PR: The Ones You Forgot About

Posted on August 27, 2012

Ven may have sucked up all the oxygen in the room, but apparently, while all that drama was going on, other people made dresses.


Alicia Hardesty

It’s a bit of a surprise coming from Alicia, and it speaks to her flexibility as a designer. This is clearly not her aesthetic, but she did just enough to a basic cocktail dress to make it interesting and put her own touches on it. Those side panels are deeply unfortunate, however. The bust is the only part that looks like Alicia to us.


Christopher Palu

This was well done and probably should have been in the top 3 over Gunnar’s, but in the end, this is kind of matronly. A well made dress, and possibly even one that his client loved, but not exactly stylish or fashion-forward.


Elena Slivnyak

We give Elena all the credit in the world for stepping so far out of her comfort zone. Obviously the aggressive silhouettes she favors weren’t going to fly with this client. She tried to put her own touches in; such as the shoulder treatment and the – it has to be said – sad little peplum. This isn’t a good look by any stretch of the imagination, but she worked hard to combine the uncombinable: her aesthetic and her client’s.


Melissa Fleis

This was a huge disappointment from Melissa, who’s shown herself to be a fairly smart and adept designer. She was upset that her client kept the dress covered it up, but it seems pretty obvious from the body language that this gal felt the need to cover herself up. Strapless mini-dresses aren’t for every woman and this woman clearly didn’t feel comfortable in hers. It’s not a bad design at all; it’s just totally wrong for this client.


[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for]

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  • piecesofconfetti

    These are all kind of.. boring :/ 

    • Clueless_Jock

      Yes. Way too safe for PR.

      • piecesofconfetti

        I mean, what’s the point of going on PR for a custom dress if you can pick up something similar in Macys? Or, like, Express?

        • Clueless_Jock

          Exactly! From this episode you’de think that real women abhor color.

  • stardust462

    Christopher still kind of annoys me, but I felt bad for him when his client took off the jacket he spent most of of the day on, so the judges and viewers didn’t really get to see it.

    • MaryMitch

      Maybe they got to see it in footage they didn’t use on the air. I would have liked to see it too. We didn’t even get to see it in the workroom!

  • Got to say that unlike previous seasons even the bad dresses aren’t unwearable disasters. Elena’s outfit could be salvaged with some good accessories, and maybe a scarf for some color.   Is Elena one of those designers who’s afraid of color?

    • siriuslover

      I’m pretty sure she is. I  mean, look at her candy store dress. All that candy, and she goes for off-white pina colada twizzlers.

      • She does have something of a goth girl aura

        • Derek_anny

          Frost goth.  A very severe Nordic ice princess.

    • now I remember, Elena’s client was the one who wore a striped sundress and loved color, lots of color. So this was the producer’s idea of forcing Elena outside her comfort zone. I can’t quite make out the color of the top… pale peach? and a black skirt.  

      • CozyCat

        The friend and client said that she was looking for something “more sophisticated.”  Elena’s design wasn’t a complete success, but she was headed in a more sophisticated direction than the client’s original wardrope–this is an outfit that you could at least imagine a (curvy) supervisor wearing, while the client’s original outfit wasn’t.

        All of which reflects the fact that Elena was sympathetic to her client and the client’s needs.  I think Elena isn’t so much a bad person, she just has really extreme control issues.  Group project?  She’s a basket case.  Individual project?  She makes it work.

  • Stubenville

    Christopher’s looks like a belted shower curtain.

    • Yeah- it’s a good safe concept but the execution is a bit sloppy- the drape bags and pulls in all the wrong places. With some structure it could be attractive.

    •  (snorting)
      hee hee.

    • Is there not something wonky going on on the back hem? It looks hiked up on the left, behind the arm holding the jacket. Perhaps planned, but I think this is one of those times where planned better really not look like a mistake, i.e. she tucked her skirt into her hose, or some such disaster.

      •  She actually looks better from the back, she’s very trim, with a tiny waist! How did he manage to make her look so shapeless and saggy in front?!?

        • Yes, she herself manages to look slim and lovely, but my complaint was that the dress is not symmetrical, and somewhat bunchy in places, and there seems to be an extraneous pickup on the back hem. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but I’m thinking, as you pointed out, that he probably would not have chosen to make her look bunchy/saggy on purpose, had he the time.

      • ampg

        There was some kind of disastrous draping error in the back, so that the hem was all hiked up in a weird way – you can’t see it from these pics, but I could see it (and rewound to make sure I was seeing right) on TV.

        • Ahh. That dress is a sleeper…it looks normal at first, if a bit pedestrian. Then you can see, on further scrutiny, that Christopher tried to jazz it up with fanciful drapery, but not having done so with gusto, we end up with a fairly standard wrap dress gone wonky.

  • Is the last woman carrying a red napkin from the buffet backstage?

    •  Its a soft sided clutch, that they clearly didn’t bother to stuff with anything. Or perhaps they just plain ran out of time.

    • ………
      ……..AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!Oh man, that COULD be a napkin. this is Project Runway – quick, someone make it into a dress!

  • I rather liked Alicia’s dress, overall, even considering the sheer panels. And her client clearly thought it was slammin’.  Christopher’s dress, while nicely made, was so,….grey. What about a COLOR, Christopher? Play up your client’s glorious complexion. Elena, I do applaud you for trying so hard. The skirt length is wrong, however, being about 3 inches too low, and that peplum is a tragedy of miscalculation.  As for Melissa, she’s my home girl, since she lives in SF and is a sometime customer of mine at my place of business. But that said.  Oh Gurl.

    • Yeah, Melissa should have had a look at her client’s legs before she chose to showcase them. I am not a legs champion myself, and I would not feel good with my upper thighs on display either, so I sympathize. The top looks nice, though, so I lament the lack of a longer length. (Alliterative! Good on me!)

