The excitement I had a few months ago for the return of Project Runway is now completely gone, having been deleted by the squabbling over the originality of a big sweater coat. I've had one for better than a dozen years--hey, it's practically vintage now--so, there, I win. I invented it. Now the griping can end. Fat chance on that!
Two guys, four girls, and 40 zippers.
As the designers ready themselves to face the next challenge, Logan and Christopher note they are the last two guys still in the competition. Irina echoes the sentiment in the women’s apartment, saying the fashion world is dominated by men but women should be heard because women know how to dress women. Christopher contemplates his slide from the top to the bottom and wonders what he has to make the judges get his vision. Althea thinks the top three are going to be her, Carol Hannah, and Irina, which is nearly universally agreed upon by the viewing public.
The designers await Heidi on the runway with their backs to the stage. All they know is that there is some mysterious rustling sounds behind them. When Heidi arrives, she has them turn around and on the runway are prior winning looks for each of the designers. Well, except for Logan—he’s never won a challenge so the producers picked the long black and grey gown he made for the red carpet challenge back in the first episode.
Heidi arrives and has them turn around to see their winning looks. She tells them that they now have to make a companion piece that complements their prior designs and sends them off to Tim in the workroom. He gives them 30 minutes to sketch, $100 for shopping at Mood, and the rest of the day to create the new looks.
Althea’s winning look—the black paper bag waist short skirt and short black jacket—inspires her to make pants and a voluminous black jacket. Irina’s winning look is the Aspen outfit; she gets that the challenge is to see what potential the designers have for making a whole collection. Gordana’s grey dress from the divorcee challenge inspires her to keep with the edgy details. Christopher’s winning short dress inspires him to make a long gown, because, he says, gowns are his strength.
Fabric shopping is filled with the usual mayhem. Logan buys 40 zippers to go crazy with details. Christopher buys 30 yards of white shiny material. Irina finds a print she loves and decides to make a dress rather than the separates she sketched. Carol Hannah’s winning look was the sequined and feathered black dress; she’s avoiding those details and can’t decide between making pants or sticking with her dresses-only thing. Tim consults with her a bit; she says dresses are in her comfort zone but she’s never done pants. Tim says if she’s going to push her design aesthetic, she’s going to need to be in somewhat of a comfort zone.
Back at FIDM, Carol Hannah still isn’t sure what she wants to do, so she grabs some coffee and plays with her fabric. Irina’s vision is a more polished and serious version of the Aspen girl. Althea sets out on working on her pants; she’s got some draped and Logan says they look like Malvin’s chicken & egg pants. Understandably, Althea is not pleased with this comment.
With merely eight hours left on the day, the pressure is on the designers. Carol Hannah seems to have made some decisions on the direction of her dress, but is still fussing with her options. Logan is still in a bit of shock that he’s there, and notes the difference between being back in Iowa and working on cars and dresses with greasy hands. Gordana also talks about her poor past in Bosnia, the daughter of uneducated farmers, and now having a chance at fashion world success. Christopher works on his white mountain of fabric. Logan still can’t quite get Christopher’s use of 30 yards of lining; he thinks Christopher is a one-note designer (volume, volume, volume) and uses cheap fabrics. I’m not going to disagree.
Tim arrives and chats with Carol Hannah; he agrees the dress is a scary mess. He gives her some advice about the fabric and she gets inspired. Irina shows Tim her fabric inspiration for the dress; he says that it is unexpected but to keep the sweater with the dress. Christopher explains his gown, but Tim thinks the new look is like the mother’s dress to the original winning design. Althea says she is looking forward to the model fitting to get the pants fit right; Tim agrees the pants are scary right now and look like they’re waiting for a diaper. Tim is excited by Logan’s black dress and zillion zipper collar. Althea is pissed that he’s stolen her collar from the Xtina challenge. Gordana says she’s keeping it edgy and not finishing the edges on the jacket. He tells her to stand by her design on the runway if that’s what she’s going for. He likes that she’s taking risks. Tim’s time with Gordana is intercut with Althea and Irina eating and Althea complaining about Logan stealing her collar idea. Irina thinks Althea should say something to Logan.
Tim sends in the models for fitting. Althea figures out her pants, Irina thinks Christopher’s dress is throwing up another one. After getting the pants fitted, Althea whines to her model that Logan stole her collar idea. Althea can not let it go! Christopher works a lot on applying the petal details and is having a time crunch issue.
