Project Runway Review: The Show is Finally Cancelled

The pressure has never been higher than on this week’s Project Runway. At stake are not only the bragging rights for one more week, the challenge winner for this task will walk away with an unprecedented $20,000 prize (read TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!) If that doesn’t stoke your desire for victory, than nothing will. And I suppose I should say the win is its own reward, but that’s not going to get you a miniature pony now is it April?

There are two challenges this week for the designers. The first challenge is to create a high fashion look inspired by L’Oreal Paris’ Studio Secret eye shadow. The winning garment will be featured in an ad for L’Oreal Paris and the designer of said garment will walk away with $20,000.

All of the designers are psyched about this prize and they list off all the things that money can give them. While some designers are blinded by the silly things this money could buy (Gretchen wants to pay off her credit card debt), other designers keep their feet firmly planted on the ground (April decides to buy a miniature horse, a plan which garners my full support. After all, you have all your life to pay off a credit card, but there’s only one chance to splurge on a tiny horse you haven’t a chance of supporting in the long term. Yay Phillip! {That’s what I named the horse.})

Anyway, the designers are determined to go all out and really push the boundaries for this challenge. Mondo is inspired by a kaleidoscope, and hopes to play up the shifting colors for his design. This idea is very true to Mondo’s aesthetic as we have seen in the past. As Mondo says, ‘why play with crayons if there’s only one color.’ Ivy is also taking inspiration in color. This comes as a shock but Ivy wants to prove to the judges that she’s capable of muted colors. She takes inspiration from Hawaii and tries to imitate the waves. For her colors, she chooses two awkward shades of blue that spark neither interest nor contrast. It becomes clear fairly early that Ivy may be taking the wave thing a little too literally. But at this point, it’s make it work time. Andy decides to go warrior with his design, making a very structured suit for his model. After last week’s close elimination Andy is determined to prove to the judges that he belongs in the competition. Gretchen makes this kimono style top that Tim cautions looks like a robe. Michael C. plans this elaborate gown of a color similar to Gretchen’s. Gretchen’s too busy harping over this to see even though the color is similar, their designs are worlds apart. Whereas Gretchen’s is stately, Michael’s design is way over the top.

Just when the designers all believe they may have found their stride, Tim comes to completely knock them off their feet with a second challenge. Hours before the challenge is due to end fashion mentor Tim Gunn reveals that there is a second challenge to this task. Along with the avant-garde design designers must create an accompanying ready to wear look. And even though Tim says he is devastated to spring such unwelcome news on the designers, he’s getting mighty comfortable doing so.

The designers are all in a tailspin about having to create another design, especially since most of them are nowhere near finished with their high-fashion look. Valerie takes this task the hardest. A day and a half into the challenge and Valerie still has no design to show for it. Having thrown away her first design, Val is left half a day to create two designs. She is totally freaked and basically working to just put her model in something.

On the Runway, designer Naeem Khan serves as guest judge.

The designs on the Runway were cute, but twenty thousand dollars worth I’m not quite sure. April’s haute design was nice. It had the look of a ringmaster at some sort of twisted circus. Both of Mondo’s looks were statement pieces, his ready to wear was the most striking as it looked like his model was run over by a car, but in a nice way. Ivy’s is just an ugly blue dress. Michael gave his model a train as long as the dress; this dress is as extravagant as his ready to wear is skimpy. Andy achieved the warrior thing that he was going for, with a nice clean black suit that definitely made a statement. Christopher’s look was reminiscent of a silent screen film goddess. Gretchen’s girl looked like a woodland hippie and Valerie’s looks were beautiful but nothing special.

In the top three this week are Mondo, Gretchen and Andy. The judges loved the techniques of Andy’s piece, especially how he made the pants into boots by having his model wear her shoes under the sculpted feet. This an amazing detail, really above par. The judges liked Gretchen’s look, but thought it had more detail in the front than in the back. Mondo’s look was a big hit. The judges loved both his gown as well as the hat he made for his model. Michael Kors called his look very glamorous. Mondo pulls out a win for this one.

In the bottom three are Ivy, Valerie, and Michael C. All of the judges believed that the bottom designs had a bridesmaid/pageant problem. Ivy’s undersea bridesmaid suffered from poor color choices and a bad fit. Nina questioned Valerie’s taste after seeing her wacky pageant dress. And though the judges praised Michael on his construction, they felt that his ballgown was not modern enough and found the train to be ridiculous. In the end, it was the Ivy show that was cancelled.

Season 8, Episode 9: Race to the Finish (originally aired September 23, 2010)

For more on Project Runway, click here. You can follow Poptimal on Twitter @poptimal.

Thursdays at 9pm EST on Lifetime

Photographs courtesy of Lifetime.

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