What scares a bunch of gay men and young, urban women more than a pregnant lady? As it turns out, not much! And that might be the primary lesson that we learned on this week’s Project Runway.
They’re particularly terrified when forced to make an outfit for one. Which is kind of counter-intuitive, considering all the empire waist, babydoll, flowing tops that we’ve seen in fashion over the past couple of years. If you can figure that part out, then don’t you just drape the dress with more fabric in front so that the hem hangs straight at the bottom? And they had these weird pillow things to strap to their dress forms, so shouldn’t they have been able to figure that out?
And some of them did, while others chose to make carriers for all manner of round objects – bowling balls, eggs, you get the idea. And guess what! Those people weren’t rewarded. We try not to bore Nina, after the jump.
I continue to be impressed with the fact that Project Runway still feels like Project Runway, even on Lifetime and in Los Angeles. We had a bit more personality coming out this week than we did the week before, and we’ll only continue to see more as there are fewer designers on which to focus (and next week, we have a partner challenge, so everyone will start hating each other then, surely!). And while not everyone is blowing me away, most of this week’s looks were decidedly NOT bad, which is rare to say so early in a season of this show. We haven’t even gotten rid of the riff-raff yet.
The challenge was to create a stylish maternity outfit for Rebecca Romijn, who was pregnant with twins when this show was taped eight years ago. She wanted something flattering and body conscious. Simple enough, but only one of the designers had ever been pregnant, and a lot of them were baffled. The top three were all women and the bottom three were all men, which I have to believe was not a coincidence. Pregnancy – confusing to dudes! And the pregnancy simulation was, admittedly, completely bizarre. They strapped pillow bumps to their stick-thin, not-anywhere-near-pregnant models, and instead of looking like they were going to have babies, they just looked like they had lumpy, misshapen pillows strapped to them.
The girls in the top three all made pretty, dark-color dresses that would be plenty comfortable for sitting and moving with an enormous preggo-eggo (as our beloved Shannon would say) belly. Althea was the only person (that I can remember, at least – sheesh, there are like 100 designers left) that made an evening gown, and despite the fact that it looked like the model’s boobs were going to pop out, it was actually quite pretty. It accented the shapelier parts of a pregnant body and used jersey to drape over the bump itself, giving the dress some give and movement. The ribbons that made up the bodice weren’t exactly matched up in the back, which requires me to deduct points, but a solid effort nonetheless.
Louise, who is Kenley verson 2.0 (meaning not nearly as annoying and a better designer) made a negligee-inspired cocktail dress out of scarlet silk and hand-dyed lace, and I swooned. It was teared and pleated and perfect. It was also sexy and pretty, which is too often not something that pregnant women are allowed to be, and if it was too sexy for some, it would also have been pretty with a shrunken cardigan over the top. It would have been my pick to win, purely for the amount of work that went in to it and how professional and perfect it looked when she was done.
But Louise didn’t win, Shirin did, which I don’t entirely disagree with. The pleated waist of her burgundy jersey dress was gorgeous and not something you see often, and the draping of the neck was a great way to add texture without complicating the dress’s structure. Plus, she made a charcoal coat with a LINING to go over it, and in the Project Runway universe, making a lined coat is like birthing the Baby Jesus himself. They should have just skipped the runway shenanigans and given her the win in the workroom as soon as she completed the coat. Her win was virtually guaranteed by that point.
And then there were the not-so-successful designs. Mitchell was the only repeat visitor to the bottom three, and Malvin and Ra’mon, who had been in the top three last week, joined him.
Ra’mon decided to give Rebecca some pregnancy racing stripes and made a dress that looked like a 70s bowling ball bag. Mitchell, the gay little elf from Savannah that made nothing but a collar in the first episode, was the first to recognize the resemblance, and his off-the-cuff comment sent Ra’mon fleeing from the room on the verge of a breakdown. Really, it was epic, and the entire exchange made me and the friend I was watching with giggle incessantly. And that’s when I knew this season was going to be okay – personalities are emerging quickly, the designers are talking smack, the people are real and believable. It’s still Project Runway as we know and love it! The fact that he later decided that instead of being crazy, that he was in fact the front runner (!!!) almost immediately after he flipped out made my night.
And then Ra’mon made a reference to STELLA and her LEATHAH from last season, and I knew that I would love him forever. And despite the fact that his dress was atrocious, he got to stay, which I’m totally fine with – his dress last week was great, and his concept just didn’t pan out this time.
And perhaps if Mitchell had spent less time making fun of Ra’mon’s bowling bag and jumping around in his enormous shorts and more time working on his outfit, he wouldn’t have produced the pile of crap that he did. His shorts had to be the worst-executed thing I’ve ever seen on Project Runway, and they showed a complete inability to plan for proportion once a garment has been fitted. If he was planning on gathering the top of the shorts so much, why not make the leg holes SMALLER? So that, ya know, they’re appropriate for the garment after the size of the top has been altered? One of the other designers mentioned that he had previous experience designing maternity, and if that’s true, he definitely would have been my choice to leave. Even if it’s not, I still think he was the worst of the week. But he didn’t go home.
Malvin did. Poor, weird Malvin. His outfit was a wacky chicken/egg contraption, sure. He adhered to his concept too slavishly and didn’t consider wearability as much as he probably should have. But he did execute it very well, even the judges commented on the beauty of some of the construction, and I must protest vociferously the fact that he was sent home instead of Mitchell, who cannot create a concept OR execute. In Project Runway, being unable to actually make clothes has always been a greater sin than having a wacky idea, and Malvin had created a perfectly reasonable, pretty dress during the previous challenge. Mitchell had turned out two piles of crap, the second bigger than the first, because it was actually made of clothes. Bad ones.
My write-in vote for the top three would have been Christopher’s (who didn’t go to college! Has he told you yet?) jewel-purple bubble-hem top with pleating at the bodice (seriously, where do I order one? I already have the tights to go with it. I’m not even pregnant). For the bottom three, I think the correct people were chosen, but I’d also add Epperson’s ivory disco pregnancy jumpsuit. When you have a baby kicking you in the bladder, how bad of an idea is it to wear a giant preggo onesie? Terrible, or totally terrible?
Alas, Mitchell lives to design another day and we send home a designer that should have been great fodder for recaps for weeks to come. If you believe that an injustice has been done here, I implore you, call your congressman on behalf of Malvin.