Project Runway is all about vision and delusion. The vision to make a fabulous frock out of a pile of fabric. The delusion that people will like it. The vision to win. The delusion that it will actually happen.

And now we have sixteen more delusional visionaries who think they were picked merely for their talent and now for how much drama they'll bring to television. As has become the custom, the initial challenge on everyone's favorite fashion throwdown was for each designer to show off his or her unique viewpoint. They each had to make a dress that could be worn on the red carpet. This had something to do with a lame tie-in with the Emmys, possibly in the hope that one day this show will stop The Amazing Race's run of tyranny in the competitive reality category and take home a trophy of its own so that Harvey Weinstein can have one more bauble of validation.

With 16 contestants, it's hard to get to know each of them intimately (this episode seemed to miss our favorite feature of each episode: the barely-clothed, getting ready in the morning montage), but of course we have our snap judgments.

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Who we hate:

  • Qrystil: It is pronounced "crystal." We hereby dub her "Spell Check." Why do reality show contestants insist on spelling their names like drag queens? And you better watch out Epperson. Mr. One-Name-Like-Cher is our radar.
  • Louise: She is Kenley part two. So far, she has managed to keep her cat in the bag. And it's a retro bag she bought at Beacon's Closet. We liked her modernist flapper dress and that makes us hate her even more.
  • Nicolas: He says everyone in New York calls him the "feather prince." We live in New York and we do not. We call him a jackass. And if you say that everyone calls you something, they do not, you are trying to make it happen. Your name is Fetch. You will not happen.
  • Anyone Who Says "Old Hollywood Glamor": There are two of you out there. You know who you are. And if OHG were so fucking great, it would still be in fashion. Now we just have some horrible simulacrum Rachael Zoe dictates, and she knows OHG like she knows a sandwich. Stop chasing it and find something of your own.
  • Joan Cusack: The commercials for your Lifetime movie made us cry for you and put Working Girl in our Netflix cue.

Who we Love :

  • Irina: We picked her as a finalist before we met her. We would be friends with her in real life and pick on people's outfits in the mall.
  • Malvin: He is full of both vision and delusion, which makes him the perfect Runway contestant. Also, he is going to be a major font of bitchiliciousness for the coming season. Until he get's kicked out. We want him to come in sixth, mostly due to the fact that he stole Sanjaya's hair.
  • Mood L.A.: Though it looks glam on TV, the NY fabric store is hard to find, harder to get to, and about as cramped as the doorway to a house party when all the coke runs out. This place is a giant maze of gauzy fabrics and we want to frolic there naked with Logan. We don't love Logan—but we'd bone him.

In the end, there were some designers that had vision: Althea, with her shimmering sheath with a feathered bodice, and Ra'mon-Lawrence, who was spared from the ridiculous name police only because he cooked up a slick, asymmetrical full-length gown that looked like it would have been Amy Adam's second choice to wear to the Oscars.

Of course, there was plenty of delusion: Carol Hannah's overdone monstrosity looked like a golem come to life out of clay to devour E! reporters on the red carpet and Shirin's transformer caplet-into-a-gown doohickey looks like it escaped a craft show just in time to make it onto television.

Christopher won with a short flared gown that reminds us of a pile of crushed VHS tapes that has been sprinkled with fairy dust and brought to life as a ballerina. Ari (a Samantha Ronson look-alike, who got kicked off by Lindsay Lohan, of all people) was kicked off for being the seasonal New-Agey contestant who doesn't sketch and likes to feel what the fabric is telling her before sewing.

For the rest of the story, let us go to the tape!

PS—As for Models of the Runway it is a horrible abomination. In it, a bunch of girls wander around talking about "my designer" like he's some unseen sugar daddy who "lives in Canada" but doesn't really exist. Their fate is completely dependent on the talent and whims of another, and when those talented, privileged few are done sucking them of their youth and beauty for their own gain, they toss the ladies back into obscurity without a second thought. It is exactly like life and therefore awful to behold. We will speak of it no more—but we will continue to bring you clips.

Meltdown of the Week
Context: Johnny is a former meth addict. He wants you to know because that is the first thing he told his fellow designers. Now he says he can't deal with the pressure without drugs. Then he wants to give up. Oh Johnny, we bet you were much more fun high. After a few hugs and encouragement from Grandpa Gunn (we believe he faked the whole thing to get a grope) he goes on to design one of the judge's favorite gowns.
Vision: That a competitive reality television program will give him that warm-on-the-insidiness that he used to get from meth.
Delusion: That his overcoming addiction is the only interesting thing about him.
What Will Nina Say?: "Oh, suck it up, Johnny. My coked up interns do better on deadline!"
Dram-ometer: 9

Making it Work
Context: Mitchell made a dress before measuring his model. When she ends up being bigger than advertised, he claims he didn't have time to redo it. It's the old fat model excuse! He gets his dress finished someone, and doesn't get kicked off.
Vision: A cross between Geena Davis' wedding dress in Beetlejuice and vomit.
Delusion: That they would have liked the original version.
What Will Nina Say?: "If I wanted to see nipples, I would have looked at Lindsay Lohan sitting next to me."
Dram-ometer: 5

Under the Gunn
Context: Every week, Grandpa Gunn comes around and gives everyone advice. Every week they ignore him. Every week the judges say the same things Tim says. He's always right. Don't fight it, Ari. Unless you change your outfit, it's over.
Vision: Making something too avante garde for Tim Gunn.
Delusion: That this man is fallible.
What Will Nina Say?: "How could you let this be seen? Did you not get any guidance?"
Dram-ometer: 0 (it's not drama if it happens all the time)

Runway Arrogance
Context: Spell Check has designed an absolute piece of crap. Watch her think that she actually has a chance of winning as it marches down the runway.
Vision: A bottle of grape soda on an acid trip.
Delusion: That the judges were going to like this.
What Will Nina Say?: Nothing. She will set this dress aflame with her mind.
Dram-ometer: 3

Back Talk
Context: Just watch Nina's face as she asks Ari, "What red carpet is she walking?"
Vision: That if she explains her man-eating silver soccer ball, that someone will get it.
Delusion: No one understands her because she is so forward thinking. She may not be entirely wrong.
What Will Nina Say?: Watch the clip, already.
Dram-ometer: 4

The Cruelty of Life as Chronicled on Models of the Runway