Drama Queen Ken Strikes Again…But For the Last Time!

Week 10 and it had to happen: a Superfan challenge. Now it’s been done before, usually under the title of, the “Real Woman challenge.” My season we had divorcees that had changed their lives and brought their wedding dress that we had to rework. For Season 12 it’s a lot easier—the designers get to design for their fan and go to Mood to buy fabric.

Eight fans, eight designers, and Ken has his first “oh, shit” moment of this week. He’s never designed for a real woman before. I never understand why a designer would say this. It’s admitting your not a professional, never selling a design and only displaying it on models.

Tim pulls out the velvet bag and matches the fan to the designer. It’s a two-day challenge. This week’s product placement is L’Oreal Paris, and they are giving the Superfans a complete makeover.

We’re off to Mood! Swatch is real! Many of the designers include their fan in the search for fabric, Helen grabs her fan Jamie and romps off. Alexandria, in her stern, austere way, also has her fan join in picking the right fabric. Bradon does not, leaving his fan at the top of the stairs.

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Back at Parsons, Justin asks for his fan’s autograph to use as inspiration. A truly decent gesture, he plans to incorporate it in the design. So far Ken’s making a shift dress, but is freaking out about the color. Bradon’s making a black leather two-piece hard-ass NYC outfit. Dom, a sexy (?) date dress. Alexandria is creating a jacket, skirt dress for her art degree fan. (Can she contain herself and not get too conceptual?) Alexander and Ken are lagging a bit and are stressing out. I fear this will have consequences.

And it does. As the designers drag their carcasses back to their apartments tired and beat Alexander, and Bradon are told to pack up and move in with Ken and Justin since Jeremy is gone. Ken, who’s been homeless, gets real territorial, as any good passive aggressive, borderline crazy, self important, egocentric, bully would be. Setting up a ironing board in the entrance hallway, he blocks the two from coming in. All the while his face is covered in cold cream. He looks for all the world like the “Phantom of the Opera.” Alexander takes matters in his own hand, along with the Rowenta iron and pushes it aside (Strong iron, those Rowentas). We finally see what Ken has so intently been ironing: cut off jean shorts. ::Faceplant.::

Ken duly freaks out. Ken in his Phantom of the Opera cold cream mask goes postal. It is a sight to see, and the camera crew must of been doubling over in fits of laughter. Justin sits on his bed, staring at the wall and wonders, “Again, why did I sign up for this?” Megan, a PA, tries to calm a raging drama queen with, “Breathe with me, Erik. I mean Ken.” There is no calming Ken down. Swear words flow. (I wonder what his mother, and spiritual adviser will think). He stamps his feet. He’s serious.

Bradon and Alexander beat a hasty retreat and leave Justin with the seething Ken. Next morning, Tim time! For Ken only. The answer will be Ken to have his own room. During the kumbaya meeting, he ironically states, “I don’t want to sit here as if I’m the bully.” Please go home Ken. “PR” is hard enough. You live closely with people that you barely know, common decency, respect for other human beings, and some sort of self-awareness have to be essential characteristics. I believe Ken should have been sent home, there and then. Instead they coddle him, as I’m sure he’s been coddled all his life. No one is doing Ken any favors here.

Bradon is concerned and a bit shaken. Helen of course goes off with all her concerns. Alexandria sounds the voice of reason (in that Swedish deadpan) and says to just move on.

After some workroom shots, it’s Tim time—for real this time. Justin actually listened to his client. She’s Mormon and has a number of requirements, modesty, being a big one. Justin can not be described as a risque designer. He comes up with a truly meaningful and notable dress. Nice job. Alexander is in bad shape. Alexandria’s look is mature, not modern. What happened? In all fairness, she had a difficult challenge. Her client, though young, was looking for an interview suit. Granted it’s bad, real bad, but it’s level of sin is no greater than the majority for this was a shoddily executed challenge. Kate has a put together a edgier pant/top outfit. Well done. Bradon, what happened to the hip, edgy NYC woman? Ken, a big nothing. Dom has a print, which as Tim points, out swallows her client. Helen, well something is working here. Opportunities were missed. This wasn’t a “make a fashion-forward dress out of a mini-wedding dress.” It was “listen to your customer” and design something from scratch.

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Here I do think the camera people found truth. We see the emotion of these first time models, the nerves, the fear, the emotion. Those of us on the show know, and belittle so many aspects of the show, we forget its impact on some people. The models all look great and while I love the hair color I was unsure why so many got such a super short cut. Some of the styles didn’t seem very modern. Justin, again compromised by modesty and religion, produced something appropriate and touching. Her signature was sown on the dress. Top three. Bradon, I feel this is such a bad design. There was so much promise, yet Bradon come up with so little result. I’d put him in the bottom three, just on principal.
Alexander came up with a poorly constructed outfit. Now poorly constructed is no crime on “PR,” if your design is interesting, but he loses on all accounts. Dom, >a href=”″>a print that overwhelms her client, coupled with a bad jacket. Badly done. Bottom. The dress was definition of sale rack. Kate does a nice number that really bolsters her client’s mood. Top three. Ken, superfluous at this point, produces a terribly basic, plain, nothing. Alexandria makes a conservative skirt paired with an interesting jacket. Surprisingly mediocre. Helen, a hit with me. A simple creation, yet bold. It encapsulated her Superfan coming out of her shell. Top marks.

So Justin, Bradon and Helen are the top three. The bottom, well two of them deserved to be there, not Alexandria, but Bradon. Truth be told, Alexandria at least had some interest. Why was she in the bottom, while Bradon, was a top choice? Nevertheless, Alexandria stood with Ken, deservedly so, and Alexander. It’s game on.

Helen wins. Out, well it has to be, and finally is, Ken. When has someone with so little, gone so far? Oh, okay, a lot on “Project Runway,” but in truth, he should have been gone weeks ago.

Was this Helen’s first deserved win? Was Ken the worst?

Althea Harper


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