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Project Runway 10, Episode 7 – On Mixing Art and Business

Gunnar made a black cocktail dress with short sleeves.  It’s covered with sequins.  The upper part of the top, which consists of the sleeves and the area above of the breasts is made of black lace.  Elena made a sleeveless cocktail dress out of what looks like black leather.  The cutouts in the back make the model look as if she’s wearing some sort of harness.

Christopher made a gown that looks like separates.  The skirt part black and floor-length.  The top is pale pink with short sleeves.  He shredded the fabric for the top.  There’s a cut-out in the back which only shows that the model needs to gain at least ten pounds; shoulder blades are not supposed to stick out like that.  Alicia made a sleeveless, knee-length black cocktail dress.  It has a Peter Pan collar that would work on a sportier dress.

Sonjia  made a sleeveless black cocktail dress.  It’s decorated with a ruffled gray peplum or overskirt.  Ven made a sleeveless black cocktail dress.  The front is decorated with his usual rose motif.  Dmitry made a sleeveless dark grey cocktail dress with stitching detail down the front.

After the show, Heidi calls Ven, Dmitry, and Sonjia.  They are safe and get to wait in the lobby.  Sonjia is delighted to be safe as she’d been terrified that she would end up in the bottom again.  Dmitry is upset that he’s merely safe, as he’d wanted to be in the top for a change.  Ven thinks the top designers will be all guys, while the bottom designers will be all women.

Back on the runway, Heidi tells the remaining designers that there were four top scorers and two bottom scorers.  The judges then start with Fabio, who talks about the fabrics he’d used.  He got one of the higher scores.  Heidi thinks the dress is very versatile, as does Nina.  Michael notes that asymmetry can be difficult to pull off, but Fabio did.  On the other hand, he doesn’t like the exposed zipper.  (Neither do I.  Can we go back to zippers that don’t call attention to themselves, please?)

Christopher admits that he’d wanted to use his shredding technique again.  He got one of the higher scores.  The judges do note that his pale pink shirt only works with certain skin tones.  They do like how he created the illusion of separates.  Michael, however, is getting tired of Christopher’s shredding technique.

Melissa talks about wanting to make a look with a fitted silhouette.  Michael likes the neckline and the color, but dislikes the asymmetrical skirt.  Nina likes the fabric.  Bonnie calls the dress “ingenious.”

Gunnar talks about “generations,” which I suppose means he wanted to make a look that would work on a woman of almost any age.  The judges apparently don’t think he succeeded, as they gave him one of the lower scores.  Nina and Michael say his dress is too “expected.”  They’ve seen sequined dresses before.  Bonnie notes that lace is hard to use.

Elena talks about wanting to give a classic silhouette some edge.  To her amazement, she got one of the high scores.  To Heidi’s astonishment, she bursts into tears and talks about her struggles.  Heidi reassures Elena and tells her that her dress is very wearable and fun.  Nina likes the back and the harness.  Bonnie also likes the dress and Michael reminds her that designers have to balance art and business to be successful.

Alicia talks about her Chanel inspiration.  She got one of the lower scores.  Heidi thinks it’s a pretty dress, but Bonnie thinks it’s mid-way between an office look and a cocktail dress.  Making something that’s neither fish nor fowl is generally not good.  Nina thinks the dress is mature and dowdy.  Michael apparently agrees with Bonnie, as he thinks the dress is neither sporty enough or dressy enough.

The judges have their chat, starting with the designers they liked.  Christopher’s dress is sophisticated and would complement the other dresses in the display.  Fabio’s dress is versatile.  Melissa’s dress is the most dramatic, but would be tough to mass-market.  Elena’s dress is cool, but would only work for a young woman.  As for Gunnar and Alicia, the designers they didn’t like, both are guilty of making boring, unmemorable dresses.

Afterwards, Heidi praises all the designers for a job well done.  Christopher did the best, though, so he’s the winner.  Fabio, Elena, and Melissa are in, leaving Gunnar and Alicia in the bottom two.  They’re both in, as well.  Heidi says it’s because everybody met the challenge’s parameters, but everybody knows that the real reason is that two people quitting earlier in the season fouled things up for the producers.  They need to hang onto enough designers to have something resembling suspense when it’s time to see who will go onto Fashion Week.  Consequently, Gunnar got very lucky.  He’ll stay to sew some more.

At this point, Christopher seems to be the front runner.  He edges out Ven by making it into the top one or two more times than Ven did.  He and Ven have the same weakness, though:  a tendency to repeat favorite techniques.  If they don’t show the judges something new, they risk flaming out.  Melissa and Dmitry also have to be considered major contenders as they are the only designers not to have been in the bottom.  Alicia, on the other hand, seems to be the weakest designer left, as she’s the only one who hasn’t even cracked the top three.

Next week:  The designers have to work in teams of three and beg for money.  Elena and Dmitry end up on the same team and aren’t happy about it.

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