      • Yeah, the length bothered me a lot, too.  

    •  Really?  She seems adorable, though I find it boggling that she’s 31. 

      And yes, the peplum is so… wrong.  And I love peplums, especially on jackets, but wow… just… wow…

      •  Anytime I’ve waited on her, she’s been delightful. We do a lot of laughing.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I saw a Burberry Prorsum ad that featured a jacket with a peplum that I just fell in love with, and I’m not usually an admirer of peplums; Elena’s attempt at a peplum was not a success.

    • LocMama

       Wish I lived in SF.  I bet you could make all my fantasy dresses a reality & keep me laughing/blushing.

      • Why it would be my pleasure, I assure you!

  • fashionablylate

    I think Elena’s skirt is nice and fits her client perfectly – great length. The top definitely had issues, but I don’t think it was horrible. Well, the back is pretty bad, but the front isn’t…as bad, lol!

    • Spicytomato1

      And her client seemed happy and worked it on the runway, which helped, I think.

  • lessax3

    I don’t know. Christopher’s gives me the impression that she caught her skirt in her panty hose from the back. 

    • I don’t think these designers are used to women with curves like that. 

    •  I was thinking along those lines too. What IS happening back there?

      • NDC_IPCentral

        Very poor measuring of the hem.  Don’t these designers have access to the tried-and-true gizmo from Sewing In High School – the yardstick affixed to a little base and the chalk-puffer so that the hem could be marked all the way around as the woman wore the garment?

        • Looking more closely, i THINK what Costello lite was going for is an asymmetrical draping in the back. It wasn’t dramatic enough to read as an intentional device, just like a sloppy execution, or a wardrobe malfunction.

          •  The way it hikes up doesn’t make any sense though — I think you’re right based on the slight tilt at the front (though that may be due to her movement), but for the life of me, I cannot come up with WHY anyone would do that in that way.

        • Sweetbetty

          You don’t even need one of them.  Just have the model stand near a table or other horizontal surface that hits at the hip or lower and have them turn around slowly as you mark where the table hits the skirt.  Determine how where you want the hemline and measure down from the line you marked.  And you really do need to do that on someone who has anything more than a stick figure because the butt, hips, or tummy can all distort a hemline.

          • NDC_IPCentral

            Respectfully, I disagree with you on your method, at least insofar as you said that the table is hitting at the hip.  You have to measure from the floor UP, because hips and the behind can hike the fabric up “up there.”  You need to mark the fabric how it has fallen over the person’s lower half.  The hem needs to be level with the floor.

          • Yes, my dear departed seamstress extraordinaire mother taught me hems are always floor up. I didn’t GET it, of course, until I tried to make a pair of pants for myself and discovered how poorly they sat with my butt in them.

          • Sweetbetty

             That’s why I said at the hip or below.  I guess I should have specified “fullest part”.  Yes, ideally you measure from the floor up but I use the table method when making something for myself and I don’t have someone else to measure for me.  As long as you mark the skirt at or below the fullest part of your body below the waist it should end up even with the floor.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Your comment took me back to Home Ec, and that device!

        • Call me Bee

          I still have mine! 

    • Sweetbetty

       I noticed that too and wondered if the skirt was cut that way (I can’t imagine) or if the jacket was pushing it up somehow.  Looking at it on Lifetime’s site, where you can magnify the details, it does appear that there is a wrap/overlap effect right there, though, like he attempted a tulip skirt effect.  Poor place to put it.

      • MoHub

         Attempted tulip skirt was what I was thinking as well.

  • Scott Hester-Johnson

    Christopher’s looked a lot less matronly with the jacket on.

  • Stubenville

    Elena’s cap sleeve treatment is interesting. She could do well in season ten if she reins in her proclivity toward exaggerated silhouettes.

  • kimmeister

    I’m disappointed I never got a good look at Christopher’s jacket.

    Elena’s look was lumpy and in boring colors.

    Melissa’s client’s chest has been smashed into near nonexistence.

  • What’s going on with the makeup for Melissa’s model. She looks like a zombie with green skin.

    • joaniemouse

       Oh, good, someone else noticed that.

    • Anathema_Device

      Looking at the red tones on her chest and arms, my guess is that the makeup artist tried to counteract the red with some green primer or tint under the foundation. It does work, but you have to take a really really light hand.

      P.S. I LOVE your avatar. That news story cracked my shit up.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Boy, I think that the L’Oreal Paris Makeup team has been churning out terrible looks for almost every episode.  Bad hair, bad makeup again and again.  I don’t know whether it’s the head of the L’Oreal team or the designers, but to my eyes, lots of unattractive happening over and over.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I wanted to give Alicia a top 3 just for stepping far outside her comfort zone without too much complaining.

    Christopher and Melissa both had presentation problems–Christopher’s model whipped the jacket off too soon, which probably made it less memorable, and Melissa unfortunately chose that long shawl that hid the dress.

    I expect some of the marks must have come from reports–maybe from the clients’ friends?–on how the designers worked with their clients.  These guys were more or less average in that department, so no points docked, but no big scores, either.

    • Spicytomato1

      Agree with you on Alicia. I was happy she made her client happy.

      As for Melissa, that “long shawl” looked to me like an entire bolt of fabric. Awful! And a weird misstep for her, I thought.

  • DinaSews

    I would almost like to see a ‘real women’ challenge where the designer does NOT have to take her clients’ input. It would be interesting to see what the designers think would look good on a ‘non-model’ figure.

    • Judy_S

       I like, but unfortunately that’s what Ven did, except he wanted it to be all black.

    • Melissa Brogan

      The only way that works is if the designer is willing and able to work with the non-model body, and PR proves again an again that a lot of the designers on the show can’t or won’t.

