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Rock-a-Bye-Runway

By kim_messina Fri., Sep. 28, 2012 ,4:51 am EDT

Last night's "Project Runway" was one of those episodes that left me saying "Wh-Wh-What?", mainly because a designer stayed, even though in my eyes they did the worst job. In addition, I think it was one of the first times a designer was NOT eliminated for doing Safe and Boring. The episode left me quite dumbfounded, trying to justify in my mind the outcome. All I could think is that the judges looked at the designers' overall work as opposed to the actual design for THIS challenge at hand. And they always say they do not do that — but it's obvious they do. There's more that irked me — and yes, things that I LOVED — so, allow me to give my "Nick Two Cents" for this week.

Oh Baby!

There are only six designers left on this season and therefore they are feeling the pressure as they get closer to the grand prize. This week, they all go to a Babies"R"Us store, where Heidi and Tim are waiting. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to guess what this challenge will be. Heidi has a new line of affordable baby clothing, "Truly Scrumptious", that sells exclusively at Babies"R"Us. The challenge this week is to create a look for this line that will then, be manufactured and sold at "Babies 'R' Us". Heidi tells the designers that there will be 2 winning looks — one boy and one girl — and they only have one day to do it.

Why Do I Care What The Mommies Like to Wear?

The designers' tepid yet pretending-to-be-excited reactions are priceless. Before they can run out and say "I'm Outta Here!", the dreaded velvet bag comes out and each designer is "assigned" their baby models and respective moms. Each designer confers with the moms as to what their needs and style ideas are for their toddlers. The mom's are also describing their own styles, which makes me wonder, "Why do I care what YOU like to wear..." unless (cue the dramatic music in my brain) there might be a TWIST later and they have to design for the mommies too (not my first time at the "'Project Runway' Rodeo"). The only thing that's memorable from this consultation is when Nanci (Christopher's baby momma) says "Dior uses a lot of tulle" in talking about the children's clothes. In case y'all are not aware, a "Baby Dior" tulle dress — for a BABY — goes for $3,680. I instantly think "Oh no, this one's a DIVA!" Later we find out, she was.

Faux Babies...Why?

The designers head back to Parsons where Ms. Klum left them dossiers, fabric, notions and trims from her "Truly Scrumptious" collection so their creations can coordinate with the rest of her line. There are also toddler body forms and a "special surprise": Lifelike Crying Baby Dolls. Yeah, the kind those "16 and Pregnant" girls use. They cry, cry and cry; when they need to be fed, rocked or diaper changed. Is this really necessary, I wonder? The explanation — from Poppa Tim — was that they are there so the designers know "what goes into creating baby clothes." I don't even think he believed what he said. It seemed like a forced edition to the episode that didn't really need it. This became more evident as WAY too much time was wasted showing the stressed out designers trying to care for their "babies" as opposed to actually creating their designs. More importantly, as a viewer, all that faux baby crying really got on MY last nerve.

Mommy Wear?

After much Rock-a-Bye-Baby-at-Parsons time, Tim and Heidi check in on the designers. They give good constructive critiques to the likes of Dmitry (His red hooded jumpsuit seems disjointed, they say) and Melissa (Her printed leggings and basic vest lacks a "fun factor"). Heidi then announces "The Twist": they have to also design and create a companion look for the mommies (PS: I told you so!). There is good news, however. They are given an extra day to do it and the judges will really be judging on the baby couture and not really the mom's ensemble. After Mood shopping and a sleepless night tending to their faux-bies, I think even the novelty of having these crying dolls got on the producer's nerves as Tim walks in to whisk them away to "Day Care," only to never be seen, and more importantly, heard from again.

Under No Circumstances

The designers continue working on the mom and baby creations and have fittings. Melissa doesn't have anything for the mom and is having fit issues, actually having trouble putting a dress on her baby (That's never good). Christopher has to deal with yes, that Diva mommy, Nanci. She hates her child's dress saying that "under no circumstances" would her daughter ever wear that. How do I say this politely? Nanci, SHUT UP and let the designer do his job. Thank you. She also dismisses the dress Christopher made for her out of a beautiful Oscar de la Renta flower print fabric, calling it a "1970s tablecloth." Wow, she's going to come off real good (NOT!). The following day, she quickly apologized to Christopher for her grating remarks, possibly realizing my previous sentence. Bless her heart.

Hey Jude!

Runway Day and guest judge, actress and new mom Hilary Duff is on hand to check out the Cradle Catwalk. Remember that there will be two winners — one boy look and then a girl look. The best boy looks are Fabio's practical blue onesie finished with a baby baseball cap. I thought that Dmitry's red hooded jumper was whimsical but possibly too "costumey" (judges agreed). Sonjia's outfit for her cutie patootie Jude was PERFECT. His grey and blue lapelled knit "suit" was polished, modern and as Heidi said, "sharp." Hers was the clear winner, helped by the fact that Jude, her baby model, was ADORABLE. A big ol' ham, as they say.

Sunday Brunch Princess

In terms of the best for the baby girl look, it was Christopher's white appliqué dress that was the clear winner. Christopher's "Special Occasion" dress would guarantee cries of "Oooh She Looks So Precious" at any brunch, church or birthday party from all the jealous moms. It was a MAJAH slap in the face for Diva Mom Nanci (who HATED the little dress) and so I could totally see Christopher privately grinning just a little bit more.

Worst Didn't Go Home...

And now to the bottom. Elena's baby look was all over the place. Yes, it was too much. The jacket was interesting but then she tried to throw in everything AND the proverbial kitchen sink. But at least there was something to talk about. Whereas Melissa's — who struggled up until the end of this challenge — was ba-ba-boring. To me, without question, Melissa's was the worst. It had no design appeal and fit badly (Baby Diaper Britney Moment!). The jacket was OK, but take out the back detail and what do you have, an unexciting black jacket. And the moms? What the heck was happening with the crotch of those wrinkled pants? She looked homeless and sad. So...Elena goes home. Wh-Wh-What?

Judging the Judges

I'm sure it is tough for the judges to have to eliminate designers based on the challenge (especially such a silly challenge as this) while still keeping the end result in mind...who the actual winner will be. But the more surprising and exciting result would be if they actually eliminated the worst designer based on the challenge. What a novel idea!!