First, Make a Dress: PROJECT RUNWAY Recap

The new crop of designers.
The new crop of designers.

Season 6, Episode 1. Air date: 8/20/09

Last night’s “Project Runway” kind of annoyed me. (Until Ari got out. Good call, judges!)

The challenge was to design a red carpet gown. I don’t want to see a gown! I want to see them make couture out of garbage. Considering that they had no restrictions, a lot of the dresses were just okay. I think that last season’s designers would have rocked this challenge harder? Maybe I’m just nostalgic.

There are way too many designers right now, and I don’t really want to describe all of them, because their bios are on the Lifetime website. But here’s a brief peek.


Shirin’s name means “sweet,” and that seems to sum up her personality. She looks a little bit like Penelope Cruz, and wore a cute little 1940s hat to eliminations.

All of the blonde women (Carol Hannah, Gordana, and Althea) seem non-offensive, and Carol Hannah once sold some of her designs to Gordana’s store? Friends! (Sort of. It was more of a “Do you remember…?”)

Epperson is the coolest cucumber around. Some of the designers here are younger than his kids.

Lindsay Lohan was actually a thoughtful and competent guest judge. Who knew?


Mitchell is handsome (well, for this group), but blamed his model’s dimensions on his hideous last-minute see-through dress, because she didn’t fit into his almost-more-hideous original dress. It all looked very Miss Havisham.


Malvin (who has a very similar look to choreographer-Sonya from SYTYCD) says that there is “no vocabulary” yet for what he creates. That’s how ahead-of-the-game he is! “I have some vocabulary for his dress,” Roomie says. “Ugly.” (Also, MALVIN? Really? He needs to meet MALissa from “More to Love.”)

Christopher-from-Minnesota wears sideways baseball caps and constantly reminds us that he didn’t get a formal design education. He kind of redeems himself by making a fairly cool dress and winning the challenge.

Johnny-the-Addict just recently cleaned up, and before he’s even done draping his dress, he’s sitting on an orange couch and crying that he wants to go home. I want to slap him across the face, because HOW MANY designers did he beat out who would be dying to have his spot right now?

Of course, Super-Tim swoops in to the rescue and therapizes Johnny, and he doesn’t drop out. His dress almost wins, but it’s… kind of hideous, in my opinion. A backless draped thing that seemed ready to reveal all in the first strong breeze.

Ari Fish… oh, Ari Fish, where to begin? She looks like a cross between Winona Ryder and Sam Ronson, but thinner (and what I’d probably call drug-thin). On the first day of the challenge she wore a colorful bodystocking and was slinking around the workroom like a strange little alien. She declared that she never sketches, which raised a few eyebrows.

Ari made a dress that Tim called a “halter diaper,” and the judges called a “disco soccer ball.” It wasn’t even a dress, because it came to the model’s waist, and she had to wear shorts with it. Ari said that her girl would wear it in the future (2058?) to MTV’s Video Music Awards. LATER that day, she’d wear it to accept a Nobel Prize. Riiiight.

“What is the likelihood that a VMA winner is also going win the Nobel Prize?” Roomie asks, laughing. GOOD POINT.

Ari wants to be avant garde or counter-culture, but one gets the feeling that she’s the bored child of rich parents, and that she doesn’t really have any talent to back up her crazy. Miraculously, the judges agree! Because I just couldn’t face another week of Ari and her you-just-don’t-get-me bullshit insanity.

Next week: Designing something for a mystery celebrity. Seriously?! Wasn’t that this week’s challenge? I want to see them make something out of seaweed.

And then there was “Models of the Runway.” This season we see the designers pick their next model at the end of “Models of the Runway,” as opposed to the beginning of the next episode… so the main drama is, who will be eliminated? And we get to see the winning designer’s model (and a friend?) go to a swag room. Good for them. Whatever.

The girls move into a “model house” (as in, for models to live in) and the models talk about Model Houses as if they are a thing that everybody knows about. “I have heard horror stories about Model Houses,” one girl intones. People steal your stuff and mess with your food. (Okay, now I know she’s making this up, because there isn’t any food in a Model House. What is this, “More to Love?”)

The only thing I have to say is, there’s a reason why we only see runway models for a few moments at a time, in lots of distracting hair, makeup, and clothes. When you look at them close up for thirty minutes, they are scary-thin. Some of their faces are imploding. Help them!

Ari’s red-headed model was afraid that she was going to get eliminated, so she went to her agent and practiced walking. Her agent actually said, “Take out that little motorcycle-stand kick at the beginning. It’s so New York, two years ago.”

In the end Mitchell’s model, Yosuzi (Yo, Suzy!) was eliminated, because he played the super-awkward, “I can’t have you anymore because it’s your fault that I sucked this week” card. I liked her. Oh well. Models!


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