E: A one time winner cheats fashion death! The judges make a truly unfathomable choice! And a designer lies, bald-faced, to lead them to it. We also have Michelle Obama’s inauguration suit designer, accessories, a jewelry maker, a hardware store, and a dirty vacuum cleaner bag. Saddle up, friends; it’s unconventional materials week on Project Runway!
Michael Kors and Tim meet the designers at Michael’s Soho store, where he tells them the challenge is about ingenuity and accessorizing. They’ve got to make an outfit and corresponding accessory (not all of which are shown) out of whatever they can find – at a hardware store! Hence the title. Hard WEAR, get it? Cute. We get a lot of panic. The designers think they’re all ten going to be in the bottom. It’s all about as wearable as you’d think, and there’s not a lot of color, either. There’s a LOT of copper flashing. Still, there’s some fun stuff. And you have to give everyone props, because, seriously, who makes clothes out of hardware? You do, Project Runway designers. You do.
The Top Three:
Jay Nicholas pulled out his second win. I’m not always his biggest fan, but I was rooting for him this week. Along with the judges, I was pretty damn impressed that he made bias cut garbage bag pants look like leather. I liked the shirt, too, with the ruched tiers and the electrical tape that looked like ribbon – and I admire his ingenuity and perseverance when the pants shrank during sewing and he had to retool them on the fly. His braided belt accessory also amazed; I have to admit, that came out way cooler than I thought it would because of the way he tied it. Very impressive, dude. He’s also put Brittany in a wig – a sleek dark brown chin length bob. It makes her way edgier and it makes me think she should do that permanently. I know long hair is an asset in a model (it gives lots of options) but it made her look so fierce!
Mila took the runner-up spot again, for color blocked, black and white paint tray liners. The bodice was pretty stiff, but the tiered skirt with alternating shingles of black and white was really great. And it’s absolutely something that Pink would wear, which was her target audience. Brandise is the perfect model for this look. The accessory is a bracelet made of some sort of – well, it looked like a big plastic label. The fifth judge, who is a jewelry designer, goes gaga for it, because it has writing on it.
Maya made the top three by making three extraordinary pieces that wowed the judges. Given the praise, I don’t know how Mila snuck into the number two spot. She had a strapless mesh gray cocktail dress under a sort of macramai jacket with an amazing necklace made out of keys, mesh and dog chains. The necklace was the star; is that why they didn’t rate you more highly? It was lovely to see your confident creativity, though. She’s got Lorena in really sleek, high hair and it all pulls together.
I would have placed Amy in the top three over Mila, had I been a judge; I loved the fan details she made with alternating colors of sandpaper, and the Art Deco tiling . What a neat idea! Maybe the skirt was too boring? Even though she got it to move? Because, frankly, that’s kind of a feat. I really hope she lined it, though. Poor Monique if it wasn’t! I’m sure there was an accessory, but I didn’t notice it.
Part of me wants to smack Seth Aaron for having the makeup artists stencil a big black S A on Valeria’s neck. This man is way too in love with his branding. Branding should not look like an actual brand on actual skin, dude. I like the black strapping on the mostly bare back, but eck. Very Judy Jetson, what with the flared short skirt and silver molded bodice. You get props from pounding out sheets of metal, but I do not like the end product. He gave her a metal armlet from elbow to wrist. That certainly goes to the futuristic theme, anyway.
Well, the copper dress did indeed suit Cerri’s coloring, Jonathan, and it was indeed impressive you were able to get the bottom of the asymmetrically tiered skirt to move, but all those flaps and crisscrossing were a bit odd. It didn’t feel cohesive to me. I’m glad you were happy with it, but you are going to have to do something actively good soon, dude, rather than just middling, or else the judges are going to remember you’re here, and not in a good way. His accessory is a copper clutch.
Ben pounded and crinkled up copper flashing in order to make a backless sheath dress that stood away from Allison’s body. He thinks it looks like futuristic armor, which is totally his bag. I liked the back, anyway. Copper’s a good color for her, too. There were side panels, perhaps to make her waist look smaller? Or just add detail? This was a serious middle of the pack look – not too offensive, not too interesting. The accessory was, what? A bracelet?
