So, another week, another oddball challenge. But whatever could it be? The designers gasp in appreciation when Carolyn Murphy walks out wearing a vest without a shirt. Wow, I guess. Anyway, her outfit is a hint. The challenge is androgyny! They must each design an androgynous outfit that is also avant-garde. I am so excited I can barely speak! No Michael Kors rip-offs this week, but something that might (gasp) actually go down a runway in Milan or Paris, right? I'm thinking Commes des Garcons, the "Project Runway" edition. Of course, not all of our designers like avant-garde or androgyny. Laura Katheen is horrified, and so is Ivy. You know who isn't? Josh. Yeah, no shocker there. 

The designers sketch, and I'm very hopeful that our All Stars will rise to the challenge. But everyone's doing a jacket of some kind. My hopes are fading faster than a cheap dye job on a pair of satin shoes. 

Off to Mood, and everyone scurries around. Kayne gets a huge bolt of neon yellow fabric. It's funny, but when the judges tell you over and over again you're taste challenged, don't you try to stay away from neon?

Cutting and sewing and stitching in the workroom, oh my! Georgina Chapman walks in, and everyone crumbles. She's going to give the designers a bit of a twist, gesturing for the models to come in. They're all men! The larger twist is that the designers will have to create two looks -- one for the men, one for the women. They get to buy more fabric and they get a second day, so it's not a cruel twist, but everyone looks overwhelmed nonetheless. Babies. 

Kayne offers to set up his model with one of his five sisters. The model doesn't say anything, as I'm sure he doesn't want to piss off the guy who's measuring his inseam.

Josh wants to do a skirt with assless chaps. "I think that's so hot!" he trills. Anthony Ryan does not. He thinks that's just vulgar. Listen to Anthony Ryan, Josh!

Uli is not a menswear designer, so she thinks she's going home. I think Uli sells herself short, because she's really shaping up to be one of the final three, if you ask me.

Emilio thanks he sees a lot of women's clothing in the workroom, but other designers aren't embracing the androgyny part of the challenge. I think he's right. Emilio is also someone I think will be making it to Bryant Park.

Anthony Ryan thinks Kayne doesn't understand that avant-garde does not mean tacky. Excellent point. Kayne is not someone I think will be making the final three. I'm not even sure he'll last the week with the houndstooth debacle he's putting together. 

Joanna Coles shows up and reminds the designers that the judges hated everything last week. She wants them to dream big! I'm not sure why, but she's not exactly inspiring. If she were leading the designers into battle, I suspect at least half of them would kill themselves with their own scissors. 

Joanna meets with Uli first and suggests she's probably miserable with this challenge. See what I mean about uninspiring? But she loves her trim. Uli tells her her male model tried on the pants, but there wasn't much ball room. Joanna blinks, as this offends her sensibilities. Ball room? Whatever do you mean? Uli gestures at her crotch and says, "Room for his balls." Oh, my. Joanna leaves quickly. I love Uli. 

Anthony Ryan tells Joanna he wanted to do a gown for his girl and pants for his guy. Joanna notes that he has yellow and black for his male model and wonders if he won't look a bit like a wasp. But don't be safe, Anthony Ryan! No insects, no safety!

She thinks Althea's coats look like something out of "Eyes Wide Shut." Althea heartily agrees, so Joanna has to make a stronger point, that, um, it looks like she's dressing a weird religious sect. Kayne thinks Chewbacca called and wants his coats back. I dunno, I kind of like it. 

Josh talks about using fur and trimming it down to look like a pony. All Joanna says is that it sounds avant-garde. Atrocious is implied. 

Joanna is horrified when she thinks Ivy is sending her male model down the runway in latex underpants. Joanna does not like her delicate sensibilities to be offended!

She's impressed with Emilio's vests, and thinks they're well-tailored edgy. But she thinks Casanova has made a gladiator uniform. She's not wrong. She tells Laura Kathleen she needs to work on her details, like, you know, making sure her lapels line up. 

Oh, goody! It's time for Joanna to talk to Kayne! Joanna says it's going to be hideous or possibly fabulous. A gigantic smiley face on the blouse? Yeah, hideous. Just commit, Joanna. Jeez. Luckily, Kayne gets ride of the smiley face. 

It's time for the weekly panic! This week, it's Casanova. Ivy leaps in to help him. I can't believe it, but Ivy is turning out to be almost likable this season. 

The models gets dressed, and Kayne puts his male model in high heels. "I love too much, and this," says Josh, "is too much." When Josh says you've gone too far, pay attention. 

It's the day of the runway, and Josh says he's going to have to become Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker." What, deaf and blind? That would explain some of his designs, honestly.

Everyone goes nuts in hair and make-up, and I'm actually back to feeling excited to see this runway. Since Joanna told them to go for it, they are GOING FOR IT. 

Kayne feels safe this week -- because so many other designs such so badly. Yeah, I've got to see this. When Kayne feels safe, things are getting crazy.

Runway time! Our judges are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and guest judges Jason Wu and Robert Rodriguez. 

