What do you get when you combine a bunch of dark colors with some crying people? This week's episode of Project Runway, obviously. Thank goodness for Tim Gunn, is all we can say. He was the one bright spot in this otherwise bland hour.
Well, besides Michael Kors' Madison Avenue flagship store. That was pretty bright also. The designers gathered here to recieve their next challenge, which we think was about a day-to-night, travels-well type of outfit, but we can't be sure because there were too many handbags that we wanted hanging out in the background. Anyway, we do learn that Buffi Jashanmal's client works in "nightlife," and Gunnar Deathridge's client is going from "the office to a PTA meeting," so we expect a pretty varied runway show.
Oh, wait. Before that, the designers are told that Andrea Katz has indeed fled the scene. The crime? Assault on a Project Runway winner with a hideous brown dress. Seriously though, we feel bad that Andrea was apparently in such a state that she had to escape the Atlas in the middle of the night. In their confessionals, the designers are all like, "Hey, fashion is a cut-throat business. If you can't handle it, you best leave."
After the designers sketch and head to Mood, some of them begin commenting that Kooan Kouske has been extremely quiet. He explains that he just has a lot to think about, but soon reveals he was thinking not of his design, but his departure. Yeah, he quits, too. "I know I'm like, a weird little person, but I have an announcement to make," Kooan says. What is going on here? Nathan Paul starts to cry — like, really cry — and he says he wants to leave also, but he won't. It should be noted that almost as soon as Kooan made his announcement, he was joyous again. "Make it work!" he yelled back at the designers as he left.
The atmosphere in the workroom is not terribly conducive to doing so, however. And then! Raul Osorio comes back. Remember when Anthony Williams was eliminated in Season 7 and then he got to come back and everyone was jumping up and down, screaming with joy? This was nothing like that. It was kind of like when your least favorite roommate comes home an hour early and you're watching TV and you look up and go, "Oh, hey."
Later, there is some Buffi/Christopher Palu drama. Christopher anticipates there being an issue with Buffi's design, and offers her his black chiffon to replace her hot pink chiffon. He thinks he is just being a good friend, but Buffi takes offense — the pink is what makes the outfit Buffi explains. They have a spat, but we attribute it more to the high-stress situation and not either person.
Let's get to the runway, where Heidi, Michael, Nina Garcia and two fabulous guest judges — Rachel Roy and Hayden Panettiere — await.
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The show is basically a parade of black and gray, with the exception of Buffi's hot pink chiffon and animal-print dress (which the judges said looked inexpensive) and Raul's terrible T-shirt, vest and pants combo. Hayden was particularly and rightfully horrified by it. "I would never wear this," she said, aghast. Both of these looks end up in the bottom three, along with Fabio's too-short office dress and and too-short jacket. "You're wearing ropes around your neck for goodess' sake!" Rachel exclaimed. "How could you make such a boring outfit?" Well, that's what she was basically saying, anyway.
We think the judges got the top and bottom three right, but we really didn't like any of the safe designs, either. Alicia Hardesty made a seemingly ill-fitting pants and shirt (we know it was supposed to be like that, but it didn't work) combo. Gunnar gave us a skirt and blouse that had a lot of interesting detail but still managed to be boring (and the colors were awful). Melissa Fleis surprised us, and not in a good way — maybe without the hood and those too-long pieces in the front, the outfit would have been better. It did look comfortable (but also like you could get lost trying to take your clothes off). Nathan's dress, well... we wish we could unsee that mustard color and that dowdy shape. Elena Slivnyak made a frighteningly stiff jacket, and some other stuff that was probably okay but we couldn't get past the jacket. Seriously, if you saw just the shadow of that boxy jacket, your blood would run cold. Finally, Ven Budhu (who had immunity) made a nice dress but it was too evening.
That left Christopher, Sonjia Williams and Dmitry Sholokhov (finally!) in the top, and they definitely deserved to be there. We loved Christopher's look, especially the turtleneck, and we loved that jacket as well. Sonjia made gray glamorous. "I love how you manipulated the fabric," Heidi said of Sonjia's dress, and we agree. We especially loved that very slight V in the back. "Very conservative, but very sexy," said Nina. Dmitry's dress was on the safer side, but very wearable and "hands-down, the best-made garment we've seen tonight," according to Michael.
Sonjia was named the winner, and guys... when she went backstage, Ven actually cracked a smile for her! Here's what we like about Ven: He's not a trash-talker. He just calls things as he sees them. So if he thinks what you're doing is terrible, he will say so, but he still recognizes good work and gives credit for it.
In a heartbreaking end to this already-disturbing episode, Buffi is auf'd. We're not pleased. Raul didn't even manage to measure his model properly and ended up with pants that were 4 inches too narrow for his model, whose hips were already model-size. As for Fabio, the only thing interesting about his look was the print, and he didn't create that. What he did create was too short and unexciting. Buffi's look may have been cheap-looking, but we appreciated that she stayed true to herself and attempted to design something.
At least we know Tim shares our disappointment. "I think of you as being the season 10 hostess!" he said. Aw, Tim.