As a person with a Questionable Taste Level, I nearly peed myself when I realized that our designers were charged with creating a Bob Mackie-style getup for Christina Aguilera this week. This week’s episode of Project Runway was called Sequins, Feathers and Fur, Oh My!” and, well, YES. EXACTLY.
I was kind of disappointed that there were no other twists to the challenge and that they were simply given $300 to buy enough sequins to kill a pony and told to make something as shiny as possible, but I have such a deep and abiding love for the kinds of ridiculousness that they were charged with making that, ya know, I’m kind of okay with it.
But fantastical tackiness is not the only thing we got this week: we were also given a long-awaited win, a surprise elimination and the anointing of a new lead villain. Move over, Nicolas.
Because Irina? Stank Face Irina is easily the most detestable person on the show, if not on the face of the planet. I no longer have any ill feelings toward Nicolas, and this week I actually kind of liked him because he was the first to say what really needed to be said: she is a major witch-with-a-B (Hi, advertisers! Cussing? Me? Never!).
We see plenty of footage of the designers talking and laughing with each other, both in the apartment and the workroom, and it’s easy enough to tell that Nicolas is a well-liked dude, even if he’s not the best designer there. Irina, however, is never seen so much as conversing politely with any of her castmates, even when we see all the girls sitting around together.
The only social interaction I’ve seen her have for the entire series is to quietly talk smack about the other designers to her model during fittings and scowl at people. And Nicolas hit it on the head: she thinks everyone works for her. For that piece of insight, he shall no longer be referred to as Potato Face.
The object of her derision this week was Carol Hannah, who is not only a consistently non-crappy designer, but also seems like a girl I’d enjoy having a beer with. We could gossip about how cute Logan is. She’s well-liked and funny, and something about a normal girl brings out the a-hole in Irina, because she couldn’t shut up about how much she hates her, for no apparent reason.
She also hates Shirin, which just goes to further demonstrate that Irina is one of those terrible women that tends to give us all a bad name from time to time: a drama-starting, sneering, behind-your-back-talking drinker of the Haterade. I’d love to see one of the other designers get sick of it and take a swing at her. Catfight!
That didn’t happen during this episode (although I’m crossing my fingers for the future), but something almost as satisfying did: mere minutes after Irina was telling the camera what a terrible designer and annoying person Carol Hannah is, she was named the winner of our bedazzled challenge. Her gown was covered in different textures of black – satin, feathers, sequins – and totally looked like something Xtina would wear to sing an old skool ballad before changing into something slutty for “Dirrty.” It kind of reminded me of Marchesa, in fact. Well played.
Nicolas and Althea joined her in the top three, and quite honestly, I thought Nicolas’s was great as well. It had the same white-and-platinum look as his dress from the movie challenge, but I thought that it was different enough in a structural sense that it wasn’t really a retread. Plus, if I can remember correctly, white and platinum are sort of his thing as a designer. The dress looked totally Xtina-appropriate, and it also had a great deal of detail work upon further inspection. I would have been okay with him winning as well, particularly since he was the only one to make a crotch-length dress for someone that would so obviously appreciate such a thing.
Althea’s dress was nine feet long and not so much great for dancing on stage, but it was curve-hugging nonetheless. Also, Althea often gets credit for being able to make her model look curvy, but I think she benefits greatly from having one of the curviest models to begin with. Which is not to detract from her as a designer; I think she’s talented.
And then, there was the bottom. Gordana should have been in it for making her model look like she was wearing a sequined diaper ball gown, but she had immunity, so she was spared. Shirin made a dress that Tim Gunn aptly described as a Vampira Halloween costume, and he was exactly right, it was bad. Really bad.
Christopher continued his long slide into eventual elimination by making a Hot Topic retread that revealed into a Lady Marmalade retread, and it was bad as well. It was Sequin Camel Toe bad, which is…special. But despite that fact, it was simultaneously kind of dowdy. When Tim Gunn tells you to ratchet up the slut factor, well, it’s probably best to listen. Logan’s sequin zebra print number was also bad, in a cavewoman way, but it could have been a lot worse. He was safe.
So it was Shirin and Christopher in the final two, and I thought for sure that this was his week to be auf’d. But then Heidi opened her mouth and told Shirin to pack her knives and go (wait, nevermind, wrong show), and for the first time this season, I was genuinely shocked. Christopher had been in the bottom for several consecutive weeks and Shirin was in the top three for the previous challenge and several before that. Although I like him, Christopher’s elimination seemed like a no-brainer. And I’m sure it will again – he’s having a very hard time righting the ship.
I wish Shirin had been able to turn her elaborate Halloween costume into something grand, which she totally could have. It was totally fierce from shoulder to waist, and if she had made a bodysuit out of it instead of a dress (perhaps with sequin legs?), I think she easily would have been safe, and it would have stood out from everything else on the runway. But she didn’t, and she’s gone, and our supply of designers is dwindling quickly. At this point, who do you think is going to be in our final three?