[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday's episode.]
This week, the designers team up with L’Oreal Paris to makeover everyday women in need of a style and wardrobe update. While some designers work some makeover magic, others prove that they need an attitude makeover even more.
In the Workroom
Ven will probably wake up to a flurry of hate mail Friday morning after his appalling behavior toward his full-figured client, Terri. He was insulting, dismissive, and just plain rude to her when he should have been empowering her through his designs. It was very hard to watch.
Terri -- you are a lovely woman who deserved to have a fun and transformative experience on Project Runway. Do not let Ven or anybody make you feel bad about your size. You’re beautiful just the way you are!
Ven has successfully bullied his way into villain territory. No amount of floral origami can hide his true colors now. I echo Fabio’s statement that after seeing how Ven treated his client, I don’t think he is refined, sophisticated, or elegant.
At another workstation, Gunnar surprised me with his warm and supportive approach to his client, Kim. He really took the time to comfort her and understand her needs. Even Elena showed her humanity for this challenge. Both earned points for me. It’s refreshing to see these designers put aside their egos to help another person.
On the Runway
British designer Alice Temperley is this week’s guest judge and after some brief words from Heidi, it’s runway time!
Here’s what I thought of the looks:
Nathan: Yikes. This design would fit in nicely at Frederick’s of Hollywood. The mesh and shiny satin read tacky and cheap. Nathan abandoned his taste and turned from designer to tailor. I don’t see his point of view here at all.
Elena: This is a cute look. The proportions are flattering and her client definitely looks more polished. I’m glad that Elena practiced some restraint this week and sent something quieter down the runway.
Melissa: The scarf took center stage in this look. It was impossible to see any design details of this little black dress because of it. Too bad.
Gunnar: This dress had great movement and spirit and Kim definitely had the most memorable runway walk of the bunch! However, I wasn’t crazy about the bib detail on the bust -- it looked crooked and unnecessary.
Alicia: I appreciate that Alicia delivered something unexpected for her, but thought that this dress had questionable taste. The sweetness of the neckline and color clashed with the sexiness of those sheer cutouts. Is she a good girl or a naughty nympho?
Christopher: As much as he balked about how quickly his client took off her jacket, I think the look was actually stronger without it. The dress was very flattering and looked expensive and well-made.
Ven: Ven really did his client no favors. I do not like the zipper slit on that skirt -- it looks out of place with how conservative the rest of the look is. He was trying to achieve a counterpoint between the soft top and more structured skirt, but the two elements did not gel together.
Dmitri: I thought Dmitri’s client was one of the biggest transformations of the group. I loved the color of the dress and it fit her beautifully. She looks modern and cool. But I’m starting to get a little bored with this silhouette week after week.
Fabio: I loved this look. The silhouette of the dress was relatively simple, but the angles and dimension he created with the different gray panels gave the look a lot of interest. This is a dress that is both quiet and attention-grabbing at the same time.
Sanjia: This look was not good. The twisted draping technique overwhelmed her client’s petite frame and the hem was too short. A longer skirt would have helped give the bodice detail more room to breathe.
The High Scores
Dmitri: Heidi thought the dress was sexy but not slutty; Nina described it as edgy and cool and liked the color; Michael liked his fabric choice and thought it was beautifully tailored; Alice would have liked to have seen a lower neckline, but thought it was overall well done.
Fabio: Nina called it phenomenal and professional with an edge; Heidi thought the different grays were put together beautifully; Alice said it was feminine and comfortable but thought the belt was too fussy; Michael appreciated that it was a transformation but it was still true to his client.
Gunnar: Heidi thought Kim was the best model of the day; Michael called it flirty but not childish and liked the dress’ movement; Alice said the dress accentuated all her best features; Nina preferred a lower neckline, but agreed that she looked great.
The Low Scores
Sonjia: Heidi thought the dress was too short, which made it “slutty” looking; Alice felt the proportions were off; Michael thought the transformation from athletic to cocktail was too extreme; Nina wanted to see a more open neckline.
Ven: Heidi liked Terri but didn’t like Ven’s outfit or his description of a “real” woman; Michael thought the top looked like a turquoise smock that cut her in half; Alice said it looked inappropriate and uncomfortable; Nina liked the skirt but thought she needed an easier top.
Nathan: Heidi said his client looked like a hoochie mama; Nina called it a disaster; Michael thought it was every bad cliché combined.
The Judges’ Decisions
In the end, Fabio was named the winner while Nathan was bid auf wiedersehen. I think the judges got it right this week!
I’m glad that Fabio got the win. His look was refreshing and unexpected. He maintained a good balance between fulfilling his client’s needs while still staying true to his point of view. A job very well done!
Nathan’s look was the worst on the runway and I think he deserved to go home. Unlike Fabio, Nathan wasn’t able to keep himself in the design and he completely gave in to his client’s direction.
What did you think? Was Fabio the cream of the crop? Did Nathan go home too soon? And what about that Ven? Sound off in the comments below!
Denver fashion designer Mondo Guerra earned a runner-up finish on Project Runway season eight then went on to claim victory on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. In addition to an upcoming guest editor position at Marie Claire, Mondo has also launched I Design, a new HIV/AIDS education campaign with Merck. To learn more about Mondo, visit mondoguerra.com.