“Project Runway” Recap: The Girls Freak Out As The Silk Chiffonies Play It Cool

In this episode, the designers went to the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue to design a cocktail dress  for the Lord & Taylor customer using only fabrics preselected by the Lord & Taylor overlords, because that’s what would most impress this week’s guest judge, Lord & Taylor CEO Bonnie Brooks. And of course Tim admonished them to not forget to use shoes and jewelry from the Lord & Taylor accessories wall.

Lord & Taylor!

Whew, that was one long 90 minutes of branded entertainment, was it not? And the judges made sure it ended on a positive note by not sending anyone home! That gives me such a warm feeling I want to run out and buy some tasteful separates at Lord & Taylor.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?



Fabio, Top 4
This freegan (never forgetting that, sorry) does simple rather well. Heidi thought his asymmetrical take on the little black dress lacked excitement, but we could barely hear that critique over the very loud sequin disco ball she was wearing as a dress.


Melissa, Top 4
The drama for Melissa this episode was based on her fabric choice. Will she change it? Will she keep it? So many options! And in the end… she kept the fabric. Wow, guys, that was close!

The piece was dynamic (though a little tight), and that neckline looks like it took an interesting piece of sewing sorcery to stay afloat.


Elena, Top 4
The Russian assassin started this episode by playing the artist card: “It’s hard for me to make something simple.” I’m sure somewhere in the footage library there’s her saying, “I hate having to dumb down my aesthetic for this stupid client.” But there’s no way L&T would allow such blasphemy.

But when Elena hit the workroom, she had an uncharacteristic meltdown, which proceeded an even more uncharacteristic sobbing fit when she found out she was in the Top Four.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t like this dress more than what Dmitry produced, but there’s no way he could have given the producers such an over-the-top emotional catharsis. Those Russians are usually such cool characters.


Christopher, Winner
I’d like to applaud The Other Gunnar for making an elegant, effortless gown instead of a cocktail dress, but I just He’s used this technique three times already—a line has been crossed. Crossed! Congrats on the win but, girl, you better dig into your bag of tricks and find something new. The next time we see this technique better be at your Fashion Week runway show.


Sonjia, Safe
Struggling to recover from last week’s disaster, which saw her on the bottom two, Sonjia was a quivering mess of  blue-Jello prior to the runway show. To comfort her tears, Tim gave some hollow, yet rhyming advice: “channel your inner winner!”

And while Sonjia was an early favorite of mine this season, I’m not sure why anyone would ever put fins on the hip of a dress unless they were trying to hide a huge bum, which is clearly not the case here.


Ven, Safe
No amount of fabric sewn into a flower will ever absolve Ven from the horrible things he said to his client last week. That is all.


Dmitry, Queerty Fave
I’m giving this the fave this week because, well, it was flawless. I just assume that the producers are going to continue ignoring Dmitry’s talent until the episode they don’t. That way, he’ll be able to give them the well-rehearsed “Finally, I won challenge!” sound bite.


Alicia, Bottom 2
We knew there’d be problems when Tim told her that her piece looked like something Joan of Arc would wear, and Alicia took it as a compliment. When the judges felt that her finished piece was too dowdy and tailored, Alicia gave the answer that stereotypes were made of, “It’s hard for me to do something super feminine or girly.”

Honestly, I thought she was either going to be sent home or come out as a butch dyke right there on the runway.


Gunnar, Bottom 2
I was a little surprised by this one. When The Other Christopher described his model as chic and tasteful, I  agreed. But the judges blasted him for producing something already done a million-and-five-times before, and that was probably hanging on the rack at Lord & Taylor right this very moment. Then, they didn’t even eliminate him for it—we can just assume it was to give Gunnar something to whine about next week.


Jason Sweeten is a contributing writer for Queerty. And no, he would not like to use anything from the Lord & Taylor accessory wall.

Photos: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Television

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  • Spike

    No one sent home, PR just jumped the shark. Yawn. Elena’s dress was a mess, should have been included in the btm 3.

  • kingkuy

    since the little asian guy and the old lady quit all in one episode i’m sure they decided to pull this at some point down the road. personally, i’d rather they have done this twice than bring Raul back cuz he was an awful designer/tailor

    you don’t pay for all that air time and set your commercial quota only to let some quirky characters with low self esteem undercut your bottom line

    it’s a business and this season will have 14 episodes

    … and i was just as disappointed when they announced that Dmitry was merely safe; his look was one of the strongest even if it didn’t fit well with the rest of the line. i wanted to punch someone when they announced Elena as top four and Alicia as safe

    those two should count their blessings

  • pemma187

    If they’re going to call Chris out on his shredding technique, they need to call Ven out on his floral arrangements. He does it EVERY WEEK. It’s getting so old, and that combined with the general terribleness of his personality has me rooting for him to fail in a big way. Since I work late nights at Dish, I never get to watch this show live anymore. I always have to make sure I’m caught up in time to talk about it with my sister; we’ve both been fans for years! Thankfully, my Hopper always records it for me, and I watch it the minute I get home every Thursday night. Next week looks like it’ll handily make up for the relatively low level of drama in last night’s episode. Team challenges tend to have that effect.

  • Kevin B

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought Dmitry should have won. They even fooled me into thinking they were calling out the top and bottom designers since Sonjia’s dress was a mess and honestly Ven’s could have easily been in the top (because it’s perfectly made and oh so pretty and blah blah blah) or bottom (because he’s done that same flower a bajillion times, it is placed oddly on top of her boobs, and it doesn’t work all that well in that fabric). Just from my perspective the top were Dmitry, Christopher, and Melissa, while Sonjia, Gunnar, and Alicia make a fine bottom 3, with Alicia taking an overdue flight home.

    As for Elena, I’m just glad it didn’t end up as a little black dress with gladiatorial shoulderpads. Now that I think about it, this season is kind of filled with one-trick ponies. Maybe Elena, Christopher, and Ven can get together to make a shredded chiffon shoulderpad in the shape of a flower. The judges would go wild.

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