Monday, February 18, 2008


Wherefore Art Thou

Previously on Project Runway: Lady wrestlers! Ricky went Wonder Woman. Christian agreed with Sweet P that her outfit was "hideous." Chris won. Yay! Sweet P's look was unfinished, but Ricky didn't make a costume, so he was out. Yay!

Sweet P is happily surprised that she escaped the axe. Chris is used to dealing with crunch time. Rami is determined to get to Fashion Week. Who isn't? Off to Parsons. Heidi brings out Marcia and Amanda. Chris remains loyal to Marcia, of course, so Amanda is out. She seems perfectly competent, but never really grabbed me. Heidi sends them off on another field trip with Tim. They walk the Upper East Side in the morning, arriving at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This should be good.

The designers have the place to themselves, since it's like 7 a.m. Tim tells them they'll choose a work of art to inspire their next look. Their sources are limited to the Greek & Roman sculpture courtyard, the European painting gallery and the Temple of Dendur exhibit. Of course, Rami is all over the Greek and Roman sculpture. Next up are the paintings. Christian says he's inspired by European art, a claim I find remarkable in its lack of specificity. Sweet P thinks she could have gotten away with actually touching a painting, since they were alone. Finally, the Temple of Dendur, which was plucked from its native habitat in Egypt and transplanted to New York. Chris jokes about finding Joan River's initials carved on the tomb wall, then stifles himself as his hearty laugh echoes in the gallery. Time's up! Back to Parsons.

The designers have an hour to select a photo of their inspiration and sketch. They'll get to spend $300 at Mood. Tim warns that "styling and makeup" will count. The designers choose:

Shopping! Everyone seems to be feeling the pressure of the last challenge. Back at Parsons, Tim gives them until midnight (7 hours) plus all of the next day to work. So they have ample resources (as challenges go) to realize their visions. Rami interviews that everyone was going over the top, trying to impress the judges. Jillian and Sweet P tease Christian about all the pieces he's creating. He's like, "I sew fast. They should sew fast, too." Jillian, who does not sew fast, tells him she's self-conscious enough about the time she's spent pleating without his comments. "Ew, don't get bitchy," pouts Christian, and Chris laughs at the irony.

Day 2. Sweet P asks Jillian if she should lower the neckline on her dress, and Jillian basically says that Sweet P needs to decide for herself. Sweet P confesses that she wants to win because her business is out of money. Tim sends in the models for a fitting, except Lea is having a family emergency, so Sweet P is discombobulated. Tim gathers up everyone and brings in Collier Strong, L'Oreal makeup artist. He'll help them develop the makeup for their looks. Consultations. Collier applies makeup to photocopied generic faces to record the decisions.

Back to work! Except Chris has already finished, so he toddles off to take a nap. Christian is astonished -- he has finished, too, but he's still fiddling with his things. He thinks he has "the most cohesive ideas" out of the group. Tim comes in for his look-sees and is surprised to hear Chris is napping. He goes off to find Chris and has him present his outfit for inspection. Tim thinks it needs more refinement, but Chris is confident. Christian is happy because his clothes look good on him. He's trying to create pieces that work as separates, but Tim is worried that one piece doesn't fit in. Tim isn't getting peacock from Sweet P's dress. As usual, Jillian is doing good work but needs to finish. Tim warns Rami that he needs to make his outfit "fresh" since he's been warned about draping. With two hours to go, Lea arrives for a fitting. Everyone encourages Sweet P in her push to the finish. More sewing, less moping -- that's my advice.

Morning. Christian primps for the judges. Chris marvels that they didn't have anyone at each other's throats, but Christian protests that he hated people. Back at Parsons, Sweet P runs back to work. Jillian has to finish her dress. She doesn't want to be a fashion drudge any more. Tim urges them all to "just blow the judges' socks off" before sending in the models one last time. Fittings. Makeup. Hair. Jillian needs to steam her dress but the steamer isn't working. She gets the dress on Lauren, fusses with the skirt and then resorts to steaming it while it's still on Lauren. Sadly, the poor girl won't get combat pay. Show time! The guest judge is Roberto Cavalli. This is why I laugh when people insist that the producers control the judging outcomes. Like Roberto Cavalli is going to let some badly-dressed Hollywood punk boss him around. He can get plenty of media exposure without risking his reputation, so what's his incentive to play along? Anyway, time for my favorite part of the show:

The designers get grilled. Christian explains his strategy of separates. Roberto sees how much love he put into his work. Nina likes the combination of showmanship and practicality. Roberto thinks Chris could do a couture show in Paris. However, the other judges have seen this trick before, so they're not as impressed. Nina likes the way Jillian surprises her. Roberto practially offers her a job. Heidi's all, "Whoo, shiny!" Michael thinks she avoided the costume trap. Michael and Roberto aren't getting a wow factor from Sweet P's dress; the judges already know she can nice little commercial dresses. Rami defends his choice of inspiration by declaring his passion for draping. Roberto doesn't get the wow factor from him, either. The judges want to see more.

