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Copycatter Dirty Ratter: A Story of Wrap Sweaters & Substituting for Michael Kors

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 4:41am GMT

The judges including past designer Nick Verreos in episode eleven of Project Runway season six

First off, there was nothing wrong with your TV set. Michael Kors did not all of a sudden grow a beard, step out of his all-black jacket-and-T-shirt uniform and decide to throw in a bit of color into his wardrobe — and have a new penchant for hankies. Yes, that was yours truly on episode eleven of “Project Runway.” But we will get to that a little later …

Boys vs. Girls
For now, there are two boys and four girls left. That’s what it has come down to on Season 6. The boys and girls of “Project Runway” are still living in separate lofts, for fear that Carol Hannah and Logan might consummate their love for each other and fall into “Real World” get-in-a-hot-tub territory. But there’s no time for that; it’s time for the next challenge.

Turn Around!
On the runway judging stage, the designers are asked to sit with their backs to the runway. Heidi Klum then beckons them to turn around, and jaws drop: Their “Best of the Best” designs are displayed on model forms. For this penultimate challenge, they are to create a companion piece for one of their past winning looks. Cutie Logan is perplexed, since he doesn’t have a winning design but is nonetheless happy to see his silver and black one-shoulder gown, very wrinkled, I might add (were there no steamers in the back?). I think this is a great challenge, since this is what true designers do: create groups of garments that, as a whole, tell a story; they are similar but NOT the same, offering a hint of “this is all from the same designer and from the same collection.”

Poufy Gowns for Dowdy Mothers
Back in the FIDM workroom, Tim Gunn visits, and Logan’s girlfriend, Carol Hannah, says that her own design is looking like a “big scary mess.” Tim agrees. Irina is making a dress out of tapestry fabric that matches her prior winning design really well. Tim is excited about Logan’s design, pronouncing that it could easily go into the “wow” category. Althea is constructing high-waisted of-the-moment pants, but they are verging on looking like “Adult Diaper Couture.” Still stuck in 1983, Christopher is on his way to making yet ANOTHER poufy gown. Tim proclaims it the “dowdy mother” to Christopher’s younger, much sexier winning cocktail dress.

Irina Shabayeva and Althea Harper's designs in episode eleven of Project Runway season six

Mean Girls
Meanwhile, in the lounge, drama is a-brewin’: Irina and Althea are being very “Mean Girls,” trash-talking Logan and his use of multiple zippers on his collar, accusing it of being very similar to one of Althea’s previous designs. “Meana-Irina” then takes it up another notch by dissing her supposed BFF, saying Althea is also copying her! (See photo.) Listen, I know that when it gets down to only five or six designers, the tension in the “Project Runway” workroom goes to stratospheric levels. Insecurities are heightened, and eyes may “wander.” I was there.

Substitute Teacher …
It’s Runway Day, and why am I sitting in Michael Kors’ seat? A week prior to the shoot, I received a call asking me if I would sub for Michael Kors and be a guest judge on one of the final challenges. In addition to being an instructor and spokesperson for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, I have also judged the last five seasons’ castings of the show. I therefore felt comfortable sitting in between Heidi and Nina Garcia (oh, the joy!). When I found out that actress Kerry Washington would also be there: more joy! I was honored, excited and verklempt, to say the least. Now, let me tell you, as an insider: The judging day is TENSE! What you see in 20 minutes actually takes FOUR HOURS! (Check out some extended judging Project Runway video clips from episode eleven to see more!) It is nerve-racking to know that the future of these designers is in your hands. I, for one, wanted to comfort them and give them an “Uncle Nick” hug.

Which Sweater Wrap Came First?
My first impression of the designs as they came out was, “Why the somberness and lack of color?” I was also expecting more “wow” moments, especially knowing these were the Final Six. I still, however, liked Carol Hannah’s ’50s-inspired cocktail dress and Irina’s “Millionaire Trophy Wife” ensemble. I spotted the similarity in Althea and Irina’s sweater wraps, and, trust me, we spent a long time discussing it, but we all agreed that our favorite was Althea Harper’s and all loved those draped jodhpur pants. No adult diapers in sight!

