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Botox in Bloom

By laurareineke Fri., Feb. 15, 2013 ,12:42 pm EST

The verdict came in last week and it was no "surprise" the judges sent Cindy's iridescent shantung pink disaster to the morgue. Those that have been avid viewers of "Project Runway" and fans of Heidi Klum's specifically know her style, and even though Cindy hit on the short, exposed, and shiny, it was all rancid and frankly far off from the level of work we should expect from designers on the 11th season. Fisheye darts and princess-seam shift dresses just don't cut it anymore. So if you are interested in stampeding on set with a "self-taught" design degree and a bag full of vintage McCall's patterns you better have a spoon full of sugar ready to help the reality go down!

Speaking of reality, Team Keeping it Real was once again on top for the third straight week, while Dream Team is depleting faster than vials of Botox on the set of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills". While pumped-up looks and personalities can definitely get some people to advance in life and in this competition, they ultimately won’t save you when you have a piece of junk garment on the runway.

Speaking of "junk on the runway," thank the Lord that Glade 2-in-1 candles are on set to freshen up the workroom and lend the inspiration for this week's challenge! It's my favorite, and I am sure one of yours: the unconventional challenge!

Definition: "unconventional" adj. - not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed

With that definition leading this week's challenge, I am hoping it really starts to separate the design directors from the design interns. Now what is important to remember about this challenge is to keep an open mind. The designers are working with materials from a hardware store and a floral market. These two things alone are insane and unrealistic, but what it will show you is who really has the ideas and the skill to execute something that ultimately could pass for a ready-to-wear garment. As Kate states, "You don’t tell someone to make a dress out of floral and hardware and expect it to look normal!" I return with "Why the hell not?" Making a garment for this challenge wearable and sustainable for a long period of time might not be feasable, but making it look normal is entirely the idea.

With Stanley and Layana recruited to the Dream Team, spirits already seem to be lifted; the team have gone from a depletion of Botox to a facelift. Meanwhile, Team Keeping It Real has gained Michelle, which I think is a plus for them. She is definitely one of the strong designers with a solid point of view who has been overlooked due to the that fact she has been on the bottom team for the first three challenges. It's definitely a nice change to see the teams mixed up, but now what lies ahead is creating a cohesive collection. It's hard enough to get cohesion using real fabrics, so Lord knows it's going to be a challenge to achieve that with unconventional materials.

We have "Dior 1950s New Look"* in one corner and "no idea" in the other, except for Richard's direction of "RuPaul meets 'Gilligan's Island.'” Thank you, Richard. I'm finally awake -- especially after that hair flip with Michelle -- but darling, don't let me down now because it would not be cute to see you "sashay away."

*Design note: Dior's 1950's “New Look” is characterized by a small, nipped-in waist and full skirt falling below mid-calf length, which helped to emphasize the bust and hips.

Amanda confesses, "I just don't like flowers, I don't get the lines, and they totally bore me,” while Joe is rather intrigued by them, especially "weird flowers that look like brains that kind of eat the model." So basically we have Seymour Krelborn and Morticia Addams on the same team.

With immunity and her refilled tank of helium, Kate is determined to go big, and we all are made aware of it with her dramatic display of bending chicken wire. Ben is determined to leave the shipwreck from last week and impress us with his training in basket weaving, and it's working! I think it's a genius idea, and I can imagine how insanely time-consuming it is.

The judges and I were definitely on the same wavelength this week. It was a very difficult runway to decide the top and bottom team. I think equally the teams really pulled out some lovely looks, but in terms of really stepping out of the box and delivering originality, I think both teams fell flat. I know the possibilities that a hardware store contains, and it seems most designers relied on the floral side of the challenge to carry their designs. Michelle and Richard had the winning look in my eyes, but unfortunately they were on the losing team. I congratulate Samantha on her win. I would like to point out that she did take Layana's advice in the end to cover the muslin with mesh, however she took it one step further and sandwiched large-scale leaves in between the two.

It's sad to see Joe go because his design philosophy embodies the challenge perfectly, but apparently the "foreign land" in he was designing was too far off from what the judges wanted. With such a short time on the show, I'm not exactly sure what he is capable of, but I find comfort in knowing that I will be keeping my eyes peeled for his mountain-of-cats screen prints. Simply purr-fect!