      And that’s before you get to whether the ‘real woman’ would feel comfortable in the clothes. We’ve seen from plenty of stars stuffed into designer clothes their stylists foisted on them that even very attractive people can look terrible if they’re feeling uncomfortable & self-conscious.

  • dulcinea86

    I wish we could see Costello-Lite’s jacket. He was way too whiny (of course) about his client taking it off at the top of the runway, but actually he was right!

  • I thought it was unfortunate that Christopher’s client ripped off the jacket instantaneously as she stepped on the runway.  

  • Anathema_Device

    Elena’s was shockingly sloppy. The crooked, droopy peplum and wonky zipper looked awful.

    Alicia’s looks tacky and cheap. What is happening at the back hem of that dress? I think it is a pleat, but it looks like a wedgie.

    Christopher’s was standard. Can’t see Melissa’s, but you’re right about the body language. I would need a metic ton of confidence to strut down the runway in a strapless mini in front of Heidi.

    • Stubenville

      [snort] Atomic wedgie!

    • Sweetbetty

       The entire back of Alicia’s dress was off.  Nothing matched up and the zipper isn’t inserted correctly, causing that wedgie look.  At least she didn’t slap on a big shiny metal one.

      • spititout

        Alicia’s back was home-ec-ish, but definitely got extra points from me for a dress without a butt zipper.  Waiting for metal zippers to go far, far away. 

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          The continued use of those blankety-blank zippers is proof that we need an instructor from Hogwarts to whip out their wand and banish them forever.

  • For a design competition, these clothes aren’t what I would call “designed” (except Elena’s).  They like to say it’s not a sewing competition, which is good for these folks (except maybe Costello Lite, although the back of that dress looks a little wonky), as these clothes are also very poorly made.  So what is the point of this show again?

    • CheriCPat

       The point appears to be:  How quickly can you remember the pattern for a dress you once made and get it thrown together enough to make it down a runway?

      Sick of the show giving them less than a day to design and create.  It forces boring results.

      • Judy_S

         Good point about the time constraints BUT I remember in a previous season when they got generous with time the designers still had trouble completing the look. However, that was some weeks into the competition and the designers were probably mostly exhausted and demoralized. At this point they must be sewing blind.

  • MK03

    Melissa’s looks terribly amateurish. It’s like she gave up and stapled it together in the end. And if you’re going to make a strapless dress for a busty woman, it must be structurally sound. I speak from experience; when I make dresses and tops for myself, they are always boned and firmly lined. If you don’t do that, it will look like it’s falling down.

  • “I spent 8 hours on this jacket and she whips it off!” well, did you consult her at all? Because maybe the jacket made her feel frumpier than the dress already did, Christopher. Use your earballs, not just your mouth.

    • He probably told her to come out, pose, and then after a few seconds, take off the jacket.  She was likely nervous, never having done this sort of thing before, and mis-timed the great reveal.

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s what I’m thinking, giving them both a pass.  So many people are complaining about not seeing the jacket I’m surprised that Lifetime hasn’t put a picture of the client wearing it with the dress up on their website.  But then again, we’re talking about Lifetime and B-M.

        •  You WOULD think, that they would always make sure that every aspect of the clothing gets seen, clearly.  And with Melissa’s Dress, why the HELL didn’t they ask the client to remove her wrap?

          • Sweetbetty

            I got the feeling that, even if the dress was what she had asked for, she was surprised at how much she was revealing once she got into it and was purposely covering up with the shawl, which I now realize Melissa *did* make and was not an accessory from the wall.  Maybe the judges knew that and for once showed some sensitivity and didn’t force her to exhibit herself on national TV.

          • If so, it would make for a unique aberration, on there part.

          •  Maybe they asked her to and she refused. 

          • Sweetbetty

            I’d considered that too, but then we’d have seen Heidi and Kors scrambling up onto the runway and wrestling it off of her 🙂

          •  No, because my guess is that it wouldn’t be the judges asking — they had too many people they could rip who had a chance at going home to bother with Melissa.  The producers probably wanted some cringing from her and she told them to go to hell .  That’s what I’d do if they tried to get my thighs on camera (I have been known to tell people that they could just photoshop me into family pictures, that’s how much I hate cameras)

      • Susan Crawford

        I agree. After a stressful 24 hours, these “real women” were put onto a runway with – I assume – not a lot of time to practice walking in the garments. And nerves would clearly play a major part in the whole experience. Especially if any of these women were within earshot of Ven and his venomous running commentary during the fittings and styling moments. That would up the old stress level exponentially!

        •  And for people who may never have been on stage, or anywhere near a TV camera, it must be daunting indeed.

        • alyce1213

          These “real women” audition and interview competitively for a spot on this show. They were not dragged from the street, thrown into clothes, and forced onto a runway in a matter of minutes or hours.  One or two of them actually do the reality show “circuit” and have appeared on tv before. All of them have had time to think about what they were doing and practice.  I’m not saying they should look like professional models, that would be a ridiculous expectation. But a couple of them could have tried harder.

          • Susan Crawford

            I understand that there is a process by which these women applied for, were interviewed and selected to appear on PR. But  I also stand by my comments regarding the level of nervousness and stress. Also, I have to wonder, since every second of PR is carefully edited for maximum drama, how many times they walked that runway, and what decisions were made in the editing room. Maybe a couple of them DID try harder .  . . and their effort got edited?

            In a sense, I’m getting really nervous myself, because apparently with the proliferation of so-called “reality” shows, there are fewer and fewer actual REAL people left!

      • SapphoPoet

        I think you’re right. Although I would have told her to walk down to the end of the runway, then take off the jacket. But she was probably nervous and forgot any instructions. Plus, time always flows a lot differently when you’re nervous and under pressure. She probably thought she stood there for about five minutes. 

