A couple minutes into this week’s episode of Project Runway, Delvin gets overwhelmed by ideas and starts to shut down. The challenge is to create any garment they want using inspiration from their personal heritages. Delvin would like some parameters. Now, while I like Delvin’s design sense a lot, I do not identify with Delvin in most things. For one, I don’t think I would look very good in a white atelier jacket. This is the primary reason I am not a doctor, actually: couldn’t turn the look, honey. I was like,”guess I’ll go with my second choice: television recapper who went to med school.” But, despite our differences, I deeply understand Delvin’s uncertainty when given a blank slate. I totally shut down when given the option “do whatever you want!” You’re telling me I get to look inside my own brain and make a choice based solely on my own wants and opinions? Yikes; hard pass. I need at least one parameter so that I can complain about the rules being too restrictive, and then rebel against them, and then follow them pretty much exactly how they’re supposed to be followed. This is my process. I learned it in med school. It’s therapeutic.
Delvin’s struggles are compounded in this challenge when he finds out that his heritage includes Creole, Cherokee, and Mexican cultures, the latter being a new revelation. While he makes a valiant and even conceptually daring effort, this one-day challenge doesn’t give him enough time to sort through his ideas fully and he lands in the bottom for the first time. This is truly shocking as I think Delvin is one of the clear frontrunners. Victoria, another clear frontrunner thinks so, too. In one of the very best Victoria-isms to date, she’s asked who her main competition is. She replies “Geoffrey, Brittany, and Delvin.” I would tend to agree, although I think Dayoung and Nancy may be dark horses in this race, especially after this week. In the confessional, an off-camera voices as Victoria “What about Sergio?” At this point, Victoria is distracted by futzing around with some the confessional decorations. She turns back and blithely replies “Nooo! Of course not!” as if the idea is ludicrous. Truly, I guffawed. Victoria, with her musical accent, will read you to filth so matter-of-factly that you’ll end up agreeing with her. Obsessed. Anyway, we’re down to the top ten and it truly is anyone’s game still. I only chose frontrunners because I told myself I wasn’t allowed to choose frontrunners and then I decided to rebel against myself. Again, my process. Let’s get to some superlatives? (Unless I don’t want to!)
After receiving the challenge, the designers are all given tablets to “do work” but suddenly the tablets all start receiving phone calls from their from family members, usually mothers and grandmothers. So, obviously, I’m immediately sobbing. Everyone’s mom is the best!
Most “Hello to you too, Mama”
The first thing that Delvin’s mom says to him is “Looks like you need a haircut.” Deeply identify with this as a greeting.
Most “Hello to you too, Mama”, runner up
Geoffrey tells his mom “I just won the Cyndi Lauper challenge!” His mother’s response? “Terrible connection. I can’t hear you.” He tries to make it work. She stares back at him “Tell someone that I can’t hear you.” We actually never find out if the two of them ever spoke.
Most Relatably Unrelated
Nancy speaks with her sister who, when asked for inspirational ideas from their family heritage, says “Meatballs! Pizza! Ricotta!” OBSESSED. Nancy’s like, “uh, okay but we’re doing fashion here so…” There is nothing more endearing than family members who do not really get what you do or how to help you but are very excited about it nonetheless.
Sergio of the Week
Christian: Any interest in show me what you’re working on.
Sergio: Um… I’m good.
I really don’t think I’ll ever get over how little regard Sergio has for Christian’s opinions. It is the strangest thing I have ever seen on this show. Well, not the strangest. Some of the found materials challenges? My lord. Still, it just doesn’t make any sense. At one point Sergio says to Christian “I don’t think you can have accurate opinions until you see things closer to being done,” which is exactly what I tell my editor when my draft is due but all I’ve written is the title and my name at the top. Christian reminds Sergio “I’m not here for me” and the chyron on the screen helpfully pops up reading “Christian Siriano: mentor.” Love chyron shade!
Least Team Spirit
Chelsey beautifully her design inspiration as the granddaughter of two black educators and then concludes by telling Christian that she’s making… a varsity jacket. There must be some Toros in the atmosphere of Christian’s response because… brr. But once again, the Clovers win the day because Chelsey’s blue varsity jacket-style mini-dress comes out on top.
Cowboy of the Year
Derek, Brittany’s husband. This is apparently a fact and I do not have any more information on it.
A lot of the designers choose to stitch or embroider words or names on to their garments. I presume this is something that was coached by the producers or perhaps Christian. I seem to recall something similar last season. I have to say, I’m not a fan. Yes, I love words (indubitably!) but I do not want them on my clothes. This is my strongest and most frivolous opinion.
Most Accurate Creative Process
Victoria stares at her design, which will eventually become a baby blue futuristic, form-fitting full-body garment with a window cut out of one side of the chest and lined with sparkly stretchy fabric underneath. She mutters “I don’t understand what I don’t like” which is something I have muttered while trying to revise pretty much everything I’ve ever written.
Most Modern Apology
Shavi, who, unfortunately, is sent home for a 1940s style lounge singer gown that has major construction issues, tells his model “Sorry to embarrass you like this on TV.”
Marquise and Brittany create wonderful denim-inspired looks that have a lot of movement, look terrifically modern, and seem like great fits for a Flash Sale challenge, which this is. Honestly, I am about to email Marquise personally and ask him to make his denim overalls and jacket over a patchwork blue shirt for me. I need it. NEED. And Brittany’s design? If her denim, big-skirted sundress doesn’t take Nashville by storm, I’m suing.
Elaine Welteroth Pop Culture Moment
Seeing Delvin’s finished design, which is a pink skirt suit that purposefully reveals the marked up muslin underneath half of the corset as a kind of deconstruction, Elaine dubs it “very Dynasty. Ultimately, it doesn’t work for the judges. Guest judge Fernando Garcia suggests that the deconstruction should have been the whole concept.
Personal Favorite Design
Dayoung’s blue and jade fitted short jacket with a swath of pink peeking out from the lining is stunning. The judges really love it, with Nina calling it polished and elegant.
Chelsea’s equally stunning varsity jacket dress, which you can get right now from 19th Amendment!