Project Runway Australia – Episode 9

I love bridal challenges — I think there was one in the first season of Project Catwalk (which, by the way, has been CANCELLED because it was hideously bad) but I’m unsure if there’ve been other bridal challenges in the other versions.

“Oh my God, it’s bridal!” squeals Leigh. “I love weddings!”

Lui, on the other hand, simply says, “It’s not my cup of tea.”

It’s totally my cup of tea. I was the sort of little girl who’d love dressing up with my mother’s veil and wrap a huge bed sheet around me like a skirt.

When Leigh says that, ever since he was a boy in grade one, it’s been his dream to get married. You and me, both, buddy — but the thing is, I’d probably be more like Monica from Friends, in that episode where she falls head-over-heels in love with her future sister-in-law’s dress and then winds up wearing it around her apartment…to clean.

That’s the kind of nutjob that I am.

The brief is to design a “show-stopping” bridal gown — which is going to be an interesting challenge for Juli, who will be getting married at the end of the year. This, if anything, will provide her with some ideas for her own wedding.

Mentor Henry tells the motley crew that that this is a challenge that is near and dear to his heart because he’s from a family where three generations have been in the wedding design business…and when they show some samples of his work, all I can think is, “I want a Henry Roth wedding gown, too.”

Leigh, as always, cracks me up — this time, when he takes the tulle skirt off of the dress form dummy and puts it on and declares that he’ll just work in it all day.

When he’s advising Lui with the very practical suggestion of making the gown movable because, by the end of the day, it’s all about having fun, he adds, “Most brides get totally blotto! Some of them even sleep with the best man!”

When Henry walks into the workroom for their critiques, I’m super excited about what he has to say.

Petrova’s gown which is a “sexy movie star” look…at first glance, doesn’t look all that great — but, to be fair, she hasn’t put the frill around the dress. Henry likens the proposed collar to a “lizard” laying around the neck — but Petrova isn’t fazed.

Henry is more concerned with Lui’s gown — especially when he says that his dress is going to be “simple”. He asks what will make the gown different from all of the other gowns he’s designed and bluntly tells him that he needs to do something that is dramatic — or else, he will be having a dramatic exit.

I love how Henry really pushes the designers — like when he urges Leigh to push the gown “further”. What makes it different, he asks Leigh.

From what I’m seeing, though, it looks like the sort of wedding gown I would have dreamed about as a little girl — the gown I would have wanted.

When Henry goes around to visit with Juli, she seems to be running out of time and I’m worried for her — she’s become one of my favourite designers. She’s always elegantly turned out (i.e. in her own outfits for the runway shows) and the garments she’s done in the past have been beautiful and stunning.

What I like about the designers — and I’ve said this again and again — is how they’re all supportive and encouraging with each other. Like, when Juli tells Lui that it’s important to be positive — yesterday, he was under-ambitious and she was over-ambitious. It was now time to turn things up a notch and “make things work.”

When Petrova uses a hot glue gun to stick on sequins and when she runs the iron over it, the glue smears down the front of the gown — and I can’t help but wonder, “How do you make things work when something like that happens?”

Things couldn’t get any worse — or so it seems. When Henry walks in with yet another surprise (to which Leigh tells the camera, “Oh my God — if he brings in Liza Minelli and I have to design a gown for Michael Jackson, I’m going to SCREAM!”), stating that every bride goes down the alter with a bridesmaid.

This is a clear set up and Leigh moans, “Oh my Lord, sweet Jesus!”

In walks in the eliminated models with fabric that the designers must use to create bridesmaids’ dresses — all which must be done in five hours.

The reminder is to make sure the dress compliments the bridal gown.

I love the dark purple colour — which makes me think, “This might be perfect for my own bridesmaid’s dress.”

My sister is getting married next year, and purple was the colour of choice…so this challenge became doubly interesting to watch.

Lui is dismayed when he whips up a bridesmaid’s dress in two hours and discovers that it looks better than the bridal gown he’s created.

The models are concerned but aren’t sure what to tell Lui, who is adamant about keeping things simple — because that’s his style.

And while I understand that and respect him for sticking to his guns, I don’t think it’s going to get him to Fashion Week, you know? I think that’s a shame because I think he’s talented — but Henry is totally right about Lui perpetually showing the same thing.

I really loved the speech that Henry gave the designers right before the runway show. He’s dead on about how the garments they send out are individual expressions of who they are as designers. So…that being said, I think that you could cut some slack for Lui for sticking to what his style is…but at the same time, I think he could have done better if you’re really going to create a “show stopping” gown.

The guest judge this week is fashion journalist, Melissa Hoyer — which, for me, was an odd choice. Aren’t there any top wedding gown designers you could have brought in to judge?

I loved Juli’s gown — it’s actually the sort of gown I would have liked for my own wedding. It sort of reminds me of the second wedding gown that Charlotte wore in her wedding to Harry in Sex and the City.

I just really like that sleek look.

Petrova’s gown didn’t look “glamourous” (as she called it). It just wasn’t my taste — I thought her excuse about the glue wasn’t acceptable. She was dismissive of it and I just felt like, “If this was a real client, this wouldn’t be acceptable.”

The judges called it “bride of Frankenstein.” No shit.

I loved, loved, loved Leigh’s two gowns — the bridal gown was the most traditional, but it was so gorgeous. I was completely in raptures over it. I loved it so much, I really wanted to put it on.

I was estatic when he won — I was a little worried that Juli would win over Leigh. While I loved Juli’s gown, but I loved Leigh’s gown more.

Lui’s gown was…interesting…the flowing train was very dramatic, actually. But the guest judge didn’t like it and Jayson declared it “lumpy”, though Kristy thought it was glamorous.

Lui frankly tells the judges he’d only been to one wedding in Australia…so they took that into consideration.

I was still disappointed, though, when he was cut from the competition. I just like his design esthetic more than Petrova.

Out of the four, I only felt Leigh and Juli truly deserved to be there. Petrova…well, I was irritated that she was kicked off and then broguht back into the competition again…on the back of Helen’s work. Helen was the one with the impeccable tailoring skills that carried Petrova back into the competition…and because of that, I felt as though Petrova didn’t deserve the spot that she had at the finale.

That outfit that she won for? It wasn’t good. Juli should have won that challenge…so, yes, I end this episode thinking, “What is this bullshit?”

Lui was all grace (as usual) and graciousness when he leaves.

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~ by justj on September 4, 2008.

One Response to “Project Runway Australia – Episode 9”

  1. I’m happy with the final three. My favourite at the moment is Juli. I couldn’t believe that Petrova had used a hot glue gun ON THE IRONING BOARD, then ironed her dress on the same board! My boyfriend and I were practically screaming at the screen “WHY?!?! There’s a perfectly good desk over there!”

    Having said that, I’m really looking forward to the final – hoping Juli wins. 🙂

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