“Project Runway” recap: In Which People Peace the Hell Out

Previously on Project Runway, the contestants worked in pairs, Ven won again, and Andrea left mysteriously in the middle of the night. All of which leads up to a dramatic beginning of Episode 4. Did Andrea run away from the competition? Is she just an intense sleepwalker? Did she want a midnight snack and end up in an all-night diner in Manhattan and get carried away sipping coffee and talking to all the other insomniacs of the city until the sun came up?

OK. Sadly, Andrea doesn’t live in my fantasies. She just wanted to peace out of that piece. I have to say, in ten seasons there have been a few dramatic departures, but none as wimpy and weird as this. Sure, the stress can get to you, but talk to somebody first. Be an adult and tell somebody. Especially for somebody who’s been in the industry for a long time and who’s been a teacher? Weird, man.

All of the designers are told the news when they meet Tim Gunn at Michael Kors’ new flagship store on Madison Avenue. Let me tell you about this store–it is white. White epitomized. Balls to the wall white. White in high-def. Everything is so bright and clean it makes my eyes hurt a little, but in a painfully fascinating way. As in, I cannot stop staring at your store, Michael Kors. Am I on drugs? I feel like I am on drugs a little.

They discuss Andrea’s leaving; everyone is shocked and appalled. Tim and Michael give them a pep talk about how fashion is cutthroat and you have to have the strength to deal with that. This is the 8973487209843th time I’ve heard this speech on this show. Approximately. Michael then yells, “Fashion is not for sissies!” Wait, are we still using the word “sissies”? Is that still happening? And if we are, fashion kind of IS for sissies, amIright?

Regardless. As the contestants try to wrap their heads around Andrea going bye-bye, this week’s challenge is explained: designing a versatile look for the “on-the-go” woman. This challenge sounds kind of boring at first. An “on-the-go” woman” is a strange, faceless entity to me, just like the “modern woman”: a slogan, a catchphrase, something I see explained in commercials but which I’ve never actually seen in real life as a real person. Aren’t we ALL women on the go? Show me a person who’s not on the go. Also, come up with a better phrase than “on the go.”

But when it’s explained more, I think it’s actually a good challenge, since the designers will be able to showcase their own aesthetic, and will have to think about a look that could last all day, through work and then those inevitable cocktail parties we all go to every day. I mean, so many cocktail parties. It’ll have to be a sharp look, but one that’s actually wearable. I think the designers will produce some good stuff with this one.

Off to Mood we go, where the only important thing of note in my book is that Sonjia is wearing this adorably flouncy short skirt that she keeps running around in, showing that girl has legs for miles and it makes me feel happy and that is all.

And then, back to Parsen’s to start the making of the things. But first everyone has to decompress about Andrea a bit more. And then Kooan, who has been pretty quiet, awkwardly interrupts Buffi in the middle of her sentence and declares that he has something to say. In his polite yet clearly-thought-out speech, he essentially says, “Oh, yeah, so, right, I’m gonna go too. Byeeeee.”

At this point, people lose their shit a little. It seems like Kooan is very serious about this, and feels bad about leaving everyone but at peace with his decision, and at least he did it in the classy way that Andrea opted out of. He is clearly on a different creative plane than everyone else, and he explains that in order to create work that is true to him, he needs to work by himself in his own space.

Look, Kooan, I get this. That’s how most of us work best. But at this point I’m just starting to wonder–have these people ever watched this show before? The whole point of the show is take you out of your comfort zone! To force you to do crap you would never normally do! But you MAKE IT WORK! You make it work, people! It’s the point of the whole thing!

Sigh. Bye, Kooan.

To bring the competition back to a more level place where it was supposed to be at this point, as expected, they bring back the last-eliminated designer, Raul. 

I’m always happy to see people get second chances, but Raul seems a little too pumped to be back, a little too hyper. He seems to be zooming around in an OMG, OMG, OMG, GIRL, THAT’S RIGHT, type of fashion, while everyone else is very, “We’re still processing our emotions right now, OK, Raul?” Although everyone does seem happy that he is back and gives hugs. Well, everyone except for Ven, that is, who is really not that jazzed. Oh, Ven. You know what? I am starting to sort of enjoy your high-standards judginess, Ven. Your lack of good humor about absolutely anything makes me giggle.

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