Project Runway

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Surf City, USA
Finally, we are at the runway. Heidi is joined today by the fabulous Nina, of course, as well as the genius Max Azria and the adorable actress Rachel Bilson. Epperson and Qristyl's looks are first, and really, the beachwear look is fine. I mean, it's not transcendent or whatever, and their model, Erica, looks like she's stalking down the runway towards a fistfight opponent, but it's okay. The second thing, though... it's a bathing suit with a sort of a robe and, while the robe is kind of cool -- billowing and ruffled -- the bathing suit is a mess. "The whole girl's butt is showin'," Qristyl says, and one can see how she might be upset enough to misplace the modifier, because the thing looks not only bad, but cheap. Also, the green and brown colors are bad together.

Johnny and Irina's beachwear number is cute enough, I guess. The short white skirt is nice and full and the t-shirt has a very pretty, funky halter in the back. Something is not quite translating for me through the TV, but the judges appear to like it. Their avant-garde look, however, looks to me like a mass of brown seaweed. Irina worries they'll notice that it is not exactly wonderfully constructed and will not focus on the concept. By a true miracle, Ra'Mon and Mitchell's two dresses both look awesome. Mitchell says he is sure the judges will not realize the beach-inspired look was made in 45 minutes. No, but they may wonder just how it was supposedly inspired by the beach. It, too, is all greens, browns and blues, and I have to wonder why no one went with sunnier colors. I mean, it's pretty, but... yawn.

Carol Hannah and Shirin are very pleased with their work. Shirin says -- somewhat reluctantly it sounds like -- that they distributed the work fairly evenly and that Carol Hannah is a hard worker. CH, meanwhile, feels their avant-garde look is probably the best in the room.

Althea and Louise's beachwear inspired dress -- hot pint with a navy/white bikini element on top and in the tie-back -- is so cute. I love it. But the avant-garde look has nothing to do with anything, really. It's pretty awesome -- a short black dress with a cascading skirt in the back -- and is all beaded and stuff, but it does not correspond at all that I can see with the beach design.

Nicolas and Gordana's work is next, and maybe I am blind, but I love the first one. The macramé bathing suit and wrap-around white pants seem to me a good answer to the original challenge. I actually love the pants -- they have a really classic, easy flow to them and I think they are cool. Nicolas very sweetly says in an interview that, though both designs were his, he and Gordana worked on everything together. Wow, the avant-garde look is full-on hot mess trannylicious, though. "The avant-garde look," Gordana says, kindly, "I'm having mixed feelings about..." Yes, I'll bet. On the other hand, she says, she believes in Nicolas. "Maybe I'm not as adventurous as he is?"

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Project Runway

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