‘Project Runway’ recap: ‘Live and Let Tie Dye’ brought ’60s style into the 21st century, but who died trying? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Seven designers went into week 10 of “Project Runway” … Wait, wasn’t that true in week 9 too? Yep, this is the week after the first ever Siriano Save kept Brittany Allen from going home after her disastrous first attempt at menswear. But this week she and her six competitors were thrown into another unforgiving challenge featuring guest judge Leslie Jones. So who survived in “Live and Let Tie Dye” and who, well, tie-died? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

As the episode title indicates, this was a tie-dye challenge in which the designers had to make modern, stylish looks using the color technique usually associated with hippies, free love and the 1960s. Only one of the designers in the competition has actually lived through that period, Nancy Volpe-Beringer, who at 64 is the oldest designer in the show’s history. But maybe that was more of a liability than an advantage depending on how modern her ideas of tie-dye were. However, she made it this far in the competition, proving that she can kick it with the youths.

She had to make a bit of a comeback, though, after landing in the bottom three for the second time in “Suit Yourself.” And she and Delvin McCray were the only designers going into this episode who still hadn’t won a challenge, so they had a lot to prove. On the other hand, Brittany and Marquise Foster arguably had even more to prove since they’re both competing on the show after they were eliminated. It’s been that kind of season. Follow along below starting at 9:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

9:02pm — “I still can’t get over what happened,” says Brittany about being eliminated … and then not, thanks to the Siriano Save. “Final four is where I want to be.” Good news for her is that most people who got the Tim Gunn Save in seasons past did make the final four, though none of them won the whole competition.

9:04pm — Challenge time: I kinda thought Karlie Kloss would come out in something tie-dyed, but no. That’s their challenge, though, to “erase all these old ideas and take tie-dye from dated and casual to fresh and fashionable.” Out comes Nina Garcia, and she’s the one dressed in tie-dye : “If Prada can do tie-dye for me, you guys can do it too.” They’ll be making their own textiles, which means they’ll be doing the tie-dyeing themselves, and Delvin looks like he just tie-died a little inside.

9:05pm — They’ll be getting help from tie-dying experts so they won’t be flying blind. And though this is a one-day challenge, the designers are going to get extra time in the evening to work on their looks since tie-dye will take a while to tie-dry. They’ll be having a workroom sleepover. And Delvin still looks like he wants to cry. “I’m not going to sleep in this workroom!” he protests. Cut to shots of him sleeping in the workroom after finishing early a bunch of times this season.

9:07pm — Craig Eaton and Kate Nolan the tie-dying experts from Metro Dyeing demonstrate different techniques: ring burst, stripe burst, grid pattern, splotchy. Geoffrey is ready to dye right now “literally and physically,” though I’m not sure which version of dye/die he meant. “I feel like this is a challenge I could definitely eat shit on.” Okay, he meant the die version. Delvin can’t really retain the information. Brittany seems to be the only one taking notes — hey, there’s an idea, Delvin! “I don’t know what’s happening,” says Victoria. But when they all reveal their test patterns, they look pretty good. “I’m a professional already,” says Victoria triumphantly.

9:10pm — Sergio is avoiding cotton because it’s dull and dated, and he never wants to be dull or dated … except that one time he made his entire look in cotton in “There’s Only One You.” Delvin and Victoria are going with the cotton, though. Nancy is taking a risk with her time, though. Instead of testing tie-dye patterns before Mood, she’s getting some construction done and worrying about the tie-dyeing later. Putting off the tie-dye in a tie-dye challenge sounds like a dangerous risk to me. And Delvin is doing a phoenix-from-the-ashes suit dress, but Victoria warns him not to be so similar to what he has done before, and Victoria knows of what she speaks!

9:12pm — Everyone is asking Brittany for guidance since she’s the only one who took notes! She’s cool with that for now, though, since the other designers have helped her out this season. Good for her. If I had just been eliminated and saved, I might be a little pettier about other people borrowing my notes because they weren’t paying attention in class.

