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Mila Hermanovski Blog

No Surprise

By kim_messina Fri., Feb. 8, 2013 ,4:52 am EST

Itʼs the ubiquitous Heidi challenge. It seems Heidi always has (yet another) product sheʼs launching, and this time itʼs her latest perfume, "Surprise." It must be hard being Heidi, in constant need of new things to wear to all the events associated with all these launches. Enter the "Project Runway" designers!

The designers enter the workroom and find giant pink gift boxes with black ribbons...my immediate thought was, "WOW, itʼs the Agent Provocateur lingerie challenge!" (Rhat is their exact packaging/gift box, and probably one of HKʼs favorite brands). Then when I saw little bowls of various scent ingredients, I knew I was on a different path. Tim gives the designers the exact same spiel he gave us on Season 7 when we had our Heidi Challenge: "Youʼve got a VERY important client with VERY strong opinions..." And soon it is revealed that the task is to design looks for Heidi to wear in a commercial/print ad and to the press event for the new fragrance, using the colors on the perfume bottle/packaging: black, pink and gold.

By the way, can we please rename these teams? I donʼt think they could be any worse. I doubt if the designers realized those names would be permanent for the entire season.

Itʼs always interesting to see how certain designers do with "red carpet"-type challenges. It can be an intimidating thing, especially when designing for ze Kluminator. She does, after all, have strong opinions, and will tell you sheʼs quite picky. I think Joseph, left to his own devices, would have probably designed some cat-themed hand-hooked or patchwork creation and made it into a gown. He says he aspires to see his design on the worst-dressed list. With a schizophrenic portfolio such as his, I think his dreams could come true. Thank goodness Amanda is there to reel him in.

In the workroom, Cindy asks advice from her peers: "Which is better: the pink taffeta or the iridescent pink shantung?" Uh, have you got anything less suited for an 80s prom dress, Cindy? Layana, who has immunity, is a total Nervous Nelly, getting hung up on minute details, such as the right shade of pink fabric, which by the way has already been purchased. Kate is right: there is no time for that. For better or for worse, in a one-day challenge, there is barely time to even step back and look at your design objectively. And even if you can, should you decide something is not working, there is seldom a) time to rework it and b) material with which to rework it. Decisions need to be made quickly and one needs to be constantly moving forward. Benjamin is struggling and reveals his personal "skeletons" in an interview. While this is touching, Benjamin, itʼs a bit early to be breaking down! Itʼs only the third episode (they have likely been in New York only ONE WEEK), and I wonder how he will do as the season continues. Losing oneʼs confidence in this fierce competition and stressful setting can be your worst enemy.

Keeping It Real is clearly the winning team. Layana and Kateʼs winning look blew everyone elseʼs out of the water. Not only was the design chock-full of details, but it was so very Heidi. It fulfilled the challenge perfectly. In addition, it was well-executed and the fit was spot-on. Danielʼs gown was wildly overpraised though. To me it looked like a tarty Kardashian gown out of cheap jersey, in a rather unflattering, dead color. Not worthy of second place in my opinion, but then again better than some others. Patriciaʼs dress, while I appreciate her ambitious fabrication and unique design, was incomplete; she needed another day (or half-day, as it seems she works very quickly) to add more leather squares to cover up the remainder of what looks like a nude slip or lining. It simply looks like she ran out of time and/or fabric, and part of the challenge on "Project Runway" is managing oneʼs time and materials. This again, is the problem with the "team" format this season: the judges have to select three top looks from the team the winning look is on. What if there is a look better than the second and third place looks on the other team? And how about that cha-cha-chicken look of Richardʼs? The judges did make some criticism of it, but he basically gets through unscathed.

Dream Team loses again, with several uninspiring looks, and several catastrophes. As predicted, Cindy creates an 80s-looking "mall" dress, extremely underdesigned and uninspiring. After having lowest-scoring looks every challenge, she is eliminated. Benjamin barely scoots by with his "shipwrecked" blunder. I have no words. Clearly his personal struggles got in the way of his confidence and productivity and it shows. The model is lucky the bust of the dress didnʼt fall down! Matthewʼs dress was just in bad taste—did he think Heidi was going to a Playboy event? Two designers who made their models busts look tragic...donʼt they know by now that Heidi is boobie-obsessed?!