Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

Smashing Superfans

By kim_messina 09/20/2013 04:03AM GMT

For the LʼOreal Paris challenge, "Project Runway" superfans competed to be selected as one of 8 clients/models to be made over. Behold, the "Project Runway"/Lifetime TV majority demographic: housewives and suburban moms! But seriously, I am sure these women were all beyond giddy to see "Project Runway" from the inside. Iʼd love to read a blog from their side, about how eye-opening their experiences were!

From the perspective of the contestant, though, while it feels good to try to make a woman feel better about herself through transforming her and making her something new to wear, at this point in the competition everyone is exhausted. It is that much more arduous to deal with a "real" body (i.e. not a model) and the specifics of what the client wants in such a short time, and I feel this was evident. Then there is the added pressure of the superfan tagging along to Mood, which makes the already-challenging 30-minute fabric search that much more stressful (the producers should have given them more time). At least the designers had two days for this challenge. Even still, it was obvious to me that they are tired, because much of the work was underwhelming and seemed labored. When you have to come up with new ideas every other day, on very little sleep, the pressure of cameras following your every move, and none of your creature comforts, the work starts to suffer.

The Ken drama continues. At the end of day 1, Alexander and Braden must move into Ken and Justinʼs room. The producers ask the designers to "consolidate" like this as more of them are eliminated so that (a) they only have to shoot in one room and (b) there is more potential dialogue and interaction to film. Hmm....foreshadowing...perhaps they also already knew a male would be eliminated this episode? Alexander attempts to enter Kenʼs room but apparently Ken is too consumed with his beauty treatment and ironing his cut-offs. His blatant disregard for Alexander really sets him off, so all hell breaks loose as he barges in, throws the iron on the floor, and we see Kenʼs temper flare yet again, big time! Donʼt poke the bear! This guy really does have an anger management problem. The outcome? Ken gets his way, because the producers (by way of Tim) intervene and determine Ken will be staying in his own room after all!

Heidi must have been feeling the housewife vibe because she sure did dress down this week! From the waist up she looked like she was running to the market in her stripey tee. Zanna Roberts Rassi filled in for Nina this week, and the guest judge Erin Fetherston, a somewhat indie designer, didnʼt have a whole lot to say; she seems an odd choice of judge for the challenge.

BRAVO to makeup and hair leaders Scott and Johnny, because honestly the most interesting and impressive things about all these makeovers was their metamorphoses! You guys really did an amazing job!

HELEN was the clear winner; it helps that her superfan was the MOST transformed physically. Her navy gown made Jamie feel truly glamorous, was very well done, and had design interest and a signature. Also in the top was BRADON with an ensemble which fit well and absolutely helped his client, Jennifer, feel empowered as she requested. The epaulet detailing shows that he really listened to her needs. The shiny patent trim on the dress was necessary, because it was quite basic otherwise. Both Jenniferʼs and Jamieʼs hair styles were fabulous! JUSTIN, also a top scorer, clearly made his client feel confident and glowing, and she may have been one of the more challenging ones as she needed a more conservative look due to her religion. The clever use of her signature as an abstract embellishment was wonderful and the dress fit her very well, imperative as it was a rather simple design.

It was a toss-up for me between KENʼs and ALEXANDERʼs designs at first, mainly because Alexander did not finish. But as I looked at Kenʼs, I couldnʼt get beyond that strangely hideous split-pea soup fabric. He kept saying he would never choose it, so why did he allow it to happen? The style lines of the leather pieces were so unflattering as well. When there are such bold lines, their placement is everything; he did not place them well. On top of it, the dress was ill-fitting, and the hem was awful. Alexanderʼs suit, even if he HAD finished, was not without issues. The skirt was an odd shape, and I donʼt like the random flap/patch thingy on the right shoulder. Organza was not the right fabric choice for those accents anyway. And where are the sleeves? ALEXANDRIA had a 20 year-old client who works in the arts, a seemingly perfect pairing, but somehow she managed to make her look like a 30 year-old bank teller or real estate agent. This hum-drum outfit was a big disappointment from Alexandria, who is typically a more edgy designer.

KATE and DOM were safe, Kateʼs top had potential but whatʼs with all the handkerchief hems this season?? Why donʼt these designers know handkerchief hems end up on the clearance rack? Dom is lucky there were other designs that were worse than hers, because this dress looks like it was plucked off the rack from an average department store in Anytown, USA. The combination of the length, print, and style made for a pedestrian look, and the little jacket was devoid of any signature as well.

Thank goodness we donʼt have to listen to Ken anymore. And now production doesnʼt have to pay for an extra room for him! Unless, of course, he was truly sequestered from the other eliminated designers because he was deemed threatening. If that was not the case, I feel bad for the previously eliminated designers whoʼve now inherited him as their roomie!