The Project Runway Designers Channel the Elements

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Photo: Courtesy of Lifetime

This week on Project Runway, the designers had to create a look inspired by one of the four natural elements — earth, fire, water, or air. There are only eight contestants left, thank God, as now we actually know who’s who, and each person is becoming a distinct personality. Take Amy, quiet but super-competitive, or Ben, sweet and devoted to his handsome hubby. Actually, it’s kind of remarkable how nice the entire bunch is. Sure, Maya’s pretty annoying, but she’s definitely not vindictive; there’s really no villain this year. As Jay put it: “We’re like the Victoria's Secret Wonder Bra — we lifted each other up.” Ah, spoken like a true gay man, associating bras with support, as opposed to, you know, breasts.

This week is the “Garnier Challenge,” yet another nonsensical promotional tie-in, which has nothing more to do with hair than any other challenge we’ve seen. We’re going to stop harping on this stuff, because it’s pointless to complain. Project Runway will never be the same show as it was on Bravo. There, we said it, and now we can all move on with our lives. So the designers have different elements to interpret (Jonathan’s “Air is laughter” wins the award for most, um, creative), and everyone decides to GO ALL OUT and create THE GREATEST element-inspired dress ever known to man. Which basically means they all almost run out of time. Amy ends up screwing herself with ambition, creating a black rain-bucket jumpsuit, which we’ll break down more in the slideshow. It was a noble effort, and she gets points for trying, but: not good, Amy. Not good. The guest judge this week is Roland Mouret, an actual contemporary designer, whose "RM" line is a celebrity favorite. He has the best stink eye, reminds us of Pepé Le Pew, and is generally hilarious. On to the runway show, where we’re dazzled by earth, wind, and fire, but, unfortunately, none of its fun disco songs.