Project Runway Recap: S10 E10

Rockettes! High kicks! And by God, sequins!

The Challenge: Design a new look for the Rockettes, bitches! The winning look will actually be worn by the Rockettes in a performance, so maybe make something they can dance in? No? Okay, then.

Guest Judge: The Unsinkable Debra Messing, in all her gay-icon glory. Christopher practically came when he saw her.


You can’t go wrong with the New York skyline in a Rockettes challenge, particularly when you’re sitting in front of some of the New Yorkiest New Yorkers in New York. These judges love a good Chrysler building moment, and Christopher was smart enough to know his audience. However, and this is a big however in this challenge: Sit behind the fifth row at a Rockettes show and tell me you can even see that it’s a skyline. And I know Rockettes are all the same height and everything, but at least some of them have to have tits, right? How does a woman with breasts – not even huge ones, just plain ol’ non-model breasts – wear that skyline? I thought it was innovative and beautiful, but the hemline on that skirt looks like hell in the back, and I’m not convinced it allows for enough movement.

Top 3

I loved this. The neck line is beautiful and the cut-outs are stunning – I know Debra Messing thinks they’re a little slutty for a show that children see, but they’re clearly done in nude fabric, which can easily be done in a less naked shade. Anyway, what made this look incredible was the detailing. The black trim on each cut-out, those super-flattering (well, on a model/Rockette body) stripes across her hips that you don’t notice right away, and the absolutely perfect flapper skirt, which moved beautifully. Dmitry had his period of redundancy, but I think he’s back to showing off his excellent technical skills and his creativity to boot. I’m thinking it’ll be Dmitry and Melissa in the finale, but I’m not set on who else will be joining them.

Bottom 3

Lolz, I totally forgot how awful this was until now. I mean, even if you pick the wrong fabric – and then pick even more of the wrong fabric on your second trip to Mood – surely SOMETHING should have told you not to throw on every blue glittery accessory on the accessories wall. This was the trashiest, tackiest, cheapest-looking shit I’ve ever seen – but at least Elena designed something. The same can’t be said for Ven.


That metallic armor-looking fabric is really beautiful, but the gray jersey-looking fabric he paired with it is so drab. It’s the Rockettes, Fabio! Live a little! And more importantly, show that you have a stronger point of view than this before the judges forget who you are entirely. He can’t hide in the “safe” zone from here on out, and I think once it’s a top-or-bottom moment for Fabio, he might not be up to the challenge. He’s got skill, but I’m not convinced he won’t crack under the pressure.

Top 3

Despite some construction issues and that weird, accidental “1” on the dress, this was actually a fun, chic look. I didn’t understand why so few designers went for bright colors – this pink was the first shade that came to mind when I heard “Rockettes,” because I’d want something that pops no matter how far back you’re sitting. Unfortunately, this had some practical issues, like that stupid fucking neckline Melissa keeps doing that never turns out quite as well as she thinks. I liked the styling, but she strayed too far from the fact that real Rockettes have to be able to dance in this. And let’s not forget that literally every single one of her competitors stopped their own work in order to help finish her dress. I sincerely hope that’s the last time they’re doing her work for her, because she’s already a creative threat to the rest of them. She might be slow, but they’re the ones who need all the help they can get.

Bottom 3

Sonjia, count your blessings that Ven didn’t design anything at all, because that was virtually the only thing saving your ass during this challenge. Everything about this is shocking and awful, and I don’t think I can beat the judges’ “disco turkey” description, so let’s just leave it at that.


I knew it. We all knew it. As early as episode four, I wrote, “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.”

There you have it, dear readers. Last episode, the judges very explicitly took away his one trick – calling Tim Fucking Gunn out onto the runway for the first time in the show’s history to make a big show of it – and now our little pony is trickless. And so he made a dress. That’s about as much as one can say about this, because it’s so underdesigned, it’s laughable.

But before we depart, a joyful limerick to celebrate Ven’s auf-ing:

For weeks I had dreamed Ven would go,
That gross, undeserving ego.
Can’t handle all sizes?
You won’t win no prizes.
And your pleated roses? They blow.

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

Photos courtesy of Lifetime via New York Magazine.

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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5 responses to Project Runway Recap: S10 E10

  1. Ivyfree

    They made a big deal about costume having to pop to the balcony, and Christopher, who had a pretty good idea, makes it in white/silver and nude? Damn, the first time I saw that I thought: those stars will show up much more if the top was either black or deep blue, instead of nude. He’d get two more rows just by making that change.

    I loved Ven’s design that got him into the competition, I just got tired of him making it over and over. I think he’s a designer who has to make fifty thousand permutations of his idea before he’s worked it through, and then has to go hunting for another idea.

    I really like Sonjia as a person, but I have no idea what she was thinking of with that molting muppet. This is where you grab the shiny and push the limit, and she goes with purple feathers and a completely sexless top. She ought to have gone home just for producing the ugly. Ven’s was undesigned, and not really a costume, but it wasn’t actually ugly.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Tom & Lorenzo said the same thing about how the top of Christopher’s dress should have been done in midnight blue – it really would have popped. And I agree on Sonjia – love the person, but “molting Muppet” is hilarious and spot-on. Thanks for reading & commenting! ❤

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