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26
WED

Colors Take Flight

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 3:11pm GMT

Here we go again! Challenges, Challenges and MORE Challenges! This week instead of just pairing the designers up in a typical team challenge, now it's head-to-head combat. Then Tim announces something even scarier...BIRDS. (Sorry, but I am just not a fan of birds. They are just freaking creepy with their crazy eyes and out of control beaks. Plus, I was attacked in a pet store by a parrot of dinosaur proportions one time, so that is not a bonus in their column).

Each pair is assigned a bird that is supposed to INSPIRE their design and color palettes. Viktor and Kimberly get the cockatoo, named Fortune, which has a soft, romantic coloring. Anya and Laura get the "seductive, stoic" raven, Phoenix, which that name is just pure irony. Wveryone knows ravens are basically harbingers of death, but hey, give it a "rise from the ashes with a will to live" name and BAM! We have a sexy fashion fowl.

The last feathered creature, a green Amazonian parrot, goes to Joshua and Bert, who totally smacks on "Sweety" from the get-go. Bert doesn't see "high-fashion" in the parrots gaudy plumage, instead he sees "dime store" and "carnivale"... which I have to disagree. There are no rules that say you HAVE to use the same colors of the bird; they are only meant to inspire. Apparently some of these designers don't understand what that means. Viktor, Laura and Bert all disappointed me with their imaginations this week, even though I did think Viktor's dress was lovely, he didn't do anything outside the realm of what was put in front of him. He saw a white bird, he made a white bird dress.

Laura also fell into the same non-creative minefield with her "Bird is the Word" pantsuit. The only thing I liked about it was the color. And while I am usually a fan of what Bert throws out (and just let me say I DID like his dress this week, but only because it would fit in MY pageant line), I found that he didn't use his imagination AT ALL to come up with something that could have been Halle Berry, Jungle Fever HOTTTT!

Now let's take a look at the designers who came out on top this week: Despite the various meltdowns, Kimberly finally got a look to work, all in the last three hours. I loved the Greek Godess look of Kimberly's gown, and even though it looked like she had a kindergartner cut the dress, it fit her model very well and if I didn't do a zoom and notice all the bad construction, I liked it better than Viktor's.

Moving on to Joshua, I actually liked his dress - and I LOVED the chain in the back, even though I don't think the dress was all that "high fashion" - to me it was more of a Saturday night date dress and I wish he would have incorporated a little bit of the chain on the front shoulder instead of that flowery thing, but still - it's Joshua.

What can we say? As for Anya, she knocks it out of the park with her little black dress that she not only has to cut the model out of, she has to cut her IN to before hitting the runway. I did appreciate that she was actually inspired and made a little black dress that is certainly flattering and bird-like -- the winged shoulders, the tail in the back -- without being too literal. Heidi calls it "cool, edgy, and fashion-forward," and Nina says it's her favorite look from Anya so far. I'm going to agree with them both this week. I did love it. And call me a drama magnet, but I loved that she totally pissed Joshua off, not only for winning with a dress that has no common sense construction, but also for not letting him borrow any fabric.

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26
WED

The '70s Seven

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:54pm GMT

This is now make it or break it time for the last seven designers. The stress at this stage of the competition is sooo high because you can almost see the finish line and you are sooo sleep deprived and have been on a ridiculous rollercoaster.

This episode was probably the most tear-filled of the season so far. A lot is at stake in this challenge because the winning "sophisticated '70s" look will be mass produced and sold on piperlime.com.

Right off the bat, Anya loses her $100 allowance at Mood and the waterworks begin. Luckily, Anthony Ryan was nice enough to let Anya have his left over money, totaling $11.50. My heart went out to her while she wept in the workroom. She seems just so sweet and is so damn pretty, even when she cries. She is forced to use muslin for the rest of her fabric for this garment. Viktor showed his really competitive side by being the only designer that didn't give Anya any of his left over fabric.

Halfway through this challenge, Tim enters the room and tells the designers that they have to make a second look now and only have an additional $50.00 to buy fabric. This look has to be one piece, so no separates. This only adds more stress to poor little Anya.