9:15pm — At Mood, they’re buying supplemental fabrics, though they need to make sure the tie-dye is the star of the show. Geoffrey thinks this shopping trip is “a little bit more challenging,” which is really saying something for Geoffrey. Brittany is combining tie-dye effects, and Christian warns her that it needs to be sewn perfectly. But otherwise a pretty uneventful Mood adventure.

9:16pm — Nancy’s vision is “starting to formulate,” and she’s “bringing back another pair of pants.” She thinks they’re “totally different” from the pants she repeated last week “as far as I’m concerned.” This is starting to sound very bad for Nancy. Another similar pair of pants, and she hasn’t started tie-dying yet. I don’t think this is gonna go well.

9:17pm — Sergio doesn’t think the judges understood his message last week. Dude, you literally made up your message as you went along. That’s why it didn’t make sense or have anything to do with the dress you designed. “I think the judges are afraid of me,” he adds. Don’t flatter yourself, man. He’s not bravely challenging the status quo, he’s just accessorizing with politics. That’s what makes it offensive. His “political designs” are an affectation that are not communicated at all by the clothes he makes. The most genuinely political thing he’s said this season was actually when he explained he didn’t make clothes for young people because they’re too poor to afford him. There’s his politics right there.

Christian Consultations

9:19pm — Nancy talks about her experiences with ice-dyeing and working with the Refugee Women’s Textile Initiative, teaching refugee women textile techniques. Now that’s political fashion. But Christian is also baffled that she hasn’t actually done any tie-dyeing for this actual challenge yet. She wants to have a full look to fit on her model and then dye it, but she’s “scaring” Christian. And me too.

9:25pm — Marquise’s look is “sweet and feminine,” but he needs to find a way to make it more “fresh and exciting” than the usual idea of tie-dye. Geoffrey’s doing a ring burst pattern, but Christian’s not sure about the olive-puce kinda color. He recommends that Geoffrey try to go more military with it. I like that idea, and I think Geoffrey likes it too. And way to bury the lede, Geoffrey says he’s gotten closer with his dad, who in the Cyndi Lauper challenge he said had rejected him as a kid for being gay. That’s great to hear!

9:27pm — Christian thinks Brittany’s silhouette needs to be “interesting” and “modern” since everyone is using tie-dye. Sergio is blending two ideas together, which could be amazing together, or he might need to try something else entirely. Victoria’s washed-out tie-dye effect could end up really “dated.” Delvin is going with a sun burst pattern, and Christian tells him what he’s already heard before from Victoria: the coat dress is similar to what he’s done before.

Model Fittings

9:29pm — It’s a midnight model fitting, and Geoffrey doesn’t see the point since no one knows exactly how their designs will look and the textiles need to dry. For instance, Delvin’s colors didn’t come through at all really on his cotton fabric, which might ruin his entire concept.

9:34pm — Delvin’s mood perks up when the designers find out Leslie Jones will be their guest judge. He’s excited for a comedian on the panel, and I am too. At least if she tells a designer they suck she can make them laugh while doing it.

9:35pm — “So apparently silk takes to the dye stronger than the cotton does,” says Delvin in a sudden epiphany, while everyone in the workroom has “No shit, Sherlock” reactions since that was one of the main thing the experts told them during their tutorial. Take notes!

9:36pm — Onesies in the workroom! Time for the slumber party, but only Brittany, Marquise and Delvin seem to be participating in onesie mania. I kinda hope next week is a onesie challenge.

9:37pm — Nancy is finally going to start dyeing — finally, it’s after 2:00am at this point. If literally anything goes wrong, she’s stuck with it. She’s not going to have a plan B here. But she ends up with a two-tone grid pattern that she likes, so good maybe? Hopefully? Meanwhile, Delvin borrows five yards of fabric from Brittany since he’s pretty much starting from scratch. I have a feeling one of those two is going home at this point. Oof, but Geoffrey thinks this is the worst challenge, and Victoria’s tie-dye patterns literally came out in the wash. Now it’s just a flat green color. Is it possible for there to be a challenge with no top looks?

9:40pm — “We’re having out own weird sense of fun because we’re all feeling the pain together,” says Nancy. That’s good. I’m happy when she’s happy and getting along with the other designers. “This is a night to remember.” But hooray, it looks like Geoffrey’s fabric came out great when it dried after it looked totally black when wet. Delvin looks super pissed that something went unexpectedly well for someone in this challenge. That reaction is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.