      • formerlyAnon

         Exactly my thoughts.

      •  Fair, but as I said to someone above, I think I just can’t stand Christopher and heard his whining and it resonated in my head.

        And as much as Heidi and Co praised Gunnar’s girl for her fun walk, that shit would be shot down in a heartbeat on an actual runway.

    • It’s probably hard to forget you’re not sending a model down the runway, one who will obey instructions.

      • Sweetbetty

         Or one who knows instinctively when to make a reveal.

        • alyce1213

          It’s not instinct — it’s common sense, I think.  It’s not like they haven’t seen a fashion show before.

      •  Fair, and she did shed that thing like it had killed her kid sister. She kind of had a weird face, too. I wonder if she really DID hate the jacket, or if it was just “eek! TV!” nerves

    • alyce1213

      I’m gonna defend Christopher here.  He DID listen to his client and made her TWO pieces that would suit her.  Frankly, I thought she blew it by taking the jacket off way too early and balling it up in her hand like an old sack of trash.  If I were Christopher, I’d be a little upset too.  I mean, he didn’t throw a hissy fit or anything, he just stated that he spent a lot of time on it and his gal didn’t show it at all.  It was probably nerves, but it’s pretty standard Modeling 101: Walk to the end of the runway, remove the jacket, throw it over your shoulder or let it hang from your hand nicely, so it can be seen, and walk back. If you’re going to be on Project Runway as a guest “model,” you should know to do that and practice, practice, practice! 
      Gunnar’s model, on the other hand, SOLD that dress he made, which was not as good as Christopher’s.

      • The women should have realized that this WAS about them, but not ALL about them.

        • alyce1213

          Yes, the designers had more at stake.

      •  I don’t disagree that Gunnar’s was over sold, but Christopher’s comment still made me roll my eyes. He’s so… I think that maybe I tend to roll my eyes at everything he does because everything was SO DRAMATIC for awhile that I assumed he did the same thing here. Unfair of me? Probably. Doesn’t make my reaction less…reactive.

  • siriuslover

    Thank you for pointing out the obvious with regard to Melissa’s dress! Insane in the Ukraine made a workable outfit, the client was very happy, and I was surprised by her empathy and client skills. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the jacket Christopher made. He can complain, but he should have told her how to take it off and hold it. And Alicia, not bad, and certainly  not as bad as Ven-Bot made it out to be.

    • Glammie

      Yep, Ven-Bot was really nasty about it, but I thought Alicia’s dress wasn’t well made, but was one of the relatively few that actually suited her client.  It was a good color on her and she was clearly comfortable in it.  I didn’t even mind the little cut-outs.  Not my first choice, but it did make the dress a little more than just another short satin cocktail dress.

    • siriuslover

      I would just like to say that what I meant by “pointing out the obvious” was simply that I agree with you guys that it was clear that she was uncomfortable to viewers (if not to Melissa).

  • Frank_821

    Yeah a mix of “not too bad” overall.

    I kind of like Alicia.  At least you could see she attempted her version of a cocktail dress. She faired much better than Nathan or Ven. At least the silhouette is flattering and not too slutty. I keep going back and forth on the panels though. I wondered at first if they were cut-outs, now they seem like sheer panel overlays. Hard to be sure with that pink fabric

    Have to applaud Elena for also trying to meet the challenge. Her outfit with some tweaking could be pretty fab on her client.

    You could tell both women really liked what they were wearing

    • Do the women get to keep the dresses, or do they go into the online auction?

  • Pupioso

    I thought Alicia’s was well done and looked good. Chris’s was okay but kind of boring. Elena’s I didn’t care for at all.

  • Magpi

    I didn’t care for Elena’s overall look, but what isn’t shown in photos is how AWESOME her bottom looked in that skirt when she walked–I was fixated on it, maybe my ‘real’ bottom needs a fitted skirt…

  • janetjb

    Melissa’s client looked so uncomfortable, I felt bad for her.  I thought the rest were passable. 

    • siriuslover

      I know. Too short, that square over the boob looks uncomfortable, no straps. poor thing.

      • Sweetbetty

         But did she ask for a strapless dress?  And did they discuss the length?  I agree that the dress shows way too much flesh for an un-toned body but the key is, did she get what she asked for?  The judging is always mixed when it comes to “giving the client what they asked for” vs “staying true to your vision”.  If that client insisted on a short strapless dress then didn’t like what she saw when she put it on, that’s her own fault.  Those of us with larger than sample-size figures are used to that happening every time we try on clothes in a store’s dressing room.  We weren’t shown much of any discussion between Melissa and her client so it’s hard to know where to place the blame for the resulting unflattering dress.  And whose idea was the shawl?  Was it off the accessory wall or did Melissa make it specially to go with the dress?  And, like Christopher, did she give the client any instructions about how to wear it?

        • formerlyAnon

           I wondered if Melissa’s client *wanted* a dress like that, made to measure for her figure, but didn’t realize that in a one day challenge it wasn’t going to be the kind of expensively made cocktail dress she might have liked and that a heavier & curvier woman can wear without feeling too much on display. (some internal structure in the bodice, a medium-weight fabric that would drape without clinging and LINED, etc.)

        • siriuslover

          These are all great questions none of which I have the answer to. And at some point, a designer needs to say, no matter what you ask for, I can’t deliver those particular goods (isn’t that why Nathan was aufed?).

    • VanessaDK

       She needed Irina to tell her how to tack that shawl on to improve the dress.  Instead the model is sort of dragging it along and it looks droopy.

  • SapphoPoet

    Well, I think these area all kind of standard. But kudos to Elena and Alicia for going so far our of their comfort zone and doing it politely and professionally. All the clients look happy and I guess that’s the goal. 

