PR: Quick n’ Dirties

Posted on October 05, 2012

Let’s clear the decks, darlings.

Fabio Costa

Making a jacket that can be worn up or down was a really clever idea on Fabio’s part and it could arguably be described as “avant garde.”

Unfortunately, it – and the rest of the look – is just plain ugly.


Christopher Palu

This looks exactly like something Regina would wear on “Once Upon a Time.” That’s not really a compliment, since most of the costuming on that show looks like Disney World castoffs. But he gets more credit than Fabio, because at least his “Enchanted Queen” actually looks like one. Fabio’s was more “Homeless Queen.”

It’s a standard black gown with a lot of shit added to it in a frantic attempt to make it interesting. What’s hilarious is all the talk about the enhanced hips. She’s so model-sized that the hips don’t look like anything but a relatively normal set of hips. If you’re gonna exaggerate the female form, then you’ve got to go the whole Thierry Mugler/Commes des Garcons nine yards and make something that actually looks exaggerated instead of making a size two look like a size four.


Melissa Fleis

We REALLY don’t get why the hell this received so many compliments.

There’s nothing about this look that isn’t standard. Popping the collar and lining the skirt doesn’t make it “avant garde.” It doesn’t even make it edgy. This just looked like a bunch of poorly rendered, mismatched pieces. At least Sonjia and Fabio tried to make something interesting. To our way of thinking, it was Melissa that should have gone home last night.



[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitker for]

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  • Yeah, I didn’t Melissa’s either.  Not very interesting or avant garde.  I think the judges about shit themselves because she used color.

    • deathandthestrawberry

      The teal color of the vest was the only thing I liked about Melissa’s look. The rest I HATED. She should’ve been able to nail this challenge.

      • VanessaDK

         Yes–It looked like a model went to a sample sale (to repurpose the Duchess’s quote from baby week.)

        • amian3

          Exactly. The grown up version of Elena’s last week.

        • Well said.  Couldn’t agree more.

          • ballerinawithagun


    • Agreed, I thought her look was awful.  And I’m sorry, but all her business with weird collars is her Origami Rose.  Just STOP IT already!  Do something different!

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Melissa has talent and has produced a number of looks that put her in the top 3 several times and at least one win. She’s moving on due to that. As for this look, while I like Melissa I found this butt-ugly. That print is awful and throwing a bright orange lining just makes it more hiddy. 

      • Charis G

        By that logic, one would assume that Sonjia’s multiple wins would have kept her in, though.

        Not that the judges would ever judge on anything except the current week.  Ever.  Or have they finally given up that fiction?

        • MrsJoe

          Heidi point blank said last night that the judges were never going to agree based on this week’s outfits, so they were going to base it on past weeks.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          The judges pulled the body of work card out of their judging deck for this episode;  I suspect that they would say that they have an  clear idea of Melissa’s aesthetic, but that wasn’t the case, at least in their minds, for Sonjia. 

    • angryparsnip

       So agree. I think they said her use of leather is wonderful ? ? ?
      I thought her materials looked like the cheap plastic covered foam stuff Halloween outfits are made from.
      Awful !  

    • Is anyone else getting the overpraising “Oh Anya, you made SLEEVES! JUDGE-GASM!” vibe from the critique of Melissa’s? They did seem a little too pleased that she used color.

      • Sara LaBatt

        Judge-gasm.  LOL!

  • muzan-e

    I can’t help it. I tried all last night, and I just couldn’t un-see it:

    The arm-feathers on Chris’ gown?
    They look like swords. Straight from the cover of any 80s science-fiction you care to name. Straight out of one of the weaker Hellraisers. Very Starcraft. And fondly worn by female cosplayers the world over.

    Arm blades. Seriously.

    •  Right?  He should have been outta there, just for that particular abomination. It was especially hilarious watching them fall all over themselves trying mightily to find SOMETHING to say about his work that was positive.  “Um, I like the back,…”

      •  they LOVED the…wait, let me get this right, the MAKEUP?? you had someone who has been doing this for 30+ years, who is a paid employee OF the sponsoring company, that you spent BIG bucks designing, then paying Lifetime more big bucks to come up with this Product Placement Bonanza to use…and you like “his” make up??? he had nothing to do with it (other than saying um….sure, use that blue (of his 2 choices) or ‘put the hair up’ (after the make up DESIGNER says ‘the hair put up would LOOK NICE” (and then product placementing ‘here I used the ‘hair softener 2000 with the cutwordcolorABC on her cheek’…. good job “judges”….
        upon closer look the arm things looked like something from a craft store….

        •  Basically, they were two large, trimmed ostrich plumes that he had tied around her forearms. LAME!!!

          • muzan-e

            … last night, I thought he’d actually made them himself out of smaller feathers. Odd, I thought. Awkwardly funny, I thought. But at least he was making an effort!

            Oh boy.

        • muzan-e

          Oh, I have to give the guy some credit. Have you ever tried using some of their L’Oreal’s Project Runway Collection eyeshadows?  *g*

          There’s a reason they use the HiP pigments and Infallibles every single episode. All else aside, I figure the makeup guy earned his praise just by managing to get a pigmented look out of that collection at all.

          • boomchicabowwow

            Ya know, I’ve been savaging the make-up people all season for the craptastic way the models look.  It simply never occured to me that they might be contractually obligated to only use L’Oreal!  I just figured they were doing the little product placement bits and then going back to using real make-up!  I will now take all my insulting vitriol back.

        • tripletmom96

           don’t forget that heidi went slightly ape-shit over the nails, too.  i don’t think they hardly said a thing about the actual garment….

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Maybe we now know one of Heidi’s guilty pleasures-she plays with press-on nail polish!

          • boomchicabowwow

            Nevermind. Nothing to see here.

        • khh1138

          I was so peeved at Christopher taking credit for all of that. The makeup wasn’t his idea! The red pinky nails weren’t his idea! (That’s such a common thing, anyway, that Melissa had that same genius idea straight off – she suggested to her Loreal guy “oh, we’ll do the pinkies in white,” whereas Christopher didn’t come up with it, he only agreed that he liked his Loreal consult’s idea. I see it on Mall Girls and girls at the gym all the time, so how avant garde can it be.)  And then the *JUDGES* are the ones who defined Christopher’s look for him, and then he says, “oh, yeah, that’s basically what I was going for.” Sure it is. So much so that you didn’t say ANY of that when presenting it. What a little weenie. 

          Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of what he’s done in the past, I just don’t like *him.*

          •  And it makes me twitch when I see it in life, let alone on a runway — I’m all for nail art (mine are currently 4 different colors marbled) but the one odd nail thing just tweaks my nerves for some reason.

      • StellaZafella

         Yeah, I liked Chris’s mildly wicked stepmother gown from the back too…going away!
        I’m reallllly sick of the “Golly gosh I’m good!”
        Good God Girl Get a Grip…your not THAT great!

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        As soon as Chris’ model walked out with that arm treatment and the collar all I could see was Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”. I mean, come ON-black feathered armlets?  the feathered collar?  If you’re going to wear that, your name really ought to be Morticia Addams.  Per usual the judges almost worked themselves into whiplash fawning over their pet.

        • ballerinawithagun

          I couldn’t believe they didn’t bring up “Black Swan”. The sisters of Rodarte (can’t stand their work) must have must have been giggling from their hideaway.

    • VanessaDK

       Christopher’s dress was so boring I don’t think I registered any details whatsoever last night.

    • That would have been a nice gown for Mae West.

      • Janet B

        Mae West would have filled out the bodice.

        • And looked better walking away.

        • boomchicabowwow

          Not if Christopher made it….

      • Or Christina Fredericks…

    • zoreta

       Once they said horror movie, I couldn’t unsee her transforming into a wolf man/harpy love child with those things. When her arms are straight they just look hairy, and when her arms are bent they look like a diseased bird in molting season.

    • siriuslover

      I’m with you. Like she’s a ninja and can pull the swords quickly from the back of her arms into a front crossed position in less than a second. I totally see it.

    • hoez

      Baraka… finish him!

  • StelledelMare

    Zoe was spot on about how Christopher’s model was completely unable to fill out that bodice. And those feathery arms are stupid. I like the skirt part of Melissa’s and I’d love to have it as a skirt on its own but really the whole look together was very plain. Hated those streamers on Fabio’s top.

    •  Zoe should be doing master classes on how to be a PR guest judge.  She was on point, clear, and concise, with all her comments.

      • MilaXX

         yes! when she broke down what was wrong with Chris’s bodice and said he either should have fitted it better or padded it so it wasn’t obvious I wanted to kiss her. A concise critique, with nary a quip or one liner in sight.

