by Todd O'Dowd
Hello everyone. Welcome to week four of Project Runway, and the fourth week of l’étoile’s weekly Project Runway viewing party at moto-i. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Why are they still recapping if local design hero Raul Osorio was eliminated?” Several reasons: 1) Because we are committed to fashion (and in helping #teamRaul win the fan favorite competition), 2) It’s an excuse for the fashionable of these cities of ours to gather and rip into a bunch of fame whores (and in the case of several attendees, doing it while wearing Raul Osorio originals) and 3) Well… I’ll come back to the third reason in just a moment. But first a bit of business.
A few days ago, we here at l’étoile found out that these humble recaps have been linked to on Blogging Project Runway, THE premiere fan site for the show (which includes recaps and reactions from not only long-time fans of the show but also former PR designers Mila Hermanovski, Nick Verreos, and – a personal favorite – Laura Bennett). Not only that, but they re-linked to our exclusive interview we did with Raul after the season premiere. Many thanks to Blogging PR crew for the love and for those of you coming from there, welcome! Be sure to poke around the rest of the site and see what other awesome things we have in here.
One more thing: As I mentioned earlier one of my all time favorite contestants in the show’s history was the chic and witty (and bitchy) Laura Bennett. If you haven’t read her take on what we witnessed last week on her blog for Lifetime, do it now. It’s shocking!
Now then, let’s get to this fustercluck of surprising exits, but first, the quote of the night…
“I’m back, bitches!”
Rejoice everyone! Our Mr. Osorio has become the third designer in the show’s history brought back when a designer had to leave the competition (the other two were Chris March in season 4 and Anthony Williams in season 7). And now that I’ve spoiled the big reveal of the episode, let’s get to the bullet points, because we have a shopping date.
When we last left our little designers, the men are reflecting on the way the elimination went down. Meanwhile, Melissa and Buffi are discussing the late night disappearance of Andrea.
•The designers meet Tim and Michael Kors at Kors’ flagship store on Madison Avenue. At first, I thought it was the variation of the annual “design for a judge” challenge: not to the extent of making an outfit for Mr. Kors to wear, but maybe designing an outfit for his collection as filtered through the contestants’ aesthetics. And it sort of was; basically each designer had to create an outfit that could go from day to night for a woman on the go who has to travel a lot. But first there was a surprising earnest pep talk from Michael which lead to the immortal line, “Fashion is not for sissies!” At that exact moment, another local design genius (the lovely and talented Max Lohrbach) replied, “Fashion is by sissies and for sissies!”
•As the designers get back to the workroom, everyone is on pins and needles. And then everyone’s starts to freak the fuck out! Christopher feels horrid for throwing Andrea under the bus on the last runway and is having trouble with his dress. Nathan breaks down into wracking sobs. Everyone is hugging each other. And Buffi is the sane one.
•But that doesn’t prepare us for the other big shock: Kooan, who has been silent all day long, has decided that he is going to leave the competition. While I am shocked and saddened that Kooan decided to leave the show, it did pave the way for Raul to return, so there is some good to come out of it.
•There was some bizarre tension between Christopher and Buffi. Christopher was trying to help Buffi with her dress and she was having none of it.
•It was surprising to see all of the designers giving our Mr. Osorio shade in the confessional, particularly from Ven who’s was basically being a dick. Which makes sense since his dresses look like vaginas. All we know is that when Ven was making his comments, the audience at moto-i rose as one and booed. Loudly. To quote Latrice Royale of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, “The shade! The shade of it all!”
•Runway time! In addition to Heidi, Michael, and Nina, we had actress Hayden Panettiere (whose commentary seemed to focus on the shoulders and how they were or weren’t flattering) and designer Rachel Roy (who has been a judge on the show before and had fantastic commentary for the designers).
•Rather than tearing up all the dresses, I would like to make one complaint across the board: while I realize the idea was to make something versatile for a woman traveling, I would have appreciated more color on the runway. That said, of the middle I liked Melissa’s nomadic multi-layered outfit, and Nathan’s chic dress (though in this case I think it was the wrong color; instead of that pea soup green, it would have looked better in olive or brown).
•Special side note to Ven: A zippered vagina dress? Really?!? And can he do anything besides origami pleating?
•As for the top three: All were fantastic choices. The detailing in Sonjia’s grey jersey dress was fantastic (and I have to agree with Rachel Roy’s comment that it would have been interesting to have seen the dress back to front). Christopher’s dress was all right but the cropped jacket was exquisite, and by listening to Tim’s advice, he was able to style it to make it look “editorial” (according to Nina). Dmitry’s dress had some nice touches (the weaving in the bodice, the detailing in the back) but I agree with Michael that it would have looked better in red. While all three could have won it, the win has gone to Sonjia and I can’t complain about that.
•That said, I wonder if the designers knew that Hayden Panettiere would be wearing the winning garment at a red carpet event. My guess is no, because if they had, the results would have been different.
•The reason I ask is because the reasoning behind Fabio being in the bottom is kind of weak. It’s not the most original design, and it’s not glamorous but in terms of travel and wearability it’s on the mark.
•And now, the return of RAUL WATCH! I’m going to chalk this up to exhaustion after the whirlwind of events that had happened in the past 24 hours. It pains us to say this, but it was not his best work. The precision of the design that we expect from Raul wasn’t there. And while I won’t go so far to call the pants cuckoo, I will say that the jacket was slightly confusing.
•But then again, Buffi got the auf. As soon as the coral overdress was described as a beautician’s smock, she was in trouble. And when they lifted the overdress to see the wonky construction, it was all over. A shame, really, since she was one of the more entertaining contestants this season.
•Finally, Raul’s Facebook page is blowing up due to his return. There’s some lovely commentary from his cast-mates, a surprising video from one of his colleagues, and this little entertaining message:
And speaking of entertaining, join me and the rest of the l’étoile gang at our weekly viewing party at moto-i next week. Screenings begin at 8 pm, but get there early to nab a choice seat. And remember, vote for Raul in the fan favorite competition, and cheer on #teamRaul!