East Berlin Office Worker vs. Judy Jetson
There was also no disagreement about who would be in the bottom: We did not like Gordana’s look. It reminded me of an office worker in East Berlin circa 1972. It did nothing to complement her winning dress. Christopher’s silver petal ball gown was very Carnival Float-Meets-a-Duvet-Cover. There was a pretty gown in there, but with all the other stuff, it got lost. Then there was Logan’s minidress with a zippered collar. He had such a wonderful quiet demeanor, but the truth was this fussy, poufy design had nothing to do with the clean lines of his one-shoulder original. Nick Verreos and Logan Neitzel after the airing of Project Runway season six We seriously deliberated for over two hours on this one, and in the end it was Logan Neitzel who was sent home. For days, I felt so bad over it!

Postscript: Logan=Class
Cut to several months ago: I was visiting Seattle to host an event, and there he was: Logan. I shook in my skinny jeans, thinking, “Oh dear, he’s going to slap me in the face.” Before letting me speak, he said to me, “No hard feelings — you are the best, Nick!” and proceeded to give me a gift: a custom-made Logan Neitzel wallet! Now, that’s class. I now feel I might have to fight with Carol Hannah over Logan the next time I see her! And, by the way, I love Judy Jetson!


Episode Six: Ice Ice Baby!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Famous costume designers, from Adrian to Edith Head, once ruled the style and look of Hollywood. They dictated the hemlines and silhouettes of their era and, at one point, influenced fashion more than the Paris couturiers. However, a costume designer does not always make a good fashion designer, and vice versa. With that backdrop, we are on to the next challenge!

Epperson on episode six of Project Runway season six

Costume Designers of Downtown L.A.
The remaining contestants were transported from their downtown L.A. FIDM “set” to a real Hollywood soundstage where Tim Gunn and L’Oreal Paris Consultant Collier Strong were waiting. For their next challenge, they were to create a look inspired by a movie genre and to invent a character that lives there. With only ONE DAY to do it, each designer chose their genre, save for we-never-hear-a-peep-out-of-you Epperson, who ended up being given his. The genres were Action Adventure (Logan, Carol Hannah), Film Noir (Irina, Louise, Althea), Science Fiction (Nicolas, Ra’mon), Period Piece (Christopher, Gordana) and Western (Shirin, Epperson).

Trick or Treat?
Once the designers returned to their workrooms, they were off and running. No time to waste — and NO Johnny or Mitchell to assist in wasting it! Tim enters the FIDM workroom to see if their costumes are worthy of an Oscar or should be relegated to the Halloween sale rack. Christopher decides to do an 1800s Period Piece, designing a bustle skirt-gown with a sleeveless blouse. Tim quickly notes that sleeveless doesn’t sound so Victorian. The resident “go-to boy” for bitchy commentary, Nicolas, creates a Cosmic Queen character who likes white stretchy gowns with lots of feather appliqué. Tim tells him to “queen out” his Ice Queen even more! Uh-oh, this might look like a Eurovision Contest Part Deux!

Ramon-Lawrence Coleman's design on episode six of Project Runway season six

Ra’mon is making a green outfit with ill-placed crocodile-skin leather patches. Tim rightly says it might end up looking like a ‘big hot mess.” With only two hours before the workroom doors close, he decides to scrap his Kermit the Frog jumpsuit and start anew. Not a good idea, Ra’mon! (See photo.)

Meet the Woman Who Makes Madonna Look FIERCE!
It’s Runway Show Day, and the sewing and pattern workrooms are swathed with lots of nervous tension and last-minute madness. Time’s up, and they are off to meet their fate — and see if Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are back. They’re not. In their absence, we have Zoe Glassner from Marie Claire (she’s an old pro at this now), menswear designer John Varvatos and Academy Award–nominated costume designer (“Walk the Line”) Arianne Phillips. In case you didn’t know, Arianne is also Madonna’s one and only stylist, and has styled some of the FIERCEST Vogue Italia photo shoots known to gay men. In other words: She’s a “Fashion God.”

Uncle Nick Is Confused
The designs come down the runway, and I’m confused: confused by some of the designs as well as the judges’ observations. I disliked most of what the judges LOVED and liked several of the ones they didn’t. Were the contestants asked to make costumes — or contemporary fashion with a “costume” subtext? The challenge was to “create a character and a look inspired by a movie.” OK, I get that. And even Tim, back in the workroom, told the designers that normally he tries to have the contestants move away from looking “too costumey,” but for this challenge THAT was the point. So was there a miscommunication? Were the judges told something different? Throughout time many people have confused the job of fashion designers and costume designers. They are two very different jobs. In very simplistic terms, a fashion designer creates contemporary clothing to be worn and purchased. A costume designer creates clothing to aid in the development and enhancement of a character. What role were these contestants asked to play?

