Tensions have been running full throttle ever since Hurricane Sandro devastated the Garment District and Monsoon Ken rained on everyone’s parade. To foster a gentler and more collective soul for the remaining contestants, “Project Runway” decided it would be acceptable to add a few letters to the beginning of a word to form a cutesy version of the original, and so “glamping” was born. LAME. Broject, er, “Project Runway” transported our top 11 designers to the wilderness for some faux camping in flowy linen tents with catered meals and real wine glasses.

Somehow they worked in an product placement for nature. I wonder how much nature paid. Seriously, these placements are getting out of control. I will never remember the bottled water company that bought this episode. I will forever just think of them as “nature.”

Everyone seemed to play nice, and even Ken, who let us know that he hates just about everything, enjoyed the sloth-paced river rafting and zip line that gave them a majestic view of the freeway. As the night wore on, everyone seemed to be inspired by the sights and sounds of nature. Recharge complete, our intrepid glampers were prison-bussed back to New York City in order to start on the challenge.



Helen – A sand-colored prom dress with a fringy finish. This dress could have been incredible if some color was explored. I get that earth tones better represent nature, but there are other colors in nature besides light brown. The point is, Helen is going deep, people. I feel like her whole meltdown mess was just a precursor to a deep run for her this season. She’s got imagination, excellent time management, and she’s had her scare. I may eventually forget her tantrum, but probably not. As a dad of two kids under the age of three, tantrums haunt my dreams.

BradonAriel’s babydoll dress for the Under the Sea Dance. Bradon can do no wrong. Well, he can do no harm, let’s say. His worst effort to date was still acceptable. After deciding he would use this “thread painting” technique that he only used on handbags prior to this week, he let everyone know. “Hey, did you hear that Bradon is thread painting a material this week?” “Why yes, I did. He told me. 500 times.” Even Tim Gunn ragged on the Holly Hobby-ness of the technique and Bradon went all whatevs on the Top Gunn. Bradon apparently has a true crisis next week, but at this point I think he’s Teflon.

Dom – Island print full length with a turtleneck of fashion. Dom is the bomb. I’m still waiting to see her under duress. She effortlessly cranks out stunners. She’s aligned herself with an evil coven of cacklers though. They are the anti-sirens. At the sound of their very voices, people are sent scattering in all directions.

Kate – A patterned garbage bag with a giant tutu that would wow on the red carpet at the AVN awards. When Kate misses, she misses hard. Super young and super trashy. I honestly thought this was one of the worst of the night. Granted there was some thought that went into it, but it looked like “a pregnant fairy in a shiny harness” according to Brit smarmer Jeremy. He was right. I get the feeling like Kate is going to be swallowed up by the judges eventually. One night, they’ll decide having a re-tread on the show is not working for them, and she’ll be gone. Call it a hunch.


Miranda – A near costume tree trunk with adorning flowers. Let me tell you, “robbed” and “Miranda” were two words I never would write back-to-back, but, here we are. I loved this dress. I can see if it is too derivative of another designer’s work (I believe someone said Dior?) that it can’t be put in the top three. It looks familiar to me but I don’t know from where. Regardless I thought the powder blue and soft green flowers were perfect on the brown dress. If I wore dresses, I’d wear this. I know there is a pair of swim trunks that have the same color palate and motif out there. I will find them.


Alexander – Deep blue ball gown with a chain link effect and a tragic, tragic Exxon Valdez train. You just can’t take the costume designer of costume designers can you? We saw this with Chris March as well. Editing seems to be a huge problem for these fellas. As the judges aptly noted, this might have been one of the best fitting dresses I’ve ever seen. It looked like it was painted on his model just like his eyebrows. But man, when she turned around all I could think of is how many baby birds died in that train. Dammit, Alex, this was the nature challenge. We’ll never be able to fix that ecosystem. I still don’t believe in this guy. Some week he’s going to design a Chinese New Year Dragon and get sent home. He does get props for my favorite line of the week when he dropped, “I haven’t been camping since I was a little girl.” Priceless.

Jeremy – A love letter written on a panel dress. This guy has me constantly rolling my eyes. He’s David Brent without the humor. The dress was fine. I didn’t understand the nude panels, but my wife assured me they were fine. Maybe it’s because he is my new sworn enemy, but having the judges gush over the sentiment of the written words boiled my blood and may have clouded my vision. I just don’t see how it is possible this guy likes anything more than himself. It all seems so put on with this guy. He bags constantly on the other contestants, and then turns around and wants them all to love him. If you’re going to be an asshole, own it. His husband must be the nicest guy on the planet. OK, second nicest, if you’re including Layana from last year.


Ken – A wool dress for Oscar the Grouch’s girlfriend. Terrible. Not much else to say. I find it totally ironic that Ken and Justin have forged a friendship on this show. Let me get this straight. The only guy who doesn’t have to listen to Ken is his friend? Not a good track record, Kenneth. Zac Posen called this the “Frog Queen” dress. Ken’s model had a striking resemblance to Natasha Lyonne’s character in “Orange is the New Black.” Not a good look. All of Ken’s negativity seems to be sinking his little tiny ship.


“I absolutely hate the outdoors and these mosquitoes are starting to get on my nerves.”

Karen – A yellow sheet with a belt on it. Not much to go on here, which seems to be Red October’s modus operandi. What threw me off is how much crying and lamenting-of-time-put-in Karen managed to sob out. That dress couldn’t have possibly taken long to put together. Nina Garcia seemed to be very hung up on whether the person wearing this dress was going to the beach or the rodeo. I can see Nina walking up to strangers in a drunken confusion asking, “Beach or Rodeo, beach…or rodeo.” It seems like something a 3-year-would say to a barbie doll.


Although Allison Williams was breathtakingly beautiful and of some substance, the real winner here was Nina. Between her beach and rodeo conundrum, she managed to let Justin know that his dress looked as if his model had a foaming vagina. My guess is that is never what the designer sought to show. The foaming vagina look. Ever.


Yes, yes she did.


Alexandria – A denim jacket with a braided back and a pair of model diapers. Fine. The jacket was great, but please promise me that low-crotch shorts are never going to be in style. Ever. No woman would wear those unless she was attending Burning Man or had a severe incontinence problem. Ya’s (the model) eye makeup was frightening. Alexandria is going full introvert on us as she mumbled “I won” without the faintest smile. She’s tough to read, but I think she’s talented. I think she’ll be around for a few more episodes.


Justin – If you leave your dress alone with Bill Clinton, this is what it would look like. Nightmare. The glue gun lace looked fine when it was not on the dress, but once applied, sweet Jesus, disaster.  Something very cool happened though when Justin came into the loser’s lounge after being eliminated. The room was silent. The only noise was from Justin and it was his sobbing. There was plenty of hugging and consoling but it was all done non-verbally. It was just a small reminder that you don’t have to write a 1500-word love letter to your husband and put it on a dress to tell someone you love them. All you need is a hug. Or a shared tear.

Gunn, ever the tactician, decided to use his Tim Gunn Save on Justin. By using it here, no one could complain. Not a fellow contestant or a viewer. Well, except me. I love me some Justin, but nothing has shown me that this guy deserves to stay on the show other than his heart and determination. I think he should be gone. Nothing leads me to believe he won’t be eliminated in a few episodes. He definitely can’t win. At least Ken gets his only friend back. It’s like Calvin finding Hobbes after he lost him.



1)      Dom
2)      Braden


3)      Jeremy
4)      Helen
5)      Alexandria
6)      Kate


7)      Alexander
8)      Ken


9)      Justin


10)   Miranda