The Dreaded Bottom Three:
Finally, we have non-metallic color! Anthony, I must have bad taste, because I thought your boring lilac cocktail dress with mesh overlay was really pretty. Did they ever say what you used to get that color? And yeah, I know that what they hated was the fact that it was pretty. He didn’t understand the challenge, they said. It looks just like a regular dress you’d find on sale someplace. He doesn’t get any credit for the sleek silver belt, then. Well, sorry, but Tim never said the garments had to look like they came from a hardware store. I still like it. And I can’t believe they preferred the trio of molded metal in the middle. Maybe Kristina is too hard-core a model to bring off such a “soft ware” look?
Emilio is one lucky man. First off, he doesn’t make an accessory that I can see – and I can see way more of Holly than I ever needed to. He was going to make a dress out of washers and twine, and I thought his sketch looked awesome. Who’s that costume designer that does stuff like that – made herself an Oscar dress in flapper style out of Gold AmEx cards, remember? Lizzy Gardner, that was her name. His idea was like that, kind of. Or like Chloe Dao’s leaf dress from season two’s floral challenge. Except, not. He had to change it to a bikini when he didn’t have enough washers, but then the bottom is so heavy it won’t stay up so he has to attach it to the top, and there’s no order to it. He used pink string, for heaven’s sake, and it looks atrocious. He’s also got huge Barbie, Barbarella hair on Holly. He tells the judges, however, that it was a choice, intended to be different, intended to be a one piece, and so they spare him like the first-born of the Israelites. It was that miraculous. I wonder if they feel like chumps watching the whole episode now?
And that left Jesse, with his costumey, Hershey kiss, dirty vacuum cleaner bag of a poofy skirt, out. What made him think that painting his copper flashing gray would be the best way to distinguish himself from the others? It set him apart, true enough, but not the way he hoped. Michael liked the asymmetrical back with the stitching detail (Jesse loves his asymmetry) but that’s the only good thing anyone has to say about it. No, I’m sorry, they also liked the little fifties style hat/hair accessory he designed for Alexis, and the way her hair was styled. Jesse knows he was hosed, and is as stunned as I am. Tim is not only shocked, but says so. And you know that’s bad.
Models of the Runway:
There’s little to say except the big exciting thing. We didn’t get to hear enough of what I want to know – whose hardware dress was misery? – but we do get a few tidbits other than a pool party. Valeria speaks. I’d forgotten she could! Seems like the editors did, too. And Emilio, after putting Holly through that atrocity, dumps her! I don’t care if he insists the other designers should take her because she’s great. I don’t care if he could assume she was too good a model to go home. He made her walk that runway in pink yarn and randomly placed washers. He owed her at least another week. You just lost my vote, Emilio.
The look on Alexis’ face when Amy chose Holly! Oh, that was worth watching this whole foolish show. That was so awesome. I am so thrilled to be over her whole “my strategy is to make the girls uncomfortable so they’ll walk badly/why doesn’t anyone like me?” preposterousness. Note to future contestants. 1: Don’t be a villain. No one will actually like you for it. 2: If you feel you have to be a villain, don’t complain when no one likes you, either in the house or in the audience when you get a villain edit. Ridiculous. Only sweet Allison is sad to see her go; she doesn’t think anyone got to see the real, nice Alexis. Well, whose fault is that, Miss I have a strategy? (Hint: not Allison’s.) Her exit interview is a model of self-deception. “Sure, I could have opened up to the other girls in the beginning, and things would have been less tense, and I might have had more fun – but I’m proud of what I did, and how I didn’t give up when things got hard.” Wait – didn’t give up what? Being a jerk? When things got hard, why? Because you weren’t nice to the other girls and then they weren’t friendly to you? Why yes, Alexis. I’d be proud of myself too. Clearly, you did your best, and that’s all anyone can ask.