After a really promising start, with episodes 3 and 5 looking like classics, this season of Project Runway has started to veer off the rails again. Hopefully, tonight's episode turns things around, but let's take a look at exactly why these past few weeks just haven't made it work.
Episode 6: You Can Totally Wear That Again
The Michael Costello drama in this challenge just came off very produced and unappealing. I also think the win was bullshit. His repurposed bridesmaid's dress was poorly constructed, if somewhat editorial. Beats me why Mondo, who won the most votes from the public, didn't win. His styling was off, sure, but whose isn't every once in a while? Yes, some of these designers are expert stylists. Gretchen, in particular, is amazing at it. But this is a design competition, and looking at the design alone, Mondo was the clear winner. Oh, and Michael Drummond sent out a horrendous look that should've gotten him sent home. Peach's was just a hair worse in the judges' minds.
Shoulda Won: Mondo
Shoulda Been Out: Michael Drummond
Episode 7: What's Mine is Yours
A resortwear challenge where the designers had to work on each other's looks sounds like it'd be a lot of fun, but other than a little "Ivy throws Michael Drummond under the bus" drama, it all came off very stale and overdone. Not the greatest episode of this show ever. April won for a very sexy, almost lingerie-esque look, though Andy's was really the standout. Similarly, Casanova went home for something that wasn't even resortwear, whereas Ivy went home for something that was a heaping helping of dull. It was "sister-wives go to a resort" fashion, which isn't really fashion at all.
Shoulda Won: Andy
Shoulda Been Out: Ivy
Episode 8: A Rough Day on the Runway
Damn, what a messy episode. The designs that the contestants put out ranged from the boring to the contemptible, as though they didn't understand the challenge. Then again, according to Tim Gunn, maybe they didn't understand it: this clip is a pretty severe damnation of the Project Runway production team. It's difficult to even judge this episode considering how scatterbrained it all seemed, but two things: first, Ivy's look without the outerwear was the clear winner. However, the outerwear, as ill-conceived a twist as it is, did indeed apply, so Mondo's amazing purple houndstooth look was head-and-shoulders above the others. All the other looks were...meh. Second, those judges were bitchy. I guess all the tension around this challenge just led everyone to get a little pissy, but that runway criticism was just ugly. (One thing: Lifetime producers? Stop trying to play that the designers are going to kill each other. Although I must thank you for giving me my new favorite sound bite: "The workroom is a WAR ROOM!")
Shoulda Won: Mondo (with the twist, without it the winner would be Ivy)
Shoulda Been Out: Andy
What will happen in tonight's episode? I'd say we're looking at an elimination for either Valerie or Christopher, both of whom have been playing it entirely far too safe this season. Ivy and Michael Costello could both easily go home, though the former really brought her A-game last week and the latter is turning into the judges' pet this season. One thing's for sure: you can bet Gretchen won't be going home any time soon. She's not a perfect designer, but despite her personality defects, she's a pretty great one.