Our first team challenge of the season! The designers embark on a cruise. Kidding! They climb aboard a massive cruise ship (with 10 restaurants!), the Celebrity Summit where they meet Tim Gunn with the President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
For this week’s challenge, out comes the dreaded button bag where teams of 2 will choose from one of seven suitcases. Each suitcase is labeled with a port of call (destination) that contains the fabric they must use for the chosen location. They must create a high-end day-to-night look in eight hours. Eight hours!
The teams and their destinations are:
Amanda and Gabrielle pick South of France
Ashley and Candice pick Venice
Lindsey and Jake pick Hong Kong
Laurie and Swapnil pick India (der)
Kelly and Blake pick the Greek Isles
Edmond and Hanmiao pick the Caribbean
Merline and Joe pick St. Petersburg
While some of the pairs seem like perfect matches (Candice and Ashley, Amanda and Gabrielle, Kelly and Blake, Swapnil and Laurie) some are more like oil and water (Hanmiao and Edmond – who has immunity, Lindsey and Jake, Joseph and the usually hopped up Merline).
Joseph feels he needs to “tame” Merline out of the gate so he basically bitch slaps her into submission and while she is certainly more tolerable, she loses her mojo/spirit. However, let’s face it, she is a more exciting designer than stodgy, old-lady designer Joseph so you know this will not end well.
Now one can say that Jake was condescending to Lindsey by calling her “honey”, but she takes total control and Jake slows down to a snail’s pace to piss her off and let her do all the work. I was not to happy with Lindsey either to be frank.
Then we have Edmond who must put up with non-communicative Hanmiao. She literally refuses to utter a word. It’s like trying to bleed blood from a stone. He wants to do a flowy look to fit their Caribbean destination and she wants to do a structured garment TO WEAR TO THE BEACH! Huh? Poor Edmond (who don’t forget has immunity) tries to offer compromises but she’s so undone about working on a team that she snaps at him to shut up. At that point I would have shut down myself and tell the bitch to hang.
During his walk-through Tim pretty much likes what he sees, but we all know some of the teams are literally falling apart at the seams. The only look he really questions is the bathing suit Edmond and Hanmiao are constructing out of non-bathing suit material.
On to the runway! This week the judges are Zac Attack Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi Kluminator and guest judge actress Tracee Ellis Ross. By the way she is Laurie’s muse so she breaks into tears of shock and joy when she sees her sitting there. She’s smitten and it’s adorable. I digress.
The Top Three:
Lindsey and Jake: Their red and gold romper with a long attached skirt and long green and gold vest are odd, but somehow work since gold is the common element. It’s obvious Hong Kong is their destination. On the runway it becomes painfully clear they didn’t get along and they are quick to throw each other under the bus, but they are on top! Shut up!
Laurie and Swapnil: Considering Swapnil is Indian, they should have been in the top three and they clearly were. A beautifully constructed modern striped crop-top in deep jewel tones was paired with a high-wasted grey-blue pant. It’s the accompanying sari-like modern sash that steals the show. The drop crotch of the pants are a bit of a problem, but since Tracee Ellis Ross says she likes them they become a non-issue.
Candice and Ashley: Inspired by Venice, their red bell-bottom pants, black-and-white striped top with a cowl neck back, and crazy bright floral cape wow the judges. Personally I hated it and wondered why the judges all went ape-shit over it, but what do I know? I thought the Greek jumpsuit (that was declared just safe) was the week’s clear winner. Anyway, in a Project Runway first BOTH Candice and Ashley win.
The Bottom Three:
Merline and Joseph: Inspired by St. Petersburg, the poorly fitting asymmetrical top pink sleeveless dress with a stodgy and ridiculous shiny pink half cape do not thrill the judges. Joseph admits “mumsy” is his look/thing. He claims that he spent too much time teaching Merline to design to be able to make a finished product. I can’t believe she doesn’t fight back, but Merline is now just breathing air since he completely crushed her spirit. He throws her under the bus and then backs up and runs over her again. I hate him.
Amanda and Gabrielle: The South of France should have been an easy inspiration, but their asymmetrical hemmed white tank with a striped patterned lining and long bell-bottomed navy pants are big duds. The designers may have had no problems, but their design sure did. The mullet top angers Heidi and these two eek by.
Edmond and Hanmiao: It’s no surprise these two are on the bottom since their Caribbean inspired two-piece bathing suit made from a bright, tropical non-stretch cotton and bright yellow detachable maxi skirt is a horror show. The ropes around the waist are truly confounding. It’s too literal, the fit is terrible and it’s just plain hideous. Smell ya later Hanmiao. There’s no “I” in team. Too late she realizes, “You have to work as a team. I know that I failed. Communication is the only way, the best way, to fix it.” She should have realized THAT sooner.
“I’m praying, please god, don’t give me Marline…” – Joe
“Marline’s already starting to drive me crazy.” – Joe
“If I were ever to go on the dark side and just dress all in black I would definitely do it her way.” – Ashley
“You can dance all you want at the runway, in the lunchroom, but until that time you ain’t f***n’ dancin’!” – Joe
“By calling me “darlin'” Jake seems to be half pacifying me and half demeaning me… It makes you want to puke.” – Lindsey
“At the end of the day I don’t see many structured pieces on the beach.” – Edmond
“If I had a partner with someone like Hanmiao I would have hurled myself out the window.”– Kelly
“No dancing. We are focused.” – Joe
“I think this is really going down the mumsy-matronly route.” – Tim Gunn
“Matronly! I never created anything with the “M” word.” – Marline
“It’s is not a swimsuit, it’s not a top…It’s a contraption!” – Edmond
“Now I’m going to cry.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
“Are they on backwards?” – Zac Posen
“It’s really quite frightening” – Zac Posen
“It’s like a Pina Colada meets Hawaiian Punch. It’s just bad!” – Nina
“That’s crazytown.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
“It’s so matronly madame its not even funny…” – Heidi
“It’s kind of like an oversexed grandmother.” – Zac Posen
“All this craziness, why?” – Tim Gunn
“I blame him for basically making a shower curtain.” – Tim Gunn
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– Lauren Dimet Waters