In this season of Project Runway we’ve already had two designers crack under the pressure and leave the show. If you thought that was tough, this episode was made to prove you wrong. Although the male designers seemed to rise to the challenge of creating an evening/cocktail look for Lord and Taylor, the female designers were mentally fatigued and having breakdowns left and right.
The challenge began in the Lord and Taylor flagship store where they were told by Lord and Taylor president and guest judge, Bonnie Brooks, that they would be creating an outfit to go with the Project Runway Collection sold in their stores. The winning look would be sold at the flagship store, on their website and also be featured in the window display of the store. The designers were given 30 minutes to sketch, and Gunnar and Christopher knew immediately what they were going to do. For others like Sonjia, Elena and Alicia, they found this challenge a bit more difficult.
Once back in the workroom, the division between the male designers and the female designers became more apparent. The men knew exactly where they were going with their designs while some of the women struggled to form a complete concept. Elena had a breakdown because she was afraid she could not create something for the mass market, Sonjia was feeling overly stressed about being in the bottom last challenge and she seemed to psych herself out, and Melissa was having major issues with her choice of fabric. The one major qualm heard throughout the workroom was Christopher’s over use of his shredding technique. The designer’s all agreed that it was time for him to retire that look. And although they’re right about that, I think that Ven’s technique is also a bit overplayed as well — but no one said anything about that.
It seemed that all of the guys finished their designs just in time to watch the women succumb to the pressure of the competition. Sonjia and Melissa struggled the most during the final minutes before the runway show. Sonjia couldn’t get her dress onto her model. I couldn’t tell what was more painful, watching Sonjia cry or looking at Elena come to the rescue as they both struggled to squeeze the model into her dress. Melissa was working herself silly trying to sew and cut the last pieces of her garment as Tim was calling them to the runway. It was close, and agonizing for everyone to watch, but they managed to pull it off and get their looks onto the runway.
After the dresses came down the runway, Ven, Sonjia and Dmitry had scores that kept them safe. To Sonjia it came as a huge relief, but to Ven and Dmitry they believed that they had very strong looks. Fabio, Christopher, Elena and Melissa had the top scores. The judges loved how Fabio created the perfect little black dress with a twist and that his look was very versatile. They adored Melissa’s edgy neckline, but her asymmetrical hem wasn’t doing much for them. Elena shocked the judges when she burst into tears at the news that she made the top. They applauded her for finally finding a balance between her aesthetic and a mass audience. Christopher pleased the judges with his delicate gown, but they called him out on his overuse of the shredding technique. He got the hint. In the end, although Christopher seemed to torture everyone with his technique, it was just that, which allowed him to win the challenge!
The bottom two were Gunnar and Alicia. Although the judges liked Gunnar’s cute, well-made cocktail dress, they believed that he could do better. They had seen that dress too many times already– it just wasn’t innovative enough for the challenge. Alicia’s dress didn’t really “wow” the judges either. There were simply some elements that were lacking in her design. However, in true Project Runway fashion nothing is ever quite what it seems. Because everyone did relatively well in this challenge, and there were no train wrecks walking down the runway NO ONE WAS ELIMINATED. No one was more excited about that than Gunnar whose neck was on the line.
“One ‘Chiffonie’ at a time.” -Alicia
“I just had a stroke of genius.” -Gunnar
“I don’t know — I sound like a tool.” -Christopher
“Oh my God, I love this fabric so much it hurts.” -Gunnar
“I’m sophisticated, chic and romantic with my gowns, so let’s see what I can do with it.” -Christopher
“I wanted a hardware store challenge.” -Melissa
“Hi, I’m Melissa and I’m into leather. What’s your style?” -Christopher
“It’s awful! Why would you want to put a box pleat right at your crotch and your butt?” -Christopher
“It’s better than making a princess dress.” -Alicia
“It didn’t look like an old casino dress?” -Gunnar
“Why does everything I do like — go matador?” -Gunnar
“Today I noticed there were two gowns up there, and I will be the third.” -Christopher
“This is not the type of bitch people want to see. Don’t let them know you have a heart.” -Gunnar
“Fabio, when I get home I want to make you a dress.” -Gunnar
“Sonjia, the 80s called and want everything back. Cyndi Lauper is missing a dress and a clutch.” -Christopher
“I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. I don’t like her.” -Christopher
“Remember, channel your inner winner.” -Tim Gunn
“It almost looks like a field hockey uniform.” -Michael Kors
“She’s nice, but she’s nasty.” -Michael Kors
“Why the f**k am I in the bottom?! I’m irritated.” -Gunnar
“Look at me sitting here in a pink disco ball dress.” -Heidi
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Photos: LifetimeSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: "Project Runway", Bonnie Brooks, Heidi Klum, Lifetime, Lord and Taylor, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Oh my Lord and Taylor, Project Runway Season 10, Project Runway Season 10 Lord & Taylor, Tim Gunn