  • sockandaphone

    wow this episode was so boring design-wise…

  • ASK26

    Alicia’s looked kind of wonky – especially when using different colors where it becomes more obvious.

    Christopher’s dress was very good (although not sure what was happening on the bottom back), I don’t consider that matronly at all – unless matronly now means anything not hoochie mama or ridiculously short and tight – NO pictures of the jacket not balled up in her hand? 

    Elena – The shoulders just look so OFF – I guess  the same is true of the bottom corners of the top as well – like she cut the two sides out separately and free hand

    Melissa’s is an example where the black hurt a lot – it looks like a rectangle with a little rectangle pasted over one breast

  • dear_sweetlings

    I was really impressed with Alicia because nothing about her look is anywhere near her usual style but she still managed to pull it off without making something hideous, and she did it without whining constantly.
    Elena impressed me as well this episode, her look was forgettable to me but it was really good to see her really empathising with her client and making sure they were happy and comfortable. Also I loved the part where we first see Ven going into one of his strops in the work room and it just cuts to Elena going ‘I just lost so much respect for him’.

    • harlowish

      Elena’s attitude impressed me as well, but it made me laugh that when she made that comment about Ven she had on total crazy person makeup.

  • lilibetp

    I REALLY want the shoes that Elena’s girl is wearing!

  • Susan Crawford

    Alicia’s client looks very happy, and I give Alicia credit for pushing WA-A-AY out of her comfort zone on this. I would maybe have made the skirt just a skosh longer, but as I say, the client seems comfy in it!

    Christopher’s client looked as though she couldn’t WAIT to rip off the jacket, which was unfortunate, because from the brief glimpse we got, I thought it looked interesting. The dress skews a bit matronly, but it was figure-flattering and well-made. Agree he should have been top three.

    Elena made a really great skirt, but honestly, the top was a bit sad. Nice color for her client, but the fit wasn’t great, and if you’re going to do a peplum, probably it should be the same length all around, or shorter in front instead of in back as Elena made it. But the main thing is that Elena the Screaming Marmoset of last week became Elena the Empress of Empathy this week. Her client was not a slender little reed, but did Elena make her cry after giving out back-handed “compliments” and outright rudeness?
    NO! She did NOT!

    What in the world is that little sticking-up taggy thing on the bodice of Melissa’s client? And why in the world did she saddle the client with a ginormous, chintzy-looking stole?

  • Wellworn

    Elena and Melissa’s clients look just as “plus” size as Ven’s.  I don’t know what he was bitching about.  Not everyone had a stick thin model client.  At least Elena and Melissa had a positive relationship with their clients, even though the outcome wasn’t very good.

    • MilaXX

       Yep. Ven’s claims that he had the biggest gal in the room were just more excuses.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Agree! And not only are they heavier they are SHORTER, another model no-no.

    •  Elena’s model was pregnant, which is something the producers didn’t let into the broadcast as far as I remember.

      • Wellworn

        Wow, that’s a whole different challenge. 

  • Catiline

    I was really impressed with Alicia.  I think she pulled off something similar to Gunnar – her client looks so rockin’ and confident that it’s easier to overlook the issues with the garment itself.  So clearly, Alicia was able to listen to what the client wanted.  On a non-fashion note, I enjoyed the side-eye of doom she gave Ven backstage after the runway.

    Melissa – total disappointment.  Did she phone it in because she had immunity?  The model’s face says it all.   

    • Lisa_Cop

      I thought Alicia deserved alot of props because the look was so far outside her comfort zone. I think this is the first time Alicia hasn’t made pants. I also kind of liked the design if not the color.

      Alicia (and all the other women designers) were all horrified at what Ven was saying – they, too, are not models but real women (what women isn’t “real”?).

  • I’m still trying to figure out what’s happening on the back of Christopher’s dress.  Is it made that way or does she just have major static cling?

    Melissa failed the challenge — quite badly.  I’m not sure that she really talked to her client enough because as you guys said, she was obviously uncomfortable.

  • sterlingrose

    Why oh why did the designers give some of the heavier girls with cellulite on their legs such short skirts?   I could easily see the cellulite and as a woman of a certain age with about 20lbs to lose, I would feel self conscious in a dress with a slit like Ven designed (but we know how bad that was) or some of the lengths they offered.  They didn’t seem to know how to “accentuate the positive” which you have to do with “normal” women.  I can sort of understand going more conservative in their designs since these women would be wearing these in public, not just on a runway, but some color would have helped tremendously. 

    •  As a woman under 30 with very little left to lose, I would feel the same way!  It’s not an age or size issue — my sister-in-law would be fine with it at 42, and my best friend would as well in a size 18, because they both have great legs.  Mine are… we’ll say not so great and leave it at that:P

    • Sweetbetty

       I’m with you about the legs and short skirts.  I know panty hose are considered passe by today’s fashion, though I always wear them when I want to feel “dressed up”, but they would do a world of wonders for a woman who wants to show off her less-than-perfect legs.

      • Catiline

        Same.  You’ll peel my hose from my cold dead feet…

      • ASK26

         I DESPISE panty hose and tolerate opaque/tights.

        First I don’t have a waist and the panty part is so short usually that they roll down. 
        Secondly, I seem to have in the past decade developed an allergy to either the nylon or lycra and my legs itch fiercely when I wear them (and some nylon socks).  I end up in pain with scars from scratching.

        But for a bigger woman I have pretty nice legs so I like skirts, so I am so glad that hose are no longer required.

      • Whatever happened to wearing hose to feel sexy?  I love pantyhose.  Especially the patterned kind.  And yes, some do wonders for the overall look of a leg.  The sparkly kind especially.  Hawt.