I had mixed feelings of some of the outfits this week. There was so much inconsistency. I thought Bert's first separates look was awesome, even though the shorts were gross short. I was not a fan of his second look at all. The dress was so boring and see through. Of course the judges loved it, and even chose to mass produce it on Piperlime as well. Joshua's two looks were the most contrasting. The judges tore his black and white plaid pants apart. They keep telling him he is too much and over the top. (That sounds so familiar. LOL.)

I actually liked Laura's two looks this week, but the judges tore into her as well. They hated her print choice as well as the combination with the chevron stripes. I thought it was kind of cool. I guess different strokes for different folks.

Anthony Ryan should have saved the money he gave to Anya and bought some more fabric to add sleeves to his separates look because he was OUT this week. The judges really hated both of his looks and I have to agree they were boring. The color palette he chose was just so drab. I knew he was gonna cry again before he left this season and he didn't disappoint.

I thought the clear winner for this week's challenge would have been Viktor after seeing his two looks walk the runway. His tailoring on the suit was AMAZING. This ensemble looked so expensive and really embodied the sophistication that the judges said they wanted. It was much to my surprise, and I think to all of the other designers too, that Anya won this challenge. Her first look was lackluster. I have to admit the maxi dress she made was awesome, but all of Viktor's pieces were phenomenal.

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26
WED

Rock N' Wrong

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:40pm GMT

A Rock Band Challenge. The winner gets his or her look on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. This should be a really exciting challenge right?!?! Well, I hate to burst all the bubbles out there, but this team challenge was quite a disappointment for me. It really chapped my bum. What should have been rock n' roll went rock n' wrong.

Anya's tunic was probably one of the worst things I have ever seen made on "Project Runway". It was like a really bad Halloween indian costume. Her pants were splitting on the poor model as well. She typically has mad style, but this week she just went mad, I think.

Kimberly definitely had the best one-liners this week. She had me in stitches when Nina was asking her what happened, and she just replied, "I don't know, Nina." You could tell she was so frustrated and humiliated. At least the pants she made for her model looked great on him, so the outfit was not a complete disaster.

I actually loved Anthony Ryan's outfit because of the tie dye chic aspect of it. The color choice was cool and different. I felt his model looked the part of a rock band member. I also liked Joshua's outfit, but I did feel it was just a little overdone. The pants were very sexy and tailored quite well. I agree with Heidi that his model looked the sexiest of all the looks. That's part of what rock n' roll is all about.

My favorite look this week would have had to have been Viktor's model. The jacket was so amazing. I want that in real leather right now. The braids on the shoulder that trailed into fringe were such an innovative way to incorporate masculinity and the fringe. I also thought the fit of the shirt and pants were impeccably made. The jacket alone looked good enough to be on the cover of a magazine.

And now for my "*itch" session. Olivier had better enroll in etiquette or charm school fast. He has horrible people skills. This is not the first time he has complained about the size of his model. And let me remind you, neither of them were very big or grossly obese. In the real world you encounter people of all shapes and sizes and not just perfect dressforms or models. For him to be a menswear designer and then to put his model in that heinous outfit was just pathetic. I mean ivory skinny jeans on that guys shape. The overall proportions of the outfit were just all wrong.

Olivier designs what he would wear, and that is it. He has no concept of how to step out of that box. I am grateful to see him go this week because his work was so far from rock n' roll and he had such a nasty attitude about the size of his model.

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15
THU

Men Are From Mars...

Posted By Antonia L. 5:32pm GMT

Growing up in a household full of women definitely would have helped me in this week’s challenge, mainly because I had to listen to them bitch about men not understanding them. Typically, men just do not pay attention to what women wear, more what they are not wearing. Luckily, the designers were given the measurements of their client. I can only imagine how many models wouldn’t have had a garment to wear down the runway if their significant other had to describe or guess their sizes.

