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What a Girl Wants: Prom Time on "Project Runway"

Unlike Christian, who seemed en route to a nervous breakdown last night, I quite enjoyed the prom dress challenge presented on this week's episode of sartorial showdown Project Runway ("What a Girl Wants"). Perhaps its the sadist in me, but I like seeing the designers pushed to the brink of despair at the parameters of their latest task and how they manage to pull it all together. Or, in some cases, don't.

First off, I am still amazed that Ricky is still in this competition when far superior designers have been auf'd. Once again, he proved that he can't make it through an episode without turning on the waterworks. I was really hoping that the amount of time the cameras spent with teary Ricky this week would point towards his dismissal, especially since he made such a point of saying how, unlike the other designers, he selected a "subtle" shade of fabric for his client's prom dress. A fact that later worked against him as his client looked "washed out," especially when the other girls' dressed popped with color. Sigh.

I was actually quite impressed by Sweet P's Grecian-inspired gown, which managed to capture her client's brief and some unexpected red carpet glamour. And unlike her previous designs, which proved to suffer from some shoddy craftsmanship, this gown was exquisitely constructed. She also made the right decision to shy away from ivory, white, and black, instead selecting a champagne color that looked amazing on her client.

Victorya also showed some range as a designer, moving away from the color palette and severity of some of her designs (no wonder she was the last designer chosen by the girls) to create a fun, electric blue prom dress that was embellished by shimmering rhinestones that caught the light as her client walked down the runway. Clearly moving outside her comfort zone, Victorya successfully managed to create a dress that was age-appropriate, shimmering, and fun. Kudos to her for winning this crucial challenge.

As for the rest of the designers, I do have to say that I didn't hate Rami and Christian's designs as much as the judges did. Rami's design was sophisticated, yes, but it was also exquisitely constructed and looked amazing on her; I didn't feel in any way that it was something that a 40-year-old woman would wear to dinner. These girls were looking for elegant and sophistication and Rami's complex and unique design showcased this to full effect. Plus, the color, I thought, looked amazing on his client.

As for Christian, he really was saddled with the most difficult client any of them had. Mindy was opinionated, self-absorbed, and hyper-critical... and suffered from a severe lack of taste. I instantly took a dislike to her when she claimed to have been a designer for two year and took the pencil from Christian's hands to begin drawing on his sketch paper. Grr. As for the end result, I didn't hate it nearly as much as the judges did (well, except Heidi, who seemed to like it). Yes, there was a lot going on, with the lace and the layering and the pleats, but that was what Mindy wanted and, yes, the back was a little messy. As a designer you do have to inject your own aesthetic into your designs but also be cognizant of what your client is asking for. I do feel that Christian did that... to some effect. He was stuck with a difficult client and did try to create something that worked for her.

What I do take issue with is the fact that Christian seemed so utterly defeated by this opinionated and vocal sixteen-year-old girl. Yes, part of the problem stemmed from his client's over-the-top requests, but he needed to better manage his client and create a design that was somewhere on equal footing between them. As difficult as that may have been (I do think Mindy was predisposed to hate everything he did), I think Christian could have pulled it off if he had had some more confidence in himself, a quality the self-possessed designer usually isn't lacking during this competition.

Still, I had a feeling the judges would keep him around, especially in the face of Kevin's gruesome Evita-meets-streetwalker ensemble, which was tacky, poorly constructed (hello, designers, finish your hems!), and just looked atrocious on his client... as did the hair and makeup he selected, which all created a sad, street-weary, aged effect on this young girl. Kevin has shown himself to have a lot of raw talent throughout this season but this was not his challenge.

And, oh, how great was it to see some prom pics from our favorite designers? Classic.

Next week on Project Runway ("On Garde!"), the designers have to put aside their preconceptions when they are tasked with creating a design based around a model's hairstyle, while Sweet P and Rami reach their breaking points during an argument.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); My Name is Earl/30 Rock (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); Celebrity Apprentice (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); Don't Forget the Lyrics (FOX)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); ER (NBC); Big Shots (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Ugly Betty.

On tonight's first-run episode ("Zero Worship"), Amanda turns to a psychic (guest star Annie Potts) to uncover her father's identity; Betty tries to get Daniel to use real women as models during Fashion Week; Wilhelmina gets some unexpected news and Justin and his classmates visit Mode.

8:30 pm: 30 Rock.

On tonight's first-run episode of 30 Rock, Jack tries his darnedest to close a deal with some German TV moguls as he attempts to keep his long-distance relationship with CC (Edie Falco) afloat; Liz buys into real estate. 30 Rock, I miss you terribly!


I thought this was a great challenge. I loved seeing what the designers came up with and really enjoyed most of the designs. It was ironic that Victorya, who was picked last, ended up winning the challenge. I think she definitely deserved it as her dress was youthful and yet sophisticated and captured her client's personality as well as her own.

I was also impressed by Sweet P's design, especially as I'm usually apathetic to her work. I'm glad she finished in the top tier.

I did expect a little more from Kit. I was hoping for a funky Pretty in Pink moment. Her gown was nice but I think she could have infused it with a little more of her own personality.
Anonymous said…
I didn't hate Kevin's dress as much as the judges (or you), but the makeup and hair was just awful. Plus, I love Kevin and he was the one I was really rooting for, so I am bummed.

PLUS....Ricky's dress was just awful. On color alone, he should have been auf'd. What's it gonna take to get rid of him?!?


I think he got to tears in record time last night - it was the 12 minute mark.
Giulie Speziani said…
I would've gone with Sweet P's design. It was stunning. I wasn't a big fan of Victorya's dress (multi-colored rhinestones? blech). But I was sad to see Kevin go. If it was a long red dress it would've looked elegant vs. street walker.
rockauteur said…
Yeah the black Ugly Betty that Christian got paired up with was so annoying. Yes Christian could have done a better job reigning her in, but at the same time, none of the other designers (at least according to editing) had to work with anyone as opinionated as she was - or as fat.

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