The judges recap. Jillian changes things up and has impact. Christian presented something that worked as show and as clothing. Sweet P is commercial, but not fashion. Chris repeated himself, but it was a fabulous dress. He'd present a good show. Rami is talented but doesn't take risks.

The designers return. Christian takes the win and secures a spot at Bryant Park. Jillian is also in. Rami looks happy for her. Sweet P is out. She cries, of course, but takes it well. Rami is consistent but safe. Chris is dramatic but didn't give them anything new. Chris is in. (Yay!) But so is Rami. (Huh?) They will both create collections, but then show their three strongest looks for a chance to compete in the final three. Tim bids a fond farewell to Sweet P, who really wanted to show at Bryant Park. But then it turns out that she got to show a decoy collection, so that works out.

Right winners? Christian and Jillian have been very consistent throughout. Yes, Christian has repeated the ruffles and the puffy sleeves a lot, but he's managed enough variation that it's not the same outfit every time. Perhaps it's because he's so recently out of school, but he has done a good job of solving the various challenges like they're school exercises. Jillian has mixed it up more, but always presents a very neat, trim aesthetic. I'm not surprised that either one made it.

Right loser? Sweet P is a lovely woman, but she hasn't shown the kind of creativity I would expect from a finalist. I think she just doesn't thrive under the constraints of the challenges, and hasn't shown what she's truly capable of. Hopefully she'll be able to capitalize on her exposure. I'm glad she got a decoy show, but I'm really puzzled why they can't work out the airdates so the final challenge airs before Fashion Week starts. They have months to work it out.

Right up-in-the-airs? I was kind of hoping Chris would get the third slot outright, just to knock the wind out of Rami's sails; he's a little full of himself. The problem with Rami is not that he loves draping -- both the construction technique and the finished effect -- but that he doesn't want to see what else he can do with it. If he had taken his inspiration from the Temple of Dendur and showed something that involved a different style or approach to draping, he might have won. As for Chris, I think he might have been more successful working the bow motif instead of repeating a giant, curved element over one shoulder -- but it was a fabulous gown. I'm fairly certain the whole "you two have to compete for the final slot" twist was planned in advance; they have to budget for all these collections, after all. But it keeps Chris is the running, so I'm happy.



On the Ropes

Previously on Project Runway: The designers got iconic with denim. Christian couldn't believe Ricky was still in the running. Jillian had a little meltdown. Immunity was off the table. Ricky won. Jillian had too many ideas, but Victorya was out.

Jillian and Sweet P hope to thwart an all-male final three. Ricky still don't get no respect, but he decides he doesn't care. Off to Parsons. Heidi brings out Amanda and Jacqueline. Ricky decides to keep Amanda, so Jacqueline is out. Hmm. Amanda isn't bad, but Ricky hasn't worked with her all that much and Jacqueline has made more of an impression. Considering how little we've seen the models this season, that's saying something. Ricky didn't try to grab Lea again; perhaps he's learned that he can't keep her. The whole model part needs reworking. They're never going to be a major part of the show, but I love it when designer and model click.

So anyway, Heidi refuses to tell them anything about their next challenge and sends them away. Rami hangs out with the ladies and they try to guess the challenge. In the morning, it's back to Parsons. Tim leads them on another field trip. And off they go -- to the same auditorium they use for the runway shows. Loud noises squeak past the closed doors. Jillian and Sweet P hear violence but Christian hears "sex moans." My mind simply refuses to wonder why. Tim opens the door and the designers discover bodacious, scantily-clad women throwing each other around in a wrestling ring. Tim clambers into the ring with some trouble -- "Grampa has difficulty with these ropes" -- and introduces the WWE Divas. The designers will make outfits for them to wrestle in. Ah, the functional garment challenge. I can't wait until they get stuck with ice dancers. They're just as over-the-top as ballroom dancers, but the construction has to be so much tighter because they can't have anything fall off the costume. The designers pick divas:

Back up in the workroom, the designers and divas get to talk for half an hour. Afterwards, the designers will get $100 to spend at Spandex House (apparently Mood is spandex-deficient). The designers and divas consult. Rami and Sweet P seem shell-shocked. Tim shoos the divas away and the designers shop. There's a whole lotta sparkle going on. The designers get the rest of the day and all day tomorrow to work.

