Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 3 – It’s A Party

It doesn’t really surprise me that Models of the Runway was cancelled — I’m glad that the picking and choosing of the models has been incorporated, once more, back into the show…though, it’s been my complaint time and time again that the designers aren’t forced to change models every week.

This week is crazy, unconventional challenge week — design an outfit using materials from a party design store. Tim meets them at the store — and for a change, tells the designers flat out that they shouldn’t be taking the easy way out by using materials that are too similar to fabric…but Casanova doesn’t seem to understand that and runs to where the table cloths are.

Hilariously enough, we cut to a repeat of the scene where Tim warns them not to use materials that can easily substitute fabric…and it’s labelled as “2 Minutes Earlier…”

He also grabs these stuffed animals and, once in the work room, starts methodically ripping them open like he’s slaughtering an actual animal.

When Valerie tries to explain it to him, he seems to think that the other designers chose to make weird designs by going for odd materials; that it’s part of their “flamboyant” nature.

It makes me wonder: has Casanova ever watched Project Runway?

“Did you not listen to me?” Tim asks carefully.

Casanova says he did, but he didn’t get the point.

So…uh, I guess it wasn’t a matter of listening — it was a matter of understanding.

The one I’m worried about is AJ simply because he’s talking way too much and getting a lot of face time with the camera.

Other people seem to think that this challenge is right up his alley and he sort of runs with this and oversells this notion — but all this blathering just makes you wonder if this is the set-up for a mighty downfall.

Michael C. points out that the only reason everybody thinks that this is AJ’s challenge is because AJ keeps talking about how it’s his type of challenge.

His first attempts look…tacky, cheesy, messy, and gross.

“This looks like disparate parts put together,” Tim warns him.

Gretchen, who has one the previous two challenges and who has already cited Valerie as her biggest competition, is going around the room, offering up advice like she’s the female Tim Gunn or something.

Okay — I get it: you’ve won two challenges and you’re feeling a bit full of yourself…but now’s not the time to be acting like the mentor. Just stay focused and get your own stuff done.

“I feel like it takes the class out of what you’re doing,” she tells Valerie, who just opens her mouth in apparent wordless wonder.

However, a lot of other designers seem to think that Valerie’s got a dress that is accessible to most women.

Andy, who was the other designer that Gretchen pegged as potential competition, is dismissed as having “student” work — plus, he seems really behind schedule. He’s been spending so much time on working with ribbon that he hasn’t had the time to actually get started on the dress.

When Peach and April offered to help Andy, Gretchen was a little irritated and said that it seemed more like a time management issue on his part that he needed to work on.

I see her point, but I also think that the other designers don’t like Gretchen and would rather anybody else win.

That’s my take on it, anyway — I mean, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind Gretchen, but that slightly smug, superior attitude masquerading under the guise of constructive criticism just makes you a target for others to get their hate on.

When the models arrive with a surprise, the designers are apprehensive. The added challenge is to create an accessory out of what’s in the gift bags only.

Of course, there’s concern from some designers, but when I saw how some of them were creating necklaces and rings, I couldn’t help but think, “So…what’s the problem?”

The guest judge this week is Betsey Johnson, which is the perfect choice for a challenge like this one.

Some highlights of the runway:

The Highlights
– Andy’s dress is amazing — it looked just like how he described it: leather and chains.
– Michael C’s red dress was amazing as well — I don’t even remember what material he used but the overall look was classy and chic

The Low Lights
– Michael D’s dress looked stiff and unwieldy. The skirt looked uncomfortable.
– AJ’s dress was one hot mess — like the sort of awful, frilly concoction that toddlers in pageants wear
– Sarah’s dress looked like a total cop-out. I don’t know what the material is underneath the spray-painted palm trees, but it basically looks like the only thing she took away from the party store were the faux palm tree fronds and that she simply taped them onto a plain dress.

AJ unsurprisingly isn’t winning over most of the judges.

“The dress, to me, looks like you tried to put everything you found in the store,” Heidi says.

Nina agrees and tells him there’s a place for campiness, but it just looks like he went crazy gluing everything he could find in the party store together.

“It looks like a hot mess,” Nina says, to which AJ bizarrely thanks her for.

Heidi pulls out one of her bitch moments by saying, “That was not a compliment.”

It’s crazy, but Betsy seems to actually like AJ’s dress – her only complaint is that he didn’t go crazy enough…though, maybe this was her way of being kind because she was less complimentary after he let the runway.

Andy wins high points by creating what Michael Kors describes an “exciting” dress that he could see both Heidi and Rhianna fighting over it.

In another head-scratching moment, Betsy doesn’t seem to care for it, calling it too beautiful and perfect and not fun enough.

“He really gave it so much dimension,” Michael argues.

Nina agrees that the whole look was very well put together.

She also seems to “love” certain aspects of Casanova’s dress, whereas the other judges were taken aback.

“She looks like a transvestite Flamenco dancer at a funeral,” Michael tells him.

Michael was much more deeply scornful behind his back, by stating Casanova makes himself out to be all about couture when in reality, he doesn’t seem to have any taste.

Sarah also finds herself in the bottom.

“Simple” and “sad” were a couple of the words used to describe her dress.

I think Michael hit the nail on the head when he said that it looked like Sarah tried too hard to make those palm fronds work no matter what. He advised her to take a step back and know when something simply isn’t working.

The main argument here seems to be: do you send home the designer who knew she was sending down a failure or do you send home the designer who was oblivious to the monstrosity that he was creating?

Ultimately, Sarah went home, while Andy took the win.

I’m so glad that Andy won — it was well-deserved and I’m a little relieved that the Gretchen winning streak has finally come to an end.

She’s a good designer, but I think it was getting to the point where the other designers wouldn’t have been able to take it if Gretchen won again.

When the designers initially went backstage, there was some tension when Gretchen started to voice what the judges had to say about Andy’s design, even though nobody wanted to hear her speak.

When AJ pointed this out, there was a look of complete surprise — and that’s the rub, isn’t it? We’re seldom aware of the things we do that annoy others.

At the every end of the episode, we learn that Ivy passed out and fainted and had to be taken to the hospital. There are no scenes of her in the sneak preview for next week’s episode, but hopefully, she’s doing okay.

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~ by justj on August 17, 2010.

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