Reality TV Recap: Project Runway: Top 9: the Greening of Project Runway

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Latest in the series of Project Runway's "found objects" challenges, the 9 remaining designers are taken to a Waste Management site in New Jersey and allowed to forage around in recyclable materials for 30 minutes to find the resources for the garment of their choice. All I keep thinking is that I hope those materials have been sanitized in some way, because otherwise...yuk!

Meanwhile some designers are growing on me, some are working my last nerve, but most are pretty bland and boring as people. Laura is, IMHO, hysterical. She just doesn't give a sh*t and says what she thinks. I confess I am getting tired of her plunging necklines every single week, but she makes up for it with her attitude. Jefrey, OTOH, besides being a sexist pig (established last week) is mighty arrogant for someone who's never won a challenge, and has been in the bottom 3. You'd think after he was filmed boasting how he was going to win the challenge the first few weeks, and then he didn't even come close, that he'd keep his yap shut! Vincent is completely self-deluded (and way to anxious to tell us what gets him off.) Kayne is endearing in a La Cage Aux Folles "I Am What I Am" sort of way. but Angela? Uli? Robert? Are these people on valium, or just so sleep-deprived that any hint of a personality has been drained from them? Even michael seems like a "nice guy", and you know how boring they can be!

But back to our challenge.

We're in the work room, and in this week's moment of stunning anti-woman rhetoric, Tim reminds Alison that her model, Alexandra is "zaftig." ZAFTIG! Are you sh*tting me? Oh. My. God. This is one of my least favorite parts of Project Runway...when they start picking apart how the models look in an outfit and migrate from "it's unflattering" to "it makes her booty look big" or "it makes her look huge." The former comment? OK...something can be unflattering on any body or coloring or shape. The latter? These models are pretty much incapable of actually looking big anywhere, any time!

Rant over.

On with the show.

1. Uli

Uli's outfit is a strapless white top with a braided aluminum foil skirt. From a construction point of view it looks fabulous, and very much like a real party dress. From a design point of view however she would have improved it a ton if she had lowered the waistline from empire to closer to the natural waist. because the braided foil skirt was so stiff and stood away from the models' body the overall effect of the free was a big tube and, dare I say it, not that flattering. A lowered waist might have enabled her to give the dress some definition. But impressive construction, no doubt about it.

2. Angela

Sort of a retro 60's halter dress using graphically striking patterns, probably from magazines? Pretty cool, but I think what held it back was the fact that it was shiny and looked like a model dressed in wrapping paper more than anything.

3. Michael

Light colored separates...a cream skirt, a golden bustier, and a shrug/wrap made from what looked like a big huge clear plastic bag. This had a lot going for it. First of all, by adding that plastic wrap, the entire silhouette was elevated and was quite different, giving it an avant garde look, but still wearable. meanwhile the bustier and skirt were a cleaner line and very well put together. Michael also really excels at the styling aspect of the challenge. his model looked hot, and her hair shape continued the modern look of the entire outfit.

4. Vincent

A strapless sheath dress with glued on miscellany (and a random black halter underneath.) Ok. Ok, Vincent...the dress gets you off...we get it! And we are fairly repulsed by the idea of it. (That poor model.) This was just atrocious. Vincent tried to position as a Jackson Pollack-y piece of art. Not buying it...and neither are the judges!

5. Robert

Awfully cute foil dress with a ruffle around the hem, bows in the back and an overall detailed and meticulous execution. It's obvious why he was in the middle group, though...very well constructed and executed, but where was the innovation? He used one material, and he designed a dress style that probably is out there on a rack somewhere right now. But he definitely recovered from two bad weeks with his effort.

6. Jefrey

Well, much as I hate to admit it this is the first week Jefrey has actually created something I could appreciate. It was a painted newspaper dress with a tight halter bodice, a wide painted-on (or trompe de l'oeil, as pretentious Michael Kors kept calling it) belt, and a flowy, striped-looking skirt. His color choices (blue and yellow) were fresh, and stood out in a sea of cream and gold and silver. Overall, very nice job.

7. Laura

Yes, it's another Laura dress. Simple, clean, with a plunging neckline to match her own. Her strength is in flawless execution, extremely clean, well-propportioned lines, and small details, like the waist decoration and piping. Eventually she'll need to show something else, IMHO, but it has certainly been good enough so far to keep her out of the bottom 3.

8. Alison

Ah, Alison and her "zaftig" model. This was a golden skirt, top and an attempt to cinch in the waist with a belt. Actually her concept wasn't so bad, but she missed any chance to bring shape and definition to it by going so monochromatic that the little details blended in, and by working with a very stiff material. Nothing stood out, including the fact that her model might have a body under there. (But seriously, Heidi saying she looked like a "plus model"...sheesh!) Where Alison dug her grave though was with the styling. I don't know what she was thinking with that big huge bow made out of hair on top of the model's head, but it was (to quote Tommy Lee in this week's Rockstar Supernova) "sauteed in wrong sauce."

9. Kayne

A big, green, flouncy dress. Again in a material that didn't flow or lend itself to delineating the model's shape. At least he dumped his huge painted flower skirt, because that was a nightmare!

So, I thought the bottom 3 of Alison, Kayne and Vincent was pretty obvious. No one approached their mis-steps this week. Personally, once again, I would have sent Vincent home instead of Alison. The show seems to favor those with an outre "point of view", even when that point of view is that women should look ridiculous. (Exactly my issue with keeping Santino around so long last season.) but they seem to hold women designers to a higher standard of making women look good, so bye-bye Alison.

The top 3 would have been a tougher choice for me, but I can't argue with Michael, Jefrey and Laura.

I was thinking the would never give it to Michael two weeks in a row, so it would be Jefrey's, but I was wrong and they were, in my opinion, right to reward Michael for being both innovative and realistic at the same time.

So, two in a row for Michael! Dayaaam!