Project Runway recap: Remixing an American Classic

The designers go to Red Robin and back again to create classically inspired, high-fashion looks.
Ep. 04 | Aired Aug 14, 2014

RECORD SCRATCH Hernan makes the questionable decision to use vinyl in his draping dress.

Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

I've got good news and bad news. The good: We know what the judges are looking for this season, and that's a designer named Amanda or Sandhya. The bad: We still don't know what "bobo" means. Thanks to your comments ("boho," "a cheap knockoff," "boohoo," "Bilbo, as in Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit," "hobo," and "bourgeois bohemian"), we have a lot of contenders. And Mitchell's utterance of the word "hobo" in tonight's episode rules out one of them.

But there's no time to ponder Mitchell's vocabulary, because it's Red Robin time. A quick Google search reveals that the Red Robins closest to Manhattan are in Seacaucus, New Jersey and Staten Island. Designers, hope you're ready for a lengthy car ride to sketch inside a chain restaurant. (That Google search also turned up news results that the burger joint is losing profits—maybe they spent too much on Project Runway product placement? If it goes bankrupt before the finale, the winning designer won't get to create an accessories look!)

Before being treated to bottomless fries, the contestants learn about their challenge from Jason Rusk, Red Robin's VP of brand transformation, and Tim Gunn. Just as Red Robin does a fresh take on the classic hamburger (it offers 24 kinds!), the designers will have to take the classic suit and make it into a high fashion look. The chorus line of servers makes this seem like a menswear challenge, but—surprise—the designers have to use the actual suit fabric. Sandhya gets to choose first because she was last week's winner, and—double surprise—she gets to select everyone's suits.

You know that thing called karma? It's coming back to bite some people. Although Sandhya doesn't make mean-spirited picks, the designers who have been nice to her definitely receive the nicer of the horrible options (it's good to be Samantha!). Sandhya is like that kid in school who was always picked on, then went on to become a millionaire—she's getting the last laugh every week.

After taking what has to be at least an hour drive back to the city, the designers shop at Mood (back-to-back Swatch sightings!), then quickly get to work at Parsons. As the looks begin to take shape, a few things emerge:

• Kristine and Korina are both making motorcycle jackets in red.
• Kini is a hella fast sewer.
• Alexander says Kini's aesthetic is "bland." Hey Alexander, remember last week when you sent a Planet of the Apes potato sack down the runway? That is the definition of bland.
• Vinyl is apparently "high fashion," as both Mitchell and Hernan incorporate it in their looks.
• Sandhya is inspired by a moustache. Of course.

NEXT: A tale of two dresses: the haute and the hippie-dippie


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