'Project Runway': Newspapers are good for something, after all!

For the challenge on tonight's Project Runway, the designers head to the L.A. Times (hey, family paper!) and learn that they're going to be creating their garments out of actual pages of the newspaper. Well, this challenge wouldn't work at a web-only publication now, would it?

But as a dedicated newspaper addict, I have to say, it was pretty disconcerting to see all the designers maniacally stuffing all these newspaper sections into giant trash bags. Please don't be an omen!


Back at the studio, the designers get good news -- that they can use muslin for structure, but it can't show, and they have access to dyes, paints and markers to decorate the paper further -- and bad news -- that they only have until midnight.

Also, it turns out that everyone thinks Shirin is annoying, and based on footage of her talking incessantly even when no one responds, it seems pretty on the money.

Some of the designers are going for a papier-mache look, others origami, but they're all a little perplexed by working with paper.

Johnny is proud of his look until Tim comes to tell him that it looks like a bunch of kindergartners did it. Harsh, but totally not wrong. He also says he is "woeful" looking at it and that it looks like "a craft project gone awry." I've had those, but that's why I'm not on national television!

Christopher is working on a show-stopper, and Tim thinks he's on the right track to achieve that goal.

After the constructive criticism from Tim, Johnny goes destructive and throws out his first dress and starts over. When the models come in for fitting time, he gets kind of dejected and starts talking about how the steamer spilled on the paper when he was ironing, but some of his fellow contestants don't believe him, interviewing that there isn't even a steamer in the room. I thought he meant that the steamer of the iron spilled, but Shirin says he spun this big lie and Logan says the timing of Tim's visit doesn't line up with his story.

Runway day, Ramon is worried because he did separates, and Irina is concerned about her coat.  Gordana is confident that she is in good shape and that she's ahead of the game. She calls it "perfectly constructed." Carol Hannah has created a dress that is so heavy she can barely get it off the mannequin. I feel bad for her model!

Then: cattiness! Althea thinks Irina's garment looks too "easy." Nicholas says Johnny's dress is awful and he hopes the judges tear him apart. Johnny says Nicholas' dress is "stump rock" and "dinosaur chic." I don't even know what that means!

The judges' panel tonight includes Tommy Hilfiger and Eva Longoria Parker.

On the runway:

Logan's dress doesn't even look like paper on first glance, and the edging he's done with teal dye even looks like satin at first. The dress is strapless with a small fan along one side at the bust and another one at the hem on the other side. He's done a great job.

Nicholas has created a spaghetti-strap dress with striping done in dye and a layered skirt. His, though, looks way more like paper.

Christopher went for that show-stopper -- his model is wearing a bodice that is in shades of dark gray (and that looks very hard -- maybe he went the papier mache route, too? -- and a long, intricate skirt made of paper cut in featherlike shapes.

Ramon's skirt and top are also remarkably appearing to be made of fabric, and the colors are great. He looks pretty happy with himself.


Epperson's garment evokes a kimono shape, and it's very clearly made of paper -- you can see type all over it. It's interesting

Johnny hates his dress and thinks his original would have gone over better.

Gordana is proud of her dress, which is intricate and layered, a sleeveless short dress.

Carol Hannah's dress is also a show-stopper -- sweetheart neckline made of paper in different color and then a torso and skirt made of almost ruffled-looking paper dyed red. She says her goal was for it to not look like paper, and she achieved that for sure.

Shirin's dress has a huge skirt made of folded paper; her biggest concern is that it's going to fall apart on the runway, but it doesn't.

Irina is amazed by her trench; in fact, she was breathless.

Althea managed to find a pattern in one of the photos and create a repeating pattern by overlapping those sections that looks really cool.

Louise wishes her look was more polished and she expects to either be in the bottom or safe.

Johnny, Nicholas, Christopher, Althea, Gordana, Irina are called forward. Everyone else is safe, so Louise's prediction was right.

Eva loves Althea's dress and thinks the shape is very flattering to the bum. Tommy praises her execution, too.

Gordana decided to make a conventional look with unconventional materials. Heidi says she was a little bored because it was so wearable and normal.

Eva says she gasped at Irina's dress, too. Tommy didn't like the scotch tape, but he liked it overall. Heidi thinks playing with the paper was great. Tommy: "New alternative to fur: newspaper." Hey, that could save our industry!

Johnny tells his story about the sputtering steamer on the iron destroying his first one. Heidi says this garment looks like he didn't spend much time and says, hilariously, "She looks like she's going to 'work.'" He starts talking about his Dior-esque first dress. Nicholas shakes his head and says that it was not Dior, and quotes Tim about it looking like the origami birds were attacking. "Thanks," Johnny says.

Nicholas tells his punk-rock story, and Tommy isn't buying it.

Heidi asks Christopher about his top, saying (like I did, that it looks hard). He used rigid pattern paper. Aha! Eva finds the whole thing very creative, and Tommy finds it sexy, glamorous and "wow."

One the designers leave, the judges start dishing. Gordana gets credit for the garment being well done though boring. They laugh at Nicholas' claim of "punk." Tommy doesn't believe Johnny's story entirely ... and with all that cryptic talk, they've made their decision.

Althea is safe, and the winner is Irina. "Your originality and your risk-taking really paid off this time," Heidi tells her. Christopher, thus, is safe. Gordana is in, leaving catfighters Nicholas and Johnny. (Why didn't I see this coming?) Nicholas is safe, and Johnny is out. He gets his Heidi kisses and the Auf Wiedersehen.

He interviews that giving up addiction was easier than this competition. I sense a bit of hyperbole.

Oh! Wow, I guess it really is a lie because after he leaves, Tim says: "I'm incredulous at that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction that Johnny did on the runway." Wow. "It was ridiculous," he goes on.