        •  And all the more memorable, for being a spot on, professional design critique. 

          • boomchicabowwow

            Also worth mentioning, she was not even vaguely insulting.  She seemed to be sincerely imparting information that would help him, and the rest of the designers, in the future.  SO refreshing on this show.

          • She was class itself. A rare thing indeed, for reality TV.

          • ballerinawithagun

            She knows what she’s talking about.

        • dress_up_doll

          I loved Zoe before, but this just sealed the deal for me. Not only did I appreciate what she contributed to the judging, but she didn’t sit there all smug or laughing at MK’s futile attempts at humor.

        • ShamelessHWAddict

          The real problem with Christopher’s bodice is that he cannot construct the bust of a dress.  Each dress that he makes looks like he cuts the bust out of one piece of fabric and there are no seams or darts that allow it to fit properly.  I noticed this on the first dress that he sent down the runway…the shredded silk gown that he brought from home for the first challenge.  I thought it was a design choice, but it appears to be the only way he can make a dress.  I am surprised because his dresses are otherwise well constructed.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          She was also thoughtful, and phrased her critique constructively, and didn’t go for the jugular-which I reallyl appreciate.

          • MilaXX

            and I bet good money that she won’t be asked back for that very reason. I don’t think Nina & Michael want to be shown up I also suspect that’s why we see so few real designers in the 3rd chair anymore.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Sadly you could be right about the regular judges not liking the possibility that they’d be upstaged by a guest judge.

          • boomchicabowwow

            And that is just sad, although I suspect you are right.  MK looked downright desperate to upstage her and Heidi came off as an even bigger twit than usual. 

    • It was so nice to see some actual critique on construction and tailoring skills again.  It was a great point that a beautiful dress doesn’t look good on someone if it doesn’t fit.

  • Judy_J

    Yes, Melissa should have been sent home.  Her design is just a mismatch of assorted ugly pieces.  Hideous.

    • dress_up_doll

      A-freakin’-men. And this is coming from an actual fan of her past work.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    Christopher’s gown looked like a cast off from a Tim Burton movie. 

    • Call_me_Annie

      Helena Bonham Carter = Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter.  She could’ve hidden her wand in the arm feathers.

  • To me, Fabio’s look was like the Emperor’s New Clothes.  Everyone kept praising these garments, and all I could see was fug.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Was Fabio’s made from Ultrasuede? Never gather, only structured garments should be made from that. Actually only furniture should be covered in Ultrasuede.

      •  I’m not sure even furniture should be Ultrasuede….

        • ballerinawithagun

          As a cat lover with 2 cats, Ultrasuede is the only way to go. The furniture, of course has to be the correct  style. Contemporary and mid-century modern are the only styles that work. As I said in a previous post never gather Ultrasuede and it holds true for furniture. 

  • Stubenville

    They all fell flat on this challenge. And since when is avant garde not supposed to be too costume-y? Okay, it’s not supposed to look like Mrs. Bozo the Clown (Melissa) but it is time to bring out the cray-cray. it’s time to make the judges gasp at your sheer audacity.

    • It is in this way that I actually feel that Fabio was the best. It was at least arrestingly bad looking, but not in a sample sale or overly embellished Halloween costume way. SOMETHING of the weird, odd, creative, and different, at least. And Dmitry, God love you, not a power business suit.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Fabio at least conceptually got avant garde, and the jacket is eye-catching.

        • Qitkat

          In my opinion, he was the only one who even remotely got it, but I don’t think from the workroom footage that he necessarily originally designed it that way. I recall that after his convo with Tim, who didn’t especially like the direction Fabio was going, that he suddenly remembered that he had once made a pair of pants that could be put on upsidedown [I’m having a hilarious time trying to figure that one out in my head], and thus, TA-DA, he decided that his jacket could be reversible like that too. 

          It is a great jacket concept, but the rust and sheer brown just Did.Not.Work. Initially I had thought he was going a different path with the sheer and that it might be interesting, but nah.

          • He actually said he used to wear his button-down shirts as pants in college.

          • Qitkat

            OK, now I recall. Still trying to visualize in real-world. Good thing he is so adorable, because you know, that is weird.

          • I know. I was actually disappointed he is gay, like I had a chance at him, and I’m not married. I would have had a total crush on him and his shirt-pants in college.

          • Call me Bee

            I thought so, too, but others in the TLounge last night said they had heard/seen that done before.  Weird. 

          • If you Google, you can find plenty of people doing that with sweaters, for no apparent reason other than to make me sad.  This is not original, it is desperate, attention-seeking behavior that should not be replicated after one is no longer a teenager.

          • boomchicabowwow

            I thought he said he wore them upside down?

          • Upside down is the only way you could wear a shirt as pants, presumably.

          • tignor

             He said he wore one of his button down shirts as pants when he was in college. He said it didn’t look that great, but he got a lot of attention (which could be a definition of avant-guarde) and he remembered that, so that’s what he did with this jacket. IMO while it didn’t look too good, he should have won.

          • ballerinawithagun

            Viktor and Rolf do upside down clothing all the time. I can’t believe that not one designer or judge mentioned Viktor and Rolf. Nobody channeled Tilda Swinton the most astonishing avant garde model of all time. 

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            You just mentioned one of my favorite celeb fashion goddesses, Tilda!

  • DinahR

    Couldn’t understand the praise for Melissa’s look and I agree she should have gone home.  After seeing this look I think her avoidance of color might be motivated by self preservation.  She’s not very good with choosing, combining or deploying them.  

    Fabio’s jacket does more to exaggerate the ‘hips’ of his model and throw off proportion than all Chris’ padding did!  

    •  From a “who’s going to FW” standpoint, I understand the decision. Sonjia, for all her obvious talent, and skills, does not have a clear voice. Melissa does.  Its the only thing, in this challenge that kept her in.  Since it was clear that the male triumvirate was going to go on.

      •  Agreed.  I just couldn’t figure out quite what Sonjia’s perspective is.  I think once she gets it down, though, she’s going to do very well, because I think she’s got a lot of talent.

        • SapphoPoet

          Yep. She just needs a bit more time and experience. 

      • boomchicabowwow

        Although I totaly agree with you when you are talking Melissa vs. Sonjia, this argument falls all kinds of flat when it comes to Christopher.  I hate the idea that this show thinks we are all so stupid that they can try to sell this as a legitimate reason for keeping Melissa over Sonjia, but we’ll all somehow be fooled into thinking that Christopher has a clear voice.  Stupid show, gets me ridiculously wound up.

        • Christopher has been a special pet, from the beginning. They clearly decided early on to push him through to the end, regardless of his work. I will say that he has occasionally done well. But I agree completely, that he, himself has no clear design voice. Unless its shredded textiles.

          •  I think he has a voice, I just don’t think it’s an interesting one.  His work (and this is purely from what I remember so I could be wrong) was always identifiable, it was just not original.

  • I feel so validated and agree entirely that Melissa should have been the aufee. Tootie’s looked like an 80s avant garde film. Melissa’s just looks 80s. And uglier and unflattering to boot. LAME. Oh well. I’m going to miss Tootie and her turbans (Tootie and her Turbans = fab band name).
    I think that Fabio should have gone sleek underneath to emphasize the odd shape of the jacket – tank and tight pants. There’s no reason a gown is necessarily more avant garde than that. A queen could wear a tight black catsuit – I’m imagining Mom from Futurama as the perfect example of an avant garde evil queen.
    If it doesn’t look like it could be from the future, it’s not avant garde. THBBBBPHT.

    • MOM! Yessssss. Her hairdo is all the avant-garde she needs.

  • MoHub

    For all the talk about Christopher being the judges’ pet this season, I’d give that title to Melissa, who didn’t—in my opinion—produce anything worthwhile after the first two challenges, including her winning blue schmata. She should have been auf‘d on numerous occasions and it mystifies me as to why the judges keep retaining her over other designers.

    • MilaXX

       As I commented on this post I realized this exact same thing. It’s clear they have decide that Melissa should go to the finals.

    • CozyCat

      I agree.  Christopher has been overpraised, and arguably should have been booted in the print challenge, but most of his looks have been at least OK.  Melissa produced complete drek the last two weeks.  And her “point of view” hasn’t been seen since the “woman on the go” challence (week 2? 3?)  Since then, she’s been giving the judges what they want, and doing it badly.

    • CarolinLA

      I think she’s gonna win it.

      • MoHub

         It would certainly fit in with the Gretchen-Anya pattern. And I can’t help but think Lifetime thinks its audience wants to see a woman designer rather than the best designer win. Seth Aaron was the exception that proves the rule, and I don’t think it hurt that his designs were so undeniably better than the others’—and that he’s a family man with a wife and kids.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Lifetime-such a lame, lame network.

