Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

The Skills to Pay the Bills

By kim_messina 09/07/2012 04:50AM GMT

This episode seems to require some additional skills that perhaps the designers donʼt immediately think about when it comes to being successful. There sure have been a lot of team challenges on this season. Gotta give the producers credit for being clever this time with that "crafty" intro. I couldnʼt help but chuckle to myself as a designer struggling to get her brand into stores and business underway and Iʼve got to do whatever I can to self-fund, including everything from working on TV shows and films as a costumer to occasionally selling my personal belongings! When I started my business, my priorities shifted and my motto became "will work for fabric”"(when previously it was "will work for shoes" — not that I donʼt still work for shoes)!

The teams are given 3 hours and some craft supplies and blank t-shirts and tote bags to make items to sell on the streets of New York. Yuck! No one likes to have to hock their wares. Especially to a tough crowd like New Yorkers (In the meat packing/ High Line district no less, full of fashionistas). As Dmitry said so well, itʼs like selling umbrellas in the desert! If only those New Yorkers knew they were buying something from a "Project Runway" designer, perhaps they would have been a little more interested. Nevertheless, Melissa, Ven and Fabio ended up making the most money: a respectable $800! This is quite a nice chunk of budget to work with at Mood — when you think about it, itʼs almost $300 each! The team of Alicia/Elena/Dmitry seemed doomed to fail on the street as youʼve got Alicia whoʼs soft spoken, Elena who, while outspoken and aggressive, tries to sell everyone "ugly shirts" (Thatʼs never worked as a sales tactic), and Dmitry who didnʼt seem to take much initiative.

After the teams raise the cash, Tim gives them their challenge: to create three cohesive fall looks, one of which must include outerwear. Again, as I keep saying, a much more "industry" related challenge, having to create a mini collection with others, as one would typically have to do at a fashion house. Everyone is excited because all (ok most) designers love fall. Itʼs so much more interesting ... more textiles to choose from, more layers, boots, sweaters, jackets, coats! Iʼm so ready for fall!!!

As usual, there is some team drama. Elena is trying to dominate again, and Ven made his signature skirt again but thanks to Tim, who pointed out that it was the black sheep of the collection, that changed. But: shocker! Our separated-at-birth boys, Gunnar and Christopher, who were dissing each other in interviews, were working unusually well together. I wouldʼve been a little skeptical of Gunnarʼs sincerity, too, though, if I were Christopher.


When I saw their collection in the workroom, I thought it had great promise. What went wrong? I also thought, can Dmitry make anything other than a dress? Hereʼs the thing about Elena: she may be bossy, overly dramatic and at times too critical, but more often than not, she is right in her criticisms, like Dmitryʼs shawl and Aliciaʼs garments.


Dmitry makes a great dress. Heʼs proved that many times now. But to win "Project Runway" he needs to show more diversity. This dress looked very similar to another he has made. Unfortunately, the fringed wrap he made to accompany the dress aged it by about 25 years.


At this stage in the game, you canʼt just squeak by for being safe and “under the radar”. The trousers and t-shirt with random dart (which looked like a mistake) Alicia made were very basic, and her work has been up and down. There was no risk taken on these pieces, so she was the clear designer to be eliminated this week.


When I saw this on the dress form in the workroom, I loved it. I thought Elena had a good chance of being a top scorer. But when I saw it on the model on the runway, it was a disaster. What looked expensive and modern ended up looking wilted and sad. The collar was falling, the shoulders were drooping (as if they were too big ... there she goes again with the big shoulders), and there was too much volume in the coat in general. It would have been much more successful had there been less fabric and if it had been more tailored and not flaring out.


Overall a very cohesive collection — you really get a sense for the customer and that one woman would wear all the looks. I would have rather seen separates in one look instead of two dresses, but thatʼs just me thinking of the collection as a whole and how youʼd merchandise it and sell it.


Hands down the best piece on the runway this episode, her jacket was well tailored, expensive looking and creative. The styling of the infinity scarf (by Gunnar) was terrific. This jacket would look great in many colors (or black), but I love that she chose a very deep green for it. The only thing I could have done without was the shaped back hem with peaks. Otherwise, great job!


Great work from Gunnar this week, and he played well with others! The first dress couldnʼt be seen much. I actually think they would have been better off using a skirt and top under the jacket instead. I am not crazy about the sleeves of the dress coming out from the 3/4 length sleeves of the jacket. The second dress with leather was fab but the length was odd; I think it should have been shorter.


The judges were raving about his camel wrap coat and I just donʼt understand why. It was "ok." I like the idea but it needed to be beefed up or something; perhaps a lining? I also donʼt like the way it flared out at the bottom and the asymmetry of the hemline looked lopsided rather than intentional. Plus it did not work with the length of the dress underneath. Again, a good idea but just needed tweaking.


They had $800?!?? This collection generally looks sloppy and sad. The first fatal error they made was the color palette. In theory the shell pink and grey should look light and chic but it didnʼt work because of their fabric choices. On top of it, some of the key pieces were sad shapes — there was no sharp element to it so it ended up looking, as Nina said, "poor." Yikes!


I know Tim told Ven his original skirt didnʼt belong, but this one was worse! At least his original was sharp — this one looks Amish and frumpy. The t-shirts simply donʼt work with the pieces they were paired with, mainly because of the fabric being so lightweight and clingy.


This coat looks so sad. It almost looks like something Iʼd pull from a costume house to put on a homeless woman character. All it needs is a little "movie dirt." It needed more structure, like interfacing, or simply should have been a different fabric altogether. The shoulders and sleeves look ill-executed as well. And then the black buttons which are an odd size for a coat, and there are too many of them.


Melissa made the only redeeming piece in this collection. The leather jacket was well made and elevated the collection a bit (however I think it looked out of place). The pairing of the jacket with the skirt was not good. It would have looked better with the pants, but then the length should have been a bit longer. Speaking of pants, these are awful. The ruching at the ankle is unflattering, and I have no words for the crotch! Iʼm impressed with the fact that she made a couple of leather clutch bags though!

How adorable are Aliciaʼs chambray jumpsuit and black leather high tops? Bye Alicia.