“Project Runway” Recap: Makeover Challenge Reveals Inner Ugliness

This episode was best described by the ever-deadpan Alicia as, “design a look for our clients who were dragged in by a friend who think they need a makeover.”

It was also sponsored by L’Oreal, which meant we had to suffer through a particularly detailed hair consultation. But by the end, we got to witness nine designers transform some everyday women into something special—and one designer act like a total jerkface.


There must have been a full moon out, because Elena was downright pleasant. She even used pink and avoided designing her usual robot-gladiator shoulders.


Congrats on designing another black dress! Too bad you didn’t have any time with your model to show her how to work the scarf. Wait, you mean you two spent plenty of one-on-one time where there was ample time for scarf discussion? I give up.


Gunnar (Top 3)
There is still something about Gunnar’s designs that feel… off. But he actually seems to be a nice person, starting the challenge by saying, “I make clothing for regular women who want to look great.” During measurement-taking, his model starting crying. Crying! Yup. Tear of excitement. It’s was a nice, genuine moment and is good to know this show can still produce some of those.

The dress was fine. Maybe a little lopsided at the top? But the model was bursting with so much joy down the runway that it’s hard to say much worse than that.


Oh, look. They “randomly” assigned someone who loves pink and dresses to someone who hates designing pink dresses.



Nathan (Out)
While most of the guest clients were here to spruce up their hair and wardrobe, Nathan was “randomly” assigned the woman who was an up-and-coming R&B artist. The results were truly awful, but he was kind of backed into a corner with her request to have a bare midriff but remain sophisticated.


If you spend eight hours making a blazer, spend eight seconds telling your model what to do with said blazer.


Ven (Bottom 2)
As a nationally acclaimed fitness model himself, Ven obviously has a strict “no plus-sizes” policies when it comes to designing clothes. He believes that their natural size simply prevents him from buying the best-quality silk chiffon possible.

When Tim asked about the size of Ven’s model, he bewilderedly guessed, “Somewhere between twelve and fourteen. Whatever, I can’t be bothered to read the card it’s written on. But more importantly, will you spot me real quick? I’m doing a power set.” Or something like that.

Miraculously, Ven managed to not let his P90X workout interfere with his firm point of view of being assigned non-models for a non-model challenge. He managed to clarify that “my client doesn’t really have a shape” and “[her] ‘before’ picture is definitely a nightmare,” at least a half-dozen times. In fact, after running a mile on the treadmill Ven told his working-mother client “we don’t have belts that large.”

Ven went from an odd, quiet little mouse to a heinous villain in a single episode. Does this mean he’s just going to rely on his evilness alone to get him to the finals?


Dmitry — Top 3
Dmitry has a strange way of expressing excitement for the model he was assigned, “She looks very plain. She’s the perfect client for me!” The dress looked kind of humdrum on the dummy but matched with the right accessories and a punky bob, it really popped.

More importantly, we discovered before he became a slave to the fashion, Dmitry was a professional ballroom dancer—with a hockey player for a brother. Do we smell another sequel to The Cutting Edge?


Fabio (winner and Queerty fave)
Femininity with an edge. YES. I just could not stop smiling with this dress. And neither could the judges—though guest judge Alice Temperley made it clear that she’d rather that fussy thing just go far, far, far away.


Sonjia (bottom 3)
This is a case of the right dress on the wrong woman: On a tall and emaciated model that knot in the center may have created some interest, but on this petite athletic gal it just looks like a beach wrap made out of a cloth napkin. Sonjia has sent some of my favorite looks down the runway this season and this was her first real misstep—hopefully it’ll be her last.


Jason Sweeten is a contributing writer for Queerty. No, he would not like to spend three hours in the L’oreal Paris Hair & Makeup Room.

Photos: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #allsewnup #fashion stories and more


  • GreatGatsby2011

    Each episode I watch strengthens my belief that Ven has some sort of mental/emotional disorder. I keep expecting him to just up and reveal that he’s a high-functioning autistic or something along those lines. I was appalled by the way he treated his client with such blatant disrespect. “You’re too big. All our belts are too small for you. I can ask if we can get a special belt for you, but I don’t know…” “My client is the biggest client so I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to judge my work the same as the designers who got ‘normal-sized’ women…” Those aren’t direct quotes of course but they are the gist of what he was saying in front of his client!!! You’d think that, as a plus-size man himself, he’d be aware of how it feels to be so blatantly insulted about his weight in front of others. Of course as I stated before, I’m starting to believe Ven has difficulty feeling anything. I was very disappointed that he wasn’t sent home.

    Gunnar, on the other hand, had a plus-size client and by the time he was done with her she was so pumped full of confidence (from both the dress and his words) that she worked that runway. I definitely gained some new respect for Gunnar after this episode.

  • spanprof

    Ven is not going to make it. First of all, how can you be a designer when can’t work with size 14 (what size is he anyway: reality check!) Besides, he has that one technique of working the fabric into an accessory. Everything he does comes back to that.

  • hephaestion

    I loved Ven until this episode. He is utterly clueless. He needs to have someone design clothes for him and pull the same crap on him that he pulled on his plus-size model. Sorry Ven, we don’t have any belts big enough to go around your huge belly.

    I loved the way Gunnar and Fabio dealt with their clients. My opinion of them skyrocketed during this episode.

    I think Elena or Ven should have been eliminated instead of Nathan. I hated to see Nathan go.

  • JDJase

    Nina wasn’t the one that didn’t like the belt, it was the guest judge.

  • tommy ousslander

    Fabio’s dress reminded me of granny from beverly hillbillies

  • sanfranca1

    @tommy ousslander: You took the words right outta my mouth.

  • allthatjazzercize

    Ven is no longer a serious competitor to me. How could he possibly conduct business in reality without being able to design for a woman that is not a size zero?! I was talking about this episode with a few ladies from my office at Dish, and we were personally insulted by Ven’s comments since we fall into this “real women” category. I can’t stand to even look at the man anymore! In fact, I purposely recorded the most recent episode and I plan to do the same with any future episodes he’s in so I can skip through all his self-appraising monologues. It’s a trying job to ask of my DVR, since these episodes are quite lengthy, but it’s so worth it to not have to hear him say stuff like men are stronger designers. Besides, I have the Hopper DVR, with loads of memory space, so these hefty episodes barely make a dent on my recording hard drive. Can Ven just go home already?!

Comments are closed.