Jillian watches a wrestling match on DVD that is not the least bit product-placed. Everyone starts working. It's early, so they're all in high spirits.

The next day, the designers head back into work. Jillian delivers a roundhouse kick to an unsuspecting mannequin. Sweet P is just not feeling it. Candice likes to tear open a robe to reveal her sex kitten attire, but Sweet P is trying to go more pin-up girl. Christian takes up Sweet P on her arm-wrestling challenge. They struggle for a while and then Christian gets some momentum, so Sweet P breaks it up.

Tim sends in the divas for fittings. Most of the divas are happy -- Kristal proposes marriage to Christian -- but Candice needs more oomph from her robe. Sweet P is scared by her idea of oomph, which includes star-shaped cut-outs on her butt. The divas leave and Sweet P continues to stress. Christian gives Ricky some snaps (the sewing notion, not the over-used gesture) because helping him won't make his outfit any better. In the sewing room, Sweet P, Chris and Christian discuss who they would be if they were divas.

With midnight approaching, Tim makes his rounds. Ricky needs to experiment. Rami is all "well, this isn't really my style," like Tim needs to be told that. Tim urges him to commit to the hot pink. Jillian's look is "cute." Christian is totally in love with his outfit. Sweet P is still struggling; she's not into lots of stuff on clothes. Tim is not much help, since it's all so tacky. Sweet P has a little crying spell, feeling caught between her client's tacky demands and the approval of the judges. This is what happens when you're a pleaser. She's trying not to lose when she should be trying to win. Look around the workroom -- everything is tacky. So just make a fabulous, tacky outfit and dare the judges not to like it.

Morning of the runway show. Sweet P is still worried Candice Michelle won't like the outfit. Tim gives them only an hour and a half for prep. Fittings. Hair. Makeup. Tim calls a five-minute warning and the designers rush to get their divas dressed. Christian thinks Sweet P improved her outfit so it no longer looks like a "craft project." It's interesting that he doesn't despise her the way he does Ricky, despite all her dithering. Guest judges are Richie Rich and Traver Rains of Heatherette. Which is pretty much perfect. Show time!

All the divas really know how to strut a runway. Best non-model models EVER. Everyone gets grilled. Michelle feels securely strapped in by her outfit. Michael thinks Jillian got the sporty look and Traver likes the shorts. Michael doesn't really get Americana from Rami's outfit and Nina hates the color. Richie thinks Kristal looks "powerful." He and Michael get a Prince vibe. You can do a lot worse than that sexy little MF. Sweet P was going for retro. Richie wants more of a robe and Traver worries Candice might fall out of the top. Heidi gets Candice to confess she wants more bling. Michael thinks this was easier for Chris than the others. All the judges love the lining in the hoodie; they think the outfit looks "expensive." No one sees a costume in Ricky's outfit and the cover-up is an unflattering dud.

The judges recap. Christian made a sexy costume with a fabulous jacket. Chris really captured his diva's style. Jillian got the sexy tomboy look. Ricky' swimsuit wasn't original, the cover-up was ugly and the two pieces didn't add up. Rami's outfit was too fluffy. Sweet P didn't achieve that old-fashioned glamor and disappointed her client.

The designers return. Jillian is safe. Chris gets the win. Maria will wear his outfit in the ring. Yay! He's amused to get his win on the tackiest challenge. Christian is safe. Rami is safe. Ricky missed the mark and Sweet P didn't capture her client's image. Sweet P is shocked to learn that she's safe. So Ricky is out. Huzzah! Blah-blah-blah better person blah. I've already moved on.

Right winner? I thought Christian would get it, since his look was so polished and he did so much. But thinking it over, his costume was not the most appropriate for the rink. Jillian captured her diva's style as well as Chris did, but Chris' outfit was more fashionable and cohesive. So yeah, I think he deserves the win. That hoodie is freakin' adorable.

Right loser? Oh, thank heavens. Rami's outfit was ugly, but well-constructed. Sweet P missed the mark, but she tried. Ricky thought he was trying, which is kinda sad. Whatever. I'm just glad he's gone. I'm more interested in the models than Ricky, and we've hardly seen them all season.

Speaking of the models, here's what I think: In the first three shows, the designers should not be allowed to reuse a model; that will keep them from latching onto whomever they get first out of familiarity. When there are about 10 designers left, the models should get a chance to choose the designers. Some of the best match-ups from season 3 -- Laura and Camilla, Jeffrey and Marilinda, Michael and Nazri -- came from the challenge where the models picked designers. However, instead of leaving the last model standing to random chance, the designers should rate the models the night before, and the models should pick in order of ranking. The button bag only comes out if there's a tie in the rankings. In the next challenge, the designers get to pick again. The final six should have a chance to choose from all the models, or at least the last 8-10 models, and those are their models through the finals.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Blue Jean Genies

Previously on Project Runway: The designers had to team up to make avant-garde looks inspired by hair. Chris built a cell phone tower. Rami and Sweet P clashed. Surprise -- they have to make another look! Christian wins. Nina wondered if Rami had more than draping in his bag o' tricks. Kit got the boot for a "cheap" calico hoop dress.

