Friday, September 24, 2010

Project Runway, Season 8 - Episode 9

After last week's disaster of a challenge, it was time to pick up the pieces and get back to work in Project Runway land. There were more than a few fumbles and the emergence of a definite front runner. Let's get to it... 

  • Challenge: Accompanied by one Mr. Collier Strong and a whole slew of product placement, Tim presented the designers with their task: Create a high fashion look for a L'Oreal Paris advertorial (is that even a real word?) with a budget of $300. Major bonus: in addition to their look being featured in the advertorial (maybe if I use it a lot I'll get used to it), the winner would win a whopping $20,000! Whoop! Each of the designers then had to choose a style associated with a L'Oreal eye shadow - bright, matte, metallic, crystal or velvet - to base their look on.
  • Twist: Obviously with two days for the challenge, the high fashion look wasn't the only thing that would be going down the runway. It must take a lot of poking and prodding from the producers to get the contestants to look shocked at such announcements. Either that, or they aren't as obsessed with this show as we are. Either way, the designers had to create a second, ready-to-wear look to accompany the high fashion piece.
  • In the Workroom: 
    • Michael C calls it an "advert" which makes me want to die inside.
    • Gretchen calls Michael C a copycat, but really they just picked the same horrid merlot color and she's being whiny. Honestly - get over it.
    • April works out a fabulous Bettie Page red lip and I continue to fall more in love with her.
    • Valerie, who had an incredibly unfortunate closeup of her hairy arm mole, has a breakdown in the bathroom. Ivy comforts her while we stare at the door for three minutes.
  • Judges and Tim: This week, Team Hostile was joined by Indian-born American fashion designer Naeem Khan. They continued to confuse me with their decisions, but we'll get to that. Meanwhile, Uncle Tim seemed in higher spirits than last week - and if you saw his now-removed vlog about the shit storm that last week was behind the scenes, I guess that's completely understandable. He was even dancing with Swatch, the Mood dog/mascot!
  • Bottom Three:
    • Michael Costello (Metallic) - He really has a questionable aesthetic, huh? It's all very quinceaƱera/tacky bridesmaid. There are occasional interesting embellishments, but overall I'm usually unimpressed. This week was no different. The high fasion look had way too much of that sparkly heavy fabric - the train was beyond insane and the proportions were completely unflattering. And the ready-to-wear look was too tight, too short and that chunky zipper in the back killed me. The judges commended him for the construction, but it was a total miss for me.
    • Valerie (Crystal) - After her breakdown in the bathroom, Valerie went back to work on a look that needed more than a pep talk from Ivy to fix. The high fashion look looked like a weird bridal gown with a crazed sleeve detail. The judges called it unimaginative, and Nina slammed it for being too "Miss Guatemala." The ready-to-wear was even worse, even more boring and even less related to the crystal theme than the gown - those three afterthought buttons tacked on just didn't cut it. Forget the fact that her model walked like a linebacker, Michael was right to label this look a total Xanax. 
    • Ivy (Bright) - Since she always uses muted, dull colors, I was thrilled that Ivy chose "bright" - a little color will do her good, I thought. Well, guess who was wrong. That electric blue high fashion look was a truly terrible prom dress gone wrong - an "under the sea bridesmaid" dress that made her model look old and fat. And while I thought her ready-to-wear look was a 100% improvement, the judges did not agree one bit.
  • Top Three:
    • Gretchen (Velvet): You guys. I cannot even handle that this was in the top three. The top three. The best designs! That horrible velvet, feathery kimono mess of a high fashion look was in the top! I drowned out the judges' commentary with my own screams of horror. It looked like Big Bird got in a fight with a 1970s couch. Horrid. Yuck. Fine, the ready-to-wear look was a huge improvement. But better than April?! Hellz no. Gross.
    • Andy (Metallic): Andy, on the other hand, was on his game this week for sure. His high fashion look was one of the only "high fashion" conceptual pieces of the bunch - like an alien got attacked by a bunch of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers in the most fabulous way possible. The detailing and blend of metallics combined with Andy's unique point of view made this a look a total 10 and, unlike last week, it was relevant to the challenge! His model looked like a total fierce maneater in his ready-to-wear look - it was wearable and subtle, but definitely belonged in the same collection as the first look. What a difference a week makes!
    • Mondo (Bright): And then, of course, there was our Mondo. What other choice did he have than to choose bright?! The Asian-inspired high fashion look had a wonderful combination of bold colors and houndstooth, with what Michael called a "dreamy, glamorous Kentucky Derby horse ribbon explosion" on the back. And the ready-to-wear look was totally commercial, simple and adorable - a slimming and refreshing look with impeccable construction.
  • And the winner is: Mondo, who now has $20,014 in his bank account and another win under his adorable belt. He totally deserved it and looked so darling during his L'Oreal photo shoot! Is he establishing himself as a front-runner, or will this success be short lived?
  • Auf Wiedersehen to: Ivy, who should've spent a little more time editing her horrid look than comforting fellow bottom dweller Valerie in the bathroom.
So not a stellar runway show - but at least no historical fashion icons were harmed in the process like last week. Next week the HP print fabric challenge returns - and with any luck no one will repeat the "ES<3SA" debacle of last season. Yuck.

    What did you think, fellow judgers? Were you more impressed than last week? Did you think Mondo was the clear winner, or should it have gone to redeemed Andy? And how many more weeks do you think we'll have to listen Gretchen complain about Michael Costello for no good reason? Sound off in the comments!

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