Thursdays at 9/8c
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
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!
Being able to tailor one's personal aesthetic to meet the needs and desires of a client is arguably the biggest test for a real fashion designer. But garments that don't meet the judges' standards even those put together by the happiest of designer-client teams won't cut it on "Project Runway," as Nathan Paul unfortunately found out last night. Nathan opened up about his reasons for being on the show, what he could have done differently in this week's challenge and his pick for the winner of Season 10. Check out the Q&A after the jump!
I'm getting straight to the point this episode and I'm sure my fellow bloggers will agree with me: Ven, wake up! Not everyone woman is a stick-thin, size 0, emaciated model. Real women come in different shapes and sizes. Real women deserve to dress like a superstar and feel good about themselves. And more importantly, real women deserve to be treated with respect.
I was totally disgusted at the way Ven blatantly and continuously had no regard for his client, Terri's, feelings and style. In the beginning, Ven almost had me fooled he said that right to her face that he was going to create something that would be "comfortable" and "fashionable," and that he would "take the next step forward" with her fashion. Mind you in his confessional he said that he was "in shock" and "disappointed" when he saw her for the first time. Shame on you. (And really?! Like you're one to talk.) For what it's worth, his final look didn't look comfortable and fashionable at all. But more on that later.
As I continued to watch the episode, I realized that I wasn't the only one drinking the Ven haterade. The look on all the designers' faces when Ven was fitting Terri was priceless. They should have a muzzle in the workroom for moments of verbal diarrhea like this. Gunnar said it best when said that Ven was "dogging" his girl. (Oh, and BTW how great was Gunnar with his client, Kim? I know the guy gets a bad rep for being a diva, but he was so sincere and genuine while working with her. I think these are the moments that typically end up on the cutting room floor the ones that show that the designers are actual caring human beings.)
So one day and 10 great hair makeovers laters, the "real women" were ready to strut their new looks down the runway. (And boy, did Gunnar's client strut!) I know it's not easy to design out of your comfort zone, but at the end of the day when "Project Runway" is over, there is a high possibility that the designers will be creating pieces for the average woman, so consider this a glimpse of the future. The standouts for me were Alicia (Because she took at risk, listened to her client and totally stepped out the box), Christopher, Dmitry (I think he should have won) and Melissa (Just like Heidi said, I wish I could have seen more of her dress). I think it's great that Fabio finally felt comfortable enough to finally express himself as a designer, so on that merit alone, I think he did deserve to win. (And his client looked elated with her new look, to boot!)
Based on design alone, it's a toss up for with the bottom three whole should have sent home. Ven, Nathan and Sonjia's designs all had their share of flaws the zipper on Ven's skirt was inappropriate, Nathan's client looked like a $2 hooker and Sonjia's dress was too short, to name a few. I wish the judges got to see more of how Ven treated his client and voted him off because if I were them and he was to win the whole competition, I wouldn't want someone with such a bad attitude to represet the name "Project Runway." But alas, Ven was saved and Nathan was aufed.
On a final note, please read the last paragraph of Nick Verreos' blog. I can't say it any better than he did.
Tell me your thoughts on Ven. Do you think he should have went home?
Heidi Klum arrived on the runway holding the infamous button bag which means:another team challenge was presented this week! Bring on the drama. Each team had to create a capsule collection for Marie Claire @Work Magazine. Looks had to be editorial friendly while wearable enough to wear to work.
Team 5 consisted of Gunnar, Chris, Ven, Nathan and Fabio, also known as “Team SILK CHIFFONIES.” Team 6 consisted of Sonjia, Raul, Dmitry, Alicia, Elena and Melissa the team that couldn’t agree on anything.
Raul acted defensive and stubborn, determined to stick to his own aesthetic without compromising for the team in fear of getting eliminated again. Team 6 also left a bag behind at Mood, which caused more frustration to the group. On the other side, Gunnar felt like a tailor rather than a designer since he’s creating a look which he feels isn’t true to himself and hated all the micro-managing his team was putting him through.
Later on at the photo shoot (or Everyone Hates Elena time), designers styled and decided on final shots. Elena was giving everyone problems arguing that shots looked better without props, treating the other designers so harshly she was stressing me out!
Melissa won the challenge with her bold, chic dress. Both teams tied their scores but eventually it came down to equally unflattering designs from Raul (with his ruffled bib) and Gunnar (with the floating soufflé boobs). It seemed like Raul couldn’t redeem himself far enough in the competition and was sent packing home once again.