Project Runway Recap: S13 E05

It’s time to dress Heidi. And you know what that means – the Hot Mess Express is leaving the station. 

PreviouslyThe designers ate french fries and complained about suits.

The Challenge: Can anyone take an episode seriously that begins with an extraordinarily staged scene of paparazzi swarming Heidi Klum? How about when the first words the Klum of Doom utters in the episode are, “You are probably wondering why I am wearing a trench coat today”? Or when the show’s editors felt the need to add MAGIC SPARKLES SHOOTING OUT OF HEIDI’S FINGERTIPS when she waved her hands in the air? Oh, and I almost forgot the THUNDER SOUND EFFECTS that played after her bitchy one-liners. This show has gone completely off the rails. Anyway, the already-spoiled-by-last-week’s-Creative-Arts-Emmys-red-carpet challenge was to… CREATE A RED CARPET LOOK FOR HEIDI TO WEAR TO THE CREATIVE ARTS EMMYS! Now it’s time to pretend that Heidi actually has good taste in fashion, which is kind of like pretending that Creative Arts Emmys are the actual Emmys.

The designers had a budget of $250 and one day to create something “fearless, fashion-forward, and unexpected” for the Klum. Everyone forgot to mention the trifecta of short/tight/shiny, because we’re all supposed to pretend Heidi Klum is the definition of class and high tastes. Luckily, the producers felt bad for the designers (or more accurately, Heidi didn’t want to wear any of the fabrics the designers picked out), so they had the option to go to Mood again and spend an additional $100. While the second chance at fabric helped a few designers, another day in the workroom would have helped a bit more. I know I say this every episode, but the red carpet challenge in particular should NEVER be a one-day challenge. As Zac Posen said during the runway show in a moment of truly idiotic hypocrisy, a red carpet look takes TIME. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that this runway was mostly one disaster after another.

Guest Judge: Lindsay Vonn. Who is awesome, and was a better-than-average judge, but someone with a little more red carpet experience would have made a bit more sense.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

The shape is awkward, and doesn’t look like anything Heidi would wear, even if she actually had good taste. It says a lot about how terrible the rest of the looks were that the model’s bare ass was showing on the runway and Alexander STILL didn’t make the bottom three.

Top 3

Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

Overpraised bullshit, yet again. The top looks craftsy, like student work, and the back is odd, ill-fitting, and unflattering. I don’t know how many more times I can express shock and anger and dismay at the sheer volume of crack these judges must be ingesting in order to keep putting Amanda in the top three.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

She looks like she’s tangled in some really beautiful bedsheets. Char made this in just a few hours, having completely nixed her previous look and fabric after her meeting with Heidi. It’s not particularly innovative or well-made, but the former was pretty much nonexistent in this episode, and the latter was nearly impossible in a single day.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

This is terrible, and also kind of Heidi-appropriate, but mostly terrible. At least she attempted some sort of idea, with the tuxedo lapel situation. But Emily was also a complete idiot in this episode, complaining about the unfairness of some of the designers getting to go back to Mood. Lady, YOU COULD HAVE GONE TO MOOD TOO. You decided you needed the extra sewing time more than the extra fabric. The competition’s rules didn’t screw you over – you did that all by yourself. Now be a grown-up and deal with your decision.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

It’s so depressing that we’re still supposed to pretend Fäde isn’t the best designer here. Because he’s a quiet, nondramatic person who hunkers down and does his work, he doesn’t give enough commercial-friendly sound-bites for his designs to ever reach the top three. It’s bullshit, and I’m tired of it, because this was by far and away the best thing on this runway. Judges, Fäde isn’t just there so Heidi can have little jokes with him in German about hunters. Give him some recognition before Amanda’s head gets so big that she actually explodes.

Top 3

Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

Don’t brag about finishing your design hours early if you don’t have much of a design to begin with. This probably would have made it into my top three by default, because it’s marginally well-constructed, and that was much more than most of the designers were able to do in the time given. But there’s not a whole lot of original thought happening here, and that seems to be a recurring problem with Kini’s designs.

