The Project Runway Blog
Category: "season 10"
For realz, I could have used a pair of sunglasses while watching this episode. Holy blinding sparkles, Batman!
The designers' faces lit up like kids on Christmas morning the moment they saw the Radio City Rockettes take the stage. (And it's also worth noting that Heidi has one heck of a high kick!) This challenge was so freaking cool. The Rockettes are legend-wait for it-dary. (Please click here if you did not get that reference.) As a girl who grew up New Jersey and being fortunate enough to have seen the Rockettes perform more than a dozen times, I aspired to be a famous toy soldier during the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. But at 5'3" and having little to no coordination, my big Radio City dreams have been shelved. So although I may not be a designer, a little part of me lived vicariously through the remaining seven this episode.
I found the way each designer approached this challenge to be very interesting. Initially I thought Dmitry had this one in the bag because of his dance history, but then Melissa had me intrigued with her design based on the architecture of Radio City. (It really is a stunning building if you ever get a chance to go inside.) However, the second Christopher said he was going to do a costume with a bedazzled NYC skyline, I was like, "Done, done and done." And I'm pretty sure the other designers felt the same way.
I feel like this is the point in the competition where viewers really get to see a clear divide as to which designers are made for this competition and which ones don't have the stamina to make it all the way. Case in point? Elena. For nine episodes we have seen her command the workroom, barely cracking a smile. This episode? It's like she took the crazy train to gigglesville and isn't turning back! Seriously?! I've never seen anyone do a complete 180 like that. She even chose a fabric that "old Elena" wouldn't be caught dead using. I can only assume that there must have been something in the water.
Or maybe there was something in the wine the designers had at their la de da dinner? Cause I swear it was bizzaro world in the workroom! My head started to spin just thinking about the 18 pieces that Melissa had to sew together, my nose began to itch just looking at Sonjia's Purple People Eater feathers and my eyes popped out of their sockets when Ven didn't do an origami rose. Final answer: it was definitely the wine because if it wasn't, why would any designer in their right mind say no to a second trip to Mood? A SECOND TRIP TO MOOD AND MORE MONEY! Has that ever happened?! Even Christopher, who essentially won the competition when he put muslin on his form, went to Mood to buy more rhinestones.
Now on to the Gay Pride Parade ... er... I mean runway. I don't even need to get into Christopher's design. It was flawless. I can't wait to see it this Christmas season. The end. I do think that Dmitry's was a strong second place. I agree with the judges that it was a little too sexy, but it was chic, had great movement and had Christopher's costume not been so amaze, Dmitry's would have given him stiff competition. The color was great, too.
But besides Christopher and Dmitry's costumes, everything else was just a big ol pile of bedazzled fabric to me. I totally get what Melissa was trying to pull off, but she was over ambitious and knew it. I do think that had it been executed correctly (aka without the big number one), it would have brought just the right amount of edge to give the Rockettes a modern look without being too over the top. Like I said before, Sonjia's purple costume looked like an homage to the Big Bird and Abba. I didn't mind Fabio's, but as shiny as it was, it looked very matte and lackluster to me.
I was completely torn as to whether it was time for Elena or Ven to go home. I agree with Elena that her costume was marching band-chic, but I also think she understood the challenge better than Ven. It's not that his design was terrible, it was just that he didn't see the full scope of the challenge. Remember, Heidi said in the beginning that the people in the last row should see the same costume as the people in the front row.
Ven is no doubt a talented designer, but after a few tumultuous weeks, it was his time to be aufed.
By Allison Ebner, popculturemadness.com
If "Project Runway" had a soundtrack, we’d nominate Bon Jovi’s "Livin’ on a Prayer" for the song of the episode when it came to the HP Intel Print Challenge. The designers may be halfway there in terms of the overall competition, but, boy oh boy, a few too many of them were living on a prayer when it came to this week’s runway.
Heidi greets the designers on the walkway with a wake-up call of her own: it’s time to step it up! Gunnar’s motivation to step it up? He’d like to buy his mom a boob job when he wins. Kind of sweet, we guess, but more along the lines of totally creepy.
