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Project Runway 7, Mar. 11 – Elemental Designs


Amy made skinny black pants and a black top with a shoulder piece that comes under the model’s breasts and forms a bowl that has been filled with fake blonde hair. It’s as weird as it sounds. Emilio made a brown dress with a ruffled skirt.

Seth Aaron’s midnight air theme resulted in a Matrix-style black jacket decorated with silver buttons. There’s also a flared black leather skirt and what looks like leggings. His model is wearing a ponytail or similar ‘do that has been pulled to the left and styled to look wind-swept.

Heidi calls Anthony, Emilio, and Jay. She tells them they are safe and have qualified to move on to the next round.

The judges then turn their attention to Mila, who tells them she was inspired by rocks and minerals. Michael thinks the outfit looks too normal for Mila, and Nina agrees, commenting that it seems as if another designer had taken over her body. Heidi thinks the vest is the only interesting piece. Roland scolds Mila for not making a showpiece.

Seth Aaron tells the judges he always thinks the New York midnight air is beautiful, so he created “a gushing look” in black. Heidi admits she doesn’t think of black leather when she thinks of air, but finds Seth Aaron’s look “astonishing.” Michael sees a head-to-toe look, while Nina admires Seth Aaron’s consistency. Roland says a big name designer would be jealous of his metallic denim pants.

Maya explains how she used stretch wool to portray an emerging siren. Michael calls the dress a chic look. Roland tells Maya her look is perfect for the catwalk. Nina thinks the dress is beautiful, but that Maya is too referential. This particular design, for example, is too much like Nina Ricci. Maya doesn’t see it.

Amy wanted to build a ball of fire into her garment. Heidi thinks it looks more like a “cat in a baby sling.” (I don’t know about that, but I do know I wouldn’t have used fake blonde hair for something that was supposed to look like a ball of fire.) Michael says the model looks like a barmaid serving hair. Nina is unimpressed, and Heidi asks Amy to remove the fake hair. Michael says the result is a lot better – but still far from great. He thinks Amy got caught up in her own concept.

Ben wanted to use ocean wildlife as a theme for his first suit. Specifically, he was inspired by great white sharks. Michael didn’t see the inspiration, just an ill-fitting suit. It wasn’t until after Ben’s explanation that he’d noticed the shark’s teeth on the sleeves – as if that would be enough. Michael does praise the hair and make-up job, though. Heidi tells Ben he should not have tried making a suit if he didn’t know how. She also thinks the pants look as if the model is wearing underwear over them. Ben admits he bit off more than he could chew.

Jonathan tells the judges about his vision of laughter, which is transparent and all-encompassing. Nina loves how Jonathan had made a piece that complemented his model’s skin tone. Roland loves the draping, while Michael loves the textile.

The judges deliberate. They start with Maya. Roland likes her, and the judges agree that she made all the right choices. The judges do wonder if she knows who she is as a designer yet, though. (Possibly not, but that’s probably because Maya’s still in her early twenties. She’s the youngest designer left.) Seth Aaron showed his tremendous skill at tailoring. Jonathan’s look is poetic and romantic. He also chose great colors that matched his model’s skin tone without washing her out.

Onto the designers they didn’t like. Ben had never made a suit before, and it showed, especially in the “jock strap” in his trousers. Amy got stuck on her concept and ended up with a mess. Mila’s look was boring, and the judges wonder if she’s lost when she can’t do black and white geometric shapes. This comment bodes ill for Mila’s chances in the competition, as designers viewed as one-trick ponies never win. If they’re very, very good they can make the finals, like draping-meister Romi of Season Four did. The judges, however, prefer to reward the successful innovators over somebody who repeats themselves.

The judges announce their decision. Seth Aaron is in, and Jonathan is the winner. Maya and Mila are both in, leaving Ben and Amy in the bottom two. Ben’s suit was amateurish and the shark’s teeth were bizarre. Amy simply went too far. Nonetheless, she’s in, and Ben is out.

Next week, Tim sends the designers out on a field trip. They face a team challenge in which they have to work in pairs. Emilio hopes he doesn’t get stuck with Mila.

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