Project Runway Recap: Babies on Board!

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

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.

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.

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!

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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  1. George says:

    Worst Project Runway challenge EVER

  2. Janet B says:

    Fabio and Dmitry had my favorite outfits. Melissa should have gone home.

  3. In all honesty although Melissa designs are usually much better than Elena’s I would havec kept Elena because at least she makes her own clothes. Every single challange Melissa is getting help from other designers because she can’t finish her looks. I forsee next week with her panicking and desperately trying to put some half finished overly ambitious look down the runway and getting auf’ed because the other designers have finally realized how close to fashion week they are and won’t help her any more. I didn’t really like Sonji’s outfit. It looked sloppy to me. Not that you don’t want a baby to be comfortable but don’t make something tailored looking. I really didn’t like it. I loved Dimitry’s I thought it was the most fashion forward of the boys looks. Fabio’s was very cute too. The other two girls’ looks were car wrecks so Christopher had that in the bag. I’d also like to point out to all future Project Runway contestants that Christopher had a hellishly difficult client and stuck to his guns and made something that the judges and Heidi liked and that he was proud of and oh, look he won. Don’t let your clients bully you! I actually hate Heidi’s Babies R Us collection so this whole thing was kind of a throw away for me. I did cackle with evil glee at the sight of all of those childless designers freaking out. I’m sorry but, I’m a mother and that was freaking funny. That being said, in my head the top three that I want to see a full collection from are Dimitry, Christopher and Sonji.

  4. Whatever says:

    Horrible episode of Project Runway !
    Designing for babies was enough they didn’t need to have them crying in the work room too.
    Crying babies are annoying , NOT entertaining !

  5. RD says:

    It was stupid.But the stilt episode still takes the prize for worst PR ever,(closely followed by the grungy band challenge!).

  6. Michelle B says:

    I actually laughed a lot during this episode, mostly because of Dmitry. I agree that it may have not been the best challenge, but it sure made an entertaining episode.

    • Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

      You are me. This was the most entertaining episode of the season. The crying babies made me appreciate my teenagers. LOL Without the babies we would have missed the comedic gold of Dmitry and Fabio,.

    • D says:

      It was such a fun episode, I was laughing *loudly* throughout. And didn’t have that annoying, emotionless Ven wearing down the proceedings. Several of the designers had me in stitches. Apologies for the pun.

    • teatime says:

      I agree. It was a really funny episode. I credit the designers. I’ll miss Elena she’s been a lot of fun.

  7. CA says:

    What a ridiculous challenge. That being said — I think we need to push for a book to be publish on Dmitry’s quips. Also — I loved Sonji’s comment to Chris as he fretted that his client hated everything he was doing.

  8. Corky St. Clair says:

    What a waste of an episode. It was basically an infomercial for Heidi’s awful baby line. The only part I enjoyed was Dmitri complaining about his narcoleptic baby needing to bring it on the runway.

  9. Carrie says:

    Adore Dmitry’s droll sense of humor, and his baby even looked a little like him!

    Melissa would have been auf’ed if it was really solely on this weeks challenge as they claim, but we all know it’s never been that way. She got damn lucky.

    Also: enough with the fake drama Bunim/Murray. It isn’t nearly as interesting as you seem to think it is

  10. Ali says:

    Gotta say I was rolling my eyes from the previews of this episode (fake babies, what a cheesy gimmick PR!). Didn’t even really want to watch it but…it ended up hella entertaining! Albeit in an utterly ridiculous way. I’m going to credit this to my favorite final 6 group dynamic in Project Runway history next to season 2 (“what happened to Andre??”). Dmitry and Christopher in particular are comedic gold to me at this point. And I’ve been really impressed with their designs this season. I’m rooting for them to make the finals and maybe Sonjia or Melissa for a female perspective.

  11. wooster182 says:

    Elena got auf’d simply because she had the nerve to mouth off to Nina Garcia under her breath. Nina clearly just gave her a smile that said she was going home. And she did. You don’t mess with the Nina.