The designers go to meet Tim in the workroom where he’s joined by Mondo Guerra, "PR All Stars" winner. Remember back when we all liked and rooted for Mondo back in season 8 where he ended up revealing that he was HIV positive through his fabric and winning the challenge? Yeah, that’s why he’s there. So the challenge is this: create a textile design and modern runway look inspired by your cultural heritage. Mondo’s parting words of wisdom? Don’t’ make the print too literal – which certainly has us hoping we don’t see any straightforward prints covered with initials.
His confidence, competitive streak and previous experience as a "Project Runway" Season 9 contestant made Gunnar Deatherage quite the antagonist at the start of Season 10. Over the past few episodes, though, a calmer, friendlier Gunnar emerged, one who seemed dedicated to producing good clothes instead of producing drama. For the HP fabric-design challenge, he dug deep and created a pattern expressing his past as a victim of bullying, but while the judges were moved by his story, they were less impressed with Gunnar's design. Auf he went. Gunnar answered a few of our questions about his time on the show, the best advice he got from the judges, and the origins of his distinct name. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Seriously, could there have been anymore references to the male and female anatomy in this episode? I felt like I was awkwardly in 7th grade health class!
I freaking love the HP challenge! I feel like it's one of the only times a season where the designers get to completely show who they truly are. So going into the challenge, I had high hopes for everyone.
Before I go any further, I had one small confession: I cry at the drop of a dime. So basically the minute the designers' families entered the workroom, I ran to find the closest box of Kleenex. I totally get how having their families there would throw off their game, but I also can't imagine going weeks without seeing and barely talking to my loved ones. If I was in their shoes, I trade my creativity any day for a piece of home any day of the week.
(A few family observations: Ven and his sister look freakishly alike, Gunnar's mom does not need a boob job and Elena will be the carbon copy of her mother in 25 years.)
I'm sorta baffled by the way some of the designers translated the word "heritage." According to Merriam-Webster, heritage is defined as: property that descends to an heir; something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor. Designers like Melissa, Sonjia and Ven took the literal meaning of the word and ran with it. (i.e. Sonjia's "black" shirt and "red, white and blue" pants.) However, for designers like Gunnar and Fabio ... I'm not too sure where "heritage" came into play with their designs. I whole-heartedly agree with each of their sentiments, but to me (And feel free to comment below to dispute this), I don't think their designs personified their "heritage." And for what it's worth, I'm pretty much obsessed with the fact that Fabio made a jacket out of phallic symbols ... and that Tim Gunn didn't realize it! Which brings me to my next subject...
TIM GUNN SAYING "MENSTRUAL CYCLE" MIGHT BE HIS BEST ANALOGY IN "PROJECT RUNWAY" HISTORY EVER. That's it. The end. I was literally crying of laughter when he told Ven that his origami dress looked like a used maxi pad. (Good thing I had tissues!) I could go on and pick Tim's brain as to why he even knew what that looked like, but I'll stop while I'm ahead. It was just amazing.
Instead of my usual runway critique, this week I'm going to give out awards for the final looks (in no particular order):
Best Designer to Mask Their Sh***y Pattern with Other Fabric: Christopher
Best Designer to Execute a Flawless Look: Dmitry
Best Designer to Create Futuristic Scrubs: Elena
Best Designer to Incorporate Ps & Vs: Fabio
Best Designer to Have Their Work Shown at Fashion Bug: Gunnar
Best Designer to Go All Modern Day "Mad Men": Melissa
Best Designer to Make American Flag Colors Look Fashionable: Sonjia
Best Designer to Create the Future 1-800-Flowers Uniform: Ven
And my boy Dmitry finally won a challenge! His jacket was to die for. I am sad to see Gunnar go. As far as I'm concerned, he was one of the more interesting people to watch this season. So selfishly, I'm going to miss him for the entertainment-factor. (But did I tell you or did I tell you that all along Gunnar and Christopher were going to kiss and make up?! Their moment at the end of the episode was just precious. I should have put money on it...)
Which fabric was your favorite? Do you think it was it really time for Gunnar to leave?
By Lesley Scott, Fashiontribes.com
When Heidi kicked off Episode 8 by asking the group how many were "good at negotiation," almost everyone raised their hands. Which raised her eyebrow (and mine). "You’ll have to use your negotiation skills for this challenge," she warned them. Oooh, excellent! A bunch of diva designers are a lot of things but skilled at negotiation isn’t generally one of them.
