Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 7

This week’s episode of Project Runway was a bit of a snoozefest, to be honest. While the producers attempted to create a “rivalry” between the men and women, it wasn’t that compelling. Curiously, not even seeing several of the women melt down in the workroom could make this episode exciting; something about it just felt dull and expected. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone sent dark colored, muted cocktail dresses down the runway. While I agree with Heidi that there were “no real trainwrecks” this week, there weren’t any showstoppers either (with the possible exception of Melissa’s garment). Let’s discuss.

The Challenge: Tim tasked the designers with creating a cocktail or evening dress. The winning look will be manufactured as a part of the Project Runway Capsule Collection at Lord & Taylor. While this was a cool opportunity for the designers, the parameters of the challenge (using Lord & Taylor’s selection of fabrics and keeping the dress relatively inexpensive to manufacture) seemed to stifle the creativity in most of the designers.

My Top Three:

  • Melissa: I absolutely loved this look. Her model looked like a chic space alien (I mean that as a compliment) and stood out from the crowd. The fabric was a cool choice and the fit of the dress was visually interesting. The high collar was awesomely unique (though I did see a bit of side boob peeking out; I’m not quite sure that is very Lord & Taylor).
  • Christopher: I liked that Christopher took a risk and made a long gown (everyone else made a cocktail dress) and I thought this look was simple but stunning. I loved the pale top and it paired perfectly with the black gown at the bottom.
  • Dmitry: I adore the fabric Dmitry chose and I love how the dress was pleated from top to bottom. It fit perfectly and looked well-made, as Dmitry’s clothes always do. My favorite Belorussian ballroom sensation continues to be robbed, week after week. In the words of Gob Bluth, come on!

My Bottom Three:

  • Ven: Womp, womp: this look left me bored to tears. This just was not visually interesting on any level. Maybe I have soured on Ven after last week’s fiasco, but I wanted the judges to call him out for doing more of the same.
  • Alicia: Something about this look felt “off” to me. I didn’t think it was a bad dress, but it was missing something. The drop waist looked strange – like it was accidentally droopy instead of deliberately designed that way.
  • Gunnar: This looked cheap – it was just too shiny, almost to the point of being leather-like. The design of the dress did not feel special either; I feel like I have seen that silhouette many times before.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “Simple dresses are harder to make. You can’t really hide your mistakes behind the ruffles, drapes, and details…I think a lot of the designers are going to have a problem with that.” (My favorite dour Dmitry quote of the week).
  • “I think men are usually stronger designers while women are a little more…practical.” (Oh, Ven. Will you never learn to pipe down?).
  • “It kind of looked like a holiday garment. Like I could see a 13-year-old girl wearing it for Christmas.” (Christopher on Ven’s dress).
  • “Who puts a harness on a baby doll dress? I don’t get it. I don’t wanna get it. I don’t like her.” (Christopher on Elena. I’ll admit, this made me chuckle).
  • “Unfortunately, you ended up with something that almost looks like a field hockey uniform, ’cause I think even the neckline, she looks…she’s Amish.” (Michael on Alicia’s dress. These two things – field hockey-esque and Amish – make absolutely no sense together and yet I love it, if only because Michael said it).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • The episode began with a thought-provoking observation from Sonjia: “I think men design clothes that they want women to wear. Women design clothes that women actually really wanna wear. Like, what we create is way edgier and harder than the beautiful silk chiffon-ies.” I’m not sure I totally agree, but doesn’t that sound like the foundation for an interesting women’s studies or sociology thesis? (Nerd alert!)
  • When Elena’s hair is down, doesn’t she look like Morticia Addams? Kind of? Anybody?
  • Gunnar continued his streak of kindness this week, giving Elena a pep talk during her mini-meltdown. I’m beginning to suspect that the producers were seriously manipulating us by painting Gunnar as a “villain” at the beginning of the season.
  • This week’s guest judge was Bonnie Brooks, the president of Lord & Taylor. I know she was the appropriate guest judge for this challenge, but yaaaaawn. Bring back Alice Temperley!

The Result: Christopher is the winner; and…nobody is out! While I was glad that nobody got sent home as nobody was truly horrendous this week, I think it’s silly that Heidi tried to pretend that was the reason for the non-elimination. Nope, it’s because two people quit earlier in the season and you have a pre-determined number of episodes to shoot. Nice try, though, Frau Klum.

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

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