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Mila Hermanovski Blog


Number Ten

Posted By kim_messina 5:04am GMT

There have been quite a few "real" challenges this season on "Project Runway." Mind you, this is not a complaint from my point of view, as a designer who frankly was sick of all the "red carpet" or fantasy/costumey/gimmicky challenges I participated in on both Season 7 and All Stars. But the public love gowns. To many, they are quintessential fashion. But the reality is that hardly anyone wears gowns anymore. They are so specific to events, and unless youʼre talking prom or a wedding, gowns are for the generally for an elite or celebrity clientele (And most of time, borrowed — in other words, there is no money in the gown biz). That said, they are usually what is most entertaining to viewers.

This weekʼs show exemplifies an "industry" challenge, in which designers must consider mass market, price point, client image and must use certain fabrics within the budget. It also happens to be a big deal for the designers, as the winning design will join the other nine dresses (Each of which was designed by a "Project Runway" designer, each representing one of the nine seasons of "PR"), and the dresses will be manufactured by and sold at Lord & Taylor, which means great exposure to the public without the headaches and financial chunk normally required to produce hundreds of dresses for a retail account. I happen to know from my fellow "PR" alum colleagues that they received a small design fee for the dress and each one will then receive a microscopic royalty for each dress sold.

I must say, the work produced on many of the "real" challenges until now has left much to be desired. But this episode some of the designers stepped it up a bit. Itʼs not easy to design within set parameters, like price, fabrics, etc., and with the nine other "Project Runway" alum designs as part of their inspiration. Letʼs just say I personally was underwhelmed by many of those. Some of them were just fugly, and most didnʼt have any sort of "signature" which would indicate who created them. I was glad to see some of the Season 10 designers using a "signature" element in their design.


A really nice twist on a modern black dress. This was a clean design with just enough details to make it stand out from a sea of black dresses: the asymmetric hem with sheer bit, the back shoulder detail, the back zip. From a consumer standpoint, Iʼd rework the back, though, so a woman can wear a bra (even a racerback). Because you know we always think about that.


While I appreciate her design, I feel it is too difficult to wear for the masses, especially the L&T customer. This looks more Barneys or Neiman Marcus to me than Lord & Taylor. There was major side boob as well, which of course would be corrected before the dress would go into production. I do love the fabric, but could do without the "tail." It was also distractingly tight (no wonder Heidi loved it).


A really simple yet classic silhouette. This would probably sell well in L&T (though the lace makes it less versatile, though more interesting). Itʼs true, weʼve all seen this in a store at some point already, but I donʼt quite understand why the judges were so hard on it.


See, Elena? You can tone your aesthetic down. All that fuss over how difficult it will be to take her "edgy avant garde" point of view and "water it down," and she made a great little dress. The only thing is (like Melissaʼs), I can see it more in Barneys COOP than Lord and Taylor. (Thatʼs a compliment in my book.) On a personal note, Elena should chill on the false eyelashes!


He again defaulted on his now-signature shredded chiffon technique. Iʼm not sure Iʼm on board with this (Because after all, you want your dress in L&T to have a signature), or feel itʼs a bit tired. In any event, itʼs a very pretty dress, but Iʼm surprised the win went to his design. (What was I saying about how everyone loves a gown? Itʼs the drama.)


Oof. Just an odd dress, and reminded me of the one she and Raul made for me in a way. I think it was the "Amish" neckline. It was just a head-scratcher in terms of who the client is and where sheʼd wear this. Sorry Alicia, this one wasnʼt up to par with your colleaguesʼ designs.


Not much to say about this one except: 86 the peplum, girl! Itʼs dated and just not a great idea to bring back unless itʼs in a very modern way. Sonjia was in the weeds in the workroom, and although she pulled it off and made it through, it was not great. Itʼs a relatively simple dress with a peplum, in a fabric which also looks dated.


Ven also relied on his "signature" technique. However the exploding rose on the chest is strange. I donʼt think it would work on a variety of bust sizes, either. Aside from the exploding black rose, itʼs got nothing else.


Dmitry fits his clothes really well. This is no exception, and is a great twist on a classic, sheath dress and would likely sell a ton. The fabric is a terrific choice and makes the dress look expensive, and the seaming and neckline give it a modernity. I would have chosen Dmitry as a top scorer (again).

What was up with all the crying again?


