Project Runway has finally eaten its own tail: Last night’s episode was sponsored by a Project Runway product tie-in. It could have just been a standard L’Oréal-inspired challenge, but then the PR logo started showing popping up on the cosmetics, part of some unholy collab between the company and the show.
This doesn’t sit right with me, but maybe it’s what America deserves for using our DVRs to fast-forward through commercials.
This week was the final challenge (before the final challenge before the runway show, anyway) and the five remaining designers were assigned a makeup pallet that would hopefully inspire an avant-garde look. Oh, they also went to Oheka Castle on Long Island, but it really just served as a pretty background for the contestantss to talk about what to do with The Enchanted Queen make-up.
Or, in Melissa’s case, how badly she wanted to have been assigned The Enchanted Queen.
So they designed—hard—but ironically this is the first time we remember the judges factoring in garments the designers did in past challenges. Even though guest judge Zoe Saldana hadn’t seen those previous outfits.
Adding some tension to the proceedings, Heidi threatened to auf “one… or more of you!” But, in the end, only one underperforming designer went home. What’s with the fakeout—isn’t it always just one?
Christopher’s enchanted queen is clearly in the Maleficent mold, using her powers for evil deeds. While I applaud his use of exaggerated hips, it didn’t really look that distinct on a model with no hips to begin with.
Those feather wrist guards? Kors felt they looked like “hairy arms,” but i loved em. Loved. Them.
Overall, the panel had their mixed opinions, but Christopher was the first to be called safe. That’s the payoff for winning four challenges, I guess.
When I first saw our Mad Russian’s entry, it reminded me of an armored shark. Perhaps I’m still spoiled from the Christian and Chris look from season four. (Apparently, if you can walk through a door, it’s a failure!) This outfit, though, just felt like a brilliantly-tailored suit with a vampire-inspired neck.
But the judges were able to block that bit out and pick him the winner because, let’s face it, everything he makes is pretty much perfect.
This may have been one of my favorite saves: Flipping his heavy red coat upside-down was a stupidly good idea by Fabio, whose work has been uneven to date. That doesn’t mean I’m excusing the rest of this outfit, but it worked well enough. To the finals he goes!
Sonjia’s unpredictability has always been entertaining: She’ll dazzle us with some perfectly tailored coat one week and then just toss purple feathers on the model the next. Yes, she was rightfully sent home for making a leaf dress out of what looked like a tablecloth (paired with an unflattering faux-nude fabric, to boot). But it took Runway an entire season to finally axe someone who was both likeable and genuinely talented.
So forgive me if I’m a little bitter.
The judging was particularly tough to watch this episode: The producers obviously chose Heidi as the judge to approve of this thing (I refuse to believe that anyone genuinely liked it), so it was just her flailing defense against the indictment of Michael Kors, who relished impersonating a crotchety old woman shouting “Look at me, I’m wearing a backless dress!”
When fallen Sonjia returned to the others, they actually didn’t believe she’d been sent home: Like us, Dimitry, Melissa, Christopher and Fabio were just so used to the producers jerking them around that they assumed Sonjia’s sad-Smurf face was some kind of fakeout.
Sonjia’s outfit wasn’t up to par, but she did leave us with one of the best Project Runway disses in the history of the show: “I know that I’ll be at Fashion Week one day—and it won’t be because I have to share a stage with anyone else.”