Previously on Project Runway... one of the most boring challenges ever, a runway of fug, Irina was a bitch to Gordana, Chris cried, and Louise was sent home for designing two incomphrehensibly bad dresses.
This week, we begin with Irina being self-involved as usual, and Chris trying to give himself a pep talk. Heidi looks like she busted out of the hospital as she introduces the challenge this week: Real Women! A line of women in wedding dresses comes onto the runway, and all the designers immediately look terrified. Never fear, though; this challenge isn't about creating a wedding dress. These women are all newly-divorced, and want to turn their wedding dresses into cool new outfits. Well, not all of them are newly-divorced: their no-longer-married status ranges from two months to sixteen years. (To the woman who still fits in her wedding dress 16 years later, I say, way to freaking go!) Irina, since she won last week, gets to choose first, and then Heidi reaches into the Velvet Bag O' Mystery and draws randomly for each designer's name.
A few of the designers are able to choose women with really voluminous gowns, but poor Shirin, called last, is stuck with a woman whose wedding dress doesn't contain much in the way of fabric: it's a simple straight gown with a tank-style bodice, a back consisting of a couple of straps, and no frills whatsoever. Unfortunately, the personality Shirin will have to work with is even more difficult than the material.
And here we have yet another ridiculously restrictive challenge that is going to turn out a bunch of crap garments: the wedding dresses are all made of cheap and yechhy acetate/polyester-type materials (materials that actually make Tim almost barf, hilariously); the designers are given a whopping 15 minutes to shop at Mood, and only $25 -- and only permitted to buy up to 2 yards of fabric. AND they only have until midnight to finish the work. There's one bit of good news, though: the winner will get immunity, and it's the last time in the competition that immunity will be given.
The clients are a typical real-people mix of reasonable, insanely self-deluded, picky, and indecisive. Feather Boy's client wants only vegan fabrics (he's already rolling his eyes). Gordana's client wants something torn up and punk.
But poor Shirin has Charlie, who is obviously on this show just to get the exposure. She wants, and I quote, a "Cher 'Half-Breed' " look, complete with headdress and a ton of feathers. Um, sorry Nutty Lady, could you repeat that? 'Cause I don't really speak Crazy. Your designer has about fourteen hours to make an outfit and you're giving her a pretty small, plain, white polyester dress to use. Also, where the fuck does a Cher costume fit into normal life?
Shirin basically refuses to do it, and good for her. As it turns out, Charlie is the Hedda Lettuce of this season, ribbing Shirin at every opportunity about how it doesn't really seem like Shirin has been doing anything. I could go on for pages about how much I dislike this woman and her entitled, tacky, Princess-y attitude -- and she made Shirin cry are you kidding me?? because making Shirin cry is like kicking a kitten -- and about how not only am I not surprised that she's divorced, I can't believe anyone could stand her long enough to marry her in the first place. But let's forget her and get on with what matters, which is the clothes.
I like the idea of this challenge a lot: not only is it always fun to turn an outfit into something new, but also there's a cool symbolism to taking the wedding dress from a dead marriage and re-birthing it to become part of one's new life. Heck, it's better for the environment than burning it! If only the constraints of the challenge had been a bit more practical, giving the designers more resources to put amazing things on the runway, because this is sure to be another exercise in slapped-together fug-making. After much flaying of plastic-y textiles and many frustrated tears from Shirin, we finally arrive at the runway to see how it all turns out.
Nice to see our favorite Oompah-Loompah still here, Michael Kors! Sadly, Nina's not back yet: we have her stand-in's stand-in again. The guest judge is Tamara Mellon, who is the founder and President of Jimmy Choo and is on Halston's Board of Directors.
Let's start with the winner!
all images courtesy of Lifetime.com
Finally, GORDANA TAKES IT! There was much rejoicing at Chez Boogie. This dress seemed to be right up the client's alley, and Gordana really embraced the literal idea of tearing something up and constructing something new with the pieces. It's too bad that the materials the designers were given prohibited them from doing any really good colors. This dress would look better if made out of a decently dye-able fabric. Still, after a puzzling amount of brushing-off from the judges (and even still, Heidi is quite mean to her), Gordana finally got recognized for her lovely work.
