This week promises lots of tears. That’s all I got from the promo — crying and panicking. I have no idea what challenge is going to drive our intrepid designers into hysterics, but I’m predicting something big and scary. Maybe designing a frumpy housecoat for Queen Elizabeth or flattering outfits for the stars of “Mike & Molly” or something. Actually, that last challenge would only bother Ven. Yes, I have not forgiven him for being such a jerk last week. May he choke on a carefully constructed fabric rose, and soon.
Anyway, we start off with the usual quippy commentary from our designers. Christopher is hoping he’ll be in an apartment by himself in a few weeks. And he follows this with a very good Cher hair flip/O mouth thing. You know, that mannerism she has, when she covers her teeth with her lips. You know it when you see it. Anyway, it’s a very good imitation, really.
The women all put their heads together to plot for world domination. Sonjia wants more guys gone. They design crap that they want women to wear, not clothes that women actually want to wear! Alicia agrees. Heck, I agree. While I do like some of the designs we see from the “chiffonies,” we also see plenty of frilly, girly stuff that looks like it’s been made for four-year-olds, not grown-ass women.
The designers must go to Lord & Taylor’s flagship store to learn what their punishment, I mean challenge, is. Tim Gunn is with Bonnie Brooks, the president of Lord & Taylor! Gosh, didn’t see that one coming! The designers must create a cocktail dress that will fit in with a bunch of other dresses designed by contestants from previous seasons. And the winner will be sold at Lord & Taylor! And will be shown in the window of the store! Again, this is so surprising! Oh, and the retail price must be between $200 and $300. There’s no budget and they’re not going to Mood — the manufacturer of the dresses will be proving fabric and notions.
Gunnar LOVES this challenge. This is in his wheelhouse, it seems. He loves him some Lord & Taylor. Christopher is going to try to make the best gown ever! Though he doesn’t want to sound like a tool. Too late.
I think Dmitry is going to win this, just based on some of his very simple, well-made designs of the past. But I can’t rule out Sonjia. I’d like to rule out Ven. This seems like a challenge he could win, but I just don’t want him to.
After sketching, they’re off to the manufacturer… and there’s what, forty bolts of fabric to choose from? A bunch of bobbins? Now I’m seeing why everyone was crying in the promo.
Back in the workroom, Elena is struggling. She is not a Lord & Taylor girl. She is an edgy couture girl! We noticed, Elena. Just dial it down a bit, and you’ll be fine. Wow, she’s hitting the pink lipstick hard these days, isn’t she?
And by the way, has anyone else noticed that Elena is WAY ahead of everyone else in the fan favorite competition? She has 37 percent of the vote (the runner-up is Melissa). I wonder if she has roped together some bots to vote for her. I like Elena, I do, but she’s a whole hella lotta cray-cray. Not the type to usually win fan favorite, just saying. To vote, go to lifetimetv.com, by the way.
Elena thinks it’s weird that this challenge is so hard for the girls and so challenging for the guys. Sonjia thinks the guys are girlier than the girls — those darn silk “chiffonies”! Ven just thinks that men are stronger designers, while women are more… practical. Because they have to wear this stuff, Ven. Not like your extra-large ass. Actually, I’d like that to be a challenge — the guys have to wear heels and short skirts down the runway. It would serve no purpose, but it would be amusing.
It’s Tim time! He tells Gunnar to follow his gut and cover his entire dress with lace. Tim worries Alicia’s dress is a little bit Joan of Arc. Alicia thinks that’s a hell of a lot better than making a princess dress. Oh, Alicia. Tim tells Sonjia she can’t worry about what the judges think. Tim wonders if Fabio can deliver his dress at the right price point. But if he can, they’ll swoon!
Tim tells Elena her dress is impossible to put into production. Elena starts crying. She’s a couture designer! She doesn’t do mass market! Tim tells her she needs to take this as an opportunity to think about the bridge designs, how she can deliver herself to a mass market. Elena can’t understand why she’s never noticed! She’s one of a kind. But she isn’t.
I hate to say this, but Elena’s “unique” style is actually right on trend. Hakaan is doing that boxy, quilted top thing right now, and I see a lot of Thomas Tait in her silhouettes. This doesn’t make me like Elena any less — but it does make me want her to shut up about being unique. Rather, she’s totally tapped into the zeitgeist, which can only be to her advantage. I just hope the judges start to figure this out. Even so, she may still be too couture for “Project Runway.”
Ven is making a dress with a rose and tells Tim how brilliant he is. Sonjia thinks he needs to move on, while Christopher thinks Ven’s dress looks like something a 13-year-old girl would wear for Christmas. Christopher is on fire this week!
Tim likes Dmitry’s dress. He also likes Christopher’s dress. But Christopher is worried about putting it into production. I think he should be more worried about doing the same shreddy, strippy thing again. Tim suggests Melissa look for another fabric if she can, as she’s starting to hate her bronze brocade. But all the other fabrics are black or more silk-based! Tim then suggests she look at her dress on her model. Melissa doesn’t want to use black! Eeek!
Gunnar wants to make a dress for Fabio, because he knows he’d wear it. Fabio nods. I wonder if Fabio has the legs for it.
Elena notes that all the girls seem to be struggling — including her. Melissa decides to toss out her first dress and construct it all over again in a new fabric. Fabio thinks someone should give Melissa a hug, because she is freaking out. She’s so far behind — please don’t let this be the week someone sends a model down the runway naked.
