Project Runway Designers Find Inspiration ... in L.A.


Pop quiz, readers: Which U.S. city is “the creative capital of the nation, and also leading the nation in fashion?” Is it (a) Des Moines, (b) New York, or (c) Los Angeles? Well, the wrong answer is (c), but not according to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, who speaks to the designers outside the Getty Museum (“An iconic place that is rich in culture and has priceless views!” says Heidi). And fine, maybe our mayor bought himself a third term, but at least he doesn’t wear copious amounts of lip gloss like Villariagosa does. “The fact that the mayor takes the time to welcome Project Runway really hits home that this is a serious thing,” says Carol Hannah, seriously. It’s the last challenge before Bryant Park, and the task is to find inspiration at the Getty.

The designers wander around, inspecting artwork, architecture, and, if you’re Christopher, algae. “It’s odd that I’m the last boy standing,” says Chris, in his only self-aware moment of the entire series (later on he calls himself “the wacky weird guy who doesn’t listen.” We’d say he’s more the strikingly insecure guy who listens too much, but what do we know?). The bickering between the girls continues, and an unexpected friendship is forged between Irina and Gordana. “Nobody knows, but I am a very spiritual person,” Gordana tells Tim, regarding her emotional connection to the Monet painting on which she bases her dress. Well, now we all know. And it’s fine — endearing, even — but it’s clear from the classic Project Runway setup that Gordana is a goner — the focus on her confidence is a telltale sign that she’s getting the boot. The other misguided soul is Christopher, who has decided to base his design on a rock covered with green slime. Hmmm, sounds … pretty? As usual, Tim gets in some zingers. He is “perplexed” by Althea’s “panel of puckering.” (Tim’s alteration is amazingly accurate.) Also: “I want Nina Garcia’s stilettos to blow right off of her feet and shoot across the runway!” Amazing, Tim. Just amazing. The judges this week are Nina, Cindy Crawford, she of the classy Raymore and Flanigan furniture-design line, and Cynthia Rowley. Where’s Michael Kors? Still traipsing around town in his hilarious Halloween costume?

So here’s what the designers came up with. As Gordana’s saying goes, the dogs that bark don’t bite, whatever that means.