Althea Harper Blog

And On The Seventh Episode...

By kim_messina 08/30/2013 04:57AM GMT

The number 7 has a number of symbolic meanings. In the Bible, Earth was created in 7 days, there are the 7 seals, there's "the lucky number 7." But on the other hand (I found this on a numerology site), the number 7 can be "aloof, distant, sarcastic, socially awkward, melancholic, cowardly and, when they're at their worst, back-stabbers." Why, that's the entire cast of Season 12 of "Project Runway"! (Actually of any season of "Project Runway"!)

On the seventh episode, Tim sayeth, "There shall be shoes," and lo upon the designers were given the Marie Claire shoe wall.

The challenge was pretty straight-forward: design a look around a pair of shoes. But first the designers must answer a fashion history question. Ken immediately starts a whiny rant about being a self-taught designer up against educated fashion geniuses. Up first is Alexandria with a bye, she chooses a pair of high bondage shoes.Ken beats the feared gang with a correct answer about the soles of Louis Vuitton shoes then precedes to lambast the educated fashion elite competition. He goes, ironically, for short version of Alexandria's pick. Jeremy gets a question about Christian Dior right (Any worry there?) and he hugs his thigh-high boots with the glee of a young English boy with his favorite secret. Karen gets the Parsons question right and picks a shoe that matches her cardigan. Helen twerks to a correct answer about Jessica Simpson. Her choice? A smart mini boot with studded toe. (Seriously, are these questions: are they about fashion or ones knowledge of the contents of US Weekly?) Kate picks a Daliesque shoe in bright red.

At this point, Miranda's talking head complains the questions are not centered around wallpaper, or field stripping of an M-16 in the field. Head in hands, I wonder where in the world does the world of television "searching for the next great designer" intersect with someone who has so little invested in fashion knowledge, interest or desire to learn? For God's sake, Ken at least has that.Bradon guesses right and picks a sleek gold embellished flat. Finally, Miranda and Dom square off. A question is thrown out about the LBD. I think my dad knows the answer to this. But like an "SNL" episode, Miranda and Dom wring their sweating hands and stare at the ceiling. Dom breaks the draw with a correct answer about a movie. She takes a risk (really?) with a pair of brightly-colored creepers. Miranda picks some red slippers from the scraps. By this time I've got my head in my hands, quietly sobbing...

In the workroom we learn that Jeremy has in mind a dowagers dogging costume, and Helen is focusing on the toe and has come up with an LBD with a black capelet. Ken envisions a dress much like the last challenge, this time at two-piece only in black. Alex sees a war over tartan trews with Miranda. For Kate, it's a pants and a top. Bradon gets all tricky with a technique tortured dress.

Tim visits the designers. Alexandria is on a good path with her combination of hard(shoes) soft(dress). She looms larger each week as a finalist. Justin is up next. his statement shoe has inspired a three-piece (ambitious!) garment. Ken is shot down and regroups. Brandon is given the matronly crit, and reboots his design (within reason). Tim talks to Kate, "How's the accommodations? Like the water, just have a drawing... pants...okay, sure...top? Of course." Huh? Has anyone skated by so much in the history of "Project Runway"?

Dom has the idea that she'll design the same dress that she's done in each challenge only in colors to match her shoe. I think she's been skating by as well. Karen has a pair of fluorescent shoes matched to a fluorescent skirt. Good luck with that. Helen lets the shoes be the star and comes up with a simple black dress. To me, a nondescript creation. But, it has a capelet...

Now every year has one designer that tries to imitate one of the judges. In my season Christopher's imitation of Michael Kors was actually quite good, and funny. Not so much this season...it's Dom that tries with a Nina imitation, and it's just bad.

Favorite Bradon has a brief interlude with his soon to be husband. Traditionally this is the kiss of death, this I doubt though. He's a keeper.

Tim calls the designers to the runway. Have there ever been so many slackers still working so close to the bell in the history of "Project Runway"? This week's guest judge is Kaley Cuoco from "The Big Bang Theory." Ken throws down black separates. A cute look—I call safe. Alexander has traded drag queen fashion, for daring fashions for the middle aged. Miranda puts down a similar look and while I think the top is not flattering and doesn’t fit with the pants, I do think the pants are a little more creative then Alexander’s version.

Dom trumpets her stepping out of the box with her design, and while I do admire the quilting, I think she really needs to produce a different silhouette. Justin produces separates that I think looks high-fashion and sleek. I like this look. My only thought is that the tribal inspired print is a little more fun then this powerful look. Alexandria, again, makes a fashion-forward outfit. In the top I'd say. Karen puts out a modern-chic look. A definite top for me—I want that jacket! Bradon's homage to the elderly is next, oh boy...

Kate looks to be safe I believe entirely on her high level of construction (The blouse was complex). But those pants were a bad memory from the 90s. Jeremy produces a chic chiffon sweater that I love, but the look comes together dated with the black mini skirt and knee high boots. Helen says she really put it out there with her high-end look of a simple black dress. The cape is extremely chic, but not as innovated as some of the other looks.

Top three are Alexandria, Ken and Helen. The Bottom are Jeremy, Miranda and Bradon. Helen wins for her choice of shoes. Miranda is out with her tribute to 70s sitcoms.

What do think? Right choices? Or are you like me just waiting for the wheat to be separated from the chaff?