Bottom 3

Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

Korina Jessa should have been the second designer to go home instead of Kristine. She chose a sad dark green color that Heidi expressed undying hatred for, and then went to Mood and purchased ANOTHER SAD DARK GREEN COLOR. I just don’t even understand how even her sleep-addled, stressed-out brain could have thought that was a reasonable thing to do. Since she started over after the second trip to Mood, she had no time left for construction, and… it showed. Good god. The back of this gown is one of the worst things I’ve seen in this show’s 8,000 seasons.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

Yeah, this was bad, but it wasn’t that far off the mark from what Heidi would wear, and at least it showed a modicum of creativity. For me, that should have been enough to save Kristine and send Jessa home instead.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

Mitchell never quite managed to prove he actually has good taste (which you’d think would make him perfect for the Dress Heidi challenge), but at least he provided us with the phrase “hot mess express,” which I will be using from now until forever.  This… I don’t even know what I’m looking at. How did he manage to fit so many problems into one dress? Seriously, it should take more than one day to make THIS MANY mistakes. And if midway through your design process, you have to say to yourself out loud, “She’s totally not a hooker,” well, that pretty much says it all.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

NO MORE BLACK. Samantha, you are officially barred from using black fabric. I know the judges haven’t bothered to put you in the top three or bottom three, but surely SOMEONE must have told you by now that all-black looks are barely visible on television, and this is much more of a TV show than it is a fashion competition. I really think my name twin has potential, but she’s not going to get a chance to display that if she keeps hiding her designs in black fabric.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

There’s a reason Sandhya’s gown looks four times as expensive as everyone else’s, and that’s because it is. You see, the producers left a little loophole in the rules – designers who didn’t elect to return to Mood could give their extra $100 to another designer. So Sandhya, entrepreneurial mind that she is, went to each of the four designers who stayed in the workroom and asked for their money. And ended up spending $450 on her second trip to Mood.

Jessa thought this was incredibly unfair, but I’m on board with Char’s reaction to Sandhya’s behavior: “How can you be mad at her for that? Go girl.” It’s not like any of the other designers even bothered to ask for the extra $100 from Kini, Emily, Amanda, and Sean (at least in the way this episode was edited). Sandhya didn’t stop anyone else from getting money – she just took advantage of everyone else’s stupidity, which is well within the rules of the competition.  Of course, she also gave her competitors yet another reason to hate her, so I’m thinking the episode where every single person on the runway points to her as the person they’d eliminate is not too far away.

Oh, right, the dress – it’s a beautiful, expensive-looking fabric, but she didn’t do much with it. Again, a vast achievement considering she was one of the many designers to basically start from scratch after the second Mood trip, but still not particularly imaginative.


Photos: Lifetime

Photos: Lifetime

It’s bright, it doesn’t look like everything else on the runway, and it’s got some movement. I understand why this won, even though I’d have chosen Fäde’s for the top spot. But maybe that’s just because I already blogged about this dress last week, when Heidi wore it, which I still think is a scheduling fuck-up that someone must have gotten fired for. My main problem with this was that the judges kept calling it ombre, which it really isn’t. Fäde’s gown was ombre. This is blue fringe on top of black fringe. But that was the least crack-induced remark of the episode, so I suppose I’ll have to let it go.

Judges’ Top 3: Sean, Kini, Amanda
Diva’s Top 3: Fäde, Sean, Kini
Judges’ Bottom 3: Korina, Kristine & Mitchell
Diva’s Top 3: Kristine, Korina & Mitchell

Next time: The designers create wedding dresses and hilarity is sure to ensure in S13 E06 – It’s a Nice Day for a Rock Wedding.

© Democracy Diva, 2014.
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27 responses to Project Runway Recap: S13 E05

  1. I agree with every word of your review….I’m a little bit more forgiving towards Amanda’s design but I wouldn’t have put it in the top either (and Zack Posen’s distain over the fact that it ended up there was quite amusing). I was okay with the win because it was a little bit more out of the box and certainly fit Heidi’s sense of fun (plus, she really loves to show off her back), but I nevertheless think that Fäde’s design would have flattered her more. It’s more subtle in it’s geniality, and looks good in movement and without it.

    Honestly, I don’t care that Kristine had to go…she had the worst design, it was the second time in the bottom in a row and in the end, the judges should reward the actual work and not potential. While I agree Kristine has more of the latter, she failed to deliver while Korina didn’t really draw any negative attention to her yet. And her design was at least wearable, not that this is saying much. It doesn’t matter….they were all canon fodder either way. I think those kind of challenges are a good indicator for the abilities of a designer, and the ones which fell short were the designer I have mentally already scratched out already.

