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Unholy Trinities: The Gang Teams Up on Sinful Collections on "Project Runway"

Conflict, conflict, conflict.

That's the name of the game on Bravo's sartorial showdown Project Runway. After all, these are big personalities who typically can't agree to get along for the duration of an elevator ride, much less design an outfit or collection together.

So it was interesting then to see on last night's episode that several of the teams actually did work surprisingly well together. Their task: to select fashion faux-pas from previous decades and then, in teams of three, weave these heinous stylistic sins into a cohesive collection that reinvented the fashion no-nos into something modern. A Herculean task, to be fair.

Making matters all the more interesting was the fact that Tim allowed the teams to select themselves into groups and they'd have to nominate a de facto leader for each team. I always find these sort of social interactions exciting to watch as it typically forces people's true colors to come out. Would Ricky prove an effective leader of a group that has passive-aggressive perfectionist Victorya on it? Would Christian, Kit, and Jack--all larger-than-life personalities--be able to get along and create a singular vision?

The answer, strangely, was yes. (Well, except for Ricky being an effective leader, but we all knew that already.) I was really impressed with the two teams singled out for praise by the judges, which this week included legendary designer Donna Karan. I never thought that Rami, Jilian, and Kevin would be able to pull off combining all three of their fashion misses into each of the three ensembles on the runway, and yet they managed to do so quite elegantly while still retaining their own unique styles and sensibilities. While Jillian's overall pants getup was a little overwhelming, it was tempered by the fact that underneath was a sleek, modern, sheer sleeveless blouse with ruffles which transformed the whole look from plane mechanic to sophisticate. I thought Kevin's design: a sexy poodle-skirt denim dress was absolutely stunning, accented with contrast-stitching and a fabric belt which showed off the model's waist. And Rami's design was equally stunning: a halter-ish top paired with denim hot pants that was sexy and fashion-savvy. All very creative and provocative, not to mention well-constructed. It's no wonder that they walked away with the top spot this week.

Elsewhere, Christian's team also worked really effectively together, bringing forth a collection that was fashion-forward, fierce, and runway-appropriate. Kit's design: a pin-striped vest with contrasting black and white dress and a long, hanging necktie perfectly matched the brief. Jack's babydoll-sack dress with black and white pockets and plether neckline and leggings was a perfect companion. Likewise, Christian presented a sophisticated design of pinstriped pencil skirt, three-quarter sleeved jacket, and what appeared to be a plether-tipped mock turtleneck. This team managed to cram all three fashion sins into each ensemble and kept the same palette and feel for each of their ensembles. Well done, "Team Star"!

And then there were the dregs... Though I do have to say that I agree with Donna Karan that Sweet P's dress was really chic: a taupe tunic-like sweater dress with ethnic belt over a black turtleneck body stocking which offered an elegant silhouette and looked like something Karan herself might design. (Sweet P was, expectedly, in tears after the compliment.) As for the rest of her team, lead by Chris, I really wasn't all that pleased with what was on offer. Steven's garment didn't capture the "dancewear" label at all, instead it seemed more kimono-inspired than anything else. It also seemed far too bland for the runway and more suited for off-the-rack. Not sure really what he was going for but he missed the mark on this one. So too did Chris, whose outfit was garishly costume-like with an oversized bolero jacket with massive shoulder pads that seemed dated and tired. Chris, the challenge was to reinvent these fashion disasters, not recycle them!

Ricky's team was even more of a disaster as Chris' team at least seemed to be getting along. Ricky selected duchesse satin for his team's overall material, one of the most difficult fabrics to work with, period. (So says Michael Kors.) He also failed to rein in Victorya's independent spirit as she made decisions about her own ensemble that directly impacted the overall vision without consulting her team or her alleged leader. (I still think that they would have been more successful had Victorya been the leader from the start.) Victorya's design was okay. I wasn't happy about the team's use of color-blocking, which seemed more Barnum & Bailey's than high fashion, but Victorya's was at least more simplistic, offering a subtle T of satin color on the bodice and a short skirt. Elisa's design, I thought, was dreadful... a black sack of a dress with some little triangles of color. And Ricky's design was, as usual, a mess: a poorly-constructed, oddly shaped dress with a peek-a-boo panel top, neon yellow (yes, I know this was part of their task), and nothing fashion-forward about it.

I was really hoping that Ricky would get the axe this week as I am sick to death of his moaning, crying, and shoddy work. But sadly there's no place for bolero jackets in this modern world and Chris was auf'd this week. Sniffle. I'm gonna miss the big lug.


Anonymous said…
Ugh - Chris may have had a horrible outfit that definitely didn't fit the assigment, but how many times is Ricky going to be in the bottom two before they finally realize, "Hey - maybe there's a reason he keeps winding up here" and give him the axe!

It was very frustrating.

Barnum & Bailey - perfect!

All the nonsense aside, I thought it was a great challenge.
I really can't believe they kept Ricky. I'm sure it was impossible to work with Victorya but as a lingerie designer his own piece should have been in much better shape.

Everytime Christian swears that he will win he doesn't. Maybe he should stop talking himself up so much as it seems to be a curse. I did really like their collection, though. Especially Kit's design which looked super chic and funky.

And I was pleasantly surprised by Sweet P's dress which was beautifully designed and a real treat after last week's catastrophe.

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