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Project Runway, Aug. 5 – Making the Big Time with Marie Claire


Last week on the eighth season of Project Runway, seventeen designers descended on New York City only to learn they were still auditioning to be on the show. Heidi and Tim met them at Lincoln Center, the new site of Fashion Week, and told them to open their suitcases and pull out a garment that they would be incorporating in their newest look. As it turned out, they would actually be using another designer’s clothes for said look. In a rare unanimous decision, the judges proclaimed Gretchen the winner. McKell was sent home.

The following morning, Sarah, who apparently slept badly, talks about how tired she is and how Project Runway’s real agenda is torturing designers on national television. Gretchen and April talk about how wrong it was to send McKell home. April sees a surrogate mother in Peach, while Mondo feels like a misfit. Similarly, Michael D. says that he’s only bonded with Casanova so far. Give it time, pal. You just met the other designers the day before.

The designers then go to the rooftop to meet Heidi and Tim, who introduce them to Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. She issues this week’s challenge: make an outfit worthy of a Marie Claire woman, who she describes as “intelligent, practical, sexy, confident, and fashion-forward.” The winner’s design will grace a forty-foot tall billboard in Times Square. The designers have a day to complete the challenge.

The designers then troop to Parsons’ workroom to sketch for the next thirty minutes. A.J. wants to make a grunge or punk rock look that someone could wear to a rock concert. Michael D. decides to work with his favorite fabrics, and Gretchen decides to make pants. Mondo puts together a shopping list of fabrics, colors, etc. Jason decides to make an “infinity dress” that will somehow incorporate the number eight, as this is the eighth season.

The designers then spend thirty minutes and $150 at Mood. Nicholas says he wants to make a jacket and a draped skirt, while Peach looks for some houndstooth. Ivy wants translucent fabrics. (Why?)

Back at the workshop, Tim tells the designers they have until midnight to complete the bulk of their work. Peach is not happy with her fabric selections, which consist of bright colors and polka dots. One of the sewing machines is full of broken needles and Kirstin can’t remember breaking even one. Valerie decides not to use contrasting colors as that would be too reminiscent of Ann Taylor. Casanova asks A.J. for help and is surprised when the latter refuses. (A.J. knows he’s in a competition, of course.)

Tim comes in to make his rounds , and he starts with Valerie, who is making a skirt. Tim likes it, but warns her that the zipper she’s thinking of using looks cheap. Gretchen tells us that she sees Valerie as her chief competition.

Tim praises the insecure Mondo for last week’s efforts, as he took matronly-looking material and made an attractive dress out of it. He’s not so happy that Mondo apparently doesn’t believe in sketching and comments that he will have to trust Mondo. After last week, though, Tim is inclined to do so. Mondo is making a halter and a skirt, by the way.

Tim likes the colors Jason has selected, but warns him to watch his time management. Gretchen’s winning look from last week is on “the wall of fame.” She is making pants for the first time ever. April snipes that she doesn’t think Gretchen is very creative. Tim is surprised by Casanova’s conservative attempt at a sailor get-up and tells him that it looks matronly. Nicholas wants to prove his creativity to Tim and the judges and has made a shirt with a very open back. He’s also making a cape and Tim has mixed feelings about the cape. Michael C. boastfully assures us that he has the challenge “in the bag,” but Tim thinks his jacket looks “old.” Peach admits that she feels “lost,” and Tim tells her that her looks are “discordant.” She decides to make a new pink bubble skirt at 8:00 p.m.– and doesn’t like the result. So, she starts a third new look.

Tim returns with more news. He tells the designers that this challenge will have a “new element,” and said new element is a photo shoot. The designers get to pick their favorite shot which will then be judged along with the outfit after the runway show. After this announcement, Tim sends in the models for their fitting.

Casanova asks Gretchen for advice about a belt. She thinks he’d be annoying if he weren’t so charming. Peach has finally settled on a look, but doesn’t like it and is convinced she’s going home. Gretchen calls Casanova her “bosom buddy”… and he has no idea what that means, given his shaky grasp of English. She explains, and he asks if they could be “hip buddies” instead. Nicholas thought Mondo would be more talkative. He also doesn’t like his model’s big breasts.


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