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If It's Another Flower I Will Scream!
It's the halfway mark of Season 10 of "Project Runway." We began with 16 designers and now, we're down to 8. Last week's Team Challenge was "The Boris and Natasha Show" as I called it in my last blog recap. It was all about Dmitry and Elena and their bickering and hate-talking which dominated the entire episode. The fashions were mostly a yawn except for Sonjia's winning Armani Prive-esque jacket and Christopher's asymmetrical camel coat, so of course, the episode concentrated on the bitchy drama. What should the next challenge bring? Well, let's find out...Pay Your Bills. .. Before Getting Mommie a Boob Job
As the episode begins, there's a little confessional scene from Gunnar saying that he wishes he'll win so he can buy himself a pair of boots and his mom, a boob job. OK huney, that's cute for TV and will guarantee you get some camera time (Gunnar, you just made the producers and editors have an editorial orgasm!), but it's not so cute in real life. Here's some advice: those two things might not be your top priorities when someone hands you a $100,000. Maybe paying your college loans, bills, setting up a design studio ... those might be your priorities. Oh these kids, they slay me ... AGAIN!Addicted to Heidi
Heidi in a very mini, strapless black dress (a la Robert Palmer Girl) l; walks in, warning the remaining designers that they all need to step it up and "wow" her. Umm, HELLO! Amen Sister. This is not the first time she's said this to this group. I wonder why? I’ve been saying throughout this season that the fashions have been rather unmemorable. It looks as if the theme is "Make it Safe". But when it comes to "characters," Season 10 has it in spades. Which is better? Well, talk amongst yourselves on that one because I would rather discuss this week's challenge and fashions.HP Haute
Tim Gunn is in the Parsons Workroom with Season 8 Finalist and All Stars Season 1 Winner Mondo Guerra. They are there to introduce the HP Print Challenge (Yeayyy, one of my favorites!): Create a textile design and a modern runway look inspired by your cultural heritage. In case you've not been following "Project Runway," Mondo Guerra made a memorable impact during his season and on this same "HP Textile Design Challenge" (which he won) when he designed a gorgeous print and made a pair of impeccably tailored pants AND came out to the judges, fellow designers and millions of Americans as being HIV+. He had wise advice for the Season 10 kids when he told them not to be too literal or so calculated and to "let go."La Familia
Right before saying Adieu, Tim said that the designers would soon be receiving dossiers important to the challenge via "special delivery." They soon got to work on their HP Touchsmart Desktops designing their respective prints. Then, the Parsons Workroom doors blew open and in came various loved ones mommies (Christopher, Elena, Gunnar, Melissa, Sonjia), a partner (Fabio), a best friend (Dmitry) and a sister (Ven) who brought in these dossiers of childhood photos and family videos. Naturally the workroom became an "Oprah Winfrey Show"-like tear-fest! It was a very endearing moment for "Project Runway."The Vagina Print Monologues
Now, back to their print designs: Dmirty was inspired by traditional ornament and created a red/black print, Ven did a flower (quelle surprise!) print a pink hibiscus which he said was very important in his East Indian culture. Gunnar designed a print which had "wretched looking hands reaching out for a bird" inspired by his childhood bullying, Melissa made a "family tree" print in red and white;,Elena went colorful with her design, Christopher did lady bugs; Sonjia injected her African-American heritage into her print,and Fabio, well, he went all anatomical and designed a print inspired by (wait for it), the male and female genitalia. Ummm, you do know that young kids watch this show?Maxi Pad Ven 2.0
After a day of print designing, tearful moments, Mood shopping and a family dinner back at the Atlas Apartments, the designers get back to Parsons to find their newly-minted and printed designs on fabric. Soon, it's time for the "Tim Critique." Christopher is struggling A LOT with his print and designs. Both he and Fabio put black organza on top of their prints (to diffuse their boldness) and Tim doesn't even comment on the similarities. Ven is doing a fan-pleated detail with his print which reminds Monsieur Gunn of an "homage to a menstrual cycle" and Maxi pads (Say WHAT Mr. Tim?) He's right. It does. Subsequently, Ven quickly changes his "Maxi pad" detail and goes into "Ven Auto Pilot," making a pleated skirt using his pleated rose technique which incidentally the judges have seen again and again. You just know that they will rip him a new rose for that one!Winners ... What Do They Know?
Day of the runway show and Mondo Guerra is there as the Guest Judge, along with Season 9 Winner Anya Ayoung-Chee. It's always nice to see "Project Runway" winners/alumn as judges since they know what the designers go through (I was privileged enough to have been asked to be a guest judge back on Season 6). But, you can always sense a feeling (from the current seasons' designers) of "What do you know? You're Just a Former Contestant/Winner." You could tell that from this episode's judging, for sure. There was much eye rolling and snickering. Moving on ... How were the designs? Mostly quite fab!Print Challenge Winner?
Elena and Fabio were safe. I was surprised by Fabio not being one of the top vote-getters. His design was one of my favorites. It was so Tilda Swinton. The styling and hair were ON POINT. The design was very NOW. The print? Well, it was lost in the mix but overall, he did an outstanding design job. The top for the judges were Melissa, Sonjia and Dmitry. They all did a great job. Melissa's dress was bright, colorful, and polished. It was nice to see something that wasn't Ann Demeulemeester black. It was a print challenge after all, and in those terms, she should have won. Sonjia did a pair of great fitting pants a la Mondo and I especially LOVED the black jersey cowl-back top. But it was Dmitry who got the win. I was a bit confused, however. I agree that his jacket was, as Nina Garcia said, "phenomenal," but this wasn't a Jacket Challenge. It was a print challenge. What did I miss?If It's Another Flower I Will Scream!
Now, to the bottom: Christopher, Gunnar and Ven. Christopher's dress was too safe for the judges and he didn't "wow" anyone. And as Heidi said in the beginning of this episode, it's time to WOW! Ven sent out a perfectly made one-shoulder design very Carolina Herrera meets Oscar de la Renta. But yes, it was yet ANOTHER Ven Flower Pleated Design. Heidi, visibly upset and frustrated at the fact that he was doing the "same old/same old" asked for Tim Gunn to come in to see if he had warned Ven to NOT do that EVER again. Tim told the judges how Ven had made something reminiscent of Maxi pads when he visited him but he had not really seen his new "Ven-on-Pleated-Rose-Auto-Pilot-Mode" design. Ven didn't get the "Auf" this time but he did get a warning from Heidi: "If we see this flower thing one more time it’s …. over!" Emphasized by a very "off with his head" whistle from Miss Klum! Atta girl!No Boob Job For Mommie
Therefore, it was Gunnar's missy-looking design and print that got the boot. The judges were correct in that the details were bad, the proportions were bad, the styling was dated and so was the fashion. It looked like something from a Talbot's Catalogue from 1992. And the arms grabbing a bird print was not exciting or great enough to make a shopper want to wear it. It was actually macabre and depressing-looking. In the end Gunnar did make up with his Gay Arch Nemesis Christopher and although he might not have won, he did redeem himself as being a decent guy. Now we just have to see if Ven can pull out some thrones next week from those tired pleated roses!