‘Runway’ Recap: Mom Challenge Brings Out the Ugly

By
Episode Title
Transformation
Season
5
Episode
10

There certainly was a lot of fashion tragedy on last night’s Project Runway — inevitable, because this was the please-the-mom challenge. Heidi hits the runway with a spiffy side braid we wish we had the time and man power to create for our own heads; she brings with her a slew of ladies and their mothers. Heidi tells the final six designers they must create a look for these young ladies who have just graduated college. Aw. But the mother must approve too! Joe sees this as hugely problematic because there’s no way in hell a mom and daughter can agree on a daughter's clothes. Moms never like what their daughters want to wear. Ever.

Poor Leanne winds up with the token Mother Difficult. We really felt for her when Mo-Diff asked if Leanne liked to "do animal print." And we knew Joe was in trouble right away when he decided to make a skirt suit for his girl, who’s applying for graphic-design jobs. Earth to Joe: Graphic designers and bankers don’t wear the same sorts of things to job interviews. If only Tim Gunn could have brought Joe to Bedford Avenue for an inspiration field trip.

During the first fitting, Mother Difficult complains Leanne’s dress makes her daughter look flat-chested. Now, our mom has said plenty about our clothes throughout our lives, but never, ever has she come close to suggesting we needed to draw more attention to our boobs (and for that, Mom, we thank you and love you dearly). Let's also not forget Leanne’s model is interviewing to become a kindergarten teacher.

As usual, we love when Tim makes the rounds. The expression of horror on his face when he sees Suede’s olive-green Brian Boitano flare-sleeved jacket is priceless. We’re surprised he only says its sleeves and pockets suck. Joe proceeds to not give a rat’s ass. On to Kenley: Tim suggests she trim back the exposed tulle hem on her floral fifties-style dress. Kenley proceeds not to give a rat’s ass. She proclaims Tim doesn’t understand her as a designer, adding, “Um, I’m not going to listen to that.” Bright bulbs, these people are.

Cynthia Rowley guest-judges with an arsenal of quips at the ready. She calls Suede’s jacket “gratuitous,” and when he defends it as a day-to-evening look, she responds, “I say just change your clothes before you go out.” Nina Garcia says the jacket is “shocking” to her and genuinely looks like she might need counseling. The judges also hate Joe’s pin-striped skirt suit because it’s ugly, includes a POCKET SQUARE, and is a completely clichéd job-interview outfit.

Jarrell’s high-waisted brown skirt and blouse with oversize cardigan win. (Another side note: Anyone notice the leafy hat Jarrell wore for judging? It reminded us of those little bad guys in Zelda that had foliage on their heads so they could hide in the ground.) We weren’t wowed by his creation, but it was the best-looking of the bunch. Kenley and Korto survive with props from the judges, Leanne is third to last, and Joe gets the boot. Which means we have at least one more hour of Suede's third-person blather in our future. The gods might have smiled on him this week, but we’ll be miffed if it happens again next week.