Morning. Victorya keeps calling Sweet P "Kit." I don't know if Sweet P is more upset by having her name forgotten or missing the departed Kit. Ricky tries to keep his spirits up despite living in the bottom three all the time. I instantly peg him as the winner or loser. Sadly, I fear the former. Off to Parsons!

Heidi brings out Marie and Lisa. Of course Christian stays with Lisa, his fashion doppelganger, so Marie gets the boot. Which is too bad, 'cause she's a cutie. I'm a little surprised Christian didn't grab Lea again, but perhaps he figures he can't hold onto her, so why bother. Heidi sends them off to Tim, who's taking them on a field trip. Rami figures it could be anything from trash to Paris. The designers climb in a van and ride. "Are we going to meet somebody fabulous today?" Christian wonders. "We are fabulous, we don't need to meet anybody fabulous," Tim declares. They go over a bridge and onto a pier, where a woman awaits outside a big garage/warehouse. Tim introduces Caroline Calvin of Levis. The designers have to gather up jeans and jackets and white cotton; they have to make "an iconic denim look" that "captures the spirit of originality and creativity that has lived in the heart of the Levis brand." They have three minutes to run around. And go! A denim feeding frenzy ensues.

Back at Parsons, the designers settle in. Levis has provided notions, so there's no shopping. They have 12 hours to finish. Ricky confesses that he sometimes makes his hats out of denim -- and now we know why he always wears one. He wants to make something that no one else can make. Oddly enough, he does not decide to make a hat. Instead, he'll be making a corset. Which Rami just made in the last challenge, so not exactly unique to Ricky. Speaking of Rami, he's not American -- he was born in Jerusalem. His non-American approach to denim is more "fashion forward." Sweet P asks Chris how to get the dirt out of her denim, but Christian horns in because he's a know-it-all. It's now time for the "Christian is so immature" portion of our program. "Somebody needs to give him a bottle and send him to bed," sighs Chris. This is also the part where Christian whines about the challenge: "Oh my God, I'm going to die of barfness."

Scandal! Victorya and Jillian are both making coats! Jillian is miffed that Victorya is stepping on her turf. Like she has a copyright on coats. I'm not seeing the big deal. People don't worry about everyone making dresses. Turns out Christian decides to make a female trucker jacket, so there are three coats, but nobody cares about his. Christian whines about how quiet it is, now that so many people have left. "And so many annoying people are still left," he gripes. Cut to Ricky walking in. He testifies that he has a great resume, which maybe the others don't know about. He's a good designer, really, he is! Fine. But he's not a good Project Runway contestant. Time ticks. We learn that Chris likes to talk to his work. If I were trapped in a workroom with him, I'd find that annoying. But I'm not, so I think it's cool.

Tim time! Ricky explains how he's playing to his strengths and Tim tells him to "deliver it." Chris has a frayed edge on a curving pocket piece that Tim finds "incongruous" but Chris likes it. Jillian, as usual, has a lot of work to do. Rami's outfit has wow potential. Victorya's coat is looking "patchwork-y" and she needs to fix it. Sweet P's wedding dress is scaring Tim -- "very happy hands at home granny circle." Sweet P proposes shortening it into a dress. "Resolve the skirt," Tim orders. The last few hours tick down and everyone is rushing. Jillian gripes about the shortness of time. Chris lectures, "If you don't understand the situation by now, you're refusing to learn." He questions the wisdom of doing something complicated with so little time. The last few minutes are winding down and Jillian stops sewing with a gasp -- she keeps sewing her fingertips. "I'm bleeding everywhere," she sobs. Rami can't find any blood. Sweet P urges her to put off the meltdown until the buzzer rings in ten minutes. Everyone looks done in as they head home.

Morning. Primping. Back to Parsons. Jillian starts gluing. Tim gives them only an hour, instead of the usual two, to deal with model business. Fittings. Hair. Makeup. Last-minute gluing. Tim rounds up the designers and Jillian, as usual, is the last one out the door. Heidi takes immunity off the table, but no one notices because they're waiting for her boobs to bust out of that deep-V neckline. Guest judge is Caroline Calvin of Levis, of course. Show time!

