Project Runway

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Less inspired, however, is Johnny, who has like one ribbon of fabric on his dressmaker's form, and seems to be juuuuuust stepping to the edge of a spiral about it. "I think I'm gonna change my whole design," he says, seemingly to himself, but just loud enough for others to hear so that they will be forced to respond. Qristyl, busy with her own (hideous) fabric, actually takes time to encourage him to stop second-guessing himself and tells him he's good. While he's fleebusing around, looking for sympathy, Mitchell is preparing to smock. "What's smocking?" Christopher asks, in all innocence, and not since "I don't sketch," which, okay, was just a few minutes ago, have I smacked my forehead with such violence. Christopher. How many self-help books on fashion can you have read if you have never heard of smocking? You alarm me. Mitchell, though he is fluttering under the pressure, sort of explains it to him. What someone ought to do, however, is explain normal behavior to Johnny, who is now approaching a meltdown at full speed. Don't think me uncharitable, Internet. I believe the guy had a drug problem, certainly. But he is rolling out the drama wagon like he's on a Mexican soap opera. No one can even understand what he's so upset about, as he panics needlessly that his design is not good enough. "I feel like I'm completely lost," he whines, "and this has never happened to me, before." Oh, I imagine it has maybe happened to you, before. He Eeyores over to Ra'Mon, saying he feels like maybe he just needs to go sleep for a while. Poor Ra'Mon, confused by this sudden and ridiculous downturn, astutely points out in an interview that Johnny really has nothing to prove to anyone but himself. Out of what I can only perceive as pure kindness, Ra'Mon actually bothers to go out of the workroom and talk to Johnny who has not gone to sleep, but merely has flopped into a chair. Johnny says he is feeling so emotional, he might just decide to throw in the towel. "I just know my limits," he tells Ra'Mon, "and I feel like I've reached one right now. I just never thought it would be like this!" Has he never seen an episode of this show for which he auditioned three times? He's like a little kid who is faking a stomach ache to avoid going to school. I sometimes feel this way when I don't want to go to the gym -- all right, every time -- but I believe my husband would choke me if I started downright whining like this dude. I say this without an ounce of snark: if he's really in addiction recovery, he probably needs a meeting.

This is not what I had in mind, but apparently Tim Gunn, MD, is called for a consult. Bless this man's heart, because Johnny is losing it. While everyone else works diligently, he broods alone on a couch in the hallway. Did they have to drag Tim out of bed and pour him into a suit to deal with this fool? It's ridiculous -- Johnny sobs out that he sketched four different things "and I hate 'em; I completely hate 'em." Tim kindly wonders if maybe Johnny is being too hard on himself. Johnny cries some more and says that maybe he isn't ready for all of this, emotionally, and that he doesn't want to fail again. "Nor do I want you to," Tim says, and I consider nominating him for a Nobel Prize for continued humanity in the face of nonstop foolishness. He reminds Johnny that he has overcome a great deal. "And I know how talented you are," he adds. "And you know what, Johnny? You can do it!" With that, he raises his arms to hug Johnny, indicating that this bout of self-serving attention-mongering should now be at an end. The thing is, of course the dude is freaking out. He has been through a hard time and is fragile. Everybody has to flip their lid every once in a while on national TV, but if this becomes a theme and he has repeated episodes, the world will lose patience with him. Just live, Johnny. Stop trying to make your life so hard.

Back in the workroom, Johnny says Tim, god that he is, has saved his life. "I'm done acting a fool," he says, to no one, and it appears that no one responds. You know why? Because they've been working. After a night's sleep, Johnny says he feels much better.

Malvin picks up the fool-acting when describing his creation, which he calls "ineffable," going on to laugh that no one really knows how to describe his gowns, because there's not a "vocab" for them, yet. Well, let me give it a shot: so far your dress looks like you are using the bandages of a fairly clean mummy to put together a look wholly inappropriate for any red carpet. Meanwhile, Ari appears to be making poorly-constructed silver octagon pouches that she is scratching somehow to "create my own texture." She's worried taking time to make these scratches will cause her to have a problem with time on this challenge. Right, that is going to be the biggest problem.

The next day, the designers reassemble at FIDM and get back to work. Johnny feels better after a good night's sleep. Gordana and Christopher discuss with Ra'Mon and a few others what they feel like they've missed by not going to design school. Creative work is a weird animal, isn't it? School can obviously be helpful in so many areas, but then again, natural talent will get you pretty far. However, it's handy to know how to smock and incorporate a godet, or at least it would be handy to have heard of these things, as Christopher is finding out. I'd like to hear more of this discussion, but it must halt as Tim Gunn arrives to strike love and fear into the hearts of the contestants. He tells Christopher that he likes what he has created, but that styled the wrong way it could be too "cruise line cocktail waitress." Christopher pales under his jaunty baseball cap and Tim glides over to Ari's table to ask how her "geodesic dome" is coming. Okay, when I went to look that link up so I could throw it in there and saw that it features Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth? I really, seriously, nearly died. First of all, yes, Ari's "creation" looks pretty much like that photo. I mean, I was going to go with "silver soccer ball," but no, Tim Gunn destroys that metaphor and takes it to a new level. But then my mind went all over the place imagining Tim and Heidi at Disney World riding smoothly through the Hall of Presidents, discussing whether or not Daisy Duck was making her pink pumps "work," wondering if it really is a small world, after all. Tears, tears. I had to take a moment. Anyway, we should all well cry when looking at this thing Ari has come up with, with her octagons. She says that the puffy, silver creation will "basically" be a halter dress with a large hood. Tim actually wrinkles his nose. "Forgive me," he says, "I'm worried that this is going to look like a halter-diaper." That's exactly what it looks like. A halter-diaper in space. "Hmm," Ari says, and says that she's not too worried. Most likely she's not worried because the voices in her head are telling her to construct this garment for her evil twin, so you know, she wouldn't be. Realizing this, Tim lies that he believes in her and runs away.

Ra'Mon, showing great progress on his aubergine dress, says that he is working on incorporating architectural elements. You can see that he has structured pieces of fabric in the shoulder area that look nice, but he's worried about the backend. "I don't want to give her a big butt," he says, "so it might be sculptural around it? I don't know." Yeah -- there's not much call for sculpting pieces of architecture to emphasize the exact shape of your ass. Tim agrees. "The big butt is a biiiig but," he says.

Mitchell affectedly refers to Tim as "Mr. Gunn," and shows off all the smocking he's been doing. His dress is actually quite pretty, I think, in a... Victorian water-color kind of sheer-nude sort of thing? You know, like you see on all the red carpets? Really, the fabric is pretty -- it is a shade of nude moving down into an ombre blue. Now, the top is a Victorian n

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Project Runway




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