Project Runway: Draw, Baby, Draw
This week's challenge is, mercy of mercies, a two-day challenge. And yet, it takes all of ten minutes to realize what fresh catastrophes are looming.
There are only seven contestants left; Runway has traditionally been dominated by female finalists, including last season's all-XX crop, but this time around, only two ladies remain: Mila and Maya, the black-bob twins. They thrill to this week's challenge, which print-heavy designer Vivienne Tam announces is to design unique fabric for an accompanying look; drawing off HP touch-screen computers of some fancy-schmancy new breed (the model of which is hammered home repeatedly, murderously throughout the season), the contestants create their textile patterns, which are digitally printed and reproduced that night.
Seth Aaron, as usual, goes '70s pop with a bright, Warholian tiled face print. Maya splashes thick red streaks across a black background, and adds some orange. Anthony and Jay favor neon starbursts of purple and green, respectively. Emilio scrawls his initials in graffiti-print on a teal background; it could not be a bigger rip-off of the Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton collection if he went to Chinatown and bought it off Mott Street.
Jonathan uses a "subtractive" method of painting, which seems to mean that he plays with the eraser tool. Neat; we all did that in the fifth grade to erase the surreptitious dirty drawings. Mila goes for an astonishingly boring, juvenile Fruit Stripe pattern of simple, wide Technicolor stripes on white -- it looks tacky, regressively '70s in a way Seth Aaron easily avoids, and is truly just a waste of a very cool, rare Runway opportunity. Naturally, everyone has a bad word for her Crayola prison bars; "There's just a lot of things wrong," says Jay, and Anthony concurs: "I don't want to wear Legos, I want to play with them."
And Anthony does play; he remains the sole joyous spirit in the tense workroom, quick with a soliloquy that, he claims, is unintentionally funny. But it's hard to believe he doesn't know his own comedic timing when he rhapsodizes, "You know, I blame Beyoncè for everything that goes wrong in my life. It's something about her song that will make you think that you're a size four, that you can conquer the world, and that you are all-powerful. Do you think Beyoncè has a song for the people who can't find jobs, or the interview that you didn't do so well in?"
These moments are especially necessary when Mila's off hawkishly deriding all others for their "questionable" taste, as she does twice in this episode (about recent winners Emilio and Anthony).