Thursdays at 9/8c
By Jen Luby - Editor, YouKnowYouLoveFashion.com
The title of this week’s episode may have been "Women on the Go" but it ended up more like "Designers Get Gone." Not one but TWO contestants hit the road: Andrea, who slinked away in the middle of the night, and then sent a "SRY. IT’S NOT U, IT’S ME" email, and Kooan, who decided that the real world was A Bad Place and hightailed it back to the land of pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. This show started with sixteen designers, and right now, my heart goes out to numbers 17 and 18. Andrea and Kooan took someone else’s place, and that ain’t cool. If you don’t think you can hack the challenges, then don’t apply.
Right! There was a challenge! The designers arrive at Michael Kors’ brand new flagship store. Sonjia says they have no idea what’s in store today, which is really weird, because I thought they received daily itineraries detailing every single thing that's going to happen to them. No? Not how this show works? My bad.
MK & Tim reveal that this week’s assignment is to design a day-to-night look for a woman on the go. Day to Night Barbie was one of my favorites, so this challenge pleases me immensely. The designers sketch and talk about their imaginary clients. Gunnar’s sketch scares me, and as soon as Melissa says "hoodie" I’m wondering what kind of day-to-night scenario she’s envisioning. A quick weightlifters’ meeting followed by cocktails with druids?
The designers go to Mood, where they talk about how confusing it is. There are a lot of aisles! And those aisles are filled with fabric! You guys, it’s hard! But they muddle through and head back to the workroom, where Kooan drops his bomb. He jubilantly shouts “make it work!” on his way out. Tim & Co. are not amused.
Tim returns with a surprise Raul is back! Christopher ascertains that he is "one lucky ho" and I must agree. Raul’s skills are shaky, so he’d better bring it. Speaking of shaky skills, Buffi is creating a smock out of hot pink chiffon, and Christopher (OMG, he’s like "Project Runway’s "Greek chorus always saying what we’re thinking) points out that it resembles resort wear. She eschews his input, saying that she needs to stay true to her (tacky) self.Runway time!
Sonjia: Functional but a bit of a snooze. Does anyone remember Units, from the 80s? They sold plain pieces that could be twisted into multifunctional ways a cardigan became a shirt, for instance. Then again, Day to Night Barbie had a hat that turned into a skirt, so maybe Sonjia is onto something.
Alicia: I like the concept, but the shirt and shorts look odd and ill-fitting. Pass.
Melissa: When her model came out, she did indeed resemble a druid for a hot second, although overall, I like the look. It has possibilities.
Buffi: Oh, girl. This just looks cheap. It’s a world of no.
Fabio: This is what a 22 year old would wear if they thought they were being totes profesh. I think they sell this at Forever 21. That is not a compliment.
Gunnar: Goes to show you can’t judge an outfit by its sketch. Well done, sir. I would absolutely wear this look.
Nathan: Very much a pile of sad, and ohhh, that mustard color. Not cute.
Dmitry: Impeccable. He’s got some serious skills and knows how to make women look good. I'd run out and buy that now.
Ven: Sigh. Stunning as always. That zipper? Killer. It absolutely looks like something Michael Kors would have in his line.
Raul: What? What is this? No. Too many things going on, and none of them good. He just got here so he won’t be aufed, but he deserves to be.
Elena: I don’t love her aesthetic, but this is not so bad. The shoulders are too boxy, but I dig the overall look.
Christopher: I'm totally down with the hard/soft vibe he’s got going on, although the hanging part is too long. The jacket makes the look.
In the end, the judges gave the gold to Sonjia and said buh-bye to Buffi. I would have chosen Dmitry (although I agree his look needed a bit of spice) or even Gunnar for the winner, and Raul to get the boot. His skills and his taste are very questionable, but then again, so are Buffi’s.
Which one do you think deserved to go home?
