Project Runway: "Sequins, Feathers and Fur, Oh My!"
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Project Runway: "Sequins, Feathers and Fur, Oh My!"

Amelie has handed over the reins to me this week, and I couldn't be happier.  This season of PR might be a little less stunning than its Bravo heyday, and not much has been done of interest with the L.A. location yet.  But I still love this show for two reasons: (1) It teaches me something I don't know every week; and (2) Heidi Klum is just the greatest. 

Who am I rooting for?  Christopher, who gets the opening montage this week bemoaning his precipitous fall from grace the last two weeks.  (And at least last week the judges were right -- that bubble thing was hideous.  But I always think the bubbles are awful even when the judges love them.)  Logan, who always seems cool as a cucumber and whom I suspect has some more tricks up his sleeve.  Gordana, who has flown under the radar until last week's win, has a definite point of view (and I tend to pull for the older contestants).  And I always love what Carol Hannah sends down the runway even though she's never out there enough to be in the top.

This week's challenge is presented by Bob Mackie, designer to the stars and costumier extraordinaire.  The designers get to create an extravagant stage look, and this is right up Nicholas's alley, and far away from everyone else's.  And as Tim Gunn announces that they'll be designing for Christina Aguilera, Nicholas almost faints, and definitely squees.  The interviews are setting him up for a fall, though; remember Christopher last week who thought he had it in the bag, Nicholas?

Tim's advice to Christopher -- the reveal underneath needs to be far more sexy is right on the money.  And Althea has a reveal in mind, too, taking off a jacket to reveal a sequined goan.  Gordana has horrible fabric problems -- her pre-beaded material was falling apart -- and on day 2 she completely starts over.  And oh no, Nicholas's silver and white dress reminds Tim way too much of his winning dress from Episode 6.  Carol Hannah is the only person who gets Christina's vintage inspiration, putting together a slinky gown rather than a Cher-esque showgirl number.  Shirin is doing something completely off-topic with fabric inserts that look like patchwork, and instead of scrapping it she decides to salvage it with more black shiny stuff.

It's always hard to judge the looks from the glimpses we get in the workroom, but initial impressions of Logan's iridescent zebra fabric -- urrrrgghh.  Cheap, cheap, cheap.  I like Althea's gown and jacket -- they fit well and have a wow factor, although I'd hate to try to dance or sing with that long train.  Logan's short number is as awful as I feared it would be (and why the heck is he worried about it being "too costumey"?  That was the challenge!).  Shirin salvaged something from her vintage mess -- but for Christina, it needed to be about twice as voluminous in the bottom, I think.  Christopher certainly went for it with his bubble jacket (again with the bubbles, oy) and striped shorts.  I hate it, but it's a lot more daring than the other outfits.  Nicholas's little white dress is ... sad!  Where's the more?  Where's the big?  Where's the playing to the back seats?  Oh my, I think he missed it completely.  Gordana may not think her thrown-together look is bad, but trust me, it's bad (and boring and sloppy to boot).  I like what Irina did, there's a great shape to her dress, but is it too much of a cocktail-waitress dress, not enough stage presence?  And oh no again for Carol Hannah.  The different textures on her black-on-black gown don't really read, it's glamour but without pizzazz, and would be far more apprpriate for an evening with Judy Garland than an arena show with Christina Aguilera.

At least that's my immediate impressions.  Now let's see where I'm wrong.  Irina and Gordana get sent off safe (Gordana with a stern rebuke for her horrible dress).  Carol Hannah gets praise, so I misread what they were looking for there.  Shirin's in the bottom, criticized for the "Carmen Miranda" bottom.  Everyone loves Althea's shimmery gown, although Nina makes my point about the difficulty moving with a train.  Christopher's under-outfit gets rebuffed for being too Lady Marmalade and having a boring corset.  Bob Mackie makes my point about Nicholas's dress not being quite enough, but the other judges offer (somewhat tepid, I thought) praise.  Logan "took a chance," says Nina, but it's a bit "cavewoman" according to Christina.  Listening to the judges talk about the ones they like, I predict that Althea will come out on top.  Listening to the judges talk about the bottom three, it could be Christopher having a "strike three, you're out" moment.

And the winner is Carol Hannah!  (Notice how Christina doesn't promise to wear it -- "who knows?" she offers.)  And the loser is ... Shirin.  I'm happy that one of my favorites won and one survived, but poor, poor Christopher.  How long can this descent into bad taste go on?

Stray observations:


- When the challenge was announced, I had a sudden pang of nostalgia for Austin.  I would have loved to see his design for this assignment.

- Nicholas knows that Christina "likes to show off the girls."  Nicholas, please don't say "girls."

- Whoa, flirting between Logan and Carol Hannah!  Poor models who all love Logan.

- Why is Irina ragging on Carol Hannah to her model?  Low class move, even if Nicholas (Mr. Low Class) is the one to point it out.

- Please use the Macy's accessory wall -- thoughtfully.

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