Project Runway Recap: Lolli-Gagging

project runway candy challengeThere are moments when Project Runway feeds your inner hardcore fashion enthusiast, and other times when it scores as many laughs per minute as your average episode of Cougar Town or Veep. This week’s “Unconventional Materials” challenge — in which the designers were tasked with creating stylish looks using $250 worth of materials from Dylan’s Candy Bar — succeeded on both counts.

Heid Klum, Tim Gunn, and Michael Kors dropped zingers so priceless, I’d be disappointed if they don’t eventually get turned into t-shirt slogans. “Her boobs are turning into old man’s eyes!” It doesn’t get more hilarious — or more astute — than that. And of course, Sonjia, Dmitry, Ven, and Melissa turned out extraordinarily crafted garments using the unlikeliest of “fabrics” and “trim.” So even without saucy the bon mots, this would’ve been a box of couture bon-bons.

The workroom was fairly drama-free this week, with the exception of Andrea and Elena. The former, who incidentally was born on Halloween, settled on making “an apron for a Victorian candy bar clerk gone wild.” Tim Gunn dropped by to eye the dubious frock, and delivered the most roundabout-yet-brutal assessment in his 10 years on the show: “I don’t have the adequate words to tell you how completely underwhelmed I am by this.” (Side note: I’m storing that zinger in my memory bank for the future day when I’m the parent of a surly 15-year-old.) Fabio, meanwhile, had time-management problems (“This is a glue-the-s**t-out-of-it moment!” squealed Tim) and Elena burned her legs with hot glue, raising this pertinent question from Christopher: “Why are you wearing hoochihe shorts to work?”

Anyhow, let’s review the best and worst of the week in “candy couture”:

Judges’ Top 3
VEN: It’s pretty clear this fella has world-class construction skills — the bodice of his stained-glass minidress was exquisite, and the asymmetrical waist was perfecty executed — but the end product had about 10 percent too much ego for my taste. As Heidi noted, “He has a lot of confidence, that Ven.”

SONJIA: I was deeply concerned when Sonjia announced her intent to use candied sharks — yes, I questioned her taste level there — but the way she turned the jellied treats into a vibrant neckline, the way she used subtle gradations of turquoise to catch the eye, and the way her dress flattered her model’s figure were quite remarkable. For me, this was the week’s winning look (pictured, right) — a vibrant, flirtatious piece that perfectly captured the parameters of the challenge.

GUNNAR: I appreciated the amount of attention that went into the look — especially his creation of candy earrings and bracelet — but the DRESS Michael compared to “woven raffia” was a wee bit drab, and I didn’t love what the jutting peblum did to his model’s waistline. Oh, also, his coy “thank yous” to the judges worked my last damn nerve.

Judges’ Bottom 3
ELENA: It was almost comical how every time the camera’s cut to Elena’s dress, it had fewer and fewer pieces of piña colada licorice attached, but the true LOL factor came from the judges’ aghast responses. “She looks like a dude!” huffed Heidi of the bizarre, boxy silhouette. “This has no spirit. No fun. It’s a candy challenge, for god’s sake!” shouted Nina, offended all the way to her soul. And then, of course, there was La Kors starting to see images appearing in the “noodle art” — including the aforementioned breast-eyes. (See embedded image.)

BUFFI: This look was noticably tortured, with a bunchy bodice and heavy, messy bottom. As Heidi noted, the finished product was less Carrie Bradshaw and more “five year old going to a birthday party” — although those two things aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive (and I say that as a SATC die-hard). Michael’s comment, though, had me laughing hardest of all: “If you saw her on the street, somebody would probably put some money in a cup.” No wonder Buffi said she might’ve “pooped a little” during the judges’ critique. Yikes!

LANTIE: The winner of this week’s award for faintest praise (delivered by Nina Garcia): “Well, it’s not atrocious.” But as Heidi pointed out, it also hardly contained any candy, and thus, was the correct choice for an auf’ing. Lantie tried to spin her garment into a non-failure — “everybody appreciates art in a different way” — but when she scrapped her original design with only a few hours left, then sewed a basic frock using a Dylan’s brand umbrella, you knew her fate was uglier than a chocolate bar in a 3-year-old’s fist on a hot summer day.

Should’ve Been in the Top
DMITRY: I don’t know how the judges ranked his beaded flapper skirt (pictured, left) — with its flirty movement and sophisticated back zipper — below Gunnar. Maybe because Dmitry isn’t part of a tiresome attempt to stir up a rivalry with Christopher?

Should’ve Been in the Bottom
KOOAN & ANDREA: My bottom three would’ve been Lantie, Kooan, and either Andrea or Elena, but the giddy Japanese designer somehow escaped the wrath of Nina despite sending out a dress (pictured, center) that looked like the contents of a child’s vom bucket at 11:58pm on Halloween. Honestly, there was no shape or tailoring, just a sack covered with a horrifying array of color. Andrea’s smock, meanwile, really did look like the craft project Tim accused it of being. Oh, and that full-diaper-bustle just increased its crimes of fuggery!

