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Episode 5: Run for Cover!

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Feb. 12, 2010 ,5:01 am EST

Project Runway season seven designers in episode five

This episode of “Project Runway” will certainly go down in history if for one reason only: the prize for winning the challenge. What is it? No less than having Heidi Klum herself wear your design on the April cover of Marie Claire magazine. Pretty serious prize. Pretty nervous designers. Pretty dresses? Well ... this challenge proves who’s good under pressure, and who falls apart. The designers have $150 and only one day to create a cover-worthy look. They are given some caveats (that the more experienced designers would already be aware of): no black, no dull colors, prints are tricky, and the focus should be from the waist up. Some were listening ... some were not.

The workroom is deathly quiet as the prospect of such a great reward hangs over everyone’s head, and Seth relieves the pressure by singing little songs and doing little dances. The other designers relieve the pressure by hating on Mila, who doesn’t understand why everyone isn’t thrilled about her success and cocky attitude. Mila should spend part of her $150 to buy a clue. She is making what looks like a color-block Easter egg dress out of several shades of beige (weren’t they specifically warned about dull color?), Anna, another entry in the boring-personality Olympics, is making a shapeless three-piece look that would put a speed freak to sleep. Yawn. On the brighter side, Emilio is making a bright fuchsia-red low-cut dress with a lacing detail at the neckline that looks a little more like the cover of Cosmo (or Maxim!), and the self-appointedly fabulous Miss Anthony is making a sky-blue cocktail dress with a scrolling ribbon detail down the front, short and tight — just how Miss Klum likes it.

On our way to the runway, Maya’s dress has a promising shape with a layered collar, but again rendered in shades from the Quaker Oats color palette. Tim Gunn seems to be trying his darndest to get these guys to understand the gravity of the situation, to no avail. We see some strange things running down the hall to the runway ... were these designers listening? Or did the idea of dressing the German one herself just prove too daunting?

On the runway, we have the Tan-gerine, Michael Kors; the Colombian Taskmistress, Nina Garcia; and Queen Bee Joanna Coles, editor of Marie Claire. Here come the cover girls ...

Project Runway season seven designers Anthony Williams in episode five

Amy: It looks like she went shopping at a “Sex and the City” garage sale, and came up with a garment in a wild print with an ugly matching-print cabbage rose on the shoulder. Carrie Bradshaw would be in heaven. In 1998.

Seth: Unexplainably dull yet fussy silver-gray spacesuit with puffy shoulders and what seems like a hundred buttons. Suitable for some sort of intergalactic secretary.

Jesse: Woven-front (which is very interesting) short cocktail dress — but made in a super-dark black/green color that would make it unusable on a magazine cover. Too bad.

Anna: She went shopping at Fashion Bug with $14.99 and had five dollars left over. Ugh — shapeless light-blue chemise, shapeless gray vest and cute but out-of-place pinstripe shorts. She even took the fashion out of Fashion Bug.

Anthony: Beautiful sky-blue sculptural dress with one shoulder strap — as tight, short and sassy as Heidi is German. Hot look for a cover. (See photo.)

Janeane: Loser, loser, loser, loser. Beige, beige, beige, beige. Oy! As exciting and colorful as the Amish on Casual Friday.

Mila: Another entry in the Beige Sweepstakes, this looks like a leftover from “The Fifth Element” made out of Ace bandages and old T-shirts.

Emilio: Red low-(low!)cut short (short!) dress with a cute lacing detail. Cute, but not exactly the Kluminator.

Jay: MORE beige ... this time made into a hideous hippie wedding dress with piles of extra fabric worthy of Ping. Plus the added detail of some sort of torn-fabric shoulder growth. Yech.

Project Runway season seven designers Jonathan Peters in episode five

Jonathan: This was an inexcusable piece of ’70s disco-kitsch worthy of a bad ABBA cover band. A scarf-print silk romper (romper?) with bell sleeves. For Heidi. Really? I’m surprised he made it off the runway without getting slapped. (See photo.)

Maya: Beige. AGAIN. What is wrong with these people? Was Mood having a sale on everything beige? She made a very interesting dress with a cool layered collar. But in f#@*ing beige! (See photo above for the battle of the beiges.)

Ben: Color-block stiff kimono-shaped teal and yellow outfit with a bondage belt. While well constructed, this just puzzled me.

Joanna Coles had some exquisitely cruel condemnations of a couple of the outfits (to Janeane: “It doesn’t look like a beach to me at all — unless the beach is polluted and covered with old plastic bottles.” And to Mila: “It looks like the equivalent of hospital food.”) Gotta love the British. I was thrilled that the very deserving Miss Anthony took the win and made Heidi happy. But I wish that they had sent home a BUNCH of these designers, basically anyone who committed the deadly sin of beige. But, Mila, Anna and Janeane ended up in the bottom, with Anna getting the ax. Janeane will be getting it next week, hopefully. And Mila will have to keep her cocky attitude on hold until next time.

See ya soon,

Chris