Project Runway: A Step In The Right Direction

In another episode to prove this season is miles apart from “that which must never be mentioned,” Project Runway’s latest combines the great characters (ie: contestants) introduced last episode and adds an innovative and extremely (might I say) fabulous challenge. Truly this episode blew my mind! And while it is far too early to completely deem this season a success, the promise that it shows could put it on par with earlier seasons.

This week the designers challenge is, in Heidi’s words, “a little out there” geographically speaking as the designers leave the comfy nest of New York City and travel to the farm.

They are met with their models attired in… potato sacks and mud. The challenge: transform these sacks into a party ready design that the models will wear to an industry event. And because of the stakes, it’s the model’s choice. All of the designers look suitably baffled except Seth and Jay who actually seem to be excited. Yes, they’re either weird or like testing themselves, but this can only be good.

In model’s choice, Mila takes umbrage when her model decides to go with Anthony instead. She quickly moves from questioning her skill to demeaning Anthony’s. Whatever helps you feel better. But perhaps it does help to know that Mila’s former model turns out to be quite a demanding client for Anthony. Somebody lucked out. Not Anthony, nor a few of the other designers whose models proceed to make demands which are at the least, questionable. Then comes the part where the designers contemplate how to address the desires of their clients without jeopardizing themselves of their chances in the competition.

Tim arrives to check out the designer’s work so far. He is impressed with Ping’s top, but feels the skirt is too short. What with the elevated platform, the poor girls behind would be showing. Ping agrees to make it longer. At Jesus’ station Tim has a problem with the fact that Jesus decided to completely get rid of the burlap and instead focus his design on ribbons, layered and layered. Tim feels that the dress is not in the spirit of the challenge and I agree that it’s such a cop-out. Jesus disagrees, but what else can you do when confronted with your own inadequacy and lack of imagination. He keeps the ribbons.

In the final fitting, Seth worries about Ping, Pamela’s dress is ill-fitting and Jay Nicholas hates his skirt. Jesus tells his model of Tim’s critque and instructs her to sell the design to the judges.

At the runway the guest judge is Lauren Hutton, model/actress. At the top are: Amy, who Michael said made the fabric (sack) look fun and flirty; Jay Nichols who Heidi complimented for making burlap look expensive; and Mila whose dress Nina calls fantastic. The winner: Jay, and while I loved Amy’s dress I can’t find too much fault in this. At the bottom of the pack are: Jesus whose approach to the challenge Heidi questioned; Pamela whose dress, Michael thought, looked worse than the potato sack; and Ping whose booty flashing dress (it was too short, WAY too short) made the judges wonder if she understood the challenge. Going home: I would love to say it was Jay, but unfortunately it’s Pamela who gets the axe.

I’ve got to say, I was impressed with both this challenge and the designers approach to it. So many pieces came down the runway that were beautiful, you could not see their humble beginnings. It’s great to see what these designers can do when pressed to it. Keep it up.

For another take on this episode, check out Hot Potatoes by Dianna.

Season 7, Episode 2: The Fashion Farm (originally aired January 21, 2010)

For more on Project Runway, click here.

Thursdays at 10pm EST on Lifetime

Photographs courtesy of Lifetime and IMDbPro

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