Project Runway recap: Working Girls | EW.com

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Project Runway recap: Working Girls

Designing for recent grads could have been a cakewalk, if only the contestants didn't have to deal with both their own preconceived notions and those of their clients' moms

Joe

AVERAGE JOE The judges accused the designer of being out of touch and cliché.

Project Runway

Season 5, Ep. 10 | Aired Sep 17

Okay, so first of all, thanks to a DVR mishap, last night’s first-run episode of Project Runwaydid not record. Luckily, Bravo reruns everything about nine zillion times a day, so I was able to catch the 20 minutes I’d missed at the 11 p.m. rebroadcast. But that meant having to stay up writing even later than usual, burning twice as many candles at twice as many ends. So bear with me, oh dearest Runway friends, if this TV Watch suddenly turns into complete gibberish.

Anyhoo, on to this week’s episode, which was, in case you somehow missed it, brought to you by TRESemmé! At the top of the hour, Heidi stood on the runway, accompanied by six middle-aged women. Jerell immediately recognized them as moms, which was kinda hilarious. Viva the Universal Mom Uniform! Yet since none of them were black women, he knew they couldn’t be the designers’ moms. Turns out they were there to accompany their recently college-degreed daughters for head-to-toe makeovers. This came as a big ol’ whopping relief to Leanne, who said, “None of us want to design an old lady outfit.” Now just hold on a minute there, Leannimal. Since when is fortysomething considered “old lady”? I sense some snobby ageism there, sister.

Much like last week’s astrological hoo-ha, the presence of the mothers puzzled me. They didn’t seem to have much purpose, other than to inspire Joe’s take on the mother-daughter dynamic: If the mother likes something, the daughter won’t, and vice versa. (Obviously, Joe, you’ve never met my mother. When we shop for her clothes, she does exactly as I say.) It seemed the real reason they were there was to add an element of buttinski-ness. Poor Leanne got stuck with the — ahem — mother of bossy matriarchs when she was paired with little Holly. Momzilla felt the need to weigh in on just about everything — from futzing over the initial design to complaining that Leanne’s dress made her daughter look flat-chested. (Maybe Holly’s mom was retaliating for the “old lady” comment?)

Her design dissed, Leanne had no choice but to overhaul it. The revamped frock fit Holly well, and she seemed to like it. But when she strutted down that runway, she looked like she’d half-morphed into a linebacker, thanks to that gray jacket that might have looked cute if only Leanne had put the shoulders in the right place. Nina let out a big sigh of relief when the jacket came off. But that still left the problem of outfitting a young elementary-school teacher in a dress that Heidi called “frumpy.” It was also far too tailored. What is Ms. Schoolteacher Holly going to do when the day’s math lesson ends up a chalky mess on that swishy skirt?

NEXT: Pinstripes and pocket squares

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