    I hope that Char will step it up, soon. I like her non-nonsense personality, and just based on that, I would rather see her getting the third finale place I haven’t mentally distributed yet than any of the other designers. I have to admit, though, I don’t really get the designers who stayed…if Sandhya had asked me I would have told her that I will distribute the money evenly between the designers who go. But then, they got perhaps all a little bit steamrolled.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I probably would have been fine with Amanda’s look in the top if they hadn’t overpraised all her previous work. But I just can’t listen to any more crap about how she’s the greatest thing on earth!

      Personality-wise, Char has been my favorite since the very beginning. She’s funny and sharp but not dramatic, and she doesn’t seem to give a damn about how much camera time she gets. It’s so refreshing, especially compared to designers like Amanda who just LOVE to hear the sound of their own voice, but I’m not sure it bodes well for how long she’ll last in this competition. You know this show loves its camera-whores!

      • Being a camera whore will keep you in the competition a little bit longer, but won’t bring you into the finals. Thus said, Char’s time is running out…she needs to show something which makes the judges remember her soon. Same for Fäde, but in his case I really don’t get why he is never rewarded for his efforts.

  2. jessicamaggie

    I thought fäde’s dress was fantastic as well, but I will admit I liked Sean’s.
    It looked like something a normal human could wear which does kind make me surprised it actually won (although I totally called it from the first critiques- crack smoking judges are easy to predict)

    I’m so over Amanda it almost makes me want to quit the show. Her dress actually looks about one billion times better in those photos above than it did on the show. Plus on a personal level she just annoys the freaking crap out of me. Leave already. Go away.

    Side note: I can’t remember the lady who was in the original group who made the “head covering friendly” clothes, but I wish she had been able to stick around. Her ideas for women that don’t dress like Heidi were intriguing and different from anyone else they have ever had on the show. But what on earth would have happened on this challenge? No way Heidi would have worn anything of hers regardless of how well done it was.
    I feel like they did that to pretend they like all kinds of designers but we all know that modesty is not actually on their agenda.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Agreed. And Amanda isn’t the worst character in PR history, but she’s getting there. She’s definitely earning her place as someone I absolutely can’t stand to hear speak anymore!

  3. Kitty

    Sandhya is a smart woman. When I heard Tim say that designers who declined to go to Mood the second time were welcome to give their moneys to someone who was going I immediately know what I would do. I would be the first to ask others for the extra funds. The fact that Sandhya was the only one to jump on the opportunity makes her brilliant in my eyes. Is it playing the game, or is it taking advantage of opportunities offered to you? She knew she had to start over 100% because Heidi did not like what she did. Sandhya is good at letting go of the past and starting fresh. Say what you will about the garment she produced for the 3 or 4 hour timeframe, but I thought it was magnificent. Was it totally Heidi? No! But it was a very competent dress and it did lament Sandhya’s aesthetic to includie color somewhere in her design.

    All the others in the Motley Crue of designers have been discussed accurately. Sean eas good and Fade was better.

    • democracydiva – Author

      That’s why I loved Char’s comment about Sandhya so much – because you really can’t be mad when someone plays the game to the best of their abilities. She made the system work for her, and everyone else should have been smart enough to ask for the money sooner!

    • MoHub

      Sandhya was also very smart to buy a fabric that would provide the wow effect since she knew there wouldn’t be enough time to sew anything with complicated construction elements. She traded making an out-of-the-box shape for good finishing. And we also have to remember that selecting the right fabric is as much a designer skill as making unusual silhouettes; Sandhya did that in spades.

      Also, for some reason, Heidi had the straps on the red-carpet version of Sean’s dress changed from about a half-inch wide to spaghetti straps. Then she complained that the dress was heavy and said the thin straps—which were clearly digging into her shoulders—were the only thing holding the garment up.

      • democracydiva – Author

        I wasn’t even sure what she meant by that comment about the straps being the only thing holding the dress up. What else is supposed to hold up a dress besides your body and the straps?

    • To be fair, Sean clarified in an interview later that his remark about Sandhya came about because she had promised him some of her money so that he could buy new scissors, but backed out of her promise…and that he really likes her nevertheless. All in all the remarks of the designers were mostly less bitchy than I would have expected, it seemed to be mostly clever editing (Korina was the exception, but let’s face it, she is always bitchy).