Everybody gets to stay and get grilled. Christian was going for a female motorcycle outfit. The judges like how he reinvented his source pieces. Nina thinks Chris's little blue dress is dated rather than timeless. The judges see two different ideas -- the little blue dress and the fraying -- that didn't meld together into one. Rami gets points for creativity; the zippers are a hit. The judges like Ricky's craftmanship. He cries. "What's up with you?" wonders Heidi. Ricky says it's a roller coaster ride. Jillian confesses to being too ambitious and the judges agree. The judges are ready to wear Sweet P's dress -- it has "the slimming voodoo." But Caroline doesn't get "Levis" from it. Victorya gets busted for just tacking a skirt on a jacket, and they don't blend.

The judges rehash. Ricky finally showed his lingerie background. Christian was very detailed and created a new jean. Sweet P made a great, versatile dress. Rami didn't drape, for a change. On the downside, Jillian had too many ideas, Chris was dated and sort of not finished, and Victorya was uninspired.

The designers return. Rami is safe. Ricky takes the win and his dress will be sold as a limited edition. Well, crap, he lives on. Sweet P is safe. Christian is safe. Chris is safe. Jillian was unfocused and Victorya was boring. Jillian is in. Victorya is out. She thinks she has shown only a little of who she is as a designer.

Right winner? Bleah. Ricky made a nice dress -- certainly not boot-worthy -- but it was pretty generic. Sweet P's dress was more beautiful and Rami's dress was more interesting. Christian was more creative. But Ricky got lucky; his generic quality is what the guest judge was looking for. Darn it.

Right loser? Yeah. Jillian's coat had a nice shape and Chris's dress had some sizzle. Victorya's coat was just boring. Which is too bad, because a real classic trench in denim could have been cool. She should have started from scratch instead of reusing the jacket.



Avant Garden

Previously on Project Runway: The designers had to make prom dresses. Kevin didn't feel like hemming. Christian's spirit was nearly broken by his 17-year-old client. Victorya won. Nina scolded Christian for blaming Maddie. Michael didn't like Kevin's hem or how old his teen client looked, so Kevin got the boot.

Christian is still pissing and moaning about his horrible experience. All his time in the bottom three has reminded Ricky that he needs to buckle down and impress the judges. Any time now. Parsons! Heidi brings out the models and they all have wackadoo hair. The designers will have to create an avant-garde look based on their model's hair.

And with that, the two gawkiest walkers are finally dismissed.

In the workroom, Tim reviews the challenge. Since their assignment is "ambitious," they'll be paired in teams using the button bag o' randomization. Each team must choose one model to work with, and one person per team must be the designated sacrifice, er, team leader. They'll have $300 and two days. And the teams are:

Christian is psyched with his partner, since Chris does lots of crazy costume design. Chris has learned from previous experience and suggests that Christian take the leadership role, putatively because of his experience with Alexander McQueen. Christian whines but gets into it. They go with Marcia, who has the more "elegant" hair. Kit and Ricky choose Marie, because her hair reminds Kit of a bird's nest. Their concept will be "nesting." Since it's her idea, she's the leader. Sweet P defers to Rami as team leader "because my mind doesn't naturally go to the avant garde." Sam will be their model. Rami's idea is "hard and soft." Jillian and Victorya are civil but neither one will back down. Finally, they toss a coin substitute and Victorya gets to be in charge.

Mood. Shopping accomplished. Back to Parsons and down to work. Kit's "nesting" concept involves a girl in a garden wearing aprons to "represent layering." As opposed to just being layers. Chris uses wires to construct a frame for a neck piece. "I'm trying to build us a cell phone tower so we can call out," he jokes. Sweet P wonders, "How about if it takes us to Elisa's planet?" "Didn't you know?" Chris banters. "Elisa left me these instructions." Ha! I miss Elisa. She would have had fun with this one. Victorya and Jillian are going punk. Jillian worries because they both have trouble managing their time. Meanwhile, Rami tells Sweet P, "So, why don't you put it on the dress form and try to put a French seam in the center front, okay?" Like she's hopeless, but he's willing to let her try to help.

Sewing, sewing, sewing. Rami complains that Sweet P is slowing him down because he has to keep helping her, not that we see her ask for help. Sweet P interviews about all they finished in the first day, so they're ahead of schedule and what is Rami all stressed about? Rami is sure he's going to take the blame for any team "dysfunction." So far, he pretty much deserves to.

Morning. Sweet P worries about Rami's attitude. The designers get back to work. Sweet P wants more drama, maybe with a bustle, but Rami's gonna do what he wants to do. Tim gathers the designers for a "special announcement." "Gettin' scared of special announcement," Jillian murmurs. With good reason: The designers have to create a ready-to-wear look inspired by their avant-garde look, to be finished tonight. They manage not to throw up from sheer panic. One person per team will shop for 15 minutes with $50. The designers caucus. Sweet P suggests navy, like their pants, for a daytime look, but Rami doesn't think navy says "daytime." Rami seriously needs to unclench. He wants a sketch, but Sweet P doesn't really work that way, and Rami's just not in a trusting mood right now.

