With the start of the Olympic Summer Games this week, it comes as no surprise that Project Runway challenged its designers to create a look for the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, it means we also have to hear Blayne quip about how he deserves a bronze medal for his olympic tanning. I think we need a crossover episode with Intervention.
The designers spend 30 minutes getting inspiration and sketching in the museum at the Armory Track & Field, before sprinting to Mood for 30 minutes of shopping. We get a moment of snippiness, or perhaps underhandedness, when Terri accuses Keith of trying to steal her fabric choice. In the end she gets her way, but given how Keith was accused of jumping into people’s pictures last week, it’s hard to tell what’s really at work. He’s either sneaky or oblivious.
It seems clear pretty quickly that some of the designers took more inspiration from the bygone eras on display in the museum rather than the true spirit of the olympics. Fashion influences from the turn of the century up through the 1970’s begin appearing in the work room. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to see them next to the more modern pieces, that is certain.
Also certain is that the designers are getting on each other’s nerves. Joe, Korto and Jerell all complain about Daniel and Kenley’s constant jokes and laughter and later Joe whines about how Daniel re-threaded the machine he had been working on. This, despite the fact that there are several other machines available. Joe goes on, complaining that everyone else is so self-centered because Daniel didn’t realize Joe had designated that particular machine as "his". Oh irony!
Tim warns Blayne that his look is very "Sgt. Pepper" and when Blayne asks "What’s that?" I realize the tanning has fried his poor little brain. There is no other excuse for not knowing what Sgt. Pepper is. Also, he thinks the Beatles were a phenomenon of the 1930s. Daniel worries that his dress looks too "Superman/Wonder Woman" and Tim points out that olympians are modern day superheros. I think Daniel should be more worried about his front pleats and crotch buttons, frankly.
Our normal Runway judges are joined by the charming (read: hot) Winter Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno, whose name is just downright fun to say!
Korto – It is sophisticated summer wear, and is just sublimely gorgeous without being too much of anything. The wide leg, white linen pants look light and airy, and the red, white and blue leather touches read just "Olympian" enough without breaking from the fashionable sensibility of the overall ensemble.
Suede – It’s a little too reminiscent of what we saw from his winning garment 2 weeks ago. A sleveless white top with a long waist, paired with a boldly colored and flared skirt. There are nice details and it’s well fit…just like it was the last time we saw it.
Kelli – It seems more 1970s housewife to me. The knee length skirt with white accent waistband is just a smidge on the right side of dowdy and the red with white tiny polka dot top with neck bow? Really, I just don’t get it.
Joe – The most literal interpretation. He gives us a snug sport jacket and a skort, with flared accents in red and blue on a white background and even a horizontal USA in red at one thigh. He mixed red and blue zippers to create a whimsical detail, and it’s actually all very cute and modern. As such, it’s a shame that he obviously had serious issues with the length of his skort, which is a a good 4" too long in the front, at least.
Leanne – Typically I hate formal shorts. Even the very idea makes me frown. But Leanne manages to pair them with a top that is so perfectly designed for them that I cannot object. It’s all white except for the red, white and blue high collar. Paired with red espadrilles, it’s all very Americana without resorting to retro or kitsch. Which, when you think about it, is quite a feat.
Daniel – Yikes! Where to begin? Royal blue sateen that looks purple in the wrong light (was there a right light)? Red piping? Aforementioned crotch buttons? And what about the olympics cries out for a cocktail dress, exactly? I’m lost, here.
Jerell – Yikes, redux! Who mixes black leggings under a high waisted, pencil skirt? What was with the patent leather bow belt? All the patterns of stripes and dots? Even the hat had polka dots. As did the neckerchief. Seriously costume, and not even remotely sporty.
Stella – Everyone was worried about her choice to go with all black stretch satin, but you have to hand it to her – she totally pulled off her "gladiator" idea without going so over the top that it was ridiculous. And she did it while staying true to her own style.
Keith – I really can’t figure out how to feel about this one. One the one hand, I hate balloon skirts. On the other hand I love high colors and drop waists. I think if he had left the scarf out, it would have been much better – as the wide swatch of navy and red fabric obscured the details of the top. Also – scarves in the summer? Really? Lastly, terrible shoe choice.
Terri – She creates another effortless looking design. A white pant with fitted top and jacket. The neck ruffle is a bit too fussy for my tastes, but it is all so impeccably tailored that I completely forgive it. It’s perfectly fit and it’s just sporty enough without being literal athletic wear.
Jennifer – Yawnsville. There is nothing about her flared skirt and cardigan set that conveys the idea of sports, olypmics or even America. Micheal Kors nails it when he asks whoever heard of a ‘prim, romantic athlete who is bashful about her body’? Who, indeed.
Blayne – Oh, electric Barbarella. It’s sporty, certainly. And he does love to expose one shoulder. But white with pink and teal accents? Did I miss something, little surfer boy?
Kenley – It’s very Kenley, and therefore ten shades of adorable, well constructed and fashionable. She also manages to convey enough "America" with out resorting to being too literal. However, it seems more ‘chic, pool-side party in the Hamptons’ than ‘athletes in the opening ceremonies’.
The top and bottom three are worked down to Terri, Korto and Joe with Jennifer, Daniel and Jerell – which is not really any great surprise. Daniel looks on the edge of tears through most of it, which makes me want to give him a hug. Well, if his hair didn’t look so greasy, I would want to give him a hug. As such, maybe just a pat on the shoulder and a ‘there, there‘. In the end, it’s alright for him after all, as Jennifer is sent home and Korto takes the win.
After the cold water shock of last weeks outcome, did anyone else feel relieved to see normalcy return to our judging panel? Or did you disagree with the final outcome? Should we start a collection of sunless tanner for Blayne, to save him from skin cancer and leather flesh later in life?