This second installment of season eight confirmed that the extra half hour of Project Runway has been given over to showing drama amongst the cast. Not a fan of that. Also, it looks as though the designers are stuck with their models for the time being. Thoughts?
Speaking of models, Tim came near the end of the design day to tell the designers about the twist in the plot. Each designer would have to style and help direct a photo shoot showcasing their look. The best photo (as selected by the designers themselves) would be judged along with outfit on the runway. I find it odd they chose to do this challenge after getting rid of Models of the Runway. Also, Miss Tyra needed to be on hand for this photo shoot. These girls needed some help, and some of these designer need to read more fashion editorials.
Christopher's jacket/top is nice. I like the yellow trim and structured feel. It's not really memorable. It's well made. His look last week was well made, but forgettable too. He may find himself in the middle for a long time if he doesn't take any risks. And the middle can be a death sentence because it never gets any judges feedback.
Michael Costello became annoying in the confessionals last night. Not a fan of his personality. I like that he dared to emphasize hips in his dress, but other than that it's just OK. His look last week was nice, but just OK too. I'm not a fan of everyone playing it safe.
A.J. had a bold choice in color and styling, but he regretted it when he saw his look come down the runway. He said it look like his model had been impregnated by an alien. He looked like he was going to pass out when they declared him safe. I liked his look last week. This one didn't seem as true to his point of view. I hope he pulls himself together for the next challenge.
Michael Drummond also reacted poorly to his own creation on the runway realizing it was much too short. I'm not a fan of the look. It doesn't say Marie Claire to me. It's not really flattering around the midsection either. I loved his look last week. I hope that Michael D comes back next time.
Ivy's dress was rather boring. It was made OK. It relied on accessories an awful lot. She needed a better showing after her bout in the bottom six last week. Even though she worried to herself that it might look too bridal (I don't see that), she did manage to play it safe enough to make it to next week.
Sarah's dress was quirky and very Sarah. Yet, she toned down her weirdness just enough that I could believe it was really meant for a Marie Claire woman. It was well made, and the styling was simple. I'm interested to see what else she can do.
Andy didn't wow me as much as he did last week, but my offer still stands for him to come be my personal designer. The top, which looked better on TV than in this picture, is quite cute and would attract buyers in a store. I love the pants. They have two stripes down the back, which I'm unsure about, but the pants were well made and full and fun so I can overlook some stripes. I may be speaking too soon, but it looks like we have some designers who actually know now to make pants. Wow!
Casanova went from trashy to classy in one week. This look started out a matronly disaster, but he salvaged it. He didn't seem to understand Tim's critiques, but he recruited Gretchen to help him (after A.J. refused). I think he relied on her advice too much, but I do love the sleeves on that jacket. His styling was quite successful too. Kristin's look was very deconstructed, but it was interesting and well made. The scarf comes off, but the look is far more interesting with it on. These weren't great billboard color choices, but I'm glad she made separates and didn't play it too safe.
April's was an improvement from her bottom six showing last week. This girl loves a strong shoulder. Purple and grey seemed popular for this challenge. I like the detail she put into the top and I like that she balanced it with a simpler bottom.
Mondo came up with a really cute, playful fun interpretation of the Marie Claire woman and landed in the top three. Everyone went for an edgier look, but he really went for some whimsy. The judges weren't completely sold so he didn't win, but Nina and Guest Judge Joanna said liking this outfit was the first thing they'd ever agreed on. Mondo also got super lucky when he mentioned he was thinking about Mary Tyler Moore when making this look. Joanna Coles lit up and said Mary Tyler Moore was the reason she came to America. Mondo also scored praise from Tim this week for taking his advice on last week's design and improving it so much. I hope all this positive feedback helps him out because he nearly had an emotional breakdown in confessionals this week.
I thought Valerie's dress was going to win. It was simple at first glance with a lot of intricate detail work. It looks like the perfect dress for a woman embodied by a fashion magazine. The color is excellent. In fact, Joanna Coles was wearing almost the same shade of red. Joanna said a dress this flattering "is like a really good friend." The judges heaped praise on it, but alas she didn't win.
Gretchen took her second win of the season. Of the top three looks, this is the one I am the least likely to wear since I'm just not a jumpsuit person. However, it was incredibly well made. Especially considering this is Gretchen's first ever attempt at making pants. She was one of only two designers who even dared to make pants. It was an innovative and risky design, which I think is why the judges decided to give it the edge over Valerie's red dress. Also, when I look at the billboard with Coco Rocha(!!!) wearing it, I can see why they liked the idea of pants over a dress because Coco got to move a lot more. I'm still on team Valerie for this challenge, but I don't begrudge Gretchen the second win. Her look was deserving.
Peach found herself in the bottom three. Her dress was not edgy, fashionable fun or flirty. Heidi said the judges had a hard time deciding if it was "too junior or too country club." MK said you'd have to be 11 or 70 to wear it. Nina said you'd have to 70 if you wanted to style it that way. Joanna called it hopeless and said the brown collar, which went down the back looked like some kind of animal. Someone uttered the phrase "Stepford Wife." It was boring and only one step down from her boring, dated design last week. She has to step it way up to stay in the competition. Peach's personality is pretty endearing so far, which is why she's getting a lot of fan support. I just don't think her design talent is there. She's at least got one more week to prove me wrong.
Jason is a train wreck, and he's annoying. This dress is also a train wreck. He had some high concept about an infinity dress that had double meaning as an "8" for season 8 of the show. He used safety pins to close the front of the dress, which he told the judges were intentional. However, he had earlier told the camera that the pins were in place of buckles he hadn't had time for. He also later told the judges things would be different if he had had time to put snaps on. MK called it a "walk of shame dress." Jason argued. First, don't lie to the judges or argue. Second, snaps and buckles are different things. Third, learn the definition of "intentional." Fourth, stop making excuses. Fifth, don't be such a baby when they tell you you're cut. Last, but not least, do not leave before Tim bids you farewell. That's rude. And who wouldn't want a word of Tim's encouragement before going. I'm so glad he's gone.
Nicholas was left on the runway wondering about his fate. Would they cut two designers or was he safe. I felt bad for this guy. He really wanted to show the judges what he could do and as a result he did way too much. The cape was "utterly unsexy" accourding to Joanna Coles. The top was nice from the front, but the back was completely open. MK wondered how she should wear it since taking the cape off made her quite naked for day time but "If she keeps the cape on she might be joining a religious sect." They never really got to what was going on with the strange skirt, but they didn't need to because they had already decided they'd seen enough. Nicholas was cut as well. I was sad for him. The outfit deserved to go home, but he cried so much I couldn't help but be sad. He got some goodbye encouragement from Tim (because he didn't rudely leave like Jason!). I wish him the best.
What did you think of the double elimination? Who will go home next week? Which designers are playing it too safe? Did anyone else think it was odd how much the judges talked about things being work appropriate except when they got to the winning look? And what did you think of the winner?
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke / Lifetime Television