"Project Runway" produced a fashion smackdown this week, when the six remaining designers butted heads with the divas of the WWE. At first glance, judging by the cheap stretch material, rhinestones and half-naked tan women, fans may have thought this was a repeat of the Jersey prom challenge. This time, however, the outfits were meant to push the boundaries of taste inside the world wrestling ring. Let's just say things got ugly.
It's one thing to watch these designers make outfits out of edible materials or old jeans. Sure, it can be a hot mess, yet we wait for the moments of inspiration that remind us these individuals are innovative, talented and artistic. But you have to feel like the final six got royally screwed last night in their losing battle with spandex. Just because it's a versatile fabric doesn't mean it lends itself to creativity — seriously, how many ways can you make a sports bra look fashionable? The only thing more limiting than the material itself was the amount the designers were actually able to use on the midriff tops and hot pants. If Michael Kors says the clothes make him feel "like a pope in a sex club," maybe that's not exactly in great taste. Then again, it is great television.
Tim took the designers on a "fabulous" field trip down the elevator to the Parsons auditorium and stopped them right outside the door to hear the sounds of loud groans coming from within. Jillian thought it sounded scary, Sweet P thought people were killing each other, and Christian was sure they were sexual noises. As it turned out, all their theories were a little bit true. Tim "Grandpa" Gunn struggled to climb into the ring and told each designer to pick a girl for whom they would create a wrestling outfit in two days with $100 of Spandex House material.
Right away the designers tried to find common ground with their eclectic clientele, each of which had their own persona. Rami chose Torrie, who said she was an all-American good girl, and immediately began draping her in a hot-pink number that even Barbie would have shunned. Tim called it a color you have to fully embrace or reject, but I call it Pepto Bismol. Rami's poor fabric choice was only upstaged by Sweet P "Don't Call Me Kit" Vaughn's choice of sequins and feathers. Granted, her client was a self-titled "robe and reveal" sex kitten, but her outfit quickly took the path of "tranny ice queen," according to Christian. Tim thought it looked more like a WWE hospital gown or Eva Gabor in "Green Acres." This drove Sweet P to do two shameful things: cry like Ricky and lose to Christian in an arm-wrestling match. Christian's a beast, y'all just don't know it!
Christian and Chris were all smiles and let their not-so-hidden inner divas shine for this challenge. In fact, they actually gave them names. Christian, a.k.a. "Ferocia Coutura," gave himself the special power of spraying people in the eyes with hairspray, while Chris said he'd be Wonder Woman and smother everyone with his giant breasts. I'm not even going to unpack that last sentence. Christian was so excited about his leather and lace chaps, he said it was his favorite outfit all season for the "fiercest of bitches" he's ever met. But even Christian's unadulterated love for himself couldn't top Chris' love for tacky, "stripper-tranny wear." While Jillian was afraid she might get body slammed if her model didn't like her outfit, that concern was hardly on Chris' mind as he made an S&M-inspired, leopard-print bondage ensemble for his diva. Chris suggested they should have had this challenge for men and then there would've been a little more interest in the room. At least Michael Kors would have been more interested!
Oddly enough, this is the closest thing "Project Runway" has ever had to a lingerie challenge and Ricky suffered most. Tim told Ricky the orange and gold color choices worried him, but Ricky thought it best to stick to his guns. Should've stuck to Tim Gunn, Ricky! He's made it through four seasons, while you've scraped by for nine episodes. All right, eight, since you won last week, but even that hot denim mini didn't excuse this week's 21st-century Wonder Woman bathing ensemble. It's just like Heidi says — one day you're in, and the next day you're out.
Runway Guest Judge: Richie Rich and Traver Rains of Heatherette
Chris March with model Maria: Leopard-print hoodie with keyhole detail and crisscross top ending at midriff. Black glitter shorts and gloves. Nina loved the lining. Heatherette thought it was really cute. Michael said it looked expensive. Top three.
Jillian Lewis with model Michelle: Bright, royal-blue bra top with criss-crossing body straps, hot shorts and white detailing. Michael thought she took a classic idea and made it sizzle. Heatherette loved the shorts. Top three.
Christian Siriano with model Kristal: Leather jacket, single-sleeve lace top with leather detail at midriff and black leather chaps with lace patches. Heatherette thought it was sexy. Michael saw a reference to Prince. Heidi was frightened by Kristal. Top three.
Rami Kashou with model Torrie: Bright-pink cap-sleeve bra top with ruffle details on bust and back. Mini-skirt reveal to pink hot shorts and sequined waistband. Michael didn't think it was very Americana good girl. Nina hated the color and said it wasn't her favorite outfit. Bottom three.
Sweet P Vaughn with model Candice Michelle: Silver sequined bra top, hot shorts with silver spandex and rhinestone cape with feathers on bottom hem. Heatherette thought it looked unfinished and was afraid she would fall out of her top. Heidi didn't think Candice looked happy, and Candice admitted she didn't really like the robe. Bottom three.
Ricky Lizalde with model Layla: Orange one-piece cutout suit with metallic ring detailing and mini gold-and-black diamond patterned cover-up. Heatherette thought she looked boxy. Nina liked the outfit better without the cover-up. Bottom three.
Winning designer: Chris March
Out: Ricky Lizalde