Project Runway Recap: Gunn's Goin' Off!

Last night Tim Gunn visited Project Runway's four remaining designers in their hometowns -- their disgusting, smoke-gagged hamlets. With their polluted families running around. And their dogs. Tim wore enough sanitizer over his face and body that it hardened and looked like a beekeeper uniform. And for reasons unexplored, Tim Gunn was a jackass to the designers! For real! Let's revisit his frosty rendezvous and ask ourselves whether the right designer -- Jay or Mila -- went home at episode's end.

Now that the four remaining designers have been chosen, we flash-forward a couple months and bear witness as Tim journeys to each designer's home as they finish their Bryant Park collections. He starts with Seth Aaron, who will undoubtedly turn cartwheels and skip around the room upon seeing Tim. Best for Tim to get that plebeian nonsense out of the way first.

Seth Aaron

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Tim flew to Vancouver, Washington, where Seth Aaron had dutifully sewn almost two dozen completed looks. That's far more than any previous designer had completed at this point, except for Season Three's Laura Bennett, who sewed her six children against the wall because their runway strut was cliched that afternoon.

"Seth Aaron!" Tim caws. "This is incredible. Incredible. Miles and miles of clothing. Must've taken months. Can I just add another thing? One more note? OK. Well -- you will lose. I am POSITIVE. I am serious. You seem a little dumbstruck. Do you hear me in there, loser? When Bryant Park comes around, I'd like to see most of this gone. Everyone knows you can make on-the-go circus jackets. Try again. This time make it likable. And not so -- loser-accessible. Bai."

That's about how it went down.

Seth Aaron, who clearly thought he was almost done (if not totally done), was pissed -- and justifiably so. He'd just gotten a hot haircut for Tim's visit, a post-What Not to Wear spin on Nikki Sixx, and it fell on blind, old, gay eyes. According to Tim's notes on the Lifetime website, Seth Aaron had spent up to 20 hours a day sewing what really was a magnificent set of looks -- black-and-white jackets with zipper detailing, checkered sportswear, tinges of ringmasterly drama. But the fact is, St. Gunn was right. For the final collections, the judges howl, jitterbug, and juke only when the contestants prove they've evolved. For Seth Aaron, his "evolution" was technically impeccable, but wholly a retread of his past triumphs. Still, if he impaled Tim with one of Maya's spiky purses right then, I wouldn't have reported it.

Oh, wait, he did force Big Gunns to jump on a trampoline. You know Tim couldn't record that in his Trauma Diary fast enough. Well done, S.A.

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Comments

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    Seth Aaron: I love Tim and truly believe that designers ignore him at their own peril (Christian Siriano and that Henley woman are notable exceptions). But, I would want to murder him for telling me to throw away everything I've labored over because it's too expected. Too me. I don't know about the judges wanting something evolved. I remember them showing no interest in Santino's beautiful collection because it was just too lovely, and too different from his glued on pants fiascos. And poor Uli, she made a respectable collection in the sham Project Runway All Stars (alt title: "Michael Kors: How Can I Give an Award to My Dreamboat Protege?"), and the judges couldn't forgive her for not doing her signature "two wild ass prints that somehow go together" summer dresses.
    Emilio: When I saw his entire collection online, I thought: "That's great for… Barbara Walters." That whole collection was made for very chic women… of retirement age. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It was Emilio's model from Models of the Runway who made the most enlightening comment about how she couldn't really tell what his design style is because he adapted to the challenges too well. Now we know, he's Ungaro from the block.
    Mila: Her collection looked a lot better close up than online. It's good, but it seems like… Sonia Rykiel went back in time and found herself designing for an Ann Taylor Loft in 1981's Tokyo.
    Jay: His collection looked more interesting on the runway (kind of old school Tron) but damned impractical up close. Just a lot of straps and snaps for no reason. I'd say he should make accessories, but no woman wants her tampons falling through all those holes in her purse. Nina's "overdesigned" is correct. Also, why did he cling to his horrible Barbazon school model? She actually walked like a barbie doll with perpetually bent arms. Further signs of his questionable taste.

  • the frau says:

    Jay,
    SYFY wants you to design on their 'MODELS FROM THE FUTURE" movie.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    What an exceptional comment. I can only break this down with dashes and hyperbole.
    - The Project Runway All-Stars challenge may have been the official shark jump. Uli killed it with that du jour metallic melange, and Daniel's collection was discordant, gimmicky, and banal all at the same time. It ran a gamut of amateur design mistakes, seemed to me. Almost impressively unsuccessful -- not to mention indicative of the judges' weird obsession with him.
    - Emilio's adaptive abilities have flown under the radar, but man did that wool lift from my eyes when his aggressively old-fashioned colors, silhouettes, and concepts came to the fore after the wide-open Bryant Park prompt.
    - Maybe it's just the editing, but Seth Aaron has seemed like the clear winner of the season for weeks. He's just the type of winner they want -- a likable, distinct character who represents a stylistic upheaval of last season's winner's lush, bitchy streetwear. (That's not an indirect appraisal of Irina, I swear; the clothes were bitchy by definition! And impeccably so!)
    - As for Mila, I respond positively to most of her work. For all of the judging's screeching that her aesthetic is limited, it's also instantly recognizable -- the hallmark of success on this show. The best contestants on Project Runway make clothes that reconfirm and strengthen your opinion of them, and I always end up liking Mila more after seeing her work -- narrowly defined as it is. That may sound weak, but I can't argue with her design that I posted here. Ann Taylor isn't exactly off the mark though, I'll give you that.
    - I thought Jay's collection ruled. The heavy runway impact and luxurious textures did me in. Also: He's way fun to talk to. (See also: I'm a sellout.)

  • All I can say is that I wanted to freeze-frame and print a shot of Tim on the trampoline. The look on his face as he was flat on his back was priceless. The man works hard for his money.

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