Kit, Christian, Sweet P and Jillian zip through Mood. They get back with 12 hours to work. Tim lets them have the models for a fitting. Sweet P thinks Rami has falafelized the bodice. Jillian mopes that everyone else is so close to done, plus Victorya has immunity. Christian teaches the models how to work it. Jay Alexander lives in fear. Rami declares that he is "entitled" to know when Sweet P will finish, as she assures him that she will, in fact, finish on time. He nags her some more, and then interviews that she's being "defensive." Sweet P cries a little from stress and Lea comforts her. She'd be better of bitch-slapping the prig. If he's worried about time, he should set deadlines and make sure they're making good progress, not nag her for completion estimates.

Tim brings in Nathaniel Hawkins, the lead hair stylist. He's going to help them "translate" the avant-garde hair style into an everyday style for the ready-to-wear look. Also, the winning team will get a TreSemmÈ ad in Elle. Consultations with the ready-to-wear models happen.

Tim checks in with Team Fierce. Their avant-garde look is "staggering" but he fears their ready-to-wear skirt is "cheap." Christian disagrees and declares his willingness to tell the judges so. Listen to Tim, you little twerp! Team Nesting is heading into costume territory; they need to "have it be exuberant." Team RamiRamiRami is doing Rami when they need to deliver the unexpected. "You have not seen me do corsets, Tim," Rami protests. Because his body of work defines what is avant-garde. Tim is worried. Rami "explains" that they "think differently." Sweet P thinks they work differently. She interviews that Tim's concerns about the Rami-ness of their dress has nothing to do with the way they work, other than Rami is being a control freak. Team Unbridled Emotion is worried about time, of course. Tim loves their avant-garde look and urges them to get things finished.

Time ticks. Jillian must have made a mistake, because she has a mini-meltdown at the sewing machine. Victorya and Jillian both have to finish their avant-garde pieces and haven't even started the ready-to-wear dress.

Morning of the runway show. Sweet P worries about Rami's mood again. Jillian gets going on the ready-to-wear dress. She interviews that she'll have to move "like the speed of light" to finish. I just can't wrap my brain around a zippy Jillian; it simply won't compute. Tim sends in the ready-to-wear models, since the avant-garde models are already getting their hair done. Hair. Makeup. Fitting. Last-minute touches. Tim gathers the designers; Victorya and Jillian are last out the door, of course.

The guest judge is Alberta Ferretti. Show time!

Rami, Sweet P, Kit and Ricky have the lowest scores. They have to go away with the judges fawn over the top pairs. Chris and Christian collaborated on their design, which used 45 yards of organza. "Just to let you know," Christian confides. Alberta calls it a couture dress. Michael raves over the avant-garde look but the skirt in the ready-to-wear look "a little bit of a throwaway, let's be honest." Christian agrees. Way to defend your skirt, twerp. Nina thinks they could be on a cover. Victorya explains that they were going for a punk mood with equestrian styling. The judges get the coat off and turn Jacqueline around; the pants are totally baggy (not that the judges say anything) and the top has some blue gingham strips slanting back and forth, sort of building a bustle. The judges love the top, and Nina thinks their dress is "cute." Jillian jokes that they really had three looks.

Now for the spankings. The judges love Sweet P's little dress, which Michael deems "more forward-looking than the avant-garde dress." Nina wants to see Rami do something other than draping. Alberta needs more volume from the corset gown. Michael gets a closer look at the pants, which are baggy in front. Sweet P explains that she wanted something bursting out the back of the gown. Rami says their clashing styles "took away from the loudness." Uh, no. Rami designed the corset dress exactly the way he wanted. Alberta pans Kit's dress as "a little Scarlett O'Hara, but in a cheap way." Michael thinks this is Scarlett using bedsheets instead of drapes. Nina wouldn't consider the look for an avant-garde shoot and has nothing good to say about the ready-to-wear dress, either.

The judges rehash. Chris and Christian had a "remarkable" avant-garde look and showed good teamwork. Heidi observes that they blended their styles. Nina loved all the pieces that Victorya and Jillian made; Michael thinks they'd appeal to lots of women. The judges are ready to see something other than draping from Rami, and aren't buying his excuses about Sweet P. They love her dress some more. Kit and Ricky weren't avant-garde and used cheap fabrics, but Michael and Heidi are impressed that they created a hoop from scratch. Nina declares the ready-to-wear look "amateur."