Charles Worth Is Turning in His Grave
First, I really thought Christopher’s was a mess. It was neither a costume nor fashionable (sorry Christopher, I still love you!). I thought he was going for 1800s Victoriana, but he missed it. A white 1990s-looking halter top? And the skirt was not any better. I realize you can’t really make an 1800s bustled petticoat in addition to an entire gown in such a short time, but that skirt was more 1980s Versace than a vision from 1850s couturier Charles Worth. And the judges just LOVED it! I was confused. I agree that Gordana’s 1920s-style flapper dress was a tad unimaginative in terms of design, but there was no denying who the character was and from what genre. I could totally see her doing the Charleston! Epperson’s look — and the subsequent positive judges’ critique — also left me dumbfounded. It looked Western, but I actually thought Shirin’s Saloon Girl was much better.

Ice Ice Baby
But where I did concur with the judges was in their assessment of Nicolas Putvinski’s white feathered Ice Queen. Nicolas and Ra'mon's final sci-fi designs side by side from episode six of Project Runway hspace= It was entrance-making and had all the drama of a costume. Her makeup and hair were fabulous. Nicolas knows how to do costumes. After all, he’s been making the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show designs for years. Also, his story was by far the most creative. No surprise, then, when he was given the “Project Runway” Best Costume Design Award.

Cougar Godzilla for Halloween?
Like the judges, I was disappointed with Louise and how boring her Film Noir girl was. I echoed Zoe Glassner’s assessment: It was truly a snoozefest. If I was a client and wanted to make an impression, I probably would not go to “Louise’s Boutique of Snoozeland.” The dress Louise was wearing was better than the one she designed. Not a good sign. I couldn’t believe that finally, after six challenges, Louise gets to stay on the runway stage, but for being in the bottom! Fortunately for her, dear Ra’mon and his reptilian nightmare were more of a mess. Her hair and makeup were very Miss Estonia Universe, and the dress looked like it came from the porn version of a bad Godzilla movie. His “cougar” Godzilla movie unfortunately had a sad ending, and Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman was sent home. And where do you suppose his design will end up? Check the costume sale rack this Halloween!


Episode Five: The Fairy Tale Of The Spewing Steamer

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 3:53pm GMT

Last night was all about fairy tales: fairy tales involving steaming, newspapers and origami. It was also about how fairy tales can catch up to you — on national TV! With that, we begin our “Project Runway” tale on a runway stage, somewhere in Los Angeles, as our storyteller, Heidi “I’m a German Sailor Boy” Klum, greets the remaining designers.

Group shot of designers and Tim Gunn from the newspaper challenge, episode five, of Project Runway Don’t Read the Newspaper, Make a Dress From It!
Like Little Red Riding Hood on her way to Grandma’s house, Tim Gunn and the designers begin their fairy tale journey through the resort-like, palm tree–lined FIDM surroundings and head off to the gritty Los Angeles Times headquarters. There, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore awaits them, announcing that for their next challenge they are to create a design using newspapers as fabric. And this, my children, is where, for some, the fairy tale begins to turn into a nightmare.

Origami Flu Disease
Dragging their newspaper-filled Hefty bags, the designers make their way back to the workroom. Tim tells them that they will have the aid of dyes, brushes, markers and muslin. As the designers begin working, it quickly becomes apparent that a lot have caught the “Origami Bug.” Here’s a brief lesson from Instructor Nick: Origami (Oru meaning folding, gami meaning paper) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, and these kids went right to it!

Woeful Origami Bleeding Birds
Tim returns — after his lunch break at the local downtown L.A. Ralph’s Supermarket salad bar — and surveys the room to see how much the origami flu has infected them, or not. He praises Gordana for not using muslin to create her shape and then warns Nicolas not to get too “costumey” with his punk design. Irina nixes her original idea and instead goes right into making a shawl-collared coat. Johnny’s origami-inspired dress is quickly looking like a Hitchcock Movie Gone Wrong, faux birds and faux blood included. Thesaurus King Gunn is “woeful” about his design. Johnny quickly balls up his bad preschool craft project and starts all over again … kind of.

