Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One day you're in and one day you're out ...

... and some days, you're back in. That's what happened to Chris March. After the departure of Jack due to a medical crisis, Chris got to unpack his things and return to the workroom. Jack's premature departure was unfortunate and made even sadder by the teary reactions from the other designers. But it's great to have Chris back, particularly since he didn't deserve to leave over Ricky last week.

Of course Chris' "welcome back" present was getting to pull an all-nighter to finish his design on time. And then he ended up in the bottom three again. Luckily he's still around, although I'm sure Steven, who got cut, doesn't agree.

This week, the designers were faced with the kind of challenge that strikes fear into the heart of Project Runway contestants -- making clothing for *shudder* real women! In this case, the women had recently lost significant amounts of weight and the designers had to use each woman's former favorite outfit, now too big, to create a new look.

Poor Steven ended up with the woman in the wedding dress as his client. Originally, I thought he was a little dire about the situation. At least the wedding dress was unique as opposed to say the black shirt and jeans favored by Christian's client.

I changed my mind once the judges started to go after him for not taking full advantage of his "good luck." Yes, Steven made a horrible mother-of-the-bride monstrosity that would have worked best as a Pilgrim costume in a community theater Thanksgiving play. But the way the judges went on and on about the greatness of the wedding dress you would have thought it was a Chanel, not a vision in polyester and puffed sleeves.

Here she is, Miss Sailed the Mayflower to America:

Personally, I think Steven considered himself defeated before he even started to design. Even though he should have used more fabric from the dress, mindset was his greatest downfall. When Tim told Steven his mostly black garment was "courageous" I knew he was screwed. But Steven did provide several quote-worthy sayings, including the term "death on a stick," which I plan to start incorporating into daily conversation.

Meanwhile, I was worried that Christian was going to blow up at his client after she pooh-poohed anything other than a spin on what she already had -- a black shirt and jeans. But Christian really pulled it off. His black tuxedo-style jacket could have easily crossed the line into fussy and costumey but the design instead looked cool, modern and structured.

Side note: Did Christian's model remind anyone else of contestants on TLC's What Not to Wear? Stacy and Clinton are always grappling with women who are afraid to break out of their fashion boxes. I'm sure they would love to throw out all of those black shirts and jeans and force the model into a skirt.

Christian, please bring this jacket to my local Target:

Still, Christian won the challenge because Kevin opted for the dreaded black leggings as a bottom for his design. Kevin's top -- a buttery yellow strapless shell with black details -- looked fabulous on his model and you could tell she agreed. Also, extra props to Kevin for being enthusiastic about designing for the everyday woman.

Kevin's model should model:

There were a couple of omissions from the Top Three and Bottom Three this week. First of all, Victorya's dress was almost as dowdy as Steven's. I realize her client was older, but Victorya's design aged the poor woman another ten years. To echo Shruti's sentiments of last week: Why are the judges giving Victorya all of these free passes to suck?

Sarah Jessica Parker is weeping right now Victorya:

On the other hand, Kit deserved a place in the Top Three for creating a fun, flirty cocktail dress for her client. Kit's dress was much more flattering on the model than Jillian's, which was part of the top trio. Jillian's design was OK, but the black seams of the dress were too close together. Instead of the slimming corset detail I assume Jillian was going for, the model looked like she was bursting out of the dress. Plus, Jillian didn't even use fabric from her model's old garment.

Compare/Contrast -- Kit's dress is on the left, Jill's design is on the right:

The most exciting news this week happened on Bravo's Web site: Tim Gunn's blog is back! One of my favorite parts of past Project Runway seasons was reading Tim's frank, witty recaps of each episode, complete with behind-the-scenes gossip. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that Tim's Project Runway podcast isn't far behind. Come on Bravo, make it work!

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