After the inspired pairings from last week, our fashion sommeliers were due for a slump this episode. The Sizzling Six were of course divvied up again into teams. At the top of the show, Layana[ref]/everyone’s favorite high maintenance ex-girlfriend[/ref] suggested, “I think it should be girls against boys.” Although the urban braying donkey didn’t get her wish exactly,  she kinda, as we’ve come to find out, gets her way anyway, always. AWL-WAYS. The women led and the men meekly followed in each pairing.

Heidi Klum sent our intrepid dress commandos to the Guggenheim to get their challenge. After they arrived at the empty museum, Tim Gunn started a 30 minute in-show ad for HP laptops. I know this show is chock full of product placements, but this was nauseating. After Gunn struggled to open a three-pound laptop with his brittle delicate hands, we were treated to a relentless barrage of HP laptop incredible features. Tonight, the Project Runway sales-whore was in Blue Velvet Heat.

The Challenge

Design a print textile and incorporate it into two Guggenheim-inspired garments. One piece should be couture (a full on wearable art installation), and the second piece should be a ready-to-wear piece.

The Challengers

The Middle Couple: Layana and Texas Danny Rose. Their print was a bunch of rectangles. Layana designed eight different dresses and combined them into one. Daniel designed a sexy black cabaret jacket and a print skirt.

So, side nugget. As the contestants whittle down, they each get more air time and go through enough stress to show their true colors. My thoughts on these two contestants have completely changed over the course of the show. Daniel has become so fragile while simultaneously pumping up the volume on his gaudy J.R. Ewing “Dallas” taste that he’s barely holding on to reality. Each week he wilts under the overwhelming pressure to reinvent himself … and I love him for it. We have cracked open his candy shell and you know what’s inside? More candy. And dammit, he’s making me laugh. Plus he’s now starting to dress spectacularly. This week he sported a leopard print button up v-neck cardigan. Sweet jumping Southfork, someone please buy me this sweater.

Meanwhile, Daniel is the likeable, childlike, annoying but funny, no confidence, team player yin to Layana’s me, me, me, me, whiny, me, me, self-centered, unhelpful, smug, me yang. Over the course of the show she has become the most unlikeable contestant. Somehow Layana felt betrayed by Daniel’s modest ownership of his own design. She turned Daniel’s rebirth into a pity party for herself. After not being able to spare a square of fabric to Daniel, Layana’s design block became his problem while she complained about herself. Daniel talked her off the ledge … then she turned around and pushed him off of it. What more does he have to give!

Daniel is “back.” Don’t ruin this, Layana. Just. Don’t.

The top dogs. Michelle and Stanley. Their designed print was a woman on the verge of a breakdown. It looked much better than it sounds. Michelle designed a bubble wrap “Beyond Thunderdome” jacket and train-heavy dress. Stanley made a nice baby-doll dress that was all print, baby. This is what Lebron must have felt like when he decided to take his talents to South Beach. With complete confidence in one another’s competence, ego could be set aside. If these two aren’t showing at fashion week, I will be shocked.

Michelle took control of this tandem which was a bit of an upset, but Stanley was the only male in the room who didn’t get steamrolled by his fairer half. He even convinced Michelle to ditch the corpse bride headpiece that she defiantly wore to the runway anyway. Deep down, I know she wanted someone to mention it but alas, no one gave a shit  because Stanley was correct.[ref]When you can do a million computations per second in your head, there is no error except user error. The Stanley is always correct.[/ref] This tryst will be short though. Like Derek and the Dominoes, they’ll only be able to make sweet music for one album.

Bottoms. Patricia and Dick Hallmarq. Their designed print was a bunch of triangles. Patricia designed a wearable dragon roll that had a mosquito net headpiece. Dick just sort of gave up and designed unflattering yacht wear. The heat was on Patricia here, because she has been designing her own prints for 20-plus years. Dick helped her out by putting together a bracelet that was going to “change fashion.”

During the Tim Time check-in, he marveled that this combo had done virtually nothing over the course of a day. I think he was on to something when he called out Dick for being a saboteur. Tim accused Dick of trying to play the victim card on the runway so he could continue designing Eastern Block middle age prostitute chic.

Exhibit A: Dick sort of milled around the workroom marveling at his bracelet like a kid who just bought his first pair of Doc Martens for an entire day. Having loved and lost everyone in the workroom, it felt like it time put this stud out to pasture. The only thing that could save him would be if Patricia designed something so singularly awful that he would be spared the rod. She tried everything in her power to design the un-designable.

Here is where fashion escapes me. Just when I thought, ok, the judges can’t possibly like this oddly shaped bee keeper suit, I stand corrected. They loved it. They didn’t universally love it, but they thought it was impressive. My God. The dress took the silhouette of a tampon and combined it with a sort of urban burqa. If you say so, judges–fashion it is.

Did Daniel put on a shit-ton of cologne at 5:30 AM?

Yes, he did.

The Winna!

Stanley! His uber-simple but ultimately pleasing baby doll print piece was great. After his victory, Stanley offered up his “happy dance,” but alas, it was not the robot. Missed opportunity there Stan-bo.

Pack your sewing kit

Dick Hallmarq – It felt like he just got plum tuckered out. In the end, he had been reduced to lurching around the workroom eyeballing items, and then making little pieces of flair. I felt the very last bit of him died, when Patricia questioned his taste at Mood, and told him to put down those fucking gaudy crystals. He  protested for a fleeting moment, but his heart had been destroyed. He was gracious in defeat, which I didn’t see coming. In the end Michelle was right. If he had made fashion week he would sent twelve color-blocked jersey dresses down the runway.

Next Week

We destroy the team dynamic by bringing back old contes….OH MY FUCKING GOD TU IS BACK. YESSSSSS. Wait, what? KATE IS BACK. NOOOOOOOOOOO.

Needless to say, I can’t wait. To have Daniel and Tu in the same room….It just feels like home to me.

Power Rankings

Deep Blue

1)       Michelle

HAL 9000

2)       Stanley

Mac Book Pro

3)       Layana

Commodore 64

4)       Patricia

That thing in Steve Jobs’ Garage circa 1977

5)       Daniel