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‘Runway’ team challenge brings out night, day

This week, the inspiration for both a day and an evening look is one of a select few New York neighborhoods. But it is, of course, a team challenge and you know at least one team is going to absolutely loathe one another.
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OK, I’ve finally figured out that Lifetime, home of the woman in peril/menopause/a tawdry extramarital affair with the underage but ripped pool boy movie, is not entirely trustworthy when it comes to promos. But, even after seeing and scoffing at the ridiculously over-the-top plug for this week’s “Project Runway” (“But NO ONE is prepared for what happens NEXT, bah dah DUM!”), I’m still excited to see this episode. After all, it’s a team challenge, and if there’s one thing we know about “PR” is that this is a certain recipe for the kind of passive aggressive sniping, angrily thrown pin cushions and weeping/high-pitched screeching that makes reality television so much fun but sucks eggs in real life. But good news, this isn’t real life (or at least it isn’t ours), so let the hysterics begin!

This week, the inspiration for both a day and an evening look is one of a select few New York neighborhoods: Chinatown, the East Village, the Upper East Side and Harlem. That’s all well and good, but it is, of course, a team challenge and you know at least one team is going to absolutely loathe one another. Thanks to Emilio cannily strategizing by picking Seth Aaron and leaving Jay with no choice but to pick his arch enemy, that means this time the Most Miserable Team Alive will be Jay and, yes, Mila. I will give Emilio points for being a little devious here, because Jay and Mila are tough competition — but together, I’d be surprised if they can agree on how long to microwave a Healthy Choice dinner, much less design two outfits.

Jay and Mila hate each other. I can guess why Jay hates Mila (she is, after all, pretty hateable), but have no idea why Mila hates Jay. He’s too nice? He wears too much neon (although I will agree with that, honestly)? He doesn’t have enough hair to rock a black bob so he can play twinsies with Mila? Whatever.

Anyway, here are the teams:

Mila and Jay – The East Village

Emilio and Seth Aaron – Harlem

Amy and Jonathan – the Upper East Side

Anthony and Maya – Chinatown

It’s off to Mood, and strategizing, and lots of high fives (Seth Aaron and Emilio) and icy looks (Mila and Jay). And then, we get the Shameless Plug from Collier Strong of L’Oreal Paris. He’s going to do make-up for the models! Which is not really all that different from every episode of the show! Wow! You know, just run an extra commercial or something, because this is not making me want to buy eyeliner or whatever the hell.

Finally, it’s Tim time! Tim is crazy about Emilio and Seth Aaron’s jacket and urges them to keep their urban edge. He tells Maya and Anthony that their jacket fabric is weak and tells them to use the striped fabric Maya previously rejected. To Anthony’s credit, he doesn’t say “Told you so, nyah nyah,” though he could. Tim doesn’t seem impressed with Jay and Mila’s outfits and points out that someone’s going home. He thinks Amy and Jonathan, the Fussy Detail Twins, are at risk of overdesigning, which sounds about right to me.

Surprisingly, Mila and Jay are behaving themselves, though Mila has already decided she’s throwing Jay under the bus, as his outfit is atrocious. He loves his pants. Jay, clearly, is not a woman, as most women don’t voluntarily don saddlebags. But if fabric cellulite ever becomes a trend, I’ll know who to turn to. Egads.

Jonathan and Amy are having a great time working together, but it’s sort of like watching two addicts enabling one another, because their outfits are getting more and more elaborate and neither one of them knows how to say stop. Jonathan seems to realize they’re going off the rails, but his addiction is too strong for him to control it. Step away from the sewing needle, kids, just say no!

Runway time! Michael Kors couldn’t make it, so instead we get Francisco Costa, women’s creative director for Calvin Klein Collection. He joins Nina and “fashionable model” Molly Sims. As opposed to some piggy, unwashed heroin-addicted model, I suppose.

Anthony and MayaDay – Love the jacket. Tim was right – in beige, it would have disappeared. The striped pattern is a better choice by far. The red inserts on the skirt are a nice touch, but I wish they tied back to the top and not just the model’s make-up.

