Y’all ready to hear the words JC Penney more often in an hour than you have since last week (ever)? Wait. Let’s learn something today. Did you know James Cash Penney (GET IT JC PENNEY) launched his first store called Golden Rule in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming? PROBABLY NOT. By 1913 he had opened 34 non-mall stores, which he consolidated under the JC Penney name. Yes, girl, we are bringing you a history lesson! Stores like JCP hit their peak in the 80s and 90s, but have been on a steady decline. Hundreds of stores have closed in the last decade. We keep joking about JCP, but this sponsorship is due in part to declining sales and store closings around the country. This is a huge rebranding push. People shop differently now and retailers like JCP, Sears, and Macy’s are struggling. SO EVERYBODY GO TO THE MALL RIGHT NOW AND SAVE A JOB. GAH.
We start with Heidi teaching Tim to dance? It’s awkward and adorable. Tim is such a good sport. All I can think about is how he hasn’t had sex in like 900 years. Don’t get big eyes, he told us … I’m not making it up. I think we can all agree that what Heidi really needs to do is teach Tim how to hang an ultraviolet light in his apartment. He needs a tanning bed, a coupon for a spray tan, and some extra strength Vitamin D. Girlfriend is SO WHITE I’m worried. Well, what he really needs is a hooker, but let’s start with plans for a tan. He’s so nice and kind … he ought to be gettin’ it YOU KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? It might be time for Project Runway THE DATING SHOW FOR TIM GUNN.
Anywho… they think they’re all cute and clever with their dance moves, and now the contestants have to watch a clip from the new animated film LEAP! (I saw it this weekend PS … you can wait for that to come to Netflix … why do we let people who aren’t Disney make cartoon movies?) So this week our fat shaming friends have to create a look inspired by dance, movement and innovation. I know, WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN HOW WILL THIS WORK, but we’ve witnessed crazier challenges, so let’s go!
I love meeting the contestants, and right away we meet Kentaro. Before he got into fashion and design he studied classical piano. His music background defines his aesthetic. This makes me think he’s going to be strict and cold and methodical. When I think piano all I think is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and black and white. He wants to make something simple and classic for this challenge (classical musicians don’t get crazy so don’t look surprised) with a nod to Swan Lake. He buys a bunch of black fabric at Mood … let’s hope he can jazz it up a bit black on black on black is classic but … is it innovative?
We also meet Kudzanai. OMG. More than one person this week! He has decided that since he was safe the last couple of weeks he’s going to really go for it. He wants to make something with a Carnival flare. He’s also African and wants to add in more of his culture to his designs for the show. This sounds exciting, but also I’m scared. His shopping trip to Mood is … creative to say the least. There’s bright pink a lot of wild colored ribbons. I love color but you’ve really got to know what you’re doing to make it work, especially with the supplies he bought. Fingers crossed that he can make it work.
We also meet a couple of other contestants quickly, which is new and different. I guess with a couple people gone we have a little more time to really focus in and meet other contestants. I’m just gonna tell you I’m a little obsessed with Margarita. She’s one of my faves at the moment. I like her energy, she seems fun AND I’m into her Cuban inspired look she’s working on for this week’s challenge. Who are your faves? I have a couple others, but Margarita is sorta new to us this week so I'm throwing her some love.
Then? We’re in the sewing room with Deyonte … and something is going on with his sewing machine. He plays around with it a bit and then the needle from the machine goes directly through his finger. THAT WAS REALLY HARD TO TYPE IT STRESSES ME OUT SO MUCH. RIGHT THROUGH HIS FINGER. AHH AHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHH.
They keep saying HE SEWED ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS FINGER. ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS FINGER ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS FINGER. …and every time they say it I die a little and it feels like it’s happening to me. We don’t see any blood or anything, but WHEW LORD.
Speaking of praying for deliverance … the twins are back for a minute. There’s falling. There’s running. There’s yelling. Pins are dropped. There’s more running. I really wanted to avoid talking about them this week if at all possible … but they cray and unavoidable, so here I am hoping that nuclear missile from North Korea hits this workroom before it hits my house. You know I love everybody and come in peace but these two WORK MY DANG NERVES.
Tim takes a spin around the workroom. This runway is going to be exciting. I know I KNOW … they all are, but there’s a winged cape moment, a Puerto Rican dance inspired look, an African/Carnival extravaganza, pants that become a shirt. It looks like it’s going to really blow us away. I’m excited and everything looks exciting (lol well mostly). The looks are SO exciting that Tim calls everyone into the main work room to tell them GOOD JOB for pushing the limits and being creative … so like … WHOA!
The model confessionals are back this week and they are RAD. Some of them are in love with their looks, some are nervous. It’s super fun, but maybe for the first time I think it might be silly. I love hearing from the models, but they’re just saying what we already know? Like yeah … we saw that the dress was hard to get on and we see that it’s tight OK GIRL. Maybe this will be more interesting and/useful once we’re closer to the end. I’m not sure. It's fun to hear from these girls, but I'd rather see more of Zac Posen trying to give us some Michael Kor's sass.
We flash back to the workroom and Tim announces that in 10 minutes they’re going down to the runway, and we look around the room and everything is a hot mess. Dresses not finished, strange looks, wild choices. I was feeling good about this one, but now I’m totally scared. WTF IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Then I remember that I’ve been watching this show since forever and this is a big fat fake out. The runway is incredible. There’s innovation, excitement, surprises. It’s really one of the best runway shows I’ve ever seen on the show.
The judges are obsessed with Brandon’s look. I don’t even know how to describe it. It looks like a white dress shirt a little? Like a white dress shirt that had sex with your mom's wedding dress and like your favorite khakis. It reminds me of a costume from Hamilton the musical … nothing I’m saying is helping this sound as awesome as it is but I’m saying all of this in the best most awesome way. He’s clearly in the top. He had us fooled with his I ONLY MAKE CLOTHES FOR MEN thing he was throwing at us on the first episode.
One of my favorite looks is from Batani. There's a cape/wing situation? That sounds insane, just look at the picture. I’m mostly just happy to see a really inspired and creative look from her. I’ve been worried the last couple of weeks. She always looks incredible in her own clothes, I want her to kill it with these challenges. She’s clearly talented so MAKE IT WORK!
In the bottom we have Deyonte with a bright yellow/green dress. There’s a long cape a short skirt? It’s a hot mess, but you have to give him a little sympathy since HE SEWED THROUGH HIS FINGER JESUS LORD. I’m also sad to report that Kudzanai’s look is also not great … it’s super colorful and interesting, but it did not work. Whew ... where were the confessionals from these models? I'd like to hear that bitch session. THEY LOOK CRAZY.
Ultimately Kudzanai’s look was too busy for the judges and he was sent home. I think the only thing that saved Deyonte was that sewing needle. Though D did have the most amazing look the first week, so they're gonna give him a little credit for that too. I’m starting to think if we talk to a contestant at the beginning of the show … we lose them at the end. SO WATCH OUT.
Weird. I don't remember anyone saying JC PENNEY ... like not once ... but I was a little distracted by that bleeding finger and these inovative outfits. lol