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The Project Runway Blog

15
FRI

“I’m So Confused!”

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Watch Project Runway Episode 12I find the “inspiration” challenges to be rather surprising. I tend to watch these episodes with my “Seriously?” face on when designers have an entire city at their disposal (concrete jungle that dreams are maaaaaaade of!) and pick their inspirational item based on what, curiously enough, is also the item that's nearest to them and doesn’t involve much, well, due diligence. Daniel Vosovic in Season 2 comes to mind; he picked the orchid centerpiece on Michael Kors’ NYC office table — the same place where the challenge was presented to him. The dude didn’t even need to call the elevator. It was “I Spy With My Little Eye …” -inspiration. I later shut up, when he made an amazing piece that still is memorable six seasons later.

I must remind myself that because it is subjective, if the designer is genuinely inspired by something like dirty gutter water (Andrae Gonzalo), who’s to say it’s not “inspiring” if the end product is beautiful and wearable?

The final five have Mayor Bloomberg’s personal permission to be the Lewis & Clark of 2010 and explore the vast reaches of the five boroughs. Yet two end up in the same place, and one of them has clearly only explored the wonders of New York City based on that one time they crashed on their old college roommate’s couch … and ended up on the Lower East Side … inspired by a nondescript apartment faade.

But, OK. I will wait until I see the designs to cast my final judgment.

Michael is once again creating a Plan B dress so that he has a backup plan at the ready in case the Statue of Liberty moment he’s having isn’t pleasing to Tim. Mondo is napping. And it’s clear that this is a competition, because no one is waking him up.

View more of April Johnston's designsIt becomes abundantly clear that Andy apparently visited a questionable-at-best area of Central Park — where the pigeon lady in “Home Alone 2” and unlicensed massage therapists reside — to come up with his location inspiration. Gretchen is making something the aforementioned pigeon lady would have worn in the aforementioned movie. April is making something in black. (Wow!) And Christopher Collins is not there. (Womp.)

Fast forward to the runway, and more-reserved-than-I-remember-him-being Season 4 winner Christian Siriano is in the guest-judge seat. Mondo has a better Brooklyn Bridge garment than April, who is taking heat for, you guessed it, making something in black. And this is where we pause.

Yes, April made something in black. April has made a lot of things in black this season — dating back even to what she showed at her audition. And a lot of things with asymmetry and a lot of things in a sheer fabric. However, never once until this penultimate point in time was she ever discouraged from doing it on the runway. Should she have realized her body of work was becoming one-note? Sure. But would it have helped to know that she was jumping into a black hole and pulling it in after her? Absolutely.

Instead, now we have Gretchen, Mondo, Michael and Andy vying for the three final Fashion Week spots, and maybe that outcome could have been different. (Hoshkepge!)

Who should have been sent packing this week?


In the end, I thought Michael’s dress moved beautifully, and his model shut it down once again (the side view of the look on Rate the Runway is a total Britney moment, if I say so myself), but I was once again left scratching my head saying, “Seriously?” Make a Chrysler Building dress, and then we’ll talk.

12
TUE

Episode 12's "Project Runway" Guest Judge Is...

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:01pm GMT

Only one more episode until the two-part finale begins on October 21 and concludes with the finale collections on October 28!

As the final five prepare for their next challenge, Heidi sends them to a posh penthouse for a night of relaxation before they receive their next task from New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where they must find their inspiration for the city.

Season 4 winner Christian Siriano makes his way back to the runway to serve as the episode's guest judge. (Fierce!)

Watch an Episode 12 preview now, and tune in Thursday at 9 pm et/pt to see who make it one step closer to Fashion Week:

Project Runway Season 8 judge Christian Siriano

Keep checking back for more exciting "Project Runway" news here on the blog, or follow us on Twitter (@projectrunway) for on-the-go updates.

12
TUE

Lifetime Orders Heidi Klum-Hosted Unscripted Program "Seriously Funny Kids" (wt) for 2011

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 1:42pm GMT

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 12, 2010) -- Lifetime Television has ordered the unscripted series Seriously Funny Kids (working title), hosted by supermodel and supermom Heidi Klum ("Project Runway"), for a 2011 launch, it was announced today by Lifetime Networks’ President and General Manager, Nancy Dubuc, and Executive Vice President, Entertainment, JoAnn Alfano.

