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PROJECT RUNWAY.....Project Runway Season 7 Recap: THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE EVER
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Did You Hear What The Challenge Was?Fashionista Tag Team: Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles and Tim Gunn This week's Challenge on Season 7 Project Runway was "The Biggest One" in Project Runway HISTORY, and the reward would be UNPRECEDENTED. As Tim Gunn and Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles explained, the winning design would be worn by none other than Miss Heidi Klum for the cover of the April issue of Marie Claire magazine. Canary Yellow is Good: Marie Claire Cover featuring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page That is, truly, a big reward. HUGE! pretty obvious--at least to me--what one would need to do to have your design on the cover of a magazine, but Fashionista Tag-Team, Gunn and Coles, still had to "break it down" in case you are a "Cover-Clueless Designer": A) It's about the CROP: The 3/4 shot (from waist up) Details must be up top. B) It must POP, amongst all the other magazines, it must grab the shopper's attention. C) Also, use COLOR! Remember it is an April Issue; No Black and stay away from PRINTS. D) It needs to be EYE-CATCHING CONFIDENT and SEXY. With that in mind, the contestants went to work, sketching their ideas and Mood shopping. And then, back to the Parsons Workroom to create the dress that Heidi Klum would love and show off for the Marie Claire April cover.Good Cover= Color, 3/4 Shot and Detailing up top: Done, done and done. Runway day and the judges, including Miss Coles, were ready for a "Cover Smackdown". As each of the designer's looks came down the runway, I had an uncontrolled urge to shout: Did Any of You Listen???!!!! I was actually having flashbacks to my "Barbie Challenge" when I remember looking over at what the other designers were doing and thought "Did these kids LISTEN to what the challenge was and who we were dressing for?" More on who didn't listen later...but for now, let's start with the ones who did: Emilio Sosa: He designed a fire-red silk jersey mini dress (very mini!) with bustier and ribbon detail. He got the color (check!), the "3/4 Shot" detail (check!) and it was certainly sexy (check!). At least he listened. Client and Challenge over "Designer Ego". It was very Azzadine Alaia (see above on Mariah Carey and Victoria Beckham) and not necessarily Emilio's Carolina Herrea-esque aesthetic, but it worked...for this challenge. Another one I liked was Ben Chmura's color-blocked design. Now this is the way to show color blocking (take a lesson Mila). He used eye-catching royal blue, canary yellow and black; patching them in a bold sexy yet elegant design (that peek-a-boo back was fabulous!). I could have easily seen Heidi wear this on the cover of Marie Claire. But the winner this week was Miss Anthony Williams. Yes, it was "Southern Belle's" night. I was (happily) shocked he didn't make some "Housewives of Atlanta Hot Prom Mess" and in fact, had it in him to design a directional, modern dress that was still sexy (check!), full of great color (check!) and would grab the attention of a bored Supermarket shopper (check!). Kudos for listening, Miss Anthony. Now...Who Didn't Listen: Mila Hermanovski: Ok, what is that color? It is BEIGEY-NUDE?? How does BLAND beigey-nude fit in with the guidelines described by Joanna Coles? It doesn't. I know that Mila wants to let the viewers and judges know that color blocking/mitering is her "thing". But why not pick CONTRASTING colors (like Ben did)? A cover needs to catch my eye at the newsstand, not make me fall asleep. Her seaming detail--with questionable construction, got lost with such boring colors. Jonathan Peters' little silk romper was fun and flirty, for sure. But was it for a Heidi Klum cover of Marie Claire? Not so much. With those kimono-like batwing sleeves and knotted belt, it was more ROBE than cover-look ensemble. People would think Heidi Klum was just getting out of bed and looking for her Dannon Light and Fit breakfast Yogurt .Maya Luz also somehow did not hear Joanna when she said "USE COLOR!!!". What happened to these contestants. Seriously. Only THREE out of the twelve used eye-popping Cover appropriate color! The neckline organza collar was great, but I just wished she would have not chosen PUTTY and BEIGE! Was there a Mood Fabrics Sale on these colors that week?I had higher hopes for Amy Sarabi (currently, my personal favorite to win the whole thing). Her "Designer Ego" took over and she stopped paying attention to who she was designing for. Why a print? Didn't Joanna say "stay away from prints", in not so many words. Yet, Amy goes for a print. It was a really interesting dress but maybe had too much going on for a cover look.I saved the worst for last. Mousy Anna Lynette must have had her Ipod headphones on when they were at the Hearst Building. Shorts? A loose vest? An even looser camisole? Is Heidi going to shoot a Marie Claire Cover or go shopping at the Malibu Country Mart? And not to mention, these pieces I can pick up at my local Forever 21. They're cute but NOT for a Heidi Klum Cover. With that, Anna was out this week. Hope these kids learned their lesson. Next time: Listen to the Challenge, Know Who Your Client is, and don't let your Designer Ego override what and who you are designing for.