‘Project Runway’ Asks Auf’d Designers, ‘What’s Your Sign?’

By Rya Backer

Remember that line in the hip-hop/Sting tour de force “I’ll Be Missing You,” when Puff Daddy (that’s what he went by in those days) says he’d “give anything to hear half your breath”? Well, that’s how I felt last week. I gave anything, and last night, I heard Stella take a victory exhale all over this week’s episode. To put it in simpler terms: Designers were paired up (thanks to the help of Tim’s magical, black velvet satchel) with the season’s eliminated contestants. The partners had to put together an avant-garde look that corresponded with one of the designer’s zodiac signs. Obviously. So, before we get started on this week’s ins and outs, I’ve got a quick question.

Which one of these four statements was NOT used to define what “avant-garde” means?

1. “Something we haven’t seen before.”

2. “The advance group in any field, esp. in the visual, literary or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods.”

3. “You have to be pushing the envelope a little bit more.”

4. “Fashion-forward.”

The correct answer is #2, because that came from an actual dictionary and not from Michael Kors, Heidi or that guy who was eliminated first, respectively. Moving along! Ins and outs!

Stella Zotis!: If only they sold egg-dying kits in mid-September — I had to celebrate the one night that my savior was resurrected. Stella was fatefully partnered with the Lennon to her McCartney, Blayne, and it was so beautiful to share a moment with them once more. Blayne even referred to her as Barbarella, which was either an amazing reference to her middle name, or he’s a huge Scott Weiland fan. That said, Blayne was eventually auf’ed, which officially means that if I weren’t blogging about this show for my beloved job, I’d stop tuning in right about now.

Robert Plotkin: I never realized it before, but this man is like the human equivalent of chicken soup. Apart from the fact that he’s very much hot (rimshot), his presence and good looks can cure all ills, comfort those in need and are proudly vetted by a Jewish grandmother.

Sub Pop Records: Is it just me, or when Leanne and Emily were working together, did you feel like the girls were going to ditch Parsons and head over to Sam Ash to buy, like, a lute and a keytar and wear matching headbands and start this incredible, well-dressed girl band? Don’t you feel like when they were talking to Alison at the planetarium, it wasn’t so much about their Scorpion design’s exoskeleton as it was about how proficient Alison is on woodwinds?

The planetarium: It was refreshing to know that this expensive extension of the Museum of Natural History serves a purpose greater than hosting seventh-grade field trips and after-school trips of another sort in my later years when they had laser light shows (further proof that no matter how cosmopolitan a city one grows up in, most adolescents enjoy the same, simple pleasures).

Sleeping: I can’t be the only one who wanted to punch the screen upon seeing Keith catching Z’s on the couch. Not because it was totally uncouth (give the guy a break, he’s “kind of fragile”), but because that nap looked amazing.

Christian Siriano: He’s a loud, lithe bundle of joy and talent.

“For every three things you want to say, just say one”: This is the best life advice I’ve ever received, and I thought I’d take a minute to pass it on to Kenley, so she doesn’t describe any of her pieces as “rebellion, strength, strong and purple” ever again.

Heidi: She invited some of her “favorite New York designers” from past seasons, which included such great picks as the aforementioned Robert and Christian, Daniel Vosovic and Kara Janx. But Heidi had the audacity to leave out a certain New York designer from a past season. Where in the mesh driver’s cap was Ricky Lizalde? Yes, I just reminded you of him and now you realize you miss him too. My work here is done.

Designers’ collections: Kenley doesn’t follow them, and that’s OK and sensible, because she’s a fashion designer.

Terri: She literally is out, but she was dead to me three minutes into the show when she said, “Will I miss Stella? No.” OK, that quote was slightly taken out of context, but still, such words in such order should’ve never left her mouth.

Lindsay Lohan: Why is it that whenever I see Blayne in any of his rainbow of American Apparel hoodies I’m reminded of my favorite photo of the 21st century?

Carmen: Really?

The two girls who decided to stand in front of me at the Sonic Youth show two weeks ago: Did you really think all 5-foot-1 of me wouldn’t get annoyed that you were keeping me from watching my favorite Starbucks-endorsed band melt face? Which reminds me, Kenley, I know you’re “just having fun,” but stop gloating about how great your work is. You’re just begging for the Vivian Girls to roll their doe eyes at you.

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