9:42pm — Good news for Delvin too! His re-done tie-dyeing came out with a great, vivid, fiery effect. Victoria’s re-done dyeing came out great too. Now it seems like only Nancy is in a bind. Only now is she questioning why she didn’t start earlier on this one-day challenge. Now, when the sun is rising.

Morning of the Runway

9:47pm — Geoffrey can barely talk, Delvin can finally see progress, Victoria is doing something … weird. The top looks kinda like lettuce. And she’s doing some kind of tie-dye effect on the jeans she made now. And the runway is in just a couple of hours.

9:47pm — Another twist: this is a flash sale challenge, so people will be able to buy these looks, and hopefully a couple of them will even be wearable.

9:49pm — Marquise’s look is “a little ice-skatery,” says Christian. Yeah, if Bradie Tennell skated to the Grateful Dead, this is 100% what she’d be wearing. But Marquise thinks it’ll be better with the rest of the styling. Christian is worried that Nancy’s pants look the same when she doesn’t have a top at all. Me too. Listen to Christian when he tells you you’re repeating yourself because his critiques are eerily prescient this season. And Sergio is avoiding politics for this look, so the judges will have no choice but to love it. Barf.

9:50pm — Geoffrey’s look is coming together absolutely great, I think. Delvin’s design isn’t exciting me so far, especially after that tie-dyeing came out so well. It looks like a fairly simple dress. Christian thinks it “needs something” to keep it from being boring. And Christian is practically begging Nancy to work on her top. She likes Christian, though, because her father had the same sarcasm. I hope she likes hearing sarcasm from the judges too. I’ve liked her work more than the judges and other designers this season so far, but she definitely needs to leave her comfort zone.

Runway Show

9:56pm — I’m scared, but Leslie Jones will make it better.

9:58pm — Nancy’s up first. I actually really like it. Way more than I thought I would. It flows, the color is nice, it came together really elegantly, though if the judges ding her on the pants she has no one to blame but herself. Hopefully they’ll also think it’s modern; the headband is the one thing that reads hippie to me. Sergio’s dress next: really well constructed, but I can barelymake out the tie-dye on it. Super pale yellow. It looks mostly like a white dress to me.

9:59pm — Not a fan of Victoria’s look. A weird ruffly tie-dyed cape over jeans. “It looks like I worked drunk maybe?” says Victoria. She said it, not me. Marquise’s look isn’t bad overall. I like the color and the fanny pack, and it’s flattering. Still very ladies-short-program though.

10:01pm — Delvin’s design is solid, flattering. The tie-dye is well used, I think, but it’s very safe to me. But wow, I think Brittany had a great comeback. The pink strappy look is a little reminiscent of her Ashley Longshore dress, but feels like its own thing. I love how the pink sleeves bring out the color in the dress. I don’t know if she’ll win, but I think she’ll at least be safe.

10:02pm — Geoffrey’s military green look is the best on the runway. “Girl, take that dress off. That’s mine!” says Leslie. Amen. It may be the best use of tie-dye since you can tell that he used tie-dye, but you’d never consider it any kind of ’60s cliche. “If I die and come back, I’m coming back as that dress, and I want you to wear me just like you’re wearing that dress.” Can we keep Leslie Jones forever please?

10:03pm — For me Geoffrey’s easily on top (probably for Leslie too). I thought Brittany was next in line, and then Nancy (but the judges have disagreed with me before on Nancy). Victoria’s was the biggest fail for me. Delvin and Sergio were both kinda blah: Delvin had good tie-dye and bland design, Sergio had good design but the tie-dye was barely there.


10:06pm — Brittany and Marquise are safe. Hmmm, I’m glad they’re both safe, but Brittany had a top look for me. Funny that the two safe the designers are the ones who came back to the show after being eliminated.