    • MilaXX

       Some of us don’t mind showing a little leg. I don’t think Melissa”s gal was comfortable with it, but there are many of us plus sized gals who don’t.

      • Glammie

        It all depends on the leg, doesn’t it?  It’s not simply about being plus-sized–some of the thinner women had chunky legs and some of the heavier ones had slimmer legs.  I don’t get the inability of several of the designers to simply look at their client and figure out which are her good points and design accordingly.  I mean, c’mon, it’s just not that hard–it’s not like there aren’t plenty of real-life examples–i.e. every well-dressed woman.

        •  More importantly, ASK!  It’s not just which parts of a woman’s body are “good”, it’s which ones SHE loves.  Common wisdom would tell you not to play up my bust because I wear a DD.  However, I love my bustline, so I do so all the time.  I’m not overly fond of my back, though there’s nothing wrong with it — I just prefer it covered.  Asking your client about her feelings about her body will do wonders.

          • formerlyAnon


        • MilaXX

          I could not agree more.

  • whole show is boring and the designs… lets see something new and fabulous. 

  • as sick as i am of all the “drama” and fake personalities, this right here is the main reason why i gave up on project runway. these looks are all boring and forgettable, even for early on in the season. 

  • The wrap Melissa’s client is wearing used in a wrap dress would have been fantastic.  maybe some touch to make it “hers”

  • SewingSiren

    Alicia had one of the best clients and she made a terrible dress for her. It looks  like she is wearing the lining of the dress. Even the fabric the dress is made of is like acetate  lining fabric. I have no idea what happened here but she should have been in the bottom.

    Did Christopher already make this dress (more or less ) and jacket combo, in black and black, for the day to night challenge? It looks  nice on her from the front, but the back is a terrible taboo.

    I think the color combination is odd. But the jacket and skirt look rather nice (except for some fit issues). I like the shoulders and I think she did one of the best jobs of suiting herself and the client.

    Melissa’s is unspeakable. Really the worse one out there. The hanging shawl only makes it worse.

    Here is something that some viewers might not know, but those dress forms come in all different sizes. The reason a school workroom only has “6’s” is that that is the size of most runway models and you are making your garments usually for a end of year show or something.
    Various manufacturers  and designers use different sample sizes depending customer. But I’ve worked on everything from a tiny little 
    6month size to a size 42 women’s. There are also mens . I don’t know why they don’t get Wolf or Fox or Model to send over some right size forms for these designers to work on when they have various size clients. It would certainly improve the fit of the final garments.

    • SapphoPoet

      That’s interesting–I’d wondered about that. 

    • They’ve had many challenges in the past where the clients were much larger than the forms (the Drag Queen challenge for example) and the designers were expected to use batting and muslin to pad the forms. I guess it’s just a “Make it Work” thing.

  • Kayceed

    What was a bit sad about this challenge was that so many designers could not successfully make clothes, much less fashion, for non-model bodies.

    • SewingSiren

      Challenges like these are very unrealistic as far as real life design situations go. 
      Firstly in real private client would chose a designer whose work reflects what they think looks good on them already. No one in real life would rush through the fabric store slap dash spending money wildly without 15 min of thought. You would also spend a great deal of time measuring the client (which is the point of made to measure really) and you would do fittings while the garment is in muslin for and make the fit corrections on the muslin, then transfer it to the actual fabric chosen for the design. Finally the hems would be put in after the client had tried on the finished garment. 
      I’ll bet most of the competitors remaining could do a decent job under normal circumstances. 

      • alyce1213

        Except for the final collections, are any of the challenges anything like real life design situations?

      • formerlyAnon

        Yes. I’m always sad for the wasted effort from the perspective of the “real women” in the challenges because it takes a very articulate person and a very perceptive designer to understand what the woman would be pleased with in the time allowed – and the fitting process is so rushed that while for *some* women the final product may fit better than ready-to-wear, for others it probably does not – or is worse. 

        So you get a “made for you” garment that has few or none of the things one would look for in a garment made for you. The experience may well be fun – or give people the public exposure some so inexplicably, to me, want, I guess.

        •  A lot of that depends on the designer’s experience.  Someone who has done a lot of custom work can manage it more easily, as can a really smart designer.  For instance, don’t choose a design with a hundred seams when you only have 15 minutes to fit!  (This always bugs me) 

          It is much harder than it appears, especially in a challenge with an unfamiliar model.  I’m in the process now of making pieces that I have to finish them off of just measurements, and it is such a nightmare.

    • DeTrop

      You make a very good point.  These designers didn’t just walk into PR from school.  They must have been making clothes for friends and family, if only for the experience.  They should have real-life experience with various women’s shapes by the time they reach PR.  This challenge exposed their shortcomings.  Obviously, they are not ready for prime time.

  • I thought it was a big yawn all around.  Alicia had one of the best looking women in the bunch and put her in a pink hooker dress.  Girl, it’s too short, too pink, and not flattering on a woman with a good body.  I have a hard time working up much enthusiasm for the rest, even the energy to comment on them.  Why on earth would you put a larger woman without gams (because some big girls do have killer legs) in such a short dress, highlighting her cellulite?  And is there something wrong with the lights at Mood because none of these designers seem to be able to pick good colors and/or fabric that doesn’t look cheap.  Is there any natural light at Mood because they clearly need to hold the fabric up to it.

    As someone else noted, for an episode (i.e. advertisement) for L’Oreal Paris, the hair and makeup really wasn’t that banging…they did a good job on Fabio’s girl and Dmitry’s but the rest were pretty wah-wah-wah.  Then again, if they can’t make Klum look better than she has this season (excluding this episode where she brought it), I understand.  The way these designers are going along, you’d think this was episode 10…better step it up!

    • Lisa_Cop

      Don’t think there is much natural light at Mood. Every time I’ve tried to go it was closed but it has several floors up in an office building without much in the way of windows.

