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Project Runway, Oct. 14 – New York, New York


Tim comes in to make his rounds and he starts with Mondo, who tells him he’d been inspired by the cars on the Brooklyn Bridge (particularly a bright yellow taxi). He shows Tim his mangled yellow-sequined fabric and Tim agrees that pitching it is a good call. He says it would have been an eye-catcher for all the wrong reasons. Michael tells us he’d underestimated Mondo at first and had pegged him as somebody who worked with bleached denim and bondage gear.

April is making an abstract coat dress with sleeves for her Brooklyn Bridge inspiration. Mondo thinks it’s costumey, but Tim says April’s editing is very strong, so she should use it. Michael was very inspired by the drapey dress of the Statue of Liberty, but worries that it wasn’t ambitious enough. He shows Tim the structured, pleated look he was working on, but he and Tim both agree that it’s a “tortured mess.” He needs to find his voice again.

Andy is making a cocktail dress with cut-outs, and Tim says it certainly looks like him. Tim warns Andy not to “go Real Housewives of New Jersey.” In other words, Tim is warning him to mind his taste. Gretchen actually feels like she needs Tim’s advice. Mondo comments that both Gretchen and her outfit look exhausted. Ouch. Tim advises Gretchen to consider her customer, not just her own taste. Gretchen loves Tim because he can see potential in anyone.

Afterwards, Tim sends in the models. While they’re being fitted, Tim returns with Peter Butler, a hair stylist, who will act as the designers’ consultant for this challenge. Michael wants an editorial and high-fashion look for his model. Andy asks for a hairstyle that will complement his dress. Gretchen wants a natural look while April requests a ponytail. Mondo asks for a modern take on the 60′s.

Michael is pleased with how his dress looks on his model and says he would date her. He jokingly adds that it would have to be a cheap date. Mondo doesn’t have a finished dress for his model to try on, just some pieces. Gretchen is excited by her leather jacket, and Michael begins making a basket-weave fabric to make into a shrug, as he’s hoping that will impress the judges. Gretchen wonders if Michael is an idiot savant or just an idiot.

The next morning dawns and it’s the day of the runway show. Everybody talks about how they need to get to Fashion Week. April is proud of herself for getting this far at twenty-one. Mondo still has a lot of work to do. Gretchen thinks April’s look is a bit “witchy.” It seems to be yet another black dress. Michael has his model try on the shrug and doesn’t like the results. He decides to scrap it.

It’s time to send the models for hair and make-up. Gretchen, not surprisingly, asks for terra cotta make-up. Michael wants smoky eyes. Everybody passes on Peter Butler’s advice to the hair stylists.

Heading to the runway and hearing everybody’s comments about Fashion Week, Michael says he would be really sad if he didn’t make it. Andy feels he has grown as a designer. April wants to show her family and the industry who she is. Mondo knows there will be a lot more work ahead once he makes the final round. Gretchen walked in to the competition desperate, feeling this is it for her.

This week’s guest judge is Christian Siriano, the winner of Project Runway’s fourth season. Michael is up first. He made a draped black gown with a yoke collar and a slit going up all the way up the model’s leg. When she turns around, one can see that the whole back is exposed.

Gretchen made separates. She made a crinkly dark skirt, a creamy top, and a black leather jacket with three off-white stripes going down the back. Andy made a sleeveless minidress decorated with bits of shiny black leather. Much of the back has been cut out.

Mondo made a minidress out of several different textiles. It has mid-length sleeves and the checked panels down the sides seem to represent the Brooklyn Bridge’s suspension cables. His outfit is wholly black and white, with not a speck of color, which is unusual for him. April made yet another black dress. It’s long, flowing, and gauzy, with an asymmetrical top and a black armband. It’s well-made – but what does she have against color?! Nor do I see anything to do with the Brooklyn Bridge.

The judges start with Mondo. He used an optical illusion created by the Brooklyn Bridge for his inspiration. Michael Kors praises him for not using color, saying that he’s proved it isn’t a crutch. He adds that Mondo’s label should be his name in patent leather. The piece looks very architectural, but it’s still full of joy. Nina calls his look “phenomenal.” Heidi has seen the checked pattern before and would like to see something different. Christian calls it a chic mix of textiles.


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