The Spewing Steamer
As the models file in for their fittings, Johnny is seen relaxing during one of his many breaks in the modern FIDM lounge. There he begins his convoluted story about how he had to start from scratch because the iron-steamer spewed water on his original dress (say what?). Back in the apartment, Johnny continues his “Project Runway” Fairy Tale Tour as he tries to make his roommates Logan (no shirtless shot this time, sorry!) and Ra’mon believe his spattering-water tale.

Gaga for Eva
The following morning (runway day), the models can barely get their dresses on because of how stiff they are. I keep thinking: Oh dear, this is not going to turn out good! I’m having bad memories of my stiff flower dress from Season 2 but know that in the end they will “make it work,” as I did. Heidi introduces the judges, and it’s obvious now that the producers have sent Nina Garcia on a search in the Caribbean to look for Michael Kors.

Irina Shabayeva's trench coat from the newspaper challenge, episode five, of Project Runway In their place are Marie Claire Senior Editor Zoe Glassner and designer Tommy Hilfiger. The kids go gaga with thunderous applause when “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria Parker is introduced as the special guest judge. Let’s see how they feel after she tears them a new side seam!

A Headline-Making Trench Coat
On the runway, most of the creations are outstanding. Althea’s strapless architectural dress looks sexy and well-done, and makes the model’s bum look good! Sexy bum=success! Ra’mon’s origami (yeah, he caught the “bug”) techniques pay off with an interesting folded design. Carol Hannah’s rust-colored gown doesn’t even look like it’s made of newspaper, but more like a Carolina Herrera gown. Louise’s cone-shape skirt is playful and original, and I loved the “jeweled” neckline. But of course, the winner is Irina Shabayeva with her ingenious though simple trench coat. (See photo.) The crushed-newspaper collar and sleeve cuffs were flawless. Those pockets won it for me.

Dior Not
Nicolas and Johnny’s designs were a mess, especially when placed next to the other designers’ creations. It’s no surprise that these central characters of the episode ended up in the bottom. Johnny’s dress looked as if he made it in five minutes, and his “Steam Fairy Tale” was believed by no one. You got to give the kid points for having the chutzpah to call his original design “Dior-like.” I’ve read every Dior retrospective book and know almost every design of the master, and I have NEVER seen the Dior origami bird-and-blood dress, not even from John Galliano. Nicolas calls him on it, in front of the judges, reminding him of what Tim Gunn had said in the workroom. Oh Snap! If you’re keeping score: It’s 10 points for Nicolas, two for Johnny.

Johnny Sakalis leaving the show without getting a hug from Tim Gunn in the newspaper challenge, episode five, of Project Runway

The Last Word, According to Tim
Nicolas’ “insect” design wasn’t any better. It was more cockroach than punk club kid. The way the episode was going, I was positive he was going home. I figured they would keep Johnny since he might be “better TV”; however, Johnny-the-Liar Sakalis was sent packing. But kids, it didn’t end there: For the first time in “Project Runway” history (or as far back as I can remember), Tim Gunn did not give a designer the requisite goodbye hug, but rather looked at him with disdain and contempt. Not wanting to end this episode (and challenge) with the world believing Johnny’s lies, Tim finished with words that will most likely go down in “Project Runway” history: “I am incredulous at the utterly preposterous spewing of fiction Johnny did on the runway.”

Enough said. End of Johnny’s fairy tale.


Episode Four: Tigers, Smurfs and a Cougar Judge, Oh My!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Model Clients
It seems the producers had a conundrum (Hi, Tim Gunn!): How do we inject “Models of the Runway” into the show and have a challenge where the designers and the models are together most of the time? Make the models their clients! So, for this challenge, the designers had to create an eye-catching look for their models to wear at an industry event.

Recycled Challenge
In case you don’t realize it, it’s “Recycled Challenge” time. Back in Season 1, the designers had to create a wedding dress for their models. The episode focused on designer Jay McCarroll and his manic and unstable model, Morgan, a.k.a. “MORGANZAAAAA.” So as Tim Gunn and the models greeted their designers back at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, we were all waiting, with bated breath, for some model-designer DRAMA! Was there a “Morgan of Season 6” in the room? Or was it going to be all “model peachy”?