        •  And he was so freaking fantastic — he never got bitchy at all.  I really wonder who does the decision making at Lifetime, and who’s watching it.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            In reference to Seth Aaron,he was just so personable and enthusiastic about fashion during his season. I remember when they had the opportuanity to examine some couture clothing and he was like a little kid in a candy store. Add to that his skill and talent, and it makes you wonder, indeed, about Lifetime.

    • CarolinLA

      Who knew that Heidi would once again be the voice of reason regarding Melissa.

    • Kayceed

      I completely agree. The cocktail sheath for a toddler was ridiculous and should have been her ticket home. I still have a hard time accepting Elena was sent packing on that challenge.

    • Melissa and Christopher are the producers’ pets because they are model pretty, and are capable of acting nicely in public.  They seem ambitious and motivated enough to make themselves a success. They are capable of spawning a Brand.  They are consistent with the image of Lifetime.  They are like Anya in that respect.  Even Gretchen was kind of like that–model’s body, behaved in a civilized manner upon short acquaintance, ambitious with a definable design goal.  Elena, while talented by consensus, had too many edges and insufficient poise to be a winner so they got rid of her.  Sonjia had a great personality but was not yet capable of spawning a Brand so they got rid of her.  Lifetime wants to make money and enhance their image off their winners and it is not about having the most talent.  A lot of talent, yes, but personal attributes will separate out the golden people from the ones who are left behind.  

      •  That’s not necessarily a bad stance, honestly.  I’d much rather see a Siriano package than someone like Jay, who never lives up to his or her potential.

  • Stubenville

    Christopher = wild West bordello madam on a bad hair frizz day.

    •  love

    • Call me Bee

      Yes!  And her model look so familiar–I think she was on when they did the Models of the Runway.  She’s from Russia or Ukraine or Polish, maybe. 

  • Stubenville

    Melissa = extra in a Devo video.

  • Stubenville

    Fabio = upscale homeless person.

  • 3boysful

    “We really don’t get . . . ”

    Thank you!  I had her pegged for the loser when her model came out.  (Then I looked more closely at poor Tootie’s.)

  • What?! Sorry to differ, but I love Melissa’s. None of the designers were doing “avant garde” so lets just forget about that. I love this look & the styling. Love the colors, love the hair, love the vest, love the skirt. LOVE!

    • MissAnnieRN

      I also Liked Melissa’s look best out of what was sent down the runway last night.  I didn’t think any of it was very inspired.  I tuned in halfway through, so I didn’t catch any of the “inspiration” crap of the first 40 minutes.  When the garments came stomping down the runway I said out loud to husband “Hey, Tootie’s looks like a a more expensive version of all those Eve costumes you see in the party stores at Halloween!”  And then Christopher and Fabio also sent Halloween costumes down the runway.  So for me that left Dmitry and Melissa.  I liked their looks best.  

      Mind you, there was nothing “Avant Garde” as T and Lo already discussed.  But I did like Melissa’s.  

    •  I also like Melissa’s.  Not sure why.  Perhaps because it looks star trek-y.  Very Ambassador Troi

    • Qitkat

      I liked Melissa’s last night and realized from the lounge comments that no one else did. Now seeing it in a close up still helps me figure it out. I loved the teal color of the vest, and found it funny that Zoe (wearing a similar shade) liked Melissa’s also, as apparently did MK and NG. Heidi was the hold out. I actually thought for a few minutes that she might win, but Heidi clearly has producer clout. 

      I also like the print fabric on the skirt with that peekaboo red lining. However, the skirt is clearly too long, the vest is not finished crisply, and she thought that a huge stand-up collar would serve as the avant-garde element. When this came down the runway first, I thought the model really sold it. The irony of the same color as Zoe had to have been a true coincidence, n’est-ce pas? unlike the bizarre manipulated “disappearance” of Sonjia’s fabric. But avant garde. NON.

    • Sorry TLo but I also loved Melissa’s!

    • Lisa_Cop

      HATE Melissa’s color combo. And her high neck is Ven’s origami rose.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Melissa does like playing with the necklines or collars of her designs. Since she hasn’t turned out exactly the same collar/neckline treatment week after week she avoided the origami rose problem that Ven brought on himself by using the same element over and over and over again.

    • Glammie

      I also liked Melissa’s–I thought she used her color palette in unexpected ways–it’s not easy to balance teal and coral–they’re opposites and done wrong, it can be a real mess.  I think it’s also interesting the way she pulled in a print.  When she was working on it, it looked kind of incoherent, but when the model walked on the runway, I thought, “Hey, that looks kind of cool.”  It’s one of the few looks that kind of grew on me.

      Meanwhile, Christopher’s was total costume.  He’s a superficial designer–all about stuff he tacks on to the surface of his dresses.

  • avabee

    Thank you!  I thought Melissa’s was absolutely hideous.  I was astounded when the judges said they liked it and was also very relieved when Heidi pointed out how utterly fug it was.

  • MoHub

    And for the conspiracy theorists among us: Bert and Mila have revealed on their blogs that after the fabric is purchased and bagged at Mood, production gathers the bags and distributes them to the designers in the workroom. Makes one wonder whether Sonjia’s gold fabric was deliberately removed from her bag to create drama and put her at a disadvantage. Perhaps the producers felt she had too good a chance of squeezing golden girl Melissa out of the finals.

    And suddenly, there is no call to Mood to see whether the fabric was left on the counter, nor was there an emergency return trip as in past episodes.

    • MilaXX

       as if I needed another reason to hate B & M.

    • After reading their blogs, I’m also inclined to believe it, as much I don’t want to. Dirty awful trick.

    • It’s really shocking that they would take her fabric and then eliminate her.  But everyone knows PR is fixed, so don’t know why I am surprised.

    • minnye

      It’s cool to get a glimpse at the proceedings (and I love Mila & Bert) but I’m surprised that Lifetime posts this info about its own programming. It would be great to see a viewer mutiny over the “missing fabric” trick.

      • formerlyAnon

        Viewer mutiny doesn’t bother Lifetime – if we’re talking about the show they’re happy. Turning it off might bother them, but they don’t see those numbers in real (shooting) time so it takes a season cycle at least for that to have any impact.

  • VanessaDK

    OK–I don’t know what it says about my uninformed opinion but I loved Fabio’s and thought it was really attractive. I loved all the volume in different places, and I liked the combination of the suede type fabric with the sheer.  I especially liked the blouse, and the matching of brown and black.  

    • Kayceed

      I liked Fabio’s as well and think he should have won – it at least had some avante-garde concept at work.

  • greyhoundgirl

    Zoe Saldana’s comments to Christopher about the top of his dress were great–I hope all the designers were listening because her critique could actually help them to become better designers.  A nice counterpoint to “I would wear that in a heartbeat!” and “It doesn’t look pleasing.”

    • boomchicabowwow


  • Sadly, looking over the 4 collections left, I realize I don’t care who wins. They’re all so blah. I want to love Dmitry’s cause I love Dmitry but I don’t and it makes me wonder whether he’s a decoy. Christopher’s is a snooze fest, Melissa’s is just alright, and Fabio’s seems the most interesting and thoughtful. 

    • MilaXX

       yep I’m team Fabio, but I’m almost thinking the judges will give it to Melissa.

    • StellaZafella

       I like Dimitry’s work because, when he does separates, I like to imagine them paired with other things.
      Last night’s jacket over black leather slacks and killer shoes would bring the Bitch Queen strut to me. The point is, his work is so clear and well finished I can see where it would go…I don’t see anything else this season I would even pick up to look at, let alone want to wear.

  • Am I the only one who realized that Melissa styled the model’s hair after one of Elena’s hairstyles? (the fan favorite picture)

  • mjude

    i thought it was me cause i didnt get all the praise for melissa’s. i didnt care for it al all.  looking at the photos of fabio’s, the dress makes her look huge.  i didnt like costello-lites stupid feathers on the arms.  LOL

  • MilaXX

    The judges praised Melissa’s stuff so much I was beginning to think  I was watching a different show Apparently the judges have long ago decided that Melissa must go to fashion week because this is the second time she deserved the auf and got a pass. That look was hideous.

    • Glammie

      Oh I disagree.  I think the auf should have been Christopher’s Vampira costume.  Christopher’s been incredibly overrated.

      I’d feel worse about Sonjia except that her decoy collection is really bad–to the point that it makes me sad because she’s done some beautiful stuff.

      • MilaXX

        I would have had no problem with Christopher getting the auf, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Honestly of the Fashion Week collections the only ones that showed any spark to me was Elena;s & one of the still remaining finalist. Sonjia’s was no worse than some of the still standing folks. I guess this season is just one big dose of underwhelm.

