‘Project Runway’ Recap: ‘The Ultimate Hard And Soft’

Heidi Klum At The Emmys
Heidi Works The Red Carpet In Sky Blue
On this week’s episode of Lifetime’s Project Runway, Tim Gunn led the designers into the work room where Glad 2-in-1 candles were lit in all their cheap product placement glory. Heidi Klum joined him to tell the teams that they were to design for the unconventional challenge. This season the challenge includes fresh flowers and then the twist, it also includes a trip to the hardware store. This creates an ultimate 2-in-1 experience of hard and soft. Guest judge Bette Midler added some fun to the mix!

The teams receive $2500 each, but first Tim wants to balance out the teams. He allows Dream Team to choose two designers from Keeping It Real. They choose Stanley and Layana. Then he allows Keeping It Real to take one designer from Dream Team. They choose Michelle which is a very smart move.

Michelle has seemed out of place amongst the Dream Team since the start. Her designs are heads and tails above the rest, but were never recognized due to their continual losses. Now she is paired with Richard, a flamboyant man who frankly freaks her out. They decide to create an ode to Madonna by using black blinds to create a bird cage structure and then inlay flowers underneath.

Stanley suggests to Dream Team that they stick to a cohesive concept and gives them vintage Dior as a starting point. The team loves the idea and goes to work. Benjamin takes on yet another elaborate project where he creates his own loom and weaves his fabric. Everyone groans due to Benjamin’s last two or three challenges in which he struggled with execution and time management. I’m hoping that Benjamin is as brilliant and talented as he claims/seems to be, but we have yet to witness a ‘wow’ moment from him.

On Keeping It Real, the teams are struggling to create a cohesive collection, but each of their individual pieces are lofty and fabulous. Tim loves their collection and when someone mentions the idea of decades he agrees that it’s a great concept.

Kate decides to channel the 50’s and creates a huge dress with pink and red roses. Amanda struggled with moss on her 60’s inspired dress. Patricia kind of freaked a little and told her that she made the wrong choice, which really irritated Michelle. Patricia made a 70’s inspired hippie chic native style dress which was whimsical and somewhat confusing, but worked surprisingly well.

Daniel created his 80’s piece with some weird hip structures that I don’t feel merited any credit. Michelle and Richard fit their Madonna dress into the 90’s and Joseph fit his oversized sweater piece into the future forum.

On Dream Team, Stanley created a dress that was beautiful and 50’s style, using mostly green, white, and yellow. Layana created a gown made from a hemp looking yarn material, but was stiff and structured while holding up light purple and white flowers. Matthew made a modern black, white, and yellow short dress which looked incredible and very modern. Samantha’s piece was made from medal mesh, but had flowers imbedded beneath that mesh. Tu had a hemp colored structured vest with green leaves and yellow flowers that formed feather like shapes on his skirt.

The judges were very impressed with both teams and declared that there was no losing team, but rather a close second. Dream Team won because of their obvious cohesion while Keeping It Real went to the chopping block due to their decades confusion. The winner of the challenge was between Samantha and Layana, who both impressed the judges very much. They chose Samantha, most due to Nina Garcia’s prodding and the fact that hers was so innovative and modern.

The losing team threw Amanda under the bus when asked who should go home. Amanda really didn’t do anything wrong, but the team didn’t have anyone to blame and so it fell upon her. The bottom two designers were Amanda for her unorganized process, and Joseph for his oversized futuristic oddness in a coat/sweater that didn’t translate well at all. In the end the judges sent home Joseph and he was perfectly fine with the decision. Tim Gunn and the two teams were sad to see him go. Onto the next!