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


Andy tells the judges he’d been inspired by Central Park. Michael Kors says he sees more Blade Runner than Central Park in the dress. He adds that the warrior woman idea is not the freshest. (Agreed.) It’s still a beautifully-crafted look. Nina enjoys the wet effect created by the leather. Heidi likes how the lines of the dress complement the body. Nina says it’s the perfect little black dress. Christian adores the bracelet.

Gretchen wanted to replicate the Lower East Side. She also wanted to create a texture akin to the bricks there. Michael says he’s confused and that he thinks Gretchen has lost her steam. The model doesn’t look uptown or downtown, but “mid-town rock-n-roll secretarial.” Nina asks if another designer had possessed her or something. Gretchen starts to cry and admits to being tired and running out of steam. She also says she’s sick of the crazy challenges. Heidi reminds her that she had a lot of freedom in this challenge. Christian thinks the look is wearable and would like to see a possible collection. Heidi says Gretchen is better than this.

April wanted to base her look on both the structure of the Brooklyn Bridge and the fluidity of the water moving underneath. Michael says he has seen this version of this joyless garment from her so many times now, that the sameness has become numbing. He adds that the model looks like a pregnant witch. Heidi simply wanted a different color other than black. April responds she likes dramatic dark. Heidi tells her she needs to impress the judges and push the envelope now and then. April starts to cry, and Heidi assures her she does see some beautiful lines. Nina calls the look a missed opportunity and says she thinks April has no range. Christian likes the cut, but believes there could be something more.

Michael chose the Statue of Liberty and planned to do a showstopper that wasn’t just a replica of the Statue’s dress. Michael Kors says he got his showstopper. The dress is beautifully cut and sewn. Michael Kors asks if the fabric is jersey or chiffon – and Michael C. doesn’t know. Whoops. It turns out to be jersey. Nina loves the movement in the back. Christian loves the old movie feel, but thinks the slit is a bit high. Heidi loves the slit and says she would wear the dress.

The judges ask each designer why they deserve to go to Fashion Week, and who should accompany them. (If that second question isn’t fishing for drama, I don’t know what is.) Michael says he has shown his range, and he wants Andy and Mondo to join him. Gretchen has shown her point of view. She would definitely take Mondo, but wavers between Andy and April, before settling on the latter.

Andy tells the judges he should go because of his willingness to take risks. He wants Mondo to come with him, but has trouble deciding between Gretchen and April. He settles on April. Mondo believes this is his biggest opportunity and says he has fun creating. He would take Michael, who has impressed him since they worked together on the resort wear challenge. He considers Andy and April to be the most artistic of his remaining peers, but he would take April. April promises to get out of her bubble and not use all black at Fashion Week. She would take Mondo and Gretchen.

After that, the judges dismiss the designers, who head backstage to wait. Gretchen confesses she wasn’t in love with her look. April tries to be philosophical and consoles herself with the idea that even if she misses out on Fashion Week, somebody else will give her a chance. Mondo didn’t like having to answer the question about who should go to Fashion Week.

The judges start by discussing Mondo, who consistently steps up to the plate. He loves mixing prints and patterns, and he made a great dress that is both show-worthy and wearable. His styling can be iffy, though. Andy is very talented, but overly fond of the warrior woman/dominatrix theme. Michael had made the best dress of this particular challenge. He hadn’t known what the fabric he used was, but he had known what it did.

April always makes the same dress, and it’s a tough dress to wear. She simply doesn’t take chances. Gretchen’s latest outfit was too wearable and looked like something that could be bought in a store. She simply lost her steam.

The judges announce they are ready for the designers, who have a group hug before returning to the runway. (Not that this is relevant, but why does fashion design seem to draw short men? Gretchen’s taller than any of the remaining guys.)

The judges tell everybody that four of them will get to make collections, but only three will actually go on to Fashion Week. It soon becomes obvious why they made this decision. Michael is the first one to be told he’s in– despite his “highs and lows.” He had the best dress this time around– but he’s also had some stinkers. Mondo is in– and he’s by far the most consistently good designer of the bunch. Andy is in, and the judges note that he’s as erratic as Michael. He’s also too fond of the “warrior woman” aesthetic.

As for the women, April has a very clear point-of-view, but she has simply used it too many times. Gretchen was the only designer to make separates but the results looked cheap and too commercial. Nonetheless, she’s in and April is sent home for making one black dress too many.

Next week: The designers go home to work on their collections. Tim visits them. We finally learn who goes to Fashion Week.

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