"Seriously Funny Kids" will feature Klum interacting with children and bringing out the hilarious and often insightful things they say. Lifetime has ordered 20 half-hour episodes of the program, which will be produced by LMNO Productions, with Klum, Eric Schotz ("Kids Say the Darndest Things," "I Get That A Lot"), Desiree Gruber ("Project Runway") and Jane Cha ("Project Runway") executive producing.

Regarding the announcement, Dubuc said, “'Seriously Funny Kids' will continue to diversify our original programming schedule as we move forward developing and ordering new series that strengthen Lifetime’s powerful combination of reality, scripted programs and movies year-round.”

Klum added, “Someone once said never work with children and animals…so I decided to drop the animals and stick with the kids. Naptime, playtime and snack time are my favorites, so is it any wonder that kids and I get along so well? I have four children under the age of six, and to be honest, sometimes I enjoy them more than adults. They’re uncensored, unpredictable and absolutely hilarious. The kids will be the absolute stars of this show.”

08
FRI

Hoshkepôge!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

I don’t know what “hoshkepôge” is, but I like Heidi’s word so much, I thought it was a perfect way to recap this episode. (I also thought it deserved a circumflex!)

Watch Ivy in actionGiving the designers an activewear challenge nearly paralyzed them into a fashion coma. The fact that six previously aufed designers got to come back to help the remaining six execute them was perhaps the smelling salts they needed to get their butts in gear. Or maybe it was just Ivy “Retroactive Justice for All” Higa, who now apparently thinks she was in an episode of “Law & Order: Garment District.” {“L&O” sound effect}

This isn’t the first time sticky tape on models has been a hot topic of contention in “Project Runway” history. “Models of the Runway” Season 1 had a whole episode dedicated to it when model Katie Sticksel accused (eventual season winner) Kalyn Hemphill of wearing double-sided tape in one of Irina Shabayeva’s garments to hold the top up and avoid a wardrobe malfunction.

Why Sticky Tapegate didn’t come sooner than three episodes after the event allegedly happened, I don’t know. But all I do know is that I hope they brought back Katie to do the questioning, ’cause she takes her double-sided tape seriously. Episode-long seriously.

More hoshkepôge is on the horizon when Heidi herself pays the workroom a visit. (Gulp.) Maybe everyone’s just tired, maybe Mondo wanted to create a Chinese-finger-trap-style top to trap supermodels inside of, which by pure design WOULD take some serious cardio to break free from, but things got TENSE in there!

Gretchen also had her fair share of hoshkepôge, not only when Heidi caused her to throw fabric yardage across the workroom, but also when Gretchen actually had the hoshkepôge to accuse the host of not having a “complete” collection — and claim that her Bottom Three looks would be the missing pieces to round it out. Girl, you are lucky Heidi did not hoshkepôge you right there and then. Whew.

In the end, Andy comes back again with another win, breaking Mondo’s three-peat winning streak. (hoshkepôge!)

And another thing, not having enough Peach camera time in this mini reunion was TOTAL hoshkepôge. I demanded more! But at least we got Casanova.

Did Heidi intimidate the designers in the workroom?


01
FRI

“Project Runway’s” Best Moment

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:00am GMT

Watch Episode 10 onlineI’ve watched “Project Runway” since the beginning. I can reference random hilarious Michael Kors quotes. I can sing the “Daniel Franco, Where Did You Go?” song on cue. I still laugh so hard I cry over Andrae and Tim’s “rendezvous” at Red Lobster. I challenge people to “mothereffing walk-offs.” I can tell you that by winning this challenge, Mondo becomes the first person in the show’s history to win three solo challenges in a row, but when it comes to finding the right way to express what this episode represented in the eight-season history of “Project Runway”, I struggled to find the words.

I scribbled down notes. I watched the episode again. I sorted through the photos. I looked at the HP/Intel fabrics. I had nothing.

After thinking long and hard about it, what remains is this:

Say what you will about reality television, but what makes it such a compelling genre is that the characters are not characters — they’re real people, living their lives on camera. Why is “American Idol” great? Why is “The Amazing Race”? Because we, the audience, have someone to rally for as they get a step closer to their own goals.

A great actor can only aspire to create a scene to the best of their abilities, but no writer or director could ever capture the story Mondo told this week on “Project Runway” the way he told it — or the way he almost never did. I sat through most of the episode wondering if we, the viewers, would be the only ones to hear his confession and how sad it would be if no one knew the motivation behind his work until this, well, aired. But when he finally found the right moment to reveal it, it didn’t just make his garment more meaningful, it changed his life.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks as we lead up to Fashion Week can’t overshadow what happened this week. Gretchen and Tim could have a mud-wrestling cage match, but I’ll still remember this episode.