    • Tess says:

      Elena got aufed because she was the only designer left who never won a challenge and with as dumb as a challenge as it was (basically just to plug Heidi’s line and get her some designs for it on the cheap) it wouldn’t have been right to lose a more talented designer because of it. It felt like the “sample sale” comment was thrown out there to justify sending Elena home over Melissa (also the comment about liking Melissa’s vest more than Elena’s jacket). I agree that if they were solely deciding based on the challenge then Melissa would’ve been a goner, but I’m glad they actually did take into account that in past challenges they’ve seen more promise from her than Elena. Given how close they are to the final, they do want to make sure the best designers get there and Elena (much as I enjoy her personality) just wasn’t on the same level as the other five.

      • wooster182 says:

        Hey, I’m not an Elena fan by any means. I can’t think of one outfit she ever made that I thought even deserved to be on the show. But her catty comment threw her over the edge. If it’s neck and neck between sending polite, talented Melissa home or brash, rude Elena home, Elena’s attitude is going to play a factor in her going home. I mean, the judges completely brushed past how AWFUL the mom outfit was that Melissa made and that her baby’s dress looked like a potato sack. Why? Because she’s a hell of a lot more talented and WAY easier to get along with.

  12. Lana 1 says:

    I am so enamored with Dimitry and his sayings and his designs!! He has to be in the finals!! I can’t belive he isn’t fan favorite just because he is soo funny. This was not my favorite episode but it was interesting, however it would have been just as interesting without the fake babies. I am going to miss Eleana but not her designs so I wasn’t that upset though I would have rather had Melissa go first since she is boring compared to our Ukraniaian. I loved Chris’s design and I loved that the designer’s loved the dress of both baby and Mom even with Mom having that sour look on her face the whole time on the runway. She was schooled and shown that she wasn’t as fashionable as she thought she was. What a snob and to such a sweetie like Chris. I’m soo glad he stuck to his guns. I want Dimitry, Christopher and Sonji at the finals but I’ll except Fabio as long as Dimitry and Christopher is there.

    • teatime says:

      I want Dmitry in the top 3 for sure. I couple weeks ago I expected Sonjia in the top 3. Now I think it could go either way with her. I could see a Dmitry, Chris, Fabio top 3. It is going to be very interesting to see what they all do next week.

  13. Eleanor says:

    I loved Christoper’s white dress with flowers. Maybe it’s the girl in me that wants to wear it. But I have a criticism that I have not heard anyone else mention. The flowers were attached with snaps. Does that means they are re-moveable? Oh dear, a choking hazard for small kids who will put anything in their mouths. Hope Heidi fixes that problem before the lawsuits come rolling in.

    • SM says:

      I hated his dress, all the flowers started wrinkling in an ugly way and this was a new dress used for 30 min. It is the most unpractical dress in the world and I guess they will saw them better on the final thing.

  14. Morisot says:

    I laughed so much during this episode. Dimitry’s: “I don’t think they even talk yet” and “They are so small–it’s like making an outfit for a cat”

    • D says:

      Also when they took the baby dolls off to “daycare” one of the girls said, “that’s good, because I was planning on neglecting it today anyway.”

    • Alyssa says:

      And I loved that he was the one that said “My baby’s name is Brandon. What’s yours?” It was just so cute. I couldn’t stop laughing. Dmitry is my favorite personality and designer of this season.

      • Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

        I love Dmitry. I want santino to come on to see them together. What would Santino’s impression of Dimitry be like? Dmitry’s personality would have fit well with the Season 2 cast.

  15. teatime says:

    I don’t know what the judges were smoking this week. About the only thing they got right is that Christopher had the best outfit for the girl babies.
    I thought Sonjia was going home for sure with that floppy outfit with the contrasting elbow patches and pockets! The best outfits of the night were from Christopher (girl outfit), Dmitry (boy outfit), and Fabio (boy outfit). The next best was Elena’s. Yet Elena got sent home.
    For me, Melissa and Sanjia were clearly in the bottom this week. They also had the worst outfits for the moms.
    Dmitry’s baby outfit was super cute and fun. I want that outfit! Fabio’s was very nice and that is the outfit that made the boy look like a ‘little man,’ not Sonjia’s. I don’t get how Sonjia won this.

