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Project Runway, Sept. 24 – Project Runway Goes to Hollywood


Nicolas tells us the challenges are getting increasingly difficult, and Shirin is also feeling the stress. She’s determined to make the best saloon dress she can. Louise sews through her fingernail (ouch!), but thinks the end product will be worth it. Carol Hannah likes Ra’mon’s new design, and he’s determined to give it his all.

The next morning, Nicolas is worried, as his dress isn’t finished. Gordana is also concentrating on finishing. Ra’Mon recalls that Tim had said his look could be a spectacular success – or a spectacular flop. He has radically changed his design. Logan is confident that he’ll win, which means he probably won’t. Ra’Mon doesn’t think he’ll win, but believes he will land somewhere in the middle. His outfit isn’t what he’d envisioned, but it’s too late to change that now.

Tim sends in the models. Gordana tells us that the 1920′s were “all about the accessories,” and plans on including a bunch. Nicolas observes that her material is hard to work with. Epperson thinks the judges will have a hard time deciding because everybody stuck to their genres. Tim gives the designers a ten-minute warning, and Irina finishes with literally seconds to spare.

At the runway, we have guest judges again: John Varvatos, a designer; Zoe Glassner, who is still subbing for Nina; and Arianne Phillips, an Oscar-nominated costume designer.

Irina’s film noir character is up first. Her model is wearing a long brown gown with lace insets on the bodice and a lingerie flavor. She’s also wearing a white cape that doesn’t really add much to the look. In fact, when the model takes it off, she looks a lot better.

Carol Hannah’s “sexy assassin” is wearing a long black coat. She takes it off to reveal a black patent leather bustier and black tights. Shirin’s model is a Western saloon girl in a red and black sleeveless top and heavily ruffled, red and purple skirt.

Christopher’s Victorian “vampire bride” is wearing a voluminous beige skirt with a black bustle, and a creamy halter-top. A halter-top?! For a Victorian character?! Is he nuts?! It’s a pretty outfit, but the top doesn’t fit the stated period at all.

Nicolas’ evil White Queen is wearing a long white dress with a lot of silvery embellishments including a big, feathery collar. The model’s face is painted with white make-up.
Althea’s film noir character is wearing a high-waisted black pencil skirt with a black bustier. Over the bustier is a is a sheer white blouse.

Ra’Mon’s reptilian alien/human hybrid is wearing a green dress with a collar. The dress has shiny glass pieces stuck on it to simulate a lizard’s scales. Louise made a black flapper dress. Some of the material looks gauzy. The model also sports a feather in her hair.

Epperson’s Western woman is wearing a sleeveless, ruffled denim jacket with a denim skirt over a longer white petticoat. There’s also a brown leather belt. Gordana’s period piece is a brown and gold flapper dress with a fringe at the bottom. The model is also wearing several necklaces.

Logan’s action/adventure character is wearing a black leather jumpsuit with a sleeveless top, tight black pants and high-heeled boots. It’s fine, but too similar to Carol Hannah’s “sexy assassin” look. I bet these two will cancel each other out, and end up in the middle of the pack.

Heidi calls Logan, Carol Hannah, Irina, Althea, and Shirin. They are all safe and have qualified to move on to the next round. The other six designers have the highest and lowest scores between them.

The judges start with Gordana, who tells them she did a 1920′s flapper. John appreciates the details, but doesn’t think it’s special or memorable. Arianne agrees. Zoe considers Gordana a skilled dressmaker, but doesn’t think she did anything innovative. She adds that the dress looks like something from her great-grandmother’s closet.

Nicolas tells the story of his evil queen. She is one of three queens on Orion’s Belt and plots to usurp her sisters’ thrones, so she can rule the universe. John says he could immediately tell it was an evil queen costume, but still thinks it’s beautiful. Arianne thinks the white-on-white look would photograph beautifully in a movie. She also praises the makeup job. Zoe thinks the look is bold, clever, and risky.

Louise tells the judges that her character is an aspiring actress in the 1940′s who is playing a 1920′s character and is dressed accordingly. Ooo-kay. That explains why an alleged film noir character is dressed like a flapper! I think Louise strayed too far from the parameters of the challenge with this. If I remember my film lore correctly, film noir’s heyday was during the 1930′s and 1940′s, and Louise should have dressed her character accordingly. As it turns out, the judges agree with me: Zoe says the decade-within-a-decade story is too convoluted, and the dress looks cheap. John finds the dress ordinary. Louise graciously says she had been hoping to get feedback, good or bad, from the judges. Heidi tells her that as she was designing for a movie, she should have “gone wild.”

Christopher tells of his “vampire bride,” who has fallen in love with a human. On her wedding day, she faces a dilemma: Should she marry this man and ultimately curse him, or run away? The judges love his costume, and John enjoys the accompanying story. (Are Christopher and John closet Twilight fans?) Zoe likes the neck detail, while Heidi thinks it looks modern. (Apparently, she means this as a compliment, even though a Victorian costume shouldn’t look modern.) Arianne loves the back, which shows detail at every angle.

Ra’Mon says that his character is an alien/human hybrid who has left her reptile-dominated homeworld to visit Earth. Zoe enjoys the story, but doesn’t like the dress, saying that it’s shoddy and looks too much like the Swamp Thing. Ouch. John and Arianne agree that the construction was poor. Heidi calls the dress a “hot green mess.”

Epperson tells the story of his Western woman running the farm while her husband is off at war. Arianne thinks it’s creative, and says it works, even though women didn’t wear denim at the time. Zoe also loves the design and comments that designing Western clothing can be difficult. Epperson admits that he had not wanted to do Western, but had made the best of the situation. Heidi likes that he did something new.

The judges then deliberate, and start with the designers they disliked. Gordana’s work was thoughtful, but didn’t produce anything special. Louise “missed the challenge.”
Ra’Mon was ambitious and had chosen a tough genre, but his dress was shoddily made. Arianne is sympathetic, because of his ambition and his difficulties with the design, but thinks he still did a bad job.

On to the designers they did like… Nicolas’ design would look great on film. It also had lovely details. Epperson did a great job, and Christopher’s dress looks great from every angle.

The judges then call the designers back in and announce their decisions. Gordana is in. So is Epperson, while Nicolas is the winner. Christopher is in, leaving Ra’Mon and Louise in the bottom two. The judges call Louise’ dress boring, while Ra’Mon’s is poorly made. He’s out, and Louise is in.

Next week: A “colorful” team challenge. Also, the long-awaited return of Michael Kors!

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