The "design something for a fashion icon" challenge is nothing new for Project Runway, but what was rather refreshing about Wednesday's episode was that the icon this time truly was a legend. The designers were asked to design something that would impress Diane von Furstenberg — she of the wrap dress — enough that she would consider including it in her next collection. That was a pretty big deal for all the designers (except maybe Blayne, who would have preferred an Olsen twin), and they really let the pressure show as they worked on the challenge.
In fact, none of them let Diane's iconic status get to them more than the typically smooth Kenley. She was sobbing so much through all of her early interviews, in fact, that I was convinced she'd be the one sent home. Then again, maybe her tears came because things in the workroom were so tense — I'm not sure I've ever seen a season of Project Runway where all the designers seemed to dislike each other so early. There's a feud a'brewing between Leanne and Kenley, another between Korto and Terri, still another between Terri and . . . everyone else. The Parsons workroom just doesn't seem like a very happy place to be right now.
That said, the designers still turned out some iconic looks of their own — plus some requisite disasters — so to hear my thoughts on the designs and see a gallery of all the looks, just read more.
First, a few more thoughts on the episode:
- Stella cannot do anything by herself. Ever. She can't make coffee. She can't get the fabric down from the shelves. For someone who seems so tough and flippant and "f--- you" in her general life, she sure is pretty helpless when it comes to practical things.
- The specifics of Diane's challenge — design something for her collection inspired by the movie A Foreign Affair — led to a couple of funny spy interludes: Leanne sneaking around as "Secret Agent Leannimal" and Suede lamenting that he'd love to be a spy but his blue hair would give him away. Yeah, that and the fact that he can't stop talking about himself.
- Speaking of which, I rolled my eyes to the heavens when Suede started talking in the third person again . . . and then hated myself for laughing really hard when he made that little hand heart for the camera. Sigh. I guess I am not immune to his few charms.
- Stella had two of the best moments of the night just in her little chat with Tim Gunn, first getting confused about the inspiration for the challenge ("She's from Paris, right?" "Berlin." "Oh, whatever!") and then referring to "the stylist with the muumuu dress and the waistband" who didn't know what to make of Stella last week. "Sorry, Rachel Zoe!" Tim hollered.
- Been too long since we've had eye candy. I'll take that long shot of Jerell in his patterned boxer-briefs.
- Speaking of Jerell, that hat he put on his model looked suspiciously like a piece he's worn before on the runway.
Here are all the outfits, and below the pictures I'll talk about the best and worst:
- Korto — Another week in the top and another good look from this designer, who's emerging as one of my biggest favorites. I loved the splashes of yellow on her dress, especially the one under the skirt, and Diane did too.
- Kenley — Kenley's biggest issue was that she only made one piece — a dress, at that, and one that looked awfully similar to the one she wore on the runway. As Heidi said, she needed to make another piece to have it be a home run. Also: Kenley, honey, there's a difference between defending your look on the runway and just whining back to the judges. Learn that difference now before it hurts you.
- Leanne — With Leanne, Korto, and Kenley in the top, don't you think we could be looking at our top three for the season right here? The color of Leanne's dress was gorgeous, the fabric flowed just right, she actually took Tim's feedback and used it to improve her jacket, and she managed to add enough details to keep it interesting. This made two wins in a row for her!
- Joe — I'm back and forth with Joe. This week, his ginormous ego seemed to get the best of him as he defended his choices even in the face of evidence that showed they were bad ideas. The judges love harping on sloppy work, so the "It's uneven, but I don't care" attitude won't get you anywhere — especially when "it's uneven" could have applied to about eight different areas of his dress.
- Suede — It's a tossup for me whether this or Blayne's polka-dot pantaloons should have been in the bottom, because I didn't think it was all that terrible. Yes, putting a slit in that dress was a bad idea because it made the fabric billow like pajama pants when his model walked. Yes, that herringbone vest made absolutely no sense whatsoever. But the dress was interesting — there were just enough little bad decisions along the way.
- Stella — In the judges' words, her cape was "like Dracula" and the crotch of the pants was "every woman's nightmare." Stella seems to really not know how to work with fabric that's not "leatha"; her tailoring was so awful. Stella clearly wasn't going to make it to Bryant Park, so I'm glad her journey ended while she still had the energy for one impassioned kiss-off: "I'm a rock star. That's who I sell for. If you like it, come buy it. If you don't, keep walking. I don't care."
Do you agree with the result? Are you glad Stella has Ratbones to go home to? And for those of you who watched the previews, are you so excited to see whose dress is "pooing fabric" next week?
Photos courtesy of Bravo