The designers are bewildered as a whole, but Tu is downright terrified because he apparently has a deep rooted hatred for ducks, meaning that perhaps he is a monster inside. Or because one tried to bite him one time. Whatever, who hates ducks?
They then enter the workroom, which they discover is literally filled with towers of duct tape. WHAT A DREAM!
|Ohhh, we get it now.|
Not only do they have to design a duct tape garment, they have to make a PROM DRESS. And that prom dress WILL BE PARTIALLY JUDGED BY LIVE, BREATHING, ACTUAL HIGH SCHOOLERS. Now EVERYONE is terrified!
|"Not feelin' it."|
While the high school factor is simply amusing, I actually looooooove the idea of a duct tape challenge and to be honest am now wondering why they haven't done one before. Shit, girl, people have been making not just wallets but all kinds of stuff out of duct tape for yeeeeears. Tumblr is way ahead of you here, Project Runway.
The teams this time around are duos again, so the button bag comes out and people split up la de da. Daniel and Richard steal allllll the gold duct tape which makes people MAD! Duct tape DRAMAZ.
|OUR TACKY DUCT TAPE!|
Kate and Tu are partnered up again, meaning that Kate pretty much bosses Tu around hardcore while saying, "I love working with you!" Tu meanwhile is all, "I've never gone to prom, so, whatever you say!" Sigh, Tu. It's clear from the beginning that this is where Kate's Complete and Sad Lack of Eccentricity starts to really become obnoxious. She looks at Stanley and Layana and says, "No one would wear zebra print and hot pink to PROM!" Really? Because that sounds like a shitty prom. She looks at Michelle and Amanda, who are doing this super rad houndstooth punk rock look, and is like "No one would wear a COSTUME to PROM!" Why not?! It sounds like the girl is still IN high school (which she pretty much is) and is one of those pretty girls who's judging all the artsy girls' clothing and it's making me sort of hate her. She and Tu meanwhile are making a long navy dress that looks as prom dressy as possible, which Kate thinks is great until Tim comes in and is like, "You're using duct tape, it should be weird, why isn't it weird?" (Paraphrasing.)
Anyhoo, weird looks and boring looks together make their way to a high school gymnasium later that evening, where the only person who is totally unfazed by this whole bizarre event is of course Tim Gunn, who I think could be comfortable and charming talking to absolutely anyone.
The designers are freaked out to be around high schoolers; high schoolers appear a little freaked out to be on camera. Although they are clearly some type of fancy pants private school high schoolers. They just look too put together. And actually after there's a bit of a runway show, the designers stand by each of their looks and then the high schoolers descend on them like locusts, showering praise and some awkward criticism and lots and lots of confident sounding opinions. So maybe they're not freaked out to be on camera at all. They then are supposed to vote on each look, and their input will be counted as 20% of the final vote, which makes the Project Runway voting process sound much more precise than it is. Girls are excited that Kate and Tu's looks like a prom dress, which isn't surprising, but I AM surprised that the pair that definitely gets the least amount of interest is Michelle and Amanda. The other designers give them crap about their look, too. But I am in LOVE with their red punk rock dress. In LOVE. Where your style at, high schoolers?
For another surprise, in the end Samantha and Patricia get the most votes. And perhaps I have judged the high schoolers too harshly, because while everyone keeps giving crap to the red houndstooth duct tape look, Samantha and Patricia's is waaaaay weirder.
In any case, this horror show is soon over, and it's runway day. Heidi announces that the winner will also have $5,000 donated in their name to Autism Speaks on behalf of Duck Brand duct tape, which is awesome. Way to take your product placement whoredom and turn it into something good, Duck! Impressive.
The guest judge is Chris Benz, who has apparently designed for a lot of famous people even though I've never heard of him, but he has pink hair so I like him a lot anyway.
So let's look at what these things look like for real.
Michelle and Amanda's dress that I am so enamored with. I mean even aside from the bold print--which they made themselves--and the fun skirt that moves so well, the funky asymmetrical top? That shit's cool! And as opposed to what anyone else said, worthy of prom, in my opinion. Whatever, traditionalists, ANYTHING is worthy of prom.
Oh God. Richard and Daniel's spectacular mess of an exact replica of an 80s prom dress. And they think it is SO GREAT! No.
Kate and Tu's prom dressy prom dress. Meh.
And last but not least, Patricia and Samantha's PROM DRESS FROM OUTERSPACE. Patricia describes it in her own words as "a praying mantis" or "a city alien."
And when it comes to judgment time, all the judges love the city alien, too! Who knew!
Kate and Tu, meanwhile, get judged super harsh by Nina because it's "such a cliche" she can basically hardly handle herself. Zac Posen tries to give them some slack by saying that a long dress isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world but it's missing "fantasy." They also seem confused about why Tu didn't speak up more. It's overall sad duct tape prom times. And pretty much the same goes for Daniel and Richard. Womp womp womppppp.
They do however love Stanley and Layana's (duh), and they ALSO like Michelle and Amanda's. YAY! Nina says it channels Gwen Stefani which makes both Michelle and Amanda smile and clap. And bless the pink haired Chris Benz, for after everyone else said it wasn't appropriate for prom, he said that it in fact fulfilled a quintessential high school fantasy. RIGHT? Who doesn't want to be a rebel in high school? At least this is the American high school fantasy that I'm most intimately familar with.
When the judgments finally come down, though, we have a shocker.
Well, first, Michelle and Amanda's punk rock look wins. YAY! And Michelle gets her first official win as an individual. Whoo!
When it comes to the bottom, it's Richard and Daniel's golden 16 Candles dress and Kate and Tu's, but Richard and Daniel are safe. I think the latticework that Richard did along the side along with the bold choice of GOLD GOLD GOLD! helped win them over, because it at least showed SOME type of boldness.
Then they say Tu is out, because they don't know who he is as a designer anymore. Tu says, you're right, I lost my own aesthetic. It's OK. AND THEN. They say, Kate, YOU'RE OUT TOO. GASP! As opposed to Tu's peace with the decision, Kate says tearily into the camera, "I'm feeling sad. I wish I could stay." Which is the most womp womp departure EVER! Later Kate will be interviewed about this "controversial" double elimination and maintain that she didn't think it was fair. As she points out, the high schoolers did love it. Which is true! But then again, high schoolers aren't judges.
Here's my thoughts on it: I think Kate's elimination was totally valid. I think that she makes some really pretty, girly dresses, and I'm sure she makes gorgeous wedding dresses, which was her primary gig pre-Project Runway. But is she an actual innovative fashion designer? Eh. Not so much.
Tu, though, I have some feelings about. I totally see the judges' reasoning about his point of view getting lost (and/or trampled upon), so I'm not 100% mad about his elimination or anything, but I do feel like it's slightly unfair because I understand his viewpoint of, "I have no idea what prom is, so what do I know?" And I feel like it's just in Tu's nature (and maybe culture?) to be non-confrontational. So. I don't know. I feel like he could have had some really interesting ideas--I mean, look at his shorts just here!--that could have been really cool to see. So I feel a little bad for him, even though he doesn't feel bad for himself.
They return to the backroom and break the news to the rest of the gang, who react in complete and total shock. Tu says, "It's OK, it's a happy moment!" while Kate sobs. She nods but clearly does not agree. Hah!
Next time: naked doods!