Season Premiere July 24 at 9/8c
The episode kicked off with the designers chitchatting back at the Atlas probably no more than a few hours after the most recent elimination, where they said goodbye to James. What started off as a simple "Team Keeping It Real is kicking @$$" conversation, quickly turned into a roast of the "weakest" designers, most notably, Kate. But Kate proclaimed that she isn't going to play Miss Nice Girl anymore:
As the designers make their way into the workroom at 1407, they are greeted not only by Tim, but by baskets filled with items like rose petals, pink peppercorns, mandarin oranges and jasmine leaves. Tim then tells them that for this challenge, they'll be creating something for a "very important client." (VIC? Let's go with that.). And in walks none other than Heidi. IT'S THE HEIDI KLUM CHALLENGE. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.
Heidi goes on to tell the designers that as a team, they'll be designing garments for the launch of her "very feminine and sensual" scent, "Surprise." Each team will be responsible for designing four garments for her "Surprise" TV and print ad, and two looks for a press event. After all a woman needs options, right? Or to put it in Heidi terms:
The designers are given a Heidi inspiration box for guidelines (sexy, but not slutty; use hues of gold, pink and black; the dress should look great all the way around), 30 minutes to sketch and consult as a team and $1,200 per team to spend at Mood.
Since Team Keeping It Real has eight designers and the Dream Team only has six, Layana and Kate pair up to create a commercial look and Amanda and Joe team up to design a press look. Michelle (Dream Team) said that she thinks her team has the advantage since each person can concentrate on one look without someone else's input, and at this point of the episode, I had to agree with her.
But the trip to Mood completely changed my mind. Between Cindy choosing those god-awful fabrics ("Material Girl" pink taffeta and pink shantung) and Matthew saying that he felt "a little bit" disabled by this challenge, my instinct told me that Team Keeping It Real already had this challenge in the bag. I mean Matthew practically threw in the proverbial towel before he purchased any fabric!
As the designers got to work, there were a few things that really caught my attention. First off, Cindy took (and validated!) Benjamin's advice when it came to choosing which fabric she should ultimately use. (Though it was still a terrible choice, if you ask me. The color was way too "Let's go to the mall.") Last week, Cindy was having a life freakout because Benjamin was "micro-managing" her. Next, I found it off-putting how long it took Amanda and Joseph to find a middle ground. I get that their styles are vastly different, but when you only have one day to make a dress for Heidi Klum, you get to it! And finally, I've concluded that if designing doesn't work out for Tu, he can moonlight as the next background dancer for Beyoncé. His workroom booty dance was pretty Sasha Fierce. Next time he walks into the workroom, it's going to look like this:
I still have a hard time seeing past the fact that since it's the Teams Edition, the team members take part of Tim's critique. I literally get anxiety over this for the designers. But the amount of hypothetical anxiety I get doesn't even compare to Layana's over-the-top freakout when she and Kate were talking to Tim. Layana...girlfriend...you have immunity and were having a conniption over the blush color of the underlay of your dress...that Tim liked! Get a grip!
In typical "Runway" fashion, there is always one designer who is still trying to "make it work" up until the runway show. This episode's victim was Benjamin. I was sad to see that he couldn't get it togetherhis design was one of the garments I was looking forward to seeing in the beginning of the episode the most and it really could have been spectacular. My heart goes out to him as to what he had to deal with pre-"Runway," but this show is just as much mental as it is talent-based, and he let his thoughts get the best of him. Benjamin, you are so much better than what you sent down the runway!
This week's guest judge was Kristin Davis of "Sex and the City" fame. I love her. Just freaking love her. She is the epitome of class. And we have the same alma mater, Rutgers University, which is basically icing on the cake for me.
My instincts proved to be correct as Team Keeping It Real won the challenge. Kate and Layana's dress was the clear winner. I was a little "meh" on the corsetry in the back, like Zac said, but I know that Heidi is going to look great in it. (She would look great in a potato sackwho am I kidding?) I didn't love Daniel's dress as much as the judges did, but I do think it was the better second place winner over Patricia's garment. Her craftsmanship and innovation is unparalleled in this competition, fact. But at the end of the day, she basically hid a nude dress under her leather work and passed it off as a press look for Heidi.
After being in the bottom three times in a row, it was time for Cindy to leave and go back to the funeral home. (No...really...that wasn't an old lady joke.) I really value how sincere and grateful she was to have this opportunity. Please read her Q&A on her bio page when you have a chanceshe is literally a "Project Runway" super fan. But, to put it in her words, even the biggest fanatics will admit:
Am I being too hard on Patricia? Should Benjamin have gone home instead of Cindy? Are you ready to see new teams (and hopefully new team names!)?