Qristyl in episode four of Project Runway Tiger Meets Smurf
After a quick trip to a new Mood Downtown L.A. “outpost” at the California Market Center, the designers return to begin working. Tim checks in to see if the designers are translating their clients’ design wishes. “Peaches and Herb” doppelganger Epperson has been trying to make sense of his model, Matar’s, desire to have the most multi-hyphenate dress ever created. Tim likes what he sees. On the other hand, he suggests that Qristyl’s jersey concoction looks messy. (See photo.) As a result, Qristyl starts all over again. Finally, while visiting Logan, Tim questions his use of fabric and styling, and agrees with Logan’s own assessment that it looks like a “Smurf prom dress.” Uh-oh, Logan’s in trouble.

Don’t Tell Me What to Do
As the models have their fittings, my hopes for a bitchy model-designer catfight are heightened as Johnny “I love necklaces from Burning Man” Sakalis and his model Emarie have a moment. He snaps at her, saying, “Don’t tell me what to do … because I don’t tell you …” My first thoughts were “No he didn’t!” and “Girl, you need to slap him!” But he quickly catches himself, realizing that he actually does tell her what to do and how to walk … and how to eat, and how to wear her hair and what color lipstick she should be wearing … But, all in all, there were basically NO model meltdowns. Maybe it’s the bright and airy FIDM workrooms that are keeping everyone in such high spirits!

Time for a Shirtless Logan Commercial Break
Johnny Sakalis in episode four of Project Runway The next morning, Johnny takes a break from telling his model what to do and instead is having trouble getting out of bed as he longingly stares at Logan’s super-skinny silver jeans and shirtless torso. Thanks to the producers, all of America is also treated to another shot of our favorite “Project Runway” Centerfold.

Nina and Michael are BOTH in St. Barths?
Back on the runway, and once again Michael Kors is M.I.A. In his place is designer Marc Bouwer. I know I have joked about how Michael Kors has either been stuck at the St. Barths Airport without a flight or has been trapped in a tanning bed. In truth, I realize that it must be difficult to run his New York–based fashion empire and be filming “Project Runway” 3,000 miles away AT THE SAME TIME. You can’t check on fittings, fabric choices or concur with your patternmakers via Skype. Sometimes you have to physically be there.

Michael was not the only one missing this week, as Zoe Glassner, a Marie Claire editor, filled in for Nina Garcia. I have actually judged several seasons of the “Project Runway” castings with Zoe, and she’s great! Rounding out last night’s guest panel is Angelina Jolie’s stylist, Jennifer Rade, someone else I admire and have worked with while doing my red-carpet “Fashion Wraps” for the TV Guide Network. If only they would have added another chair and dragged Lisa Rinna into the mix, then it really would have been FABULOUS!

Tanisha Walks It Like Her Rent Is Due!
The fashion show begins, and I am surprised at how much I like Christopher’s apple-green tulip-pleated cocktail dress. It’s very Oscar de la Renta model-who-lunches. Another surprising standout is Epperson’s stretch Devore mini dress. Somehow he married all his model’s desires into one dress. But the winner for this challenge was Althea Harper, whose design I really didn’t think was “all that.” I understand making three items in one day is a major undertaking, and I loved the Phillip Lim–looking skirt, but that unfinished, almost see-through top looked a bit sloppy. However, the ensemble was definitely well-merchandised. It also helped that Althea's model, Tanisha, worked it like the rent was due! Go, Miss Tanisha!

Johnny Sakalis in episode four of Project Runway “Project Runway” Cougar: Jennifer Rade Loves Logan
In terms of the not-so-good: I personally thought Johnny’s was the worst of the week. It was an uncreative bridesmaid dress that seriously belonged on the David’s Bridal sale rack. (See photo.) But in the minds of the four judges, there were worse creations. There was Qristyl’s one-shoulder black-and-boring number, which, according to Heidi, aged her model, Valerie. And cutie Logan’s taffeta and lace prom dress looked as if it came directly from Goodwill. After some overt flirting between guest judge Jennifer Rade and Logan, we all knew it was Qristyl’s time to go. Tune in next week, when Logan sneaks off for a midnight rendezvous with stylist and newly crowned “Project Runway” Cougar Jennifer Rade … and Qristyl Frazier joins the “Project Runway” Halfway House. Ari, guess who’s coming to your yoga class?