        • Glammie

          Yeah.  Elena’s was interesting, but compared to some of the past finale collections (though not last season’s–ugh), it wasn’t a stand-out for me.  Sonjia’s was scroll-down fug to me–the top would look great and then the bottom would be a mess.  Thing is, her *personal* style is unique and fab.  I actually hope she gets a job under a designer and learns to edit better.

          Of the remaining, Melissa’s looked like Melissa’s, good, not great.  She does, though, have a particular viewpoint and she can get it across without a lot of fuss.  Christopher’s bored me. Well-made, undistinguished.  He won a lot of challenges because he knew how to pay attention to the parameters of a challenge, but really, really unmemorable designer to me.  Dimitri’s, I’m hoping, looks better in movement because it looks overworked in the stills (a shame, because I’ve loved a lot of his work.) and Fabio’s doesn’t pop.   However, given the move toward flowing pastels for Spring, Fabio’s may be far more in sync than I realize and look good moving.  His is the one I’m most curious to see on screen.  Movement made all the difference with LeAnne’s.

          • MilaXX

            agreed on all points. Although I liked a lot more of Sonjia’s than I did Melissa’s. So much of hers flt costume-y to me. I thought Fabio’s was the best of the lot and really want to see it in motion

      • MilaXX

        I can’t begin to ay how overrated I think Christopher and his boring collection are. I thought Sonjia’s was 50/50 in terms of bad and good pieces.

        • Glammie

          Yeah, and sometimes in the same outfit–that great black jacket over that cat-shredded dress.  Sanjia needs to edit, which I don’t get, given how great her personal style is.

  • I haven’t watched this episode but when I scrolled down and saw Christopher’s dress I burst out laughing. At work. I’m still trying very hard to contain my giggles while I type this. OMWord, that is one of the funniest looks I’ve seen this season. Dude straight up made a costume. Point.Blank.Period. *wipes away tears* Man, that was funny.

    Melissa’s work is weird. And ugly. Ugly-weird. Not a great combo. You see, Fabio’s own work is just weird but it kept my interest. Melissa’s dress just made me say, “Ugh”.

  • SewingSiren

    I favored Fabio for the win, simply because of the jacket. The rest is rather weak. As is the color scheme.

    Christopher’s is a moderately priced Halloween costume. The only thing the judges could praise were the make-up and nails, which of course were styling decisions made by the guy from Loreal.

    Melissa- The old sleeves over sleeveless . This comes up time and again on PR. I don’t get it. Why would you wear a sleeveless vest over a sleeveless top? ANd the color scheme is ugly.

    • Call me Bee

      To be fair–I took a look at the eyeshadow collections from whence the inspiration was to come for this challenge. Melissa”s “Artistic Muse” colors are exactly what she used in that outfit.  Teal, that weird coral, gold and dark grey. So can she be blamed for the ugly color combo?

      • MoHub

         She can at least be blamed for being too literal.

  • well put…i just didn’t think this was all that…and neither did Heidi who is always overruled for some reason.

    • boomchicabowwow

      Because no one can possibly take her serioulsly when she continualy appears on television looking like she’s been shoe-horned into her clothes?

  • voter1

    Melissa’s look was definitely not avant garde, though I must admit that I liked the idea of the red peeking through the slit of the skirt.  It would have looked great in a shorter version too.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I agree.

  • Kok Wei Jie

    Melissa is going to win.

    To my mind, the biggest problem with Project Runway’s move to Lifetime has been a huge shift in favor of the young, female designer: Irina, Gretchen, Anya… The one season the young, female designer left the competition (Maya), that was when someone outside those perimeters got a shot at winning.

    This year, it looks like Melissa is going to take it home.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I still wouldn’t count out Christopher. They’ve shown him a lot of love, and his style would probably fit in with the Lord and Taylor collections, and that is part of the prize this season.  I don’t know if Melissa would work as well with the L&T clientele.

    • MoHub

       And the male who won was a hetero family man, so again Lifetime was working toward pleasing its perceived viewer demographic.

      • boomchicabowwow

        I assume you’re talking about Seth Aaron or Jeffery, but wasn’t the show still on Bravo then?

        • MoHub

           Jeffrey was on Bravo; Seth Aaron was on Lifetime.

          • boomchicabowwow

            Wow, I didn’t realize that, thank you for clairfying.  Wierd, I’ve always presumed that the Bravo seasons were head and shoulders above those of Lifetime (and I’ve watched every episode of every season) but I LOVE Seth Aaron and HATE Jeffery Sebelia.  Heh.  I just realized that I seem to be venerating the network of “The Real Housewives” francise.  D’OH!

          • MoHub

            The thing, though, is that Jeffrey’s final collection was unquestionably the best of the group, and he was appropriately rewarded. I somehow don’t think Lifetime would have let someone with Jeffrey’s personality win or even get as far as the finale—especially considering his battle with Angela and her mom.

          • boomchicabowwow

            Yes, Jeffery’s was the clearly the best final collection of his season, and I hated watching him win, but it certainly made sense in terms of the competition.  Good points about Bravo vs. Lifetime.  This show on Bravo seemed (to some degree anyway) content to LET the drama happen, Lifetime wants to MAKE the drama happen.

  • granddelusion

    These are all butt-ugly. Melissa should have gone home last week, and she or Chris should have gone home this week. Chris is so weak. I was hoping they’d pull a Costello and send him home at the last minute, but, alas. I guess there’s still a shot. Maybe they’re saving it for more drama. Or it will be another non-win like Gretchen and Anya.

  • granddelusion

    And of course, with all of her whining about color choices, Melissa used black anyway!

  • I’m still going with a comment I made yesterday, in the T Lounge, about them setting Christopher up for a last minute fail.  Giving the win to Melissa, (cause by now we KNOW she will not be auffed next week) or whatever of the remaining two they decide gets to go.  UNLESS, of course they pull out the “You are all just so good, we’re sending all 4 of you to FW”, (so that we can pull a switcheroo on you at the Very Last Second).
    This was supposed to be a reply to MilaXX
    Thanks, Disqus

    • boomchicabowwow

      Thank you for pointing this out.  I always forget that they send someone clearly unworthy into the final four so that we can all feel vindicated when that person gets cut.  I watch so much reality T.V. that I really should not have to be reminded of that particular trope.

  • GTrain

    Luv huh but I was befuddled by the praise over Melissa’s piece(s). I thought it was butt ugly. But I love a lot of the stuff she’s done and absolutely want to see her in the final. I think Fabio’s thought process about the jacket was what saved him because to me that was the only avant garde concept in the entire show. A Melissa or Fabio win would be my ideal.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Do not get it. These are all worse than the winner and loser! Though Christopher might have managed easily his most creative work  this week. Which is not saying much, I know.

    My new top 3, by default, will entail Dmitry and his questionable collection, then. I would make a fast prediction that he will get cut next week in favour of Christopher, but I just do not see how a collection like Christopher’s could be in the Final.

  • nancylee61

    They are all dreadful!!! Those feathers!! He should have been auf-ed for that!! Ugh!!! 6th Grade Tacky, certainly not Avant Garde.

    No one has measured up to Chris/Christian.

  • mbelchic

    That is some of the ugliest shit in PR history-Hands down-

  • BitterOldQueen

    None of last night’s looks were particularly avant garde, yet some managed to achieve exceptional mediocrity, while others (I’m looking at you, Fabio, and you, Melissa) plunged headlong into just plain ugly and horrible. Which left the auf-ee right where she should be, having transcended both ugly and horrible to explore new heights of incompetent. When Melissa’s melange trotted out, I was suddenly shoved rudely back to 1987 and various album covers. Nasty, nasty stuff.

  • Scott Hester-Johnson

    Setting aside the HORRENDOUSLY idiotic makeup names (Really? Mystic Wise Muse Queen or whatever?), this challenge was a disaster. And Melissa’s? Blade Runner, plain and simple.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      No-Blade Runner had more style than Melissa’s.

      •  Absolutely.  Blade Runner is iconic.  I didn’t see it until I was in my 20’s, but I knew the look by the time I was 12.  But I was always kind of a strange kid, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt…

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          At some point between the ages of 10-14 my mom turned to me and quietly said “You always were a strange child”-which pleased me for some reason!

          I could actually see the character of Rachel from Blade Runner in Dmitry’s suit. The exaggerated sleeves and details would have worked well for that character, I think.

  • You know it’s bad when you agree with Heidi–and she can’t even dress herself.