The next morning, it’s back to the workroom. Carol Hannah still has a ton of work to do, but it seems that Irina is done and is gloating a bit about it, just from her expression. Logan is back wearing his shiny silver pants and shoes, either in case of a Tin Man competition or to distract the judges. Althea is busy hand-sewing a big sweater, and Gordana needs a hook and eye. Althea lets Gordana look through her bag to find one, but she can’t. Irina refuses to help Gordana, because she this is a competition and she always gets what she wants. Meana Irina indeed.
Tim sends the models in with an hour to go before the show. Althea’s model comments that Carol Hannah’s dress is pretty; Althea comments that all Carol Hannah ever does is dresses and wonders when the judges are going to come down on her for that. Gordana thinks she is showing an edgy look, while Logan thinks it’s old and something not even his grandmother would have. Althea decides not to say anything about Logan copying her collar; meanwhile, Irina thinks Althea copied her sweater from the Aspen challenge. And we all know Meana Irina will say something.
The battle of the silver pants.
Heidi arrives on the runway to start the show. Usually she looks lovely, but for some inexplicable reason she’s wearing silver long shorts, a hideous pink print button down top, and a blazer with ¾ length sleeves with some kind of shiny elbow detail. Maybe she was doing a test run on a “Fashion Victim” costume for her famous Halloween party or she lost a bet with Nina. Anyway, the judges are Season 2’s Nick Verreos, who also teaches at FIDM, Nina Garcia, and Kerry Washington, actress and L’Oreal Spokesmodel. The show starts and we see:
Carol Hannah’s short, mostly black dress with cute pockets. There is some color under there in the layers of the skirt but my non-HD tv doesn’t let me see them.
Althea’s black paper bag waist pants, white tank, and oversized grey sweater coat.
Logan’s short black dress, with zipper collar, faux leather wide belt, and a poofy skirt with sparkle detail.
Irina’s fitted short dress made of the print and tapestry fabrics in brown and a oversized brown sweater coat.
Gordana’s long grey jacket and black skirt.
Christopher’s long gown of a black top, silver leaves around the knees, and layers of white fabric at the bottom.
The judges talk to all the designers, with Christopher going first. He says he kept the petal detail from the first look. Nina thinks the proportion doesn’t work at all; it looks like a carnival float. Nick thinks there should have been some editing, and Heidi hits the nail on the head by saying the bottom looks like a bed skirt. Kerry just sees two different gowns. Irina then explains that this is the evening look companion to the first Aspen look. Nick sees a former Russian model who married a millionaire. Kerry thinks it is elegant and cozy. Nina sees luxury in the sweater, but thinks the dress looks cheap. Heidi thinks Irina did a great job for $100.
Gordana says she added an elegant element to her edgy design. Heidi thinks it is terrible, and made her model look old, sad, and drab. Kerry thinks it looks passive and doesn’t want to be noticed. Nina finds the long jacket dated and Nick thinks an office worker in Warsaw would be the only one who would wear it. The judges move on to Carol Hannah; Kerry loves the simplicity and color. Nina loves the lightness, and everyone agrees the pockets are cool.
Logan sees his dress as a “wow” piece appropriate for the VMAs, which just causes the judges to quietly laugh at him. Nina says it looks like a fashion student’s work, Nick says it’s 80’s and Judy Jetson. Althea then explains her tailoring; Heidi loves the pants and Kerry loves the sweater. Heidi asks who had the first idea of the big sweater. Althea says her was in her sketch; Irina counters that she did a sweater in the last challenge. Nick explains that when you’re working in a group, sometimes it happens that people make similar looks. Irina can’t figure out how that can happen in a room of just six people and Althea says again it was in her sketch. Heidi loves it and so does Nina so they shut down the bickering.
During deliberations, Heidi notes Irina always makes clothes people can wear and Nina likes that Irina thinks about the luxury of the clothes. Althea’s design is architectural yet cozy, and the model loved it. Carol Hannah’s dress was beautiful, young, sexy, and elegant. They could all wear the dress. Logan’s 80’s music video girl dress was just an indulgent fashion student look all about zippers. Gordana didn’t deliver on edgy or elegant. Christopher’s dress was just a bed skirt on an otherwise okay dress.
After one of the toughest decisions yet, the designers return to the runway. Carol Hannah is safe, and….Althea is named the winner, much to Irina’s irritation. Irina is in, obviously, and somehow Christopher’s bed skirts get him a pass. It comes down to Gordana and Logan; Gordana’s suit had nothing to do with the cool dress—it was drab. Logan’s dress was just a bunch of zippers and needed editing. Gordana is then allowed to stay another day, so Logan and his shiny pants are out. There can only be one silver pants wearing person on the runway, and that’s gonna be Heidi. Tim tells Logan he’s a great designer and we’ll hear more from him. I think this is the only time I’ve ever not heard Tim say “clean up your workspace.”