Lifetime Television
Missy Schwartz
February 19, 2010 AT 09:59 PM EST

I did not have high hopes for this episode when I saw the promos. Now, I like kids. I love kids. I do. But I can’t stand reality shows that feature ’em. (See: American Juniors. Better yet, don’t.) More to the point, a fashion show that would be of interest to the head buyers of Kids R Us is not what you or I signed up for when we got addicted to Project Runway. And it’s certainly not why Nina Garcia gets out of bed in the morning. I mean, please.

Thank gawd, then, that Tim Gunn (so woefully underused thus far this season) came back to the workroom at the end of day one to tell the designers that in addition to the kids’ clothes they’d whipped up for the 11 adorable little girls Heidi introduced on the runway, they’d have to design a companion piece for their grown-up models. This came as a relief to Jonathan, who’d reacted to the tots like they were those homicidal, cornfield-dwelling beasts from Stephen King’s imagination. ”I am scared of children,” he said. ”I don’t surround myself with children. I don’t have any children. They are very small.”

Proud papa Seth Aaron, conversely, was psyched from the get-go. After he and his rocker man boots covered every square inch of Mood in search of the perfect houndstooth stretch cotton, he strutted around the workroom dispensing advice to his colleagues. His philosophy on children’s fashion? Kids want fun duds, not a ”dull, boring Easter dress.” (Pretty sure he was directing that barb at you, Emilio.) Also important? Something called ”comfrit.” He told the judges his design was ”all about” this. Comfrit? Huh? Is that like a pomfret? Or more like pommes-frites? Oh! He meant comfort. Time to invest in some diction lessons, Seth Aaron. Your pronunciation issues make me uncomfritable.

Last night, the producers devoted a few minutes to reversing the Mila-is-the-pariah narrative they’d launched in the previous episode. There the Severely Banged One went on, talking about her new Zen attitude and laughing and joking with her peers, even when they (and by they, I mean Emilio) teased her about her obsession with color blocking. They were all so happy and supportive and getting along! There were butterflies and rainbows and unicorns! Okay, maybe not. But even Mr. Frowny Pants Emilio showed a softer side last night. I do believe I saw him crack a smile. So there’s that.

Anthony, of course, was his usual adorable self. I suppose such an unrepentant chatterbox could get tiresome when you’re under such heart-stopping deadlines, but his Steel Magnolias effusiveness sure lights up my TV each week. And it thrills me that his abundant charm goes over so well with his colleagues, who last night challenged him to put a sock in it — or rather, some cloth over it. Alas, he lasted just 14 minutes and 56 seconds without speaking. An eternity for him! And how’s this for delicious irony: Anthony, visibly distracted at the sewing machine, asking the two little tykes yapping away near him, ”Do y’all have an off switch?” Magpie mano a mano!

NEXT: Amy’s circus circus act

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