 I was actually quite proud of how much these men knew about their girlfriends' or wives' wardrobes. Was this luck? It poses some interesting questions for me. I wonder if these women gave their beaus a little fashion boot camp on their personal style before the show so that they wouldn’t look like idiots on national television. Let’s face it: Everyone wants to win, even if a little cheating is involved. Can we say “patternmaking books”? Even if these men had a little coaching, that didn’t keep some ugly from walking down the runway, and I’m not talking about the models.

The least of the beasts would have to be Bert’s minidress. This V-neck hoochie-mama cocktail dress was exactly what both clients wanted, and that clearly showed. I am just uninspired by Bert’s work here lately. He is going to have to really pull something out of his bag of tricks if he is going to last.

Anthony Ryan’s frock left me saying, “What the #$%*?” How can he have such great taste one week and then do what he produced this week? While the model was pleased with his creation, it was not pleasing to look at. Even the color palette was all wrong. He could have made a really cute modernized fifties pinup-inspired dress, but chose to make such a simple ugly dress. The ugliest dress of all had to have been Bryce’s pink pocket dress. The fit was horrible as well as the design. The stress really got to him this week. At least he gets to go home to his boyfriend now.

 Joshua and Viktor clearly had the best designs this week. I personally would have chosen Viktor as the winner, because his outfit was so perfect for the client, and it was so incredibly well tailored and was so many separate pieces. The color palette was very fresh and different. Joshua did a great job on editing and manipulated the lace beautifully, but the construction of his dress was quite simple. I was surprised to see Anya in the top again, though. Don’t get me wrong, I love her, but this week’s dress was a miss for me. She used beautiful fabrics, but the dress reminded me of a “Lion King” costume.

Speaking of theater, where is the drama? I am talking about the emotion and feeling from the garments on the runway the past few episodes. These designers are going to have to really step it up. I am waiting for something to blow me away. There has been a little drama amongst the cast this season, but only with the queens really. I am surprised that there hasn’t been any model drama. Even this week, all of the models ended up pleased with their garments. There are still several weeks left, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

09
FRI

Prayer Circle or Circle of Jerks?

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:01am GMT

Team Nuts and Bolts cancel, delayed HP fabricLet me set the stage for you on how this week's drama unfolds. Heidi informs the 10 designers that they will be in two teams of five. Before bitter Bert can even join his team onstage, he is mumbling negative comments under his breath and not owning up to it when Heidi asks. Not only are Joshua McKinley and Bert on a team together, but you throw in a little Becky and you have a match made in hell. Luckily, Laura and Kimberly are on this team to help keep the insanity to a minimum. The bedbugs definitely crawled in Joshua McKinley's pants this week as his attitude and temper was unleashed on Bert. The true colors of these characters are really starting to show. Joshua flew off the handle and caused a big dramatic gay scene in the workroom when Bert said something under his breath about his clock print not printing. Bert's comment was not even directed at anyone on his team, yet Joshua made it his business like he was the team captain or something. I haven't seen a tantrum like that since "Toddlers and Tiaras," both equally a train wreck that I just couldn't stop watching. Everyone's mouth in the workroom was open in awe of such irrational, childish behavior. This negative energy completely set the tone for Team Nuts and Bolts.

Viktor's gown in the HP fabric challengeThe energy was so bad that even Tim felt the tension and made the designers hold hands in a little prayer circle, completely humiliating on national television for this circle of jerks. Tim's prayer did put the designers on the right track, and a little teamwork and synergy surfaced. Unfortunately, this was a little too late, because Team Chaos had nothing but harmony.

Anya, Anthony Ryan, Viktor, Bryce and Olivier were professional and focused on what the challenge was all about. From the beginning, the entire team meshed and began feeding off of each other's creativity. I learned a long time ago that the absolute best quality to have in a stressful environment is a good attitude. Anthony Ryan had the first idea that spawned this creative think tank, which was to use the inspiration of an inkblot test. This inspired each of the designer's chaotic prints. In fashion, it is a designer's job to tell a story through clothing. The video that this team filmed was so perfect for the story they were telling about their mini collection. Anya had a brilliant idea of mirroring the video image to tie in the "chaos" to the video, which created a very unique end product. I feel every designer on this team also stepped out of their comfort zone by creating something challenging or different for them. Olivier got rave reviews on his tailored jacket, which is one of the hardest garments to make. Anya created a little cocktail dress, which was different for her, and Viktor made an exquisite evening gown that left me wanting to see more.