    These were the two ugliest looks. Fabio’s blouse-y top and palazzo pants made the model look fat. Melissa’s black leather top was bulky instead of sleek and that skirt had NO shape. 

    Costello-lite made a frickin’ costume. Of course, they gave them a challenge where the theme was fantasy witch.

    • boomchicabowwow

      “You know it’s bad when you agree with Heidi–and she can’t even dress herself.”


  • Srw27

    Fabio’s was so pitiful and sad-it looked like “homeless chic” (Derelict, anyone??).  His model looked like she was wearing a torn garbage bag.

  • see, i actually really liked melissa’s look – easily my favorite – even if it wasn’t really avant garde. I loved the colors and the print of the skirt, tho i do think it was a bit too long. and i loved fabio’s jacket, but agree that the rest of it was kinda ugg.

    • good to know I’m not the only one who really liked Melissa’s look!

      • Glammie

        You’re not alone.  We’re definitely a minority, but a small group of us liked Melissa’s.  I found it intriguing.  

  • sashaychante

    Fabio did make a “Homeless Queen” outfit.  That is the biggest complaint I have about all of Fabio’s designs.  Anyone wearing them looks chronically depressed and homeless.  Must be the “freegan” influence…dumpster diving queen.  Melissa’s was put together, but that’s all.  I do like most of her designs though, and the judges do too, so this is how she slid through.  Christopher’s is pure costume…whatevs.

  • sockandaphone

    I missed last night ep’s (humblebrag but i was on a date!) but yeah Im surprised about the results?? how did melissa manage to make through not only last week but this week?  That is one ugly ass dress.

  • This is from my art history textbook: “In art “avant-garde” describes the situation in which an artist thinks that (1) his or her art expresses ideas and that (2) those ideas not only differ from what the rest of society believes, but that they come closer to “the truth.” In addition the concept implies that (3) art has a bearing on understanding the present and perhaps even an influence on the future.  (Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being, Fineberg 1995)

    One of the problems with PR of late is that we have been looking at a lot of folks who have the desire to make clothes. Cool clothes, cute clothes, clothes that their particular friends like, whatever, but nobody who has really been a visionary designer in the avant-garde sense. Perhaps Fabio is closer, in that he is not constrained by convention, apparently, but does he try to push past it? I’m not sure. I want astounding, I want amazing, I want mind-blowing. I don’t want a turquoise leather vest or black arm feathers.

    • Qitkat

      I love your second paragraph. 
      Do you remember Andy South? I think I’ve got the name right. I don’t recall which season. He was recently in some news stories about making a gender and name change. Anyway, on his season, he had some very creative ideas, until it was revealed (not onscreen, but by commenters) that he was pretty much copying designs he had committed to memory from a series of Japanese design books. It was very disappointing to learn that it wasn’t his originality but someone else’s. This might not have been learned by us until after the season was over. 

      • Yeah I remember. Sad. I remember Christian Siriano, too, and he managed to be pretty inspiring on his season and even got way more “out there” afterwards, and for that I give him props. I just like to see stuff that’s NEW for chrissake. I’m sick-to-death of “wearable” or “well-tailored” or “oooh red pinkies”

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Since the series moved to Lifetime and to Bunim-Murray the show has become a series of variations on “Make a pretty dress for cocktail/officetoevening/dogwalking/whatever”, but it all boils down to making pretty, marketable clothes.   B-M wants to market drama, pretty clothes and the plucky guy/gal who has overcome adversity to the Lifetime audience. They figure that they can take the die-hard fashion fans for granted, I think.

          • Well, I guess they can since I sit thru the show with ads for “Dance Moms” and “Prank My Mom” and other heinous dreck just to see them make fairly pedestrian outfits from week to week. For me, I’m still going to appreciate the making of something out of nothing before my eyes, it just never fails to excite me, even when  I do it myself. So I tolerate, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember the Bravo days fondly…you know it’s bad when I’m excited to see Wendy Pepper on All Stars just because she’s from back in the day. I didn’t like her stuff then, and I know she’s just back for bitchery, but at least she’s old-school.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Yep,I”m sitting through those shitty Dance Mom and Prank My Mom commercials along with you.  It’s very telling when commenters here hark back to the first five seasons of PR for designs that really made viewers sit up and go “Wow”-because they were genuinely original-will anyone who saw it ever forget Austin’s cornhusk dress, or Jay’s final collection?  Korto’s seatbelt coat, Leanne’s gorgeous wedding dress? The only memorable moment for me this season was Dmitri’s construction of his jacket for the print challenge-that was really cool.

          • I remember being astounded by Jay’s final collection and wanting every piece of it. I will admit it matched my personal aesthetic to a tee at the time, but I would still go for it. I have not seen anything that got me that excited this season by a long shot, except perhaps they way Fabio dresses himself, and yes, some of Dmitry’s stuff, but only for the sheer constructive majesty. Aah. We will have fun during Allstars, at least, I’m sure!

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            I stumbled onto PR’s first season very late but remember seeing Jay’s collection and just being amazed at how original and thoughtful it was.  The final collections were what hooked me on PR.

    • SapphoPoet

      I would have loved to have seen what Andrea did with the avant-garde challenge. I think she would have nailed it. 

      • khh1138

        True that.  I do feel like some of the early-aufed designers do miss out on some challenges they would be ideally suited for.  I wonder if a ranking system would work better rather than just mercilessly aufing.  Some challenges could be worth more or less…the last one could be worth a lot…top 3 go to Fashion Week. 

        • Qitkat

          For years now, I have been in support of a ranking system, keeping all designers around for at least 2 or 3 challenges, auffing no one til they’ve been in an individual challenge, starting with fewer people in the first place. I could go on and on, but we’ve all thrown out our two cents here before, starting many years ago. When this was just a little old blog.  We had some great ideas! I’m pretty sure a lot of us think that we could make better producers, but what do I know. There must be a lot of “insider rules” we’re not privy to.

          • khh1138

            Well, you may not be a producer but maybe you *should* be!  I get the feeling so much of TV is produced in an echo chamber that it all looks and feels like it was made by the same 20 people. Same shots, same edits, same scenarios, over and over.  

      • I was actually thinking of her, and of Frokemon as I typed that. People who are not so commercial. But, alas, this show is not about the pursuit of art for art’s sake, it is about pleasing who they think is watching Lifetime. Which is nuts, because it’s US and not as many Babies-R-Us shoppers as they seem to think by half.

        • Kayceed

          I would love a one-time avant-garde design-off amongst Elena, Andrea and Frokemon!

          • Yeah! Jeez I forgot about Elena. She couldn’t NOT be weird to save her life.

          • an all-stars season, but rather an all-wierd season!  take all the strangest people.  the guy who made the pregnant chicken suit.  ari who made an outfit that looked like a frozen dinner. harjuka guy.  of course elena, the spitting goddess from another galaxy;  she could be the mentor.  “let’s all just breathe together.”  “try writing backwards on your fabric”. jerry who made the couture serial killer rain ensemble.  leathah stellah.  stalker guy with the bowler hat, obsessed with his model’s boobs.  mondo could be the master of ceremonies.  any suggestions for judges?  challenges?

          • Glammie

            You know, I couldn’t make it through All-Stars after the fix was revealed–but *this* I would watch.

            Don’t forget Ping or Pong, whatever her name was.

    • formerlyAnon

      I don’t expect new or original – they don’t get enough time and it’s HARD to be original – there’s not much new under the sun – but especially hard to be original and compete on a show that ultimately rewards a sale-able RTW sensibility (and that’s valid, I just wish they’d own it.)

      OTOH, I wish they were rewarded for what ideas get put out there, rather than punished because they aren’t pretty or sale-able enough. And again, I could deal so much better if they came out with it and were blunt (like Joe Zee’s show is) about the priorities.

      • I see your point, but I don’t believe that there is nothing new under the sun. I believe that it is possible for art to reinvent itself, be it fashion, painting, music, what have you. I do agree that if it is going to be a show about RTW clothing, then they should drop challenges that even suggest the avant-garde, or couture, and quite rightly spoken because of the time constraints alone they are laughably unattainable. Yes, own your RTW sensibilities, PR, but what I am reacting to is the distinct and much already much-lamented deterioration in the artistic integrity of the program. It used to aspire to more, and challenges like this really bring that home.

  • Ms_Winston

    Melissa’s time-management issues are really getting old as well.  “I don’t know if I’ll have time!” She should have gone home last week for that awful baby challenge. And Michael’s “that nail polish is genius!” bit was so ridiculous.  Zoe Saldana was the best guest judge I’ve seen on PR–her critique of Christopher’s bodice was spot-on.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I don’t know whether Melissa’s time management issues are due to her over designing, thereby creating more work for herself, or if she just has problems working with tight time constraints.

