If you were to watch only the previews for each episode of this season of Project Runway, you might think it was actually a season of The Real World. Ambulances speeding to the hospital! Breakdowns on the runway! Accusations of cheating that bring this season screeching to a halt! But you and I, dear readers, know a different story. A story in which publicity departments do their best to bump up the drama in a season that perhaps isn't as chock full of drama as we originally thought.
Let's take a look, shall we?
- Challenge: Heidi brought the models out onto the runway and I once again thanked all that is holy that Models of the Runway was cancelled. Then, for the first time in weeks Heidi gave the designers their challenge—create a look for Heidi's New Balance activewear line to be sold on Amazon.com (you know, the internet's fashion hub). The definition of activewear seems a little broad, but the goal was to design basic, retail-driven clothing.
- Twist: After Heidi tore the workroom to shreds (more on that later), she announced that each designer would need to create two more looks for a total of three. At this point, I questioned why we had to sit through the model elimination if ultimately they would need 18 models. And to help with these extra looks came six previously eliminated designers: Peach, Casanova, Valerie, Ivy Michael Drummond and AJ. And as much as I just wanted to watch Peach and Casanova for the whole episode, it was another of the auf'd designers that took center stage...
- In the Workroom:
- Finding inspiration in Heidi's line, the designers all go for neutral boring colors at Mood. April worries about Mondo and says, "If you took his prints away, it would look like Ivy did it." Zing!
- Heidi comes in to check on the designs and totally disses Mondo, who has a melt down and is a little snippy with Frau Klum. Shouldn't he be ready for diva supermodels if he wants to be a major fashion designer? I'm sure this was tame for Heidi, who also lashed out at Gretchen for her fabric selections.
- Ivy, still bitter about her elimination, starts to stir up drama about Michael Costello cheating in the Jackie O challenge. Personally, that challenge was such a disappointment I wanted to slap Ivy just for bringing it back up. Of course, when Michael fought back she couldn't take it and Uncle Tim had to step in as the voice of reason. No one saw the tape that the girls supposedly saw him use to hold up the dress, therefore Ivy had to shut the eff up.
- Peach and Casanova.... oh wait. We didn't get to see Peach or Casanova do anything. Boo!
- Judges and Tim: The judges actually had some sense about them this week and were joined by Norma Kamali, American sportswear designer and one helluva great guest judge. Heidi was extra snippy this week since the winner's design would be sold as a part of her collection—the claws definitely came out. Meanwhile, Uncle Tim wasn't as much of a presence this week since Heidi came in the workroom with him. Thank goodness he was around to slap everyone out of that "cheating scandal."
- Bottom Three:
- Michael Costello [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - The "big cheater" produced a collection that looked fit for Pilgrims going for a jog. The choice of orange was a big miss and the pants were just plain odd. Then out came the hooch dress with a belt that was a major error in styling. The clothes didn't look easy breezy and the accessories were trying way too hard. Once again, his lack of taste came shining through.
- Christopher [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - These looks were just sad, boring gym clothes. The hoodie made here shoulders look abnormally wide and the odd color blocked dress was so unflattering (Michael called it a "sad face dress"). Each look was cheap and unrefined. By the end, the judges were calling the collection a "pajama party at the retirement village" and a "big bowl of sawdust." Ouch. Good thing he's still cute, right?
- Gretchen [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - I thought 2 things before Gretchen's looks came out: 1. Gretchen always designs clothes for herself; 2. Gretchen doesn't look like the type of person who would wear activewear. Those two thoughts were enough to prepare me for what came out on the runway - confused, bizarre looks that had nothing to do with Heidi's collection. There was way too much going on, too many pieces and the model's thighs were eating those shorts (thank you, Michael). On top of all that, Gretchen was once again a total bitch on the runway. She started by dissing Heidi's line and then took the judges' criticism horribly.
- Top Three:
- Andy [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - After completely losing his way last week, Andy produced three looks that were completely "him." The clothes were exciting and wearable with great fabric combinations. I was concerned that the odd shapes wouldn't fit Heidi's collection (and that they looked incredibly similar to the lululemon logo), but overall the judges felt the clothes were special, luxurious and light.
- April [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - Besides the strange mullet dress and the fact that the clothes were a bit of a stretch for "activewear," April produced some great looks. She combined her aesthetic with Heidi's, which is exactly what the challenge required. Loved the asymmetry and the arm bands. She is definitely one to look out for as we near the finale.
- Mondo [Look 1] [Look 2] [Look 3] - Despite his mental breakdown, Mondo turned out three amazing looks. The colors he chose were unique and fun and I loved the inspiration of the triangle, circle and square with the matching headbands. Classic Mondo whimsy. He was one of the only designers that made something flowy that didn't resemble a garbage bag, and Norma Kamali complimented him for making clothes that would look great on a hanger. My definite favorite of the night.
- And the winner is: Andy, who ended up having all three looks incorporated into Heidi's collection! Click here to check out the full line on Amazon.com (and notice that the lululemon logo is no longer on the hoodie).
- Auf Wiedersehen to: The beautiful Christopher Collins. It was definitely his time to go, though we will all miss staring longingly at his
So now we are left with five designers—Andy, April, Gretchen, Michael Costello and Mondo. Next week will determine who will continue on to Fashion Week and compete in the finale. Keep a look out for my Top Three prediction in the next few days! In the meantime, what did you think about this week's episode? Do you agree that Ivy's voice is like nails on a chalkboard? Are you sad we didn't get to see more of Peach and Casanova? And how wonderful was it for Gretchen to get her second bitch slap of the season?! Sound off in the comments!