      • democracydiva – Author

        Sandhya might have been forced to back out of her promise, because when Emily started to ask her to pick up something at Mood for him, Tim was all, no no no! It seemed like you couldn’t ask other designers to get stuff for you – you had to go to Mood yourself, or work with what you had. So even that might not have been her fault.
        Char’s reaction is still my absolute favorite!

      • Sorry…I meant Mitchell (no idea why I confused that), not Sean, and Mitchell went to Mood, so that can’t have been the reason.

      • democracydiva – Author

        Oh! Then that changes things. She had like $40 to spare if I remember correctly. That seems like enough to buy a pair of scissors!

      • he said he asked for 50 (the interview is on blogging project runway, btw), but honestly, after all the money she managed to collect it doesn’t look like too much to make sure that you have 10 more left. Not that she is forced to share what she has, Mitchel could have asked immediately another designer, plus, I don’t get why he needed so much new fabric in the first place.

  4. Indira

    I got to add to the chorus of Fade supporters. It’s not an insightful critique, and we all get on the guest judges’ case for saying it, but I would literally wear every garment Fade has sent down the runway. (Well maybe not the unconventional, but only because it looks like it might stab me). Even the somewhat wacky separates from the Future challenge. I saw them and immediately thought about how I would break them up and use in my existing wardrobe. I’d like to see him use more color, but damn can the man mix prints like a champ. And he mixes prints in a way that does not skew junior, which was the criticism leveled against Mondo. Maybe that means he’s a bit commercial, but the show has been running in hath at direction for awhile.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Come and join the Fäde chorus! There’s room for everyone. His look from the future challenge was my favorite, but I think his red carpet gown might have been even better. As you said, I’d wear everything he makes!

  5. MoHub

    The bit that gets me is the Amanda/Korina big sister/little sister thing that’s going on. I can’t tell whether they’re really bonded or whether Amanda is playing Korina and is planning to throw her under the bus as soon as she gets the opportunity to do so.

    • I think Amanda is simply the type who likes to “connect”…remember how tight she was with Michelle back in her first season?

      • MoHub

        Amanda and Korina appear to be teamed in the upcoming episode. I have many potential scenarios playing in my head, including Amanda taking over and Korina as her Igor-like assistant; Amanda and Korina fighting like cats and dogs; and—I can only dream—Amanda and Korina on the bottom and trying to throw each other under the bus.

        With my luck, they’ll get along like gangbusters and produce the winning look—especially since Amanda’s connection to Maroon 5 might have given her a rock ‘n’ roll edge considering the theme of the challenge.

        And Char and Sandhya are also teamed; I love that idea and hope it worked out well.

      • Well, it will certainly tell a lot about Sandhya…if she can’t work with Char, than she can’t work with anyone.

  6. Late to the party, but I’ve been on holidays in London :p I don’t understand why Fade keeps being ignored, though I felt more slighted by this on the last episode – I would wear that beautiful outfit every single day! – than on this one.
    I also think that sending Kristine home was bullshit. She almost landed a win with that future challenge (and she is still my winner on that one), and was in the top three twice, whilst Korina only landed there once (and it was by default due the team challenge quality of that episode). Her dress was so bad that I can’t see why they kept her, aside bitchy soundbites and the bondy-bond thing with Amanda. Nina described it as “amateur hour in a very basic design”, and if this isn’t the very definition of “kiss-of-death” then I clearly know nothing about fashion. Zac and Nina admitted that Kristine attempted something with side panelling… whereas Korina attempted NOTHING.

    As for Sandhya and the money-gate, sounds like yet another good (if stupid) reason for them to keep Korina so that the bitchy comments can continue. I agreed with Korina two episodes ago when she said something like “It’s difficult not to feel defeated when you don’t have a clue what the judges are looking for” vis-a-vis Sandhya’s second win, but she had no reason to complain about this money thing – it was within the rules, after all, so shame on you for not asking for the money. Still regarding Korina’s comment on Sandhya’s second win, I felt even more bullshitted when they gave the win to Amanda last week. Two designers in the first four challenges??? Whether we like Sean’s dress or not this week, it is at least refreshing to see someone else winning…

    • democracydiva – Author

      Amen to all of this, and particularly your last point. It was just such a relief to see a win go to anyone other than Sandhya or Amanda that it almost didn’t matter what look they created!

  7. Molly

    I loved Fäde’s!… but I didn’t think it was very Heidi. I’m glad Sean won. His was just right for the Emmy’s 🙂

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