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Project Runway, Oct. 22 – A Sense of Place


Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make a sequin-studded stage outfit for singer Christina Aguilera, and the they had to make it in the style of Bob Mackie, fashion designer for such luminaries as Cher and Tina Turner. Carol Hannah won, thus achieving her ambition to break away from the middle of the pack, while Shirin lost.

The next morning, Carol Hannah tells us that she’s glad she won the last challenge, but sorry to see Shirin go. The two women had been roommates. Christopher tells us that he’s an underdog, because he hasn’t had the formal education of the others. (He’s also been in the bottom a ridiculous number of times.)

At the runway, Heidi tells the designers they that they will be going on a field trip to Rodeo Drive. There they will meet Tim and another designer. En route, Logan guesses they will be working with a high-end designer. It turns out he’s right, as they enter a shop emblazoned … “Michael Kors.” The designers will be designing for Michael Kors himself!

Michael explains that he travels a lot, and the various places he’s visited have often inspired him. He therefore challenges the designers to use the same thought process: Create a look inspired by a given locale. Michael has thoughtfully supplied labeled photographs of seven of his favorite places. When Tim calls them, each designer will pick a place. As Carol Hannah had won the previous challenge, she gets first pick. She chooses Palm Beach. Nicolas takes Greece; Gordana chooses New York; Irina picks Aspen; Althea chooses St. Tropez; and Christopher takes Santa Fe. Logan is last and gets Hollywood.

The designers have thirty minutes to sketch and twenty minutes to shop at Mood. They will have a budget of $150 and a single night to complete their look. Carol Hannah wants to create a look that is relaxed, but still pulled together. Althea is thinking about yachts and parties, but also an old fishing town. She hopes to juxtapose these ideas. Gordana tells us that Park Avenue is a wealthy area, so she will design for a sophisticated, independent woman.

At Mood, Nicolas wants denim, but Logan has no real idea. Gordana buys a lot of jewelry – leaving only $30 for fabric. Uh-oh, I hope that doesn’t come back to haunt her. Irina tells us that $150 is not enough money for a full look.

Back at the workroom, Logan decides on a Bohemian look with skinny jeans. Irina is making a three-piece outfit consisting of fitted pants, a cowl neck sweater, and a fur vest with a hood. Nicolas is using his inevitable white fabric, and he tells us that the judges will love or hate what he is doing. Carol Hannah is making a dress but wishes she had more fabric.

Irina can’t believe that people are cracking jokes and sewing slowly. Gordana comments that some people might crumple under the pressure. Like you did last week? Thanks for the newsflash, Captain Obvious. Nicolas is also feeling the pressure as he knows that Michael pays very close attention to details. Christopher finds it especially nerve-wracking that a judge is sponsoring this particular challenge. He adds that he was on top for awhile, but has been going downhill lately. He’s determined to show the judges his sophistication.

Tim stops by and starts with Gordana – who hasn’t even started on her dress, as she’s been busy making a necklace that will be the focus of the design. Tim urges her to start the dress and watch her time. He thinks Althea’s outfit is cute so far, but urges her to watch her proportions. She wants to make the outfit look expensive, so she also needs to watch her tailoring.

Christopher explains that he is making a flowing blue and white dress with a fancy belt. Tim warns him that it will really be hackneyed if he focuses too much on the belt. He also tells Christopher to make his outfit more exuberant. Irina expresses astonishment that Christopher is still there, and comments that his outfit “looks like something an Amish woman would wear.” Tim has similar concerns about Carol Hannah’s plans to make a long, flowing print dress. It might also be trite and hackneyed if she isn’t careful.

Nicolas assures Tim that his outfit will be fashion-forward and different. I don’t know about that, as so far it looks like he’s made grey pants and – you guessed it – a white top. Tim advises him to watch proportion, fit, and silhouette. Logan wants to make something young and comfortable. Tim notes that he has a lot of work to do and advises him to make it cohesive. Tim is impressed by how much work Irina’s already done. He notes that her sweater’s cowl is enormous and thus warns her to watch her proportions. Nicolas thinks her outfit borders on being a costume.

The models come in for their fitting, which will take thirty minutes. Gordana is upset because she doesn’t have anything ready for her model to try on. Logan discovers that his jeans are too small for his model. (How did he manage that?! Did he make them a size -2 or something?) Nicolas’ top isn’t finished, and he realizes that he will have to fit that right before sending her out on the runway.

Irina comments that the level of creativity and craftsmanship have not increased during the competition. She mentions the other designers are doing the bare minimum to get by. Carol Hannah tells us that Irina’s attitude bothers the rest of them. Too bad the judges like her work and have crowned her winner twice.


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