Project Runway: S10 E9

Between my birthday and the Jewish holiday, I almost forgot about Project Runway! Don’t worry, dear readers, I will spend my Days of Atonement repenting the lateness of this post.

The Challenge: It’s the Make-Your-Own-Print challenge! Design a textile inspired by your heritage while you’re weeping at the sight of your long-lost loved ones.

Guest Judges: Mondo Guerra and Anya Ayoung-Chee, both of whom seem to have become more annoying, cartoon-like versions of themselves.

CHRISTOPHER PALU
Bottom 3

Christopher was even more insufferable than usual this episode. He dug his own grave with his ridiculous “I hate prints!” proclamation – nothing will ensure your failure in a challenge faster than writing off the point of the challenge altogether. But even that didn’t piss me off as much as his defense of that obscenely overplayed exposed zipper – “the judges will love it!” because sadly, the judges have continued to cream their pants over exposed zippers for season after season, as if it’s even possible for a trend to be “new” for that long. And the zipper was only the beginning of this dress’s problems: it’s nothing more than a cocktail dress in an incredibly basic silhouette, it didn’t fit particularly well, and he covered up the fucking print! It wasn’t quite worthy of the auf, but it was damn close.

DMITRY SHOLOKHOV
Winner

Finally, finally, Dmitry showed the world what he’s truly made of. And what he’s made of is chic, modern, unique fashion for real 21st-century women. The photos hardly do justice to this jacket, which was truly a piece of art. Certainly my favorite garment of the season, and might even make an all-time-faves list (which I do plan on writing one day). Anyway, the print was bold, interesting, and used well, with the cut-outs in the jacket displaying the print just perfectly. The sort of floating effect of these cut-outs is just beautiful, the skirt is chic, sharp, and simple, and thank God he didn’t make another jersey dress.

ELENA SLIVNYAK

I don’t know what acid-tripping kindergartener came up with this print, but it’s awful. And although as an overall look, this was one of Elena’s more chic entries, I am not going to compliment another boxy, shapeless jacket just because it managed to distract me momentarily from how awful that print is.

FABIO COSTA

Fabio told his fellow designers and the audience that his print was an abstraction of genitalia, but in one of the greatest lines in Project Runway history, he confided, “I didn’t tell Tim it was penis and vaginas.”

Probably a good instinct, Fabio, since your print was barely visible on the runway. (Nina was squinting! Don’t make Nina squint!) And while I think I like this from the front (even if no one but Tilda Swinton could or would ever pull it off), the back is a mess, and the hair is offensive.

GUNNAR DEATHERAGE
Eliminated

Yeah, this ain’t good, but the judges acted like this was an aberration from Gunnar’s usual looks, which isn’t even remotely true. Everything he makes looks simultaneously a little too youthful and a little too matronly; everything he makes has that slightly strip mall feel to it; everything he makes looks a little disjointed and distracted. This was more of the same, but not worse – I’ve never been a Gunnar fan, but he didn’t do something so similar to his former work as to be fucking offensive (like Ven), and this wasn’t bad enough for me to hate. He got a lot of hate from the judges for that print, but come on – Elena’s was infinitely worse. So I’d have spared him from the auf-ing, but he’s been lucky to get this far. He was too green, but he grew on me as the season progressed, and at this point, I’m just so pissed Ven is still around that I can’t support any auf-ing but his.

MELISSA FLEIS
Top 3

I don’t think any of us expected Melissa to churn this out, but I think the absolute best thing a designer can do at this point in the competition is pull an entirely new trick out of their bag. It just serves to emphasize Melissa’s talent as a designer, because unlike most of her competitors, she isn’t forced to make the same outfit every week due to lack of ideas, ambition, or skill. I think the styling is a little obnoxiously Uptown Girl, but Michael obviously ate that shit right up, so I think it was a wise decision. And the dress itself is sort of classic and modern at the same time, which I love. It had an amazing amount of structure and detail that the photos don’t quite capture, and it packed a punch like little else on that runway. Dmitry’s look was beautiful, but it was more of a slow burn; Melissa’s dress smacked you right in the face with its fabness.

SONJIA WILLIAMS
Top 3

The pants looked really incredible on the runway, and I think the blouse is really interesting but just subtle enough to not turn this whole look over the top. But she was by far the most literal out of all the designers – I mean, she admitted to choosing red, white, and blue because she’s American, and black because she’s black, which doesn’t exactly make her sound like the Innovator. And I feel that she was clearly pandering to Mondo, who won this challenge in his season with a very high-waisted, carefully tailored pair of pants rendered in a loud, geometric print. But it was funky and stylish enough to put Sonjia in the top. However, if I see those blue suede pumps on the runway one more goddamn time, I’m going to lose it. I swear. They were hideous enough the first time; by now, my eyes are bleeding.

VEN BUDHU
Bottom 3

Ven can do one thing, and only one thing. He’s been proving that every single week; the judges just decided not to make a fuss about it until now. It was a little silly, having Tim come on the runway just to tell the judges yes, I’ve warned Ven of the dangers of doing the same fucking thing over and over and over again. I mean, what’s the difference, whether Tim said something or not? If Ven had talent, skill, or ambition, he’d have done something else by now; he hasn’t, and so he doesn’t, and so the fact that I’m still forced to write about this sorry excuse for a designer/human being is downright offensive. Tune in next week, when my prayer for Ven’s aufing will continue in earnest!

Judges’ Top 3: Dmitry, Sonjia, Melissa
Diva’s Top 3: Dmitry, Melissa, Sonjia
Judges’ Bottom 3: Christopher, Ven, Gunnar
Diva’s Bottom 3: Gunnar, Christopher, Ven

Photos courtesy of Lifetime via New York Magazine.

Can’t wait for my Project Runway recaps? Join the conversation live on Twitter during Thursday’s episode! See you at 9:00 PM EST, dear tweeters!


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