Project Runway Blog

Put Your Avant-Garde Up

By kim_messina 10/05/2012 05:12AM GMT

It's the final countdown! After taking a week off and handing over this blog to my "Project Runway" partner in crime, Laura, I am back...and boy, do I have a lot to say about this week's episode.

When I first got wind that this episode was titled "In A Place Far Far, Away," I immediately thought the designers were either grabbing their passports and taking a private plane to a wonderfully fabulous foreign country...or that they were designing dresses for Disney Princesses. So you can imagine my surprise (and utter disappointment) when I saw that instead, they took a shuttle van to a castle...Long Island. (Fun Fact: Kevin Jonas and his wife Danielle got married at Oheka Castle, as did Joey Fatone and his wife Kelly.)

The designers were told by Tim and Billy B. from L'Oreal (Who sorta looked a little like Ted Danson, no?) that their challenge was to create an avant-garde look not only inspired by the castle, but by L'Oreal's new Electric Fantasie line. Each designer was given a palette from one of the makeup sets (Artsy Muse, Enchanting Queen, Seductive Temptress, and Wise Mystic) to use as their muse. (Okay, so maybe when I thought Disney Princess earlier, I wasn't so far off. Tim kept referring to the pallets as "ladies.")

Annnnnnd the pressure is on. I feel like an avant-garde challenge is the perfect way to wrap up the competition. It basically gives the designers a free pass to, as Tim would say, design the s**t out of a garment, with very little restrictions. And honestly after last week's children's clothing challenge, I think the designers have really earned the right to be as creative as possible. But it seemed like instead of taking this challenge and running with it, they all put their avant-gardes up.

I think the designers were so fearful that they would get cut this episode, that they all over-thought the entire challenge — which Tim delightfully pointed out during his first check-up. He had the poor designers shaking in their boots. (Even the normally confident Christopher!) His "two days to make a look that would normally take two months" line slayed me.

As the episode progressed, I specific worries for each designer:
-Fabio: What was he going to do to fix that coat? (Well, before he turned it upside down.) And boy shorts? Oye.
-Melissa: Another high-neck? She's making herself a one-trick monkey, as Dmitry would say.
-Dmitry: A suit is avant-garde? Would you like some sneakers, socks and a scrunchie with that?
-Christopher: Is he creating a dress for Angelina Jolie's new movie "Maleficent"? It started to become borderline Disney evil witch at one point.
-Sonjia: Where is the Adam to her Eve? I felt terrible that she lost her gold fabric, but the kelly green does not scream seductress. At all.

But as always, despite my worries, the designers always seem to turn it out. Whether it'd be for good or bad, that's your call.

There's been very few times this season that I've disagreed with the judges, but I definitely think Melissa should have won. She's had a rough few weeks and I think she finally got herself together and created a look that was a nice balance between her aesthetic and avant-garde. It was chic, colorful, the print was fun and her leather work was fantastic.

There's no arguing that Dmitry's craftsmanship is impeccable, but his outfit was boring to me and was definitely not avant-garde. I 100 percent think that he deserved to go to Fashion Week, but his look this challenge did absolutely nothing for me. (Sidenote: Dmitry's little, "Yeah!" after Heidi told him the good news was super adorable.)

Christopher also deserved to right to show at Fashion Week. If I was sure of anything going into this episode, it was that with four wins this season, Christopher was a shoe-in.

As for the final two designers left on the runway, Fabio and Sonjia, I was torn if one, both or none should go home. Throughout the season, they each had their strong and weak moments. I thought the judges brought up a good point that none of Fabio's looks really stood out in the minds, and that Sonjia never fully performed to her potential. At the end, Sonjia was aufed. For a second I thought the judges were going to pull a Gunnar and cut no one, but I was wrong.