And now, for some Mother-of-the-Bride fuckery:
The judges heaped praise on this, and I don't know why. I'm starting to think that Irina could just lay a turd on a piece of fabric and the judges would fall all over it. Yeah, why don't we make Irina's head so big it won't fit through the door? Ugh, I cannot express how much I dislike her. Anyway, I was tres suprised to see Kors call this "sexy and age-appropriate." If there was ever a time to pull out the "M.O.B." it's now. In fact, my aunt wore a dress very much like this for her daughter's wedding - a less Cougar-looking version, of course.
Shirin's dress for Bitchy McBitcherson turned out pretty nice, all things considered:
The workmanship on the back and belt isn't outstanding, but it took Shirin a long time to do all of the embroidery. McBitcherson wanted the dress to be shorter, but this length is perfect for her. While the silhouette isn't a huge change, Shirin really made the best of what she was given. The judges gave her kudos for sticking to her guns and not letting her client steamroller her with this Cher shit. Good for you, Shirin! And to McBitcherson, I wish upon you a painful, itchy hemorrhoid.
This next outfit should have gotten its designer booted. But since he's all cyoooot and has the Mind-Controlling silver jeans, it didn't. Witness one hell of a hideous look from Prince Cheekbones Himself:
Logan's client did not want to show her legs. Well, she's not going to want to show these poorly-made Grandpa trousers to anyone either. And wtf is going on with the Frau of the Biergarten bodice? Heidi called it out as "Oktoberfest Girl" and it really is. Plus, Logan seems to be stuck on the Little Ruffles bus and he needs to cut it out.
Carol Hannah created something that might look okay on a completely different person.
Again, it's really unfortunate that these dresses could not be dyed better colors. This ended up looking very dark and dreary and not quite age-appropriate. I hate the shrug. Still, it's not a bad effort overall.
What we have next can only be described as People-of-Walmart-Chic:
This is just so ugly and poorly-fitted. The client worked it like she was strutting for her supper, though! One thing I do like is that Althea was able to dye it a color other than dingy gray.
Next, Nicolas created a non-dress for his client. I was going to go on a rant about what an ass he is and how making fun of your client behind her back on national TV is just so fucking classless and mean, but I ranted enough about McBitcherson back there, so I'll spare you. Besides, this outfit is fug enough all on its own:
To Nicolas' credit, he had the sense to know that this was just bad all around. Badly-fitted, unflattering, and disjointed. On its own, the little jacket is kind of cute, though it's not good for this client.
Here's another dress that could have gotten the auf and I wouldn't have cried about it: Christopher's tinfoil/plastic-wrap/baggie-with--a-belt dress!
What in Jesus' Friday Wig was Chris thinking with this? It's a bubble of crumpled puffiness. Totally inappropriate for this woman and just not attractive. I'm starting to think that Chris is incapable of making anything that is not crumpled, pin-tucked or bubble-hemmed. Next!
I can't believe that this dress got Epperson the auf. Heidi pegged it, too, as "Oktoberfest Girl." Okay, I can see that. It's not good. The hem is wonky, the bodice is too thick, the bow is ridiculous. But the worst garment? Hardly. There seemed to be a disconnect with Epp's understanding of this challenge - at first he wanted to use as little of the original material as possible, then completely changed tack and used as much of it as possible. He didn't seem to get the transformative idea. Apparently, this was enough to send him home. What a shame; we at Chez Boogie thought that Logan should have been the one sent packing.
Epperson takes his aufing with great grace, and wisely decides to use what he learned on the show to continue to push himself as a designer. He's got some great ideas and I'm sad that we didn't get to see more of them. Farewell, Epp! It was fun having you on the show.
Next week: NINA IS BACK! The designers get to design for a big Grammy-winning star. Sequins are flying all over the place. We are promised "the best Project Runway moment ever." Should be good! See you then.