Project Runway Recap: S10 E4

Excuse my perpetual lateness, dear readers; I had another travel-filled weekend that left me little time for snark and judgment (well, about Project Runway, at least). Can you forgive your travel-weary blogger? She is, after all, a “woman on the go,” whatever the fuck that means.

The Challenge: In one day, create a versatile, comfortable look for a “woman on the go” that represents your aesthetic as a designer. That way, no one but the judges will have any idea what the constraints of the challenge actually are, allowing the producers full control to critique these poor designers based on whatever the fuck they want. Furthermore, the designers were apparently required to spend the majority of the day not sewing, but freaking the fuck out over Andrea, who quit the competition by sneaking out in the middle of the night and refusing to have contact with anyone (clearly, age does not yield maturity), and Kooan, who also quit the competition, but not without hugs and tears and half the other designers trying to convince him to stay while admitting that they, too, want to get the fuck out.

Guest Judges: Returning judge Rachel Roy, who gave very helpful commentary, and Hayden Panettiere, who seemed to believe this challenge was “design a red carpet look for Hayden Panettiere.” Which it wasn’t – at least until the end of the episode.


There are fit issues galore, and I can’t tell if that collar is supposed to be skewed in an interesting way or is just falling off of her. But Alicia managed to give us her tomboy-chic take on a “woman on the go,” and I think she had some good ideas and a point of view. It’s comfortable, versatile, and stylish, which I think were the three most important things to focus on in this challenge. But she’s got to iron out the details and show off some real execution skills if she wants to stay in this competition.


Kudos to Rachel Roy, for saying the thing I’ve been thinking through ten season of Project Runway: as a designer, if your look is 100% dependent on a belt (particularly one you didn’t design), well, that’s not much of a look at all. I have had this same thought so many fucking times that I think I actually applauded after Rachel’s comment. Throwing a belt on a tacky pillow case is not designing and constructing an original garment, as far as I’m concerned. I honestly thought the judges would keep Buffi around a little longer, just for her crazy hair and beautiful accent and overall quirky-girl vibe, but I can’t say I disagree with this elimination. This doesn’t even reach the floor for being half-assed; I’m officially coining the term “quarter-assed” for a look this lazy and uninspired.


What the hell is so versatile about a black evening dress? Don’t even try and tell me you can wear this in the daytime. You can’t. (Well, you can, but you’ll be indistinguishable from college chicks on their Walk of Shame.) And I completely disagree with the judges, who thought this looked expensive and elegant – I think these fabrics could not look more cheap and synthetic. He did some decent stuff with them – certainly the jacket was a great idea – but pretending this looks expensive is a fucking joke to me.

This isn’t related to the dress, but I think it merits discussion: When faced with Fabio’s too-short skirt, Christopher snarked, “I can see her fish whistle from here!” Listen, I’m all for fun nicknames for the vagina, but they have to have some root in logic. That’s why calling it a “Britney” never ceases to amuse me (because, remember 2007 when Britney was flashing her Britney getting in and out of every single limo ride she took? Good times). But what, pray tell, is a fish whistle? I’m sure Christopher has little to no experience with vaginas, but he’s going to have to do better than “fish whistle” to impress the likes of the Democracy Diva.


Perfectly executed, very chic and stylish, comfortable, effortless, versatile, and everything else that makes this the clear winner of this challenge. This was the only dress I looked at and thought, “whatever the hell a ‘woman on the go’ is, I bet she’d wear this dress in a heartbeat.” Good styling, great shape, lovely detailing – Dmitry’s on a total different (and higher) level of talent than the rest of his competition. These immensely stupid judges, who critique everyone’s work based on “I’d wear that” (or “I’d make that,” in Michael’s case), are the reason Dmitry hasn’t won a challenge: since Heidi and the guest-judge-of-the-week don’t want to wear his designs, they are apparently therefore unworthy of the win. Why bother assigning a challenge at all if week after week, the judging is almost exclusively based on the personal wardrobe of the judge?


I thought this was a truly terrible entry. Usually, I’ll give people brownie points just for managing to make pants or sleeves (let alone both) in a one-day challenge, but Elena blatantly ignored the constraints of the challenge, and no one bothered to call her out on it. Tell me, ladies and gentlemen, who amongst you enjoys traveling in pleather pants so skin tight you can’t breathe, let alone walk? What on earth is versatile, attractive, or comfortable about that linebacker jacket – the same silhouette she’s now repeated on every challenge. She spent the whole episode snarking at her competitors’ dresses, saying “Who wants to travel in a dress? Pants are so much more comfortable!” Well, NOT YOURS, ELENA. She should not have escaped the bottom three when she ignored the constraints of the challenge so completely. For God’s sake, I don’t think the width of that coat will fit down the center aisle of a plane, bus, or train, so this “woman on the go” better not be going too far.


You can pick this up at any mall in the country. It wasn’t the worst thing on the runway, but if Fabio’s got an original creative thought in his head, he needs to show it to us, and fast. And if you can’t sew the print together in a straight line in the back, well, don’t bother using a print at all.


