minute….

Bottom 3 – Mondo and Michael C are so cute together. Mondo doesn’t apologize for his work, he just explains why he didn’t do something like the others. Michael C tries really hard to help Mondo out, talking about how was a great designer and communicated and collaborated well. Casanova makes the mistake of trying to acknowledge the ‘age’ issue in his designs… and Heidi misunderstands what he is saying to mean that he used his grandma as inspiration. Oh Casanova. ‘Conn-Ivy’ continues her rampage of blaming everyone she can except herself for why the garments and design are SHIT. Notice the judges say nothing about the construction. Ivy is called out for throwing him under the bus and they slam her with ‘you sew well but are you a designer?’ Mike C is rolling his eyes and Heidi notices. He gets the opportunity for a nice BOO-YA to Ivy, saying that she is terrifying and bossy. BA HA HA HA HA HA.

Judges deliberate and… Michael D is safe and glad he didn’t win. April Wins! Andy is safe. Mondo is safe. (phew!) Ivy and Casanova are in the bottom two. My guess is Ivy is going home… and IVY IS SAFE! WTF? W.T.F!!! So, the poor communication aspect of the ‘designer – sample sewer relationship’ really didn’t even matter in the end? Le. Sigh.

Casanova is out. He comes to the back room. Sad? 0 Disappointed? A quart. We will miss you Casanova. He mock- hangs himself on the door as he exits and for the first time ever, Project Runway does a little montage of Casanova ‘moments’ from the show so far. I love it! I wish they did it for all the designers… awwww.

Next week the designer’s are updating Jackie-O from the looks of it…

Love to hear your comments!