Past designers on Project Runway have often had to draw inspiration from unique places. Remember season two, when Santino created a multi-colored dress that mimicked graffiti and Andrae crafted a dress that emulated gutter water? Both produced something beautiful from something not-so-beautiful, and that was exactly what the designers had to do last night. But instead of street "art," this PR crew had to create avant-garde looks based on the models' extreme hairstyles. I wonder how much money TRESemme had to pay to sponsor this particular challenge.
The thought of seeing more over-the-top looks excited me. But two other things really made the episode last night: First of all, it was another group challenge. Sweet. Secondly, there was a secret surprise attack on the second day. Tim announced that the designers had to create another piece, a "ready-to-wear garment that embodies the essence of your avant-garde look." Again, I flashed back to season two, when the three finalists had to create a 13th look for their runway show on the spot. They were less than pleased then, and the season four designers weren't thrilled either.
To find out how the designers fared with the twice-as-hard group challenge and to see a gallery of all of the looks from last night's Project Runway,
- Chris and Christian — Chris' past experience with creating costumes really lent itself nicely to this challenge. And "team fierce" worked really well together. As such, there wasn't a huge focus on these two during the episode, so it was safe to assume that neither one would be eliminated. This was solidified when their looks went down the runway. The avant-garde look was stunning and the ready-to-wear piece complemented it perfectly. The judges agreed, with Nina even saying it was a photo shoot just waiting to happen. They left with the well-deserved win, though I'm a little bummed that Chris wasn't team leader to get the immunity.
- Victorya and Jillian — This team started off on the wrong foot. They couldn't decide who was to be team lead, and had to resort to flipping a coin — er, a big circular object. Victorya triumphed and, accordingly, Jillian begrudgingly helped create a punky trench coat with an equestrian blouse and cropped pant for the avant-garde look and a one-shouldered black dress for the ready-to-wear. Both looks were nice, but they couldn't touch Chris and Christian.
- Rami and Sweet P — Rami, who has been one of the strongest contenders of the season, definitely had an off night. It started with a near-constant harassment of Sweet P (I mean, who is she? Christian's prom model from last challenge? I think not.) and ended with a dress that looked nearly identical to everything he's previously shown. Sweet P's contribution to that particular dress was a hideous pair of pants, but she did create a beautiful ready-to-wear dress. It was so gorgeous that I've taken Sweet P off of the nix list. At least for now.
- Ricky and Kit — Was it really ever a surprise that Ricky would be in the bottom of the barrel? The short answer is no, but what's sad about this particular challenge is that he dragged Kit down with him. Honestly, the duo's avant-garde piece was more Bo Peep than couture, and their ready-to-wear piece was just ugly — again, reminding me of an earlier season with Michael Kors' "barefoot Appalachian Barbie" quote. So, really it was no surprise that one of them had to be out. Sadly, Kit was team leader, and for that, she was given the boot. Too bad — I thought she might be this season's surprise contender, a la Daniel Vosovic or Michael Knight.
What did you all think of the episode? Can you believe Ricky is still there? Can you believe he didn't cry the entire episode (next week's preview withstanding)? Who do you think is next to go?
Photos courtesy of Bravo