      The genius comment from MK about the press-on nails was sooo ridiculous-just say Christopher used the cheesy L’Oreal press-ons effectively-and effectively is not the same as genius, Dutchess.

  • siriuslover

    I’ve seen that high collar from Melissa before (if in slight different positions). It’s standard for her. They called Dmitry a one-note, but I keep seeing the same thing again and again. Christopher’s may have looked better than Fabio’s but at least Fabio’s fit the brief better. And Fabio seemed to understand what constituted avant garde. And how come he doesn’t get dinged for defaulting to gowns all the time?  It will be interesting to see who doesn’t make it to FW (I read–on accident–what may have been a spoiler on a British news site).

    In the mean time, I look forward to the “ology” posts and to reviewing all four runway shows again.

    • l_c_ann

      Yes, the Brit spoiler is almost the only exciting thing about next week.

      • siriuslover

        ah, I see you read it too, then.

        • l_c_ann

          Where else would we see Heidi’s massive personal PR campaign in all its glory (without having to buy a magazine or a newspaper)?

        • Lisa_Cop

          When I posted about it, TLo responded that those individuals were literally the last 3 to show, not necessarily the Final 3.

    • The Brit spoiler seems to be right so far.

  • I honestly thought Melissa was going home until they stated praising it and I kept thinking what do they see in that? This was the first time I wanted all 5 to show at Fashion Week but you know PR can’t be that nice. They have to create some drama some kind of way!

  • I totally agree about Melissa.  I was shocked when she was safe.  She struggled all season, especially with finishing her garments, and had much fewer compliments overall (and wins) than Sonji, so I couldn’t understand saving her.

  • guest2visits

    I hated Melissa’s. The fabrics looked very cheap and plastic; I was surprised to hear she used leather. The vest was as badly fitted
    as the one she made for the baby-challenge. I thought the top underneath was clumsy too. The whole ensemble looked like an 80s
    Joshua-inspired design. I also thought she was a contender for the auf.  
    Christopher’s was also disappointing; thought he was really up to something interesting, what with all the feathers and DRAMA;
    but it just didn’t go far enough and his looked the most like a costume.
    Fabio’s wasn’t pretty to me in any way – but it seemed to work more as an abstract sculpture; and felt more truely avant garde
    than the others. And even though I hate the see-through skirt thing, this worked well with the odd jacket.
    I would have given him the win.  I also don’t think anyone made something as imaginative or accomplished as I was expecting.
    But then there is that ridiculous time-line.

  • siriuslover

    or the made up complementary challenge to ensure an Anya win.

  • carolclark12

    I was watching by myself and, when Melissa’s came out, I said aloud, “Guggggghhhhhhhh!  That is horrible!!!”  My cat was concerned and started checking to floor to see if I had thrown up a little with that sound.

  • Relieved to know I’m not the only one who saw a bunch of fug or meh last night. When will Melissa be reprimanded for her one way monkey collars?

  • Pamdela

    Also: “Goodbye, Atlas!” “Goodbye Atlas…” “Goodbye Mood!” “Good bye….ATLAS!” Jeez. Is making the designers sound like three-year olds really the best the producers can do for product placement? It got utterly ridiculous last night.

    • khh1138

      It was like reverse-“It’s a Wonderful Life” : “Hello Bedfod Falls! Merry Christmas movie house!  Merry Christmas Emporium!  Merry Christmas you wonderful old building and loan! Yay!” 
      (except that’s my favourite movie ever and it’s not possible for me to feel cynical while watching it)

    • BrooklynBomber

      Yeah, but the extended L’Oreal commercials were even worse. Those fucking fingernail decorations, mein gott!

      • my four year old granddaughter has a kit full of those- they look cute on her.  that tells you something.

        • BrooklynBomber


      • Call me Bee

        “Habe sie in deine lebe? Sheesh” 

    • Kayceed

      I usually watch PR by myself. I am always relieved to read this blog and find that I’m not going a bit mad by noticing this sort of thing and silently cursing the producers.

    • goodnight moon…

  • Qitkat

    Shouldn’t Christopher know how to fit his model’s figure by now? 
    That is one Gay Nineties pseudo Steampunk-lite Dance Hall Hostess on Halloween Night Elvira Mistress of Midnight gown :-((

    • Qitkat

      And THIS:
      What’s hilarious is all the talk about the enhanced hips. She’s so model-sized that the hips don’t look like anything but a relatively normal set of hips. If you’re gonna exaggerate the female form, then you’ve got to go the whole Thierry Mugler/Commes des Garcons nine yards and make something that actually looks exaggerated instead of making a size two look like a size four.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Honey, you nailed it!

  • Melissa and Sonjia both should have gone home. Who knew the 1980’s were full of artsy mystics, or whatever Melissa’s muse was supposed to be. 

    Christopher, the bird challenge was last season. Wasn’t the raven designer ripped for making it too bird-like and goth? I see the same thing here. Heck, I would send this guy home too.

    I see now that another designer is supposedly getting eliminated next week. I hope it’s not Fabio. HIs is the collection I most wanted to see moving on the runway.

    And I can’t wait to see what weird thing Tim has to do or confront at the home visits this year. Jumping on a trampoline? Facing a turtle or live fish? Hee hee!

  • tripletmom96

    thank you, tlo for voicing my thoughts about both melissa’s and christophers’ pieces.  when i saw christopher’s i kept saying “evil disney queen” and picturing regina on once upon a time ( a show to which my 16 year old daughter is hopelessly addicted). as for melissa’s, i also didn’t get all of the high praise.  other than that turquoise leather vest which at least showed a tremendous ability to construct garments with difficult textiles (the design was pretty basic) i thought everything else was just meh.  it didn’t look like a cohesive outfit to me. 

    fabio’s coat was kind of cool but the dress underneath was really unfortunate.  well, at least they didn’t put anyone into the finale who didn’t deserve to be there <<cough<><><>cough>>.  i’m sorry that tootie didn’t make it, but we all know that she got to show anyway.  that green dress was pretty bad.  i loved zoe’s analogy to a dinner napkin blowing onto her front and staying there.  i would have liked to see what she would have done with the gold fabric that “disappeared”. 

  • Dhammadina

    Homeless queen:  I love that!! 

    Enchanted hips?   I really love the evil queen  feathered elbow thingey. 
    And I am glad that we have gotten beyond the “Costello lite” label with Christopher, though you place him in the realm of “judge’s pet.” 

    I am very sad to see Sanjia go, and this way. Why couldn’t she have lasted til the next challenge when they auf somebody anyway? 

  • Miranda Prince

    I thought Melissa should have gone home last night, too. And the week before, as well. I’m really tired of her work. To me, she hasn’t produced anything interesting (or even good) in weeks.

    • mhleta

      I like Melissa’s work, but she should have been booted on the baby challenge because she was completely undone by it. Workroom composure and time management should be a big factor in considering the auf. She’s the last one out of the work room almost every time. Having said that, this was a nasty color palette she was given. It reminded me of Howard Johnson’s.  I like most of the outfit however the vest looks like it’s made of rubber, and not in a good way, but it needed something bold that could be made in a hurry. Yeah. I don’t think this was bad enough to get her the boot this time. 

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Melissa’s color palette is definitely reminscent of HoJo’s somehow I don’t think that’s a reference that L’Oreal would expect or welcome.  It was a challenging palette, but as much as I get tired of designers defaulting to black, if Melissa had used a neutral color and worked in the colors as color blocking or trim, it might have been more effective.

      • Glammie

        Why?  One of the things I find interesting about PR and Top Chef is “how” little how you work matters.  Part of the reason Melissa has time-management issues is because she attempts unusual construction–she tries to do things.  During the Rockettes challenge, Ven had *no* time-management challenges.  He also had a seriously boring dress.  

        There have been some excellent designers who sew fast–Christopher Siriano, Laura Bennett, Dimitri–but I think it’s fair to judge the end result, not the process.

  • Next week’s preview promises a “shocking twist”, complemented by a “No. Fucking. Way.” from Dmitry.

    Somehow I hope that Elena comes back to replace Christopher, but the twist is PROBABLY going to be that all four get to be finalists.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      it’s gonna be meaner than that i think. it almost always is. always, probably, since they switched to lifetime. & i would bet you a whole lotta mess o’ dollars & donuts that theyre not gonna replace their chosen champion, there.

      • *sigh*

        I’m bracing myself for the Christopher win.

        And to be honest, things could be worse. His collection was pretty, if not incredibly original. Not up to par with Lifetime’s Irina or Seth Aaron, but at least it’s not a parade of brown diapers or under-designed dresses in wild prints.

