For this challenge, the designers began with a helicopter ride over NYC, to take in the aerial views, but to also be inspired by the sites. The reason for this bold, “power trip” was so the designers could create a bold, high fashion, dramatic and powerful editorial look for Marie Claire. In fact, the winning look would be featured in a spread for the magazine.
Tim Gunn, alongside Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwider, provided all of the details. In addition, Anne was also one of the guest judges for the week, and it was announced she would soon be the new mentor on Project Runway All-Stars. With all that said, the designers were ready to hit up Mood, with a huge budget of $300, all for this 1-day challenge.
Tim-time was pretty much ho-hum, with the exception of Erin & Nathalia. To each lady, he really urged some re-thinking on what they had already started on. Nathalia was also a focal point of this week, specifically when it came to the newfound help she had been receiving from Rik. Jenni used to be her go-to, but with her gone, Rik has seemingly taken her place in the aide department. He even helped her out in finishing her look. Fellow designers, specifically Erin, took issue of this. My thought — even though Nathalia’s help might have been excessive, the designers always seem to ask each other for thoughts and help at times. It happens. Get over it. Nathalia and Erin are a bit like Dexter and Cornelius, in their somewhat hypocritical back and forth on one another. It is definitely a bit of humor listening to them bad-mouth each other, when more often than not, what they say is the equivalent of the “pot calling the kettle black.”
Joining Anne Fulenwider this week as guest judge was actress Camilla Belle. So who ended up making the pages of Marie Claire, and who fell short?
Rik being in the bottom this week was surprising, and this left Laurence and Roberi being safe. This was the area I guess I was most in disagreement with, but it was either Rik or Laurence in the bottom, and both were worthy of being safe from the bottom 2, so I guess all is well that ended well.
Rik’s look was not all bad, and in fact, it had some huge positives. But the judges were right in pointing out the lack of design on the back of the dress. And while the movement and initial impact of the splotched-created fabric was great, it did lose luster upon further inspection. The splotch-work wasn’t the most glamorous looking. Perhaps in a different color, it might have looked better, but brown on white, certainly an unfavorable color-combo choice. But on a positive note, Anne really loved the look!
The bottom 2 was Dexter and Nathalia, who both ended up being eliminated. I felt badly for Dexter since he thought he was safe, but it did unfortunately really feel like Nathalia’s time. I think the pressures of the competition have been too much for her to handle. She has frequented the bottom and hasn’t been excelling in this environment. Her look this week did read costume, not editorial. And I agreed with the judges’ assessment that the look was too basic, with reflectors put on as gimmicks.
A double elimination at this point in the competition was not surprising. The judges had not been feeling Dexter’s work and I didn’t get the feeling he loved the critiques, so it might have been best for him to go. It was a shame to see a similar jacket from Dexter again, but he was correct to point out about designer aesthetics, because other designers, namely Erin, has sent down the runway some similar coats. But I did forget that the first jacket was not loved by the judges, and with this really being the predominant aspect of the look, it was a huge gamble. Especially since the only other item he made was the goth-lace dress. I completely forgot the undergarments were not his creation.
The top 3 this week was Mah-Jing, Cornelius, and Erin, with Cornelius receiving his first win! I was in agreement with this decision and very happy for him. This look had some quirk to it, but it was definitely intriguing and easily wearable. I would think it would span to a wide audience of women who would love to wear this look.
It was nice to see Erin bounce back this week and finally not send down yet another outerwear piece. Nina was right in pointing out that this was not her best look, nor was it the best look on the runway, but it was very different and a great bit of excitement to see on the runway on the day.
And finally, we have Mah-Jing, riding a great stride with his recent work — can he keep it up! I am not huge on wearing denim, but I did like what he did here, with the use of denim in a mixed media capacity. It was innovative and it was clearly inspired from the helicopter trip.