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The Project Runway Blog


Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh!

Posted By laurareineke 4:37am GMT

Babies! They are the best, but also the worst. They're cute, but they can't hold a conversation; they wobble around adorably, but also spill stuff on themselves. But one thing's for sure: when you're watching them from the other side of a TV screen, they make for great entertainment.

The designers were herded into Babies"R"Us this week, where Heidi and Tim introduced the challenge: create a look for Heidi's new kidswear line, Truly Scrumptious. Christopher, Elena and Melissa designed for the girls while Fabio, Dmitry, and Sonjia created looks for the boys.

I am admittedly not much of a kid person, but seeing all those wide-eyed babies in their strollers melted my cold heart. Tiny feet! Chubby cheeks! Even the designers who seemed apprehensive at the initial challenge, like Elena and Dmitry, warmed up quickly to their teensy adorable clients.

Dmitry noted that "Heidi has like 105 kids." Sounds legit! (She has four.) But it highlighted an interesting point: Heidi designed a line for children based on her own real-life experiences raising and dressing her brood. The remaining "Runway" designers don't have a single child between them. We all know how Heidi loves to throw wrenches in the designers' plans, so it was no surprise that she decided to send a bunch of fake babies to the workroom to help bridge the designers' knowledge gap.

This sounded fine in theory, but immediately backfired when the fake kids wouldn't. Stop. Crying. The looks of total panic and exhasperation on the designers' faces were probably my favorite part of the episode. There are few things funnier than watching a group of already tired people hilariously grapple with sudden faux parenthood. Dmitry swinging his baby around nonchalantly; Fabio coo-ing like his was a real boy; Elena rolling her eyes and naming her kid "a**hole"; the whole group carting the kids off to Mood in slings...it was all great.

And Christopher gets my pick for best oneliner of the season so far: "Now I know why Judy went off the deep end with Liza." A+ work, Christopher.

Tim Gunn swooped in to babysit on Day 2, leaving the designers with a quiet workroom to finish their looks for the babies and the moms. Further proof (as if we needed it!) that Tim is a saint. I hope he and the babies enjoyed the imaginary afternoon play date I envisioned for them.

The runway show came off well for everyone involved, I think. The cute factor of the baby models certainly helped, but all the looks were solid, and I really enjoyed Hilary Duff's contributions to the judging panel (Though half the time I was yelling at the TV in denial, "Lizzie McGuire doesn't have kids!"). Even the last-minute twist of having the designers create a look for the toddlers' moms didn't trip anyone up. And I don't think I can recall Nina and Michael looking as relaxed and happy as they did watching the kids storm the runway. Babies are magical that way.

This was one of the first weeks that I actually agreed with the outcome! Sonjia's casual suit (Worn by the RIDICULOUSLY adorable and smiley Jude) deservedly won the day on the boys' side, and Christopher's understated occasion dress was easily the best girls' look.

On the not-so-great end, Melissa's flawed sheath dress was saved, barely, by an adorable vest. Elena's multi-colored look was inoffensive — I would totally dress my hypothetical future daughter in something like that for a romp around the park — but definitely the weakest of the lot, and way too busy to fit in with the rest of Heidi's line. I thought her elimination was fair.

But I also have to give Elena major props for really pushing herself out of her comfort zone over the course of the season. I don't think the Elena of the Times Square runway show could have - or would have - designed the look we saw last night, and that willingness to evolve is one of those marks of a good designer that we don't usually get the chance to celebrate on "Runway."


"Project Runway" Guest Fashion Blogger: Adored Austin

Posted By kim_messina 10:47am GMT

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By Indiana Adams, adoredaustin.com

Nothings says New York City like the Radio City Rockettes and nothing says "good tv" like seven crazy good designers on very little sleep manipulating (and in some cases torturing) $350 worth of sparkle and shine.

Out of all the "Project Runway" Season 10 episodes thus far, the premise of this challenge had me the most excited. The last seven designers had two days to make a modern, dazzling performance dress for the most iconic group of dancers in the world: The Radio City Rockettes. The winner's design would be reproduced and worn by all 36 dancers in their upcoming season. In behind the scenes footage online, Rockettes choreographer and director Linda Haberman taught the final seven some Rockette kicks and poses so that each designer would know exactly how their garment needed to move and behave. That meant lots of stretch, lots of bling, and lots of leg! Oh, and also, the dress had to look good from the front row all the way up to the nosebleed section, had to work for both stage performances and television appearances, and needed to be appropriate for any season. And it had to be made out of candy. Oh, wait. Never mind. That was episode two.

Tim took the designers straight to Mood where Sonjia, Ven, and Elena wandered around like Swatch's lost puppies. As the designers made their final purchases, all we can see is sequins and rhinestones and glitter galore. It's like the dustpan from Liberache's dressing room had come to life!


#ProjectRunway Gifs: Episode 10

Posted By kim_messina 12:34pm GMT

Still buzzing about last night's episode? Share these gifs with your friends to relive your fave Episode 10 moments!








When Rhinestones Attack...

Posted By kim_messina 5:01am GMT

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.


"Project Runway" Guest Fashion Blogger: Pop Culture Madness

Posted By kim_messina 10:40am GMT

Pop Culture Madness Logo

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.


Season 10 Q&A: Gunnar Deatherage Predicts the Winner

Posted By laurareineke 4:10pm GMT

Gunnar Deatherage

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.


Boob Jobs, Menstrual Cycles and Phallic Fabric

Posted By kim_messina 5:01am GMT

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?


Tune-In Alert: Heidi Klum Opens Up on "Katie" Wednesday

Posted By laurareineke 4:08pm GMT

Former news anchor and longtime television personality Katie Couric kicks off her new daytime talk show this week with episodes celebrating women who are reinventing themselves. I'm a little biased, but I can't think of a better guest than serial multi-tasker Heidi Klum, who continues to push through tabloid chatter to helm the "Project Runway" franchise as host and executive producer, start new business ventures, and raise four children as a now-single mother.

I was in the audience as Heidi and Katie sat down last week to discuss Heidi's divorce from musician Seal, what it's like parenting under the scrutiny of the paparazzi, the circumstances that led Heidi to superglue her toenails to her feet — a story that's simultaneously gross and fascinating — and the weird good-luck charm she carried during years of overseas travel. (I'm not overstating. It's really weird.) And did you know Michael Kors refused to book Heidi for modeling work early in her career? After checking out their chat, make sure to stick around when Katie reveals a special surprise she and Heidi put together for one lucky audience member.

Heidi's episode of "Katie" airs on Wednesday, September 12. You can find out when Heidi's "Katie" interview airs in your area by checking your local listings.

Photo courtesy Disney-ABC


"Project Runway" Guest Fashion Blogger: Fashiontribes.com

Posted By kim_messina 10:00am GMT

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.


My Frumps, My Frumps, My Lovely Lady Frumps

Posted By kim_messina 5:08am GMT

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?