I’d wear that skirt in a heartbeat – I think it’s interesting and very beautifully made. But it’s not particularly “woman on the go” – it’s hard to go anywhere fast in a high-waisted pencil skirt. And that top isn’t particularly great, and it certainly doesn’t go with the skirt. You can still feel his customer, that wealthy southern lady, but he needs to edit and figure out how to combine his different skills together in a more stylish way.


I loved this. It looked dramatic and fabulous on the runway, and I usually hate this Olsen Twin “let’s throw a thousand layers of dark fabric on and call it an outfit” aesthetic. But it wasn’t haphazard, it wasn’t just a mess of fabric, it was intriguing and more complex than it might seem at first glance. And as far as comfort and versatility goes, layers really are the best way to accomplish both those goals. I just hope our dark little princess isn’t afraid of color, or I’ll be tired of her by next week.


Now that he’s proven just how terrible he is at styling, I’m not sure he’s got a shot left in this competition. The matchy-matchiness of this outfit is truly awful and outdated, and this burnt mustard color is just terrible on his model. It’s a shame, because I respect this weird cape-dress combo even though it’s not my style. But rendered in this color, with the mustard shoes and purple purse? No, no, NO, Nathan.


For me, this almost beat out Buffi for the worst look of the week. I’d only save him from elimination over her because he at least attempted to do something interesting. But this is one sorry attempt, because the execution is so horrible, there’s almost nothing else you can see. The pants had black side panels to hide the fact that Raul completely mis-measured and he couldn’t get his pants onto the model. That vest-coat-poncho-apron thing is one of the ugliest garments I’ve ever laid eyes on – but that’s kind of par for the course with a “we just eliminated you but surprise! you’re back!” situation like this one.


There’s no reason this won over Dmitry. None whatsoever. When two dresses are rendered in almost the same fabric and color, it’s pretty easy to compare them and decide which is better; I can’t believe they thought Sonjia’s entry was the winner. Don’t get me wrong, she did a good job, but I didn’t think something this dull and lumpy deserved much attention at all. It’s simultaneously overdesigned (in how many places does that fabric need to twist?) and underdesigned (it’s still booooooring).


So, Ven gets to make the same dress every week, and no one’s going to say anything about it? Seriously? I’m sorry, Ven, but no matter how well you can do your one trick, you are still a one-trick pony. I beg you to show us something new and prove me wrong.

Judges’ Top 3: Sonjia, Christopher, Dmitry
Diva’s Top 3: Dmitry, Christopher, Melissa
Judges’ Bottom 3: Raul, Fabio, Buffi
Diva’s Bottom 3: Elena, Raul, Buffi

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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5 responses to Project Runway Recap: S10 E4

  1. For me Dmitry was the winner. But I agree with the judges: in just any real color it would be perfect. Remember those good old days, when designers choosed color not black or anything that is nearly black?! Maybe we need a new PR rule: Don’t use nude and black. It just gets boring.
    off topic: for your german: Maybe we just start with: Hallo (hello) Schön das ihr meine Seite besucht (I’m glad your visit my page) ;O)

    • democracydiva – Author

      There was far too much black and gray on the runway, which was unfortunate for Dmitry. It would have been great in any color, but I loved it in that gray – I think the color made it extremely versatile. (But if it were going in my closet, I’d want it in a bright color!)
      And if I could ban designers from doing more than one all-black look in a row on the show, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
      Thanks for the German lesson! I just tweeted that in German so if you’re on twitter, follow @democracydiva. ❤ Thank you for commenting!

  2. nelly

    I totally agree that there was no reason why Dmitry should have lost over Sonjia. I could definitely imagine myself wearing his dress to a business meeting for Dish! Besides, the judges even commented how much they loved that Sonjia went with a gray instead of black, but somehow Dmitry’s gray was not up to par. I know he’ll win this next challenge, and I can’t wait to see it happen! Luckily, I upgraded my DVR to the Hopper just in time, which lets me watch or record up to six things, or else I’d be torn between watching this and Shark Week! It’s just as fun to watch designers tear each other apart in the work room as it is to watch sharks shred things. LOL!

  3. Eva

    Thank you so much for the german comment especially for me. It was nearly completly correct 🙂 And I apologize for all of my mistakes, at least you don’t herar my funny accent. For me Dmitry is the winner, second Sonia ans on the third place Gunnar with his adorable skirt. Did anyone visit mylifetime yet? Elana is the fan favourite???? What happens there?

    You want to know the reason why I am so thrilled by Project Runway and your recaps? We don’t have any real fashion show here at the moment (except Germany’s next topmodel with Heidi which gets more and more broing, one show takes 3 hours, of which one hour is advertising and one other hour is Heidi Klum repeating “Only one can be Germany’s next Topmodel bla bla bla). There wa a TRY about three or four years ago calles “Fashion & Fame”. Maybe you want to watch the final show “Welcome to Miami” (first collection with pupet heads on shoes) and you will get why I miss a real german runway show.

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