Project Runway Season 12, Episode 2: Million Dollar Runway

Project Runway Season 12, Episode 2: Million Dollar Runway

Reprinted with permission from

An armored truck arrives on the runway, and two big burly security guards flank Heidi and the dreaded button bag. Jewels! Bling! Diamonds! The challenge is to design an outfit inspired by jewels. Before the challenge even gets going, Forest Nymph announces how much he hates diamonds because money is bad. Yeah whatever, kid. Get over it.

The designers are not sent back to the workroom with the baubles. Instead, they have sad little digital photos of the jewelry on some second-rate laptops. The contestants finally get their four thousand bucks for a season’s worth of fabrics, and will only have one day to complete the challenge.

Project Runway Season 12 Episode 2 1 Project Runway Season 12, Episode 2: Million Dollar Runway

At Mood, Forest Nymph starts picking through the garbage bins. Tim is mildly horrified in a way that a parent is embarrassed when their child knocks over an entire supermarket display. Helen tells everyone how great she is at designing eveningwear, so I look forward to her imminent failure. Back at Parsons, there’s yelling coming from the sewing room. It’s Sandro and Ken, and it’s so annoying that Justin turns his hearing device off. (I’ll note that Sandro is wearing an outfit previously worn by Jesus Quintana in The Big Lebowski.)

Dom is making a very pretty dress, but I’m not sure it’s fancy enough for jewels. Justin has an ambitious and elegant multi-tiered dress in the works. Bradon’s gown is made out of uber cheap curtain fabric, and he’s making it look like a million bucks. Kahindo’s patterned fabric is all sorts of wrong for this challenge, and Tim is nervous on her behalf. Sandro’s going retro, and not necessarily in a good way. Helen tells Tim, “This is my forte, I’m really confident,” and for some strange reason Tim doesn’t kick her in the shins. Bad Brows is making something out of chiffon and chiffon and chiffon and chiffon, and Tim calls it grandma. Tim is thoroughly confused by Forest Nymph’s scraps.

After Tim leaves, Helen works the room, dispensing advice that nobody asked for nor wants. The models arrive with their vaginas under wraps, and everyone starts to scramble. Stevie Nicks freaks out because she doesn’t know how to use a sewing machine and Forest Nymph frets about draping.

The next morning, Tim gives the contestants sage advice: Sparkle spangle twinkle shine pretty. Forest Nymph’s dress looks like something Stevie Nicks would wear to a renaissance festival, and Helen’s dress is beyond ugly. With ten minutes left, Sandro demands, “Who know how steamer work? Who know what button I should use?” When nobody answers, he storms backstage, drags a crew member over to the steamer and shouts, “Why it doesn’t work?” The crew member has the good sense to ignore the tantrum and Sondro has a pouty meltdown minutes before the runway show.

Speaking of which, to the runway! The judges this week are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Emmy Award winning costume designer Eric Daman, and Tim Gunn’s Runway Rescue Revue.

Project Runway Season 12 Episode 2 3 Project Runway Season 12, Episode 2: Million Dollar Runway

Dom’s look is beautiful, but too daytime for the jewels. Justin’s black gown is stunning, and any woman would kill to wear it. Ken’s teal dress is a little prommy. Kahindo’s dress is a pretty little cocktail dress, but maybe too young for the accessories. Alexandria’s eveningwear is elegant and drapey. Miranda’s dress is Hooker Goes To Hollywood. Bad Brows’ dress is more of a ticky tacky negligee than an evening gown. Kate’s gown is huge, and hot. Timothy’s rags don’t qualify as a dress. Karen’s dress is forgettable and ill-fitting. Jeremy made an outfit that looks like the model is walking through a pile of used tissues. Sandro’s model looks like a new strain of bacteria.

Helen’s dress is a complete disaster, and Helen is hysterically crying on the runway. Tim stops the show to calm her down, but there’s no talking sense into crazy. Also, Tim’s not a hugger, Helen’s not a hugger, so there’s not much to be done. Eventually, Helen just stops crying and the runway show continues with the final two looks. Stevie Nick’s dress is a bore, and the ruching doesn’t hide her lack of sewing skills. Bradon turned straw into gold, or in this case, polyester into silver.

Dom, Sandro, Forest Nymph, Kahindo, Helen, and Kate are the best and the worst. Nina likes the way Dom’s dress makes the jewels look young, but still chic. Forest Nymph explains that the blue velvet box that the jewels came in inspired his look. The judges are not kind. He put a racer back in the front, and it’s just wrong and bizarre and unattractive. Kate talks blah blah blah about Marie Antoinette and everybody eats it up. Sandro’s dress is a hit with Heidi, but Zac calls it “a little trashy.” The judges are not thrilled with Kahindo’s dress. Do not bore the judges, Kahindo! Heidi calls it off-the-rack, and Zac think it looks like “a dress on sale.” Aaaand here’s Helen. She made sad little boobie cups in a flesh tone. Also, the arse looks like it was stitched by a blind man on a bender. She cries, she kicks, she screams, Nina admires her passion…just get rid of her!

Sandro is in, and to nobody’s surprise, Kate is the winner. Dom is also safe, and that leaves Kahindo, Helen, and Forest Nymph. The judges cut Helen some slack. For who knows what reason, Forest Nymph is also in. Which means Kahindo is out. Sigh.

Next week, it’s the Coney Island Boardwalk and fashion made out of carnival prizes.

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