Fashion For All

Posted By kim_messina 4:55am GMT

The "real woman" challenge: when we see the designersʼ true colors. I must say, I know they are different, but I was kind of surprised to see another "non-model" challenge so soon after the one in which designers had to design for other "PR" alum designers. The premise of a makeover challenge (sponsored by LʼOreal) is interesting, but while designed to make women feel better about themselves, it can have the opposite effect when dealing with designers who have never made clothes for anyone other than a mannequin or model.

We discover early on that while most designers have the right attitude and feel compassionate towards their "real life" subjects, others (or more specifically, Ven) do not. There is absolutely no excuse for his attitude and embarrassing behavior towards his client. A legit designer should be able to apply his/her aesthetic and skills to any body. It may be challenging, and no one said it was easy, but you have to figure it out and make it work. I was appalled at the things he said not only in interviews, but in front of and directly to his client (who by the way is not plus-sized). Who does he think will be buying his clothes one day? Not just size 5ʼ10” size 4 women!

It was not surprising to see some of the designers struggling in the workroom. There was a lot of problem solving going on for sure. The editing lead me to believe certain designers (Alicia) would have been in the bottom and others (Christopher) would have been in the top. This was not the case ... so good job this time, editors.


Poor Nathan. He was a bit doomed from the start, being assigned a that client who obviously has bad taste and is asking him to make something questionable. He obviously got caught up in trying to give her something that would make her happy without baring her midriff. The way he used the < a href="http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/season-10/rate-the-runway/episode-6#id=8">sheer fabric seemed like it could have been a good solution, but unfortunately, the result looks like a cheap mall dress for a "Jersey Shore" character.


I thought Elena did a good job. She went outside her "box" (Although her client said she likes color and it would have been nice to see a different color on top; the pale peach was not the best for her). The fit is flattering. But the hem on the bodice is a bit of a roller coaster and itʼs difficult to tell if that was intentional or not.


Unfortunately there is not much to go on here, because the client was covering the dress with the wrap. I really like the use of the printed wrap, and Melissa succeeded in transforming her client and making her look very chic. Really great call on the hair color.


Another "meh" entry from Gunnar. Iʼm shocked the judges gave him a top score. The bodice makes her bust look smooshed, and both the neckline and empire line are too high. It certainly isnʼt a disaster, but I think his clientʼs attitude and walk totally sold it to the judges.?


Again not a catastrophe, but this is a dress that is very basic aside from the sheer details. Because it was so simple, the construction flaws were glaring. Her client was not particularly challenging fit-wise, but kudos to her for really going outside of her wheelhouse and pulling it off.


What a shame the client whipped that jacket off so quickly, because Christopher had a great concept here of making two versatile pieces for her. Itʼs always impressive when someone makes a jacket (as well as a dress) in one day; however without it, itʼs a dress weʼve all seen before. If the judges had seen more of the jacket, I wonder if heʼd have been in the top instead of Gunnar or Dmitry. The other thing I noticed (which was for the most part edited out) was that the dress was riding up in the back, big time. But maybe that happened when she was sitting backstage.


Cheap looking color and fabric. Matronly design. Itʼs like he had no respect for his client from the start. He and his attitude should have been eliminated this week.


The dress fits well, and the styling is hip and contemporary. But the design is so basic and he has made another sleeveless dress out of ponte jersey. The neckline is too conservative. Iʼm underwhelmed.


Hooray for Fabio, at last stepping it up and showing more of the creativity we know he has. I love the graphic element of the dress, and that he pieced the three greys together to make an artsy composition. His client was transformed wonderfully, from the hair to the outfit, and it was still very believable. My criticisms are the length of the dress (needs to be a couple inches shorter) and the styling. The red belt isnʼt nearly as bad as the red boots.


The first thing I thought was that she was relying on her "tricks" from the design she made when she won. She made a rather simple twisted jersey dress again: safe. As simple as it is, it needs to be perfect — it was way too short and the proportions were off. The whole thing needs a good yank down as the knot is falling in an unflattering place.

Random Thoughts:

-I wonder if the producers saw the sad state of the clothes in the workroom when the designers left the first night and decided to give them an extra hour, to make certain the "real women" were fully clothed. (This has been known to happen.)
-The way Gunnar holds his pencil (like a 5 year old) is very odd and really bothers me.
-I didnʼt think it was possible to trump the last episode, but the majority of the looks produced in this challenge pretty much amounted to a big lump of mediocrity.
-I want Heidiʼs striped dress. Badly. One of my favorite looks on her ever, especially as this season I havenʼt been a fan of any of them.