For HIV and AIDS resources and support, visit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation at www.aidshealth.org.

30
THU

Last Call to Visit the Piperlime Pop-Up Store!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:45pm GMT

The Piperlime pop-up store in NYC is closing up shop on October 3! It's your last chance to drop by and snag some of the fabulous fashion accessories seen each week on "Project Runway."

Learn more about the Piperlime pop-up store now.

24
FRI

“Tight Race for Hideous”

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

I feel it would be amiss to harshly criticize this week’s work, given the eleventh-hour curveball. Creating two looks in that amount of time and thinking you’re going to see something 100 percent designer-approved is a hefty order. Someone was bound to send some, as Laura Bennett would say, “serious ugly” down the runway. Instead, I present you with some episode highlights:

• Apparently Gretchen Jones invented Bordeaux back in 1771 when she was dating Alexander Hamilton. She holds a patent on the Pantone color and will challenge anyone who uses it to a duel, in remembrance of Alex. This is the little-known backstory as to why Michael Costello is currently being sued for daring to use the same shade. Burgundy? OK. Sangria? All right. Bordeaux? NEVER.

• I really wanted Andy to say “More money, mo’ problems” when he learned of the bonus $20,000 prize for winning this challenge. Alas, that dream has died.

• Most of the designers were planning on paying off debts with the bonus prize. April wants a small pony and Mondo wants, quote, “drinking money.” Put that together and you have one awesome party.

Swatch (the Mood dog) needs his own show.

• No space is sacred for one’s mental breakdown. Not even the ladies room, where Ivy will revive your fighting spirit with some tough love: “Stop complaining!”

Andy’s model is fierce! That girl has worked her hair in every outfit like her life depended on it. She needs to book a Beyonc tour ASAP.

Michael Kors’ obsession with the Broadway musical “Wicked” has now spilled out onto the runway. Sadly, his description (complete with sound effects) of Valerie’s high-fashion look was dead-on.

• Just this:

Watch the Project Runway judges' video blogs

• And this:

Watch the Extended Judging

• Did you know Michael Costello has never been in the Bottom 3 before? OK, cool. Just in case that wasn’t clear.

Naeem Khan is one of the first guest judges in a long time who has actually told the designers what they did wrong, what they did right and how they could have corrected it. Please come back!

• Did anyone else catch the moment where Gretchen was saying something to the effect of, “Ivy will get a lot of … [Ivy walks into room] LOVE! Love! From this!” Awkward.

• Mondo now has $20,014.00 in his bank account, minus miniature pony gift ($2,000.00) and a debaucherous night at the bar drinking vodka and Squirt ($217.78) = $17,796.22. Congrats.

Who should have been sent packing?


17
FRI

Give That Andy Kid a Hug, A.S.A.P.

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

Having visited the “The First Ladies at the Smithsonian” exhibit this weekend and well aware of the pending “Runway” challenge, I was getting a closer look at Jackie Kennedy’s inaugural gown when I realized it was by far the most popular, but also one of the simplest.

Out of all the gowns on display there — from Martha Washington’s in the 1780s to Michelle Obama’s in 2009 — Jackie’s was the standout. And with good reason. It was the real first garment she wore in her new role as the first lady and the start of her impact on the fashion world. The Washington Post said of her dress in 1961 that Jackie’s “ … career as a major fashion influence was beginning impressively,” and it continues here in 2010 on “Project Runway.”

When it came time for our Season 8 designers to describe Jackie’s signature style, it varied from “chic” to “classic” to “clean” to “risk-taker,” yet it seemed that none of those adjectives really was the right way to interpret an American sportswear look inspired by Jackie. In a word, her style was probably just “impeccable.” Whoever got the closest to that ideal was going to win this challenge.

Christopher Collins' past workOver in the clean/chic group, we have a promising entry from Ivy, whose look was helped by her dead-on styling choices, and Christopher — minus the insanity of that crazy stole, but at least he didn’t like it, either. This was the moment Ivy needed in this competition if she wanted to move forward. Christopher, however, I take issue with, because I have seen this exact look from him before. I literally spent the entire episode not being able to move past it. It’s almost a dead ringer for the asymmetrical jersey dress from his Fall 2010 collection (pictured at left), but with a different color, shoulder treatment, sleeves and hem.

He’s certainly not the first designer to do this — they should absolutely play to their strengths — but that look wasn’t Jackie’s. It was Christopher’s.

