So Fashion Week has come and gone, which means the winning collection has already been designed, displayed and photographed. You’ve probably already seen it! Sure, it’s surrounded by decoys and you don’t KNOW which collection is the winner, but still. It adds an extra level of GET ON WITH IT pointlessness, you know? One of these jackasses has already won, but we get to sit through like, five or six more hours of this shit before we find out.
At which point we will all quietly nod and/or eyeroll, then turn off the TV and move on with our collective lives. SOMEHOW.
The episode opens with Dmitry dreading the day and all of its inevitable Elena-ness. Likewise, across the hall, Elena announces her plan to stay away from Dmitry because he stresses her out. Sonjia reclines on the bed and throws some fabulous lip-twisting shade-face, because gurl, what DOESN’T stress you out?
Darkest Timeline Britta points out that Dmitry hasn’t done separates yet, which would be almost creepily prophetic later when Dmitry finally busts out some separates, but I am unimpressed because she probably knew he was going to do that because Abed told her about the other timelines in the Dreamatorium.
UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, BRITTA.
Heidi blah-blahs about how everybody still has a long way to go before Fashion Week while wearing a black latex tube sock.
In the workroom, Tim is waiting with Mondo, who is there mostly so we can watch the “I’m HIV positive” moment from his season. Which was a great moment! He really deserved that win and to win that season OH WAIT NEVER MIND.
/looks around for something to throw gaaaahhhhhh still not over it
Anyway! It’s the HP-tastic Textile-riffic Challenge of Ugly Ass Prints. The designers are told to draw inspiration from their cultural heritage, and while I originally braced myself for some terrible displays of heavy-handed cultural appropriation (“I feel Native American IN MY HEART.”), it turns out I needn’t have worried, because it mostly looked like everybody ignored that part of the challenge and just like, made prints about trees or fruit or some shit.
Nobody ignored the challenge parameters like Gunny H. Bitchpants, however. His gleamy little ferret eyes lit up at the mention of Mondo’s Big Powerful Runway Moment and immediately decided that he was gonna have one too. He declares “bullying” to be his “heritage.” Bullying! Bullying is sooooo hot right now, you guys. His mom’s getting that boob job! SCORE.
Because oh, that’s right. Everybody’s mom showed up. And Fabio’s adorable boyfriend and Dmitry’s “oldest and dearest friend” who brings footage from his dad in Belarus. And also Ven’s sister, who is probably not speaking to Ven after the makeover episode, because. Well. You know. WE WERE ALL THINKING IT, OKAY? Ven’s still the asshole, though, because it’s all his fault, really.
Unfortunately, the family visits seem to mostly throw people off their game. Elena, who is accustomed to sobbing over glue guns or spilled milk or hangnails, predictably loses her fucking SHIT when confronted with genuine emotions and feelings and basically sobs for the next hour and a half. Christopher is all, “I love my mom but she needs to get out of my business now, ‘kay?”
There’s about 20 straight minutes spent watching the designers tappity-tap and draw squiggly lines on the HP monitors. Have you ever watched somebody doodle on an iPad for 20 straight minutes? Really thrilling, exciting stuff.
Even Ven is openly struggling. He designed a not-great print of a big hot pink flower, but at least was TRYING to stay away from that damned folded rose technique. But then Tim shows up and screeches that the details on his dress look like bloody maxi pads. Now, far be it from me to ever disagree with our dear Tim, but while Ven’s first design wasn’t great, I would humbly suggest that Tim has probably not actually seen too many bloody maxi pads in his day. (They aren’t…round. Or pleated. Or fuchsia.)
Ven, being completely unable to process his first-ever criticism, panics and over course-corrects. Which means: TIME FOR ANOTHER GAPING SUCKING CHEST WOUND FLEURCHON CLITORIS SKIRT.
I don’t have much to say about Elena’s design because 1) I don’t like her, and 2) I don’t like her aesthetic, even when done “well,” so I can’t be objective. Her print sure was ugly though, right? Yeeeeesh.
Christopher’s print was supposed to be abstract ladybugs, because his heritage is “pest-y insects who think they are way cuter than they actually are.” I don’t know. It didn’t make a lot of sense. Anyway, he struggled and changed his mind a million times and basically just gave up and made something. Because that’s all this is. It is a something.
The ONLY way Fabio’s look would have worked was if they brought Tilda Swinton in to guest-model. They didn’t do that, so no.
I really liked Sonjia’s and so did the judges, but I kept waiting for someone — ANYONE — to point out that it was maybe kinda similar to Mondo’s winning look?
(Eh, maybe not that much after all, aside from the high-waisted printed pants. But I’m including Mondo’s here to remind us all that boyfriend used THREE printed textiles and MADE A JACKET [with a printed lining!] while this season’s fools could barely handle one. Bow down, you lightweights.)
I’m not seeing much Polish heritage here, but dang, Melissa made a really cute, fun little dress. Our princess of black-fabric darkness is just full of surprises, isn’t she?
But finally, it was Dmitry’s week. FINALLY. He made separates. He made a print that actually fulfilled the cultural heritage part of the challenge (it was based on traditional Belarus Christmas ornaments and his father’s artwork). And while the look isn’t 100% printed textile, there’s no doubt that the print is absolutely the focal point of the entire outfit, especially with the jacket cutouts. Go Dmitry!
(But maybe sleep with one eye open in case Elena decides to show up at your bedside to murder you with false eyelash glue and crying, or something.)
Oh, Gunny. You obviously did your ProjRun story arc homework. You tried so hard to out-Josh Josh and out-Santino Santino. And you thought you even had the perfect Redemption Edit and Sad Background Story ready to go, Mondo-style. And maybe you could have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling producers pulling this “cultural heritage” constraint on you at the last second! Curses! Foiled!
Well. There was also the fact that this look is total ridiculous fug and you really don’t have very good sewing skills. That too. Sorry, Gunny. You go away now and let the grown-ups talk.
PS: THIS ALSO HAPPENED.
It’s like a terrible Project Runway winner wormhole of yin and yang, deserving and undeserving, He Who Was Famously Robbed and She Who Just Had To Show Up With Some Fabric Scotch-Taped To Some Models. And it makes me tired and quiet.