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02
WED

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.