by Todd O'Dowd
Hello again! It’s week eight of Project Runway‘s tenth season and the eight week of us cheering on local designer Raul Osorio as he competes to win the fan favorite competition (by tweeting #teamraul). This week we didn’t have our weekly viewing party at moto-i because (a) it was Fashion’s Night Out (and you can read our report on the local events going on here), and (b) Raul was off to New York for the finale show as part of New York Fashion Week (and, we assume, the taping of the reunion episode).
In fact, by the time you read this post, the finale will have already happened (scheduled for 10 am EDT, 9 am CST). Which is interesting because we all learned this week that eight designers would be featured in the final show (which would be a mix of the true finalists and the decoy collections). Thus, tonight’s episode would reveal which eight designers would be the ones to show in the tents.
But enough set up; we’ve got to get going and make a dollar to make Honey Boo Boo holla! (Sorry everyone; Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is on in the background as I write this.)
•After Heidi’s brief introduction, the designers head to the workroom, which is loaded with a bunch of arts and crafts materials, and a waiting Tim Gunn. With the dreaded button bag. The designers will be split into three teams of three and must create something to sell on the street to make money using the arts and crafts materials in front of them. The teams shake out as follows: Sonjia, Gunnar, and Christopher; Melissa, Fabio, and Ven; and Alicia, Dmitry, and Elena. Right away Elena has a bad attitude about the whole thing; a prelude of things to come.
•Watching the designers prostituting themselves on the street was rather pathetic. But, as they say, them’s the breaks when you’re on a reality T.V. show. And seeing their underwhelming attempts, I’m shocked that the teams raised $800.48 (Melissa’s team), $684 (Sonjia’s team), and $500 (Dmitry’s team) respectively to the point I have to call shenanigans!
•And then comes part two of the challenge; with the money they raised, the team must create two looks for fall, one of which must feature outerwear. Drama naturally ensues as the designers scramble to make this work without killing each other.
•The next day is runway time with designer Anna Sui joining Heidi, Michael, and Nina in the guest judge’s seat.
•Team Sonjia, Gunnar, and Christopher are declared the best team of the week, with Sonjia’s olive pleated jacket being declared a standout piece for the win. I was underwhelmed by Christopher’s sleeveless trench, but paired with Gunnar’s dress it made sense. It was also a surprise that there was little drama between the team members, especially between Gunnar and Christopher. Oh, to be sure, Gunnar did feel that his dresses were being upstaged, but that was about it. In this case he was right – his dresses really did unify the two looks.
•Team Melissa, Ven, and Fabio had the largest budget to work with, but their two outfits look cheap, in spite of some decent materials and a pretty color scheme. Melissa’s pants resolved themselves, but Ven’s skirt looked limp and not worth all the fuss he was making. Fabio’s coat is pretty but the execution felt limp. In fact Anna Sui (who was a fantastic judge tonight) nailed it when she said that in theory the collection was fine but needed stronger and sharper tailoring across the board to make it work.
•As for Team Rocky and Bullwinkle (as dubbed by Christopher) Dmitry and Elena bicker throughout the process and Elena can’t stand Alicia’s pants. Alicia is annoyed by Elena’s bulky coat covering her dress. And both ladies are annoyed by Dmitry’s dress, which is featuring his trademark exposed darting. As if their clothes weren’t bad enough (Nina called both Dmitry and Elena out for making the same type of outfit again, Michael called Alicia out for her poor-fitting trousers) Elena and Dmitry devolved into a bickering match accusing each other of being rude, inflexible, and being a pain in the ass. Anna Sui called it again by saying that it was easy to see the conflict in the team in the clothes missing the mark.
•And finally it is a slightly sad farewell to Alicia, which I chalk up more to producer manipulation and not wanting to get rid of the Russian and the Ukrainian.
So there you have it. By the time you read this, we will see the final collections of Christopher, Dmitry, Elena, Fabio, Gunnar, Melissa, Sonjia, and Ven. As soon as they are up, we’ll link to them so you can speculate as to which are the decoys and which are up for the win. But now we ask you, gentle readers, knowing who is left, who do you think will be the top three actually competing for the grand prize?