The designers return. Christian gets the win and immunity. He and Chris are safe. Victorya and Jillian are safe. Ricky is safe. Before Sweet P? Huh. Sweet P is safe, like there was any question. Rami gets blamed for his team's dysfunction, just as he predicted. Kit was fashion-backwards. Kit gets the boot. Rami is safe. Kit has no regrets because she doesn't believe in them. It's her loss and the show's loss that she's leaving, but she got lots of friendships out of it.

Right winner? Jillian's coat was a major contender, and the judges liked all the pieces that Team Unbridled Emotion produced. But overall, they weren't quite as forward-looking as Chris and Christian's fabulous layered extravaganza, so the decision makes sense. Also, they were the best collaborators; their look is clearly a product of both their viewpoints. Team Fierce could have locked it up by putting just a little effort into their skirt. A softer skirt made of two, possibly three, tiers would have enhanced the connection to the avant-garde look and gotten them out of secretary territory.

Right loser? As tired as I am of seeing Ricky skate through again, Kit was the creative leader of the team. Although I must say, Ricky's little ready-to-wear dress was rescued from complete nothingness only by Kit's weirdo fabric choice. Kit's problem wasn't that she was too conceptual, it was that she chose a concept that doesn't translate well visually. How are the judges supposed to get from "calico hoop dress" to "girl in garden" to "bird nest hair" to "nesting"? She would have been better off being more literal with the "nesting" idea and getting tangled and twiggy. I wouldn't have minded had they booted Ricky, but I can see the logic behind Kit's ouster. However, I suspect Sweet P's adorable dress saved her and Rami from the bottom rank. Kit was off-base, but she went for it. Rami's corset dress was same old Rami and the navy pants were a very lazy attempt to be edgy. They also had the worst team dynamic. Sweet P can get along with a challenging teammate -- she worked with Elisa, which was a definite mismatch in terms of work process -- so I think the blame for their dysfunction really belongs to Rami. He was clearly running scared throughout the whole challenge, and his way to deal with it was to turn into a control freak. Why do stressed people think that trying to control everything will reduce their stress? (Because they don't reason well under stress.) He's not a bad person, but he needs to learn from this experience.



High Fashion High

Previously on Project Runway: Hershey's couture. Sweet P freaked out. Elisa worried Tim with her Gretel interpretation. Rami won. Elisa got the boot.

Morning. Victorya has to move in with the remaining women now that her roomie is gone. Off to Parsons. Heidi tells the designers that they have to design a dress for "one of the most important days in a woman's life." She brings out the models -- a gaggle of Catholic schoolgirls from New Jersey. The designers have to make them prom dresses. Prom is one of the most important days in a woman's life? Maybe if you subscribe to the idea that life is just high school extrapolated over time. Okay, sure, it's a significant event, but in the end, is it going to rank in the top ten memories of a lifetime? Not buying it. Anyway, Christian is so over prom. Once again demonstrating an ability to learn from past experience, the producers are letting the models choose the designers instead of the other way 'round. The girls have seen portfolios of the designers' work, so it's not just random.

The designers are still chortling in disbelief as the model/clients leave.

In the workroom, Tim cautions the designers that their clients will have opinions, which they will be responsible for managing. They'll have half an hour with their clients, $250 for shopping and two days to work. That seems reasonable. Consultations. Brie chose Kit for her edgy portfolio. However, Kit interviews that she thinks modesty is a good look for prom, so we'll get to see what modest edginess looks like. Kevin announces he's a New Jersey boy, so he knows how they roll down there, and we get our first designer-at-the-prom picture. See, how can it be one of the most important days in a woman's life if they drag out the pictures ten years later to embarrass you? Kevin promises to design a chastity belt into his dress. Victorya learns that she was the last designer chosen, but Jessica assures her that it's "fine" because she liked her portfolio. Various girls wants things cut low in all kinds of directions. Maddie has studied fashion design, so she starts sketching. Christian is trying to cope with all her demands. Tim sends the girls away and Christian writhes on the floor.

Shopping at Mood successfully accomplished. Back in the workroom, Christian boasts of being Best Dressed at his prom. "Is that your opinion or did you take a vote?" Chris wonders. Maddie and her demands have steamrollered all the fierce out of poor Christian. Workety work. Jillian realizes that her hair "is really big today." Kit was an Orange County Prom Princess. Also, a brunette. Ricky interviews that he learned to sew by watching his self-taught mom, but creativity wasn't encouraged because it didn't put food on the table.. He makes a product-placed call to Mom in subtitled Spanish. Does this mean he's getting booted? Time ticks. Designers poop out. Christian is depressed by the tackiness he has created.