  16. D says:

    Michael, I agree to agree that Dmitry is in the Top 5, for sure. Part of what makes it funny is his accent, and I don’t know if he can hear that he has the accent or not. Others in the Top 5 for me are Santino and Anthony.

  17. domynoe says:

    This goes down with the Top Chef Muppets ep as one of the worst ever. Outfits were cute, the fake babies in the workroom was stupid. REALLY stupid.

  18. reen says:

    I loved this challenge! It didn’t bother me at all that it was promoting Heidi’s line–she found another venue to promote PR, and I love when the designers get a chance to have something they designed featured for the masses. And the babies were hysterical! Everybody had something to be proud of. This week was an entertaining and fun romp with some cute wee designs, too. I thought it was great to see Michael Kors all googly-eyed looking at some really cute toddlers. Here’s hoping Christopher, Dmitry, and Sonjia make it to the final three.

  19. HMBMartha says:

    Worst episode in ten years. No interest in a baby-dressing challenge. And the sound of the crying baby dolls was so annoying and distracting. Never again.

  20. Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

    Why are they keeping Melissa? Her color-block “1” was horrible last week. She should have went home for putting a zipper against the babies skin if for nothing else. The vest was the only piece that wasn’t poorly executed.

    Why didn’t the mothers outfits factor in the challenge? Melissa’s Mom looked frumpy. Any other season the judges would have noticed the horrific fit.

    I want Dmitry and Fabio. I am comfortable with anyone else for the third spot.

    Did anyone else notice the babies were silent when Tim entered the room? The power of Tim Gunn.

  21. Toia says:

    Here’s my opinion Heidi always finds a way to promote her side projects which or whatev. It just seems that baby clothing is not something everyone gets especially ppl who don’t have kids. If I where setting up season 10 of the show knowing this episode was comming I would have scheduled it earlier in the season so at least it wasn’t so high stakes. I mean to go home so close to the end over baby clothing something you will likely never design again in ur career is kind of stupid. (Plus maybe Ven would have left us sooner for sending an origimi swan baby in monster print down the runway. )

  22. Remember what Heidi said a few weeks ago about how a designer should be able to make anything? This was actually a good challenge for this, as most designers don’t do children’s designs initially, but it is a HUGE market and many designers eventually have a children’s line of clothing. Having said that, I didn’t enjoy the crying fake babies although they provoked some hilarious behavior. This had to be one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen, and I liked all the boy’s wear and Chris’s dress. Elena has driven me crazy for weeks (remember that outfit from last week? Yikes!), so I wasn’t sorry to see her go. I agree that the top 3 should be Chris, Dmitry and Sonjia. I love Dmitry and his sense of humor–best Project Runway straight man ever.

  23. Chelle says:

    I loved this episode. Maybe because I actually buy baby clothes and not $200 dresses from Lord & Taylor, but I thought the designers filled a really big hole, which is a lack of cute baby boy clothes. I totally would buy Sonjia’s outfit for my son — I spent all summer looking for a jacket like that one. And the pants are so adorable (& practical).

    I wish the moms were there as consultants and not clients — i.e., instead of giving color/style preferences, they gave practical advice that non-parents wouldn’t know: no zippers; no Velcro over 1 year; no snap-off parts that a baby could choke on; bloomers/leggings to cover diapers.

    The show should have had one winner, regardless of gender. Setting up a 1-in-3 shot for manufacturing? That’s a big chance, especially since none of the designers had experience in designing or even buying baby clothes.

    • Still A Fan says:

      Both outfits are online and for sale as a set. They changed the color of Chris’ dress and the jacket was tweaked I believe. Probably because white and green are more spring than fall. The boy outfit was simply changed from a T-shirt to a onesie. I think they are both really cute and I agree with some that this should have been a challenge earlier on. I would have loved to see what some of the other designers would have done. Baby clothes is a big market though I could have done without the crying babies. They were cute for the first few minutes to give the designers some insight into how to dress and hold the baby but after that it should have gone away.