Episode Three: Surf and (Not-So-Avant-Garde) Turf

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 1:38pm GMT

Tim Gunn in flip flops on episode three of Project Runway

Postpartum Field Trip
After last week’s “Pregnancy Chic” episode, I had one postpartum thought: When will they get rid of Mitchell and why the heck was he still on the show? I’m sure some of the remaining designers are also thinking this as Heidi tells them that for this week’s challenge, they get to go on a field trip. When anyone mentions “Project Runway Field Trip,” all I can think of is “Oh no, an ice skating rink in New Jersey?” since that was my Season 2 field trip; it was a fun challenge, minus the HEINOUS leotards we were forced to wear. But for Season 6, “Project Runway” is in Southern California, and this time they go to the beach!

Tim Gunn Mani-Pedi
As the designers sink their toes into the warm Venice Beach sand, Tim Gunn is waiting in a blazer, khakis and … wait for it ... FLIP-FLOPS! Now, these are four words I thought I would never mutter: “Tim Gunn” and “flip-flops.” Along with Tim, Garnier Celebrity Stylist Philip Carreon was on hand to introduce the “Garnier Challenge”: to create a fun and fashionable surf-wear look.

Random Team Captains?
Surprise, kids! This is also the dreaded Team Challenge. After reaching into his velvet bag, Tim begins “randomly” calling out the team captains. I hardly think those captains were chosen at random, however: Shirin (last week’s winner), Mitchell (of course!), Nicolas (bitchy drama?), Qristyl (hoochie meltdown?), Johnny (hopes for a crying relapse?), Althea and Logan (the cuties). The design captains then pick their teammates and convene with a group of six “surf chicks.” A short visit to Mood (not long enough for Qristyl to cause too much destruction) and the designers were back at their fabulous Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising headquarters. I hope someone oiled up that overlock machine, because they’re going to be using it.

Two for Two
Tim, sans flip-flops, arrives and has news from Heidi (and by Heidi, he means the producers have decided to throw a curveball): They are to make a second outfit, an “avant-garde look” that corresponds to their swimsuit creation. I’m now dubbing it the Surf and Turf Challenge. The next day it was time for Mr. Gunn to see if he needed to do some “couples counseling.

Qristyl and Epperson as a team episode three of Project RunwayCouple Trouble
Most of the teams this week seem to be working swimmingly (pun intended), save for the usual subjects. Although Mood Destroyer and Spell-Check Victim Qristyl is the team captain, Epperson has clearly taken over and, much to my surprise and amazement, he SPEAKS! Epperson seems to have come out of the self-induced “Project Runway” coma he has been in the last two weeks, and is ready for a “Jerry Springer” fight with Qristyl. Button-nosed Mitchell and Ra’mon are also having a few issues working together. It didn’t take long for Ra’mon to have the epiphany of how useless Mitchell was going to be, and therefore he took over on both designs. Tim’s “What is that?” reaction to their Marvel Comics chocolate scuba jumpsuit echoed mine. As a result, Ra’mon decides to scrap it and somehow finds neon-yellow fabric to create another dress. Ra’mon must have really been “neoprene happy” back at Mood!

Gaga for Neoprene
Time for the Surf and Turf runway show, and Michael Kors still can’t get a flight out of St. Barths (someone should check the airports!!). Max Azria, designer and founder of BCBG, Max Azria Group and owner of Hervé Léger (he’s got more jobs than me!) is sitting in his place alongside Nina Garcia and actress Rachel Bilson. When the designs came down the runway, I couldn’t help but think that the entire show was a bit of a mishmash. There were nice elements to many outfits, but the good outfits were definitely in the minority. I liked Epperson’s (I’m guessing that was his) leaf-printed, Bali-inspired swimsuit and blouson pareo, and Shirin and Carol Hannah’s bikini look was nice. Ra’mon’s dyed neoprene dress was questionable, but, as Rachel Bilson pointed out, with a couple of changes it could be cute. Much to his surprise, Ra’mon was given the top prize.

