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Unconventionally Sewn

By kim_messina Fri., Aug. 16, 2013 ,4:09 am EDT

In my last "Project Runway" blog recap, I ended with "hope the drama has left the room and now we can get back to the FASHION"... Well, I got 50% of my wish. Last week, we had the celebratory episode involving the designers creating looks inspired by bow ties and Bradon's heartwarming-and tear inducing marriage proposal. Also, Sandro "The Drama Diva" left, punched a camera and POOF: no one is out. Now is a new week and a new challenge. And yes, new DIVA Drama...

Bridge and Meatpacking Tunnel
Miss Heidi greets the designers by telling them that they are to meet Tim (and a guest) in the UBER hip (still?) Meatpacking District of NYC. Cut to the Gansevoort Plaza. PS: I had no idea that's what it was called—I just thought it was the place where drunk "Bridge and Tunnel" couples stumbled along the cobblestone streets. Tim Gunn is there with several shiny new Lexus automobiles. He's with Brian Bolain, Corporate Manager for Lexus.

And You Must Solve a Crossword Puzzle Too!
Oh yes, it's another "Brand" challenge. As it turns out, it's not only that but...
A) It's also a Team Challenge (the designers are put in teams of three).
B) It's an Unconventional Challenge (The third in 5 episodes! What is this, the "Unconventional Season"?). The designers will not be going to Mood but instead, get their materials from an antique wallpaper store, a specialty food store, or a home goods/party store.
C) The designers must design a mini-collection of high-end looks.
D) Be inspired by the Lexus automobiles...or not.
E) They have a $1500 suggested budget.
F) Have only one day to do it.
G) And they must do all the above PLUS solve a Crossword Puzzle involving World Politics...OK, not this last one, but I wouldn't have been surprised if they did!

Driving Miss Sue
Teams are announced and they are Jeremy, Karen, Kate; Alexander, Bradon and Miranda; Dom, Helen, Justin; and Alexandria, Ken and Sue. The last one being the most contentious from the start: Ken is not happy from the minute the Lexus ignition key has been turned on—and especially after Sue makes a remark about Ken being the Chauffeur(?). He immediately goes into Diva mode, not for Sue implying this is a remake of "Driving Miss Daisy," but the fact that Sue doesn't know how to machine sew, thread a bobbin or make patterns. All the teams go shopping—picking two of those three aforementioned locations—and then, head back to Parsons. There, "Team Drama" continues with Alexandria, Ken and Sue. Ken is very argumentative, divisive and quite nasty to Sue in particular, demeaning her non-sewing/patternmaking skills to her face as well as in front of Tim Gunn during his requisite visit.

Several Things...
First, I get what Ken's frustration with Sue is about. I have NO PATIENCE for someone who comes on "Project Runway" not having their skills down pat. Even if you are not a "machine sewing" person, have never threaded a bobbin or made patterns, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you didn't take the time between getting chosen and actual filming to learn and school yourself. There is nothing wrong with being self-taught...if you actually TEACH YOURSELF something! With that said, I don't agree with the manner of which Ken went about it to let her know this. He was abrasive and insulting. As a team member, he should have just sucked it up—and maybe just complained during his direct-to-camera confessionals. On a side note regarding Tim's visit to their team, I was so happy when he ripped them ALL a new one—including the fact that Sue was using FABRIC in an Unconventional Challenge and that the other two weren't doing much better either. Good Job, Top Gunn!

La Diva Is BAACK!
Speaking of the workroom and Tim, guess who showed up? La Diva Sandro. I wasn't expecting this one. I thought he was, by now, in a JFK Airport Transit Hotel waiting to go back to Moscow. But alas, he wasn't. Sandro returned to apologize to the designers for his behavior and put closure to all his nonsense. The jaded person in me thinks that he had to come back to pay the producers for the broken camera. Just sayin'.

The Runway
Runway day is upon us and Team Alexandria, Ken and Sue are still a mess. Sue's look is not done and they have been told that, "It's runway time!"; Tim says that it was an "unprecedented moment" when Sue's model walked out of the workroom IN HER OWN CLOTHES. Somehow I am beginning to side with Bitchy Ken right about now. June Ambrose, Stylist to Jay-Z, Diddy and Missy Elliot is the guest judge. The designs come out and here are my "Nick Two Cents":

The Best
I thought two teams in particular did a great job. First Team Alexander, Bradon, Miranda. I especially loved Bradon's; that "wedding gown" of his was draped magnificently. I also thought Alexander's shawl made of window blinds was pretty FIERCE. Surprised Miranda did not do a PENCIL SKIRT but...she did do a fitted skirt dress, so very close. At least it wasn't a PENCIL SKIRT! When Team Jeremy, Karen and Kate's designs came out, however, I was like, "Done and Done." Those were some of the sexiest, hottest looks that have been achieved using placemats, wallpaper, glitter, drawer lining and coconut, EVAH. Karen's black flapper-style shift dress was SO Prada. Kate, who's on my Top Three Final List as of last night, did a marvelous design that looked like a $3,000 designer dress at Barney's NY. Her model Roberta looked INCREDIBLE; she needs to be the next Miss Universe! But it was Jeremy's ivory placemat strapless dress that won me—and the judges—over. It was a complete opposite of a "Madame" look, which is the critique he got last week. This dress was so Victoria Beckham it was RIDUNCULOUS.

And Now to The Bottom
After the runway show, I thought Justin would be OUT because of his uninspired outfit comprised of a top and sloppy, stiff pants. The fact that they showed a tender "family Skype" moment earlier, also added to my "He's out!" speculation. But, it was Team Drama that was in the bottom. I actually liked Alexandria's high-neck vest as well as her ruched mini. The outfit looked modern and kind of chic. It was obvious then, that Ken and Sue were at the bottom. Ken's duct-taped dress was cheap-looking and screamed, "Oh wait, I need to cover my mistakes." But it was Sue who got the eventual boot for her outfit that was poorly sewn, haphazardly designed and just plain odd. On top of everything else, it was shocking to learn that Sue's model sewed part of the dress herself. Wouldn't that alone be cause for elimination? Hopefully she'll go learn some machine-stitch sewing skills and take some pattern-making classes (it will only make her a better designer)...and continue making those great leather jackets.

So...what did you guys think? Was Ken's approach to Sue completely wrong? What did you think of Sandro coming back? Should Ken and his duct tape ensemble have gone home instead of Sue? I'd love to know your thoughts. Until then, see you here next week!