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'Project Runway': Lights, camera, sew!

September 24, 2009 | 10:07 pm


Sometimes you catch an episode of "Project Runway" that you know will be nearly as entertaining to watch in reruns just because the challenge is so fun: tonight's was one of those. 

In the spirit of being in L.A., the designers each picked a genre of film and had to make a costume for a character in one of those movies. Rodney Epperson and Irina Shabayeva were both disappointed to get to choose last, each getting "western" although  Epperson seemed to be on the right track when he described his character, a tough woman taking care of the homestead while her husband's away. Sometimes hearing the designers talk about their designs before we see them can be a bit of a snooze but even at home you could catch on to the childlike fun of coming up with clothes for a sexy assassin or swordfighter or space queen all the while working with Collier Strong (who could play a superhero version of Mr. Clean) on cool hair and makeup.  Tim Gunn also was way into it: he was "seduced" by the ruffles on Epperson's gown and "enthralled and inspired" by everyone else's work. 

I agreed with the judges' picks for high and low designs (but will Logan Neel ever appear before the judges?)  Christopher Straub created a beautiful vampire-esque period piece with a full gathered skirt and high-necked blouse. Nicolas Putvinski's gown looked like an evil snow queen's and the judges loved it although frankly I've been finding Nicolas grating lately, especially since he dropped the "I'm not here to make friends" line in tonight's episode -- the biggest reality TV cliche of them all.  It was no surprise that Ra'mon Coleman's was something of a neon shredded mess, as he abandoned his original design halfway through. I loved Epperson's country frock with the ruffled denim and big leather belt. I kind of wanted to try it on. Louise Black was taken to task for her noir dress not looking costumish (let alone noirish) enough and although the judges liked Gordana Gelhausen's craftwork on her flapper dress, they questioned where her point of view went. 

I really wanted Epperson to win, especially in light of his strong showing last week, or Christopher, but instead Nicolas won for his white snowy sci-fi gown (I also didn't care for his hair/makeup either).  Ra'mon and Louise were on the chopping block; Ra'mon for bad execution and Louise's "snoozefest" (Heidi is really on a tear).  The judges sent Ra'mon home, which I think is a shame since I think he's brought more to the competition than Louise has so far.

--Claire Zulkey

Photo: Will Logan Neel, left, ever appear before the judges?

Credit: Lifetime