Christian Siriano and Chris March: We Need You!
For some reason, these designers just didn’t “get it” when it came time to make an avant-garde look. I hate saying this, but none of them were outstanding in my eyes. The entire time, I kept thinking of the sublime elegance of the avant-garde gown made by Season 4’s Christian Siriano and Chris March. It is so difficult not to compare, since their look was so spectacular. (See Chris March’s comment on the same challenge.)

Nicolas Putvinski's design on episode three of Project Runway

Eurovision Contest Meets “Paris Is Burning”
Johnny and Irina’s brown-colored interwoven one-shoulder dress had no rhyme or reason and looked a tad bit sloppy. Qristyl’s (you KNOW that was Qristyl’s design) second outfit was something a drag queen from “Paris Is Burning” would have worn — back in 1987!! “Boris and Natasha’s” (AKA Nicolas and Gordana’s) outfits were straight out of a Eurovision singing contest. The stretch lilac lace chaps combined with a white lace and organza minidress screamed “hooker in Kazakhstan.” Even Logan and Christopher’s first outfit was a Laguna Beach housewife after one too many Bloody Marys. And that tulle explosion of a gown with a peplum vest had “first-year fashion school student” written all over it. It was beyond tickety-tacky.

No Prize for Whining and Ironing
The worst offender, however, was Mitchell Hall, for just being useless. He relinquished his team captain position and admitted that Ra’mon did most of the work. What did Mitchell do the entire time? Iron? Heidi doesn’t give prizes for ironing, and therefore he was FINALLY sent packing. Mitchell was not ready for “Project Runway” Primetime. You really do need to know how to sew, make patterns, drape and sketch for my little show — not just stand there whining and ironing. Somehow Mitchell didn’t get that memo. I’m sure he gets it now.


Welcome Back, "Project Runway"!!!!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 4:52pm GMT

Last month, I traveled to Europe to do a speaking engagement in Florence, Italy. Florence, Italy! Hello! Upon my return, I reflected on how humbled and lucky I have been and, particularly, how good “Project Runway” has been to me. I probably would not have been flown to Europe and been asked to speak if I were just “Nick Verreos, fashion designer and instructor.” I’m thinking being a “Project Runway” alumnus may have had something to do with it!

Just as the lovely memories of Limoncello and the Uffizi Gallery began to fade from my memory, I got a fun call: The “digital gods” at myLifetime.com asked if I could blog season 6 of “Project Runway.” Well, of course, I jumped for “Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn joy”! I have continually followed “Project Runway” (of course!), and back in Season 3, I wrote the show’s recaps for People.com and have also detailed every season on my own lovely nickverreos.com blog. But I am thrilled to be part of the Lifetime family and share my thoughts on the new season!

As most of you know, I was on the second season of "Project Runway," which filmed over four years ago (I know, it seems like yesterday!). Since appearing on the show, besides continuing to design my line, NIKOLAKI, and teaching at my alma mater, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM, I’ve also had an unexpected turn in my career, and it involves being back on camera — covering award-show fashions for the TV Guide Network, E! and others. One of my proudest accomplishments came last year, when I starred in the Sears holiday ad campaign — along with Vanessa Hudgens ("High School Musical"), Ty Pennington (“Extreme Home Makeover”) and LL Cool J. Finally, I recently finished shooting a pilot for another network and I’m feverishly working on my upcoming Spring 2010 line. (Check out this photo below to see one of my previous designs being worn by Lisa, one of the “Models of the Runway” competitors this season.) In case you were wondering, yep, I don’t sleep!

But back to "Runway" … I am so excited for the return of the show and I — along with millions of fans — can’t wait for this new season. Everywhere I go, people ask me, “When is ‘Project Runway’ coming back?” Well, kids, the wait is over! I can’t wait for Tim Gunn to put his clenched fist to his jaw as he surveys the new designers’ creations and state "I’m very DUBIOUS about this design." I am dying to see what Miss Heidi will wear (we want to see LEGS!!!) and if judge — and Marie Claire Fashion Director — Nina Garcia will bring back that signature look of hers, the one that says, “Something doesn’t smell right” as she looks at the finished designs. Of course, I will also be counting on Michael Kors for his stinging bitchy, yet funny remarks. Most of all, I am looking forward to the new batch of "Project Runway" designers — some of whom I have met (more on that later, kiddies!). Here’s my message to them: Make Uncle Nicky — and the rest of America — proud!