Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 7

Lord of the Taylors

This week's challenge is to create a dress for Lord & Taylor, to go along with a collection of dresses designed by former Project Runway contestants.  It must be commercial, retail for $200-$300 and fit the "Lord & Taylor woman," which to me means a 60 year-old trying to look like she's 50, but evidently L&T has been rebranding.

The current collection is cohesive in that all the looks are dresses and... um... that's about it.  Clearly there was no collaboration on this "collection" so I don't see what the point is in making the current contestants adhere to an aesthetic that includes a cranberry-colored chiffon maxi dress with gold applique kimono sleeves, a black taffeta party dress with a pearl brooch and a long-sleeved brown pencil dress that looks like UPS corporate.  Would you like some ketchup with your coffee?

At any rate, I suppose that means the designers have free reign so long as the dress can be mass produced.  The designers are also limited to the fabrics that Lord & Taylor's manufacturers use, which ranges from synthetic from Singapore to disco fabulous.  Designers, welcome to the mass market!

The show then cuts to the contestants gushing about how they've always dreamed of designing clothes for Lord & Taylor, but really what they said was they always dreamed of designing clothes for lords and Taylor Swift.  The editors cleaned that part up.  In all seriousness, this is a pretty decent prize; having clothes sold nationwide in a department store is a BFD, even if it's a department store that Taylor Swift's grandmother shops at.

I gotta say, this challenge seemed like a pretty easy one to me.  Because the dresses have to be mass produced, the designs have to be simple, which means they take less time to make.  Yet there were more tears, angst and drama than an episode of Dawson's Creek.  Here were the major crises:

The Gender Divide

I hate women.
Once again the designers fall into a boys vs. girls mentality in the workroom.  It seems that all the guys are pretty confident in their designs, while all the girls seem to be struggling.   According to Ven, this is because "men are usually stronger designers.  Women are more practical." This from the guy who's sewing a pleather vagina on the front of an otherwise pedestrian LBD.  Oh Ven, when the day comes (and it will come) that you realize you're not the design prodigy you esteem yourself to be, I sincerely hope there is a camera two inches from your face so that we may all witness, with perverse joy, the crushing of your soul.  Did I go too far?

Meanwhile, Elena (if that's her real name) just can't seem to translate her high concept avant garde aesthetic, aka big shoulders, into something commercial, aka normal shoulders.  After last week's uncharacteristic snuggle lovefest, Elena is back to black. In a moment of weakness, she very nearly blows her Russian spy cover when she confides to the camera "It took years and years and years to make me the way I am... years of practice."  You know who else practices for years?  KGB.  Niet, Elena, don't blow it now. [For the scoop on my Elena-is-a-Russian-spy Theory, check out my recap from Episode 5]

Muslin understands me

The other ladies aren't much better off.  Sonjia can't get over her poor performance last week enough to complete her simple shift dress with peplum panels.  In a moment of foreshadowing, Tim Gunn warns her that she's going to work herself into a psychotic breakdown.  And then she does.  Get it together, girl, there are so many worse dresses!

The Addams Family Country Club uniform
Alicia is designing a black structural dress with a drop waist pleated skirt and a collar.  I couldn't believe she used the "C" word to describe it!   As in, "inspired by Chanel," because that's a tall order for our token granola.  And then there's Melissa, who screws up cutting her dress & has to start over after the first model fitting.

Tim deserves a lot of credit in this episode.  Part cheerleader, part triage nurse and all Dynasty, he spends the entire challenge talking people off ledges.  How he finds the restraint to not, in bellowing tones, remind the designers that this is probably the easiest challenge they're ever going to get so get over yourself, I'll never know.  Instead, he tells the designers to channel their "inner winner" as he throws on Alicia's pleated skirt-dress and grabs some pompoms.

And onto the runway!  Tonight's guest judge is Lord & Taylor's Bonnie Brooks.

