This week’s Project Runway challenge kicked off with Heidi announcing that the contestants were heading to Rodeo Drive to “meet a top designer whose work is known around the world.” Gee, who could it be?! As Althea wisely points out, “The possibilities are endless because every single designer who is world-renowned has a store there.” True! But the contestants’ faces fall a little when it’s revealed that the “top designer” is none other than that dude they already know, Michael Kors. Whomp whomp. Kors tells them about their challenge, which is to design a look inspired by one of his favorite bitchy jet-setting destinations: Palm Beach, St. Tropez, New York, Greece, Aspen, Santa Fe, or Hollywood. And while we were hoping for an overly spray-tanned Carmen Kass to pop up in a high-waisted bikini to add a little more excitement to the challenge, alas, it is as anticlimatic as it sounds. As the poorly traveled designers stumble through the challenge, Tim warns them to avoid the trappings of cliché (i.e. Palm Beach equals a long flowy printed dress, Aspen equals ski pants and fur). While some of the designers clearly ignore his advice, others just ignore their locale of inspiration altogether and send some first-class fuggery down the runway. Nina Garcia and Milla Jovovich join Heidi and Kors to tear it all apart. On to the looks!
Althea, St. Tropez
Neutral Separates That Require a Tan
Althea mixed the more glamorous aspects of St. Tropez — big yachts — with the simpler idea of an old fishing town to come up with this neutral look, which gets her safely into the next round and spares her from even being critiqued by the judges. We can definitely see Carmen Kass wearing this in a Michael Kors ad, so it works.
Carol Hannah, Palm Beach
Long, Flowy, Pretty, and Cliché
This dress might be a Palm Beach cliché, but it’s also totally pretty and infinitely wearable. We can see Nicole Richie or Rachel Zoe rocking this any day of the week. Nina compliments the braided detail and choice of print, but says it could use a little something more. Hippie dippy Milla says she would “live in this dress” and calls it “at-home glamour,” while Michael likens the vibrant print to “pin-stripes” in the Palm Beach sense. Heh.
Christopher, Santa Fe
Maybe From a Wet Seal in Santa Fe?
We’ll let Heidi speak for us on this one: “Unwearable,” she says. “Just ugly.” Pretty much. We get that he was going for some rustic colors, but why dull them by layering them over some cheap white fabric? “I don’t think anyone who’s ever thought about the American West would get that from this look,” Michael says. Milla, on the other hand, digs the belt. “It has a 1983 charm to it.” Gag.
Gordana, New York
Rich Park Avenue Bitch
Although it’s a relatively boring dress (always Gordana’s issue), the chunky Vera Wang–esque crystal necklace tangled with tulle is pretty cool — especially when we learn that you can safely remove it from the dress and wear it with a T-shirt, which is totally the first thing that we’d do. Michael calls it “sexy, sophisticated, sleek, urban,” and the other judges agree.
Irina, Aspen — the Winner!
Sexy and Rich Snow Bunny
Although this looks screams “Aspen cliché,” it’s also really well executed and Heidi especially loves the “impeccable” ski pants (which would obviously never be used for real skiing). Michael thinks it’s too “literally eighties Aspen,” but, come on, we can definitely see Carmen Kass wearing this and stepping out of a helicopter in one of your ads, Michael. Don’t hate.
Broke Actress on Her Day Off
Logan was inspired by “young Hollywood — Mary-Kate and Lindsay Lohan” — for this challenge, but we just see unflattering jeans, pasted-on suspenders, and a stupid vest with an asymmetrical closure. “They’re clothes, not fashion,” says Michael, while Heidi admits she doesn’t mind the outfit. Thankfully, Milla reminds her of what Project Runway is all about: “If this was called Project I Didn’t Mind It he would win,” she explains.
Nicolas, Greece — the Loser!
Separates to Enhance Your Pear Shape
Nicolas was going for “edgy” Greece, but Michael thinks he “got the wrong Greece — I think you got the Grease movie.” Oh, the Kors one-liners!!! He goes on to zing him, saying, “Nothing says Greece like gray menswear!” while Nina says she’d never “spend money on this.” Heidi sums up the sentiment before she says auf Wiedersehen: “It in no way reads Greece. You didn’t think about the challenge.” Hmph. We’re sort of sad to see him go (at least before Christopher).
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