Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 6

This week’s Project Runway will forever be known (in my mind, at least) as the one that featured an incredible transformation: see Ven go from mildly offensive to flat-out jerk in record-breaking time. While we have see many instances over the years of designers clashing with their clients, Ven just might take home the top prize for all-time worst (which is truly saying something when you think of the showdown between Jeffrey and Angela’s mom in Season 3).

The Challenge: This week, the designers were given the traditional (and traditionally hated) challenge of giving “real” people a makeover. It never fails to baffle me that the designers react with shock and disgust every time they have to design for a person who isn’t a size 0. Honestly, I know it’s a different body type, but is it really that difficult to make a few adjustments? Apparently it is, as most of this week’s designs were lackluster. In fact, I wasn’t even that crazy about the ones I put in the top.

My Top Three:

  • Christopher: I liked this dress a lot, particularly how well it moved on the runway. True, there wasn’t much groundbreaking here; on a stronger week, this would have been solidly middle-of-the-pack in my book. But among what was presented, this was one of the few flattering looks. The dress was cut well and I loved the shade of grey he chose.
  • Dmitry: Yes, this is a crazy simple garment, but it looks incredibly well-made and professional. I loved the color he chose and the tailoring was impeccable. The bodice work on top was also fun. I would have given Dmitry the win this week.
  • Elena: Like Christopher’s dress, I would have considered this a middling look on most weeks. However, I did think Elena made her client look good; you could just tell she was happy when she walked down the runway. I do question the top though – I’m not sure the slight ruffle along the bottom is flattering.

My Bottom Three:

  • Nathan: When Nathan’s client asked for terribly tacky things and he started obliging her, you just knew he was doomed – doing whatever the client wants without any regard to what’s, you know, fashionable is always the kiss of death in these types of challenges, as any longtime PR viewer knows. Though his client was happy, Nathan’s dress was truly awful – it was too tight and the fabric was horrendous. It looked very ’80s to me, but not in a fun way.
  • Alicia: I was surprised this look escaped the judges’ wrath. To my eye, this looked trashy and cheap. The dress was too skimpy and I didn’t like the cutouts, the shape of the dress on top, or the super thin straps.
  • Ven: This was awful, particularly since Ven chose ugly fabric and cut the clothes in the least flattering way possible. I loathed the color of the top and those sleeves simply aren’t doing anything for her. I also thought he placed the skirt’s slit in the absolute worst place. Again, it was just unflattering to her figure.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “This is the first time I see Elena is actually being nice to someone, so…it’s about time.” (Oh, dour Dmitry. I love you so. Never change).
  • “Maybe if you had a different designer, we would have found a better outfit for you. Ven, it’s your fault.” (Heidi to Ven’s client. Loved it).
  • “To me, you look like a hoochie mama” (Heidi on Nathan’s dress. Accurate assessment, I’d say).
  • “It is so super short, which makes it a little slutty looking…it needs to be a little longer because otherwise it looks like you’re going to work…somewhere else.” (Heidi, who was on fire in terms of bitchiness this week).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Dmitry remains my favorite designer of the bunch. As the episode began, Dmitry said he was losing confidence because he hasn’t won yet. This reminds me: why hasn’t he won a challenge yet? He absolutely should have at least one in the bag. I hope my favorite Belarussian ballroom-dancer-turned-designer keeps his spirits up.
  • While Ven came off terribly this episode, other designers really shined. I thought Elena treated her client quite well (especially given her past outbursts), but it was Gunnar who took the crown. He had a wonderful attitude this week, saying, “I think it’s extremely important to design for the everyday person…I make clothing for regular women who want to look great.” This begs the question: has Gunnar transformed over the past few episodes, or did the producers just edit him to look awful at the beginning of the season, only to reveal now that he’s a decent guy?
  • I loved Heidi’s takedown of Ven. Heidi: “I always find it so amazing when you guys say you ‘had to design for a real woman.’ Like, who is not real?” Major snaps, Frau Klum. You tell him.
  • Another Heidi note: her dress this week was fantastic. Absolutely loved it.
  • This week’s guest judge was Alice Temperley, who designs pieces frequently worn by Kate Middleton and is therefore awesome. I love when PR has guest judges like Temperley and like Rachel Roy last week: successful, smart designers whose opinions have real weight and thought behind them. Dear PR: more of this, less of Hayden Panettiere, please.

The Results: Fabio was declared the winner (for a grey dress with a mismatched brown belt, whaaaa?) and Nathan was sent home. Considering that Nathan has been a non-entity most of the season and Ven has been consistently good, I’m okay with this outcome, despite the fact that Ven was awful (both design-wise and human being-wise) this week.

(Runway and judges photos via Lifetime; Michael Kors’s face of brilliance via Entertainment Weekly)

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