Project Runway: Jeffrey Has a Sweatshop

October 12th, 2006 // 3 Comments

By J. Harvey

Previously – It was reunion madness. Oh, and Vincent was just as crazy you thought he was.

The designers leave Parsons. Laura walks home. Yeah, right. You know she got her ageing Audrey Hepburn wannabe ass in a cab as soon as she turned a corner. They’ve all made it to Bryant Park and are headed home to start their collections.

One month later, in Hotlanta – Tim Gunn rolls up in his Saturn. Michael Knight greets him. He is so polite and sweet, and he has braces and doesn’t care if America knows it. He’s a role model. Tim’s like nice, great about his house with its cool blue walls. Michael’s still in the early planning stages of his collection, which is nerve-wracking. The collection’s called “Street Safari” and let me just say, I think he’s better off when he’s given assignments. I’m not feeling it, and now I’m worried. Tim isn’t feeling the cohesiveness. He wants to know what’s happening with one dress’ rear. I’m sure he asks that question a lot. Michael takes him to his cousin’s house for dinner and to meet his Mom and Dad. His Mom is still saucy and we see a lot of family pics. Michael went through a variety of hairstyles – from big f*cked up Afro to shaved smooth. His cousin is rocking a nice set of cakes in his sweatpants. I want to know what’s happening with that rear. They thought Michael was going to be a beautician. So I guess they have trouble deciphering his sexuality much like America. Though I hear he’s tapping Brandy. You decide. Michael tries to convince himself he’s going to win for the camera. My boyfriend sighs about how cute he is. He’s so right.

Tim goes to Laura’s heavily fortified building. The elevator opens right into her loft and she’s got a Joker mouth going on. Seriously, I’m waiting for her to spray acid out of her boutonniere and kidnap Robin. She tells Tim she’s having a fifth boy, but not letting it get in her way much like the other four boys failed to do. Her loft is hot. We learn that she’s originally from New Orleans. She tells Tim that her collection is all about her. Uh, isn’t that her usual deal? Way to switch it up, Laura. Laura looked like a windswept boy as a child. Tim wants Laura to “youth” up her collection – less support hose and walkers. Tim is overjoyed with meeting Laura’s boys, one of whom tries to fling turtle shit at him. Tim is almost ready to back spin kick. Why does their living room look like a kickboxing gym? Don’t they make couches anymore? Laura’s husband comes home, and he’s Albert Einstein. And he says nothing. Just grins. I don’t know what’s going on here but I don’t like it.

More of the J. Harvey’s “Project Runway” recap, after the jump.

Tim flies to Miami to visit with double “O” Uli. She is ecstatic that she finally gets to prove how hot it is in Florida and why she designs the same tropical dress over and over and over again. Yes, we get it, Uli. Uli takes Tim to the beach and it’s very hot and a red-faced, glistening Tim Gunn is unsettling. We learn about Uli’s childhood without color in Deutschland. Her collection theme is “safari” and this is such a Brenda and Kelli wearing the same dress to homecoming moment. Uli came to America and specifically to Miami because she loved Miami Vice. We hear about how she was finally able to leave East Germany when the wall came down. And I’m so glad that the Berlin Wall coming down finally has a personal meaning for me. And she keeps going with the Ellis Island monologue as Tim glistens some more and wishes for some air conditioning and a mint julep.

Tim goes to LA to see Jeffrey. He lives in a monastery and his wife has a Mohawk. It’s like the Manson Family 2006. I want to have dinner there. Harrison is his baby, and I could have sworn the kid was named Detroit per that tattoo. We learn that Melanie got pregnant five months after they met, and he loves Harrison more than anything. So, sorry Mel. Melanie looks like she will punch Tim in his throat if he makes one false move. We learn that Jeffrey’s dad was full of rage and left them when he was a kid and why do I feel like I’m in the middle of an Everclear song? He was a junkie and now he’s clean and he just wants to provide Harrison with a future. Does the wife matter at all? She better get a straight hairstyle and get a secretarial job to secure her own future. Because Tower Records on Sunset is closing and so they’re not going to be hiring and no one likes her shitty band.

Tim and Jeffrey go to see his collection in Tim’s Saturn roadster. The editors start with the subtle foreshadowing that Jeffrey didn’t sew his own collection by showing us his huge space that Tim comments on. Obviously, it’s a sweatshop and there are Malaysian teenagers hiding out back behind the dumpster. The inspiration for his collection came from Japanese ghosts and demons. Far out. Tim loves Jeff’s zipper work, and hugs him. I think Tim is into short ex-junkies with skintight studded crotch pants.

Michael returns to NYC. He says his collection is hot, and nasty, it’s nasty, he loves his collection, it’s hot. The collection is apparently going to make me want to smoke a cigarette after viewing it. He hasn’t slept for two days. Laura shows up, pregnant and feeling good. Her luggage looks like Louis Vuitton and she wants to win so Jeffrey doesn’t win so she’s obviously packing some spite along with her collection of Anne Klein maternity wear. She loves her some Michael though, as do we all. Uli gets dropped off by the secret police and walks past the Flatotel’s many Buddha statues. Uli gets some jaunty music accompanying her arrival because people with accents are always childlike. Jeffrey shows up, and he needs to trim that rat-tail. Uli greets Jeffrey by asking him how his life is and is anyone throwing eggs at him seeing as he was such a bitchass during the run of the show. Uli doesn’t mince words, child-like or not. Jeffrey is accompanied by some tense doom music because Laura hates his rat-tail as much as I do.

