Project Runway: Psych Ward Pshowdown!

Posted on September 20, 2013

Let’s pretend the theme to “Jaws” is playing underneath all these pictures.


Because it was all super-charming at this point and, cynical, over-informed (on the topic of PR) bitches that we are, even we had to admit we’d probably squee and clap just like the mega-fangurls did. But we knew the shark was in the water.


“And here’s the Craft Services table!” Adorable.


Of all the groups of so-called “real women” who have come onto this show in order to be ritually humiliated, we think these gals may have been the most game, with the best attitudes. It was actually kind of refreshing. For once, everyone invited on could actually handle the rigors of the show and knew what to expect from the process.


We have a feeling if any of the designers truly got ugly with one of these ladies, the rest would have all come down on him or her like a freight train. They knew the score going in.


So here’s to you, mega-fangurls. You were fun.



Now pretend you hear the shrieking violins from Psycho.


Honestly, the sight of him in that mask ironing a pair of DAISY DUKES and trying to be imperious would be hilarious under any other circumstances.


But his clear and obvious insecurities over pretty much EVERYTHING, coupled with his (also clear and obvious) rage issues makes everything he does something far less than charming or fun to watch. It’s one thing to be a hissy queen who won’t get out of the way. It’s another thing to bellow in rage at a production crew member as if she were your underling. When he started screaming about how this was his “temporary home,” and how he wouldn’t allow it to be disrupted, it was obvious we’d gone beyond a simple meltdown and we were in the land of deep emotional issues. Remember: he introduced himself in the first episode with “I’ve been homeless four times.” He’s simply not someone who’s ready to be put through the reality TV wringer like this. It’s not editing that’s making him fly into completely uncalled-for rages at the drop of a dime. He’s clearly got some issues in his life to work out and shouldn’t be putting himself through something like this.

And yes, Alexander should not have thrown a hot iron. But he was tired and Ken was being a ridiculous asshole for no reason. We honestly can’t blame him for his reaction.


Also, there’s this weird way they’re handling the head cases this season. With Ken, Sandro, and even the unicorn guy – WHOSE NAME WE HAVE ALREADY FORGOTTEN WHICH SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING – there was this typical reality TV approach of indulging their antics, then there was this sudden shift where it became deeply uncomfortable to watch such obvious personality issues on display, then there was a half-assed attempt to smooth things over by having Tim intercede, then they each got quickly shuffled off the stage and eliminated.


In every instance – and it’s so incredibly damning of the casting process that we can now use that phrase, “in every instance,” when we’re talking about personality disorders on display  – we sensed this sudden embarrassment by the turn of events, with a hasty exit tagged on for closure. It’s oddly unsatisfying for the viewer. We’re not advocating for the casting of these types of people, but if you’re going to make their psychological issues the centerpiece of the story (over and over and OVER again), then shouldn’t you at least have a reason for doing so? Reality TV constructs its quite openly fake reality in order to elicit emotional responses in the audience, so what’s the point of watching crazy people melt down and then get shown the door? Especially when no one will have the nerve to say to him, “I’m glad you’re leaving. You shouldn’t be here and you made things hell for the rest of us,” instead of the half-assed and completely unbelievable nicey-nice being made at the end? Thank God Tim couldn’t contain his distaste. He all but ordered Ken out of there, pronto.





So congrats, Afterschool Special. You are clearly the one to beat right now. It helps that you had the most dramatic makeover and that you made evening wear, and that your client was model-thin. But it is a nice dress. Lovely shape.




Another dramatic transformation and a nice job from Bradon. We’re glad to see him not getting overwhelmed with tricky techniques and just serving his client’s needs. She looks great.



This was just okay, to be honest. The judges really overpraised it when, as far as we can tell, it’s another standard black dress with white detailing from Justin; something he’s done over and over again. Yes, he served her needs, but he didn’t make anything all that interesting except for the machine embroidery technique.




If you’re grading on technique and execution, then fine; this belongs in the bottom. But we thought the design was sound and even looked pretty good on her.  We didn’t think it was close to being the worst and we’re not even sure it should have been in the bottom at all.




Not a bad try overall, but it doesn’t flatter her very much. It definitely has some style to it, though.





This is HORRIBLE. How did this not wind up on the bottom? She looks like Peter Pan.





This is SUPER-disappointing coming from Dom. It’s all just too big, shapeless, and unflattering. We don’t think the scale of that print works either for the design or for the client. It was a bad choice from the start, made worse by rendering it into something shapeless.





It almost doesn’t matter what the dress looks like. He simply needed to be removed from the competition, like Sandro. It’s pretty bad, though. The choice of materials is problematic enough, but that graphic color-blocking was a really awful choice to make.

Off-topic, but if you love us, then you’ll run out right this second to buy this week’s People mag, which not only has a piece on some of our picks for worst-dressed of the year, but actually has a super teeny-tiny little picture of us taken on our wedding day. If you don’t do this right now, then we question your love for us.




[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime – Stills:]

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