With her loud hair and louder designs, Buffi Jashanmal made an immediate impression on Project Runway this season - and on the judges, who weren't exactly enamored with her eclectic style. This week we saw two designers flee the show and another brought back as a replacement, but that wasn't enough to distract the judging panel from the design and construction problems in Buffi's garment. The bubbly, personable designer talked with us about her reaction to the challenges, her favorite designers still remaining in the competition, and the thought process behind her wild hair. Check it out below!
No truer words have been spoken, Mr. Kors. Well played.
For once in my life, I'm speechless. This never happens ... seriously. Going into this episode (or this season for that matter), I knew that Andrea and Kooan were peacing out this episode. Let's call it one of the many perks of working for Lifetime. But how they handled their departure completely befuddled me.
All I know is that thousands of hopefuls try out for "Project Runway" each season, and even the most talented designers don't make the cut when the final cast is narrowed down. It completely devastates me for those designers who genuinely deserved a spot on the show that two contestants just got up and left mid-competition — seeming ungrateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity that was presented to them. It's like, come on — "Project Runway" has been on for eight years and nine seasons. You knew exactly what you were getting into.
I will give Kooan props though for the way he bowed out. At least he had the courtesy and class to tell the designers his decision before his final, "Make it work!" Andrea, on the other hand, completely chickened out to the point that producers didn't know if something happened to her! Great example for your students, Andrea.
But enough of my lamenting about Kooan and Andrea — there's fashion that needs to be discussed!
For the record, I pray to the God otherwise known as Michael Kors. Even before becoming a "Runway" junkie, I swore by his clothes, bags, shoes, etc... His products are well-made, top-quality and relatively affordable. Michael's aesthetic completely encompasses my personal style. so if I ever was to become a fashion designer (I'm sure everyone I know is laughing at me right now — I can't even draw a stick figure!), his carrer and products would be my muse. That being said, I feel like the designers were handed this challenge on a silver platter: they were in Michael's amazing flagship store, with Michael (!) and he and Tim basically spelled out the way to win over the judges, keeping fabric in mind.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? It never is. After all, it wouldn't be "Project Runway" without bad decisions, honest critiques from Tim and, of course, workroom drama.
Once the situation surrounding Kooan and Andrea subsided, some designs really started to stand out. Maybe not for the right reasons, but stand out, nonetheless. (Oh yeah, and welcome back Raul! You are very, very, very lucky!) Off the bat, Buffi's pink-but-not-pick-sorta-coral-with-zebra-print ensemble definitely made a statement — it screamed "Buffi." I am glad that she stayed true to herself, but as we all know, that doesn't always get you to Fashion Week.
What I found really interesting was that everyone really had their own perception of the "woman on the go." Nathan thought of a working mother and Buffi saw her girl as someone who works at night while Elena saw her woman switching from sneakers to pumps. It was all over the board. (PS: Was I the only one was humming Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money" the entire episode?!) Regardless of the designers' point of view, per usual, it all went down on the runway.
I agree with Tim when he said that this week has been the designers' strongest week so far. But then again, it doesn't take much to trump candy dresses and group challenges. And for once, I agree on who the judges put in the top and the bottom. I absolutely loved Christopher's black dress with leather jacket. It was sleek, chic and for a girl who work in New York City, it's definitely something I could see myself wearing as I strut my stuff (ha!) down third avenue. I'm sorta in a pickle about whether he should have won over Sonjia, but her dress was also really well executed. (And isn't she just adorable?!) I'm declaring it a hung jury.
Like I said before, Buffi designed the weakest look. It was clear as day to me. I loved her exit the way she hid behind the couch was just precious. (If I'm being honest, I've had a Buffi obsession since before the show started. I had to call Buffi for something and she said, "Thanks, love!" at the end. I just adore sweet, cool people with accents.) So in a tribute to all things Buffi, let's take a walk down memory lane and watch why "Everyone Loves Buffi Jashanmal":
Are you going to miss Buffi as much as I will? Do you think it was her time to go?