The judges had no trouble at all seeing the evident differences between the two collections and how the egos affected their outcomes. With Team Chaos offering Anya her first win, I thought this was well deserved, even though I thought Olivier might win for his mad tailoring skills. The terrifying last moments when Joshua and Becky were left standing on the runway ultimately sent Becky packing. I hope this close call taught Joshua a life lesson to be nicer to people. My grandmother used to always say, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar," but sometimes vinegar makes for better TV.

08
THU

Are You Smarter Than an Art Student?

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:22pm GMT

The designers with the Harlem School of the Arts artists Oh my goodness!!! When you incorporate children into almost anything, it is a recipe for greatness……or disaster. I was super pleased to see that every designer embraced the idea of working with the kids. This challenge was so creative, inspiring, and beautiful. The innocence of a young mind is so fascinating to me.

Typically children learn from observing their surroundings and from what they are taught. The fascinating part is when they teach an adult something. I was blown away by Laura's young artist Kai, an eleven year old girl that said, "Failure is an opportunity in disguise". I had to pause my DVR and really think about that statement. I have always been a positive, extroverted person and try to learn from all experiences in life. Just hearing something so wise and unexpected from her was truly touching. I could see such an honest innocent beauty even in Kai's eyes. Every relationship that was formed between the designers and their student was inspiring to watch. It makes me want to go take an art class with kids.

I think part of what makes this show so successful is you get a peek into the mind and its creative process. All of the paintings were unique and pretty impressive. Once the masterpieces were done, then the real challenge began. Before the paint was even dry, the designers had to create an avant-garde look inspired by their art collaboration. The "mood" was tense at the fabric store as the designers frantically tried to fabricate their design.

After such a drama filled episode last week, this week was quite tame. The biggest personalities seemed to come from the kids. Viktor's artist Skyy was twelve years old going on twenty one. She had attitude and a clear point of view. Let's just say very outspoken. A great contrast to Viktor, who has been pretty quiet so far this season. I always felt one of the most stressful times of a challenge is when Tim comes to the design room for critiques. Skyy completely controlled the critique and let Tim know how fabulous their design was and that was all there was to it. I mean what is Tim going to say to a twelve year old?

So there was some pretty walking down the runway and then there was some pretty wacky. Laura's yellow organza gown was quite beautiful. Of course I love the gowns. The only thing I wish is that Laura would have used some of the other colors in the painting like the red or green. I did find it quite interesting that the judges loved seeing the boning through the sheer bodice, since just a few years ago they kinda dogged my couture dress I made in Paris. It was a gold sheer metallic corset with hand sewn, French lace on the bodice with an ombre silk chiffon skirt. Tim kept telling me he was worried for me because the corset was sheer and you could see the black boning through it. I did not go home that challenge and I get more comments from fans that that dress was absolutely their favorite and do not know what the judges were thinking.

Anthony Ryan's dress was one of my favorites because of how literal he interpreted the painting and the brush strokes. The look was truly avant-garde, yet completely wearable. This design definitely made a statement, but I have to agree with Kenneth Cole that the execution could have been a little cleaner. Viktor's gown was completely overlooked this week. The construction, fit, execution, and fabrication was pure perfection. The judges obviously like it enough because he was safe, but a true oversight. The judges might have just been confused by the unsightly creations this week.

The designers with the Harlem School of the Arts artistsI could not agree more with Micheal Kors that Oliviers clothes are like valium. Boring, and will put you to sleep. His artist's painting was so bright and lively, and the dress was just blah. Bitter Bert's teletubbie jumpsuit on the other hand was far from boring. I was slightly fascinated by it for some reason though. A little Mad-Hatter meets Humpty-Dumpty I guess from my childhood. Heidi must have smoked the same crack I did because she found it interesting as well. Poor Joshua Christensen had one of the most inspiring paintings of all and fell short this week with a cheap black and white hooker get up. Definitely not the taste level the judges were looking for, but I guess at least he can use black and white.

