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The Project Runway Blog

You're Timeless To Me

By laurareineke Fri., Mar. 1, 2013 ,4:52 am EST

This blog is brought to you by my new mantra: "You've got great legs, so show them, b*tch! Don't be a fool." Thanks for the motivation, Joan Rivers.

I don't envy Michelle at this point in the competition, as literally everything she's done has been overshadowed by the lower scores and eliminations of her teammates. But she doesn't help her case by declaring early on in this week's episode that she doesn't want to work with Patricia (as if we haven't heard her say it a million times before). Hasn't she heard of foreshadowing? Of tempting fate? Heidi brings out the button bag, which decides that Michelle will join Patricia and Layana's team. "Wow, what a surprise!" says no one.

The designers head to Midtown Loft, where a group of lively older women are rocking out with a dance instructor. Tim tells the group that their challenge is to design a fashionable look for one of these mature women. There's no need for cohesion between teammates and no other constraints, and best of all, the ladies are fun, funny and game for anything. There are no twists and turns this week. It's all about design and execution.

I want to jump straight to the runway looks because I think there's a lot to discuss. Michelle and Layana are apparently given high scores for their work, but Patricia's low score lands them squarely in the Safe Zone. Here's the thing: I like Patricia. I like her perspective and I like a lot of her techniques, but I'm increasingly beffudled by her design choices. The thick-looking fabrics, the color blocking, and the neckline of her look combine into an unflattering and frankly amateur-looking mess. I imagine she was super thankful for the teams conceit this week, because it absolutely saved her from elimination.

Top Two
Daniel/Samantha - I assumed these looks would land the team in the Safe Zone, so I was surprised to see them on top. The judges love the thoughtful details in Daniel's black pantsuit, and they like the thought behind—if not the execution of—Samantha's sassy leopard-print look. (Different sleeves and a minimization of the bow at the waist would have improved the latter a lot, I think.)

Richard/Stanley - Stanley's purple suit looks expensive and it flatters his client, but working with a woman in possession of such a model-esque figure was an advantage I was surprised the judges didn't acknowledge. I agree with Nina that the silhouette of Richard's jersey dress drowns the client just a tad, but the judges like that the look is youthful and simple.

Bottom Two
Benjamin/Amanda - The judges are not at all fond of Amanda's hankerchief-hemmed dress, and I don't blame them; there's something very off about it, including but not limited to the messy tailoring at the back of the skirt. Melissa Rivers says, "You've tried to make a cake with whatever was in the kitchen," and that hits the nail on the head, really. Ben is justifiably called out for the constricted fit and misguided style of his garment.

Kate/Tu - Tu admits that he a) failed at properly sewing his garment, and b) let down his client. The entire judging panel is sort of horrified by the fact that the belt is the only thing really holding his dress together. Kate, on the other hand, knocks it out of the park this week. The subtle ribbing and detailing in the sweater is great, and combined with the strong print of the skirt offers a very classy, timeless look for her client. (Shorten the sleeves and the skirt just a tad and I'd wear that look, too.)

So whose look is the worst? The tightness of Benjamin's top is problematic, but certainly no more so than Tu's basically unfinished dress or Patricia's ill-proportioned mess. And compared with Amanda, at least Ben put together a garment that looked polished, and one that the client truly liked. This challenge wasn't Ben's finest hour, and I'm not his biggest fan by any means, but I'm not sold on his auf-ing.

What do you think? Was Patricia's look as terrible as I thought it was? If this challenge had taken place in a team-less season, who do you think would have been eliminated? Which look was your favorite? And if you were a designer, how terrified would you be to have your look judged by the ruthless Joan and Melissa Rivers? Chime in below.

Next week: Prom! Duct tape! ACTUAL DUCKS! Sign me up.