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Project Runway Season 10, Ep. 6 – Real Women and a Real Jerk

Elena made a black skirt and a sleeveless pale pink top.  Melissa made a shoulderless, knee-length black dress.  For some reason, she also had the model carry an enormous black and white shawl that had the unfortunate effect of obscuring much of the dress.  Gunnar made a sleeveless knee-length black dress.  The skirt had ruffles and see-through panels on the bottom.

Alicia made a very pale pink garment.  It looks like it could either be a dress with a cut-out encircling the waist except for a band of material in the front or a skirt and a bustier joined together by said band.  Either way, it’s sleeveless.  Christopher made a sleeveless draped dark gray dress.  He cinched it in with a belt of the same color.  He also made a light gray jacket to go with the dress.

Ven  really dropped the ball on this one.  Was he trying to make his client look heavier than she is?  If so, he succeeded brilliantly.  The black skirt isn’t too horrible, although the zipper down the front strikes me as odd.  The shirt, though, is a classic “fat lady” look with huge sleeves that make Terri look bigger than she is.  They’re the sort of sleeves used by someone who weighs over 200 pounds and hopes that the loose fabric will somehow disguise their girth.  The shirt is made of a shiny turquoise material that doesn’t do Terri any favors.  Nor does the wide belt with the huge buckle or the clunky hand bag.

Dmitry made a sleeveless blue mini-dress.  It has a v-neck collar and stitching detail on the front.  There’s also a zipper all down the back.  Fabio made a sleeveless dress that ends just below the knee.  It’s color-blocked with several shades of gray.  He cinched it in with a red-brown leather belt that doesn’t particularly go with it.  Sonjia made a sleeveless, draped royal blue dress.  It’s knotted up front and thus calls attention to the client’s chest.

Heidi then calls Melissa, Christopher, Alicia, and Elena.  They’re safe and have to wait backstage.  Christopher admits that he’s delighted to be safe, since he’d been afraid he’d end up in the bottom.

On stage, the judges tell Dmitry, Gunnar, and Fabio that they have the high scores, while Nathan, Sonjia, and Ven have the low scores.  They start with Dmitry, who tells them that his client is a graphic designer, who wanted something she could wear to work.  He also says that she could all but sleep in her dress.  Heidi likes the dress and thinks it’s a good length.  Nina likes the color and Michael likes the fabric.

Fabio tells the judges that his client is a film student who generally prefers an androgynous look.  He decided to give her a powerful and feminine look.  Ko-Rely tells the judges that she loves it.  Nina likes both the dress and the hairstyle.  Heidi likes the mix of grays.  Alicia likes the dress– but doesn’t think the leather belt goes with it.

Gunnar tells the judges that he had a good time with the challenge, and Kim says she had a good time, too.  Heidi thinks Kim was the best model out of the clients.  Michael thinks Gunnar did a good job making a dress that reflected Kim’s personality.

Sonjia tells the judges that she simply wanted to make client a comfortable dress.  Heidi thinks it’s too short.  The judges also dislike the knotting in front.

Ven tells the judges that this is the first time he’s made a dress for a “real woman,” and Heidi retorts that all women are real women.  Terri and her friend then talk about how awful Ven was. The friend even bursts into tears at one point, because she’d intended the make-over to be a fun treat for Terri, and it was anything but.  As for the dress itself, Heidi can’t see Terri wearing it.  Alicia doesn’t like the shirt’s color.  Michael thinks the shirt looks like a smock.  Nina thinks the skirt is okay, but the top is horrible.

Nathan tells the judges that his client wanted a sexy stage outfit.  Heidi thinks it looks cheap, while Michael dislikes the satin and the braiding in the front.  Lian, on the other hand, likes it.  It’s what she wanted.

The judges then have their chat, starting with the designers they didn’t like.  Ven hadn’t worked with his client at all.  He didn’t care about her and just made what he wanted.  Nathan, on the other hand, had basically let his client tell him what to do.  He’d acted more like a tailor than a designer.  Sonjia had simply made a boring, run-of-the-mill dress.  You can find dresses like it in any mall.

As for as the designers they did like… Fabio had faced the toughest challenge:  a very unfeminine client who dressed like a lumberjack.  He’d managed to make a nice dress for her–that she liked.  Gunnar did a good job of making a dress that fit his client’s personality.  Dmitry gave his client a sophisticated look.

The judges then announce their decision, and Fabio is the winner.  Gunnar and Dmitry are in.  Nathan is out.  Sonjia is in– and so is Ven.  The judges had left him till last in the hopes of making it sweat, but to go by his DR, it didn’t work.  He thinks there were looks worse than his.

The judges dropped the ball on this one.  In almost any other challenge, their decision would have been the right one.  In a client challenge, though, the judges really ought to attach more weight to how well the designer works with their client and how much they please them.  That ought to matter more than how “on-trend” or “fashion-forward” a look is– especially in a “real people” challenge like this one, where the clients probably don’t follow all the latest fashion trends.  The client’s desires ought to outweigh most or all other concerns, with the possible exception of serious construction issues.

Nathan tried to work with his client– and it wasn’t his fault that she was a performer with questionable taste.  He did try to mitigate her worst ideas; she’d originally wanted an exposed midriff.  Ven insulted and bullied his client and should have been sent home for that.  His earlier victories apparently saved him, though.

Next week:  The designers’ looks will go into production. Many of the female designers break down and Ven makes a sexist comment.

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