The Bitch Sessions

Posted By kim_messina 5:08am GMT

Itʼs true. No one likes team challenges. Look at all the egos in that room! Everyone thinks he/ she is the best and his/her poop doesnʼt stink. But it seems this episode was all about the designers complaining about each other. The designers are divided into only two teams this time, to produce mini collections for Marie Claire @Work, a new publication geared towards the career set. By the way, could no one come up with better team names than "Team 5" and "Team 6"?

When I heard the premise of this challenge, I actually thought it was refreshing because it is more "fashion industry" oriented. This challenge is more akin to an assignment a designer would be given in the corporate fashion world. Iʼm sure a lot of viewers felt it was boring, because people love gowns, red carpet, Miss Piggy, unconventional materials, etc... But as a designer I have a lot more respect for it than any celebrity-driven one, for example. Iʼm trying to get my line going and this challenge is infinitely more relevant to what a successful fashion designer needs to consider. After all, red carpet gowns donʼt make any money for designers.

I also love anything to do with Nina or Joanna. Fashion editors are extremely relevant to the industry and potentially the success of a designer. Both ladies are tough customers but I respect their opinions so much. They see many collections before them constantly, so they understand a lot about clothes, what works, and what is current.

Can we talk about the time given for this challenge?? I know it makes for good TV, but come on. The designers could have done SO much more if they had had one more day to produce their designs. This has always been an issue for me with "Project Runway." So many times I felt like the outcome of a challenge was not as good as it could have been because of ridiculous time constraints. Sure, the designers always pull it off (meaning no one sends a half-dressed model down the runway), but think about the potential if they had had one more day. I especially felt this way during my recent guest stint as a client on the show. Who makes a successful red carpet gown appropriate for the Emmys in ONE day? It reminded me of when we had a red carpet challenge for Heidi on my season. There werenʼt many of us left and we were all so burned out. And all we could think of was how much better we could have done with a little more time.

Speaking of time, I really felt for those designers while shopping at Mood. Even in a team challenge of two people, it is very difficult to hustle around Mood and hunt for oneʼs fabric and be able to communicate with your teammate in a half hour. Imagine if you had five or six people on your team and needed to ask one of them a question — you might waste valuable shopping time just trying to locate that person. It appeared to be a big scramble!

After the designers finish their looks, they have a photo shoot for Marie Claire. How great is this? Photo shoots are important so you can see your look from an editorial point of view. Certainly the highlight of the drama here was everyoneʼs reaction to Elena. Now I was not there, but Iʼm going to defend some of her actions. For example, regarding props. Some of those props did in fact take the shoot from high fashion to catalog. I agreed with her. She may have been bossy at times, but I think she has a good critical eye. If anything, I had more of an issue with Raulʼs attitude. He was certainly not a team player and his ego got in the way.

Team 5

Looks like a collection at a moderate department store. This print is matronly and cheap looking. Sorry guys, but the color combination of black+white+pink is NOT pretty much always looks cheap. Nathanʼs one-shouldered look was odd (who wears that and where to?). Since when does Heidi know what anyone wears to the office? Clearly she doesnʼt, since she thought this was a look a young woman would wear to the office. Notsomuch! Maybe one of the OC housewives would wear this outfit to a lunch. Christopher did the only interesting thing here, and made the print palatable by using his signature technique. Gunnarʼs dress was dated (love Heidiʼs "souffle boobs" quote), and Fabioʼs was super boring in my opinion. It was extremely simple, which isnʼt a bad thing, but the fit was off; a shift like that needs to not pull anywhere, and it did. And the styling was awful with the print in the hair. I couldnʼt believe the judges placed him in the top. Venʼs look was a very believable outfit for a chic businesswoman, and it photographed really well.

Team 6

The clear winning team. Melissa uses color! I loved this dress. It was modern, wearable and chic. I love that it was office-appropriate and yet fashion-forward. A well-deserved win. I also loved Elenaʼs leather-trimmed jacket, but not the other look "shoulder explosion." The first look was again modern but totally wearable to the office. It actually also showed a lot of versatility — it would have been a great look for the last challenge! Sonjia kicked ass with her two skirts. Both were impeccably made and fit, with just enough interest to not be "boring career clothes." Dmitryʼs dress was fab as well. Yes, I am a sucker for well done color blocking! But this dress was very well executed and had a great neckline. Raul deserved to be eliminated for his work. His simple tank top needed to be flawless — this is one of the easiest, most straightforward patterns! To have a lopsided, dartless mess is inexcusable, especially when the other piece he made was just poorly designed. My favorite line, though, was Raul said he was "good at making pants" in the beginning of the challenge. Um ... seriously dude? After that train wreck of a trouser you botched in the last episode? And just like that, Raul got his second kiss from Heidi.


