+ More

Season Premiere July 24 at 9/8c

The official site for "Project Runway" Season 13 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.

laura-bennett-blog-project-runway-blog

Laura Bennett Blog

Blog Home

Craptastic Couture

By CaitlinBergmann Thu., Sep. 23, 2010 ,3:26 pm EDT

For this week's challenge the designers are asked to create a couture outfit inspired by eye shadow for an L'Oreal "advertorial." As additional inspiration, the designers pick an eye shadow finish: bright, metallic, crystal, velvet, matte. AND L'Oreal will fork over an additional $20,000 to the challenge winner. I have no problems with the challenge. The assigned inspiration is fair enough, because the resulting photograph is about eye shadow.

What I do have a problem with is the word "advertorial." It was used at least 80 times in this episode as if it were a real word! And as if we all know the word! And as if we all are in agreement that it is OK to invent words by slamming the beginning of one word into the end of another one. Like products that are "prosumer" or people that are "Brangelina" or couture that is "craptastic." How can these people use the word "advertorial" with a straight face? Especially Tim Gunn, whose complex lexicon and mastery of the English language are personal trademarks. He should have refused and used the word "advertisement," because that's what it is. It's an advertisement!

Watch the full Project Runway episode online!I feel better now.

The designers get off to a good start, no doubt because the challenge is well-defined, and color and finish are assigned. As I always say, the fewer open-ended decisions to make, the easier any design solution is to achieve. That being said, it's off to Mood, where Ivy translates "bright" to "beach" to "water" to "waves" and makes some frightening fabric choices. Mondo is pulling fabrics that match his bright yellow rain boots, and Tim is chasing Swatch.

In the workroom we learn that Gretchen (who is looking more and more like Karen Carpenter) has been awarded patent number 6420015 from the US Patent and Trademark office for the color Burgundy. April is wisely suspicious of the fact that this is a two-day challenge, and Valerie can't cut silk. Tim, who realizes he's the bearer of bad news, comes in to announce that the designers are also required to create a ready-to-wear look to go along with their high-fashion look. They get an additional $100 and another trip to Mood, but no extra time. This time the producers succeeded in torturing the contestants. April is catching on. And she wants a miniature pony.

View more photos of HeidiIt's runway day, and with the help of some hot-glue guns the designers manage to dress their two models in two outfits and send them down to the runway. It sometimes doesn't seem possible, but they manage to do it. Amazing. Heidi is wearing some bad eighties outfit and looking like she has no right to judge. She also reuses the word "advertorial" just to piss me off for dissing her outfit. We're even now. Evening-wear designer Naeem Kahn is the guest judge, which is weird, because I'm having dinner with him tonight.

First out on the runway are April's garments. There are those panties and black chiffon again. Next up is Mondo with a dress that looks a lot like Jeffrey's winning couture dress from Season 3. Ivy sends out her blue satin and chiffon wave number that looks like an incomplete craft project. Her ready-to-wear is moderately more successful. She feels safe. Michael C. sends out a model with a train that doesn't fit on the runway. Is that wire in the hem? Are you kidding me? Christopher Collins ends up safe with hip halos. All I can say is he is lucky the others designers messed up worse than he did. Gretchen's bohemian velvet kimono has no relationship (that I can see) to her ready-to-wear, and there is talk about side-slit action that I am missing. Valerie is up next with a white/black duo of ?*!!? Both dresses look like high school sewing-class projects. She is nervous, and rightly so. Andy does Warrior Girl with giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers on her shoulders.

If I sound harsh, it is because I am generally disappointed in the products of this challenge. Remember Chris March and Christian Siriano's couture dress? Nothing I'm seeing here even comes close.

Mondo wins even though Nina thinks his fabrics look cheap. Things are bad when you win a "Project Runway" challenge because your outfit sucks the least. He now has $20,014 in his bank account.

Ivy, Valerie and Michael C .are in trouble. Ivy is still in denial, Valerie is ready to go home, and who knows what Michael C. is thinking. The judges are thinking he can stay, but can't seem to agree on which is worse: Ivy's Little Mermaid or Valerie's My Fair Lady. Kors declares it a "tight race for hideous." I think they should both go, and for a moment, Heidi makes us think that it will happen, but no, we have 16 weeks of programming to fill, so Valerie can stay. Even Valerie is shocked.