Who is the Marie Claire woman? That’s the question the designers must ponder this week as they’re asked to design a look for a Times Square billboard advertising the women’s magazine. According to editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, “she’s intelligent, practical, fashion-forward, confident, and sexy,” which is a whole lotta attributes to get across in an outfit that they have $150 and one day to create. We’d like to think that we are the Marie Claire woman, since that description sounds pretty rad; fashion-forward and practical? This lady blows our minds. It’s a good thing all the contestants are now “officially” on the show, since we were worried that last week (since the show hadn’t actually started), we’d maybe dreamed the whole thing. But here we are, in official Project Runway land, where everyone’s tired all the time and men have airbrush-makeup machines. How we’ve missed you!
So the designers have 30 minutes to run around Mood and pick their fabrics, and we think, due to the increased running time, we actually see the entire half-hour they’re there. Sigh. Back at the workshop, AJ works on his rocker dress and acts bitchy toward Casanova (who, to AJ’s credit, is really very annoying); Gretchen decides to make pants for the first time, which means she’s either going to win or lose; Peach is stuck with polka dots and is pretty prickly; and Jason freaks out when Tim says he’s “concerned” about his ugly silver wrap dress. “Don’t be so hard on me, man!” Jason sneers to the camera. Speaking negatively about Tim is our BIGGEST pet peeve, so as much as we disliked Jason before (bowler hat? really?), now he’s our least favorite of the bunch. LEAST FAVORITE! Do you hear that, Jason? Strong words, from us.
The twist this week is that the contestants each get to have their look photographed (a twist that makes sense in the scheme of the challenge? Amazing!), and it’s actually pretty painful to watch the models awkwardly pose for the camera. Where’s Tyra when you need her? Sashay away! Do these girls have any editorial experience at all? Peach’s girl looks like she’s about to faint from anxiety. And let’s talk about Mondo for a second, shall we? The poor guy is very lonely; he keeps to himself, and the other contestants think he’s “weird.” “I’ve never been loved for who I am and what I can give back — I feel like being an artist is a curse sometimes,” he cries to the camera. Aw, that’s sad, Mondo. But it’s also kind of egotistical. No one loves you because you’re a creative genius? Look, we know how you feel — people are sometimes scared to be our friends because of how amazingly entertaining our recaps are. But perhaps the way to get over that is to, you know, speak to someone once in a while. Anyway, let’s get to the runway, which saw the elimination of not one, but two aspiring designers. And it was way harsh, Tai.