Christopher Collins' past workIn the risk-taking group, we had Andy, leading the pack with the largest pair of cargo pants I have seen hit a runway since the days of “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em”; Michael D., who didn’t want to listen to Tim Gunn’s advice; Valerie, who could not stop making coats and coat-like things; and Mondo, whose own personal style was a mere white tank away from starring in a production of “Cabaret” as the Emcee.

Yes, Andy’s garment had a gigbillion issues I won’t even get into, because the judges already covered all of that, and then some. It was probably the single most hurtful, trainwreck-to-watch runway judging in the show’s history — at least since Season 7’s Jonathan Peters’ “disco straitjacket.” Frankly, I salute the guy for not crying, ’cause he had every right to. Especially when you’re being told to come down for a better look at all its flaws when you’re already well aware they exist.

Were the judges overly harsh on Andy?


Mondo, conversely, took a risk by combining a series of patterns and prints that could have been disastrous together, but he somehow found a way to channel Jackie’s overall vibe: a woman every woman aspires to dress like. Hooray for purple-lined jackets!

10
FRI

Sad? Zero. Disappointed? Maybe a Quart.

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:00am GMT

Casanova’s response to how he felt about his time on “Runway” is also applicable to how I felt about this episode. “Sad? Zero. Disappointed? Maybe a quart.” Oh, Ivy.

Listen, y’all. I always somehow end up defending the personalities of the more controversial contestants I have actually met in person, and Ivy Higa qualifies as one of them. Her fall collection is to die for. The woman offered me beef jerky during her home visit. She’s just (seemingly) having a tough time displaying that same “wow factor” potential and overall “sharing” vibe on the show. In the end, it’s a matter of playing the game. Case in point: Michael C. and Mondo.

Mondo’s personality went from that of awkward high school “Rent”-listening outsider in Episode 1 to slushy-throwing bully when he learned Michael C. was his teammate in Episode 7. The man did not mince words: Your construction level is not worthy of my clothes, and, to boot, you have immunity, so don’t screw this up, or I will cut you. (Paraphrasing, of course.)

After a little patience and some TLC, Mondo’s vision came to life, and he and Michael C. were hugging it out in a giant fashion love-fest by the end of the episode … even though it landed him in the bottom. Lighten up, it’s just fashion!

[favorite-moment-of-episode alert]
Mondo and Michael C hug it out in Episode 7

Conversely, Michael D.’s experience with his teammate Ivy was the polar opposite, given the same constraints — one person had stronger construction skills than the other. No matter how much Ivy hated the final garment he had created for her, she should have stood on that runway during his judging feedback for the top looks and been all sunshine and cherries and jazz hands. Examples: “I loved helping Michael create this and teaching him new sewing lingo!” “He has an amazing personal style! That’s why I gave my model a bandana!” “I love all people named Michael!”


Who is the bigger "Runway" diva?



Perhaps by the time she was brought back onstage to defend her own garment, the judges would have been more forgiving of their botched partnership that helped put her in the bottom. Instead, she spent the time complaining about how her garment looked nothing like how she had originally planned:

Ivy Higa's portfolio[favorite-“I have seen your sketches, honey”-moment-of-the-episode alert]

Ivy has dug herself into a giant hole that is going to take the world’s largest greeting card — and perhaps a challenge win — to forget. The judges do recognize her technical talent, but I couldn’t help but recall the Season 2 reunion where Santino Rice and Chloe Dao hashed it out over the pain of being called a “pattern maker” versus a designer. Let’s hope Michael Kors’ “seamstress only” comment doesn’t spell the emotional end for Ivy before she can redeem herself.

P.S. Regarding next week’s preview: BETTY DRAPER!!!




08
WED

Tim "Gunn's Golden Rules" Signed Book Giveaway

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 11:46pm GMT

Tim Gunn's Golden Rules Signed Book Giveaway

In honor of Tim Gunn's newly released book "Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work," we are giving away 18 signed copies, one for each of the essential "Make it work!" moments we must all follow!

Tim's book is filled with 18 tried-and-true principles, plus the scoop on fashion's greatest divas, behind-the-scenes glimpses of "Project Runway's" biggest drama queens and never-before-revealed insights into Tim's private life — and now a Tim Gunn-signed copy can be yours to enjoy.

To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Tim Gunn moment — the infamous Team Luxe speech and "dinner with Andrae at Red Lobster" will be well represented! — and you're eligible to win.

Remember: please read the official giveaway rules before entering.

Good luck ... and carry on!