With eight designers left for the season, Project Runway is trimming the fat along with its hemlines. However, as series host Heidi Klum pointed out in Thursday’s episode, “It’s All About Me.” These designers still have a long way to go before the final runway show!
So without further ado, the remaining eight got right into challenge mode. Mondo Guerra, the All-Stars winner, was on hand to help Tim Gunn explain their next project. Guerra and Gunn tasked the designers with creating their own textile with inspiration drawn from their individual cultural heritages. It was a challenge with a special place in Guerra’s heart (hence his involvement), having won the week in season eight for utilizing plus symbols to represent his HIV status in his pattern.
If only this season’s designers could come up with something as revolutionary and touching…
Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Thursday’s episode, “It’s All About Me.”
As the designers sat down to sketch in the workroom, they received the surprise of a lifetime with loved ones streaming through the door to equally re-inspire and distract. They stay in the workroom while the designers color on their tablets — err, HP Ultrabooks (because product placement pays for this show, and besides, Guerra designed a new case for the Ultrabook that he wants you to go out and buy right now!).
Sonjia actually used her mother as a fresh set of eyes to get perspective. But Ven just dictated as he draws so his sister understands what he’s working on. Elena broke down upon seeing her mother, but Melissa felt the tension of having her mother stand over her shoulder, watching her work.
Gunnar perhaps took the most interesting approach. Explaining that his mother was the person he was closest to growing up because he was so badly bullied. He thought outside of the box and decided to incorporate an artistic expression of bullying as a non-traditional heritage into his print. We’re all for creativity and uniqueness, but the judges usually are only to a degree. After all, when Claudia (in The Babysitters Club) drew a butterfly for her self-portrait because she saw herself as that kind of a free spirit, she still got docked a grade. You still have to respect the assignment!
Everyone in the workroom loved Gunnar’s “wretched hands reaching towards the birds” jacket idea, especially Christopher. This allowed Gunnar to feel like the wall might finally be coming down between them because they have learned they have a lot more in common than they expected. But Christopher didn’t have time to focus on his new friend. After admitting he “hates prints,” he spent a lot of time just wandering away and thinking about his ladybug cocktail dress. When his grandmother passed away, there were ladybug designs everywhere in his family’s house, so he is paying homage to his family, if not quite his heritage that way. So, it appeared he and Gunnar were even starting to think alike!
Ven also used the print in a slightly reappropriated way — and sparingly — as just an adornment to his usual fan dress. He incorporated a Hibiscus flower, which is an important symbol in his religion.
Both Dmitry and Sonjia made separates. Sonjia’s pants were made out of her geometrical pattern, but Dmitry used traditional ornaments poking out of a black jacket. Melissa used stark red lines to represent her family tree and bloodlines; Elena chose a multi-colored Marlo Thomas type jacket; and Fabio played with thin colors that looked like lasers but which he said represented the “source of life” (yes, that means sex).
Ultimately, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Klum, Guerra, and other Project Runway winner and guest judge Anya Ayong-Chee broke down the group like this:
Elena and Fabio were safe, sent safely away from the runway scrutiny.
Ven, Christopher, and Gunnar were in the bottom and had to defend their designs, while Melissa, Dmitry, and Sonjia were the top three designers of the week.
Ven was accused of doing the same technique over and over, but this time failing at it for making his girl look like “a Hawaiian stewardess” (that one was Klum). Gunnar lost points for the lack of technique in his jacket, despite the emotional story behind his print. Christopher disappointed the judges for both over-designing and not embracing the print part of the challenge enough.
Melissa won points from the judges for not only making a dress that many women would want to wear and for stepping outside of her comfort zone. Dmitry caught a little flack for not showing more of the print, but made up for it by creating an overall extremely well-put-together outfit that Klum said she would love to buy. Sonjia was praised for the beauty of her detailing because, as Kors pointed out, if the pattern was even centimeters over, it would look like “Pac-Man was eating her [model’s] crotch.”
In the end, Dmitry walked away with the win, while Gunnar was sent home. But at least he found a new friend in Christopher first, right?
Um, no; no one comes on these shows to make friends! That’s reality TV 101.
OMG!: Fabio says he sees “penises and vaginas clashing and colliding” in a print. That says a lot about him, doesn’t it?
Thank you, TV gods: Tim Gunn tears Ven down a peg by telling him the front of his dress looked like it was covered in maxi pads, “a homage to a menstrual cycle.”
Awk-ward: Gunnar gives an interview saying he wants to win the show to buy his mother a boob job. A few minutes later in the episode, his mother actually shows up in the workroom, and half of the audience undoubtedly gives her the once-over just to see if they agree with Gunnar.
Hotness: Gunnar and Christopher hug it out before Gunnar heads home. And no one even walked away with a pair of fabric scissors in his back!
Fab-u-lous: Dmitry’s use of a bright, bold red print was used as an accent, not to overpower.
Can. Not. Wait.: Has the brilliance that was Ven in the early weeks finally worn off? It certainly seems so, and between the redundancy and the bad attitude he has exhibited in the past, we can’t wait to see him called out again next week.
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 6
Were you okay with who was sent home tonight? Weigh in in the comments below!