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Project Runway, Sept. 23 – The Eyes Have It


Gretchen made a long, feathery gown for her high-fashion look. It’s off-white and burgundy, with a lighter, rose top underneath it. Her ready-to-wear look is a loose, grey-green tunic with a darker, striped skirt.

Valerie made a one-shoulder white gown. So far, not so bad – until she added a silvery, hooped shoulder piece to it. The plain black minidress that’s supposed to be the ready-to-wear just about screams, “I ran out of time!” The only thing crystalline about it are the three buttons down the front.

Andy’s high-fashion piece is a black cat suit decorated with pleated, overlapping fanshapes and metallic glitter. His ready-to-wear piece is a black cocktail dress with what looks like leather insets and a metallic shimmer.

Heidi calls April and Christopher; they’re safe. Andy, Gretchen, and Mondo are in the top, while Ivy, Michael, and Valerie are in the bottom. I’m calling it now: one of the women is going home. Neither of them has won, while Michael has won twice.

The judges start with Gretchen, who chose velvet and wanted to create a fantasy version of her own self-image. She did the feathers herself. The judges deem her high-fashion dress to be wearable. Their chief complaint is that they wanted more embellishment up front.

Andy tells the judges he wanted a strong, but feminine look. Naeem likes the details on his high-fashion piece. He also likes the cocktail dress. Nina likes the fantasy makeup and the mix of metallics.

Mondo was inspired by the kaleidoscopes of his childhood. He’d made the hat himself. Naeem likes the cocktail dress. Michael Kors jokes that the mix of stripes looks like a “Kentucky Derby horse ribbon explosion,” but he also says that Mondo still managed to make a good dress.

Ivy had based her look on Hawaiian dresses. She also wanted to replicate ocean waves. Michael Kors jeers that the dresses make the models look like “bridesmaids under the sea.” He also dislikes the necklines. Nina takes Ivy to task for the dresses’ poor fit. Naeem thinks they’re overkill, while Heidi thinks they look messy.

Valerie tells the judges she was inspired by Audrey Hepburn. The judges question her knowledge of how to use fabric, as she’d tried to make a structured dress out of a soft fabric. Said dress is not modern, either. Michael Kors calls the shoulder-piece “whacky.” He adds that the only accessory the model could use would be “a wand.”

Michael C. tells the judges that he loves the color of his dresses. Naeem compliments him for his skill in working with fabric. Michael Kors comments that the dresses are indeed constructed and sewn well – but the gown’s train is ridiculous. He goes on to say that it looks like “Scarlett O’Hara used all the curtains in Tara” to make it.

The judges dismiss everybody to have their chat. They love that fact that Andy had decided to make pants, and they praise him for his many details and good fabric choice. Mondo “embraces” color and has good construction skills. His ready-to-wear is the best of the bunch; it is chic and slimming. Gretchen’s outfits show a Bohemian flavor. The judges like the richness of her velvet and admire her feathering technique.

Onto the designers they didn’t like. All three had made old-fashioned outfits. Michael Kors says their dresses come from old movies: “My Fair Lady” (Valerie), “Gone With the Wind”(Michael) and “The Little Mermaid” (Ivy). Michael’s dresses, despite their flaws, were well-made. With some tweaking – like cutting off that train – they could be salvaged. Valerie’s ready-to-wear was boring, and she has no understanding of fabric. Ivy’s dresses were unbecoming and have bad necklines. Plus, she always bites off more than she can chew.

The judges call everybody back in. They tell Mondo that his signature style has come through. He’s the winner. His looks will appear in L’Oreal’s advertorial. Christopher and April are happy for him. Mondo, of course, is ecstatic, and tells us that he’d had $14 in his bank account. Now, he’ll have $20,014 in his bank account.

As for the rest, Andy is in. So are Gretchen and Michael. Ivy and Valerie are in the bottom two. The judges tell Valerie that she had made some unfortunate choices. Ivy’s color choices were off, and her silhouettes were unflattering. Ivy is out, while Valerie, to her shock, is still in.

Mondo goes off to do the photoshoot for L’Oreal with both his winning dresses.

Next week: The make-your-own-textile challenge from last season. Special guests.

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