  • Lilithcat

    This challenge resulted in an incredibly boring bunch of clothes.

    While I appreciate Alicia going outside her usual aesthetic, I must say that I at first thought that the “hoochie mama” remark was directed at her.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Looking back on this episode, aside from Fabio’s look which his client really liked,the rest of the clothes are a big meh.
      And yes, Alicia’s dress is bordering on hoochie.

  • mjude

    i did completely forget about all of them

  • Alicia: I’m surprised by how much I like it. It’s a confection of a dress. The bodice is nicely rendered. I hate most shades of pink (finding them tacky or garish or nauseating), but this pale, baby-pink works for me. I don’t mind the sheer panels, but I wish they were executed better (more even and matched up). All in all, good work.

    Chris: Nope, not working for me. He was seen sewing until the last couple seconds prior to runway time, and the dress reflects that frenzy. Check out that gathered “poof” on the side (back shot). The jacket? We didn’t really see it. Why didn’t he instruct his client to keep the jacket on for at least a portion of the runway walk? Sure, the judges assigned a high value to client satisfaction, but it’s ultimately the designer’s design.

    Elena: Not bad. She found a way to accentuate the shoulders (without making them balloon-like). I’m not crazy about the peplum, but it does lend the top some structure. It does configure this woman’s body in a way a straight or draped top would not.

    Melissa: I’d have placed it in the bottom. The dress is a tad too short and, most importantly, very, very basic. The design interest is generated by a single, simple origami-like fold. That’s not enough. Melissa made that scarf, right? I find it unlikely that the client brought it with her. That’s more a bed-sheet than a scarf. You want any accessories (yes, I’d call scarves accessories) to enhance the design, not to obliterate it.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Melissa had immunity so why waste a bottom spot on her.

    • CarolinLA

      I think they should’ve made a point with Melissa like they’ve done with designers past.  Tell her that she was damn lucky she had immunity.  Scare her into making better decisions. 

  • nannypoo

    Let’s all have Ven tell us again about how he was the only one with a larger client. Jerk.

  • Does anyone have a picture of Christopher’s jacket??

    I liked… the shoes on Elena’s model. The forbidden “nude” pumps, but these looked nice on this woman.

  • Tatiana Luján

    Elena’s skirt fit her client like a glove.

  • Tatiana Luján

    Did the clients get to keep the clothes?

    • DeTrop

      If they did, they could have made a great bonfire.  

  • mhleta

    Elena was on the right track with her outfit. The pencil skirt is a real keeper and hands down the most flattering shape for women large and small. The top was unfortunate in the end, but she was really on the right track in giving her something structured to go over the skirt. It was on it’s way to being a flattering piece. 

  • Amy

    This makes me miss Buffy. I bet she wouldn’t send something so boring and dull down the catwalk just because an “average woman” was wearing it!

  • CarolinLA

    Melissa’s is atrocious!!!!!!!!  WTF?  It’s an ill-fitting tube dress.  One of the worst things ever to come down the runway.  Nothing is special about it.

  • thoroughlymodernmillie

    I thought Elena’s outfit made her client’s ass look AWESOME (or rather, highlighted the already awesome ass she had?).

  • VicksieDo

    Please note that these last two clients are on par with the size of Ven’s client.  Just sayin.

    • DeTrop

      Yes.  I didn’t realize there were that many size 12/14’s in this challenge.   But Ven’s blouse was hideous in style and fabric.  

  • Susan Collier

    Part sad/part bleh showing from these designers. I have little to say on this lot.

  • I liked Christopher’s dress until the model turned around. Creating a design that looks as though she’s got the skirt tucked into her knickers? Bad idea.

  • formerlyAnon

    This is a challenge that (were there even a pretense that the scoring is objective and even-handed) would be insanely difficult to score. Making the client happy has obviously got a place in the evaluation, even if it only shows up in how well the client can sell the dress.

    Melissa’s dress is a case in point – there are women who’d be so thrilled with a dress made to their measurements that they would rock anything. Some people rarely find anything off the rack that truly fits and don’t pay to have stuff altered.  And there are women who would rock a body conscious dress like the one Melissa made.

    And then there’s Melissa’s client, who seems all too aware that however flattering the dress is when she’s standing still, when she walks it clings to her thighs and clearly shows them and outlines her stomach, be-spanxed though it all be, **and she doesn’t want to wear a dress that does those things**!!!  She’d probably have loved the same dress were it made of a medium(?) weight crepe and lined so that it had about the same drape but skimmed rather than clung.

    But one day challenges don’t allow for such things. Sadly.

    • Tatiana Luján

      I despise one day challenges.

  • DCSheehan

    I love Melissa but when your client is so uncomfortable she’s literally hiding her dress then surely you’ve failed. Wrong length, the bust line has that odd protuberance and her hair doesn’t work for her at all. She’s a striking woman and Melissa turned her into a high class hooker.

    So many women were shortchanged in this challenge. Almost none of them were given outfits that suit them. I call for a do-over, with actual random selections and not the bs set ups we got.

  • PrunellaV

    I’m more impressed with Elena’s look than I might usually be because it’s basically what Ven did (black skirt, light-colored shiny top), for the same body type, but so, so much more flattering and fashionable.

  • Trisha26

    I was surprised by how many of the designs looked trashy, not just “department store” – KMart trashy. And to my mind Elena’s top is miles worse than Ven’s; while his was at least made well, her’s is ill-fitting and does nothing to flatter her client.