The biggest lesson learned for me this week was to appreciate beauty in its simplest form. Children see things so clearly sometimes because they are so eager to absorb information without all the adult confusion we surround ourselves in. Try to keep life simple, honest, and beautiful.

26
FRI

Lights, Camera, DRAMA!!!!!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:01am GMT

I am surprised it took this group of designers this many challenges before the real talons came out. Episode 5 definitely separates the good from the evil. Stress and exhaustion is starting to set in as these designers start to show their true colors.

Designers at Mood for the New Balance challenge The drama begins when Cecilia Mot”whiney” decides that she does not want to be on the show anymore. Why waste your time and get in that silly track outfit? Wouldn’t you wanna go home in some fabulous designer duds? Anyway, I guess if you realize you are not cut out for "Project Runway," then you should just go. It does kinda suck to see someone just give up, though. Some of the designers looked a little upset when Cecilia left, but I guarantee ALL of them were glad to see another competitor out of the race. Every one of the designers is there to win. That is the only reason you would put yourself through the hellish stress, sleep deprivation, and humility that we call "Project Runway."

The competitive nature of the program leaves you wanting more as a viewer and contestant. It’s like a sick addiction. That is why we saw so much joy on Joshua Christensen’s face when he came back on the show this week. I am truly excited for him and hope this second chance will keep my dreams of a "tape" scandal this season ALIVE! Did you see how excited Joshua McKinley was when the other Joshua came in the room? It’s going to happen!

Let’s just say another group challenge spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. My boyfriend, or shall I say girlfriend, Joshua McKinley, really showed his backside this week. Poor little Becky was just trying to give her input and he dug into her like a rabid dog when he said, “You know you make dowdy dresses, Becky." OUCH! I could only laugh when he was standing over the sewing machine trying to make his case that "dowdy" doesn’t always mean "bad." Anya was caught in the middle and such a sweetheart trying to keep the group together. I do understand Joshua was probably a little stressed and exhausted after that sprint around the track, and was glad to see him apologize to Becky for his behavior.

The drama continued in the sewing room when Bert started using Joshua McKinley’s machine. You would think these two queens were fighting over the British Empire, wishing the other would die. Bitter Bert is so apathetic and angry. I think he needs to lighten up and get some! The tension every time he is on camera is thick enough to cut with a new pair of ginghers. I do have to say that his outfit did turn out the best in his group, so I predict we will be seeing him right up to the end. Bitter Bert offers drama and design, a lethal combination for television.

Judging Team Joshua M New Balance challengeThe clothes were overshadowed by the attitudes this week, but Viktor was Viktorious as the winner of the challenge. A much deserved win for the fabulous leather motorcycle jacket and dress combo his team produced. They completely understood the challenge and Heidi’s shoes looked great with the outfit. Joshua McKinley was also chosen as the winner of this challenge as well. I felt his win was not as deserving, because the maxi dress idea was actually thought of by Anya. I tell ya, she is a smoking gun. She has mad style, is a sweetie, and soooo easy on the eyes. This is going to get really interesting. It is an early prediction, but I also think this beauty queen knows how to compete. You go, Miss Trinidad and Tobago.

20
SAT

NOT FOR NINA?!?!?!?

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 12:36pm GMT

Can we just say holy hell!?!? Okay, of all the clients you want to design for, the last one is definitely Nina Garcia of Marie Claire magazine!!!! The designers must have been peeing in their pants. I hope that some of the puppy pads from the Pet Store challenge were still around to soak it up. That would be like designing for Anna Wintour, for crying out loud!!!

I am just going to cut to the chase on this challenge because there were only a couple stand out great (and bad) designs this week. Let's begin with Anya this week: I love her and her style, but I am sorry, mustard or that dyed gross brown jumpsuit she made was not my favorite. The judges obviously like her because Nina would NEVER wear a jumpsuit! You can't even say "Nina Garcia" and "jumpsuit" in the same sentence. Who cares that she has mad dying skills? The outfit was awful in my opinion and unrealistic for Nina for a day to night look.

