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Mature Muse

By kim_messina Fri., Mar. 1, 2013 ,4:30 am EST

When you combine Joan Rivers with the thrill of designing for "Mature Women" and then throw in my Fantasy "kooky" aunt from Boca…Boy you've really got my attention! Yes kids, this week on Season 11 "Project Runway: Teams Edition" (if it still could be called that) the designers were faced with the challenge of creating ensembles for "Ladies of a Certain Indeterminate Age." Let's Recap...

Who Do You Not Want To Work With? Because That's Who You'll Be Working With
Last week, Matthew was out and Richard was in. Michelle continued to be the "Bad Luck Charm” of the season—as well as the funniest and most "on point" commentator, and platinum-haired Aussie Benjamin is confident about getting such high praise from the judges in regards to his strapless-and-sexy Miranda Lambert gown. Cue the "He's going to be on the BOTTOM this week" thoughts in your head (or at least mine!). Heidi greets the remaining designers with the dreaded button bag and since last week Michelle was left without a partner, it's time to put her somewhere. Earlier, while at the Atlas Apartments, she comments about how she does NOT want to be paired up with Patricia. Well huney, I think you might want to think twice about using your loud voice around the producers because VOILA! Guess whose name Heidi draws from her button bag? Yep! Patricia. Coincidence? Not so mucheeey. This isn't my first time at this Reality Show Rodeo.

Mature Muse
Heidi then tells the designers that "Fashion is timeless" and with that, sends them off. They all meet at the Midtown Loft Dance Hall where there are several "mature ladies" in a dance class. Tim walks in and announces that the Challenge this week is to create a fashionable look for a mature client. The camera then pans to the designers as Richard flashes THE FAKEST smile EVAH. Mr. Gunn tells the designers who their clients are and soon afterward, it's time to consult and Mood shop—with $200 per look. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS EACH!? I flashback to the days when that would have been the budget for the Couture Challenge!

Not Following the "Teams" Point of All This
I am still unsure as to where the "teams" aspect of this whole thing comes into play since it seems that each designer is doing their own "thang". I'm thinking "are the mature ladies Lesbian partners?" Nope. This challenge was more about each designer going off and creating whatever they wanted and just praying the other person doesn’t mess up.

Poncho Patricia and "Get-It-Together" Amanda
Since the designers had only one day to do this challenge, the workroom was Stress Central. Tim walks in for a visit and surveys what they have been up to. He loves Michelle's look and is questionable of Patricia's poncho. I'm questionable of that poncho too. For goodness sakes, it is a mess and reminds me of a "Before" photo for a Jennie Craig ad. What is she thinking? When I see Michelle's on-point smack-talk confessionals, I almost want to give her a "Hey Gurl!" high-five. Moving on. Amanda is struggling and I have to admit that I can't understand why. IT'S A DRESS!! Amanda is a woman (the last time I checked) and her go-to line is that she designs for "real women", yet she is having issues. Stop the whining, put your nose to the pattern table and make a friggin' dress lady!

We Love You Joan!
Day of runway and Zac Posen is not there. Six episodes in and he's really become the new Michael Kors; showing up whenever he feels like it. The beautiful, talented and very successful Rachel Roy is there instead. In addition, the "Special Guest Judge" is the one-and-only Joan Rivers. PS: There is a GOD! Design for a Mature Client + Joan Rivers = Genius. Her daughter—and Executive Producer of E!'s "Fashion Police"—Melissa Rivers, is there, only because one figures, Joan needs a travel partner in First Class. The designs come out and here are my "Nick Two Cents":

Jumpsuit Polished vs. Fun Fab
I love Michelle's flower print dress with crystal beaded waist. In my opinion it was one of the best and most finished dresses on the runway. Patricia changed her "mumsie" poncho into a blue-and-gold wrap/shawl that looked elegant that still brought her threesome team down. She survived another week and we are guaranteed for more Michelle behind-the-scenes Patricia Hate Talk. My favorites on the runway were Samantha's chartreuse and animal print dress as well as Stanley's navy jumpsuit with matching bolero. Now, both of these designers had an "upper hand" since their clients were closer to a model's size than the other ladies. This isn't fair. When you look at these types of challenges in Project Runway history, it almost always seems to benefit the designers whose "real models" were of smaller sizes. But they both still designed solid garments. I agreed with Fab Joan (and disagreed with the judges) in that I thought Samantha's dress was really good and perfect for her client. Stanley's look was polished and chic but his client was having crotch issues and yes, those cropped pants were TOO cropped. Based on the color, fit and "young spirit"#151;I would have given Miss Samantha the prize. But it was Stanley who got the win.

Oh Amanda
Now, onto the Bottom: Team Kate and Tu and Team Benjamin and Amanda. No one, in their right mind watching this episode was surprised to see Tu or Amanda there. Tu's moss green dress was badly constructed and looked like a uniform for an airline I NEVER want to fly with. Now, let's discuss Amanda: the ENTIRE episode dealt with her and her whining and struggles. Her printed dress was a MESS. The sleeves, the unintentionally asymmetrical hem, the covered-up mistake in the center back...WOW, there was nothing right about this dress.

Grand Dame Auf
But Benjamin? I couldn't understand why he was there—until the judges went more in depth about his design during their deliberation. At first, I liked the dress he created; heck, even his client liked it. It looked very Oscar de la Renta…on a budget. But then I realized, "Oh, it looks Very Oscar de la Renta On a Budget!" Ooops. The sleeve cap was too tight, the skirt too poufy and the color too predictable for an "older lady." I guess if I were to choose which one of the two dresses was more innovative, it would be Amanda&3151;as bad as her construction was. So with that we say goodbye to the Aussie. He can at least sleep well knowing he made his ADORABLE client happy. And wasn’t that the main point anyway?!