It’s the first full work day, and Laura’s excited to work again with Uli and Michael and even amidst the tension that Jeffrey tries to cause. Michael tells us that everyone was trying to front about not looking at other people’s collections. He admits that he did. Laura questions Jeffrey’s output being so big. Oh oh. Here we go. Jeffrey blames it on voluminous plastic bags. Good cover, flyboy. Tim arrives to welcome them and check progress. He notes that Jeffrey seems to be in really good shape, and Jeffrey stutters and maybe he is guilty. Only liars stutter! Laura gives the fisheye. Tim hugs Jeffrey again, and I think Tim wants some rat-tail. Laura is showing off a crazy detailed gown. Jeffrey gives the fisheye. Tim hates Michael’s collection. He thinks it’s cartoony and makes some guttural sounds with his tightly pursed lips. Michael is tweaking. He’s not winning. Tim asks for everyone’s receipts for the 8K they were allotted and Jeffrey sorta stalls giving his. Oh you wily editors, making everything look like an Agatha Christie mystery just chock full of red herrings! Laura gives the fisheye to Jeffrey’s stalled receipts. There’s a lot of fisheye going on.

Models show up. Michael is excited for model casting, so maybe he’s not queer and Brandy is in luck. Or maybe he just likes having life size Barbie dolls to dress and in that case – Moesha better move on. Chatty bitch Amanda shows up. I’d just tell her to leave immediately. She’s a damper on the proceedings. One model’s jeans are so tight that I can see her appendix scar. From the inside.

TresEmme in the hair salon time. Jeffrey is using the same blonde wig for all his models. And I’m appalled. His model is so pretty. What is he doing? And it’s sad to see Nazri with Uli and not Michael. Laura really wants to pick a fight with Jeffrey. Laura mentions that his alterations were few and far between. Every hook and seam and hem is done, it doesn’t seem possible to her. Laura doubts that he had the time. Laura is doubting goddamn Thomas.

The designers consult with the pockmarked guy about make-up. Physician, heal thyself. Back at the Macy’s workroom – Laura decides that Jeffrey didn’t sew his own collection. The others seem to agree. Laura says she has no problem with Jeffrey or his designs, but she doesn’t think he pulled that level of craftsmanship out of his ass. Some white leather jeans seem to prove their collective point. Michael isn’t thrilled about confronting Jeffrey and Laura is all I hate confrontation too and bitch, you’re a filthy LIAR. You thrive on it. Laura takes Tim out onto the terrace and fills his ass in on her findings. Tim says it will be hard to prove but he’s on it. Laura is afraid that America’s going to think she’s a total bitch after this. Too late. That was around episode three when you shoved the dog off your worktable, Cruella.

Jeffrey is told what Laura told Tim. He denies it completely. Jeffrey finds Laura pitiful, and doesn’t f*cking care what she thinks. Laura feels the reaction isn’t what it should be because he doesn’t call her a bitch. Yes, he’s obviously a liar if he isn’t treating you like a streetwalker late with her money. Hopefully there wont be horrible tension in the workroom, she says. Too late. Jeffrey claims that when he has time, he can sew perfectly. Tim goes to talk to Jeffrey about everyone’s concerns. Jeffrey claims only pleating happened without him. Tim quizzes him on all his designs, and he’s scared to death he’s not going to be able to show at Bryant Park. I am, too. I sorta like his collection. Even though starving Malaysian teenage girls sewed it under the threat of disfigurement.

Next – Jeffrey thinks Laura is crazy and stupid. And then Tim makes him cry. And oh oh. Jeffrey? Baby? Harrison’s future needs you!

“Project Runway” airs Wednesday’s at 10/9c on Bravo.

By Miu von Furstenberg
  1. rachie

    The way Laura acted on the show I expected her to live in a Park Avenue penthouse. Not some weird loft that looks like it has a Chinese takeout place downstairs.

    Jeffery better not get kicked off, his collection was the best one there.

  2. zendruid

    J. Harvey, are you Daniel Drennan all grown up? What asthma-inducing hilarity you do foment.

    Predictions: Michael’s a sweetie, but his ho couture won’t fly on Fashion Ave. Heidi and Nina, pledge mistresses of Phi Rho, let us know early on that “taste level” is all. Uli grew a backbone over the second half of the season, but the producers won’t just give us another Chloe-ish immigrant-escapee-makes good heartwarmer.

    Jeffey is probably sobbing in the preview because Laura won.

  3. malaysian

    Enjoy reading your recap of the show. However, I feel uncomfortable with the “starving Malaysian teenage girls”. Why pick on Malaysian, out of many countries on earth, and not just that, it has to be starved and happened to be girls?

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