Project Runway Season 11: Episode 7 Prom On A Budget! [Runway Rundown]

Last week we saw the demise of our dear friend Albino Bellhop’s dream of being the next great american designer. (Yeah, Next great american designer that nobody really knows anything about or hears from again after this reality show…) Honestly Ben, I think you dodged a bullet. The designers are just circling the drain this season and it is probably a lucky thing you were able to get off this sinking ship while you still could.

As always, I’m about to drop some spoilers so go watch the damn show before reading any further.

While we opened this week’s episode we got an ear full from all the people that thought Amanda deserved to go last week. Really people? Did you not catch the monstrosity that Bellhop sent down the runway? The poor granny looked like a toilet paper cozy for god’s sake! The strongest voice against her this week was Kate, with her guns blazing and her eyes set on tearing apart her fellow contestants. One great gem from Kate’s mouth this week: “Michelle, Layana and Amanda are all bitches!” Well Kate, in my experience, any girl that makes such declarations is usually quite the bitch herself… just sayin’.

After a strange interlude of Heidi walking onto the runway with a white duck on a leash, the designers speculated whether they would be dealing with farm animals or farmers, but in the end it was a simple answer: Duck brand Duct tape. For their second unconventional materials challenge, they were asked to create a prom dress out of duck tape while working in pairs of two. Stanley and Layana, Tu and Kate, Michelle and Amanda, Samantha and Patricia, and Richard and Daniel were all paired off. They had one day for this challenge and were informed they would be presenting their looks that evening at a local high school where the High Schoolers would vote and count for 20% of the outcome of this challenge.

Sidebar: I loved the moment when Richard thought he would get picked by Stanley to work together, and Stanley chose Layana instead. Richard looked like a jealous ex lover, “It’s fine, what he doesn’t know is I make prom dresses all the time, this is my thing!” Sure Richard, i’ll believe that when I see it.

The material they were given this week was not the shiny silver Duct tape that really can stick to anything, it is that crappier more expensive version called “Duck Tape” that comes in various colors and designs. It was created for bored housewives that want to jazz up their craft projects, and teenagers wanting to start their own designer “Duck Tape” wallet business. Luckily for the designers they had tons of colors and patterns to choose from, that is of course until Daniel and Richard stole ALL of the gold Duck Tape. The claws came out at that point as the other teams bitched and moaned about not having any gold. Really guys? That gold is actually pretty ugly everybody, let them have it.

In the workroom, the designers fought and struggled with the tape until they discovered it was best if they created the fabric first using the tape and then attempt to fashion their garments. Kate should have spent more time working on her design and color choice, rather than bitching in the confessional about all her cohorts. “There’s only room for one cook in this kitchen and that’s me!” She stomped all over poor Tu’s ideas, and then insisted she knew more about prom than any of these other bitches… Of course you do Kate, you are obviously still in High School. Her mean girl cattiness just dripped off her this week as she had opinion after opinion on what was going on around her, and naively felt very solid in her own design. It was so fun to see her get kicked off that pedestal when Tim came to check in and shut her down calling her boring blue dress dowdy.

After an awkward showing at the High School where overly interested teens were looking for a moment on camera, the designers headed back to the workroom and considered what small tweaks they might be able to make before showing their garment to the judges on the runway. Designers, word of advice… no need for zippers, tape the bitch in.

This week’s guest judge was pink haired designer, “bad boy at the country club” Chris Benz. Since his hair matched one of the Duck Tape colors, I guess he was an appropriate fit this week. Or maybe he really is a heating and duct specialist with a flair for fashion. We may never know.

Let’s start by talking about the top looks. First up was Samantha and Patricia’s asymmetrical hemline, bulbous blue and silver mess that the judges somehow took a fancy to. Perhaps the fumes from that glossy tape got to them, but I’m not sure we were looking at the same dress. The dress had a silver bodice, that looked like some weird superhero outfit, with a blue and black, cutout patterned, rounded skirt blob. I hated it. I thought their model looked like she took a giant oversized Jiffy Pop container, ripped off the top, and fashioned a skirt out of it. Somehow, they were safe.

Next up, Stanley and Layana created a sort of safe and a slightly unflattering Black and Zebra trimmed short dress with straps. The full skirt had oversized pleats, and a neon pink bow at the waist. I thought they missed the mark a little here as it went a little too junior. While Nina and Heidi thought she would be the cool kid, I just saw some girl with no boobs swimming in black tape. Again, they were safe.

On top this week surprisingly, was Amanda and Michelle! They both seem to have broken their respective curses and landed on top for the win. I have to say, on this one I totally agreed with the judges, I loved this look. They created a modern strapless short dress with a red, black, white and silver oversized houndstooth pattern they created. The bodice had an angular quality that I thought was a bit too exaggerated, but the draping of the circle skirt was just perfection. As Michelle seemed to take a bit more of the lead on this project she was our winner this week.

As for the bottom two teams, Richard and Daniel certainly gayed it up with their trashy 80′s inspired, Gold, short, strapless, ruffle skirt dress. This is the kind of dress that even drag queens stay away from because they don’t want to look like a dead hooker in some 80′s made for TV movie. Part of me felt like the only person who could’ve worn this dress and owned it would have been Shannon Doherty. (Because she already owns 6 just like them and she would eat the face of anyone who mocked her in it.) Luckily for them, the judges like their personalities more than Kate and Tu, so they were given a get out of jail free card this week. Technically, I thought they had the worst of the week from these bottom two teams, but they will live again to see another week on the runway.

Kate and Tu were our bottom team this week with their drab denim colored Fishtail gown. The bottom was so tight their model could barely walk let alone dance, and I won’t even mention when the poor girl is supposed to try to take it off to see if her dress clashes with the motel carpet. Nina and Zac disagreed regarding a long dress being inappropriate for a modern prom, with Zac taking a firm stance that a long prom dress can be great. Nina’s eyeroll could be seen from space and in one movement of her eye I could see instantly that Zac won’t be returning to the Runway next season. We’ll have to see if I am right. After much deliberation about which was worse, Tu letting himself get stomped on, or Kate stomping on him with THIS dress, they sent them both packing. Frankly I am glad to see Kate go, but am sad we didn’t really get to see Tu shine here. He never was great with time management, but everything he drew showed he had quiet a unique perspective on fashion and it would have been so refreshing to see him flaunt it. With an Auf and kick, the two were gone, a trail of Kate’s tears and shock left in their wake. See Kate? Sometimes it helps to turn that judgement eye on ourselves every once in a while, especially when the stakes are so high.

Next week: Strippers! MALE Strippers!!! The Thunder From Down Under will be coming to the runway as clients, and not only will the designers have to tackle menswear, they will need to tailor it to these beefy hunks of flesh. You know the ratings just shot through the roof for next week and all those who have been glazed over this season (like myself) are suddenly awake! I love a menswear challenge, but I couldn’t have asked for more!