SERGIO — Leslie would never have thought it was tie-dyed. She thought it was “beautiful.” Elaine could see Meghan Markle or Michelle Obama in it. “Well done.” Karlie thinks it’s a “refreshing, smart” take. Brandon thinks it’s “chic.” Nina likes the combination of hombre and tie-dye. But when Thijin opens up the skirt, I like the construction of it a lot more. Kudos for that! Nina thought it was “remarkable.”

GEOFFREY — Leslie says, “I literally wrote, ‘That’s my dress.'” She loved the orange details and the exposed leg. It’s a “tall glass of sexy Pam Grier. If you don’t win, you win with me.” Nina thought the simple silhouette was “flattering” and the sleeve makes her “crazy” — in a good way. Karlie calls it “refined,” “effortless” and “chic,” and Brandon could see many different women wearing it.

NANCY — Leslie thought it was “cute but basic,” but she liked it without the headband and kinda wants to give it a better score now. Nina thought the tie-dyeing technique was “impressive … balanced and controlled.” But she wishes the top half of the design were simpler. Elaine says it’s “modern” and “elegant,” and while the pants are familiar, she “reinvented it for us.” It had “romantic and poetic” movement. “I’m a fan of this.”

VICTORIA — Elaine thinks it looks like the model DD was holding a baby that had an accident on their pants and then threw up. “It’s so not you to me.” Karlie thought Marquise’s dress was hers. Victoria says that’s not her style. But Leslie fires back, “But Marquise is safe.” Brandon thinks the jeans look like a “denim diaper,” and Nina calls it a “mess.” When Victoria takes off the flounce on top it still doesn’t work. Brandon understood where she was going with the design of the pants, and it didn’t work, but he’s glad she went for it. Karlie thinks the tie-dye is sloppy.

DELVIN — Leslie wants to like it because she likes the tie-dye, but she doesn’t like colors together and it comes off like a “cheap church dress.” Karlie thinks it’s “all the bad things about tie-dye we didn’t want to see.” Brandon didn’t have as much of a problem with the tie-dye, but the silhouette is the issue for him. Elaine calls it “dated … It’s a mess today, my friend.” Nina didn’t think there was enough of a “grand idea.”

10:17pm — I’m glad Nancy is safe. Not sure who’s going home, though. Delvin has been hit-and-miss all season and his dress is pretty basic. Victoria took a big swing, but it also looked worse. The judges usually prefer big swing to basic, and since Delvin’s track record isn’t as good as Victoria’s, I have a feeling Delvin might be out.

10:18pm — The win for the challenge is between Geoffrey and Sergio. They loved Sergio’s construction and his use of tie-dye (I agree on the construction, still think the tie-dye didn’t come through for me). Geoffrey’s look is “show-stopping but tasteful.” They’d better give it to Geoffrey.

10:19pm — Delvin made a “fine, nothing dress” and “too safe.” Kiss of death? Nina doesn’t even think it was well-tailored. But for Victoria, Elaine wrote one big comment: “Why?”


10:25pm — Nancy’s in, so the winner of the challenge is … Geoffrey! Horray! He wins his second challenge of the season, and it’s completely deserved. I think it’s the best thing he’s designed on the show so far. But even when winning he’s sad that someone really talented is about to go home, but Leslie gets up and gives him a hug and tells him to enjoy his moment. That man is just walking empathy, and I’m really pulling for him to make the finale.

10:27pmSo the eliminated designer is … Delvin. I had a feeling thaat would happen given Victoria’s stronger aesthetic and better track record. But she’s gonna need to turn it around fast. This is the third time she has been spared from elimination despite having the worst look as far as I’m concerned. They spared her in “Longshore.” They spared her in “Sheer Genius.” And they’re sparing her now. I think she’s all out of benefits of the doubt at this point.

10:28pm — I just noticed that Delvin is still in his onesie. Does he get to keep the onesie at least?

10:30pm — Next week’s challenge will be to design unique victory dresses for special clients: Olympic and Paralympic athletes. And we hear some runway critiques. Nina calls a look cliche, and Sergio says, “I thought it was perfect.” The editing in these preview clips tend to be pretty deceptive, but it sounds like he’s definitely being defensive about something. The 2020 Olympics are in Tokyo, so maybe he made a political statement about Hiroshima or something. God help us.

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