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Standing in front of a wall of photos of style icon Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Tim Gunn announces week eight's challenge—the designers must create a look which personifies their vision of classic American sportswear, in a style which they think the former First Lady would wear. We're initially concerned that one of the designers might choose to make a pink suit with blood splatters, but fortunately Jason is gone, and many of those remaining don't seem to know much about the former First Lady. Or for that matter, about sportswear.
Michael C and Christopher both expand the definition of "sportswear" by making formal cocktail dresses. Mondo, whose aesthetic veers closer to Eighties New Wave than Sixties classic, buys an oversized black and eggplant herringbone print, which we love, but which his fellow designers criticize. Andy somehow gets it into his head, that Jackie was very cutting edge in her fashion choices, much like a freaky bike messenger, and decides to make massively draped, cropped cargo pants.
As most of the designers are finally hitting their stride with the assignment, Tim enters and announces a surprise twist, which he is very happy about. Tim says that they must now each create a piece of outerwear which matches their original design. After the designers finish beating Tim senseless, they all head back to Mood. There Christopher buys a piece of real animal hide, which he says makes him feel guilty. The editors immediately cut to a close up of Mood's dog, Swatch, who also looks upset.
Joining judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia is actress January Jones. Jones, for some reason, is not announced as being one of the stars of Mad Men, a show whose clothing and era perfectly fit with the Jackie aesthetic. January doesn't give too much feedback, and judging by the seashell-breasted Versace gown she chose to wear to the Emmys last month, perhaps that's for the best.
Our top three designers this week are Ivy, with flowing pants, an asymmetrical blouse and an ill-fitting jacket; Christopher with his elegant cocktail dress and dishrag-like shrug; and Mondo, with his amazing cartoon checked skirt, striped top and lined jacket. And our winner is...Mondo! For once we agree with the judges 100%. In fact, we want that outfit.
Our three bottom designers for the week are Valerie, whose original garment, a coat, looked bulky and unstylish after she was forced to pair it with another over-garment; Michael D with an ill-fitting beige ensemble, including a prairie-ish skirt; and Andy, whose cargo pants ensemble is so viciously mocked by the judges, that we feel like we've now seen the sequel to Mean Girls. Surprisingly, Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen" to Michael D. After seeing what we now know was his decoy collection in the tents last week, we're somewhat relieved he didn't last longer.
And in our As Tears Go By count, no one cries, although Andy comes pretty close to it, so our total number of crying jags for the season, remains stagnate at twenty four. Judging by the previews, however, this number should skyrocket next week.
And now for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...
10). In response to concerns that his first garment, a cocktail dress, wasn't actually sportswear, Michael C makes a second garment, Another cocktail dress.
9). Andy says, "I don't consider myself an American sportswear designer," causing American sportswear designer—and judge—Michael Kors, to snidely ask, "So are you a grand couturier?"
8). Ivy tells the judges she was inspired by triangles and squares, "Because shapes are timeless." Yes Ivy, and so is bullshit.
7). Gretchen criticizes the work of Valerie, Michael D, Michael C, Mondo, and Ivy. She would have trashed Christopher's too, but she forgot he was there, just like we did.
6). April, wearing an awesome Goth pillbox hat to the judging, says of Andy's outfit, "She's more like Jackie Yo than Jackie O." We like April.
5). Gretchen says she is, "Thinking about what Jackie would wear now." Sadly, the first thing which pops into our mind is, "A body bag."
4). Michael D announces, "I'm Captain Outerwear." Which we suspect would be a less successful book series than Captain Underpants.
3). Mondo, dressed in tribute to the Cotton Club, in suspendered shorts, slicked hair and an odd tank top, tap dances for a dollar. Seems more like a tribute to an organ grinder.
2). Michael D asks, "This is Jackie Kennedy of 2010—we're in 2010, right?" obviously, not knowing whether another contractual dispute might prevent a timely airing of the show. Or perhaps just being really, really clueless.
1). Regarding the fit of Andy's pants, Tim Gunn proclaims, "Jackie Kennedy would not have camel toe."