A commercial break — but before that, the promise of freaking out, naked models and tears. Oh, my.
We return to the show and find it’s ten minutes to runway — and Sonjia bursts into tears. Her dress isn’t fitting on the model! She has to sew the girl into the damn thing! Then Melissa starts crying. Oh my God, it’s like the back row at a Nora Ephron film festival. Tim tries to assure Sonjia her model looks good. If she fakes it on the runway, she’s fine! I never expected Sonjia to fall apart like a soggy Kleenex, so this is quite upsetting.
Time for the runway! Heidi announces the designers are doing the “Lart & Tayl-ohr” design challenge. She makes me laugh, that Heidi and her little accent. Our judges are Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and, of course, Bonnie Brooks. From Lart & Tayl-ohr.
This is nice. Very simple. Well sewn. I can’t fault it for anything. A lot of women could wear this, and it would work for the office or out to dinner.
I actually like this a lot, but I wonder if it isn’t too Star Trek at the neckline. But the fabric really works. Go figure.
Did he get this off the rack? Seriously. It’s nice, but I’ve actually seen this at Macy’s, I think. Possibly in the bridesmaid section.
There’s an apron-y quality to this, but the back of the dress is so great. I think Elena freaked out for no good reason.
Hey, look, that shreddy thing again! The skirt is beautiful, but I don’t love the top only because it doesn’t seem to fit that well. And it’s so pale.
She has a popped collar? Ew. This looks like a bad polo shirt run amok.
Peplums are kind of last season, and I also kind of hate them, so I don’t love this. Still, Sonjia also seemed to freak out for no reason. Yes, there are some sewing issues, but they’re not awful.
It’s nice. But I’m sick of the rose thing now. He and Christopher need an intervention.
I like this, and I do think it fits into the existing collection. Just a little glimmer. Nice.
Ven, Dmitry and Sonjia are all safe. Sonjia must be so glad. But Dmitry is pissed. Why can’t he win one of these damn challenges? I actually don’t have a good answer to that, because he’s been very, very strong in this competition, if you ask me. Ven thinks the guys are on the top and the girls are on the bottom. Shut up, Ven.
Fabio is first. Heidi thinks he did a very good job. Michael thinks he did asymmetry well, but he doesn’t love the zipper. Eh, I didn’t mind the zipper. Bonnie would wear the dress. Nina loves that it’s versatile.
Christopher is next. Heidi announces he’s also one of the top designers. She likes the washed out color. Michael thinks it’s well made and well-crafted, but he’s over the shredding. TAKE THE HINT, CHRISTOPHER. Bonnie like the lightness and strength of it. Nina doesn’t think it would work on many people, but thinks it would be a nice addition to the Lord & Taylor collection.
Melissa’s turn. She also had a high score. Michael likes the neckline, because it’s surprising. He doesn’t like the asymmetry, though. Heidi thinks it’s a showstopper. Nina loves the fabric. Bonnie thinks it’s ingenious, except for the hem. Yeah, now that I see the whole thing, it is a weird hemline. But I really didn’t notice it on the runway.
Gunnar steps up. He has one of the lower scores. Nina thinks it’s been done before. Michael thinks it’s a dress they already carry at Lord & Taylor. I think he’s right. I mean, it’s cute on the model, but it does scream grandma. He thinks it’s blah. Bonnie thinks it lacks fluidity.
Elena talks about her dress. Heidi tells her she had one of the higher scores. Elena starts crying. Heidi doesn’t understand. Why is she crying? Elena says she’s been struggling through the whole competition, and she especially struggled with this dress. Heidi thinks the dress is flirty and fun, so Elena should smile and be happy, yes? Nina thinks the back of the dress is beautiful. Bonnie thinks it’s very French and fun. It’s for a more specific customer, but that customer exists. I don’t think Bonnie would wear this dress, though. Michael thinks she found the yin yang of “she’s nice but she’s nasty.” That sounds about right.
Alicia is last. She tries to tell them it’s vintage Chanel-inspired. Heidi thinks it’s actually quite pretty, but why does she say she can’t do a feminine dress? Still, she thinks it’s a fine, simple dress. I think Heidi is too kind. Bonnie thought it was lost between an office dress and a cocktail dress. Nina thinks it’s too mature. Michael thinks it looks like a field hockey uniform. That’s it! Oh, Michael. I don’t always loves his designs, but he is so super quippy.
Christopher… is the winner. Really? He did the shreddy thing again! Come on! Didn’t all the judges just say that this dress was not for everyone? I do agree, the collection needed another gown, but it’s a shame that they’re adding one in such a blah color that is also pretty repetitive for the designer. Fabio is in. He offers to make Bonnie one of the dresses. Elena and Melissa are in. Alicia is… in. And that means Gunnar, who felt so confident he was going to win, must be going home.
Dmitry is sad. He liked Gunnar! And he doesn’t like many people!
But Gunnar is also in! The judges decided that everyone met the requirements for the runway this week, so no one is going home. Woof! Tim is so pleased that he doesn’t have to send anyone to the workroom to clean up their space! So, it’s a happy ending, I guess. The only thing that would have made it happier is Dmitry finally winning something or Ven having to send a model down the runway half-dressed. Maybe next week.
Do you think Christopher deserved to win? Did you like his Cher imitation? Were you surprised at the top four and bottom two?