Project Runway

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It's the Final Countdown. WHOA.
Gordana says that getting through the competition was always about surviving, and now that she is the at the last challenge, she wants to show the judges something she can be really proud of. "For me, for my family, for my country," she says, "for everybody that I love." Aw. Gordana is so awesome. If I was Tim Gunn, I would hire her. She works like a dog, and can sew better than anyone I have ever seen on this program. Plus, she IS creative, no matter how the judges want us to think otherwise, and except for that Irina-inspired swipe at Carol Hannah, she seems nice.

Here we are at the last challenge prior to the final runway. Heidi is looking gorge as always, though her hair... how to put this? Looks like a rat's nest. A stylish rat's nest, I am sure, but crazy nevertheless. "Fashion Week is at your finger tips!" Heidi tells the designers, and adds that for the last challenge, they will be sent to an iconic L.A. location rich in culture and "priceless views." Everyone's eyebrows go up and they head out to meet Tim Gunn. "Behind me I see the ocean; I see the hills," Althea says as we see the designers walking outside in the sunshine. "And then in front of me I see this amazing building! Could it get any better?" I suppose it could not, no, for the amazing building in question is nothing less than the amazing Getty Center. But that is not even the most amazing part. Tim Gunn is joined by none other than L.A.'s mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. Was it just me, or did Tim seem close to tears when he said that "in the sixth season of Project Runway, we have embraced Los Angeles, and in turn, Los Angeles has embraced us?" I swear I think he got choked up, but I can't tell if it's because he's happy or embarrassed, like a high society party guest, to be embraced by L.A. The mayor gives them some schtick, welcoming them to Los Angeles. Carol Hannah says that the fact that the mayor would take the time to come and speak to Project Runway contestants makes her realize how serious this whole competition is. I think, actually, it really just indicates that the mayor likes to be on TV. Because... I think there are a FEW things going on in Los Angeles that he should be getting busy on.

TG says that they are to use the Getty Center as their inspiration for the next challenge -- the fountains, the architecture, the art, any and all of it. And, as a special surprise, their models are there to serve as their muses. Christopher says that getting inspired by the Getty is not going to be very hard. "There's so much to see," he says, "and so much to not touch." Hee. Carol Hannah, also, is blown away by the whole place. "Everywhere you look," she says, "it's just beautiful." She is particularly moved by this gorgeous French bed in the European decorative arts exhibit. It is huge and gilded with brocade and feathers and she can't get enough of it. Althea, meanwhile, is overwhelmed by the inspiration provided by the building's architecture, itself. She tells Tanisha, her model, that looking at the building makes her want to do something tailored. Inside, Irina and Kaelyn are drawn to Mischief and Repose, by John William Godward. What a gorgeous painting -- and when I look at it, I can almost imagine some luscious, diaphanous concoction that I am sure Irina is capable of creating. When Kaelyn reads aloud that the painting revels "in the contrast of marble, tile, silk, fur and flesh," Irina is particularly excited. "I need that!" she says. "I want to rip that plaque off!" Writing it down might also work, Irina.

Causing me some concern is Christopher, who has -- of all the things to look at in this gorgeous place -- become drawn to a fountain. He is particularly excited that it has algae growing on it. Siiiiigh. Christopher, you rule the category of Overthinking. And, while we're on the subject, also the category of Unfortunate Beard Styling. There! I said it! Randomly, we hear him say in a voiceover that it is fantastic to finally have the opportunity to "vocalize" his "mindview." Raise your hand if you think Christopher is going to have to have therapy when this is all over!

Gordana's inspiration is the absolutely breathtaking Monet painting The Portal of Roeun Cathedral in Morning Light. She says the muted colors remind of her of Europe, where she's from, and that looking at it makes her want to recreate the beauty of her homeland. She and Matar, her model, discuss how important it will be to create something very light and spiritual.

Finally, sketch time is over and Tim drags them on their last journey to Mood. Oh, how happy these Mood employees must be now that their long-awaited freedom is finally within their reach. The designers have budgets of $300 and thirty minutes to shop. Gordana goes all out trying to match the colors and, dare I say it, the MOOD of her inspiration painting to the available fabrics. She buys a lot, and obviously hits the top of her budget. On another table, Irina shows Tim Gunn the fur she has found to work into her design. "It's not goat," she says, perplexed as she moves the pieces around. "Maybe it's rabbit." TG can barely contain himself. "It's too big to be rabbit," he whispers in horror, holding back a laugh. "It's a giant, giant Scandinavian rabbit." He encourages Carol Hannah to spend her entire budget. "I am," she says, shooting a sideways look at the Mood cutter. "If we can cut faster." Christopher darts around the store picking stuff I find questionable without even seeing it... since his inspiration is a rock with mold on it. "Qu'est que c'est" Tim is forced to ask in French, when seeing Christopher's moss-green fabric causes him to lose his ability to speak English. Christopher: "It's supposed to be an accent!"

Finally back in the workroom, the pressure is on. Tim tells the designers to invest themselves in this challenge more than ever before, and leaves them to work for two days. Irina thinks this one is hit or miss, since they are being inspired by works of art. I'd love to hear her expound on that, since I think it is one of their more straightforward challenges, but the producers of this show would rather show us the same shots of the workroom that we see every week, and have Christopher remind us AGAAAAAIIINNN that he is from a small town. Look, I love an underdog -- I almost always root for them. But he's been hanging his hat on it for weeks now, and some of the stuff he makes is ultratack. "To come here and to perform, and then to go on to Bryant Park, it's... unbelievable," he says, grabbing his tragic sideburn-beard combo as if he is having an aneurysm, and adds "OH MY GOD." Gordana worries that whatever she does with her dress, Heidi will not like it. "Heidi will be like 'you deena pain' the peecture on eet.' You know how she vants to be leeeterally."

The atmosphere in the workroom has become awkward for Althea. She explains in an interview that Irina and Gordana have sort of become recent friends, and that Christopher and Carol Hannah seem to be buddies, so she's kind of alone. Irina, to illustrate her overall assholery, complains that Althea is "like King Kong," and wants to grab everything in the workroom for herself. For example, she says, Althea is using too many tables in the workroom and she's tired of looking at her everywhere she turns. "But," she rolls her eyes, "her highness has to iron." Yes, well, don't you all have to iron? And if the table is empty, what's the probs? Unfortunately, Althea is letting it get under her skin and insecurely asks Carol Hannah if she thinks Irina's being over the top with her table complaints. "I'm gonna go with 'what's the point?'" Carol Hannah responds -- and isn't she crafty? Because couldn't that response be read either way? Smart girlie. "I think she's just out for blood at this point," Althea says, and C

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Project Runway




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