Well now, Project Runway was given us an old I Love Lucy show challenge this time around. It’s a redux of the episode where Ricky and Fred have “designer dresses” made for Lucy and Ethel out of—you guessed it—potato sacks. The reason they did this? It was to prove to the girls that they would wear anything, no matter how ugly, if only it had a designer label on it. Luckily for the girls, and our show, Lucy and Ethel wore them so well that the designs were actually copied by a real designer, and so they did indeed have designer dresses in their closets.
This episode of Project Runway takes a stand on the other side, asserting that a beautiful woman will look good in anything—even a potato sack. Unfortunately, as we see in this Project Runway episode, this is definitely not always the case.
Anthony’s dress is a little strapless cocktail number to die for, and looks as if it’s made from Ultrasuede. It still has that elegant look he does so well, even if it is burlap.
Poor Ping. Her butt-flap dress falls under the costumer’s rules that “no costume is no costume.” Meaning that, as Anthony noticed, the dress has to actually function as a dress for it to be successful. Interestingly enough, she skates by, by the skin of her teeth. I think the judges want to see what her Asian style can do to shake up the runway later on.
Ben’s full-skirted dress is adorable, if not a bit maternityesque because of all the fullness at the belly. Perhaps its just the angle at which it’s photographed.
Mila’s dress has fit issues at the neckline and the model has to be very careful not to let anything fall out. Happily there is not a lot to fall out. It’s a burlap version of a very chic and modern city sheath dress. Gorgeous.
Anna Marie did indeed produce a pleasing little summer play dress. I loved that she went literal and used actual potatoes to print the dress. Not that you could tell it was a potato print, but the process should count for something.
Jesse’s pants were not terribly interesting, and also not terribly complimentary to the model’s bum. The lack of sewing skill didn’t help matters. The model managed to wear what I imagine is the most uncomfortable fabric possible and not walk like she had sandpaper in her underpants. Amazing.
Seth made an adorable hooded hoop skirt that could have been at home on an episode of Star Trek. It was avant guard and very youthful.
It seemed that Amy turned her burlap into angora sweaters. Skillful dying and washing of her burlap transformed it into a soft and flirty look. It was my pick for the winner. Considering what they showed on Models of the Runway, it looked like guest judge Lauren Hutton liked it for the win as well.
Janeane Marie, our crying girl gave us a nice 1950’s Barbie number. I was fine, and rather reminiscent of that I love Lucy episode.
Jay Nicolas made magic happen with his fabric manipulation in the skirt embellishments. For a moment, like Michael, I thought he had used feathers. Lauren Hutton seemed intrigued as well. The top was not finished, but with that great skirt effect, it could be forgiven. Forgiven it was, as it was this week’s win. Wish we could see it close-up. I’d love to see how that skirt went together.
Emilo’s unadulterated burlap and graphic trim was rather beachy in effect, and was more than adequate for the challenge.
Jesus’s dress did not wow enough to balance the fact that he cheated by covering over the challenge fabric with ribbon. In fact it didn’t wow at all.
Johnathon’s lingerie-inspired dress was a treat, and was fit and finished impeccably. Definately top 3 for me.
Maya’s colorful take on burlap looked festive and fun. It may not have been whet she intended, but it did show well.
Pamela’s demin-look strapless sheath was plain and ill-fitting. Definitely too plain for an industry event. The bum-expanding fit proved to be her undoing, and she was aufed.
I am very pleased that there was a fresh new design challenge to enjoy. I am not sure, however, that using burlap bags was as difficult a challenge as it was intended. Burlap is pretty much a blank canvas that a designer to go wild with, and that’s what we saw tonight. Most of the designers easily ran with it and made it their own. I’d even venture to say that it was more successful in letting us see what the designer’s points of view are, than the last episode that had them making a dress that was supposed to show off their design style. Still, it was fun and fresh. If things keep going this way, this should shape up to be a fun season.