It's never easy for ego-driven, individualistic designers to collaborate on one design, but add severe time constraints, the possibility of elimination, and the opportunity to have that design featured on an Emmys red carpet and it's enough to make anyone crack. We saw a lot of crankiness and fighting this week, but surprisingly, none of it came from the bottom two designers, Raul Osorio and Alicia Hardesty. They committed to their losing dress as equals in an admirable and atypical move. Unfortunately, it was someone's turn to be auf'd, and Raul ended up on the chopping block. We spoke with him about the difficulties of the challenge and the rest of his time on the runway check out our Q&A below!
It takes two to make a thing go right. It takes two to make it outta sight.
If that was only true about this episode! Just when the remaining designers thought they were out of the clear after finishing the dreaded unconventional challenge last week, Tim Gunn dropped another bomb of (almost) equal magnitude on them this week, they'd be working in pairs. ::Grunts all around::
For whatever reason, and I know the selections were completely random, but I really pleased at the pairings. Except a Gunnar/Christopher partnership would have made Cunnar (?), Gunstopher (?) fans like myself do a little happy dance. Can you imagine the dra-ma?! Nonetheless, I thought the pairs would make (hopefully) good designs and (more importantly), good television. I was half right...
Before I get into the nitty gritty of the episode, I have to give it up to my girls Laura Bennett and Mila Hermanovski. Both ladies are official "Project Runway" bloggers (Read Laura's thoughts on the episode here and Mila's here!) and neither spilled the beans to me that they'd be in the episode along with Anya Ayoung-Chee, Kenley Collins, April Johnson, Irina Shabayeva and Valerie Mayen. I love a good surprise, so thanks.
For the most part, I felt like the designers started the day on a high note. Each pair seemed to find a happy medium between their individual aesthetic and were able to divy up the work accordingly. But that didn't last for long. Let's fast forward to when Tim Gunn and the all star designers sashayed into the workroom. For some pairs like Melissa and Dmitry and Ven and Fabio, it was smooth sailing. But for the other pairs, it was anything but. Between Andrea and Raul choosing the wrong fabric for a dress to wear to the Emmys (I emailed Mila and told her I was impressed how well she kept her cool!) or Elena storming out of the workroom because Buffi was taking too long with the pleats, it got ugly.
Oh, a personal catfight highlight of mine, you ask? Christopher's "laxidasical" impersonation of Andrea laugh and all. Spot on. Another one? Irina's bitch fit on Gunnar and Kooan. Girl knows what she likes. I can appreciate that.
And now the dresses. I have to be honest. I wasn't blown away by any of them. My personal fave was Sonjia and Nathan's gold dress for Valerie. I thought it was very Emmy-appropriate. Why they weren't in the top two and Gunnar and Kooan were, blows my mind. It's not that I didn't like Ven and Fabio's dress, it's just that I think for something as special as a major award show, it would have fell flat on the carpet. No one would be talking about the dress the next day, as Michael said. (I would also like to point out that guest judge Krysten Ritter had the same sentiment as me. Another reason why I'm convinced we should be BFFs. Love "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.")
As for the bottom two, I don't disagree that Alicia and Raul's look was the worst. And I do agree that Raul should have been the one to go home. I also think if Christopher and Andrea were able to get it together as a team, their dress could have been something special. And obviously Christopher realized that. Tug at my heartstrings with those tears, why don't cha?!
My final thoughts on the episode:
-Ven, show some excitement! You just won two weeks in a row! You sound so serious! Talk with exclamation points!
-Did you catch Raul say, "Bye Brittany!"? Who's Brittany and Tiffany?!
-Holy cliffhanger, Batman! I can't wait to see what's in store next week! (Okay I may know what happens, but trust me when I say that Andrea's not the only designer making her mark on the competition next week!)
Who do you think should have gone home? Raul or Alicia? Or both?
