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'Project Runway': Sequin party!

October 16, 2009 | 12:37 am
Proje4190 Thursday night's challenge was no "take something you found at the dump and turn it into a dress" challenge. It was the Bob Mackie/Christina Aguilera/sequin challenge! It was obvious that it would be a fun episode when Bob Mackie, diva designer to the stars, advised the crew to "take your designs to another level" when creating a stage costume, and to envision a "goddess from some mythological kingdom." Yay! 

Some of the designers knew what they were doing off the bat, but Tim Gunn destroyed the fragile egos of a few who were uncertain. "Here's my disappointment," is how he started his critique of Christopher Straub's look and he said Shirin Askari's dress looked like "student work" and compared it to "Guinevere meets Vampira" and a "16-year-old's really bad prom" dress. Nicolas Putvinski was in a happy place though with all the sparkles, and even bemoaned the fact that Irina Shabayeva's such a raging witch.

On the runway, I thought Althea Harper's long silver-sequined gown with the big black jacket was a definite showstopper. Logan Neitzel's black and green animal-striped sequined short dress was cute but not enough for a big show (plus Christina thought the jacket looked like something a "cavewoman" would wear. Shirin's long black gown with white panels looked not just like a witch's costume, as Heidi Klum said, but sort of like a witch crossed with a bar wench. Christopher's was just terrible, with short-shorts and a tacky garter. The judges and Christina liked Nicolas' short silver sequined feathered number, although to me it looked like something Britney Spears has already worn. Gordana Gehlhausen's long white gown was poorly made with odd pleating on the front of the bust and she basically took a mulligan since she won immunity last week. Irina made a cute little blue sequined dress with a jacket and I loved Carol Hannah Whitfield's the most: it was long and black with sequins and feathers sewn artfully on it to really emphasize an hourglass shape. I thought it was the best dress of the challenge since Christina would look amazing in it and it screamed "Bob Mackie." 

In the end, the judges agreed with me about the winner but I was bummed that Shirin got sent home instead of Christopher. Shirin's dress was a challenge failure but it seems like over the last few weeks Christopher has been churning out a lot of lackluster products and it was time for him to go home. Who knows though if Irina was happy to see Shirin go -- we saw a shot of her rolling her eyes as Tim sent Shrin packing, but perhaps it was just selective editing.

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Christina Aguilera, Nina Garcia, Bob Mackie and Heidi Klum. Credit: Lifetime