I did agree with the judges tonight that Danielle's green blouse was boring and way too ambitious. It was totally like a poor Joan Crawford Halloween costume. I do feel like she has shown some promising talent though already and should have another chance.

From what I could tell, I did think Viktor's black simple dress was beautiful, but very simple and predictable. The silhouette was very nice on the model.

Cecilia's one shoulder dress was a catastrophe. Does anyone even wear one shoulder dresses to work in a business atmosphere? Maybr as a boutique owner, but that's all.

Of course I would have to agree that Julie deserved to go home this week. She has been dwelling at the bottom every week. Some people I think are just not cut out for the "Project Runway" experience.

Kimberly's outfit was by far my favorite. I could totally see Nina wearing this outfit and taking it from day to night. The metallic brocade peek-a-boo top was so beautiful and interesting. The color of the brocade was so spot on for whats in and for Nina. The pants were impeccably tailored and very flattering. I loved seeing Nina in the outfit at work.

Ultimately, from my experience with Nina she does have a heart in there somewhere, it's just hard to see behind the fangs and venom! I think this episode let you see both sides of The Nina.

12
FRI

A VERY Tall Order

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 12:23am GMT

Every designer loves a tall model, but this challenge takes this to a whole other level. Pun intended. When Heidi walks the runway and is 10 feet tall, the designers look overwhelmingly puzzled. A supermodel rocking stilts is not a normal sight. The designers immediately thought this was a circus challenge. Heidi informs these designer hopefuls that they will be working with stilt-walking models and instructs them to create an eye-catching, imaginative, larger-than-life outfit. She explains that this challenge will also be the first in "Project Runway" history to be held outside with a LIVE audience and press. My hat goes off to the producers for always keeping us on our toes. I think the hardest part of this challenge would be deciding whether to design a more ready-to-wear look or a costume.

Heidi paired the designers into seven teams, and immediately the drama began to unfold. The first team announced was Viktor and Ber. Viktor was quite vocal that he was not excited about being paired with Bert. This set the tone for how their next 24 hours would unfold. I couldn't help but cringe watching the train wreck between the two designers. Bert seemed a little harder to work with, honestly, and had no couth in talking to Viktor. Bert belittled Viktor several times. The Elizabethan costume they created was extremely costume-y and poorly made. None of the judges liked their fabric choices, saying they looked like old curtains.

Julie and Joshua McKinley were not really a match made in heaven, either. The banter between these two was a little easier to watch than that between Bert and Viktor. Julie and Joshua have completely different styles, but at least they were pretty kind to each other. They also created a quite costume-y, over-the-top matador ensemble that frightened the judges. My least favorite part of their look was the cheap metallic red Lycra they used for the leotard top. This really cheapened the look and made it very confusing to the eye.

The biggest disaster pairing was definitely between Bryce and Fallene. She did not even know how to cut pattern pieces out on grain. This is rule one of pattern making. I fault Bryce a little for not teaching Fallene how to cut out her bustier on grain when he first learned she was clueless. Fallene completely fell apart in this challenge and basically only made a headband. Bryce constructed all of the other lackluster pieces for the model. This "Black Swan"–inspired ballerina costume turned out to be the ugly duckling and ultimately sent Fallene home this week.

Danielle and Cecilia as well as Olivier and Anya all created ready-to-wear looks that the judges complimented. These two towering garments looked very well made and flattering on the runway. These two teams worked well together for the most part and were safe to the next round.

Kimberly and Becky made a very tailored ready-to-wear look that the judges raved over. The pants were so beautiful that I thought Nina was going to book them for a photo shoot for the next issue of Marie Claire. The jacket was also quite stunning, even though the judges and I thought the collar was a little too theatrical. Yes, I am saying something was too much. This was definitely my second favorite look, though.

