Project Runway S8 Ep 12: Wow? Where?

Last night the final five faced their final challenge to determine who would go to fashion week and who would be just one week short of making a complete collection. They were challenged to create a look inspired by any landmark in New York City. The only other instruction they were given was to wow the judges. If they wowed them, I missed it.

This season started out better than any Lifetime season so far. The challenges have been slightly better than last year, but the extreme time restraints and over-tired designers have resulted in more and more boring designs each wekk. Sure, Mondo has emerged as an unexpected star, and Michael C seems to have improved. But the ones who came in with incredible talent have been exhausted to the point of creating just to get by. And getting by in fashion isn't going to get you by at all. I was terribly bored with the looks last night, my only hope is that some good rest will help the four remaining designers (yep they're doing the face-off before fashion week thing again) create something stunning.

Michael C was the first designer declared safe. This was quite a surprise. Even though he's done pretty well this season, I never expected him to earn a spot at fashion week. He is far more talented than the other designers give him credit for, but I never saw any really innovative ideas from him. The judges cooed over his black maxi dress last night. The back of this dress is very pretty, and it moved beautifully on the runway, but I've seen it before. I've seen it a lot. I've seen it done better. It's just a black jersey dress. I appreciate that it is made far better than my black jersey maxi dress, and I want to know how he made that back, but I'm not convinced that is was all the judges proclaimed it to be. That said, I don't begrudge this guy a spot at fashion week. I just hope I will finally see some innovation and clear point of view from him.
Mondo was the next safe designer. He did a very Mondo dress, which was wonderfully made but not nearly as "wow" as some of his other pieces. The judges liked that he showed them a look without color proving color isn't a crutch for him. Nina thought the dress was incredible. Guest judge, Christian Siriano loved the mix of textiles. Only Heidi wanted to see something completely different. Not my favorite Mondo look, but I can't wait to see his collection.
Andy's look was extremely well made. I love the wet look pieces on it, as did Nina. Michael Kors seems to be sick of Andy's obsession with the "warrior woman," which he did a lot of in the beginning of the season but hasn't referenced in weeks. Although, I suppose weeks are days in filming time. Heidi and Christian both liked the lines and seaming on the dress. I'm also very excited to see his collection. He's been a favorite of mine the entire season.
Gretchen fell apart and landed in the bottom two. She's lucky the judges only chose to eliminate one designer or she would be completely out rather than still in the running for fashion week. Her look was boring. I could buy it at Target. The jacket was kind of interesting, but it didn't work with the rest of the look. If the judges had only considered this look and not all her past work, she would have been out. Thankfully, she didn't even fight the judges on their critiques. She knew it wasn't her best work and seemed quite thankful to still have a chance at fashion week.
April is out. This made me really sad. The judges had a point that she's been creating the same dress for most of the competition, but I think she's made quite a few improvements anyway. She hasn't let the competition beat her down. The textile challenge showed a lot of growth. And in this challenge, I think she was the only one with any drama on the runway. I sort of understand why she's out, but I sort of wish Gretchen would have gone home instead. Also, the judges were needlessly mean. I'm glad Christian was there for a little bit of encouragement.
Michael, Mondo, Andy and Gretchen are off to create collections for fashion week. From what I can tell none of them are safe, and they will all be competing for a chance to show. Also, the previews suggest that Tim will pull out the dreaded velvet bag and make them create another look with some horrible stipulations next week. Of course the best part about next week is watching Tim do all the house visits--I always love the Tim episode!

Which three do you think will be showing at fashion week? How did you feel about this week's elimination? Did you rave with the judges over Michael C's look or were you a little confused like me? Did anyone else think this challenge was a bit too broad? All of NYC is a lot to choose from. I preferred the challenge during Christian's season where they had to find inspiration in one of three rooms at the Met.


Anonymous said…
Michael C. - Love love love him as a person. He's a beautiful person, I always laugh when he cries, which is almost every episode, certainly more than I've cried in my lifetime and I'm a girl, but as a designer he never really impressed me. Certainly not like Mondo did several times. I loved the black dress, I thought it was very appropriate for his inspiration source and it was extremely sexy; that back, that slit, it made it interesting, daring and classy without being hookery or cheap. With appropriate accessories, make-up and hair - it's a superb dress for any occasion.
Mondo - hated this dress (only in comparison to his previous designs), love his mix of patterns and the shape. The sleeves reminded me of a classic Chanel suit, which I did not appreciate, I wanted to see more from him and something different. I'm on the same page as Heidi on this one. Andy - a classy Chinese hooker, yes, that's what this dress reminds me of. It's a sexy dress, it's so beautifully made, it looks so classy, but just for taking the same inspiration yet AGAIN, I would've slapped him. Are you kidding me? He said it himself, that he used the warrior woman a a reference "for like 5 challenges" already. I'm extremely disappointed. When I saw his design, I yawned, despite how beautiful it was. Gretchen - hated her look to the max, it reminded me of Grease with the styling and that jacket. She's much better than that. I'm glad they chose her to stay. Even if there would only be 3 designers to be chosen for the runway, I think she'd be picked over Michael C.
April - pregnant witch, yes. That dress was horrible. I'm sure it was well made, but it looked like someone barfed it up. I liked a lot of her designs, but this because too tiring to look at. It was a mess, I don't think there are too many people who would want to wear it, that dress was just an insult. Still, I think there will be great things that are to come from her, her age and inexperience came through. With a few more years under her belt she could've been in the top 2 in this competition.
Catie D. said…
I love Andy for his kindness, but he's only made two things that have wowed me. The ribbon dress and the avant-garde jacket. This look made me think of Trinity from the Matrix, and while the pleather look is neat for halloween, I don't like it for a dress like that.
Kaye said…
I have to say, I never ever thought Michael C. would make it this far. I've liked a few of his looks, but generally he just bores me. He *is* better than what the other designers(other than Mondo, of course. I love their friendship) think of him, but I am really, really surprised that he's still here. His dress was just okay, in my opinion, and I actually didn't like the back. But maybe his collection will impress me.

I was so sad for April; I was really rooting for her to go to fashion week. Sadly, her dress this week was disappointing. I even had the same 'pregnant witch' thought as Michael Kors when I first saw it. Still, I really wish we could have seen a collection from her. She has so much talent.

Mondo is my favorite for the winner. I like Andy as well, though less than Mondo. I wish Gretchen's spot could have been April's, but maybe she'll surprise me.
I didn't have cable this season, so I missed it all. Hopefully they will be on DVD soon.
Rachel said…
Mondo is still my pick for the winner, followed by Andy. Even though I really don't enjoy Gretchen as a person, I do find her a better designer than Michael. Michael seems like a really sweet person and he is a lot better than the other designers gave him credit for, but I'm thinking Gretchen will probably beat him to fashion week.

I'm excited for the next episode :)

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