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'Project Runway': Almost blue

October 1, 2009 |  9:06 pm
Proje4078 How hard is it to make two blue looks? Very hard, apparently. Who knew? 

The challenge this week for the designers was to work in teams to create two looks in step with the I-N-C brand, with the winning designer getting to create and sell a holiday dress through Macy's.  I like it when the team leaders are chosen by who has the top sketches, maybe just because it's insinuated that their partners just didn't make the cut.

Per the Rodney Epperson/Qristyl Frazier meltdown a few weeks ago, you'd think that the teams with the worst chemistry would yield the worst results, but not so tonight. Irina Shabayeva didn't seem to want any partner, complained about the challenge and chafed about working with Gordana Gelhausen, yet they produced the best looks: Irina's float-y blue Chevron-ish striped dress with the pretty back was the winner and the judges also liked Gordana's light-blue semi-sheer top.  Other than that, though, I thought the designs were mostly a let-down, even when the contestants worked well together. I was surprised that Althea Harper and Logan Neitzel were safe after the runway show -- their navy suit skirt rode up too far and the pants seemed way too huge in the crotch. Maybe they were flirting instead of working enough.  Carol Hannah Whitfield had problems delegating during the challenge, yet the judges liked the high-waisted skirt and blue top and the light blue tunic she designed with Shirin Askari (to me it seemed like they didn't so much design looks as much as tops). 

Christopher Straub and Epperson's lovefest seemed strange from the get-go: Epperson praised Christopher on how great he was to work with after it seemed like five minutes with him, and Christopher claimed that he and Epperson were re-inventing the shirt-dress.  If by "re-invent" you mean "pick a fabric that looks like plastic when the light hits it," then definitely, sure.  The judges had a field day picking apart their designs: Michael Kors said the shirt-dress resembled a "tablecloth," whereas the shiny teal balloon tunic with the lobster-bib collar was a "pumpkin disco ball" or "shower curtain nightie."  Christopher, so filled with hubris, deflated like the inevitable pumpkin disco ball and cried on the runway under the judges' scorn.

Louise Black, the other contestant with the lowest scores, was more stoic. She created two ruffled dresses, one kinda bad (the dark one with the light ruffles that resembled a flight attendant uniform) and one pretty bad (the light one with ruffles stuck haphazardly on it, with a bow on the back that looked like an afterthought). Her partner, Nicolas Putvinski, was reminded repeatedly how lucky he was to have won immunity in the last challenge, because in the end, Louise was eliminated. I will miss her bird noises, however.

--Claire Zulkey

Louise Black, left, and Macy’s Tamara Mellon. Photo credit: Lifetime Networks