No Crying in Fashion!

Posted By kim_messina 5:11am GMT

Youʼve been watching Season 10 for 4 weeks. What you probably donʼt realize is that the designers have been in New York competing for less than 2. Thatʼs right: they get NO time off in between challenges. Can you imagine having 4 challenges in just over a week? Not to mention they have no communication outside the "Project Runway" "bubble," they canʼt listen to music, read books or magazines or eat whatever they want. They have to sleep (What little they get) on crappy twin mattresses and share an apartment with 3 other roommates. And everyone wants to win.

This might help you understand why some of the designers can crack. The "bubble" really is that intense (And even more than you could ever fathom until youʼve been there). People do things they might not ordinarily do and might behave differently because the pressure is so great. You have to be tough to survive the fashion industry, and certainly "Project Runway." It was one of the hardest things Iʼve ever done in my life, but I never once thought about quitting. Maybe it was a combination of my Taurean determination and designer pride.

All that said, I felt like Andreaʼs resignation was lame. Certainly as a teacher she would not advise a student to quit. And certainly she must have had some inkling of how strenuous the show is from watching it. I have maybe a *bit* more respect for Kooanʼs departure, only because he explained how he realized the platform of the show was not for him, and he wanted to do his thing on his own terms; but again, was the way the show is really that much of a surprise? Itʼs a major process casting the show, and whittling down to 16 people from thousands. There are a lot of people who would love an opportunity to be on the show, so really anyone who doesnʼt want to be there, shouldnʼt. When several of the other designers started crying when Kooan left, I thought, "Thereʼs no crying! You should be glad! There are two less competitors! Youʼre that much closer to winning!" But I know itʼs unsettling and the designers are already stretched thin physically, emotionally and mentally.

The designersʼ departures and Raulʼs return made me recall when Maya left the show on my season, though we were much farther along (Top 6). I was shocked that she waited so long and left after making it that far. Not only was she a good designer, but she was my roommate and kind of like a little sister. Everyone was rattled by her departure and Anthonyʼs return — I had a hard time focusing that day and my work suffered. I feel no one in that challenge (We had to make a red carpet look for Heidi in one day) really did *great*, and we all looked at each other after we saw our looks walk the runway and said, "We did it ... barely." I donʼt know that anyone was completely satisfied with their designs, except maybe Emilio, who won the challenge. I felt like this is what happened to the remaining designers in this challenge.

Overall, I was disappointed in the designs in this episode. Perhaps the designers were rattled, and freaked out, as I mentioned. They had gone to the Michael Kors boutique to receive their assignment my Kors himself, which I recall from the hardware store challenge in my season. He and Tim tell the designers to create a versatile look for a "woman on the go." While this is not described as a "sportswear" challenge per se, one of the keys to a versatile look is separates, otherwise, the versatility is in the styling. I was really expecting to see more sportswear from the designers, and yet the top three made dresses. Read my thoughts on each designer after the jump!


Waisted Opportunity

Posted By kim_messina 4:59am GMT

When I was approached to participate in this challenge, I thought the concept was pretty clever, so I agreed to do it. Then I started thinking, wait I’ve got to *model* the outfit. I've got to WALK the runway! Oh, pleeeeaase don't give me a bad designer who's going to make a pink ruffled prom dress! Being the "client" as a not only a designer, but one who has already been through the "Project Runway" competition was interesting because on the one hand, I empathized with those designers, having to make an Emmy awards red carpet look in ONE day, but on the other hand, this was so personal in a way — I’m not a model after all! I felt very vulnerable trusting in them to pull it off and design and execute an outfit for me.

When I first met Raul and Alicia, they told me they both had menswear backgrounds. I saw the potential advantage to this: no ruffles and no pink — yay! I told them I like sleek, simple designs, leather, structure and tailoring (note the jacket I was wearing, a tuxedo-inspired black blazer with leather from my Fall collection; I was hoping they would have been inspired by that). When they told me they had to incorporate the color of the Lexus, my response was that although I wear a lot of black, I also love red and it suits me. I was trying not to think about the negative side to this: that they most likely had never made gowns and were probably not familiar with designing “red carpet” looks.

