PR: Duck, Duck, Goose

Posted on March 08, 2013


It wasn’t a bad idea for a challenge at all. We’ve been thinking for some time now that the show really needs to break out of its challenge rut. Every season it’s:

  • Unconventional materials
  • Real women
  • Make a dress for Heidi
  • Make a dress for an ad campaign/Marie Claire shoot
  • Make a dress for a singer/performer
  • Make a dress inspired by NYC

Every single one of those challenges needs to be permanently retired because new designers come into the competition already knowing what’s coming. We wouldn’t call this a huge surprise or major twist, but making prom dresses out of Duck tape felt at least a little new. Put it this way: we were genuinely curious to see how the designers were going to handle this. We very rarely feel that way anymore.


A sea of bright, young, upturned faces. A collective thought balloon that reads “Who’s the old guy? I don’t know, but he got me out of first-period Chem.”


Also: whenever the public votes on the designs, we NEVER trust that we’re hearing the truth about the scoring. EVER. Nothing is quantified. We’re just told who got the highest score. Just once, we’d like to see Nina or someone say “THAT’S the high -score garment? NO WAY!”

Then again, the judges panel was unusually crack-smokey and a little bitchy last night. It seems no one on that panel agreed on what a prom dress looks like or should look like, with way too much weight being given to the two non-Americans who’d never been to a prom before. It was a little self-serving of him to do so (since he spits out dozens of gowns each season), but we enjoyed seeing Zac get a little annoyed with Nina and Heidi. We realize the judging panel would be useless if half of them decided to defer to the other half, but we really wish Nina and Heidi could’ve admitted that they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

Then again, it’s an interesting question and one we’ve noted several times before when featuring prom-wear on the site: No one can agree on what the latest prom trends are because they vary from region to region. Short, long, tight or swingy is all on the menu, every season.


Amanda and Michelle

So congrats to Michelle and Amanda! You’re both going to be insufferable now, aren’t you?

We both considered this the clear winner and head and shoulders above the rest. It didn’t strike us as particularly prom-y, but we’ve established that it’s hard to nail down what constitutes current prom style. We think it was smart of them both to start with an image of the girl who wants to wear a dress like this. That’s always better for the design process.

Our only quibble is with the right boob. That pointy thing should have been pinned down. You saw them considering the idea, but they never went through with it.


Patricia and Samantha

It is INSANE that this dress scored high and that the judges found it difficult to decide whether this dress or the winning dress was on the top. Yes, that skirt technique certainly is interesting, but she looks like some sort of alien flower or cyborg insect. Supposedly this was the dress with the highest teen scores, but we’re accepting that info with a ginormous grain of salt.


Layana and Stanley

Another one that got wildly over-praised. It’s too busy, borderline tacky, and very ’80s-dated. We’re not surprised Stanley, Daniel and Richard all defaulted to the styles of their prom days, but we’re really surprised Layana went along with this. Then again, she’s another one who likely did not go to prom, since she’s Brazilian.


Daniel and Richard

Disgraceful. Both Richard and Daniel are getting increasingly delusional as the competition goes on. There’s no question in our minds that this was the worst design and that these two should’ve gone home for it.


Kate and Tu

But no, the team who made the gown that looked most like a prom gown – and the only team with someone who’d actually been to a prom in the last 5 years – was sent home for being boring. We agree that this dress is boring and we understand that Project Runway often sends boring home over bad, but this was ridiculous to us. Kate’s problem was in thinking that the judging panel was looking for, well… a prom gown. They weren’t. They’re not interested in what kids actually wear to prom. They were more interested in their version of prom; fashion editor prom. In other words, the judges wanted something innovative and exciting, but Kate knew that most girls don’t want that in their prom dress. Most girls tend toward movie-star elegance, which bores people like Nina and Heidi because they live in that world and don’t understand how magical it is to the average teenage girl.

We’re not arguing that this should have won or that every gal wants a prom dress like this, but the judges were way off the mark with this one and it’s entirely due to the fact that the more influential half of the panel had no idea what they were talking about.

Ah, well. Auf Wiedersehen, Kate. You did get a little full of yourself toward the end there. Auf Wiedersehen, Tu. You probably shouldn’t have been so agreeably monk-like.


[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime – Stills:]

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