Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

Down Under Blunders

By kim_messina 03/15/2013 04:17AM GMT

This week, there is a new twist on the team thing: the judges get to decide how the teams are divided, and select players for each one (Hello, producer intervention?). There are eight designers remaining, so they were split into two teams of four. Seems no matter how those judges attempted to rationalize their decisions, I wasnʼt quite buying it. Naturally, Michelle and Patricia end up on the same team, as do Richard and Layana.

First thing in the morning, in lieu of coffee and croissants, the designers are taken on a field trip to meet the ALL MALE Aussie "reveal" group, Thunder From Down Under. They are given a show by these guys, followed by the challenge delivered by Tim: create three cohesive, tear-away looks for these burly male dancers! Whaaaat?! Can we go back to bed now?

I donʼt know about you, but this challenge has very little, in my opinion, that is relevant to being a talented fashion designer. I like that the Bunim/Murray execs wanted to do a menswear challenge, but this isnʼt REALLY menswear. These are male dancer costumes. This is a joke. No wonder everyone failed at it. I canʼt imagine any of the designers were too thrilled about this challenge. And when youʼre in the competition, the thing you most fear is to be eliminated for a challenge which has nothing to do with fashion design. Seriously...this challenge is a big blunder in so many ways...what a waste of an episode!

But back to the workroom. Even the teams were a bit boring in the ways they worked together. I did think Richard was getting the loser edit because he was so sure that he could nail this (Perhaps because he could really relate to male stripper costumes?), but then his ideas were not well received by his teammates. Richard dear, thatʼs because your ideas are not "edgy"—they are in bad taste!

Again I question Layanaʼs ability to stand on her own as a designer. What happens a lot with young designers is they (a) donʼt know who they are yet and havenʼt had time to hone their point of view, and (b) they are often not well-practiced/skilled enough (in sewing and construction, the more one practices, the better oneʼs skills become). The latter is what we see an example of in this episode (Weʼve seen the former in previous ones), as Layana somehow thinks itʼs OK to approach the opposing team for construction advice.

Honestly there is not a whole lot to judge. No one did well. It was painful to watch. Even Heidi said that she wanted to eliminate everyone and end the show right then and there. Well, perhaps she should have thought about that before approving the challenge, because HOW can a designer truly show his/her talent in a challenge like this??

Team Slick and Hip was the worse of the two teams. Abominable. There was no design and the construction was godawful. How does Richard not know what a collar stand is?!?? The shirt he made looked like something a 3rd grader would make. The only redeeming thing about any of the clothes is that the tearaway element functioned. However it was not enough to make up for all the blunders, and Amanda was eliminated for her outfit which could barely stay on the guy. Something had gone very wrong in the workroom with the pant she was making, and by the time she figured out it was too small, it was too late.

Team Shades of Grey was safe. Daniel made a smock, Patricia made a crafty woven shirt that was never seen and Michelle made an outfit which, while odd and had fit issues, was at least outside the box and creative. Hers really stood out, for better or for worse. However there was NO WINNER selected in this challenge! I canʼt recall when this has ever happened on "Project Runway," but how fortunate for the Aussies; at least they donʼt have to wear any of those designs!