Project Runway Season 10: Lord and Taylor’d
…and then there were nine. Nine! After tonight there will only be eight going into fashion week! Finally, Lifetime will have cut most of the chaff before throwing the contents up with their lines in a tent at Lincoln center in order not to “spoil” our top three.
Damn, that dress Heidi is wearing is bronze. She asks the assembled designers if they are tired, and swears she is too. Yeah, no. Somehow I doubt she is as tired as the contestants. Something about these one day challenges forcing them to work for our amusement until midnight just strikes me as far more exhausting.
They meet Tim at the Lord and Taylor flagship store, so this is one of the sponsor challenges. There are nine mannequins with evening style dresses designed by past ProjRun contestants. The challenge is to design the tenth dress that goes with the collection. The winning dress will be featured in L&T 5th Ave windows, put into production, sold in stores, etc. The dress needs to be retail priced between $200-300.
The nine dresses (click names for close up):
- BackRow: Chris March, Jay McCarroll, Bert Keeter, Mondo Guerra, Nick Verreos
- FrontRow: Korto Momolu, Uli Herzner, Seth Aaron, Gordana Gehlhausen
Did we mention this is a one day challenge? Tim makes sure to point out how simple the designs are of the nine in front of them. There’s no budget. JS Collections are the manufacturer for L&T, so there’s no shopping–there are fixed fabrics that they must work within, though no one to price out how much of each fabric they use.
Gunnar is all excited because the L&T customer is the “Lifetime Lady” he designs for. Yeah, I’ve seen what you make buddy, and I’m not sure L&T agrees. Let us remember that of those who are left, Gunnar is probably the weakest. Christopher is swinging his dick around about how only two of the dresses are floor length, so he’ll design a full length one rather than a cocktail length dress. He’ll design the best gown ever! He then announces he sounds like a tool. Self awareness! THE CONTESTANTS ARE SHOWING SELF AWARENESS! Whatever. He’s going to try to at least partially recreate the dress he first showed in the opening episode in 24 hours. Are we surprised? No.
Since they’re not going to Mood, there is a portion of the show where they go through what JS sent them. Elena is trying to figure out how to merge her aesthetic with L&Ts and swears her mind doesn’t work that way. She’s already huffing. We are expecting a meltdown in 5, 4, 3, 2….
In the workroom, the gossip turns into girls vs guys, which gives Ven a chance to announce men are stronger designers, while women are more “practical.” Sure, you fat sexist pig. Let’s go to Tim’s walk through, shall we?
- Gunnar–Tim thinks it looks gorgeous, which puts Gunnar’s mind at ease, since he was worried it might come off “old lady in a casino.” The belt, on the other hand, is cut as “too matador.”
- Alicia–She’s doing something “Chanel inspired.” She’s putting pleats in bad places. Tim says it looks “a bit Joan of Arc.” Somehow she takes this as a compliment.
- Sonjia–She’s having a meltdown over being in the bottom last week. Tim tells her to stop it. That is all.
- Fabio–His little back dress had a visible zipper down the back. He passes the “I’m thinking about how much this will cost to make” quiz Tim gives him.
- Elena–Tim likes her “cut outs” idea, but worries it would run too expensive, and says this is going to be too “one of a kind” and it won’t sell. Aaaaaand…1. Here is Elena’s tearful meltdown. Like crying, sobbing in front of Tim meltdown. Sigh. Tim says this is her opportunity to bridge the gap to a mass market. He believes in her.
- Ven–Tim notes that he’s got the origami fabric rose as his signature, and then suggests that he shouldn’t throw away all of his other ideas for this one signature bit. I would like to take this moment to note we never seen Ven have an idea outside of the origami-ing of fabric.
- Dmitry–Tim calls what he’s got going on his dummy visually interesting. Dmitry says he’s trying to make something that looks expensive and complicated without it actually being either of those things.
- Christopher–Tim says his gown is sophisticated and has elegance. Christopher is worried about making his feathered look for production, but is insistent he needs his signature look to be part of this if it wins and sits in a window for all to see.
- Melissa–She’s doing another high “turtle-ish” neck, but the fabric is not cooperating. Tim tells her to go find a better fabric out of the bin. She’s not sure there’s a better one in the bin, at least not one that isn’t being used by someone else.
Melissa’s model loves the fabric when we get to fitting, which somehow convinces her not to change it, because models are fabulous judges of things. But once the dress is on the model it doesn’t lay right. So she’ll use the same fabric, but start again anyway.
Day of runway, and Melissa is soooo behind. Fabio complains it’s making him anxious. This really is the episode of meltdowns. Now it’s Sonjia’s turn. It’s time to go to the runway, and she just snaps. Complete sobbing freakout. Apparently the dress isn’t going on the model properly? It’s not 100% clear what exactly is wrong, except that Sonjia is just unable to function. Tim has a peptalk with her to pull her together and get her out of the room. “Channel Your Inner Winner!” He commands.
On that note, let’s go to the runway!
Good lord, Heidi’s sequined pink dress is godawful. She later calls it a “pink disco ball.” She may have lost her fashion sense in the divorce, but not her sense of humor. The guest judge is Bonnie Brooks, the head of L&T.
Sonjia–It’s very eighties. That UFO frame around the hips hasn’t been in since 1989. But it’s not a complete disaster. The unfinished hem that she was incoherently sobbing about to Tim looks fine. The bodice isn’t the greatest, but it’s no trainwreck by any stretch.
