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Project Runway Takes A Bird's Eye View As Inspiration For Its Latest Looks

The designers take helicopter rides so that New York, as seen from above, can inform their designs. Who's soaring and who's just high?

Our Players

Hello, I'm West Coast Editor Tara Ariano.
Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.

The Talk

Over the years, we've seen a lot of designers get into the finals who truly did not deserve it -- starting, in fact, all the way back in Season 1 when Wendy Goddamn Pepper got to send a collection to Fashion Week. But usually, when this happens, it's for the sake of a storyline: Wendy got to stay because the other designers had so much contempt for her. This season, the designer who keeps skating by is indubitably Erin. Yes, she was killing it at the top of the season, but her last bunch of looks -- up to and including her latest -- have either been boring or sucked. She should not still be here.

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I agree with you in theory. That "Marge Simpson's Chanel suit meets sexy sister-wife" affair was not cute. But it wasn't the worst, or the second worst, and I would have had zero problem with the judges sending THREE home instead of two, but Nathalia had had that auf coming for awhile. Heidi's carping on the superhero-costume aspect of it almost seemed like a mitzvah given all the other things she could have pointed to that went wrong with the look. Like...the look.

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Nathalia was definitely a righteous kill; after her win earlier in the season, she's really made a lot of errors in judgment, and the blue tin foil "feature" on her jumpsuit was so pitifully misguided. But Dexter's: SARAH, OH MY GOD. What in the world would make him think that bondage beach situation was suitable for an editorial in Marie Claire?! It was so misguided that I almost wish the judges had broken with format to axe Dexter before they even started with their critiques.

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But what do I know? I would have put Roberi's floaty spring dress in the top.

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Interesting! I thought Roberi's was cute, but didn't meet the brief, and I thought Dexter's was a disaster but could have met the brief, which brings me to my primary problem with the episode, and it's one I've bitched about before, albeit re: the avant-garde episodes: Project Runway does a terrible job defining what these terms mean vis-a-vis the challenges. Like, Dexter's is bad, and I don't understand why he keeps going back to that Minnie Matrix shoulder like a dog to its own yarf, but it is the kind of thing I could see some Vogue editor sticking a bunch of feathers and orange peels on for a layout. Roberi's is cute, but I could buy it at Anthro.

No doubt they leave things like "editorial" vague so the judges can just do what they want, but Anne Fulenwider's responses to various looks based on the actual brief leads me to believe we should have learned more about the criteria.

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Not least because she agreed with me that Rik's ruled. (He should have dealt with the back, though. This isn't the set of a '50s Western.)

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You're right, the lack of specificity made for a mishmash of a runway, as always happens with challenges like this. I would have a hard time articulating why Cornelius won, for instance, but at the same time I can't get mad about it, because his was my favourite look. What did you think?

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I would wear Cornelius's today, but the idea that that's "editorial" -- particularly when it wasn't even styled innovatively -- seems insane to me. I am in fact a Marie Claire subscriber, and you really wouldn't see a dress like that anywhere except in an advertorial for...I don't know. Tahari? Again, it's pretty, but rounded shoulder seams don't make it editorial, Heidi, nice try. What did you think of Mah-Jing's? I didn't really get it, but I have to say, it grew on me.

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I hear what you're saying about Cornelius's in terms of innovation (or lack thereof): it was certainly more "commercial" than "editorial." But I'm a simple caveman; I'm more kindly disposed to garments I can imagine wearing myself, so by that standard, Mah-Jing's worked for me too: it was wearable and not too "interesting" (read: weird). Same deal with Laurence's: I get why a black and white fit-and-flare was merely safe, but at least it wasn't another one of her fashion sacks.

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That one got on my nerves a little bit -- enough with the proscenium back, people; I can't wear that shit because: boobs, so leave it out -- but fortunately, Nina's pronunciation of "Comic-Con" is so delightful that I was too busy turning it into a ringtone to rage against various design tics.

And now we're down to our final six, with the Tim Gunn Save no longer in play. I have to say that the designers who are left have been so inconsistent that I have no clue which three (or four, eye-roll) who are going to make it to Fashion Week. Maybe Laurence is a lock? But the rest: who knows.

They're apparently literally allergic to eliminating Erin, so I assume she's in. I think Rik probably sneaks in. Beyond that, no clue.

I'd love to see Roberi, but he owes the judges a showstopper.

And not the Dexter "Riviera cat burglar" kind.

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