Project Runway: Scary Clowns, Scarier Stripes
Truly, the challenge is all this and more. And Seth Aaron, our dark horse this season (dark because he dips his hair in Brian Setzer's tears every morning), summarizes the penultimate moments thusly:
"A whirlwind of explosions" with "funny-ass clowns."
The last challenge before the three-tent mania of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park (which, as you may recall, your intrepid catwalk infiltrators covered in detail here) is nothing if not a foreshadowing. The remaining five contestants -- Anthony, Emilio, Jay, Mila, and Seth Aaron -- venture to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey big top, where Tim Gunn instructs them that they are to "create a runway look inspired by the circus."
Pan to Mila, saying woodenly to the confessional camera, "I was hoping it was the circus because the circus is full of inspiration." Um... Honey, if you really woke up that morning and thought, "I hope I go to the circus today," there are professionals well suited to explore this with you.
Back at the three rings, the circus troupe puts on a private performance for the designers; Anthony actually cries with enthusiasm, and Emilio stares heavenward with his usual heavy-lidded disdain. And there are clowns, so many, many clowns. Gaaah!
Then comes the sketching process, the generally uneventful Mood Fabrics interlude, and some diluted drama, as this is a two-day challenge. Emilio delivers his usual Bragosaurus Rex windbaggery; this installment includes choo-choo noises for no established logic and a desire for the judges to "pee on themselves" when they see his dress. What is it with the rampant juvenile id in this episode?
Black and white, red, and gold scraps fly about the workroom in flurries. Anthony and Jay are worried about their chances; Seth Aaron plots his `, a top hat, but Tim Gunn appears and shuts down that with a vengeance. Tim also derides Emilio's lack of color, calling his look "somber" -- Emilio predictably pouts but then adds a strong pop of red stripes to his B&W stripes. Gunn also insists that Mila ditch the ivory paneling she's prepared for the front of her -- stop the presses -- color-blocked bichromatic dress.
Then comes the only entertaining response to Gunn this entire season:
Tim: "Let your visceral rule. If it doesn't feel right, it's not right. If you feel like you're forcing things, there are probably contrivances and they're not right."
Anthony: "Tim, I thought all I needed were my design books to prepare for this show. But I'm gonna go get me a dictionary as soon as I get back to Georgia." (Insert fond laughs, hugging, timely scowl from Emilio.)