Project Runway recap: Ugly Dolls

With their final collections, one contestant stuns, another chokes; Tim continues being Tim in spite of a bloody accident
Ep. 13 | Aired Oct 10, 2013

OVERLY CONFIDENT OR INSECURE? There are two sides to this talented but developing designer.

Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Six weeks later, the five designers re-convened in a remodeled workroom in New York. They looked at each other all side-eyed as they started unpacking their work — partly to size each other up, and partly to protect their own stuff. I found it funny that Alexandria criticized Helen for her false, over-the-top confidence. Well, if it isn't the apple calling the orange fruity.

For the next while, they all threw shade at each other's collections until Tim showed up with Raquel Rozas, a brand manager for Tide detergent. Oh heavens, another brazen corporate tie-in... and this late in the game! Basically, whoever moved on to Fashion Week would have to create an extra look that would be machine-washable. So the extra look can't be made out of paper or egg shells or test tubes or anything else worth wearing.

But the craziest part of the episode came when Tim returned a few hours later with ugly gashes on his face. In those few hours, he had fallen down some subway stairs and gotten four stitches. All I could think was, Wow, Tim Gunn takes the subway? In any case, what a trouper! However, I didn't completely buy his story. I'd guess that he was fighting some street toughs who were trying to steal an old lady's iPhone, or some other heroic activity, and he was just trying to be modest. After he gave some tough critiques to all of the remaining designers, Tim's voice snagged with emotion as he told the remaining five to make it work. Again, I need a Tim action figure.

For the final pre-Fashion Week runway, Dom and Bradon were made in the shade and watched the other three hustle for their spots.

Justin was up first (by the way, sorry for the lack of screen grabs — there's something wrong with my computer. But you're not missing much. Have you SEEN my screengrabs?) and his collection was so far superior to the others that the rest of the show was a waste of time.

Alexandria's collection was just very Alexandria. The clothes were rather shapeless and indiscernible and fabric-heavy and would only look good on extremely thin women with long bodies. The only colors she used were black, gray, taupe, and some other shades of gray. Her whole pockets-that-double-as-fingerless-gloves idea didn't fly with me as it did with the judges. It reminded me of saddle pants or some unnecessary add-on, or clothes that don't know what they want to be in life. (Speaking of which, can we get a onesie challenge next season?) I say no thank you to the pants-glove. Zac and Nina didn't think any of Alexandria's looks were special enough for the runway, but once again, Heidi was Alexandria's strong advocate. Heidi, let it go — Alexandria is not a thing!

Oh, wow. We knew all season that Helen was just eking out of a few wins here and there, and this final collection proved that she'd just been getting by. Her black sleeve dress was fine, her red cape dress missed the mark, but her final look — the off-the-shoulder print dress — looked horrible and tied the model's arms to her sides. Plus, the idea to wrap the models' hair around their necks was a clear misstep. Helen could barely explain her concept, and she admitted that she attempted to make silhouettes she wasn't equipped to make. There was no suspense here — Helen was clearly out. The judges absolutely savaged her. It was actually hard to watch. Heidi simply said, "I'm so unhappy with what you did." Helen finally admitted that she had been over-confident.

And just as lacking in suspense, Justin was in. The 3D accessories looked gorgeous with his dresses, and the test tube gown made a ton of noise but looked elaborate and meticulously made. The three looks reflected Justin's transition from living in total silence for 18 years to being disturbed by the influx of noise when he got his cochlear implant to arriving at peace. All the judges loved the theme and the looks, minus the brush-cut hair.

In the end, the judges eliminated Helen and kept Alexandria, which I thought was unnecessary. She won't win in a million years. My favorite moment of the night was Dom's reaction to Alexandria still being in the competition: "Nooooooooooo. I mean, that's good. But oh my God."

Should Alexandria also have been eliminated? Have you ever seen anyone choke on a final collection like Helen did? What really happened to Tim?

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