  24. king kong says:

    my favorite dimitri line this episode was “you really can’t go cutesy-fruitsy with the boy”

  25. jane says:

    Elena shouldn’t have gone home. Her look wasn’t near as terrible as Melissa’s. As a mother of 3 sons, I felt that Fabio’s outfit was the best and most practical look. I was surprised his didn’t win. I could see his look selling well at Babies R Us. Frankly, I’ve seen Sanjia’s design before and done better. Christopher won by default. His dress looked messy and a white jacket isn’t practical for a baby. I thought the show was very entertaining, but for a top 6 I was expecting more. Can we just stick to real fashion from now on?

  26. M says:

    How is no one talking about how Dmitry dressed his baby like Mario (from the nintendo game)? The colors were exactly the same and the baby had overalls!! I kept waiting for him to say “It’s me! Mario!”.

  27. hpkessler says:

    not only did I not like this baby design segment, I’m sorry, but I think this is the worst season yet. I purchased every DVD of Project Runway, but won’t be buying this one. I also never will ever watch Wendy Pepper, ever, ever.

  28. Karen says:

    ughh… Babies and fashion – heck kids under the age of 12 and fashion doesn’t go together. I really hated the whole concept. And I didn’t get the point of the baby dolls at all.
    Also, hated Christopher’s demon-mom!

  29. Beth T says:

    I have not laughed so hard at a reality show since the cheese cart challenge in The Amazing Race (Season 14)! Infomercial aside, I actually had no problem at all with a challenge involving making clothes for babies, and I thought the designers produced some cute looks. I have to jump on the Dmitry bamdwagon – he is hilarious and I hope he is a finalist! And while I thought Ven’s departure was way overdue, a part of me did want to see his reaction to making baby clothes – and dealing with the baby dolls… Heh.

    • Rain says:

      The cheese wheels!! That was my favorite episode of Amazing Race ever!!

      I agree, I’m glad Ven is gone but I would have loved to see how he would have dealt with baby clothes.

    • NR Davis says:

      And yet no one appears to have captured Demetries racist comment. Yes otherwise he was hilarious, but that comment he made about wanting to switch out his “black baby” was really, really hurtful. It also hurts that apparently nobody cares. Something’s wrong with this country when that sort of ugliness is allowed to pass. And of course people will complain but somethings wrong with me. Racism is never OK.

  30. Rachel Y says:

    I actually disagree with most here, I think they sent the RIGHT person packing. Elana was consistantly in the bottom and was inconsistant with designs. And although Melissa’s look was not at all her best, She has never been in the bottom three, in fact usually she is in the top. And considering the challenge, I’m suprised ANY of them were able to come up with looks for the runway. I can’t get anything done with my little ones screaming in the background. I think Melissa had a bad day and a bad challenge to work with. Chris has been in the bottom three twice, but he continues to do well now. I think Melissa deserved to stay in.

  31. Rain says:

    I was dreading this episode but actually really enjoyed it. Dmitry was fantastic and def. needs to stick around until the end. I LOVED both of Christopher’s looks. Fabio should have won for the boys, that little outfit was so darn cute! Sonji’s was ill fitting and messy looking. As for Melissa’s, the fit was off, but I thought the outfit itself was cute. If you put a pair of the leggings Heidi said she already has in the collection under the little slip dress it would have been adorable. I’m glad Elena left, she was fun to watch but I never liked anything she designed.

  32. Tom22 says:

    They ruined one of the best design episoded by bringing family on for the design your own fabric episode and then they give them full focus for the babies? Really bad.

    A little drama around the edges is ok but I don’t come to the show for sentimentality.. I come to get a window into the fashion business via the vehicle of a reality show. The farther they slip away from design and the more it becomes a hazing the contestants type event, the less interest I have in the show