The most striking garment by far, in my opinion, was made by Anthony Ryan and Laura. This stunning red flyaway pantsuit was truly couture-looking, with petal shoulder detailing and shirred silk bodice. The flowing silk charmeuse train captured the natural breeze from being outdoors. Kim Kardashian and this live, press-filled setting vaulted the excitement. Laura deservingly won immunity with this gorgeous ensemble. The great teamwork between these two designers had to have played a little part in their victory.

I found it very interesting that all of the teams that chose to create more of a costume had the lowest scores. I mean, it is quite understandable, given Heidi's instruction of an "imaginative, truly larger-than-life outfit" for a stilt walker. Stilts are typically worn by clowns in circuses and carnivals!!!! This is what makes this show so tricky. When in doubt, make ready-to-wear, kids.

05
FRI

Fish Tank or Tank Top? BOTH!!!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 7:50pm GMT

I would first like to mention none of the animals of the pet store were harmed during the filming of this episode. How fabulous would it have been to have a little Chinchilla fur to work with? Even a little python belt could have been fierce. Sorry, PETA. This southern boy loves his fur and leather. Some of these designers soared to the top while the rest just went cuckoo.

The hardest part of a challenge like this is to pick the materials that you are going to work with. On this show, you have such little time to plan how you are going to construct a garment. It is virtually impossible to know how puppy pee pads will sew or if aquarium rocks will glue onto fabric and withstand the runway strut. A challenge like this is an awesome platform for designers to show their creative genius by manipulating such unconventional materials ... on a budget ... in a time crunch ... while being sleep deprived ... on national television. Not quite the zen design environment we hope for.

Every year "Project Runway" pushes the limits of these designers by adding a challenge like this and you always hear don't choose products that are or look like fabric. History has shown though that it is not completely taboo to use fabric items. I remember in our first challenge on Season 3, Keith won with a blue halter dress made from curtains. And of course Olivier excelled last night using dog bedding fabric. Not surprising Nina loved this design, it's so her style. My main complaint was that it was unflattering on the model, the top was made from fabric, and the skirt was more of a glue gun craft project. Just look back at the Rate the Runway pictures and I think you will agree.

There was a lot of hot gluing going on this week. Anthony Ryan's dress was also all glued-on birdseed. The judges and I agree that it was one of our favorites because of the striking silhouette and "bead-like" pattern. Lord knows I love my beads. Who knew birdseed could look so chic? The design of the dress was pretty simple, but effective. The way that he used the sunflower kernels was exquisite.

Another great hot-glued creation was the flirty neon number by my boyfriend, Joshua McKinley. He doesn't know it yet, but I'm sure after reading my blog he will call me. His sparkling aquarium gravel tank top truly came from the tank, and was brilliantly paired with a simple black skirt. I have to agree with the judges that the look was over-accessorized, but we forgive you, Joshua. The biggest trend of the night was belts!!! 10 out of the 15 designers had belts on their designs! I found this very interesting.


Two designers I felt were overlooked were Kimberly and Viktor. Both of these designs were very sexy and definitely didn't look like they came out of a pet shop. Their cocktail dresses fit beautifully and looked expensive. I would definitely keep an eye out for them as the season progresses.

A few dogs were released on the runway as well, starting with Bryce's blue puppy pee pad dress. Heidi commented that she wanted to "pee all over those wee wee pads." I slightly wish she would have hiked her German drumstick and just peed on it. I honestly thought he was a goner after seeing it on the runway. Bert underwhelmed me on this challenge as well. His little black and pink dress looked like something on a dollar store Barbie and didn't really make sense. He should feel very lucky that he won immunity last week. This saddened me because I am a Bert fan. I will give him another week to wow me.


As bad as these outfits were, I was truly surprised when our Mormon man Joshua Christensen was eliminated. I mean, no one wanted to pee on this one! I wasn't really excited about his use of materials, but it did fit well and I thought was pretty wearable. The pop of green in the belt also was a complimentary touch to the purple halter. Several designers (including the winner) used fabric materials, so it couldn't be that Joshua C. used the umbrella fabric for the bodice. Perhaps the judge's decision was based on what he had shown them collectively. I guess my hopes of a "Project Runway" "tape" scandal starring the Joshuas will have to wait. Boo.