Imagine my shock and horror when I saw the red and black zebra-esque print Raul and Alicia had chosen from Mood. Not only is print a very risky choice for the red carpet, but honestly I thought it was tacky. I would not be caught dead in that, even at a pool party! I could not believe *that* was how Raul had been inspired by my personal style. When Tim and I critiqued them, we both concurred that they needed to step their design up a notch and make something much more formal for the Emmys. However, all they had as a backup fabric was a plain black silk crepe. They had purchased some black and red leathers, and I warned them that if they go with an all black dress, they will be criticized for not using red (the color of the Lexus). Why hadn’t they selected a solid red fabric? The problem was at this point was since it was so late in the day, they had spent all this precious time on a bodice and a design for the red and black print. It was a total redo.

Next were the “model fittings." My designers basically had nothing to fit on me except this red and black printed bodice so they could use it as a pattern. I was really bummed at this point, and concerned that the fit and style would suffer. I also warned them that I’m not exactly a mannequin size and my waist is much longer, so they needed to adjust accordingly. As I looked around the room, there were some interesting things happening for the other designer clients. I thought Elena and Buffi were working on something quite lovely and very suitable for Laura. I was impressed by Melissa and Dmitry’s liquid silver creation for April (although we left the fittings at 9 pm and ran to the nearest Duane Reade in search of some last-minute Spanx!).

With not much time left in their work day, I suspected this train was destined to wreck. However, I tried to be hopeful that at the very least, they would pull off a well-fitting, tastefully executed black gown (with red leather trim) and that perhaps another design would wreck harder and they would be safe. I felt for them, especially knowing they had not made gowns, and most likely not made clothes for a real, “non-model” client.

The next morning, Raul and Alicia tried the bodice and skirt on me. As I stood in front of the mirror, I thought, “Oh no." It was way too big and ill-fitting in the bust. The waist was landing at that awkward, unflattering point, where it wasn’t low enough to be at my real waist and it wasn’t high enough to be empire. The neckline was also neither-here-nor-there, a high V which was ultra-conservative. I dieted for a week before I came on the show and NOW you’re gonna make me look fat?!?? Sad face. I just felt fat and frumpy. I remember thinking at that point how much I would have loved it if they had made me a sexy tuxedo. Or even a tuxedo-inspired gown. It was yet another "Project Runway" lesson: trust your instincts and stay within your wheelhouse! What a missed opportunity they had to create something outside the box.

In hair and makeup, I just wanted to feel prettier! My boy Scott did a beautiful job on the makeup, as always. It was the obvious choice to go with a bold red lip. However the horsetail side pony was a major misstep. I had suggested a sleek chignon in the back or on the side, and Johnny suggested adding an extension and Raul loved the idea. I only wish I had interjected and taken more control over the hair. It was so NOT Mila! I wanted to whack that thing off!

Backstage before the runway, the dress was still droopy and ill-fitting. I happened to have both topstick (double stick tape strips, a stylist and costumer’s staple) and a few safety pins (tanother staple) in my purse. Laura pinned about two inches out of my neither-here-no-there-waistline. I feared for my life as the hem of the gown was done so poorly (unevenly and with loose threads), as with every step I took, my heel was getting caught in the hem! In fact during one run-through walking the runway, I almost fell. So I started taping the hem in a few places.

During the judges’ critique on the runway, I told them how I’d wished for something more tailored. They all concurred, that a woman’s tuxedo would have been so fab. I recalled the Met challenge (which I won) during Season 7, in which every team made a gown except Jonathan and I. Being that I am not a “gown” designer, I went with my strength, and knew I wanted to make a coat, which then evolved into a twist on a tuxedo. The judges loved the fact that we didn’t make a gown.

As far as the other designs go, I felt some of the judging was off. I preferred BOTH Melissa/Dmitry’s and Elena/Buffi’s to the top scorers, Gunnar/Kooan’s (Which was too bridal), and Ven/Fabio’s (Which, while beautifully executed, was too daytime lady-who-lunches or early cocktail for the Emmys, especially in Navy). April looked beautiful in the silvery, old-Hollywood glamour gown, and what was interesting is it was not so on-the-nose "goth" yet it really did suit her. In the end, unfortunately I did feel like the right person was eliminated. Sorry, Raul.

