It is midnight and the designers are dragged kicking and screaming from the workroom and returned to their apartments. They all (yes, including Irina, who is probably only mean behind the backs of her co-workers, which I'm sure makes it so much nicer) grab a glass of wine and try to un-whine. Nicolas loves all the other designers and doesn't want anyone to go home because he feels that they are all really great designers. He appears to include Christopher in that description, but he could just be trying to be nice. Althea has really let her hair down in this challenge (literally) and it kind of looks like a platinum Loretta Lynn mullet. It is pretty impressively voluptuous. Carol Hannah and Althea add to Nicolas's ode to contestants. They both think that they will miss whoever gets sent home despite the fact that they will be one step closer to Bryant Park. Although their platitudes are boring and clichéd and repeated on every single competitive reality show ever produced (yes, including, I Love Money) it is nice that the producers actually show us something besides simply sewing, because frankly there is a public television show for that. I think it is called "Simply Sewing."
The next morning Gordana makes bacon while Carol Hannah once again vehemently applies mascara (although not as heavily as yesterday, so she must be feeling confident). Nicolas confesses that he had a freak-out last night and didn't get his top done the way he envisioned. He wonders what Michael will think of it. What Michael will think of the shirt you didn't finish the way you wanted in a material you've never used and you don't like? Hmm, I wonder what Michael will think? The challenged head back to the workroom and all work quietly in what Carol Hannah describes as "silent panic." The models come in and Tim urges the designers to use the Macy's accessory wall OR DIE. Christopher has no need for the wall of Macy's because he has made his own pseudo Santa Fe belt and it looks awesome (in his head!); in reality it looks like he cut up a zebra skin rug and put a clasp on it. Gordana likes her dress, Logan's jeans fit his model, and Carol Hannah is feverishly trying to hem the bottom of her dress. Nicolas has finished his look, but laughingly admits that he does not "see Greece in it" but claims someone in Greece could wear it. Yes, Nicolas, they could, but I'm pretty sure people in Greece only wear dresses made out of the skin of annoying tourists or pelts of the venerated loukoumades. Althea loves her look too. The models get Garniered and L'Orealed while the designers steam and sew and sigh. And then time is up and everyone is herded to the runway.
Heidi walks the runway in a black leather minidress that looks like it was made out of the upholstery from a Volkswagen Beetle and tan ankle boots. She looks good, if slightly automotive or like she is actually wearing an outcome from one of the Project Runway challenges. Well, not from this season. Is it weird to be sort of disappointed that they designers have only worked with actual fabric this season? I sort of miss the supermarket sweeps and the sight of ten scrawny hipsters tearing apart a car or diving through piles of recycling. I know there was that newspaper challenge, but newspaper is a far cry from shredding a Kia with their bare hands or tearing apart a restaurant's décor in order to create a garment. Are they trying to make it easier for the designers? Anyhoo. Heidi reminds everyone that there are seven designers remaining and after they each disappoint and bore the judges, one will be out. Michael Kors is judging his own competition. Nina Garcia has also bothered to show up. The special guest judge is Milla Jovovich who is an actress, L'Oreal spokesmodel, and apparently a CFDA nominated designer. I guess it is not terribly surprising that Jovovich-Hawk was nominated for a CFDA award. While simply to be nominated is an honor, it is a long way from actually winning. Not that slouchy Little House on the Prairie-inspired dresses couldn't win a CFDA award, Christopher. Stop crying. Milla smiles and waves at everyone like she is really really excited to be there. I appreciate the enthusiasm. Most guest judges simply give a half-hearted "what's up" head bob, like their publicist forgot to tell them whether they are supposed to be honored by their turn as a guest judge or whether they are supposed to be way too cool to be there. Logan sends Celine down the runway in white skinny jeans and a blue tight-fitting tank with slim suspenders and a black belted vest. It is well made and fits his model perfectly, but it looks like he ran over to Urban Outfitters and bought the entire outfit during a commercial break. It is very mainstream. But Hollywood does have a lot of tourists trying to look hip, so it actually might be spot on. Logan claims he is proud of his look. Pride comes before a fall, Logan. Althea's St. Tropez look is next. She has crafted bronze short shorts that are definitely inspired by menswear with the detailed tailoring. I think they are leather, but it's a little hard to tell. She has paired the shorts with a white v-neck tank and a sheer blouse with three-quarter sleeves and a belt. It is a good look and I'm sure she will get through to the next round, but it's not the most inspiring or original outfit. Also, the amount of bronzer on the model is truly impressive. Bravo, Garnier you made her look like a St. Tropez handbag. Nicolas is next and Koji rocks his outfit as best she can, but it is so overwhelmingly lame that there is no way it can inspire her to greatness. Nicolas has made slim fitting grey slacks with, like, white piping around the pockets. And, yes, I said slacks. He has paired his slacks with a tight fitting white shirt with loose extra long sleeves, a v-neck, and so many layers of white jersey wrapped around her torso she looks like she could go trick-or-treating as a sexy mummy. Her hair is down with just the top held back in a barrette, like I used to do in middle school. All in all, it looks like Koji is dressed for an uncomfortable day at the office. A day she will spend tugging at her pants and wiggling in her shirt trying to make it comfortable. She will undoubtedly rush home to rip off the outfit the second she walks in the door and throw on jeans and a t-shirt, put her hair in a ponytail, and sigh with relief. Seriously the one adjective I would assign to this look is 'uncomfortable'. Nicolas voice-overs that you can't go through life without taking risks, which is true, but you could definitely go through life without those pants.
Compared to Nicolas's restrictive office attire, Carol Hannah's Palm Beach dress is a breath of cool ocean air. It is long and flows as her model walks. The pattern is not as overpowering as you would have thought. The dress reminds me of something Ulli would have made. It is simple and elegant, if more sheer than I would feel comfortable wearing what with my need for foundation garments and industrial-strength Spanx. Christopher is next and while Mattar looks fine in the frock, it does not scream, "Santa Fe!" at all. It is good that Christopher lopped off twenty inches, but the dress is still so boring and looks really unfinished. The light blue material at the top is sheer, but the white tank underneath doesn't spice it up, but rather reduces it to junior high prom. The brown skirt is shorter, but if Christopher thinks his black and brown leather belt is elevating the whole design from Sunday School to sophisticate, he is sadly mistaken. He claims that he is extremely happy with his fabric and color choices and it is overall a very proud moment for him. While I am obviously pro positive thinking (my vision board is covered in pictures of Rob Lowe, white stallions, and Electrolux stacking washer-dryers), after his last three designs were all crumpled up and used as toilet paper by the judges, you would think Christopher would be a little less sure of himself. But no, he is extremely happy with all of his choices and