Project Runway Recap: S11 E3

The designers play dress-up with real-life Barbie doll Heidi Klum.

The Challenge: Heidi and her new perfume line are the client, so a boring runway show is guaranteed! Each team must make four commercial looks for Heidi to wear in the perfume’s ad campaign and two looks for her to wear to the press event. Since everyone knows Heidi only wears teensy, glittery minidresses and gowns with giant slits, there’s little variation in the silhouettes. To make matters more boring, they were limited to the color palette of Heidi’s perfume bottle. And every single designer was apparently contractually obligated to cry in this episode.

Guest Judge: Kristin Davis, inexplicably. She has little to no fashion sense, and what taste she does have is about as far from Heidi’s as you can get, so I have virtually no idea what she was doing here.

Winning Team: Keeping it Real, yet again. By far the worst part of sticking with the same teams week after week is that we’ll never get rid of the weaker designers on Keeping it Real while their stronger designers remain so strong. And the strong designers on Dream Team will never get the attention they deserve. Furthermore, since they’re not bothering to even out the teams as people go home, Dream Team’s chances of winning decrease exponentially every week because they simply can’t make as many garments with so few designers. Let’s shuffle the teams next week, producers, or this show will become even more dull and predictable to watch.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

At least the judges told Stanley and Richard that their looks were only safe because of the far superior work of their teammates. I didn’t think this was particularly terrible, but it certainly wasn’t good. It leaned too heavily on the styling to cover up the fact that there was very little construction to the dress – the necklaces, the bracelets, and the bow all just cover up a very simple, cheap-looking sheath.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This was the winning look for Heidi to wear in the campaign for her perfume, so congrats are due to Layana and Kate. Annoying “I’m going to finally show them who I am!” (well, what the hell were you waiting for?) soundbites aside, 23-year-old Kate did a beautiful job and worked seamlessly with her teammate to produce a sexy and interesting look. I didn’t love how wide the corset lace-up went in the back – it would have been so much classier if it showed a little less skin in the back. But it’s fabulous and it’s Heidi, so it was an all-around job well done.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I laughed out loud when this walked down the runway and Richard was SHOCKED that it made her butt look big. Um, what did you expect to happen when you added fifteen pounds of ruffles to her butt cheek? A real shame, because he ruined a perfectly adorable, challenge-appropriate dress with a really obvious and glaring mistake.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I liked the handiwork, but it was ridiculously sheer in the skirt, and it looked like she ran out of time to finish it.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Amanda’s completely annoying and kind of condescending, but she and Joe managed to meld their aesthetics into something fairly ordinary but cute and Heidi-esque.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The judges chose Daniel’s look for Heidi to wear to the press event (in spite of the fact that he designed it for the campaign). It wasn’t particularly innovative, but it was beautiful, and I agree with the judges that he worked the leather elements beautifully. I don’t love the seam right below the leather in the back, or whatever that puckering fabric is, but it’s very glam and very sexy. Daniel is one of the only designers whose personality I actually enjoy, and design-wise, he’s clearly the frontrunner of the group thus far.

Losing Team: Dream Team

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

It’s positively hilarious that Heidi found this vulgar when she wears get-ups like this, but I thought this was kind of cute and kitschy. I mean, I wished it looked a little less Bunny-like as well, but I wasn’t freaking fanning myself over it like Kristin Davis. (She came off like such a Charlotte in that judging panel, and in the worst possible way.)

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Great concept, but it was a little bit too ambitious for a one-day challenge and the construction in the back suffered for it. But from the front, that’s one hell of a look, and it’s styled perfectly. I think it was Daniel said, when watching this team’s looks come down the runway, “Samantha’s gown is EVERYTHING.” At least from the front, I definitely didn’t disagree.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I like Tu, but I’m starting to think he’s just ripping off Prabal Gurung week after week.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Allow me to go on a brief but necessary feminist rant: when this walked down the runway, Benjamin’s response was, “She’s too busty and the top is falling down.” I beg your pardon, Benjamin, but the problem is clearly not with your model’s barely-B-cup breasts. The problem is that you are an incompetent designer who is incapable of focusing or making any decisions whatsoever, and yet you never seem to shut the hell up. I was disgusted by the way he blamed his own inadequacies – namely, the fact that he can’t make a dress that allows the woman wearing it to have a pair of breasts – on his model. Like in his twisted mind, her disfigured, breast-having form made his perfect dress suddenly problematic. It’s a poor workman who blames his tools, and it’s a narrow-minded prick of a designer who blames his model’s tits.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Everything about this was awful. I don’t think any further commentary is required. Good riddance, Cindy.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Adorable from the back, but a little ill-fitting and awkward from the front.

Judges’ Top 3: Kate, Daniel, Patricia
Diva’s Top 3: Kate, Daniel, Samantha
Judges’ Bottom 3: Matthew, Benjamin, Cindy
Diva’s Bottom 3: Richard, Benjamin, Cindy

© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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  1. I loved Daniel’s look. When his model returned to the back of the runway and turn to exit, the skirt just flowed. It’s simple, and may not have been silk, but it made visible music when it billowed. Loved Patricia’s, and didn’t notice on TV that the skirt was too sheer. That aside, with some time and minor modifications, that leatherworking technique was creating a beautiful texture and it would have been suitable for a day appearance. I’m beginning to love Patricia, but I don’t think she’ll go all the way.

  2. Boy, Diva,do you ROCK this week! I also have no idea why Kristin Davis was there, but there have been other guest judges over these past seasons I didn’t understand too, so Kristin is just one more. And tho I agree with your opinions on all the designers & their creations, I thought what you said about Benjamin was particularly awesome! Besides blaming his crappy construction on his rather flat-chested (IMO) model, he’s designing it especially FOR a person who HAS probably a healthy C-cup! I’m so sick of these male designers that seem to be offended by tits, like they’re designing for someone with an unusual deformity. Sharpen your skills & design for MEN, then.

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful comment! I just get so angry when designers (particularly male designers) make it seem like having breasts, hips, or a butt makes you a freak. It’s Benjamin who has a problem, not the model. And you said it best – if you can’t design for a woman with breasts, then design for men!

  3. If we are blaming Tu for ripping off Prabal Gurung, I think we have to blame Samantha as well for ripping off Stella McCartney:

  4. Boy did you bite a chunk out of Benjamin’s butt and he deserved it! And I found it even more telling that he stood up there and lied about boning in the bodice or whatever the judges asked about….he’d just stated in the commentaries that he didn’t get to add anything supportive and then lied when they asked him about it….Why lie!? They’d already declared it a train wreck, lying about it was really pointless and pathetic. But loved the wins and felt Layana had less claim to the win after her meltdown over the color…glad it went to Kate who pushed for the vision. Thanks Diva.

  5. The sad thing with Richard’s was that he made a great dress—especially in the way he manipulated the stripes in the fabric—and then effed it up with that ridiculous pouffe. The man is like a painter who creates the perfect picture and then jus has to put on one more brushstroke and ruin the whole thing.

    Matthew’s and Ben’s, on the other hand, were totally auf-worthy.

  6. “just,” not “jus.” Guess I was thinking about food.

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