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‘Project Runway’ Review: “Women On the Go”

Lifetime

This week on ‘Project Runway‘ we’ll solve the mystery of what the hell happened to Andrea, who disappeared in the middle of the night after last week’s tense judging panel, where Christopher threw her under the bus to the judges. Who will disappear next?

I’m sort of enjoying this new mystery thriller format of ‘Project Runway,’ in which designers are dropping like flies and we get cool cliffhangers, like Andrea’s empty bed at the end of last week. Maybe this week Ven’s fabric can go missing and Swatch the dog from the Mood store can wear a tiny Sherlock outfit.

Christopher is feeling pretty guilty about what happened with Andrea before he even realizes that she’s gone. Tim announces Andrea’s departure to the bewilderment of the remaining contestants and gives them a little pep talk. It seems like Kooan might need it because he’s looking flighty.

The Challenge

Michael Kors tasks the designers with designing an outfit for a “woman on the go.” Kors asserts that the modern woman of today is on the go. Going where, Michael Kors?! Oh, he says meetings and cocktail parties. I am clearly not his customer, unless we’re talking about being on the go to the nearest taco truck.

It’s a great challenge, though, because it allows the designers to once again present their individual styles and visions. Last season had a few too many team challenges, so hopefully they’re moving away from that this year.

The designers contemplate this “woman on the go,” and Dmitry is definitely speaking to my aesthetic right now: “She can go to lunch and dinner.” Christopher says his woman would wear Loboutins in a dive bar, but I hope she brings her pepper spray ’cause that girl’s going to get jacked. Buffi’s woman wears pink, of course. Kooan has a woman on the go in his head, and that woman is him in drag, bolting for the nearest exit from this show.

Back in the workroom Kooan announces that he’s decided to leave, and the reactions are priceless. Fabio is crying, Nathan is crying, Gunnar DEATH RAGE looks smug, and Buffi’s face looks like she just saw someone poop themselves. My face, in case you were wondering, is that of — in the words of Kooan himself — “a sad not happy person.” Kooan, I will miss you. Nathan approaches Kooan and says, “I want to leave,” but he corrects himself with, “I’m not going to, but I want to leave.” Where did they find the contestants this season? At a clinical trial for Paxil?

Tim walks in looking concerned, and corrals the fragile little designer folk for a Papa Tim chat. Soon ‘Project Runway’ is sounding more like a cult when Tim says, “We want you to want to be here. That is very important.” That being said, Tim announces that they’re bringing back Raul. Fabio claps and shouts “Yay!” like a mental patient.

Dmitry continues to prove his incredible skill when Tim checks in on his design and notes a weird pleat/dart technique, which Dmitry explains is to help guide him to create a dress with only one seam because Dmitry is apparently some sort of dress origami wizard.

Ven’s immunity might be more necessary this week because his dress is being constructed with a camel-colored cashmere. Contemplate those words. Gunnar’s skirt is looking a little cheap, and Buffi’s vision is, as usual, overwrought with busy fabrics. Nathan’s woman on the go is a mother, and it looks like she’s from the potato famine because his dress looks like a big burlap sack. Melissa is doing a lot of layering, with at least one color that isn’t black (!!!), so her woman on the go seems to be a fashionable refugee.

Gunnar DEATH RAGE’s woman on the go “loves fashion, but she work in an office every day.” She’s clearly a suicide risk.

When Fabio’s model tries on his dress, it’s too short, prompting one of the male designers to remark, “I can see her fish whistle from here.” I’m not entirely sure if it was Gunnar or Christopher, but whoever it was — thank you.

The Runway

Sonjia — Her dark gray jersey dress is tailored really well, but there’s nothing “wow” about it. The draping is beautiful, but it reads a little dull.

Alicia — Alicia is back to menswear for women this week. Her model sports a disheveled look with a dress shirt and long shorts. Though the messiness is intentional, it looks a little sloppy, as if the model is wearing clothes that don’t quite fit.