Day two. The designers get back to work. Christian sets to work embellishing his monstrosity. Victorya is not happy with her dress. Christian suggests draping, and Victorya decides to change things up. Tim sends in the clients for a fitting, and they've brought along their mothers. This oughta be fun. Tizi's mom isn't happy with the "bulging" in front, but Kevin tells her, "It's the new baby-doll style that just came out." Again. Mom worries that Tizi looks pregnant. Well, Heidi did say this challenge was all about "creating memories." Fifty years from now, Tizi will still be squirming with embarrassment over that one. Jessica loves Victorya's changes, so it's all good. Krista's mom loves the color Chris picked. He wonders what they thought of his portfolio, what with all the photos of himself in extreme drag. Turns out they didn't realize that was Chris. I can understand that. The chin gets lost amongst the gargantuan wigs and the gargantuan boobs. Nicole's mom loves what Sweet P has done. Maddie is not thrilled with her dress. Sweet P assures her that Christian is very talented.

Back to work. Tim visits. Kevin explains that Tizi's mom was worried about the gathering at the waistline. Tim wonders about the hem, which Kevin might leave unfinished. He figures it's not like the judges will notice -- and it's not like the judges have been giving him any love, so I can see why he'd feel overlooked. Tim assures him that the judges have eagle eyes. Rami's dress is looking old, but he has immunity, so he isn't worried. Victorya has lots of work to do. Speaking of work, it's time to visit Christian. Tim is very worried about him, and reassures him, "I don't hate it." He wants to hear what Christian plans to improve things, but Christian is ready to give up. Tim sternly orders him, "Rally!" The designers keep plugging away, and time's up.

Morning. The boys wonder what Heidi would make for a prom dress. Back to work. The designers get a hour with the models before hair and makeup. Ricky confesses that he made his girlfriend's prom dress. "That should have been a clue right there, right?" Sweet P confesses to being a naughty Catholic school girl. Chris skipped prom in favor of old movies and booze. Good choice. Hair. Makeup. Chris mourns Kevin's failure to hem the skirt; it looks unfinished. Maddie chafes at all Christian's last minute finishing. Show time! Guest judge is Gilles Mendel of J. Mendel.

Kit, Jillian and Chris are all safe. Really? I thought Chris's glamorous creation was a top three for sure. The rest try to withstand the judges' scrutiny. Sweet P tried to combine a Grecian influence with Hollywood glamour. Nina finds it awfully sophisticated, but Michael pooh-poohs that. Everyone likes the color and Heidi tells Nicole, "I think you look gorgeous." Kevin chose red to complement Tizi's skin tones. Nina and Michael think the dress is too old, and Michael notices the unfinished hem. Victorya's dress hits the judges's sweet spot of fashion and fun. Christian starts off by bemoaning how difficult Maddie was. Heidi likes the dress, particularly the color and the detailing, but Gilles and Nina find it too busy. Gilles and Nina are not impressed with Ricky's exectution; Heidi and Michael pronounce the color boring. Rami was going for something different. Gilles doesn't like the color, and Nina thinks it's too sophisticated. Rami is proud to have stuck to his sophisticated aesthetic, but Michael thinks it's a dress for a much older woman.

The judges rehash. Sweet P made something elegant but simple. Victorya nailed the modern prom dress. Rami made a beautiful dress for a society matron. Christian's dress was too busy and he was too ready to point the finger at Maddie. Ricky made a nothing of a dress. Kevin's dress looked cheap.

The designers return. Victorya gets the win and immunity. Sweet P is safe. Ricky is safe. Rami is safe. Of course, he had immunity, so there was never any doubt. Kevin's look was cheap and Tizi looked old. Christian fought with his client. Kevin is out. Christian is safe. Kevin is clearly hurt and defensive but keeps it positive.

Right winner? Ugh. I like blue, so I don't mind the color. I do mind the tacky jeweled yoke and the patented boob-smashing technology. If you're flat-chested and pot-bellied, I suppose this is the dress for you. Sweet P and Chris both delivered glamour without being too sophisticated. I still don't see why Chris wasn't in the top three.

Right loser? Good grief, how does Ricky skate through again? He spent two days on a nothing dress in a nothing color with nothing much for trim, and it still looked badly made. Dismissing him before Rami is a joke. Not only did Rami have immunity, but his dress was beautifully (if busily) constructed. Christian's was also busily constructed and suffered from a bad color choice; he deserved his spot in the bottom two. Kevin's dress wasn't great, but it was a fun, flirty little number. They all missed the target, but I think Kevin came closer than either Ricky or Christian. So overall, the judges really screwed the pooch this time around.


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