Project Runway Recap: Like Taking Candy From A Baby

In ten seasons, some things never change: this week it’s the “use weird materials to make a garment that doesn’t look like it’s constructed entirely out of toilet paper/broccoli/the dreams of former contestants” challenge. This season, the contestants are let loose in Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan, where they have $500 to buy all the candy and branded merch they can get their hands on. The results are… kind of awesome!

While the designers work, the rivalry between last week’s winner Christopher Palu and Gunnar Deatherage heats up. It’s hard not to wonder if it’s being blown out of proportion, as the editing cuts to each man rolling his eyes every time the other one opens his mouth — which seems both outside the realm of normal human behavior and a like colossal waste of time. What it boils down to is that Christopher doesn’t care for Gunnar because he is super mean and competitive, and Gunnar doesn’t care for Christopher because… Gunnar is super mean and competitive. Team Christopher!

The majority of the designers seem to know exactly what they’re going to do — Fabio Costa the dumpster diver smashes up rock candy to evoke a 1960s Chanel suit, Andrea Katz sews a hideous apron that she loves wholeheartedly (but that Tim Gunn loathes), and Ven Burdhu works on a cocktail dress made from hard candy and licorice that looks like a stained glass window. More lost are Elena Slivnyak, whose beige monochromatic licorice dress is falling apart faster than she can glue it together, and Lantie Foster, who gives up on her original design and half-heartedly makes a dress out of a Dylan’s Candy Bar umbrella with some candy flowers glued onto it. While most of the designers are still getting along, the Gunnar/Christopher rivalry excepted, several are very bitchy about their fellow competitors in interviews, including Dmitry Sholokhov, the dour Russian who is making a candy-beaded corset, and Ven, whose stained glass dress is admittedly pretty awesome.

Tim consults with the designers and doesn’t seem worried about most of the confident bunch (except for Andrea), but is very concerned about Lantie. The models come in and eat a bunch of the leftover candy, which is very cute. On runway day, Dylan Lauren, founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar, is the guest judge. The outfits are either brilliant or disastrous — more than one model is shedding candy as she heads down the aisle. The top three designers are Gunnar (boo!), Sonjia Williams, whose amazing shark gummy-covered dress is marred slightly by a matching flat headpiece, and Ven. The bottom two are Lantie, unsurprisingly, and Buffi Jashanmal, whose loud taste combined with the overabundance of colorful candy resulted in a weird Strawberry Shortcake-esque ensemble.

Heidi Klum is in her most formal snakeskin pajamas for the occasion, and she goes nuts for Ven’s dress. Dylan’s favorite seems to be Gunnar’s, while Michael Kors and Nina Garcia praise Sonjia’s look (which, headpiece aside, was also my favorite). Ultimately they crown Ven the winner, who receives the honor with his characteristic lack of affect, and send a totally-resigned-to-the-point-of-hostility Lantie home. Next week the designers will be making clothes… for former contestants! I’m sure everyone is going to get along super well.

Below, you can see the top three and bottom two looks, via

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