 

Josh

Female Model

The fit of the blouse seems off to me, though I will say the make-up is definitely avant-garde

Male Model

Mesh shirt? Tacky WeHo summer attire. 

 

Uli

Female Model

Love this. Definitely avant-garde, but actually wearable. Love, love the top -- especially the safety pins. 

Male Model

And then there's this. Not a fan of the little sleeves, I have to say -- there's a little too much fallen angel/dead crow going on. But the pants work.

 

Althea

Female Model

I kind of love this. It's architectural, the color is gorgeous, and it's kind of space age.

Male Model

This is pretty much exactly the same outfit. I wish she'd changed it up a little. It's like she only had the one idea and didn't have the energy to change it. 

 

Laura Kathleen

Female Model

The cut-outs are just tacky. The jacket looks like a trashcan Halloween costume. All she needs is to wear Oscar the Grouch around her neck.

Male Model

His shirt is HORRIBLE. More sheer (seriously, was Mood giving this crap away?), with cut-outs. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

 

Emilio

Female Model

This is definitely avant-garde, and while the female model and the male model mirror one another, they're different enough to be distinct. I just love this. Androgyny! Finally! 

Male Model

This is strong, of course, but the open back bugs me. Men don't wear low cut backs. At least, not unless they're dressing as women. Or they're very, very warm. That being said, Emilio nailed this challenge. 

 

Kayne

Female Model

MY EYES, my eyes! Even without the smiley face, this is horrific. 

Male Model

And amazingly, this is worse. What's with the neckerchief? No shirt? What is this? This is a nightmare. 

 

Casanova

Female Model

It's very well done in some respects (the cut-outs), except for the crotch of the pants not fitting, the total lack of androgyny and the fact there's WAY too much shine. So, I guess not that well done. 

Male Model

Yeah. No. This looks like it might be on sale in the Forever Male catalog. 

 

Ivy

Female Model

I'm not sure I love this, but it does capture the challenge. It's androgynous.

Male Model

I wish he had a shirt. Androgynous does not mean half-naked. I feel like I'm watching the Thunder Down Under show in Vegas, and we're not even done yet. 

 

Anthony Ryan

Female Model

I have no idea why almost everyone felt androgyny meant half naked. That being said, the girl's outfit is interesting. Dig the shorts.

Male Model

Look,  I used up the scrap fabric! I just let it hang in the back, don't you like?

Okay, for the record, I was really disappointed in most of went down the runway for this challenge. Emilio and Uli were creative and had real vision, but why did everyone else equate androgyny with mesh? When I think androgyny, I think (as Uli mentioned) music -- David Bowie, New York Dolls, old school Mick Jagger, Kiss, the list goes on and on. A lot of that was costume, but ideas beyond black mesh could have been mined -- especially from Bowie. He was the Thin White Duke! I really hoped everyone would let their imagination go wild -- but it seems they all headed to the same section of Mood and fought over two bolts of fabric. 

Carolyn calls Althea, Ivy and Joshua forward. They're all safe.

Back stage, Josh is frustrated. He's a design force to be reckoned with. She suggests ego shouldn't get into it. This absolutely pisses off Josh. She keeps making the same box jacket! And she should have gone home by now! So there! Ivy says nothing. Man, she is really dedicated to not giving the editors anything to work with, and I respect that. Suck in your crazy, Ivy! It's the only way!

Uli is first. Isaac loves it. He thinks it's sick in a good way. Jason Wu would have liked to see the girl in a matching pant. Robert Rodriguez would wear the pants. Carolyn thinks the looks are interchangeable. But Georgina doesn't like her leggings. 

Laura Kathleen tries to defend her ugly ass design. Isaac says he thinks the textiles look cheap. Jason Wu thinks she needs an edit. Carolyn thinks there's too much going on. Robert Rodriguez thinks it was over the top.

Emilio says he reversed the fabrics, and Georgina there's a lot of attention to detail. Robert Rodriguez couldn't tell who was the man and who was the woman. Jason Wu loved it. Isaac loves the line. Carolyn wants the male model. I think this is Emilio's challenge to win. 

Kayne's turn! Isaac wants to know why he chose the ugly yellow. He thinks it looks cheap. Georgina wants him to edit himself.

Casanova talks about his warrior aesthetic. Georgina doesn't see the androgyny. Isaac thinks the male model looks like an accessory. Jason doesn't think it's androgynous or avant-garde.

Anthony Ryan talks about his mesh outfit. Isaac thinks he's so good every week. He loved the textures of the fabrics. Really? Robert thinks people could wear it, and Jason Wu thinks it looked expensive. Seriously?

Anthony Ryan is safe. That leaves Uli and Emilio. And the winner is… Emilio! Absolutely. He nailed this. Uli is safe.

Casanova is safe. It's down to Kayne and Laura Kathleen. Pretty sure Kayne is going.

And he is. He didn't expect to go home this early, but he's had a great time. He's enjoyed showing who he is as a designer. He thanks all the other designers, and there's a group hug. Aww, Kayne. Sweet guy, awful taste.


What did you think of the challenge? Were you happy to see male models on the runway? Were you disappointed Josh didn't send out assless chaps?