Project Runway Recap: ‘One Wing Monkey’

Photo: Lifetime

Nothing good ever happens when Heidi comes out swinging the button bag, and this week is no exception. She calls for Nina to join her (using her full name, which makes me wonder if Heidi just calls her Nina Garcia under all circumstances), and Nina explains that they’ll be designing a fashion capsule collection for Marie Claire’s new section, @Work. She says that the collection should be geared toward real-world women, but still editorial, and the winning team’s work will appear in the magazine.

Sonjia is called up to be the first to choose a teammate (there aren’t actual team leaders, which seems odd) since she won last week’s immunity, and Nathan’s button is drawn to be the first member of the opposing team. Everyone sulks — Gunnar says he’d rather eat dirt than work with Elena, and Ven says he’d rather kill himself than work with anyone at all — and then chooses teams schoolyard-style.

Team 5 is Nathan, Fabio, Christopher, Gunnar, and Ven, and Team 6 is Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, and Raul. Off to the workroom to sketch! “Have a lot of fun!” Nina calls after them. Oh, Nina. You sadist.

Team 6 is a disaster before the teams even make it to Mood. Raul is terrified of going home (again) and insists on following his own aesthetic rather than working hard to come up with a more cohesive group of looks. Understandably, his teammates don’t have much faith in his abilities, and he’s not even able to describe what he’s trying to do so they can help. Things are a little more harmonious over on Team 5, where Gunnar has tentatively decided to do whatever he wants while ignoring his team instead of arguing with them.

There’s a sad, brief moment of silence when Christopher finds one of Kooan’s old combs on the floor, and then Tim comes by to look in on the designers’ work. First off, he critiques their response to him entering the room, calling it “lackluster.” He’s positive about Team 6’s collection so far, but bewildered by Elena, who nearly yells about how much she hates what she’s making because it’s plain, boring, and matronly. Tim says he doesn’t think it’s matronly and, look, if Tim Gunn’s not calling it matronly, it’s not matronly. He loves calling things matronly.

Tim checks on Team 6 (nicknamed the Chiffonsies by Elena, for their habitual use of silk chiffon) and is much less pleased. He looks at the skirt Gunnar’s working on and says, “That says to me … olé! It says bullfighter. It looks costume-y. How do we uncostume it?” Gunnar immediately begins making a new dress.

Elena’s reign of terror gets worse over at the Marie Claire offices for the photo shoot, which the designers are largely in charge of. She yells at her team, she yells at the other team, and then she tries yelling at the hair stylist about curling a model’s hair too slowly, to which he responds, “You want to take [the curlers] out now? You can take them out now and they’ll look like crap.” Then she briefly stops yelling, only to start again when Melissa, who was clearly mortified, calmly asks her to stop freaking out. Fortunately, Dmitry provides some much-needed levity by referring to Ven as a “one wing monkey” when he meant “one trick pony.”

Then it’s down to the runway, with Joanna Coles as guest judge. After some debating — the score cards had the teams in a numerical tie — Team 6 is declared victorious, and Melissa the winning designer. The bottom two are Gunnar and, because you’re vulnerable for elimination even if your team wins, Raul. It’s Raul who is auf’d for the second time, and he marks the occasion by storming into the workroom and saying, “I hate your ass,” to Elena. While I am not now (nor will I likely ever be) trying to defend Elena’s behavior, it’s sill a particularly disappointing way for him to go when contrasted with Buffi’s sweet and gracious departure last week. Stay classy, Raul!

We’re down to the top ten! Click through the slideshow to see all of this week’s looks. Did you love Fabio’s dress as much as Michael did? And with Raul gone, who’s next on the chopping block?