The catfight potential was already looking good.
Entering the Parsons workroom where the tables were piled with plain white tees, craft supplies and girlie glitter galore (which horrified Elena), Tim announced yet another group challenge. Ding on the drama-o-meter. When Sonjia, Gunnar and Christopher were teamed up, the boyz circled each other warily but Sonjia’s adorbs personality made it possible for them to meet in the middle (negotiation it’s the New Black). Now Ven, Fabio and Melissa … uh oh, are those polite smiles? Those three are gonna make do & get along. Fuhgiddaboudit. But wait: Alicia, Dmitry and, yes, Elena! Now this could be majah. Cue Dmitry asking what he did in a past life to have to deserved working with her.
I hope y'all got my Black Eyed Peas reference...
Another group challenge? Altogether now: "UGH!" Just when the designers were really starting to get praise for their designs from the judges, they're slapped in the face with another "make nice or get aufed" challenge.
As if learning that you have to work in teams was bad enough, the looks on the designers' faces when Tim told them that they had to barter on the streets of New York to make money to spend at Mood screamed, "I didn't come on 'Project Runway' to design t-shirts with glitter on them." Well suck it up, kids it's time for the Fashion Games.
It completely baffles my mind how in one scene the designers were like, "OMG we have, like, no money," and getting $24 sounded like they had won the lottery to each team ending up with over $500 (and $.48)! Who said New Yorkers were mean?!
Back at Parsons it was the battle of the Russian Federations! In one corner, Dmitry Sholokhov armed with his dry one-liners and darts. In the other, Elena Slivnyak armed with her "angry" attitude and strong-shouldered jackets. Those two argue more than a couple who's been married for 40 years! Heck, even Gunnar and Christopher put their differences aside for the sake of this challenge. (But I've said this before, I think their distain for each other is just undercover love.) It made me feel really bad for Alicia, who had to deal with the war of the accents, which ultimately put her in the position to be aufed. (Though I'm not disagreeing that it was her time to go.)
Can I just tell you that one of my favorite moments of the episode is when the models came in for their first fitting and Christopher joked that the vest (aka the beginnings of Sonjia's jacket that eventually helped her clutch the win) looked like Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and Zelda. As Nick Verreos would say, "That kid slays me." I die over his facial expressions and insane pop culture analogies. (i.e. Boris and Natasha. Who even knows that?!)
Last week, I was so impressed with the final looks. This week ... not so much. Let's take it team by team:
-Team Dmitry/Elena/Alicia: Frump city! Elena's outerwear swam on her model ("You coulda made a nice coat," as Dmitry said.) and Dmitry's shawl gave me terrifying flashbacks to "Ugly Betty." (Sadly not the first time I've referenced that show this season.) I did like his dress, though. And Alicia was so freaking lackluster about her shirt and pants. They may have not been the most exciting on the runway, but girl, stand up for your designs. Lack of confidence screams, "It's my time to go."
-Team Christopher/Gunnar/Sonjia: Winners hands down. Their designs looked expensive, well-made, stylish without being too over-the-top, and not for anything, the other two teams didn't really give them that much competition. Which brings me too...
-Team Fabio/Melissa/Ven: Blah, blah, blah. All three of the designers have won a challenge in the past (as Fabio pointed out), but their pieces were so boring, safe and didn't really reflect who any of them are as designers. That's all I got ... I fell asleep while walking their collection walk down the runway.
What was your favorite look of Episode 8? Which look do you think is the most wearable for fall?
By Vicky Sullivan, Founder of Aspiringsocialite.com
In last week's episode of "Project Runway," the feuding designers got their classiest challenge yet when they were given the task of designing dresses that could potentially be sold at the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Ave. After meeting Lord & Taylor’s President, Bonnie Brooks, the designers began sketching classic dress designs with the dream of having their dresses prominently displayed in the store windows on Fifth Ave. The dresses will retail for $200-$300. So they must look expensive, but also be affordable to make. The remaining designers quickly found that making a simple dress can be even more difficult than creating a more complex design because when it comes to a being classic, there’s nowhere to hide your mistakes.
