“Project Runway” Recap: Babies Are So On-Trend

It can be easy to forget that reality contestants are tortured mercilessly. We see them shuttling from their Atlas apartments via a luxury Lexus sedan to Times Square, where they meet guest judge Debra Messing.  We know they’re working hard, but it doesn’t seem ever that bad.

Enter babies.

This week’s sponsor—er I mean, challenge—is Heidi’s line of baby clothes for Babies”R”Us, Truly Scrumptious. I don’t condone the use of food adjectives to describe kids, but Heidi has enough tots to earn an honorary a PhD in child development.

In an episode that could have felt dangerously like the season 7 toddler challenge “A Little Bit of Fashion” (which also had the twist of designing a companion piece), the producers gave our designers the headache of having to make their clothes while caring for an unpredictable, screaming baby doll. These dolls are not playthings. They’re programmed to scare high-school students out of having unprotected sex. They also work on fashion designers, apparently.

It was hilariously painful to watch, and it also lead up to one of the most adorable runways to date.


Fabio shall henceforth by known as Baby Whisperer: His treatment of the doll baby was as charming as the look he created for the real-life one. Guest judge and new mom (a title my childhood self refuses to accept) Hillary Duff complimented the look as befitting “a little, old-fashioned baby.” It was an appropriate statement, one that clearly shames all those newfangled tots vying for attention.


Since he was given one of the quieter babies, you’d think Dmitry would have had more time to focus on his look. Maybe spending most of his childhood in the competitive-ballroom circuit is what made his taste in children’s’ wear a touch… off.

This superhero-style get-up was fun, and the judges praised it overall but the solid red body and black lines kind of read Crayola crayon.


Christopher (Winner)
This was sort of a hybrid client challenge: The designers had to please Heidi (so she would put the look into her line of clothing), and they had to please the mother-child combination (so they would actually walk down the runway). Christopher had the misfortune of working with the one family with serious opinions, and it felt like mama might derail his vision. But everyone loved this brunch-ready piece.

The odd thing is when Heidi’s label produced it, they opted for a darker color. That makes sense when you realize what stain magnets children are, but it sacrifices some of the outfit’s floral whimsy.


Melissa (Bottom 2)
Baby’s first cocktail dress? Yup. Hopefully the kinder isn’t too scarred by the experience of this dress. Please, don’t let her start asking for milk in a martini glass.


Sonjia (Winner)
Remember when Sonjia couldn’t get it together and sent a disco turkey down the runway? Yeah. That was just one short week ago. Now she pulled out some kind of magic for this challenge. It’s frustrating. She has mad talent, but some weeks that talent likes to take naps.


Elena (Out)
If this had been a baby jacket challenge, Elena might have had a shot. Heck, if this was “Project Jacket/Coat” she would have coasted to Fashion Week. Alas, the mad Russian had to design more than a coat, and that’s when finally took her final tumble. We’ll bleeping miss you, Elena. Kinda.


Jason Sweeten is a contributing blogger for Queerty. If this challenge had been in two weeks, you know they would have just used Heidi’s four kids.