The Challenge: In uneven teams (because half the designers quit last week), and in one day, design a cohesive collection of women’s work wear and do an editorial photo shoot for it. Winner gets a spread in Marie Claire @ Work, which is apparently a thing? Except, don’t expect to be evenly judged upon whether or not your designs are actually suitable for work anywhere but a fashion magazine office. Or a street corner.
Guest Judge: The intimidatingly chic Joanna Coles, Queen of Marie Claire.
I’ve seen every episode of Project Runway, and most I’ve seen many, many times. I have never seen someone as needlessly rude and abrasive as Elena came off in this episode. I’ve seen obnoxious camera whores and borderline sociopaths, but this woman tore apart her team by verbally tearing apart their designs (though not producing anything remotely impressive herself). This episode was like an hour-and-a-half long Elena tantrum. Although she didn’t make the worst garments on the runway (that honor probably goes to Raul), she was the reason her team did not have a cohesive collection. Furthermore, the jacket on the left looked hideous on the runway, and the one on the right was completely unremarkable. And, surprise surprise, she did her linebacker shoulderpads again! I am incredibly ready to send her home.
Alicia, on the other hand, finally got to show off what she does best: PANTS! Pants with relatively normal crotches! Pants that fit, that were made in a day! And two very different pairs of pants, to show she’s got a little versatility. I’m not sure she can last too long in a competition that favors dresses, but she finally got to earn a little love from the judges for her strong skills.
Team 6: tops by RAUL OSARIO (Eliminated), skirts by SONJIA WILLIAMS
I’m far too lazy to look up the statistics of how quickly people are eliminated again once they’re brought back after a first elimination. Instead, I will choose a number at random and confidently state that 83% of those designers are eliminated the episode after they’re brought back. This time, it was for pretty good reason. These weren’t the worst overall looks on the runway, but that top on the left was really terrible, and the one on the right was unremarkable. Of course, I said the same thing about Elena, who also showed very poor construction skills and no originality, in addition to a psychotic personality. But I can’t argue with Raul’s elimination, not when he made such sad little pieces. And though some disagree, I loved the way he walked out – I like some of you, and I DO NOT LIKE YOU, ELENA – NO, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK! It wasn’t particularly high class, but hell, it was EXACTLY what I was thinking at the moment. I just wished a mic drop were involved.
Sonjia made two pretty, well-fitting skirts. The one on the right photographs well, but on the runway, she looked like she had a kangaroo pouch. Other than that, they weren’t too remarkable.
Team 6: dress by DMITRY SHOLOKHOV
You could not wear those cut-outs in a normal law office, not without a jacket, regardless of what a Victoria’s Secret model might believe. But that only seemed to bother the judges with Dmitry’s outfit, not the one they actually declared the winner (we’ll get to that in a second). Melissa’s did photograph better in the editorial shoot, but at least if you threw a jacket or sweater on Dmitry’s look, you could wear it in any office and be the most chic, stylish woman there. Hell, you could even wear a black cami under it if you’re sitting most of the day anyway. The same can’t be said for Melissa’s fabulous party dress. Like nearly everything Dmitry’s made this season, it’s simple, chic, sexy, and impeccably well-made.
Yes, this was bold and strong and fierce and fabulous, and Melissa deserved love for it. Hell, I’d love to have this and Dmitry’s dress hanging in my closet. But this crazy neckline (which I love) and the dramatic diagonal exposed zipper (which I also love) scream “let’s be the best dressed girl at the dirty dive bar where the punk band is playing,” not “let’s be the best dressed woman in the office.”
It’s fine office wear, but it looks identical to everything else Ven has made this season. It’s not exactly youthful or fashion-forward – in fact, it’s borderline matronly – but his strong draping skills and ability to appeal to the Nina-Joanna demographic saved him from any harsh critiques, as per usual.
When this went down the runway, I thought, “The skirt is beautiful, but that jacket is puffy and ill-fitting as hell.” Then the cameras cut to Christopher’s voice-over, and he said the exact same thing. I was impressed – usually the designers are wildly off in their reviews of their own looks, but Christopher’s self-evaluation was pretty spot on. This was another that looked much, much better in the editorial photo shoot than on the runway. But the skirt is downright delicious, and the judges were right that he was the only designer on this team to use that ugly print well.
This was extraordinarily dull and poorly fit, and I laughed at the pathetic half-turban on her head. What a sad response to the judges’ critique of putting more of his own personal style into his looks. A printed headband over a pathetic shift like this does not an outfit make, Fabio. He hasn’t made anything interesting to date – for me, that’s enough of a reason to send him home in the very near future.
Team 5: ensemble by GUNNAR DEATHERAGE (Bottom 3)
Joanna’s “two puppies wrestling in a sack” really hit the nail on the head, didn’t it? That bustline was absurd coming down the runway. I sure hope I don’t see titties flopping around like that in the office, I’ll tell you that. And other than the tit souffle, this dress was pretty unremarkable. Le sigh, Gunnar. You may have had some good one-liners this episode, but show me the design chops to back it up.
These pants are atrocious. Elena may have acted like an animal this episode, but she was right that no woman wears this much silk chiffon to the office. First of all, those already terribly draped pants will wrinkle in about ten minutes. Second, did I mention how hideously unflattering they are? Even if you could wear this to the office . . . why would you want to?
Judges’ Winner: Melissa
Diva’s Top 3: Dmitry, Melissa, Alicia
Judges’ Bottom 3: Elena, Gunnar, Raul
Diva’s Bottom 3: Fabio, Elena, Raul