Project Runway Australia – Episode Seven

“Mark left and I thought, ‘Great. Now I’m the only boy in the house who needs makeup!” Leigh laments at the start of this episode — and when Helen’s peels of laughter is heard from across the room, he looks up sharply and rebukes her with, “Don’t laugh Helen!”

God, I love Leigh.

Words cannot begin to express how much I love him.

I think he’s my favourite designer out of all incarnations of Project Runway — the original, the Canadian, the British and the Australian version.

Hell, I even like him better than Christian Siriano — maybe because Leigh never comes off as being nasty, you know?

Like, when Henry and Kristy announce that this week’s challenge is reportedly the “biggest one yet”, and we flash to Leigh who covers his mouth giddily and blurts, “Oh my God!!” I can’t help but think, “C’mon. How can you not love this guy??”

Henry melodramatically rips off a blue velvet blanket off a TV monitor to reveal Kelly Rowland — which illicits squeals of excitement from a few designers — who mentions she’ll be in Australia to promote her new album, Miss Kelly.

Leigh was so cute when he giddily said, “I just screamed. I love celebrities!” (You and me, both, man. I always thought I was the biggest celebrity whore around…albeit, a closeted one.)

The challenge is to design a stage outfit for Kelly Rowland — which is a really big deal. I mean, when I try to wrack my brain and think of other cool challenges in the other incarnations of Project Runway…the only one that seems to top this (for me, anyway) is the season four challenge on the US version when the divine Ms. Sarah Jessica Parker showed up.

I remember one of the designers cried…and even though I’m not the type to cry publicly, I think I might have cried in that moment, too. (Because I can be pretty lame sometimes.)

Helen, however, has no clue who Kelly Rowland is — which boggles Brent’s mind. He wonders aloud if she’s been living in a cave somewhere.

As Helen flips through a look book of some of Kelly’s previous outfits, she seems decidedly unexcited about the project and mentions how she would never let her child out of the house looking like that — and that she’s not sure she can “help” Kelly.

Because they’re going to be designing for an international superstar (is she really? I mean…she’s no Beyonce) their budget this week is a bit larger — $350. Everybody, it seems, is going crazy at Rathdowne Fabrics, and it turns out that both Lui and Leigh have the same idea of doing a fringe.

Lui gets there first and simply says, “First come, first serve” and I have to give kudos to Leigh for not going ape-shit about it. I mean, if this happened on the current season of the original Project Runway, I’m pretty sure several of the designers on that show would have gouged each other’s eyeballs out.

There’s not enough fringe for both and Leigh is forced to pick red and go in a different direction instead with his garment.

“I actually wanted to strangle him,” Leigh confesses. “But it’s over.”

The joke seems to be on Lui, though, when Kelly tells him that she’s not crazy about fringe — which sends poor Lui into a tailspin.

He has painstakingly sewn the fringes on and seems pleased with his creation — and I actually think it looks really great. However, it’s not Kelly’s style…I mean, I saw some of the stuff in the look book (I admit it: I’m not a fan of Kelly Rowland at all…just not somebody I ever listened to even when she was part of Destiny’s Child) and it just didn’t fit in, you know…Lui’s design reminded me of a 1920s flapper…I thought it was cool.

Henry also noted that it had a “flapper” feel, but told Lui that it doesn’t hit the brief.

This leaves Lui feeling “lost” — which is how he often seems to feel during challenges…and yet, he always seems to pull through with some amazing design at the last minute.

My jaw literally drops when, with an hour to go, Lui decides to take a risk and start from scratch rather than send an outfit down the runway that Kelly has already said she would not wear.

“Never give up! That’s my motto right now!” Lui says.

Another person who struggled with this challenge was Helen.

“You don’t seem happy,” Leigh observes.

“Yeah, it’s because I’ve done nothing for an hour!” Helen exclaims. “Not that it’s your fault, Leigh.”

“Yeah, take it out on me, Helen! Frock off!” Leigh says…jokingly, I think?

Helen confesses she can’t see Kelly wearing any of her garments — Gwen Stefani, yes, and Kylie Minogue…but not Kelly Rowland.

On day two, she feels slightly more confident and says that her garment is something she thinks looks a lot classier than a lot of what Kelly was wearing in her look book.

I thought Brent had a valid point when he mimed drawing a square and said that it wasn’t about what the designer thought — this was about the client. It was time to think outside of the box.

Henry carefully picks his words and delicately tells her that it looks cheap, but provides some really helpful words of advice on how to “make it work.”

Kelly, however, when she sees it, says, “I don’t think I’d wear it.”

I like Brent’s outfit — it’s, as Henry notes, a tuxedo look. It seems Brent has really paid attention to what was in Kelly’s look book, by going after popular colour palates and creating a really sexy, sleek look.

When Kelly drops by to visit the designers, Leigh reports, “I just started screaming like a sixteen year old girl!”

Juli is so cute as she giggles and claps her hands, apologizing after gushing, “It was so cool!”

And seriously, gushing is the only way to really describe the excitement that’s plastered all over Juli’s face. It’s actually pretty fun and funny to watch because if I was meeting someone really cool (like Sarah Jessica Parker), I would have probably acted the exact same way. (And trust me, I’m not proud of myself for admitting that. Who wants to cop up to potentially acting like a damned fool?)

Brent was also pretty cute the way he got all flustered and assured Kelly that the shorts he was making would be form-fitting and “fit her booty” — which illicited an arched eyebrow from Kelly.

On the runway, however, Kelly declares it sexy and that she loves it.

“There’s a masculine sexiness to it,” Kelly says. “I have a tour coming up. I would completely wear this on stage!”

Juli’s outfit looks great — personally, though, I liked Brent’s better. I mean, obviously, I’m not Kelly, but I’d actually wear Brent’s outfit if I was just going out for a night on the town.

Juli, however, wins.

Helen is out.

“It’s a show-stopper…if you’re in the wrong neighbourhood. It’s very Pretty Woman — it’s before she met Richard Gere,” Jayson Brundson opines.

“It’s very slutty,” Sarah Gale agrees. “It was Pretty Woman…but not very pretty.”

I actually really felt bad for Helen when she was kicked off because as she started crying, Robotic Kristy was still yammering on…and she didn’t look like she had an ounce of sympathy for Helen.

Leigh tries to lighten the mood when he hugs Helen and complains, “Aw! Who am I going to pick on, now? See, you’re always thinking of yourself!”

I was shocked when she said at the end that she doesn’t have any training — that she’s an accountant.

Holy shit.

That’s all I can say.

~ by justj on August 20, 2008.

One Response to “Project Runway Australia – Episode Seven”

  1. i love leigh
    he shoould win

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