Let's be honest, there was a lot of crap that went down that runway tonight.  There were way too many unfinished hems and tear-stained fabrics for this point in the competition.  Was there one single garment I would consider wearing, even if was wear a weird dress to work day?  I'd sooner wear the candy clothes from Episode 3.

But the judges just switched out their regular directors chairs for orgasmic vibrating ones, so they were coming from a different point of view.  Instead of having a top 3 and bottom 3, they have a top 4 and bottom 2 because they said "there were no train wrecks" this week!  Seriously.  They're in the middle of the mental ward saying there's no locos here!  Unbelievable.


Fabio sent down an odd black assymmetrical dress that, like a personality disorder, was soft and feminine in the front, but hard and structural in the back.  I thought it was a hot mess and needed accessories just to give it a point of view.  The judges loved it though.  Heidi said it was very versatile, Bonnie said she would wear that dress (oh please no) and Nina said it was a classic LBD with a twist.

Christopher sent down garment #3 using his signature paneling technique for the top.  If the judges weren't post-self-coitus they would have given him a lot more shit for doing the same thing 3 times but really, it was the only truly pretty dress in my opinion, even if 60 year-olds could never wear it, so I guess I agreed with the scoring.  Bonnie said the gown was a great balance of lightness and strength, Nina said it was elegant and sophisticated but might not work for a lot of people and Heidi said it was a beautiful dress.

To my horror, Melissa landed a spot in the top with her strapless brocade dress with the asymmetrical and unfinished hemline..  The top of the dress stays up via prayer, which is totally practical if you're nursing babies or dancing burlesque.  Perhaps my opinion of the dress was shaped by its hasty, angst-ridden creation, but Nina is usually good at calling BS on impractical dresses.  But no, Nina loved the dramatic fabric, MK said it was the right fabric on the right dress, though he thought the assymmetry went too far, Bonnie said it was ingenious and Heidi said it was a show stopper!

And finally, Elena scored a top spot with her S&M babydoll dress.  I did not see this coming either.  What I saw was a kinky jumper with boob slots.  What the judges saw, however, was a very sellable, fun dress with an extraordinarily beautiful back and an attractive silhouette.  MK applauded her for finding the balance between art and commerce and Elena cried because she came so close to quitting this whole Ukrainian designer charade, moving back to her native Minsk and resuming her natural identity as Aleksandra Artemyev, the daughter of a humble dairy farmer.  But thanks to this win, Elena's spy days are far from over and she will fight on.


I'd rather wear Gunnar's outfit
Gunnar snagged one of the bottom spots with his borderline-tacky lace cocktail dress.  There was too much sparkle and lace for one dress, though Heidi actually like it.  MK said this dress has been done at every price point and tossed out his first Mother of the Bride (or MOB) critique of the season!  Though I have to say MOB seems pretty spot on for Lord & Taylor, doesn't it?  If there were really only two dresses in the bottom this week, I wouldn't have included Gunnar's.

Inspired by Chanel
I would have included Alicia's, however.  The dress' construction is bad enough, but then she has to go and tell the judges about her Chanel inspiration and I just want to shush her.  Don't ever say Chanel to the judges!  Her dress is just wrong in the proportions and fabric selection.  To me it looked like an cocktail tennis outfit, but MK said it looked like an Amish field hockey player.  Nina said it was dowdy and Bonnie said she looked lost somewhere between the office and cocktail hour.  But I'm pretty sure Alicia lives somewhere between the office and cocktail hour, so that might be difficult advice.

In the end, Christopher won the challenge and is hereby deemed Lord of the Taylors.  His dress is now available for sale, but I'm underwhelmed by the result:

NO ONE was sent home this week, which means they're setting us up for a double elimination, I just know it!

Next week is another team challenge.  Christopher, our show's Ted Bundy, has been quietly plotting his next perfect little crime. [More on Christopher's serial ways from the Episode 3 recap]
I'll never tell!

Until then, riot on!

Become a member of Riot for Design for weekly recaps!

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 1

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 2

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 3

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 4 

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 5

Project Runway Season 10 Recap- Episode 6

Pin It!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...