Ven–I hate that the top and bottom are two different fabrics. He should have picked one and stuck to it. He says “I’m confident I’m in the top….or safe.” Yes, you are safe. Now shut up.
Dmitry–Is it finally time for Dmitry to win? I say yes. I love the racing stripe seams down the front. I love the color. I love the cut. I think the only think I’m not in love with are the earrings. HE’S ONLY SAFE?!?
Fabio–The front is really boring. The most interesting part of the dress as it comes down the runway is the necklace from the accessory wall. The only interest the dress itself has in the shoulder line and the zipper in the back. But the judges love it. Heidi calls it versatile. Kors like the asymmetrical hemline, saying how hard that is to pull off without looking “Guinevere.” He doesn’t like the zipper up the back though, which is odd to me because I think that’s the most interesting thing about the dress. Bonnie says she would wear the dress–and Fabio makes sure to tell her to call him any time and he’ll make it for her. Nina calls it “classic” and “cool.”
Melissa–Personally I think she made the right choice when she stuck with the same fabric on the recut, but you can see where the high alien neckline is seamed onto the rest of the dress quite clearly on the closeup. It also seems a bit too tight on the model, and weirdly wrinkled. Kors loves the bronze fabric and calls it “dark glamour.” He doesn’t like her asymmetrical hemline though, saying that the point down at the ankle makes him want to hang a bell on it. Heidi calls the dress a show stopper. Nina loves the neckline. Bonnie calls the neckline ingenious, especially since the dress is strapless. She thinks it would look great in the window, but of the Top 4, it is the toughest to sell.
Elena–This is what happens when you force Elena to edit herself. The fabric is questionable–it seems a bit stiff. The feminine cut is feels a bit forced. But it is certainly different. (“Who puts a harness on a babydoll dress?” asked Christopher earlier in the episode. You know who does? That girl!) When Heidi tells her she has one of the higher scores, she bursts into tears of gratitude. Heidi is shocked by this emotional response. There, there Elena! We love your work when it’s not Romulan shoulder monsters! Heidi in particular loves the harness on a flirty dress. Nina calls the back “extraordinarily beautiful.” I’m not quite sure I’d go that far, but it’s far more interesting than, say, Fabio’s dress. Bonnie calls it “fresh and fun,” which strikes me as a bit incongruous. Kors says she took her “nice but nasty yin yang” and found the balance. His one criticism is that he doesn’t think it’s for an older women. Bonnie disagrees, saying an older artist would totally wear it.
Christopher–How to take his signature look and make it for the geriatric set. I’m sorry, I’m over Christopher’s feathering thing. I hate the light pink with the long black gown. She looks like she should be lugging a cello off to practice. But what I really hate is how the back looks. FUG. But the judges aren’t over Christopher’s feathering thing. Yet. Heidi loves the dress, even the ballet pink top. Kors likes that it looks like separates. He does heavily hint that next time they will be over the feathering though. Nina says “elegant” and “sophisticated”, but feels it wouldn’t work on many people. Bonnie agrees with Nina, that she doesn’t think it would move hundreds of units, but it does something she feels none of the others quite achieved, which is that it goes with the rest of the collection. He wins. Ugh. I get it, but yuck.
Gunnar–He went really simple, out of a sequinned, lacey, and most of all busy fabric, which is good because it hides all his construction weaknesses. The response from the judges is a huge yawn. Nina calls it expected, and complains: “I’ve seen this.” Kors says “They carry this at L&T already,” while rolling his eyes. He then adds: “Blah” and “Mother of the bride” for good measure. Heidi compliments the construction, but notes her taste doesn’t count, since she is currently wearing the aforementioned pink disco ball. Bonnie shakes her head that lace is unforgiving and therefore not popular. Nina says “boring,” while wrinkling her nose, and Kors say “nice but bland.” Bonnie says “not special enough to be in a window.”
Alicia–Oof. I take it back about Gunnar being the weakest. I forgot about Alicia. The idea is great. The execution is borderline disaster. I feel bad for her. This is supposed to be tailored, but the fabric isn’t stiff enough. From the front the dropped waisted skirt doesn’t look that bad, but when you take a gander at the back you realise the whole waist is slightly cock-eyed to the point where it’s a full half inch off where it meets at the zipper. Alicia, knowing she’s in the bottom, insists this challenge wasn’t a good one for her because she can’t do feminine. Heidi is slightly insulted, and demands to know why she doesn’t think she could do a feminine dress. Bonnie feels the idea is there, but the finished piece is lost between the office and the cocktail hour. Nina says she can see Alicia tried to bring something different, especially in the collar, but that it reads mature. Kors gets that she’s about structure, but this looks like a field hockey uniform, and then says “Amish.” It’s neither sporty nor dressy enough. It bothers Heidi that Alicia says she “can’t” do sexy. Kors and Nina agree there’s something there in this outfit, but that Alicia didn’t quite make it in her execution.
But between “not quite getting there” and “boring Nina” we all know what’s going home……..
That’s right. With Kooan leaving the other week and them never bringing anyone to replace him there was always going to be a week where no one went home. What surprises me is that they played the card BEFORE fashion week, and not after. Oh well. I guess if the Project Runway show first thing Thursday morning, there will be nine lines after all.
Next week: Three teams of three. (So THAT’S why no one went home this week.) Dmitry asks what did he do in a past life to deserve this.