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High Kicking Couture

By kim_messina Fri., Sep. 21, 2012 ,4:57 am EDT

We all know the First Rule of "Project Runway": Never Bore Nina. And add to that rule that Krazee will always outlast boring on "Project Runway." With that in mind, on last week’s HP Print Challenge, Gunnar went home just for that — doing something that was boring design-wise. And even though his bullying story was admirable, passionate and endearing, his print was macabre and un-exciting and the end result of his supposedly equestrian-inspired design was more Chico’s than chic. A lot of you weren’t too happy about this elimination. People wanted Ven to go mainly because they just don’t like him (that Ven/Terri debacle will live on for eternity!) and yes, partially, for doing that "origami flower" one more time. However, I feel the judges were correct in their decision last week. Ven’s dress was just a little more creative than Gunnar’s so ... it was Gunnar’s time to go. But guess whose time is now?

High Kick Ball Change

The remaining designers wake up and are all told to meet at Radio City Music Hall. Upon walking inside, Tim Gunn is on stage with a bevy of bedazzled women: The Radio City Rockettes! Gee, I wonder what the kids will be designing this week? As The Rockettes begin their iconic high-kicking dance moves, the curtains part open, and they are joined by none other than Miss Heidi Klum. After one or two Heidi High Kicks, she announces (to no one’s surprise) that the challenge this week is to design a new costume for The Rockettes. Linda Haberman, Director and Choreographer for the Radio City Rockettes, joins Heidi and Tim in explaining to the designers what is expected of them: it must be versatile enough to wear all year long; spectacular up close as well as far away — glamorous and elegant, contemporary and must have a modern aesthetic. The winning costume will also be worn by The Rockettes at a future performance. This reminds me so much of my "Design a Costume for Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen" Challenge back in my season so I am privately smiling. Good times.

My Time With The Rockettes

The Season 10 kids get some time after The Rockettes sashay off, to inspect various actual Rockettes costumes. Last December, I got the chance to introduce The Rockettes during a special visit they made to LA to promote their "Christmas Spectacular." I got to see and inspect some of their costumes up close and personal. They are AMAZING — all the hidden hooks-and-eyes, all the understructures and boning. I even found out that one of the most iconic costumes from the "Christmas Spectacular," the Wooden Soldier, was designed by Vincente Minnelli — yes, Liza’s father and Judy Garland’s ex husband. I know first hand how intricate these costumes can be.

Dinner vs. Work ... I'll Take Work

Now, the minute this challenge was announced, all I could think of was, "Dmitry has this one hands down!" He was a professional ballroom dancer for over ten years so if anyone knows dance costumes and sequins, it’s him. After their Radio City visit, the designers are off to Mood and then, to the Parsons workroom. Tim enters and tells the designers that they will be leaving early because they are getting a nice dinner out. Now, let me tell you, in my season, they did this to us a couple of times. While it was nice to have a "break," it wasn’t really a break because, PS: they were still FILMING so we are still "working"! And to be honest, I would have rather been back in the workroom creating my design. But this seasons designers seemed to have enjoyed themselves, had some wine … and more wine …a nd got to let down their guards and compliment each other, and apologize for being back-stabbing bitch**. Oh, the power of Vino.

Baton Twirler Tacky

The following day, it’s back to work. Tim makes his visit. To begin with, Tim thinks Sonjia looks "disabled" as she struggles to even create anything. She tells Christopher, also, that she doesn't sketch. He wisely responds, "Well, you better start!” Amen sister. Melissa has 18 pattern pieces to cut (it’s not a fully-lined COAT huney!) and is visibly strained and may need more crystal trim. Elena’s is looking like a HOT Band Uniform MESS. All she needs is a baton.

Christopher: Skyline Diamante Fab

Christopher, Dmitry and Ven get positive critiques from Mr. Gunn. The very minute I saw Christopher was doing a New York Skyline — in crystals — on his costume, I was, "Done and Done." This boy has won this challenge (sorry Dmitry). It was so obvious that Christopher was winning and everyone else was failing that Tim (or the producers?) decide that maybe another Mood trip plus an extra $100 was needed (Secretly, for everyone else). Fabio, Ven and Dmitry decide to opt out of this second Mood trip so Elena, Sonjia, Christopher (He needed more crystals to create a starry NYC night skyline) and Melissa took off to Mood on their own.

Debra Messing's Biggest Fan

Next day is Runway Day and actress Debra Messing was the guest judge. Christopher is beaming. Yeah, he is gay. A very excited gay (So cute — I would've done the same). The Rockettes designs come out and well, it's pretty obvious that Debra Messing's biggest fan is the winner. But we still have to go through the motions. The Top are Christopher (quelle suprise), Dmitry and Melissa. Melissa's design looks like an updated "Cigarette Girl" and she gets props for that. But, the unintentional "No. 1" beaded appliqué gets some negative critiques from the judges. Nina calls it a "miss." Dmitry's was edgy, exciting and impeccably made. But, I just thought it was a little too sexy for The Rockettes. I've been to a Rockettes show and yep, there are children, little children. If this was the Euro version, maybe, but not for America. Christopher's gorgeous NY Skyline costume wins. As Michael Kors says, "It was a Bob Mackie moment"! It was celebratory and yes, magnificent. The BEST design on Project Runway Season 10 thus far.

Cheerleader Krazee vs Boring, Guess Who Is Out?

It was down to Elena's royal blue sequined Cheerleader Goes To Vegas Tacky Mess and Ven's tame and proper (and yawn-inducing) halter costume. Kors deemed Ven’s a "glamorous Mother of the Bride who cut off her dress." That's never good. The entire design bored Nina, Michael, Heidi and Debra. You know what that means ... he was outta there. It seems ironic that the one time he did not do his origami pleated flower he was in trouble. But like I said in the beginning, you design something boring and you are guaranteed a ticket home. So, those of you who wanted Ven out last week, you got your wish — only a week later. No more Origami pleated roses and no more Ven. I still believe that Ven Budhu was one of the most talented designers on this season — more than some of the ones who are still remaining (Even Tim hinted at this as he was saying his "Goodbye" to him). Unfortunately, Ven's ego, his Origami pleated rose and his size dysmorphia issues got to him. Good luck huney.