Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 12

It’s the final challenge before Fashion Week, y’all! I mentioned this awhile back, but I feel like this season has gone on for a long time so, despite my overwhelming love for Project Runway, I am ready for it to wrap up. Overall, this episode was a bit “meh.” I wasn’t terribly inspired by any of the creations and the workroom “drama” was predictable, with everyone falling into the typical “Oh-my-god-it’s-the-last-challenge-before-Fashion-Week-and-I-have-to-pull-out-all-the-stops” poor me routine. Let’s discuss.

The Challenge: The designers trekked to Oheka Castle (where?), a place that, per Tim, was meant to “inspire” their designs but ended up feeling more like a meaningless field trip to Long Island. Also serving as an alleged “inspiration” was a slew of L’Oreal products (gotta get that product placement in!). All of these elements were smoke and mirrors, though, as the heart of the challenge was to create an avant-garde look. The designers were given $400 dollars and two days to create their looks which, given the nature of this show, was downright luxurious.

My Top Two:

  • Dmitry: This was just cool – I loved how Dmitry made a suit, but pushed it to the extreme with every little detail (and it looks even cooler when you see the model in profile, because of the sleeves). From the zig-zag shape of the collar to the pointy sleeves to the deep V in back, every detail was amazing. My one complaint? I wasn’t totally sold on the color of the fabric; it looked drab.
  • Fabio: This is not a design I would like in the real world, but since this was an avant-garde challenge, I think it fits the bill. I love what Fabio did to his coat – literally flipping it upside down. That was pretty ingenious, and I loved the way the jacket billowed on the runway. I was less sold on garment underneath, particularly how sheer the pants were.

My Bottom Three:

  • Melissa: Something about this just felt…tacky to me. I didn’t like the shiny leather top and vest, and I thought the high collar was a bit expected, given what we’ve seen Melissa do throughout the season. I also didn’t like the pops of coral; they seemed to clash with the rest of the garment. This was my least favorite look so, naturally, all the judges (except Heidi) loved it. I gotta go with Frau Klum on this one.
  • Christopher: Something about this just felt off to me. First, I didn’t like the way Christopher styled the look, adding feathers to his model’s arms – that felt like overkill. I also thought the design of the gown was a tad simple, and I hated the puffy hips, even though they were supposed to be the gown’s “avant-garde” element.
  • Sonjia: I didn’t like this, as it was a tad too Little Mermaid-esque. I also hated the random missing pieces up top. And, sorry to say, this didn’t look that different from your standard issue red carpet gown, so I don’t think it met the standards of an avant-garde challenge. I did agree with Heidi, though – the emerald green color was gorgeous.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “Me and Fabio have the same character and the same palette, so I want to see whose they like better…mine will be better.” (Christopher, capped off with what can only be described as a diabolical chuckle).
  • “But does that make it avant-garde or a mistake?” (Tim to Christopher, after Christopher said the avant-garde feature of his gown was fabric shaped to make the model’s hips look wider. Tim was right about this one).
  • “Unfortunately to me, it looks like an ice skating costume that, you know, Nancy Kerrigan skated through a banquet hall.” (Michael on Sonjia. Welcome back, snarky Michael!)
  • “It’s like an old lady’s answer to wearing a bare back dress.” (Michael on Sonjia. Someone was cranky about Sonjia’s look, huh?)
  • “To me, she looks like she has hairy forearms.” (Michael on Christopher. Spot on, I tell you).
  • “To me, she looks like she’s going to a funeral.” (Heidi on Fabio’s garment. I don’t know whose funerals Frau Klum is attending, but nobody I know wears anything like that).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Heidi always wears dresses that are way tight, short, and shiny, but the one she wore at the beginning of this week’s episode was pretty bad, even for her standards, amirite?! The dress she wore for judging was also fairly atrocious. Step up your personal style, Frau Klum!
  • Sonjia’s gold fabric, critical to her design, went missing somewhere between Mood and the workroom at Parsons. I always find it harsh that the producers don’t let the contestant retrieve their fabric when they make a mistake like this – it seems unnecessarily cruel.
  • Christopher has the best facial expressions; this episode, they ran the gamut from sheer bitchy disbelief to silent rage as he looked at Dmitry’s work in progress and deemed him the toughest competition. Say what you will about Christopher’s propensity for theatrics, but boy is always entertaining.
  • What do you know, Melissa had time management problems this week! Seriously, this happens Every. Single. Episode. You would think she might learn to manage her time a little better after so many challenges, but I guess not.
  • What was with every designer saying “Goodbye, Atlas!” each time they left their apartments this episode? Did Atlas suddenly decide they weren’t being pimped enough and encourage the show to work in a few extra mentions? It was odd.
  • I hate when Heidi asks each designer why they should go to fashion week and which other designers should come along with them. It’s just unnecessary drama creation which, I know, is the name of this game, but still. The show does this year after year, and it always annoys me.
  • This week’s guest judge? Zoe Saldana. I usually complain when actresses are guest judges (see: Duff, Hilary), but Zoe has got to be one of the more knowledgeable actresses when it comes to fashion. Her critiques were thoughtful and articulate.

The Result: Christopher, Dmitry, Melissa, and Fabio made it to Fashion Week; Sonjia was sent home. I really expected the producers the judges to send Fabio home before Sonjia and, even though I liked Fabio’s garment this week more than Sonjia’s, overall I would have preferred to see her go to Fashion Week.

(Judges, contestants, and runway photos via Lifetime; Michael Kors’s face of brilliance via Entertainment Weekly)

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