Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 9

This week’s Project Runway featured a time-tested theme: “let’s humanize the designers we’ve previously depicted as Bitchy Fashion Villains by having them break down in tears when their families visit.” Even though they do this every year, I will admit that it was pretty cute to see the designers get so worked up. Even Robot Ven shed a few tears. Look, everybody – Ven is becoming a real live boy!

What about the fashion, you ask? Let’s get down to it.

The Challenge: Egregious product placement alert: it’s the HP Touch Smart Challenge! Tim tasked the designers with creating their own pattern, which would then be printed into fabric for them to use in creating a look that reflected their heritage. While I liked the idea of the designers getting the chance to design their own textiles, I was a little less thrilled with all the shilling for HP.

My Top Three:

  • Dmitry: I adored the cutouts in the jacket; they looked so cool. I also loved his print – I just thought it was a pretty pattern. The judges complained that the print was “hidden” under the jacket, but I thought it looked fantastic that way. Bravo, Belarus, yet again.
  • Elena: This was the first time I think I have ever liked a design of Elena’s. This look was cool, modern, and wearable – all without losing Elena’s signature aesthetic. She created a very interesting print too. Nicely done.
  • Melissa: I loved the pattern Melissa created, perhaps because it was so un-Melissa. The cut of the dress was simple, but it fit very well. It’s not a revolutionary garment, but I give Melissa high marks for doing something so outside her comfort zone.

My Bottom Three:

  • Gunnar: I was really bored by this; it was just a jacket and a skirt, with nothing at all innovative going on. I wish Gunnar had used the print for the dress instead of the coat.
  • Ven: I initially found Ven’s dress non-offensive, but the more I looked at it, the less I liked it. The dress almost looked cheap to me – just a cheap white fabric and a slightly tacky print. I didn’t like that Ven only used a strip of the print; the asymmetry just didn’t work. I also thought the rose detailing on the skirt felt odd (not to mention, we have seen it a million times from Ven).
  • Christopher: Two words: snooze fest. This looked dark and drab, and it’s a silhouette we’ve seen many times before. I also hated the gathering of the dress in the front. Overall, this outfit just looked sad.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “Everyone’s prints are kinda crazy. Dmitry’s…kinda looks like cowboy handkerchiefs…Elena’s is like a kindergarten doodle.” (Christopher, clearly the arbiter of taste when it comes to printed fabric).
  • “Sonjia’s print, I’m not sure. Right away I thought pajamas. I don’t get it.” (Oh Ven, do you really “get” anything besides sculpted rose bodices?)
  • “I see an homage to a menstrual cycle…I just hope no one’s offended by it, because they look like maxi pads.” (Thank you, Tim Gunn, for providing a literal laugh-out-loud moment).
  • “To me, she looks like a Hawaiin airline hostess…I’m just waiting for her to put this lei around my neck and welcome me.” (Heidi. Over the years, Frau Klum has really gotten snarkier, perhaps because she’s learning from the best in the business – Michael and Nina. Love it).
  • But the print itself is not compelling. It looks like a sheet of postage stamps. She looks like a suburban twirler, but she’s missing a baton and a hat.” (Once again, Michael says two completely different things within the same thought, yet the combination of ridicularity is compelling).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Christopher said he couldn’t believe the competition was “half over.” To that, I say, “is that all?” What does it say about this season that I feel like it’s been dragging on forever? I love me some PR, but I’m a little surprised we’re only halfway there, if Christopher is to be believed.
  • Gunnar said he needed to win the competition so that, among other things, he could “buy his mom a boob job.” Um, for serious?
  • I loved seeing everyone’s families. Some favorites? Dmitry getting a video message from his dad (“Greetings from your family in Belarus!”) and Fabio’s super adorable boyfriend. Awww!
  • This week’s guest judges: Anya and Mondo, winners of the past two seasons. While Anya offered constructive criticism, Monda was a tad bitchy. Perhaps he was tripping on his new found power from being on the other side of the runway, so to speak. Also, Mondo telling someone that something is over-designed? Pot, meet kettle. You’re both black.

The Results: The judges gave Dmitry the win – finally! Thank you judges, for finally taking notice of Dmitry’s awesomeness. The judges sent Gunnar home, which felt right – as with Alicia last week, I felt it was “his time” to go. Gunnar left on a very positive, grateful note – he made a classy exit, and that’s the best way to go.

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

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