What’s black-and-white and re(a)d all over? Project Runway’s newspaper challenge! Sorry for that horrible pun that is probably being used all over the blogasphere. It wouldn’t be Project Runway without an unconventional materials challenge and this one did not disappoint. Designers were given 3 minutes to raid the Los Angeles times for newspapers and in addition to newsprint were allowed to use glue, tape, paint, and muslin (though the muslin wasn’t allowed to show). Michael Kors and Nina Garcia were yet again absent and in their place were Zoe Glassner, Senior Editor for Marie Claire Magazine, actress Eva Longoria Parker, and designer Tommy Hillfiger. Let’s take a look at the designs:
Irina won the challege with her unique trenchcoat. I, for one, love this look…though use of some of the colored sections might’ve been nice. The crumpled paper on the collar and cuffs look very chic and surprisingly uniform. It’s almost like shearling.
Christopher was in the top three with his self-proclaimed show-stopper. This one was actually my favorite. The bodice was perfection with a foundation made from pattern tag board. The skirt mimics the look of feathers and had very nice movement as the model down the runway. The dress kind of reminds me of something a can-can girl in a backstreet dancehall would wear.
Althea rounded out the top three with this chic little number. Love, Love, LOVE IT! She did a great job using the different colors in the newsprint to create a pattern in the dress. It was perfectly executed.
Epperson’s look seemed very kimono-inspired. The sleeves were a little much for me and so was the bare back.
Louise, I love you, but what is going on here? The neckline looks like hot rollers and the skirt looks like pagoda-style roof tiles. Also with such a short, structured, ultra-flared skirt, I’m surprised we didn’t see some panty shots.
Carol Hannah’s look is great from the waist up, but that skirt is just a horrendous mess. She also had a lot of difficulty getting this dress off the dressform and on to her model.
Logan’s Asian-inspired look was fabulous. It doesn’t even look like newspaper to me. I love the asymmetrical fans that come out of the bodice and hem. The turquoise mixed in with the black-and-white is also a lovely combination.
Shirin’s bodice was perfectly paper mached, but that skirt is just weird. I understand the origami appeal but it reminds me of a circus tent. I also would’ve liked a little color.
Ra’Mon’s origami-inspired design was lovely. Great choice of print to make beautiful patterns. It doesn’t even look like newsprint.
Gordana made it into the bottom three with her boring design. So much can be done with newspaper and this is just way too conventional for the judges.
Nicolas landed in the bottom two with his “punk” look that turned out to look more like an insect’s exoskeleton.
All of the drama in this episode was centered around Johnny. His first attempt was slammed by Tim who said it look like kindergarteners made it and birds attacked it. Johnny trashed the disastrous design and then went back to work, but when this look wasn’t working out either, he decided to make up a lie. He told everyone including the judges on the runway that his first look was “much better” but was destroyed by a steam-sputtering iron. The judges weren’t taking his excuses though and he was eliminated. Tim Gunn called Johnny out in a way only Tim Gunn could: “I’m incredulous at that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction that Johnny did on the runway. It was ridiculous.”