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The Project Runway Blog

As They Say In Fashion...

By kim_messina Fri., Aug. 31, 2012 ,5:00 am EDT

Dare I say this has been my favorite episode yet? After the disaster that was known as Episode 6 (Read my recap here), it was refreshing to see the a challenge with no real gimmicks. The only catch was that their cocktail/event dress had to fit in with a collection of nine other dresses from past "Runway" designers, but still display the designers' own aesthetic. So as far as I'm concerned, with the fabric essentially already picked out and a general guideline for the design, this challenge really gave the designers the framework to make something absolutely stunning.

But I guess it's never that easy.

With the added pressure of knowing that their dress would be sold at the Lord & Taylor flagship store in NYC (which is right down the street from the Lifetime office!) and on lordandtaylor.com, some of the designers had full-blown panic attacks during this challenge. (Not that I can blame them.) Poor Sonjia and Melissa. For the most part, the these two non-Chiffonies have really kept it together this season, so it was really hard for me to watch them struggle to the point of tears while making their dresses.

Elena, on the other hand, just can't seem to get it together … ever. The poor girl is so hard on herself (and on the other designers during group challenges!) that she literally has a mental breakdown every episode. As Gunnar said, "I know she can do this challenge. She just needs someone to let her know that she can." (Again, really loving Gunnar showing off his tender side. It's a good look for him — one that I hope sticks around!)

Once the tears subsided and the anxiety level went from a 10 to a 9, it was time to leave it all on the line … err, I mean runway. As a whole, I thought the designers all contributed pieces that would fit seamlessly into the "Project Runway" Capsule Collection. But I didn't necessarily agree with the judges Top 3 (well 4).

First off, why is my boy Dmitry getting looked over again. Week after week he executed looks that are extremely well-made and have very few technical flaws, yet he has yet to win a challenge! I think he should have won this challenge hands down. It's not that I didn't like Christopher's gown, I just think that Dmitry's dress is more wearable for the average Lord & Taylor consumer.

I'm sort of torn about the fact that no designers were sent home. On one hand, I do agree with the judges that all the designers executed impressive pieces, but I also think that Alicia's "Chanel"-inspired dress was boring, uninspired and just plain 'ol ugly. I also think that Gunnar didn't deserve to be in the bottom — his dress was one of the few that I, as a frequent Lord & Taylor shopper, would wear! I think Sonjia's Cyndi Lauper creation should have definitely been in the bottom.

But as they say in fashion: one day you're in and the next … you're also in. At least until Episode 8!