This week was very much boys vs. girls. Interestingly enough, designing dresses for the everyday woman was far easier for the guys than it was for the women designers who gravitate toward more avant-garde couture designers rather than the classic feminine dress. Designing for the Lord & Taylor customer was especially difficult for Elena who prefers to work with leather rather than lace. Tim Gunn criticized Alicia’s look saying it looked too much like "Joan of Arc" armor. Melissa was still cutting up her fabric when everyone else’s dresses where already up on their dress forms.
The next day, the girls struggled to finish their dresses while the boys leisurely chose accessories for their models. Sonjia shed her share of tears, but was comforted by Tim when she was told to, "Channel her inner winner." When the designers headed to the runway, no one is surprised to see lots of black and Bonnie Brooks of the guest judge. Everyone’s dress was pretty much black. I would have really liked to see at least one of the designers use red or navy blue. Black evening dresses are classic, but you don’t have to use black to be classic. If someone had used a different color they really would have stood out. Gunnar was criticized for being too safe. I see where the judges were coming from, but I think Fabio’s solid back dress was the one that was too safe. I’ve seen it in the dress department of almost every department store. Elena cried again when she discovered that her edgy baby dolls dress received one of the high scores. At first I wasn’t crazy about this design, but at second glance, I really think I would have rocked that dress at my next NYC cocktail party. Christopher was the winner with his black and blush gown. I wasn’t crazy about it, but I did like that he was the only one to do a gown. However, the biggest surprise was that NO ONE was eliminated this week. It’s looks like all the remaining designers have a vision that resonates with Lord & Taylor and will go on to next week’s challenge.
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!
Missed an episode of "Project Runway" Season 10? Have no fear you can catch up with all the workroom drama by watching the "Project Runway" marathon this Thursday, August 30 on Lifetime.
What has been your favorite episode of Season 10 so far? Why?
By Becky Broderick, Starpulse.com
Hello, "Project Runway" fans! With a new week comes a new challenge, but a very old problem for many of the contestants: designing garments for women with gasp! normal bodies. Every season has its designers who just recoil at the thought of working with "real world" clients. It drives me crazy every time. Seriously, how many of these people really think they’re going to be designing exclusively for models, actresses and circus freaks with no ribcages? Certainly if any of the designers want to have their lines picked up by retailers, they’ll need to know how to make clothes that fit a range of body types. Sure, they could keep churning out the size 2s, as long as they don’t mind their garments dying alone on the store racks.
The designers met up with Tim Gunn and L’Oreal Paris stylist Johnny Lavoy, who explained that this week’s challenge was to give some regular gals fabulous style makeovers. The clients were all nominated for these makeovers by friends, who also went along for the ride.
Most of the other designers seemed happy with their clients, most of whom were considered too boyish, too casual, or just not too fashion savvy. Even though the clients were all different sizes and were assigned to the designers randomly, Ven vented about how oh-so unfair it was that he got the “plus-size” girl when others had thin clients. (Meanwhile, his client looked like a size 14, tops.)
Before this episode, I was pretty vocal about my dislike for Gunnar. Thankfully, it looks like he’s finally toned down the "flamboyant villain" character he was committed to playing earlier in the season. In contrast to Ven’s constant griping and sniping, Gunnar totally embraced the idea of dressing a “real woman,” and made a connection with his client, Kim, an aspiring actress who wanted her clothes to reflect her fun, bubbly personality. It was actually pretty touching to see Gunnar treat this woman with such care. He really went all out to make sure she felt comfortable, special and happy.
After the trip to Mood (yet another week with no Swatch sighting *sigh*), the gang headed back to the workroom to get to work on this one-day challenge. When Tim stopped by for his usual rounds, there was a lot of good dialogue flying around … until he pulled up to Ven’s station. The conversation quickly devolved into something out of “Mean Girls,” with Ven giving Tim a brutal assessment of his client Terri, spewing out insults like "she doesn’t have a shape," "she has no sense of style," and "the before picture is a nightmare." Wow. I could say something about how Ven sort of looks like a Buddha statue, therefore, he probably shouldn’t talk about anyone else, but that would be mean, right? And I don’t want to be mean. Oh wait, I already said it. Oops.
It was also revealed that Terri is a size 14. Called it!