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The Project Runway Blog

Category: "ben chmura"


Earth, Wind and Fire (and Air)

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:22am GMT

I have the unique experience of seeing episodes of “Project Runway” in a somewhat odd fashion. Normally I’m privy to the Rate the Runway photos before I actually see the garments within the context of the episode, and looking at this week’s pictures provided me with quite a guess-the-challenge challenge of my own. My hunches this week went something like this:

1. Create a garment using hair extensions as fabric?
2. Create a pair of pants inspired by literal sports-wear?
3. Create a garment that incorporates the strategic use of odd hats?
4. Create a garment for a female superhero?

As you can see, I was all kinds of, well, WRONG. But can you blame me? As I finally learned that the four natural elements were weaving all these designs together (as “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire played in my head), things started to make a lot more sense.

Now, on to the worst of the bunch!

I hate to say it, judges — and possibly world at large — but I didn’t think that Ben’s design was THAT awful.

First off, you knew it was curtains for him once they showed the ubiquitous “sad phone call home” scene. That’s never a promising moment. Personal inner turmoil of being separated from the outside world aside, that guy got thrown under the fashion bus way harder than he needed to be. Yes, his pants looked like a jockstrap gone wrong, but the color palette and the top/jacket combination with Alison’s hair and makeup actually made me go, “Hey, I’d like to wear that … from the waist up … sans shark teeth.” Models who have walked down the runway with unfinished hems, Michael Kors—dubbed “outrageous crotches” and booties hanging out did not receive the wrath this man must have felt on the runway.

Amy, however, I think had the more offending design by letting her “cauldron of hair” dress get way O.O.C. (Out of Control)! Holly’s extensions filling the bust of the dress didn’t match her own shade of blonde, so it was all the more noticeable that she was carrying around this odd papoose of hair. She may as well have had it filled with red extensions so at least it would resemble her element of fire. I think it creeped the judges out so much, it was all they could think about after a while.

Episode 8: Who Should Have Gone Home This Week?

Conversely, in a hey-I’m-gonna-remind-you-all-that-I’m-on-this-damn-show! moment of triumph, Jonathan scored his first win with his whimsical “laughter” dress, not just for himself or his model, Cerri (whose Irish accent I am OBSESSED with!), but for all pale people everywhere.

As one of your pasty brethren, Jonathan, I salute you.


Marie Claire Mavericks

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:45am GMT

This episode surprised me. Why? 'Cause following instructions is important. It's what keeps people who defuse bombs for a living from cutting the red wire instead of the black one and saving the day. It's also what will get your garment worn by a world-renowned supermodel on the cover of a major publication if you listen to the editor-in-chief's rules to successful covers.

The rules: Fashion-forward design. Use of color. Something Heidi Klum (a.k.a. the world-renowned supermodel on the cover, who is also your judge) would want to wear.

If you can follow this trinity of predetermined rules, you are a mere challenge away from scoring a major coup in your fashion career. Or, you know, totally ignoring all of these helpful hints and going rogue.

Designs that surprised me in a good way:

JESSE: Even though he decided to not subscribe to the color-palette note, Jesse did make a short and sexy dress with a beautiful crisscross design on the bodice. It may have been lost a bit on the runway, but you can zoom in and see his detailing up close in Rate the Runway. Really nice touch.

JAY: I thought he was taking his concept in the wrong direction initially — it felt kind of wood nymph–esque to me at first glance — but the movement was so eye-catching, and Monique knew how to show that effect off on the catwalk. Sure, unless there was also a giant wind machine on set, it may have been lost editorially, but it was memorable.

BEN: When Tim was providing him with some guidance, the best thing Ben ever did was listen to that man. That shiny silver metallic belt he was going for would have taken Lorena from so-called "Madame Butterfly on Acid" to the best Jem and the Holograms Halloween costume. Ever. See? The power of listening to directions!

Deigns that surprised me in a bad way:

SETH AARON: Anyone else notice in the workroom (and in his original sketch) that Seth Aaron had a red polka-dot top incorporated into his design, and then it vanished into the vortex of the power suit that Valeria RAN down the runway in with such fervor that I thought my DVD was stuck scrubbing on fast forward? (Watch her in hyper-speed again in Rate the Walk if you missed it.) Surprisingly, it was safe. I wasn't that pleased by the fit and I thought it would ultimately be overlooked on the newsstand, but it was the only suit.

JANEANE: Oh, Janeane. I feel like she worked on her own separate challenge where she could solely work with bad '80s taffeta prom-dress fabric and was forced to create a dress out of it. A dress inspired by the Swiss Miss Girl. Even the hair was hot-chocolate mountain lady inspired. Heidi's from Germany, not Switzerland. Hello!

Design that surprised me because I was so hypnotized by her sheer level of self-professed confidence, I forgot what I was looking at:

MILA: I was so transfixed by Mila's "I know I am the best" monologue, I became a convert and ignored the fact that Mila also got all mavericky and abandoned the trinity of rules. It was only when guest judge Joanna Coles broke out the verbal whoop-ass that I snapped out of it. (Note to self: If you ever need to pen a brutally honest greeting card, hire her!) Color was off target, big-time, and I think that was made clear. Very, very, British-accent-will-not-soften-this-blow clear.

Episode 5: Who Should Have Gone Home This Week?

By the way, The Talent Competition T Lo Award is screaming for Emilio with the scissors for the win this week. Michael Kors, next time you need an egg poached or one of those annoyingly small Phillips-head screwdrivers for sunglasses on the runway, Emilio is your man!