Week 7 of “Project Runway” saw the designers in the midst of the annual Marie Claire Challenge, which isn’t so much a particular challenge, but a necessary sponsorship moment. These 90 minute episodes don’t pay for themselves, after all.
So, what exactly what this week’s Marie Claire Challenge? A visit to MC’s offices (complete with an introduction to EIC Anne Fulenwider) reveals that the designers must create a look inspired by a pair of shoes. It’s the sort of challenge that is so free of limits that, naturally, it nearly strangles some of our favorites.
But before anyone can decide on their kick of choice, a game must be played. An hour and a half must be filled! So, it’s time for a fashion quiz. If the designer who buzzes in first answer correctly, they may step forward and choose a pair from the wall. Because Alexandria took the win last week, she’s spared the game and is permitted to select first. She opts for a pair of thigh-high gladiator sandals. Yikes.
Ken gets the first question right, allowing for him to act like a snob once again. In the beginning of the season, I felt that Ken was too quiet. It seems, however, his fight with the loony Sandro has emboldened Ken. Now I wish he would just keep his mouth shut.
Performing miserably, Miranda laments, “Why can’t these questions be about wallpaper or photography?” Uhh, maybe because you’re on a fashion show? She and Dom do not perform well. Dom doesn’t remember that Coco Chanel coined the term “the little black dress,” (Oof.) but Miranda comes in last.
At Mood, two designers, Miranda and Alexander, both want plaid, which I’d say is two designer too many. They’re both making a pant. This ought to go well.
Cut to the workroom. Bradon is using a technique that makes the fabric look like bubbling, boiling water. I guess it sounds cool, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “I wish my shirt looked like it was boiling!”
Alexandria wants to shy away from the bondage aspect of the sandals and make her outfit more of a “wink.” Karen calls it “weaksauce.” Miranda’s making another jacket and blouse because that went so well the first time. Mentor Tim Gunn says it looks inexpensive. Tim is right.
Ken is making a coat dress, whatever that is. He says Bradon’s design is for his great-great grandmother in her casket. Ken ought to worry about his one-shouldered pouffy coat dress. That being said, Bradon’s design isn’t working either. He loves the technique, but it just looks like something in a hamper to me.
Alexander and Miranda’s pants are nearly identical. Miranda isn’t worrying about everything lining up 100% which is idiotic when there’s a twin on the runway that her pants are being compared to. Her overly-confident soundbites must be clues that she bombs, right? Oh, wait, Alexander’s pants don’t fit. So, no one wins.
As the models prep for the runway, I can’t help but scream: Bradon’s look is SO old. That high-waisted skirt that creates an empire waistline makes his 19-year-old model look like a schoolmarm. So, like, the opposite of fashion.
Ken slams Miranda’s model’s hair: “It looked like Amy Winehouse after she OD’d.” I don’t like Ken, but I must give credit where credit’s due. That hair is atrosh.
The Runway Show: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Tim are joined by Anne and actress Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory.” Sidenote: Why does Posen consistently look like a ventriloquist dummy? Lay off the rouge, my porcelain pal.
Ken: It’s just a peplum dress. Better than the initial design, still nothing special.
Alexander: Those pants are awkwardly tight. The model looks knock-kneed.
Miranda: Of course she comes right after Alexander. That baggy crotch is so unflattering and the polka dots don’t work with the plaid.
Dom: I wanted this to be more like a t-shirt. The dress is too tight, feels heavy and doesn’t fit with those shoes. I expected something more youthful.
Justin: Redemption. The shoes pop with the all-black ensemble and that leather coatlet is fierce.
Alexandria: I appreciate the bit of lace design at the neck, but the rest of the garment is entirely too simple for those shoes, IMHO.
Karen: That hint of yellow under the coat is the right kind of sexy and when the coat comes off? Yes, mam.
Bradon: No. Just no. Everything is just too old. And the sunglasses? What?
Kate: I wasn’t sure of those pants in the workroom, but they own the runway. Every time those bold shoes pop out, it’s the best kind of pop.
Jeremy: Seriously with that chiffon sweater? Jeremy, no. Last week was such a high and tonight was, like, the exact opposite.
Helen: Tim worried this would be matronly in the workroom, but there’s nothing matronly about this anymore. That cape owns and totally complements the edge of the shoes.
Kate, Karen, Dom, Justin and Alexander are safe. (It’s a travesty that Kate isn’t in the top!)
Alexandria: Heidi thinks the dress is the perfect thing for the shoes. Meh, Heidi. Meh. Heidi thinks it looks very editorial. Zac isn’t a fan of gladiator boots, says it feels pedestrian. I take back everything I said about your dollface, Zac.
Jeremy: Heidi: “It does not look current or modern to me.” That chiffon top literally looks like it was crafted out of toilet paper.
Helen: Nina: “When this walked out, I was like, ‘I want that look.'” Is there any better compliment?
Miranda: “She does not look like a cool girl to me, at all.” Heidi. Zac, however, doesn’t think it’s kooky enough. “Where is the eggnog?” Heidi asks, which is now my new favorite insult. Miranda should have argued that she was going to geeky-chic rather than rock and roll because everyone takes her to task for it not being rock and roll at all. “I haven’t seen anything truly inventive from her yet.” Zac. Oops.
Ken: The judges love it, mostly because of the fabric choice. The fabric is great, but there were better designs that were safe. During the close-up inspection, it’s made clear that the fabric sealed the deal.
Bradon: Heidi notes that the top is tortured, and Zac points out that, while technical, it’s not flattering or fresh. Anne says it reminds her of a grandma’s pillow, which hits in on the head for me, finally. It should be on a couch, not a chest.
Helen wins because duh. She’s had her struggles so far, but she’s turning into a contender for the finals.
Ken is safe, leading him to slam Helen’s look because he’s Ken and he wants to be the villain. Alexandria is safe too. Jeremy is safe, likely riding on the success of his handwriting dress from last week. Bradon is kept around, edging Miranda out. She cries a bit and it’s sad, I guess, but like Zac said, she never did anything of note. Once her sparring partner Timothy was sent home, she lacked a purpose.
Auf Wiedersehen, Miranda.
Did the right designer get the boot this week? If not, who do you think deserved to go home?