My regrets? Not that I agreed to be a "client," but that I was not more assertive and demanding, like Kenley, who basically told her designers what to do, down to what type of fabric to buy! I should have directed them more, should have taken charge of the hair, and maybe I should have even started sewing that hem! But in the end, it’s their competition and on "Project Runway" every decision is crucial, and one misstep can be fatal.


Candy Couture

Posted By kim_messina 5:03am GMT

It’s the unconventional challenge, a "Project Runway" tradition and perpetual crowd pleaser. While fun for the viewers to watch, it’s always harrowing for the designers to go through. Some embrace the test to think outside the box, while others are uncomfortable with using anything but fabric. Each season, the producers have to come up with a new setting, material and premise for this challenge, and this time it was Dylan’s Candy Store, owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter.

The unconventional materials challenge always reminds me of my sophomore year in college, at Rhode Island School of Design. Our very first assignment in the Apparel Design program was the “Innovative,” in which we were to create a look made out of a non-traditional material of our choice. I made a cocktail dress out of multicolored telephone wire. Of course this is in art school and I loved it (And also had more than one day to complete it). When I competed on Season 7 of "Project Runway," our “innovative” was the hardware store challenge. I definitely enjoyed it, as stressful as it was, and reminisced on my college years.

I have a problem though with the choice of a candy store for this challenge. While candy is fun and everyone loves to eat it and look at it, it is nearly impossible to do much more than glue it onto a muslin foundation in such a short amount of time. With a hardware store, 99-cent store, etc..., there is a wide variety of materials the designers can choose from. Most candy is so small to work with that in the end, the challenge becomes more about creating graphic design or a new textile.

Did anyone else notice that when Kooan picked out his orange candy, he used his hands? Ew. Of all the thousands of candies in Dylan’s, Elena selected one of the blandest looking ones which happens to resemble PASTA (piña colada licorice)! Both Buffi and Kooan have cotton candy disasters —perhaps they didn’t have it growing up in their respective cultures and experienced what happens when you attempt to save it for later (You have a collapsed mess).

There is definitely some panic in the workroom this episode, rightfully so. And the runway showed it. Read my thoughts on each designer after the jump!


No Pressure! It's Only Times Square!

Posted By kim_messina 4:41am GMT

Well it’s the 10th anniversary of "Project Runway" and they are certainly going big! It doesn’t get much bigger than Times Square. I can only imagine how the designers felt when they found out their very first runway show would be in one of the most famous, most visited places on earth! It’s already nerve-wracking as a fresh-faced contestant to have to go before the judges and present your designs, without an audience of thousands of screaming fans!

As we are introduced to the designers, we have our typical "Project Runway" cast of "characters," from the wackadoo foreign guy and the bitchy queen to the strong-and-silent type and the California girl. One thing that strikes me though is the diversity of the designers’ points-of-view. I am already intrigued by a few of them (as Melissa said post-Tim Gunn critique, "Intriguing is good.").

The designers were asked to bring a look from home which best encapsulates their aesthetic. The first challenge is then to create a second look which complements the original one, in one day with a $100 Mood budget. This shouldn’t be too difficult, right? After all, it’s just creating another design from what would be the designer’s collection. To me, any designer who is worth their salt should be able to execute — the bottom line then is about talent and taste. Oh, and then there’s that pesky little thing called time.

"Sixteen Candles" and Long-Lost Twins

In the workroom, Buffi won’t stop talking (and her outfit won’t stop screaming). Gunnar and Christopher (separated at birth?) are the producers’ dream as they are having a perpetual bitchfest about each other. Kooan is giving me flashbacks to Ping (and I’m waiting for a one-liner a la "Sixteen Candles"). Raul is not thinking about women’s undergarments (We had a big conversation with Joanna Coles when I was on "All Stars" about how male designers generally forget about them). Many designers are already impressed and intimidated by Ven. Beatrice is struggling sewing a t-shirt (Really?).

It’s runway time! But can we just talk about the new and improved prize package? Hello: LEXUS (Yes, please)! And the opportunity to sell at Lord & Taylor is definitely a step up from Bluefly or Piperlime. The designers show both looks so the judges can see how they relate and have a better sense of each person’s point of view. There are two guest judges, who could not be more different: actress Lauren Graham and queen of NYC clubwear (and “Sex and the City” costume designer) Patricia Field. Read my rundown and some thoughts on the designers after the jump.