In what may be the best challenge of the past two seasons, designers find themselves at a farm where they are greeted by Tim Gunn (not exactly his kind of place) and their models, all (but Tim) wearing potato sacks. Their mission? Create a party look from a burlap sack. And the twist? The models get to be the clients and pick the designer.
The results overall were pure knockout – many of the designers fulfilled the job of turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse and the final products said a lot about the imagination and quality of this group. Winner of the one-day challenge is Jay Nicolas Sario who struggles with time, but in the end produces a saucy little number dyed in navy, trimmed with turquoise and finished with a hem that conjures feathers but, instead, is a very creative burlap detail.
The judges had a tough call – (Lauren Hutton sits in as guest judge tonight)– Amy Sarabi, who takes herself way seriously, didn’t disguise the burlap at all, but somehow worked it into a flowy cocktail confection with a petal-like skirt and deep halter back. Quite stunning.
And then there was Mila Hermanovski who produced an excellent body-conscious little dress with silvery insets that Nina Garcia said went from “the farm to the future.” Heidi loved it too, which was vindication for Mila, whose model ditched her for Anthony Williams this time around (quite pleased, he shrieked so loud and high we were surprised that glass didn’t break). Because of this, there was a bit of a hate vibe between those two. Anthony felt that Mila was implying that he’s not as good a designer as she is, and says, “Mila can kiss me and my entire family’s asses.”
Um, and speaking of rear ends, well there were some problems in that area in regard to two out of the bottom (no pun intended) three, and the judges may have been a tad unfair. Aufed is Pamela Ptak, for her blue dyed mini with a lace-up back that really did make the model’s derriere look enormous. As Anthony indelicately notes in the workroom, “Miss Thing has a big, old butt,” in the dress. But it wasn't the worst we've seen.
Ping Wu’s weirdo top-and-skirt ensemble completely exposed the model’s tush. And she gets away with it? Even after Tim warns her? An outfit that totally reveals a rear end is pretty tragic. But obviously the producers have a thing for Ping – she is colorful, so they’re keeping her around.
Finally, another lounge lizard lady look from Jesus Estrada (remember the see-you-later-alligator evening gown from last week?) who completely “skirted the challenge,” as Tim Gunn pointed out by covering up the burlap with green and brown ribbon. It was a fairly hideous color combo as Nina points out, but he stays.
Notable Tim moments tonight included his reaction to Jay doing a cartwheel on manure-laden soil at the farm. Tim almost vomits. And then there’s the endearings formality which seeps into everything he says. “I want the judges socks to go blowing off their feet,” is a Tim-ism as opposed to, “knock their socks off.”
Project Runway photos of winning dress by Jay Nicolas Sario, left; and losing dress by Pamela Ptak.