Whay did you think of last night’s Project Runway? And why is the show treating us to a game of “Where’s Nathan”? Use the comments section thoughtfully to express yourself!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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22 Comments
  1. I didn’t understand why Drew seemed to be penalizing them for how many candys they used. I mean, that wasn’t the challenge.

  2. Vivi says:

    Dmitry was robbed from a Top 3 spot. You know the producers had a say in making Gunner appear in the Top 3 despite his dress falling apart on the runway.

    • KevyB says:

      I’m there! They were sitting there going on and on about the construction and there were parts missing from it as they were saying that! That was total crap. And Sonjia’s dress was the best dress that also was the most ambitious, which is part of the weird materials challenge. Ven basically just made colored sandpaper! And he needs to SHUT UP about winning the first week… the best outfits won that week, the best outfit DIDN’T win this week, so consider yourself lucky.

    • nodak says:

      I agree that Dmitry’s dress was one of the best!

  3. Chris says:

    I am baffled on how Dimitry wasn’t on the top as well….maybe because of the black and red? Didn’t His Korsness say he hated black and red together one season? Also — though I can up with a variety of comments for Koonan’s (ok I guess we’ll call it a dress), breast-eyes wasn’t one of them. Thanks for making me laugh long and hard!

    • Linda says:

      I loved Dimitry’s dress as well, but he might have been left off the top 3 list because the top half of his dress was just black fabric — there wasn’t any candy on it at all. So, I think it had less complexity and less work than the top 3 looks. Maybe the judges discounted his score a bit because of that.

      But I do agree that it was more attractive than Gunnar’s dress.

  4. ktbanks says:

    Haha…you’re analysis of Kooan’s dress is SPOT ON! I’m dying! But I agree the right person went home…

  5. BA says:

    I thought the same thing – Dimitry should have been in the top 3 instead of Gunnar. Glad to know that others agree.

  6. Mary says:

    I also loved Dimitry’s black dress and thought it should have made the top 3 if not win. Ven’s attention to detail was great but he didn’t deserve to win over Sonjia. Also you forgot to mention that the guest judge Dillon wasn’t just the owner of the candy store but Ralph Lauren’s daughter. As much as I like Lauren Graham it was nice to have someone this week who knows something about fashion.

  7. I would have sent Andrea home, hands down. That apron/bustle/whatever thing was horrid.

  8. andjuliesaid says:

    I’m logging away “crimes of fuggery” for future use. Hilarious and right on!

  9. RUCookie says:

    KOOAN was given a pass because of the amount of work (it looked like) it took. The others were a box of noodles, an umbrella with a hole for a waist and stuffing from a birthday present bag.

    I too loved the flapper dress, but really believe that the best 2 looks were the ones ID’d – Ven and Sonjia. Those were both jaw dropping amazing (and made umbrella girls comments on time shortages all the more comical.)

    • Mary says:

      I figured he and Andrea escaped the bottom 3 only because the judges felt the others were just so much worse.

  10. Ashly says:

    Did anyone believe Ven when he said that he was excited he won? Dude has the most monotone voice ever. I love his designs, but his personality is a little flat. I hope he doesn’t kicked off for more “exciting” personalities. It might be just me, but I really wanted jewel tone colors for the stained glass dress. I felt like his color palette was too pale.

  11. Lana says:

    I love Ven’s work but he doesn’t ever laugh or ever show much personality which seems kind of sad. I too loved Dimitrys outfit but I have a feeling the top should of had some candy on it and they might have picked his for top 3 considering that the top 3 were entirely made of candy. I truly loved Sonjia’s dress and thought the sharks looked like they were moving which was the WOW factor for me, I think she should have won but I had to agree with Ven I felt he should have won the first one.

    • Gretchen says:

      Perhaps Ven has Asperger’s or just isn’t one to jump about–I am an Aspie and loathe when people remark that I am “not happy enough” or need to “show emotion.” That isn’t me, and there’s nothing wrong with not hopping around like you’ve won the lottery.

  12. topsyturvy says:

    The WORST part of Andrea’s dress wasn’t the apron itself but the trail of explosive rainbow diarrhea bringing up the rear.

  13. Reena says:

    If I were a judge I would have stopped the show as soon kooan’s mess came out and told him to leave right away then I would have continued and told Andrea to leave since her model looked she was pioping a rainbow loved Ven sonja and dmitry really thought he deserved to be in the top over Gunnar

  14. Mara says:

    I do not like Ven’s personality, but I thought his dress was the most beautiful. Sonjia’s dress was more.. creative. But I would wear the hell out of Ven’s dress to any party any day. That’s true talent.

    I just wish he was more likeable! Does he not know this is a reality show? Personality wins over talent.