It is always darkest just before dawn.

Last week after slogging through the “Blunders from Down Under” episode, I questioned whether or not this show was worth my time. The soul had been sucked out of the show by an impossible task, terrible results and a humorless runway in the face of comically bad clothing.


Even the “team element” got more relevant and less arbitrary this week. “Project Runway: Teams Edition” seemed to be a tacked-on wrinkle that sounded good, but ultimately had no bearing on the show. The weakest look still goes home every episode and as a result, each member of their team was ultimately out for themselves. But now, as we near the finish line, the alpha dogs are beginning to pick up their weaker teammates and carry them down the beach like Jesus. This week, the teams were inspired. Absolutely inspired. Welcome back Runway.

The Challenge: Design a commercially viable spring look for Lord and Taylor inspired by a rose.

The Challengers:

Patricia and Stanley: Patricia designed a peach colored puffy top with matching cigarette pants. Stanley cranked out a totally forgettable similarly fruit colored boilerplate dress.

For these two it wasn’t about the finished product. It was about the friendship formed on the journey. I almost welled up watching these two work, nay … learn together. Patricia, the free spirited Hutt mother that doesn’t follow trends taught the infallible robot that there are many floral paths from Point A to Point B. The robot repays the earthen sage with his first smile and advice delivered with actual changing inflection as opposed to the AI’s typical monotone cadence. I haven’t been this moved by machinery since Wall-E.

These two seemed to be running out of ideas in the episodes leading up to this one. Stanley was in desperate need of a jolt. His designs had become more and more basic and safe. Patricia’s “throw shit at the wall” aesthetic needed refining and focus as the contestants around her became more competent. Enter: each other. I feel like this pairing was what they each needed to power it on home to Bryant Park.

Layana, Samantha and Dick Hallmarq: Layana put together a stunning leather lined print dress, Samantha put together a sock-hop dress for Rainbow Brite, and Dick put a two toned sock together.

If our first story was one of self-discovery through friendship, then this was a story of two people who further diverged their Mean Girls attitudes (plus plain old normal Samantha). Dick and Lay had it out on the Runway last week, and it spilled over into this week.

Both claimed that they truly didn’t care what the other person thought. I believed Layana when she said so. There have been little hints throughout the season that Layana gets what Layana wants whenever Layana damn well wants it. This is the type of person who truly doesn’t give a shit what others think. One must love oneself truly and wholeheartedly in order not to care what others think.

Dick though? He doesn’t roll that way. As seen in prior weeks, Dick will latch on to the nearest warm leg and begin writhing around on it until the relationship is acknowledged, then explored, then consummated. Voila! Dick has a new best friend (until the next warm leg arrives, or the old leg wanders off). Dick has all the self confidence a short, bald man that wears white tiger print tights and a ball cap with hundreds of rhinestones and nails sticking out of it. But this person does, make no mistake, give a shit.

Then there was Samantha. Our lovely hipster was caught in the crossfire of some serious eye daggers and faux smiles. She had to play the mediator between these two. When pressed to throw either under the bus during the runway line of questioning for the bottom team, she chose Dick. Samantha, you’ve made the list.[ref]I have to believe Dick’s list includes everyone he’s ever met.[/ref]

Plus, my God Samantha … a fucking heart cutout? My daughter is too old for that and she’s two.[pullquote]my God Samantha … a fucking heart cutout? My daughter is too old for that and she’s two.[/pullquote]

Daniel and Michelle: Daniel designed a pink powerdress for Delta Burke. The surging Michelle put together a killer off-green post-mod dress that everyone and anyone will wear.

Our Dapper Dan stole the show this week with his slow descent into madness. After deciding that hubba bubba pink was a good idea for fabric, Tim coaxed out Michelle’s hatred for the material. The chubby Texas lover broke down. Michelle’s cynical view on life weren’t going to dampen his perpetually sunny days. Latching on to the number 21 like a Mayan, Danimal went on emotional walkabout.

He slowly came to the realization that he designs colorful pantsuits for oil baron’s spouses and that, friends, makes him happy. Many “happy” tears were shed in self awareness, and Daniel showered us with love nuggets in between the sobbing. HE’S A HAPPY PERSON DESIGNING HAPPY GARMENTS FOR HAPPY PEOPLE, DAMMIT. WHY IS THAT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? As he lay his bubblegum jacket and skirt to rest, he admitted amid tears that it hurt to “kill something you love”.[ref]that something he loved was a pink jacket and skirt.[/ref] I get the feeling this guy says hello and goodbye to inanimate objects all day.

The important takeaway here? We are running out of Daniel Days people. Cherish what we have left. We won’t know what we had until it is gone.

Michelle and Happy Tex made up the next day, and on the runway, Daniel loved all the backhanded compliments he received. Man, that guy loves positivity, no matter the tone, inflection, amount of condescension or inherent underlying negativity. Give that man 3 lemons and you’ve got yourself a fucking Country Time factory.

In other news, Michelle is starting to look like the person to beat. Cool, different, and consistent go pretty far on this show.

Did Tim Gunn say Caucus this Episode?

Yes. Once.

The Winna!

Michelle – Probably single handedly helped Daniel avoid sweating it out on the bottom (terrible thought).

Pack your sewing kit

Sweet forgettable Samantha. We hardly knew ye. Seriously, though. We hardly knew you. You were the Silent Wheel. Don’t you know, silly girl? Squeaky Wheels get the grease. Plus, the heart cutout was a bad idea. Bad idea jeans.

Power Rankings

Axl Rose (back in the day)

1)       Michelle

Derrick Rose (back in the day)

2)       Layana

Rose from the Golden Girls (back in the day)

3)       Stanley

Jalen Rose (back in the day)

4)       Patricia

Wild Irish Rose (any day, really)

5)       Dick Hallmarq

A Kiss from a Rose (too soon)

6)       Daniel