Let's just get this out of the way the white elephant in the room, if you will. TIM. GUNN. CURSED. THIS. EPISODE. I never knew I would hear such language out of the man who defies the epitome class. Tim said, wait for it, "So this is a glue the s&*! out of it moment." Let's take a moment, let it all set in ... I know. But let's be honest, even when Tim Gunn says s&*! it sounds classy.
And boy, did the designers have to glue the s&*! out of this week's designs. Sigh ... the unconventional challenge: what the designers dread the most and what fans anticipate the most, including yours truly. I'm not a designer by any means (I struggled making pilgrim vests out of brown paper bags for Thanksgiving when I was a kid), so I can't really put myself inside their heads when they're told to create an outfit made of candy. But come on you got to raid Dylan's Candy Bar! Suck it up! It's not like they had to get materials from a pet store like in Season 9. At least a candy store smells better.
(Sidebar: Dear Christopher, Hey I just met you and this is crazy. But let's go pick up chocolate boyfriends together. So call me, maybe?)
Besides Tim Gunn cursing like a sailor (Okay, okay, I know I'm being dramatic), my favorite moments of the episode were the ones when the designers decided to turn their brains off, leaving the audience thinking, "Did that really just happen?!" For example, when Kooan and Buffi's cotton candy disintegrated. Did you ever go to the circus as kids?! That stuff is gone in 2.5 seconds once it hits any kind of moisture. Duh. And poor, poor Elena. News flash: hot glue is hot. I think you're cool and all, but your shorts were totes inapprops.
To me, the final looks fell into two very clear categories: sweet and sour. Let's start with the sweet:
Ven - Flawless
Dmitry - I would literally wear that dress.
Melissa - I get it, you like black. But I do dig the two-piece look.
Sonjia - Love the color palette.
Fabio - The dress doesn't even look like it's made out of candy.
Raul - I enjoy a good cutout.
Christopher - The dress is similar to the style of your previous episode outfits, but it works. I get it. Please wow me in Episode 3.
Gunnar - The pattern was a little too checkerboard for me, but the craftmanship was impressive.
And now, the sour:
Andrea - Remember how when you eat dots, there's always that awful-tasting coating of paper on the back? I got that taste in my mouth when I saw your apron. However, I do appreciate the symmetry of your dots. (I'm a little OCD about that kind of stuff.)
Alicia - I have no opinion on this outfit. It just fell flat for me.
Buffi - CARRIE BRADSHAW WOULD NEVER WEAR THIS. The "Sex and the City" fan girl in me is sobbing.
Nathan - Your model had to literally hold her dress as she walked the runway. No bueno.
Elena - No more strong shoulders, please. And you had an entire candy store and you chose cream-colored licorice?! Willy Wonka is freaking out right now.
Kooan - Nothing surprised me about your design, it's just not my taste. (Is it anyones?!) I'm still obsessed with you, though.
Lantie - If the challenge was make a dress out of an umbrella, you would have won, hands down. But it wasn't. After last week, you really needed to be on your A game to secure a spot in Episode 3.
And then there were 14. I know I harped on this in my last blog, but you do not want to miss Episode 3 there is a cliffhanger that will leave you speechless!
Do you think Lantie deserved to go home?
The crop of fresh-faced Season 10 designers had a lot to handle in their first episode, from the massive runway show in the middle of Times Square to the challenge requirement of presenting two finished (and cohesive!) looks. Beatrice Guapo's knit pieces were unfortunately met with an "auf wiedersehen" from the judges. We spoke with Beatric about her time on the show, her near-catastrophic garment problem and the juicy drama between Christopher and Gunnar. Check it out after the jump!
Full Disclosure: I've watched the first episode of Season 10 three times. Sure, I get paid to eat, sleep and breath "Project Runway" (Seriously I double dog dare you to ask me to recite all the designers' names in alphabetical order, spell Dmitry, Gunnar and Elena's last names and then top it off by quizzing me on their ages and hometowns. Oh yes and it's Son-gee and Koo-on. It's fine.). But it wasn't my boss who made me watch it over and over again it was me.