Melissa — Her model is covered in layers, as promised. Was the refugee look inspired by the fleeing of Andrea and Kooan? Maybe this is some sort of meta-commentary. I’m not into the hood, but the effect from the waist down with the leggings and the layering in the top is solid.

Buffi — Buffi’s pairing of zebra jersey underneath a pink chiffon cover doesn’t so much look like the swimsuit and cover-up Christopher perceived, but just something an extravagant older woman with a rich husband might wear. I just can’t get into Buffi’s tacky aesthetic. Throw a feather boa on this woman and she could either be a drag queen or look like a 12 year old girl’s bedroom set.

Fabio — His skirt is still a little too short, and the tailoring in the back leaves something to be desired, but the black jacket is smart and brings some sophistication to the print of the dress.

Gunnar — The deep purple top on this outfit contrasts well with the grays of the skirt, which he’s constructed with some scalloping and white trim. I’m not sure that this skirt works that well, but the top is just impeccably sleek.

Nathan — Luckily he seems to have ditched the burlap sack look, with this mustard-colored (read: cat vomit) dress. The results are put together well, but the overall look is uninspired. What is this weird cape thing? She is a superhero on the go… to save condiments.

Dmitry — His model looks stunning. The criss-cross basket weave in the front is a nice detail, and his draping trick works wonderfully, creating a look that is effortless, clean, and sophisticated. I just wish he had something a little extra to give it that edge, perhaps.

Ven — Does Ven only have one style of draping? The pleating in his outfits always looks the same, with that ripple effect in the front. The camel-colored cashmere is not a good color, but the zipper detail that waves down the seam along the front is fantastic. Credit where credit is due.

Raul — Raul’s model is a hot mess. There is so much going on with this one outfit, and I just want to rip this giant, goofy vest thing off of her body. Raul doesn’t understand the less is more mentality, even commenting earlier in the workroom that he has difficulty managing his time and often has too many ideas. And those pants! They are a nightmare.

Elena — Her model looks like she’s wearing an inflatable jacket. Elena’s a fan of the big shoulders, but these are out of control! The jacket is huge. Her woman is on the go to be a bouncer at a nightclub. The pants, though, are fabulously tailored, though the silver top reads slightly cheap-ish.

Christopher — The jacket on his model is very sleek and attractive, and the dress feels similar in concept to Sonjia’s, save for the turtleneck, which has given his model a case of the bottlenecks.

The Judging

Gunnar, Ven, Nathan, Alicia, Melissa, and Elena are all safe, which is unfortunate because I want to hear Michael Kors joke about Elena’s insane jacket.

Our top three are Sonjia, Christopher, and Dmitry (Team Dmitry!). Sonjia is praised for the versatility of her fabric, which allows for an easy switch from day to evening. Heidi thinks Christopher’s dress looks expensive, and guest judge Hayden Panettiere wants to steal the jacket. Kors says Dmitry’s dress is the best-made piece they’ve seen all day, though he thinks the dress should have been in a sexier color to make it a must-have piece.

In the bottom three are Fabio, Buffi, and Raul. Fabio’s dress is criticized for not showcasing enough of himself and being too short. Kors compares Buffi’s dress to a hairdresser’s smock. Poor Raul was just eliminated last week, and he’s already back on the chopping block. Kors almost forgives him when he unbuckles that awful jacket/vest thing. Kors’ favorite word today is “cuckoo,” which is understatement when it comes to Raul’s saggy-crotched nightmare pants.

Christopher is in. Dmitry is in. And Sonjia wins, earning immunity in next week’s challenge. It certainly can’t be a coincidence that their dresses are all draped and similarly styled.

Raul is, startlingly, in, leaving Buffi and Fabio in the bottom two. It’s tacky versus a lack of personality, and in the end tacky gets the ax. Buffi is out and Fabio gets to stick around a little longer.

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