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Project Runway, Aug. 26 – A Team Effort


Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to conjure up a design both inspired by and complementary to one of Philip Treacy’s incredible hats. Michael C. won and Kristin was sent home.

Next morning, there’s a lot of sour grapes to go around. Christopher tells us that he’s “confused” by Michael C.’s victory – and his own trip to the bottom. Michael C. himself is happy that he won, but he wishes some of his peers had congratulated him. Gretchen certainly won’t do that, as she’s convinced he didn’t deserve to win. Valerie tells us that April is lucky to still be in the competition, and April complains that nobody got her “diaper.” Newsflash: Clothes aren’t that hard to “get”, honey. While there does indeed seem to be a grey area, some ideas, like putting diapers on adults, are obviously terrible. Peach assures April that she got the diaper and comments that both of them have targets on their backs.

On the runway, Heidi tells the designers that their next challenge will be a team challenge. Unlike the expected six pairs, they will be divided into teams of six. Valerie is horrified by this news, as getting two designers to work amicably together strikes her as a big enough challenge. Heidi goes on to say there will be no team leaders. The winning designer will be somebody from the victorious team, while the losing team will see one of their own sent home.

As Michael C. was last week’s winner, he gets to choose his first teammate, and he picks Gretchen, who does have two challenge wins to her credit already, even if she is annoying. Heidi then draws April’s name out of a bag and tells her that she will be the first person on the other team. April then picks Mondo to join her. In the end, Michael C.’s team includes Gretchen, Ivy, Andy, A.J., and Christopher, while April’s team includes Mondo, Valerie, Casanova, Michael D., and Peach. At first glance, Michael C.’s team looks a lot stronger, as it has all the challenge winners on it, as Peach notes. Michael C. is confident that his team will win, while April speculates that the strong personalities on it will end up butting heads.

In the workroom, the designers are met by Tim Gunn and Garnier’s Peter Butler. According to them, the two teams each have to make a fall collection consisting of six different outfits. They have to incorporate several of the trends for Fall 2010, which means they must choose from a list of concepts and textiles. The concepts are: minimalist, 60′s retro, ladylike shapes, military, and menswear for women. The textiles are: metallics, camel, leopard/cheetah print, plaid, and lace.

Similarly, the designers have to incorporate the latest hairstyles, and that’s where hair stylist Peter comes in. He tells them that a length just blow the shoulder is quite hot, as are voluminous and softly pulled-back looks. Tim adds that both teams will have a budget of $1000 and an hour to sketch.

The teams then start sketching. Michael D. asks the rest of Team Underdog to respect and listen to each other, and they agree to do so. Gretchen proposes a menswear theme for Team Superstar and the others agree to this. Team Underdog also considers doing menswear, but Peach warns that it could go “flat” very easily. April likes the idea of a military theme, but adds they would have to do a “spin” on it.

Team Superstar chooses menswear and picks camel for their textile. Hmm, since camel is tan, they are going to need ways to jazz up their collection. After a vote, Team Underdog picks a military theme and decide to use lace for their textile. I’m wondering how they’ll make that work, as it’s not an obvious combination. Casanova loves both lace and military, so he’s happy. He declares that he feels like “a fish in water.” Heh. April tells us that each designer will work on their own looks, and she herself is making tailored pants and a vest. Valerie plans to make a jacket with a double off-center collar, while Mondo wants to make a sleeveless blouse with riding pants. Everybody picks details that will make their collection cohesive.

Team Superstar, meanwhile, decides to assign tasks to people rather than have each designer work on their own look. People good at draping will drape, while people good at cutting material will handle that job. The idea is to play to the group’s strengths and have everybody do the things they’re best at. Among other things, they will make winter shorts and palazzo pants. Shorts for a fall collection? I can only see that working if you live in Florida. Gretchen predicts the other team will be all “cuckoo drama,” so her team must stay clean.

A.J., despite his love of the unusual, assures his teammates that he can do clean for the team’s sake. Michael C. throws out some ideas, only to see them get shot down in favor of Gretchen’s. He isn’t happy with her assumption of leadership.

Over on Team Underdog, Peach is still trying to decide on a color for her outfit. Valerie believes that Peach feels insecure because she’s been in the bottom and is also used to making more conservative looks. Peach tells us that nobody has assumed a leadership role because they all know that, in team challenges, the leader of the losing team is typically the one sent home.

Team Superstar decides to call themselves Team Luxe, since they will all make luxurious, tailored pieces. Team Underdog opts to call themselves Team Military & Lace. The two teams then go to Mood, where they will spend forty-five minutes and $1000 apiece.


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