  • guest2visits

    I thought both Alicia’s and Melissa’s were kind of on the ‘hoochie’ and tasteless side.
    Alicia’s was too short with tacky panels, and the way it was put together and fit her client reminded me of those flat paper dolls
    and their dresses with the fold-over tabs.   Melissa’s was also too short and revealing in every way for her girl. I thought she just
    didn’t even try, and resorted to winding fabric around her torso and stappling it down. And what an unattractive print she chose for
    the whatever that giant sheet thing was.
    I wished Elena’s construction was abit more solid in the top; I couldn’t tell if the back of the peplum was deliberate, or a mistake.
    But I still liked the idea immediately – and I thought the skirt was very flattering on her.
    I liked Christopher’s design, this also worked nicely on his client. Can’t tell if the hem is deliberately asymmetrical or not.
    And really; what the hell with the jacket. It’s almost like he-who-has-no-name.

  • ccm800

    Somoene in the Loreal balh balh blah room needs a damn BEATING for giving that poor red headed girl in the last pic Latrice Royale foundation routine MY GOODNESS! “Yes we gonna use Shrek 17 on you – it s a color compliment to yo hair gurl.”

  • Elena’s pencil skirt was pretty fab, though it’s a bit hard to tell in the stills.

    • CarolinLA

      I loved the idea of the top, especially the way the peplum curved at the butt, creating a nice frame for her derriere.  But the fabric – ugh.  Couldn’t she have gone with something more dynamic?  And a pencil skirt is really nothing to write home about.

  • Laylalola

    Melissa’s is all the more bizarre because a week or two ago she had the model positively swimming in layer upon layer of fabric. 

    And I didn’t notice during the show how much Costello-lite’s client really did wad that jacket up and grip it like a … I don’t know what, does she really carry all her jackets that way!?!. 

  • Clacey

    Now that I can see it (well, kind of) I’m rather surprised by just how wrong and how ill-fitting Melissa’s dress is. That girl probably needs a supportive bra, so Melissa gives her a strapless sheath? And it’s much too short. This would have worked on Nathan’s or Comrade Snape’s clients, but not this girl. I don’t blame her for the oversized wrap. 

  • CarolinLA

    Elena, Melissa, and Alicia’s all look like they came from Sears.  

  • CarolinLA

    They did a bit on The Daily Show recently where they used the services of a reality show casting director.  I honestly didn’t think there was such a thing.  But I’ve thought about that a lot in regards to this PR season because something went wrong in the process.  I’m shocked at how basic most designs are each week.   My God, Dmitri thought he would win this week by producing the exact same dress that he’s put out two times before.  Melissa’s winning dress from last week is an exact copy of one she had in her pre-show portfolio only that one is grey.  Where is the spark in these people?  Where is the risk?  I still can’t fathom how ten creative people managed to choose only four colors (black, blue, peach, and grey) in a single challenge.  

  • Lisa

    None of these are great or memorable, but at least I can give props to Alicia for moving WAY out of her comfort zone.  I’m surprised that Melissa did so badly – she’s lucky she had immunity.  I love her stuff, so it pains me to say that.

  • Call me Bee

    I haven’t seen this episode yet–been on vacation–and seeing these, I feel as though I didn’t miss much (save for the Ven douchy-ness…)  What a bunch of mess. 

  • Rebecca J.

    This whole group is crap, right down (or up) to the hairstyles.  Alicia’s girl looks particularly hooker-ey.

  • Qitkat

    oh my. Except for Alicia’s (which was barely passable) these are boring and terribly unflattering. This episode made me nuts.

  • e jerry powell

    Forgot about, or willfully banished from consciousness?

  • pamela nakanelua

    That woman that Melissa dressed did not want her legs or underarm areas showing.  Melissa missed the boat on dressing her model properly.  As a woman who wears a size 16, I have a difficult time finding clothes that fit.  It is a total challenge and so disappointing to see that a designer can’t even recognize the challenges that her model faces.  Make nice clothes for women who are not a size 6 please.

  • WHY ARE ALL THE DRESSES SO EFFING SHORT? Between this post and the last one I’m surprised I didn’t see any ladybits…

  • Christopher’s is so so so ugly. You could find that in Walmart in the Plus size department on any given day. No wonder he was afraid of being in the bottom, it’s terrible. I like Alicia’s – it’s short and sexy I could totally see Heidi rocking that dress. Melissa also had a “Plus size” model, It was not just gunnar and elena given one. She is not slim.  Elena’s model looks gorgeous- the top and skirt look terrific.

  • bitterk

    Alicia doesn’t get a pass because she made a pink dress.  The dress is unflattering, ill fitting and horribly cheap looking.  But I am most disappointed at Meliisa’s dress which was generously overlooked by the judges.  I’d have hidden behind that scarf if I was the model as well.   I’m bummed that we didn’t get to see Christopher’s jacket which looked interesting on the dress form and probably worthy of a top three spot.  

  • geeeque

    i find it sort of amusing that all the comments here and from t-lo about the “real woman” challenge is that everything is boring and not fashion forward yet last week’s wilder “working woman” outfits elicited guffaws about how unrealistic they all were to wear to the office!

    • Nothing all that notable about people having different reactions to different challenges.

  • CozyCat

    You get the feeling that if Elena had another day to work on the design it would have been really great.

    The other two had no where to go that was better than where they were.

  • CozyCat

    Or it could be that Christopher gave her no instructions because he’s used to professional models.  In all the rush to get it done, it may not have occurred to him that extra instructions were needed.

  • CozyCat

    I think they should allow more design/pre time in these challenges.  Some clients are very good at diagnosing their figure flaws and could help the deisingers a lot.  But others are a bit blind (watch “What not to wear.”  or worse yet, “Say yes to the dress.”  Many women just don’t see what’s in the mirror.)

    I think it’s a lot to expect the disigners to talk to the client, get the feel on what she thinks, evaluate the accuracy of her opinions, and THEN think about what you are going to do given your design style in half an hour.