        If he isn’t annoying about it, I might be alright calling him the season 10 winner. Merely alright.

        • minnye

          That’s a big IF.

        • Glammie

          I don’t think so–he’s in the bridesmaid/never a bride position–the Rami/Emilio of his season.  

  • TonyGo

    Turquoise and black leather with red accents and graphic black and white print, popped collar and leather wrist cuffs will always read as “bad 80’s rehash”.  The Flock of Seagulls hairdo isn’t helping.  Sorry Melissa…

    • Kayceed

      And I ran, I ran so far awayayay…

    • the flock of seagulls nested in her model’s hair.

  • SapphoPoet

    Honestly, I don’t think I have anything to say about any of these pieces. I do wish they’d stop calling it the “avant-garde challenge,” though, as none of them seems to be able to produce anything close to avant-garde. I guess Fabio came the closest. 

  • e jerry powell

    We REALLY don’t get why the hell this received so many compliments.
    The producers sprung for Hello Kitty crack pipes?

  • As far as the missing fabric, I kept thinking if it were Anya they’d of suddenly had another trip to mood to “step it up” even more ( the one they want as the winner).  Melissa’s work, which I like, is pretty one note though.  I both like and hate her outfit, so maybe she’s close to A/G in that way?  Christopher should’ve been out for that “gown”: he has the best model, the skinniest model, and that the best he can do in a challenge where he can do anything?  Why do they love that guy so much???

    I must be the only one who actually liked Fabio’s and thought a better model would’ve done him justice.  Ah well.

    • christopher is the male version of lifetime’s pretty girl.

    • CozyCat

      Fabio came the closet to avant garde.  But he  would have had an even more avant garde design if he had randomly chosen one of the outfits in his closet.

  • BrooklynBomber

    There was one brief moment when the model was walking and I thought Melissa’s looked kind of good. But the whole time during the judging I was wondering what the hell they were talking about. It seemed to me Melissa’s one who should have gone home an episode or two or three ago. Certainly before Elena.  Fabio has improved. I liked Sonjia, but her output was very inconsistent. Some people do well working under the constraints and some don’t.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Geez, I keep looking at Melissa’s and I don’t get it. Nothing in the critiques about those awful “gauntlety” things on her arms? Nothing about the Princess Leia Donut on the top of her head? The awkward slit? The ugly print? The thickness at the waist? Unbelievable.

    • lifetime loves their pretty girls.

      and what are those things she keeps putting on the models’ forearms? do they serve any purpose?

      • nannypoo

         Sonjia is an even prettier girl who has personality, style and a sense of humor besides.

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        this is what i think:
        lifetime loves their pretty girls.
        just an itsy bitsy teensy weensy introduction:
        lifetime loves their pretty white girls.
        i mean, they gave the crown last time to somebody w/ melanin. how could they even come close to doing it again? just cos this one is a much much better designer? & the other one shouldnt have gotten her foot in the door? not in our world, this happens. not in ours.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      i am thrilled that someone other than me also saw the cruller.

      mind you, i dont know how we caught it w/o being distracted by the 1980s frankenfest below it–it just must be that striking. & it stays w/ a person, too.

      • BrooklynBomber

        “cruller” 🙂

  • Presumptuous Insect

    Avant-garde? Try snooze-fest.

  • I thought 100% that Melissa was going to get aufed last night, with Dmitry closely behind her. 

    Funny thing is, I had a hard time figuring out who would have deserved to win. Definitely not Christopher, and as much as I love her, not Sonji (though I think she still deserved to still be in it). Does that mean Fabio by default?

  • I didnt love ANYTHING from this “avant garde” challenge. I especially hated the fact that these looks were labeled “avant garde”.

  • my only problem with dmitry is his palette.  combined with his styling and sharp tailoring, it can go really severe, dour, and depressing.  people in the Tlounge were saying it was because of the product placement that his colors were limited, but if you look at the screencap of him sketching at the castle, you can see he had other choices.  there were beautiful jewel tones in that compact- emerald, sapphire, and amethyst.  there is darkness in his russian soul.   

  • I don’t get how Melissa’s outfit charmed them either. She managed to make leather look like very cheap pleather. 

  • christopher’s costume is leftover from last season’s bird challenge- the raven.  in fact, we’ve seen that same dress many many times.  someone made a similar dress for christina aguilera, no?  how many black corseted gown with feathers, sequins, and beads have we seen?  a jillion, i think.

    • Melvis Velour

      Wait a minute, didn’t he do a similar look earlier in the show?  I honestly don’t get the love for Christopher unless they’re projecting Micheal Costello on him.  He does look like him, sound like him, design very similar to him…sort of reminds me of the theme song for the Patty Duke show…

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        costello is better, all around. he’s derivative but he knows what to do w/ what he usurps. he’s a better tailor, too. & his stuff really does look good on people. i dont know if thats cos he honestly has a palm springs clientele [a palm springs clientele w/ that kind of money would mostly be older people w/ imperfect, if you want, figures. from lives lived, you know. also more conservative, even the younger people]. i dont know if thats the reason or what, but his work is better than CP’s here.

  •  TLo said:  “But he gets more credit than Fabio, because at least his “Enchanted
    Queen” actually looks like one. Fabio’s was more “Homeless Queen.”

     This made me giggle out loud.  😀  heehee

  • As Elena bluntly tweeted, “I don’t think these people would know what avant-garde means if it slapped them in their face!!”
    And she’s right. Elena, you lovable bitch. I miss you.

  • Cousin_Rose

    I care way less about Chris going through than Sonjia NOT. That’s two weeks in a row that the wrong woman went home. 

    • Elena would have KILLED this challenge. That’s the most frustrating part about the judge’s love of Melissa.

  • Beth G

    That vest was HIDEOUS!  The material just looked…. gross…..

  • nannypoo

    The only reason to praise Melissa’s look is to justify sending Sonjia home. I do not get the love for Melissa. This outfit was butt ugly and I can’t think of anything else she made all season that was particularly special. She should have gone home for the baby challenge and probably for some others besides. Sonjia wouldn’t win – that will be Christopher – but she deserved to be in the final 4.

  • snarkykitten

    well golly gee. Now I know my hips are “avant garde” thanks Project Runway! :p

    • mskgb

      Alas, I must lose 50 pound before my hips can be as avant garde as the model’s.

    • khh1138

      Also I’ve learned from Christopher that my hourglass shape is EVIL.  Guess I’d better get cracking on that career change…

  • annieanne

    We REALLY don’t get why the hell this received so many compliments.

    One word – leather. If she’d made that jacket and vest of anything besides leather, she might’ve gone home. But it was ordained that Sanjia would be going home the minute Heidi said she didn’t know if her work told a story.

    That being said, I actually like Melissa’s design and hated Sanjia’s fabric choice.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      it was decided to send sonjia home long before that. it was decided before they stole her fabric.

      • guest2visits

        Yes!   Kinda looks that way.

  • Speaking of table cloths that flew out of MK’s banquet hall! Oy vey!

  • hoez

    I’m of the thought that if anyone other than Melissa made that outfit, they would be sent home so fast… I don’t get why the judges are so keen on keeping her around. It’s not like she’s done anything noteworthy on this show other than high collars.

  • Trisha26

    Setting aside the “avant garde” criteria – Fabio’s jacket was horrible – it reminded me of the plastic garbage bags (albeit in rust) people use as spur of the moment rain ponchos. His gown was interesting, I wish he’d pursued that and left the jacket out. I actually liked Christopher’s dress (as a costume) because I love “black” and “drama,” but his model’s hair – yikes! – now that’s a homeless look! Similarly, Melissa’s pieces were all so heavy and bulky they actually made the combination look worse. And yet there was Michael spouting his mantra “I love that she did separates!” Ugh. If only she’d crafted a gown from the black & white print (lined with the teal or coral ) that incorporated the elements of all three pieces – now that might have been avant garde.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      “I love that she did separates’ -well, Mr. Kors, how about if Melissa had made separates that were well constructed, worked well with the model’s body, and met the requirements of the challenge?  I guess that only applies to designers who aren’t the judges’ chosen ones.

  • Pupioso

    Ever since they shut Tim and his video commentaries down and made him a producer the show has gone to hell in a handbasket. And not an Avante garde one either.

