Let it be said, I am a little bored with this season of Project Runway. If it were not for wine, I’m not sure I could get through the episodes. The contestants are a little bland and the judges have lost their minds, but like someone addicted to soap operas, it’s too late. I’m in for the long haul. So this week I was hopeful since early on we learned it is the avant-garde challenge courtesy of sponsor Samsung. Now here is the tie in (are you ready because just like Red Robin and fashion, this one is a stretch too). The designers are tasked with creating an avant-garde look that is as innovative as the Samsung Curved Ultra HD TV. So like the TV, it should have “a ‘wow’ (factor) from every angle.” The catch is that the their designs will be modeled on a rainy runway known henceforth (annoyingly) as the “rainway” so the garments must also be waterproof. Each designer has a budget of $300 and 2 whole days (an eternity in Project Runway land). Oh and don’t forget, Korina has immunity. The last immunity.
The designers are up for the challenge – all except Fade who seems to have lost his steam. Fade is fading. Colorful Sandhya wants to design around her past which in India I assume means the old test patterns you used see here at 3am before infomercials. Kini plans to design an umbrella skirt which has potential and, oh hell…at this point I was bored and went to get some more wine. When Tim comes to do his walk-through he is thrilled with Kini’s idea. Sean has a boring white dress on his form you just know Tim is going to trash until Sean explains he plans to sew in little bags of dye that will activate from the rain on the runway (I can’t say rainway) and will change the entire garment and turn it into a fur coat, just kidding…it will explode with color. Actually, it’s a really cool idea and since Tim and I are obviously on Team Sean, we both think it’s brilliant. Amanda is making a garment based on hieroglyphics and eyes, and here is where Tim Gunn shocks us all and says he sees “vaginas.” I had to play that one back because I thought my ears (or the wine) were playing tricks on me. Emily decides she is going to make a (yawn) black catsuit and Korina has immunity so who cares? Fade is just losing it altogether and emotionally states on a call to family that he will be home soon in a bit of intuitive forecasting. It was actually sad to see him implode.
So let’s jump ahead to the runway. The guest judge is “Masters of Sex” actress Caitlin Fitzgerald. I don’t watch the show so I have no idea who this is. However, I immediately determine she knows nothing about fashion other than she wears clothes picked out by a stylist…therefore she is an expert. This is one of the things that actually annoys me most this season. How about a well-known designer or fashion editor for a guest judge? PLEASE?
The Top 3:
Sean: I’ll admit there was nothing about Sean’s design that was avant-garde, but using the rain to change the color of his look was brilliant and something we have never seen before on Project Runway. Nina loves the waterproof crinoline Sean used underneath the dyed layer. Zac says he originally thought the color changing would be too gimmicky, but after seeing it in reality, he too was won over. The risk paid off, but what if it didn’t work? Nobody even mentions the design of the dress (which is not even close to avant-garde). And since 2 judges favored Sean’s design over runner-up Kini’s (more on that below) – the judges piss Fashion Runway die-hards off even more and give Sean half a win! LAME!
Kini: After last week’s near fatal fail, Kini redeems himself in the eyes of the judges when he runs with the rain theme and creates an avant-garde “umbrella” inspired design. Judge Caitlin in her infinite fashion wisdom calls the look dominatrix, but in a good way. Er what? Zac was giddy and exalted Kini telling him he is uber talented in both skill and technique. He even said “It’s a combination of Michelle Harper, a little McQueen.” This was the highest praise we have ever heard Zac give. Kini is the co-winner (I’m still pissed.)
Sandhya: Are the designers punking us? Week after week Sandhya sends technicolor vomit down the runway and every week the judges wax poetic about everything she does. Never mind the rest of America is left scratching their heads. We understand she has her own unique aesthetic, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s tacky. Yes, we know it’s her design…from a mile away! If she could have found waterproof blinking Christmas tree lights, she probably would have added those too. Nina nearly redeems herself by saying Sandhya’s design is almost too circus-y, but she appreciates the whimsy. The whimsy? Argh! Do these judges not have eyes?
The Bottom 3:
Korina: Who cares? She has immunity. Korina yammers on that her inspiration was some mythological thunderbird whose powerful wings create thunder. Great story, but poor execution. Nina thinks it’s unfinished…yadda, yadda, yadda. She’s obviously safe.
Emily: She claimed she tried for armor, but gave us a “dated” (Nina) jumpsuit that was “cliche” (Nina & Zac). She’s safe.
Fade: Poor Fade. He just never bounced back. He was done before the episode started. His look bored the judges and Nina said “It wasn’t modern or tech-y just gimmicky.” Fade to black. Fade out.
“What the F…” – Kini when presented with the “rainway”
“How do you know it’s going to work?” – Tim
“I don’t think it’s fetish-y and if someone thinks that … you know what’s on their mind!” -Tim
“This is nothing but the season of the Vagina!” – Tim
“Two-day challenge, two-day challenge…” – Female Designers’ chant (while recruiting with wine bottles)
“I guess that’s what Project Runway does… makes unemotional people have a cry-fest.” – Fade
“…It looks like fabric is missing.” – Nina
“You’re lucky you have immunity.” – Zac
“It’s at the tipping point of looking little circus-y and childish.” – Nina
“I was thinking, ‘Are you going to the F train or the A train … or where am I going to drive?'” – Heidi
“It doesn’t feel electric. If you put something that says ‘play’ then something has to happen.” – Zac
“It feels like a cliche of a fashion show.” – Zac
“I didn’t hate it as much as the other judges.” – Nina
“It looks like a pajama to me … or a Smurf gone bad.” – Zac
Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: LifetimeSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
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