I mean, the first episode took place in Times freaking Square! I walk through that joint every day and have never seen anything of that magnitude. (And this is coming from a girl who used to stand outside of TRL during the *NYSNC days.) I was completely in awe of the entire situation.
That being said, I can't even imagine how the designers must have felt. I think Raul put it best when he said, "This is better than sex." (Note: Next time you watch Episode 1, count the sex references. My personal fave? Kooan's quip, "I like making a lot of love." But more on Kooan later.) Plus, throw in a Gilmore Girl, the lady who made Carrie Bradshaw look fan-freaking-tastic for six years and you have the trifecta of everything this is good in the world … err, I mean the center of the universe.
So the designers … oh the new batch of designers. To say that there are some characters in the bunch would be the understatement of the century. No two designers are alike in aesthetic and personality. Though between you and me, I think Christopher and Gunnar butt heads because secretly they want to be best friends. I'm nominating them for this season's bromance. They both even agreed that Gunnar is a "moody little son of a bitch." See? Can you feel the love?
I'm personally keeping a close eye on "I love black and white" Melissa, Christopher (Obsessed with the dress he made at home!), Ven (Holy fabric skills, Batman!), Sonjia and Dmitry. I think Dmitry's quiet demeanor is going to be at his advantage during the season … and I also happen to think that he resembles Michael Sheen's character Aro, one of the Volturi vampires, in The Twilight Saga. Joking aside, those five seem to get the purpose of the competition and I don't feel like they'll get caught up in all the workroom drama.
And then there's Kooan. I could write a whole post on Mr. Kosuke. He's crazy, kookie, outrageous and sometimes doesn't make any sense. And why should he? His clothes clearly speak for themselves … loud and clear! I love him almost as much as I love Tim Gunn. Oh, idea! Remember "On the Road with Austin & Santino?" The next installment of the series should be "On the Road with Kooan & Tim." Between Tim's refinement and Kooan's eccentric personality, they'd easily become the next odd couple.
I know it's a competition, but I genuinely feel bad when a designer gets voted off. Beatrice seemed like such a nice girl. I was sad to see her go, but her lackluster jersey dress and "Ugly Betty"-like poncho made her an easy victim to be the first contestant "aufed." But Lantie, better step her game up! She got through by the skin of her teeth!
So I addressed sex and Season 10, and while there might not be any scandals quite just yet, this is my fair warning to you to keep tuning in because you DO NOT want to miss the drama that is going to unfold. Hint: Two of the designers leave in the middle of the night. (Yeah, yeah I know that's old news.) But which two designers leave will blow your mind!
Today is a big day for "Project Runway"! Not only does the 10th season (finally!) premiere tonight at 9/8c, but the reality show was just nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards! The categories include: Outstanding Reality - Competition Program, Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming, Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming and Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming.
These four nominations bring "Project Runway's" total nominations to 24, which includes one win for Outstanding Picture Editing For Reality Programming in 2009.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards airs live on September 23 at 7 pm/4c.
Send Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and the rest of the cast and crew your congrats!
Can you believe it?! The tenth season of "Project Runway" starts tomorrow! And I can't think of a better way to start the celebration early than catching up with Season 9. Tomorrow, starting at 10 am/9c, Lifetime will be airing 10 back-to-back episodes of Season 9. The episodes include: Episode 5 "Off the Track," Episode 8 "What Women Want" and, of course the finale, where Anya Ayoung Chee was crowned the winner.
Then starting at 8/7c, learn more about Season 10's latest batch of designers on the "Road to Runway" special. Hosted by "Marie Claire's" Zanna Roberts Rassi, gives audiences a sneak peak at the larger than life personalities they will see this year on Season 10. And psst! The special includes appearances by Nick Verreos, Mondo Guerra and Anya Ayoung-Chee.
And finally (as if I even have to remind you!), it's then time to cut or be cut! "Project Runway" Season 10 starts directly after at 9/8c!