Evening – Even though this looks like my honeycomb blinds have attacked a little black dress, I kind of like it.

Kay and MilaDay – Jay loves his saddlebag pants. I think Jay is on crack. I know every once in a while some crazed designer (almost always a man) tries to bring back jodhpurs, but come on, no woman wants puffy thighs. Or a cheesy tank top to wear with them.

Evening – Gee, Mila made an outfit in black and white! How original! That being said, I do like the jacket and the dress, especially paired with the hot red tights. But this doesn’t look evening to me at all.

Amy and JonathanDay – Very retro. I get the impression this was supposed to be a dress and something went wrong.

Evening – I’m not sure about this, only because it looks transparent and there’s so much going on, I think the judges might dock them for overdesigning. Wait, are those dark panels on the side? WTF?

Emilio and Seth AaronDay – Tim was right. This is a rockin’ little jacket.

Evening – I like the zipper and the gold lining. Very classic and wearable.

Heidi announces the lowest scores: Jay and Mila and Amy and Jonathan. Uh-oh.

Up first, Emilio and Seth Aaron. Heidi loves both outfits. Franco wasn’t sure about the gown at first, but changed his mind. Nina loved that the day look had a print and a yellow bag, but she thinks Seth Aaron added too many details. Sometimes, Nina bugs me.

Next, Anthony and Maya. Despite Maya being controlling and Anthony clearly wanting to hit her a few times, Nina thinks it’s a great collaboration. She also thinks the honeycomb shades are origami, which is probably a good thing for Anthony and Maya. Molly prefers the day look. Franco thinks it’s very well-made, but no one listens to Franco.

Heidi asks Anthony what it was like working with Maya, and in the nicest possible way he calls her a controlling piece of work, but it sounds nice the way he says it.

Then, it’s on to the losers.

Amy and Jonathan love working together. Unfortunately, Nina thinks the daywear look doesn’t look polished and Molly thinks the color is hard to wear. I actually thought the color was the best part of the dress, but I can’t argue that it doesn’t look very Upper Eas Side. Heidi thinks it’s ugly and says the evening look is too busy. Nina hates the panels on the evening dress. I don’t think Amy’s top is as horrible as they say, but I think they’ve found their punching bag for the episode.

Jay and Mila are next on the block. Nina looooves the nighttime look, which I could have predicted, since she liked it the last time Mila trotted it down the runway. But Nina hates the daytime look. Heidi thinks the model’s boob are floating around. Franco doesn’t mind the daytime look, but no one pays any attention to him.

Everyone is dismissed, and the two top candidates for going home are clearly Jay and Amy. I can’t imagine Jay’s getting the boot, though, given he’s been such a strong competitor up to this point and Amy’s been renting a condo in the bottom two.

As far as the winners, I think Anthony and Maya have it. Franco loves Emilio’s gown, but no one listens to him.

Or maybe not, because Emilio is... the winner! And so is Seth Aaron! Whaaat? A “Project Runway” first! But no one gets immunity, so hey, big deal. I’m surprised, given that Nina thought Emilio could do so much more, but maybe Nina realized Franco isn’t some dumbass Hollywood starlet from last season and maybe he had, oh, a point or something.

Mila and Jonathan are... in. It’s down to Jay and Amy. Amy is... out. No one seems surprised by this, including Amy. Having had plenty of experience bracing for bad news, Amy takes it like a pro. I think Jonathan cries more than she does.

I do think Amy’s had a couple bad breaks on the show, in that some of her outfits were hardly as ghastly as the judges claimed, but it was probably her time to go. It’s now up to Jonathan to carry on the Too Much Kooky Crap in an outfit torch for the both of them. Which I support, as long as he never makes a hair shirt thingamabob as an homage to his fallen comrade.

Although I do try to tune out those damn promos, I noticed that next week promises an outfit Michael Kors calls a disco straightjacket. Can’t wait! Dammit, I’ve been sucked in again!