  • Call me Bee

    All three of these looks were ugh-lee! 
    Fabio’s jacket was an interesting idea, but not very flattering.  The dress, however, was horrendous.  It can be on the TLo list of Ugliest PR Looks of All Time. 
    Christopher’s dress was totally a costume, no matter how many times he says it isn’t.  But then, the challenge itself screamed “Make a fantasy costume,” so it was difficult not to make a costume.  
    My jaw hit the floor when the judges complimented Melissa’s outfit.  The vest was interesing (and only becasue it was teal colored leather.  You just don’t see that every day…) But the skirt, though it seemed like a good idea, was a mess.  The lining looked like it was clinging to the model’s legs.  The shirt under the vest looked really stiff–a leather t shirt never sounded comfy to me.  I agree with others that it was the grown-up version of the losing outfit from last week.  Nothing related to anything else–and none of it was avant garde.   

  • unbornfawn

    Second week in a row Melissa should have gone home. Last week the judges complained that Elena’s outfit looked like it was pulled from the samples rack. The same argument could be made for this one. After you get past the first moment of eye popping color. It is boring and poorly executed. I don’t get the judges love for this gal’s designs. Sonjia has made some fabulous pieces, and when she failed she has failed spectacularly. She takes risks and is interesting. She should have stayed.

  • sterlingrose

    Thank you thank you thank you. I could not figure out what they were loving Melissa’s outfit last night.  Made me question my own aesthetic (gasp in horror).  So weird.  Sanjia got robbed.  Yeah her dress was ugly, but she has proven herself.  I just can’t figure out why they love Melissa so much. …

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      what scares me is that i think they may keep keeping her cos she’s white. even more frighteningly, i think the last three may be fabio–christopher–melissa. the frightening one in there is, at least to my eyes, christopher. i’m worried that if this is their thing they dont wanna have three minority members [if you include being gay as a minority] as their final lifetime lineup. so they tossed sonjia. i cant prove this but it is possible.

      • carolclark12

         social promotion

      • formerlyAnon

        I think Christopher is going to win because he’s blatantly moldable to a Lord & Taylor publicity asset. His pleasant, middle-of-the-road aesthetic can be tweaked (by someone else if not him) into a sale-able min-collection for L&T and he can make nice at public appearances.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I can easily see Christopher doing personal appearances to promote a collection at L&T, and knowing precisely what to say to charm their clientele.  The gals would go all fluttery, Chris would beam, and L&T’s cash registers will ring up the sales.

  • VivianAdvanced

    Perhaps if they hadn’t been saddled within the confines the damn L’Oreal product placement, the designers might have been able to come up with avant garde. I think they were so afraid of getting costume criticisms, yet, as T&L pointed out, the makeup sets were named for queens and temptresses, like characters out of a fantasy film. Characters wear costumes. What the heck is a queen supposed to wear? Maybe somebody should have taken your typical Queen Elizabeth mum outfit and exaggerated it into a sexy, modern/crazy outfit. I dunno.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    the only thing i liked about christopher’s outfit were the long feathered semicircles he sent shooting off into nowhere from her hips. great & unexpected whimsy, that.

    when i realized these were actually cut down boas pasted to her arms i realized there was nothing whatsoever, once again, i liked about christopher’s outfit.

    about melissa’s outfit i like, lemme see, hang on, nothing. she stuck a bearclaw to the model’s head & somehow taught leather to puff. ungainli-ly. she taught teal leather to puff in an ungainly fashion. if that wasnt accomplished in the 80s perhaps it was not worth doing.

    i had a salad bowl & tray combo in a virtually identical pattern to the skirt. i’m trying to figure out what happened to it, i was gonna say that crazyspouse used it for his dog. he had a way of doing that–he took my antique gold leafed plates & stuck dog food on them too. if i add expressly after i begged him not to i will only have to, once again, confront the tippy tip of the iceberg of the many desperate things to which he was driven due to dope. otoh, i’m thinking i might instead have, even before that, used it to give my chinchillas a sand bath. no more chinchillas, no more dog, no more crazy spouse. virtually every bit of it, though, was better than that skirt.

    • carolclark12

       TLo …. fashion and therapy in one quick stop.

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        in what way, please?

  • Truly_Outrageous

    Agree agree agree agree. I really didnt get why Mary Kate got any praise. It feels like its season 9 all over again. How is that avant garde? And it looks like she didn’t use the Loreal fantasie colors thoughtfully. Its like she was hell bent on using black and she just slapped the colors somewhere. And Chris. Oh my gosh. I honestly cant believe he’s still there. And hasn’t he used that backless square shape one too many times. Ugh and I swear he has no idea how to fit a bust or make a good neckline on a strapless. It baffles me why he bothers to even do them. He must believe he can fit a bust excellently. Yeah right.

  • Aki

    The moment Chris’s dress walked the runway I imagined the costume designers from OUAT rushing around trying to get a hold of PR and begging them for that dress so Regina could wear it.  It was so the Evil Queen, I could not.  Costume-y and draggy as hell, too.  And I actually agreed with all the criticisms.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      It would also have fit Charlize Theron’s character in Snow White and The Huntsman.

  • minnye

    Pulling for Fabio at this point, but I’d be ok with a Dmitry win. My enthusiasm for Melissa (which, I think, peaked in response to her on-the-go effort) has waned along with her energy level. I think she burned out a few challenges ago, but that wasn’t in the script so they kept her in. (Too bad Elena getting a grip and a second wind was also not in the script… )

  • Anathema_Device

    Agree with you on Melissa’s look deserving the auf. It looked so poorly made and dowdy. She deserved to go last week, too, IMO. I think the producers and/or judges wanted her in the finale for whatever reason. Nothing against her personally, but I just didn’t get the past two judging decisions.

  • formerlyAnon

    Melissa’s looked the most “cartoon” to me, and not in a good way. I thought Fabio deserved first runner-up for the concept.

  • Helene Holter

    So what if Christopher’s look was boring – the rest of the looks on that runway were hardly any more interesting (with the possible exception of Dmitry). At least Christopher’s was quite aesthetically pleasing.

  • quiltrx

    I really love the concept of Christopher’s look, but the execution of it leaves something to be desired.  Of course, they’re not really given enough time to make something immaculate (though Dmitry’s looks always look ‘finished’, usually obviously moreso than anyone else’s).

  • Scarlet39

    I’m kind of questioning whether or not it’s worthwhile to have an avant garde challenge at all.  With very few exceptions, nothing that’s created can even remotely be considered avant garde.  For most of the designers that are cast, it’s just so far from their aesthetics.  It’s just not what they do.     

    • Except for Elena. If you look at her portfolio, avant-garde is ALL she does.
      Dammit judges.

  • XPT

    Ditto, boys.

  • libraangel

    Repeat – Christopher’s design: saloon lady from a western, and feathers up the arms – really?
    They only like Melissa because she does cool things with leather. The colors of her outfit were horrendous!

  • Melissa’s look was eighties New Wave tacky. The judges were totally thinking about her finale collection potential, obviously.

  • THANK YOU!!!! I HATED Melissa’s dress and think she just keeps finding ways to reinvent the same ugly dress week after week – do something with the collar to make it stand up, pick a horrendous print. Clearly, the judges have busted out the crack pipe again, and it’s making them favor the gangly blond.

  • ojosazules

    Christopher’s dress looks like something the Evil Queen’s cat dragged in. 
    The missing fabric pisses me off.

  • I feel like the most avant-garde thing on that runway was Fabio’s mumu and space princess tiara.

  • geeeque

    no way melissa should have gone forward. seems to me she’s the designer who’s really feeling the exhaustion at this point and the producers, oh excuse me the JUDGES, are hellbent on getting her to the finals. her last 3 projects have been straight terrible. that stupid ruched child’s dress, this hideous monstrosity and that mess of a rockette cigarette girl–she’s just getting waved through.

  • Scott

    The wrinkles, messy hair, and weird arm feathers on Christopher’s don’t look like Regina to me. She may be costumey, but the outfit is always perfectly put together. To me Chris’s model looks more like an oracle from a cave who comes out after sniffing weird gases to utter cryptic prophecy.

    And as for Fabio…. boyshorts on a Queen? You never see the royal underwear; it’s Just Not Done.

  • EEKstl

    This really was a head-scratcher.  Nothing avant-garde here.  I guess Fabio came closest, even if it was Enchanted Queen wearing Derelicte.

  • Megan Patterson

    Wow…Melissa’s jacket looks like one of those terrible polar fleece zipped vests. WHY WAS THIS PRAISED??

  • “This looks exactly like something Regina would wear on “Once Upon a Time.”” Omg, yes! You just described exactly why I didn’t like it…

  • LocMama

    I’m kind of glad Sonjia got the hell out when she did.  I remember those skirts she made for the group challenge and that fabulous little jacket she whipped up.  Hopefully she’ll learn something from being on the show and be able to find her voice.  She didn’t need to continue trying to figure out these vague challenges and working through sleep deprivation, stolen fabric, and judge favorites.