Project Runway Recap: Babies on Board!

project runway baby challengeI’m not one of these people who’s all “Ewww, babies!”

I love babies. SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BABIES.

But there are places where a baby is not appropriate: Behind the wheel of an Indy 500 racecar. Perched over a white-hot stovetop range clutching a container of red pepper flakes. Performing lead vocals on a Top 40 hit. And as the subject of a Project Runway challenge.

And yet Heidi Klum needed a place to promote her “Truly Scrumptious” kids’ line for Babies “R” Us, which meant that the fate of the Season 10 Top 6 rested in their respective abilities to work with teeny, tiny dress forms — and other, more unexpected pressures.

“Heidi has, like, 105 kids,” droned Dmitry, trying to wrap his head around a challenge he described as similar to “making an outfit for a cat.”

Each of the designers was paired with a client and his or her mother — what, no gay dads?! — and Christopher’s proved the most, um, opinionated. “Her sleeves are always 3/4[-length]!” she huffed, while demanding a white denim jacket for her little one.

Heidi also promised a “surprise in the work room,” which prompted this zinger from Elena: “I know it’s not a surprise. I know it’s something f—– up.” And indeed, the Ukrainian designer was correct. The contestants were each saddled with one of those “screaming, crying baby [dolls] they give to teenagers before they have sex” (as Elena described them), and had to frequently pause their work to feed, soothe, and change their charges’ diapers. Heidi noted, eyes glistening with evil, that the dolls were necessary to help the designers know how to make a “functional outfit,” but clearly it was all about making good/tense TV.

Fabio got a little too close to his little one, though, which scored a side-eye from Dmitry: “The baby is not real, Fabio. Leave the baby alone. It wants to sleep.” (Hey now, if it’s not real, then how come it wants to go night-night?)

But wait, there was more! After Heidi and Tim stopped by the workroom for a check-in, La Klum announced the contestants would have to make “companion pieces” for their clients’ moms. Christopher, once again, received grim feedback from his client. “I feel like I have on my mom’s 1970s tablecloth,” she snarled, assessing the look he’d concocted for her.

Dmitry, meanwhile, expressed in his usual droll manner that his toddler client was falling asleep, as toddlers often do. “He has to deliver! He has to sell my look!” Let’s all just agree to agree: Dmitry definitely ranks among the Top 5 funniest designers in Project Runway history, even if I’m only 90% sure he’s aware how brilliantly he sticks his punch lines.

Anyway, let’s dish the winning and losing looks (thankfully there was no opportunity for Michael Kors to yell “that crotch is insane!”):

WINNING LOOKS
Sonjia: Her gray suit with black lapels and pocket details was really, really cute, and the funky print t-shirt underneath was an unexpected graphic pop. Best in show, hands down.

Christopher: His daisy-pattern dress delighted everyone — except Nina (“It’s not very practical,” she huffed), but I thought the individual flapping flowers looked a wee bit messy. Still, the look was superior to the other two designs for girls (from Elena and Melissa) thereby giving him a win when, had this not been a challenge with two winners split by gender of the models, I’d have put him at No. 4 for the week.

MIDDLE LOOKS
Dmitry: Nina was right that Dmitry’s bright red onesie with pointed hood made his child look like a crayon, but nevertheless, a very chic crayon. I mean, Heidi said she didn’t want basics, and Dmitry served up something a little wacky, and decidedly attention-getting — which is why I’d have ranked this at No. 2 for the week. (And why I would buy it if it showed up on Babies “R” Us web site.)

Fabio: His onesie was also really nifty, with nice graphic details and a waist that made the outfit look like it was two pieces. “He looks like a little old-fashioned baby,” said guest judge Hilary Duff, summing up exactly what I felt when Fabio’s look came down the runway.

BOTTOM 2
Melissa: After making nothing more than basic leggings, Melissa realized she’d forgotten any actual design in her garment, and switched to making a white sheath dress. Wrong choice? Let’s ask MK. “The most adult thing a woman can wear is a sheath dress. A baby doesn’t exactly need a dress with ruching! For what hips?” Even worse, the dress kept riding up and exposing her model’s diaper. Yeah, I liked the googly-eye applique on the back of Melissa’s vest, but from a design standpoint, I thought Elena’s jacket was the stronger piece.

Elena: Once La Kors described Elena’s ensemble as looking “sample sale,” it was hard to get past the disparate vibe of the jacket with cool structured collar, next to what Heidi noted were “throwaway” green pants and a pink t-shirt. It certainly didn’t help that her model was carrying a blue-striped stuffed animal, which only contributed to the clashing nature of the design. Based on the baby challenge alone, I’d have auf’d Melissa, but in the context of the entire season, I believe Elena was indeed the right contestant to get auf’d. “What are we gonna do all day, every day without your [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep]?” asked Tim. I guess we’ll find out next week!

What did you think of this week’s Project Runway? Use the comments section thoughtfully to express your feelings!