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Butterfly Avant-Garde

By kim_messina Fri., Oct. 4, 2013 ,4:14 am EDT

It's a double-double on "Project Runway." No, not the delicious In-&-Out burger that Tim Gunn ate with me during this season's castings (Google it, I took a picture for my Twitter AND Instagram!). I'm talking about the fact that last week we had the double elimination of designers Alexander and Kate. Kate's was a big shocker since everyone and their puppy thought she would stay until the end, no matter what she did. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. And now this week, we have a double challenge. This was supposed to be just the avant-garde challenge but as it turned out, there was much more. Time to discuss...

Dangling Sausage
Heidi and Tim saunter on the runway to congratulate the remaining five designers for making it this far. I give them medals of valor for A) dealing with "Unicorn Boy" (what was his name?); B) Sandro, the camera-punching Diva; and C) surviving the mud masque wrath of Ken's anger management issues. Kudos to the five remaining designers indeed! La Klum tells the designers that this is the challenge that will determine who makes it to Fashion Week, and adds that the "sausage is dangling in front of their noses." Say what Heidi? I think the saying is "carrot on a stick." I have a feeling that either Heidi was hungry for a schnitzel at the time, or she was thinking of...well, never mind.

Butterfly Avant-garde
The designers are then off to Sweetbriar Nature Center in Long Island where they meet back up with Tim, as well as Billy B., L'Oreal Paris' consulting makeup artist. He is there to talk about the Voluminous Butterfly Mascara (great challenge tie-in!) and to co-announce that this is the "L'Oreal Makeup Challenge": to create an avant-garde look inspired by butterflies. Dom loves the cross-breading nature of butterflies; Alexandria is inspired by the Zebra butterfly; Helen goes for the Monarch butterfly; Bradon is inspired by the butterfly's movement; Justin bonds with an Albino butterfly and "comes out" to national cable TV that he is both deaf, and gay! Good for him!

Bradon is Stressed...He'll Be on Top
Back in the Parsons workroom—after spending way more than they are supposed to on their GoBank cards—the designers get to work. The highlight here is that Bradon is stressing out (A LOT!) and making very expensive fabric "noodles." The minute he is shown as a "stress case," I have a feeling that he will either be on Top or actually win. Yes kids, it's not my first time at the "editing rodeo."

Weepy Helen is Still Weepy
The following day, the designers have their L'Oreal makeup/nail consultations and Tim has his check in on their avant-garde looks. "Weepy Helen"—she of the "Project Runway" after-school special7#151;is still weepy. She is thinking of making a cocoon-like cape and gown and Tim is not a fan and therefore she begins to cry. This is becoming a bit old. Really.

Day of Runway Show...Not!
The following day, the designers walk into the workroom, expecting to finish their avant-garde looks and get ready for the runway show, but instead they find all the Season 12 losing looks on model forms. Tim enters to tell the designers that this is NOT Runway Day and in fact, they have something else to do: the "Make It Work" Challenge. They must create a new look using an eliminated designers' creation. So now, not only do they have to finish their avant-garde looks, they must also create another look for the runway (which will now be the following day). Dom chooses Jeremy's "Soccer Mom" red jacket/printed dress look; Alexandria picks Miranda's plaid pants look; Bradon chooses Sue's placemat creation; Helen goes for Kate's dress from last week and Justin, in a very emotional moment, chooses the "Foaming Vagina" dress he was eliminated for (prior to Tim saving him). Let's see if they can doa avant-garde and...turn a loser look into a winner.

Runway Day...Really
Finally it is the real runway day. Guest judge is actress and singer Emmy Rossum. Here is what I wrote on my "Nick Pretend Judge" Card:
Dom: Amazing! Love it! Great avant-garde look; Dom has a certain knack for mixing prints and making them work. Her construction is also pretty great. Her "Make It Work" look was transformative. She turned a Virgin Atlantic hostess into a chic Paris fashion editor.
Alexandria: I don't think she pushed the avant-garde button far enough just by being deconstructed. The judges say it's "goth-like" but frankly, I see Elvira. I agreed completely with Nina in that I really liked her reworked plaid pants look. All I kept thinking was, "Finally! Alexandria knows what cool, young, hip girls like!"
Helen: I thought that the gown was well-made but not so avant-garde. The raw-edged strips: been there/done that. I think she should have not listened to Tim and kept the cocoon coat. The models hair was more avant-garde than the pumpkin-colored dress. In terms of her "Make It Work" look, she did a great job but it wasn't outstanding; a crop top and super slim pencil skirt? Not so revolutionary and was too similar to last weeks look. But it was much better than Kate's original creation, for sure.
Justin: LOVED both his looks. First, his avant-garde creation was Alexander McQueen meets Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons fab! When the model took off the black coat to reveal the intricate dress beneath, it was very butterfly coming out of a cocoon. In addition, the way he reworked his own not-so-cute creation, was fantastic. Justin does have some issues with construction but he did a very good job design wise.
Bradon: The judges went berserk over his avant garde creation. He did do a wonderful job; finally, his bouillonné technique had a purpose and looked couture. I really liked it. However, I wasn't a fan of his second challenge look; it reminded me of a naughty french maid, and not in a good way.

You're All In!
In terms of who should have won, my bet was on Dom. I thought she did the best work for BOTH challenges. But it was Bradon who got the judges' vote. Congrats to him. He was in, as well as Dom. They got two of the coveted three spots to show at NYC Fashion Week. So, who is out? The worst for me was between Helen and Alexandria. While neither were bad, I thought they both played it a bit safe. And that is exactly what they were; safe. In fact, the judges decided that the bottom three, Alexandria, Helen and Justin, were going to be allowed to make a Fashion Week collection and fight for the third spot. Heidi said that they weren't strong enough to confirm a post in Fashion Week so therefore...THEY WERE ALL IN! So, who do you guys think will make it through? Alexandria's Mohawk Goth Girls? Helen's shredded raw-edged chiffon gals, or Justin's black and white...and grey ladies? Who do you want to make it through?

Finally...
Join me NEXT WEEK during the pre-finale episode here on myLifetime.com as I host a first-ever "Project Runway" Live Webchat! Get your questions ready...I can't wait!