There are only six designers left on Season 14 of Project Runway and that means the competition is getting pretty tight. So now probably wouldn’t be the time to test Tim Gunn’s patience, especially when he’s still got his save in his back pocket. But some designers are about to do just that.

Project Runway Recap: High Fashion on a Low Budget >>>

Everyone Loves a Makeover

The designers meet Heidi on the runway, where she tells them how happy they’ve all been to have them here. And by “they” she means the whole crew. We pan out to see production members, and the designers with confused looks on their faces because they’ve probably become accustomed to ignoring the crew members.

When they head back to the workroom, Tim tells them that their challenge is to makeover a member of the Project Runway crew. They’ll have to take their work day ordinary and turn it into runway extraordinary. The designer and the client will have to work as a pair to figure out what kind of look the client wants, but the designer is the one responsible for the final look. They have two days and $200 for the challenge and they’ll have to consult with the Sally Beauty experts for hair and makeup makeovers as well.

Merline’s crew member, Katie, is a camera assistant and she makes it very clear that she doesn’t want to wear anything boxy. She tells Merline specifically that she doesn’t want a coat. So what does she do? She makes a coat! When Tim and Katie come in for the fitting, surprise, surprise, Katie hates the coat. Tim is upset that Merline ignored what her client said. Merline tries to make some adjustments, but she decides just to make the coat shorter instead of scrapping the entire thing.

Desiree is a sound mixer and she’s getting a makeover from Edmond, which she is pretty excited about. She tells Edmond that she wears mostly work clothes and she’d love a functional piece, like a raincoat. Edmond whips up a raincoat in no time at all. But Tim is worried that it’s a little too street wear and not runway enough. Desiree wishes the look had more signature Edmond pizzazz and sexiness. He weaves some detail in the top to create a new textile that he thinks will be a little more unique.

Ashleigh, a talent manager, is happy to get makeover because she thinks the famous fashion people she works with are constantly wondering WTF she’s wearing. But she gets paired up with Kelly, who thrives on the WTF look. She designs a maroon professional coverall for her. Ashleigh likes it but is worried about the fit. She thinks it looks like a diaper butt, which is clearly not great.

Nicole is a plus-sized challenge assistant and she’s excited for Ashley to make her feel beautiful. She hasn’t seen a lot of designers on this show over the years who have really designed for plus-sized woman. Ashley knows this should be her challenge, but creatively she’s feeling blocked. She picks out a hideous pink and purple print at Mood and realizes it only too late. At the first fitting, Nicole tells Ashley she really hates the neckline and wants to hide her arms. Tim tells Ashley that she needs to re-think things and not use such an expected silhouette. So she starts over making a sweetheart neckline and a peplum skirt with the (still ugly) print.

Candice is designing for Monique, the model wrangler who is looking forward to spending some time walking in her her models’ heels down the runway. Candice is making a sexy leather pencil skirt with a corset. All black, of course, but with a pop of blue. Tim is underwhelmed by what Candice has done at the time of her critique. He says it looks basic and she needs to amp everything up. So Candice does just that. She adds more leather, changes the neckline and just throws in a bunch of details. So much so, she’s worried she might have done too much.

Swapnil gets paired with Jennifer, a production coordinator. Jennifer is apprehensive to start off with and it doesn’t help that Swapnil already has “bombshell” in his head when he’s assessing what he thinks is her look. She tries to tell him that she doesn’t want her arms showing or anything too sexy, but he completely ignores her. He wants to make a wrap shirt and a leather skirt with high sex appeal.

Tim is frustrated with him during his critique because Swapnil doesn’t even have anything for Jennifer to try on. And what he has, she completely hates. By this point, Tim has already given everyone else tough critiques and he’s sick of everyone not treating his co-workers with the respect they need. He finally loses it with Swapnil and tells him his excuses are “BS.” He asks Swapnil why he’s here, and Swapnil doesn’t really have an answer. Then Tim lovingly escorts an upset Jennifer away.

After their critiques, Tim tells the designers that since they all have a lot of new work to do, he’ll send their clients back in for another fitting later in the evening.

Swapnil still struggles to give Jennifer what she wants. He makes a second look but she still doesn’t like it. She doesn’t think he listened to anything he said. He goes around the workroom looking for extra fabric and he finds an ugly blue from Ashley (what happened to her when she went to Mood this week?). He makes a new top with a cape, but Jennifer hates the cape too. She cries before the runway because she doesn’t feel beautiful or confident. Swapnil feels bad that she’s upset, but he also thinks he was screwed from the beginning since they gave him a client with a style so different from his own. In other words, he’s not taking any responsibility for his bad design and his unhappy client.

Rocking a New Look on the Runway

Joining Zac, Nina and Heidi this week on the judging panel are stars of Lifetime’s Unreal, Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer.

On the Top

Kelly: Ashleigh absolutely loves her look. Nina agrees that she looks strong and confident and she appreciates how Kelly edited down her crazy, but kept her general aesthetic. Heidi thinks Ashleigh looks modern and sophisticated and it’s her favorite look. Shiri thinks Ashleigh’s butt looks great, and the rest of the camera crew agrees.

Merline: Katie loves her look too, and she’s totally rocking her shaved part haircut. Nina loves the transformation and Shiri thinks the vest makes the overall look the most fashion forward on the runway.

On the Bottom

Candice: Heidi loves Monique’s hair and makeup but she thinks the dress looks cheap. Zac says it looks like it’s from the red light district and Nina says it’s not her finest work. Constance does not think Monique looks comfortable at all in her new look.

Edmond: Desiree says she feels sexy and different in her clothes. But the judges think the dress and the jacket clash too much. Shiri says there are too many elements to make the overall look successful.

Swapnil: He admits that he and Jennifer had trouble connecting from the beginning and she says that she does not feel confident in this look. Nina notices the drama in his design, but says it’s all there for him and not for his client. Zac says he’s getting bored with his design tricks. Upon closer inspection, the judges are mortified to see their co-worker wearing a top that wasn’t even sewn in the back, but tied in the knot and held together with pins. Zac says it’s hard to care about the designer’s clothes if the designer doesn’t even care about them.

Ashley: Nicole tries to talk up her look, but it’s clear she’s not a fan. Zac says the dress is not well proportioned and the fit is bad. They’re all disappointed that Ashley didn’t embrace this challenge since it was right up her alley and everyone hates the print. Constance says the peplum is a distraction and looks uncomfortable.


The judges decide that Kelly is the winner of this challenge. Kelly feels great about winning the makeover challenge. It’s nice to prove to herself, more than anyone else, that she can design for the every-day woman.

The judges contemplate eliminating more than one person. They have Ashley, Candice and Swapnil on the stage in the bottom. They eliminate Swapnil first because they feel like he’s given up.

The judges give Candice and Ashley a dressing down. Heidi eventually tells them they’re both in because they believe in their talent. But they both have to step it up, take some risks, and do something extraordinary next week.

But does Tim Gunn use his save on the ultra-talented Swapnil? Nope. It’s a cold exchange when he tells Swapnil to clean up his work space and Swapnil goes quietly into the night, where he’ll get to take as many cigarette breaks as he wants.

Next week: The final five test their talent with an avant-garde challenge.

Project Runway airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV