Project Runway Season 11: Episode 3 – Surprise! I Made This Ugly Dress For You! [Runway Rundown]

Last week’s “Ball Fest” led to this week’s “Bawl Fest.” I missed Susan Sarandon’s boobs this week, they could have helped to lighten the mood as our designers reached the first challenge full of over confidence, self doubt, some hideous choices and a few tears. Let’s dive in and discuss this week’s episode.

As always don’t read this article yet if you haven’t watched it, as I am about to spoil it for you like Ke$ha covering your favorite song…

First let’s discuss the new season’s Intro… It is almost as if they are all trapped inside an 80′s pinball machine and I just can’t stand it. I know I have already mentioned it in passing, but who thought this would liven things up? Are fuzzy 80′s neon obsessed graphics really so new and fresh? Did I miss a memo? Regardless it is way too campy, and if they really want to go for something new how about coming up with a new concept entirely. Here’s an idea, let’s do away with the same tired music and moving zoom shots on a green screen background with crappy props. Also, can we do away with the goofy music (Almost like a synthesizer oboe calliope sound) when there is a surprise the designers will like… For example, when Heidi entered as their client for this challenge and the weird underscoring sounds like she should weigh 600 pounds and be carrying a banana. That music sounds like suddenly the entire room should fill with puppies and kitties as work halts for a giggle infused volleyball match with a balloon. *Mime enters with imaginary flowers… jazz hands. It just doesn’t quite fit.

This week’s challenge was for each team to create looks for Heidi to wear in both her ad campaign and her press events while representing her new perfume “Surprise.” Being the flirty girly girl she is, her perfume is housed in a pink box with erratic black and gold stripes across it. “Surprise!” your graphic designer ran out of ideas. Both teams were asked to create two looks for her press events and four looks for her commercial and print ads. She wanted them to use the colors pink, black and gold in their designs and create looks that are sexy, but not slutty. The contestants were also asked to keep in mind that these looks need to work from all angles as the back will be shown during the ad as well. Each team was given $1200 to spend and as always not nearly enough time to even sew a burlap coffee bag.

From the get go, members of both Team Dream On and Team Crappin’ It Real started to divvy up responsibilities and if necessary find out who would pair off to share one design for the runway show. Albino Bellhop blurted out the one thing you never say in a challenge… “This is in my comfort zone.” The minute those words leave your mouth you are automatically doomed in the challenge. Much like “I got this” and “I have done this a million times,” these statements almost always lead to tears, ending up in the bottom three, or an automatic Auf! “Good luck girl, and can you grab those bags over there and bring them to room 335? Thank you!”

Amanda and Joe found the early stage of their duo design for the press event, a bit of a stretch from both sides. Pairing up Amanda who is, to put it mildly, obsessed with black and austere tight silhouettes, with Joe who is into macrame, paint soaked, yarn ball, shapeless garments, is kind of a cruel mix. While it doesn’t appear on the outset to work, and both sides were frustrated with their attempt to meet in the middle, in the end they both seemed to bring out the best in each other and stretch themselves to make a very nice black dress. While it seemed simple there were some great touches with central accents of geometric patterned overlays on a dark gold fabric. What started as doom and gloom was turned around by the two very talented opposite designers finding the best aspects in how the other worked and scooting in a little closer to a solution. This is the team work I have been interested to witness since I heard this would be the season of Teams! Bravo you two!

Checking in with the whiny sad faced gay monkey (Matthew) we get another dose of, “This just isn’t me… I need to do something that is the opposite of what the client wants in this challenge to feel good about myself and feel like an individual! Maybe if I huff and puff enough mommy will pay attention.” That isn’t a direct quote (mostly) but I am almost sure that is what the subtext was. Get over it Matthew, you have some good core talent, but if you keep trying to be an artist with a capital A, it isn’t long before you are in the Auff’ing crosshairs. I can already tell that the little elf, Zac Posen, doesn’t like his boi toys talking back to him, much less disobeying him. Next time when Tim thinks your impulse of going bondage is good (which it was and could have led to something amazing) remember to listen to the second half… “just make sure it is informed by fashion and not the sexually provocative.” You had a great idea going, but unfortunately you wandered into the monkey house and decided to put Heidi in an outfit that was only missing a riding crop and some questionable stains on her corset.

Over at the table with Layana and Kate, the bickering and disagreements were kept on the surface as a sort of polite dance with prison shivs. Who would stab first? During the critique Layana went in for the kill spinning on her heels and throwing Kate under the bus stating her hatred for the pink corset that was underway. Everyone else on the team disagreed with her, but luckily she could be easily ignored as she had immunity either way this week. Kate had a real moment of discombobulation after being stabbed by her teammate so quickly in the crit, and it appeared to steel her resolve to show this bitch who is boss.

After some more tears, Albino Bellhop spilling the beans about an abusive relationship and self worth issues, more tears, Patricia almost not finishing her leather square cut and sew ensemble, everyone somehow made it to the runway. Even Albino Bellhop’s hideous ensemble somehow managed to get enough straps around itself to keep all the appropriate body part partially covered.

This week’s guest judge was none other than Charlotte herself, Kristin Davis. While I know they have upped the ante a bit with guest judge choices this season, how on Earth does this choice of judge have anything to do with the challenge? Usually they will at least pair up a judge to a challenge that makes sense for their commentary, does Charlotte have a perfume line I haven’t heard about? Just curious, but besides portraying a love obsessed caricature of the upper class 90′s white woman, the demographic for this perfume, what does she have to do with Ad campaigns and press events for new scents?

