Project Runway

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Al Lowe: B | Grade It Now!
Fare'Well Ra'Mon

The designers meet Tim Gunn on a "real Hollywood soundstage" where he holds the ominous, Sorting-Hat. Well, you know, the velvet bag. Irina says they are all wondering if this means it's a team challenge, which you can tell would be her worst nightmare. Am I the only one who thinks Irina's voice is grating? She has only one dynamic: loud. In the bag are cards containing the names of five genres of film: Film Noir, Action-Adventure, Science Fiction, Period Piece and... Western. Tim explains that they will each choose a genre, create a character from that genre, and then design a look for that character. Joining Tim is Collier Strong, professional film make-up artist from L'Oreal Paris, who will be consulting with each designer as they put together their final looks. Everyone is horrified by the prospect of being stuck with Western, which is hilarious. I think it would be awesome. Gordana is my fave: "Western would be kind of tough for me," she says. "Because... I'm not really American."

Since Irina was the winner of the last challenge, she is allowed to pick first. She chooses Film Noir. Logan and Carol Hannah choose Action Adventure. Ra'Mon shocks me by very excitedly choosing Science Fiction, but he says in an interview that he has loved Sci-Fi his whole life, and is a total Trekkie. I love it. Louise does NOT shock me by choosing Film Noir. Way to go out of your comfort zone, Louise. "That has your name written all over it," Tim says. Althea also chooses Film Noir, which is a bit of a shame, I think. I'd love to see her really stretch and go for Science Fiction. However, I am thrilled when Nicolas chooses SciFi, instead. Christopher is so excited to be called next, as only Period Piece and Western remain, and he fears having to work with denim or gingham to do Western. Dude, don't be such a wuss -- and hmm, let me guess what Christopher will make as a "period" dress... something with a big skirt? We'll see. Gordana also picks Period Piece, leaving poor Epperson -- who somehow is ALWAYS last to choose in these things -- and Shirin with Western. They are obviously disappointed, which really surprises me. I think Western would be pretty fun, if you consider the options.

Back at the workroom, everyone is provided with a dossier on their genres (a binder containing what appears to be a single piece of paper). They're given time to sketch before going to Mood and, here's the kicker, are told this will be only a one-day challenge. "Crazy," Althea says, and I could not agree more. What is with the one-day challenges? It invariably leads to hot messes on the runway. Epperson is a little stressed about his theme, and decides to approach it by thinking of female actresses he's seen in Western movies. Not a bad idea. Too bad Shirin can't focus enough to consider it from a similar angle. Instead, she goes to the accessories wall and complains that they don't even have a cowboy hat. So, she decides to design for a saloon girl. Ugh. This challenge is lame. Why can't the challenge be to consider these genres when designing something people can actually wear, instead of a straight-up costume challenge? It's weird that the judges spend half their time jumping people's asses about their pieces being "too costumey" and then tell them to design costumes.

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Project Runway




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