Project Runway Recap: Every Day They’re Hustlin’

Oh, boy. This week the designers had to raise money in teams of three by selling T-shirts and various other tchotchkes they made in the workroom to buy their fabric at Mood. This went over about as well as you’d expect, given that Christopher Palu was unhappy that Gunnar Deatherage was saved after last week’s Lord & Taylor challenge — he thought it was unfair because Nathan Paul was let go the week before. Naturally, Christopher and Gunnar were partnered up together, with poor Sonjia Williams between them, who probably wished she could sell the two of them for some fabric. Elena Slivnyak and Dmitry Molokhov were in a group with Alicia Hardesty, and Ven Budhu, Fabio Costa and Melissa Fleis made up the third group.

Despite the fact that if any of these people tried to sell anything to a normal person in a store, it would be weird and totally off-putting (with the probable exceptions of maybe Fabio, Sonjia and Melissa), all three groups managed to raise a fair amount of money. With these funds, they needed enough materials to create two looks for fall per team. Elena immediately began doing her scary Eastern European drill sergeant thing, and everyone (even the people not in her group) seemed pretty traumatized by it. She really is impossible to work with and stands out, even among the other socially awkward and somewhat cold designers in the competition.

Elena, at one point, tried to style her model so that her jacket covered up the pants that Alicia made. She couldn’t get along with anyone on her team or in the competition at large this week, as usual, and the only thing more annoying than that was that Ven was still, still putting that rose/fan thing on everything that he sends down the runway. To my mind, this was way more hacky than Christopher reusing his shredding technique, a move that the judges dinged him for last week. Everyone continued to say negative things about everyone else’s work.

On runway day, the guest judge was Anna Sui. As expected, Alicia’s designs were totally covered up by her teammates’ garments. So rude! The top team ended up being Gunnar, Christopher and Sonjia, and I suppose the judges felt validated for keeping him for another week. As his teammate during the challenge, Christopher ought to have changed his tune as well…and he did, picking Gunnar as the person he believed should win the challenge overall. That was pretty classy! The two designers who were last to be on the runway were my poor under-appreciated favorite Dmitry and Alicia, even though Elena was a horrible nightmare to the judges the entire time she was in front of them. Ultimately Alicia was let go, most likely for being rather forgettable rather than for being a poor designer. Elena lived to terrorize everyone else for another day.

You can see a slideshow of the winning team’s looks below, via

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