This week, after yet another strong showing Team Crappin’ It Real held their position as winners. The worst of their team were definitely Stanley and Richard’s looks. I agreed with the judges here one hundred percent! Richard’s hideous black, gold and silver metallic dress that had a tacked on ass-plosion of black chiffon was just unforgivable. This thing looked like some terrifying prom outfit bought for $50 at Wet Seal or Forever 21 on clearance. Hey Richard, next time you get the urge to create an “exotic chicken,” do us all a favor… Don’t!

Stanley’s look wasn’t as bad, but he deserved a slap on the wrist anyhow. He made a  gold sequined short dress with a black asymetrical arm sash and too many awful accessories to count. Girl, less is more here, and from the looks of this poor skinny girl, she can barely walk down that runway with all that neck jewelry dragging her down towards the ground. You better step it up Stanley, you only get one Vegas hooker get out of jail free card per season.

On the top this week we had Patricia, Daniel and the combo of Layana and Kate. Patricia made an interesting, if a bit messy and not so form flattering, short tank sleeve dress with leather square cut lace overlay and gold leather square cut fringe. I thought it was fun, but not something I could see Heidi rocking. It just smacked a bit too much of homemade candy striper 60′s weirdness.

Kate took home the win this week even though Layana who hated the design from the word go did a total 180 and declared on the runway “It was all 50/50 effort here.” Who are you kidding here Layana, back off from Kate’s win. Kate created a beautiful Black  chiffon gown with a pink corset with black overlays and lacing on the back. It was gorgeous and powerful, and still referenced a little bit of ballet so it stayed soft and feminine without looking like something Heidi would wear in a Tampax commercial. I agree with Zac Posen on the back of the corset being a little strange, but it was definitely a strong look and a solid win for her.

Even though Daniel had designed his gown for the Commercial Ad portion, he also got the win with Heidi choosing to wear his gold jersey gown with black leather neck trim to her press junkets. With it’s soft silky look and effortless feel, this dress could easily be worn for the Oscars with the right styling. I am impressed Daniel, you keep making these amazing dresses and I might just become your biggest fan! I have one tip for you this week though: ditch that antler hanging around your neck… it is starting to freak me out and make me picture you at home as a hoarder with 50 dead cats under pizza boxes.

Team Dream On was once again placed on the chopping block due to their bickering, refusing to work as a whole, and their underwhelming designs getting blown out of the water by the other team. On the bottom this week (unsurprisingly) are Mrs. Lovett (Cindy), Albino Bellhop (Benjamin) and Whiny Sad Gay Monkey (Matthew.) Matthew’s “Bondage inspired” black mini dress with neck cuff and central connecting strap was just all sorts of wrong. This outfit looked like an ensemble for a S+M Dominatrix Show MC in Reno Nevada. Even Sally Bowles looked more polished when she was on her off nights. Lucky for you, the judges let you slip by because there were bigger fish to fry.

Benjamin phoned it in this week and was once again all excuses. His pink grecian style gown with gold leather strapping was in theory a very beautiful look, in practice it looked like an old SAG Awards dress that Daryl Hannah still wears to take out the trash. You don’t want to worry about spills on something you care about. I thought for sure this look was sending him home as it wasn’t even finished and instead just had a bunch of leather straps tied around his model crushing her tiny boobs and resembling a pink ruched torture device. I was wrong. The Albino Bellhop has slipped by the guard dogs once again and managed to live for another day.

Poor Cindy is our fallen comrade this week. Though her taste level is not there, and she seems like somebody’s mom who decided to make her daughter a “Surprise” prom outfit, I can’t help but like her. She has a good heart, and wants to help and learn, but unfortunately she ended up on the team that is only out for themselves and decides to hold back opinions to keep her in the bottom. Some Albino Bellhops, I won’t mention names, even go as far as suggesting the use of a much more hideous fabric so she will solidly hit the bottom three. Her design was fairly simple and not terribly flattering, but it consisted of an iridescent shantung taffeta in a pink and gold blend. The seaming was bad, the entire garment was puckered all over at the seams, and the central chest slit looked like someone trying to hard to appear young. In the end the entire look was her downfall. Mrs. Lovett will be headed back to her meat pie shop, I mean funeral home in Kent Washington, but she swears this is not the last we have heard from her. Oh Cindy, while you are very nice and have some basic sewing talent I think you are better suited for the crafting world or running that funeral home of yours. I don’t foresee us getting a glimpse of your atelier on Rodeo Drive anytime soon.

Cue the tears, cue the awkward hugs and cue the sly smirk on Albino Bellhop as he looks around the room and wonders who will go instead of him next week when his team will undoubtedly lose the challenge. I’m gonna guess that you have run out of excuses in Zac Posen’s eyes dear boy and the jig may be up for you if you drop the ball one more time. Nobody likes a leader that barks a lot but can’t back it up like the rest of the team.

Next week: A Flower Shop and Hardware Store challenge! Bette Midler is somehow tied to this as guest judge so perhaps she is the new face of Lowe’s and FTD? You heard it here first. Chime in below with your thoughts on this week’s episode as I can’t wait to hear what you guys thought of some of these train wrecks!

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