There is a very wicked part of me that loves the episodes of Project Runway where the designers are tasked with dressing judge and host Heidi Klum. Why? Well, Heidi Klum is more than just a world famous supermodel with a killer body and legs for days – she’s also totally and completely terrifying. Seriously, you never see people cower in fear like you do when Heidi Klum walks through the workroom, critically eyeing each design, ready to crush everyone’s dreams. Heidi is picky, she’s outspoken and she’s not afraid to tell people when she doesn’t like something. And boy, she doesn’t mince words while doing it, either. It’s entertaining every time – and dare I say that this year’s “Dress Heidi” challenge is the best one yet. I’ve never seen designers choke quite so epically.
The contestants are tasked with designing a red carpet dress for Heidi Klum to wear to the 2014 Creative Arts Emmys, where she and Tim Gunn were nominated for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program (spoiler alert: they didn’t win). They had one day (one day!) to put their looks together, along with $250 to spend at Mood.
Hoooooo-boy, where do I start? This week, the drama isn’t between the contestants so much as the drama is inside the contestants. Because they suck. I really mean it when I say that I haven’t seen so many designers on Project Runway choke like this before. You remember that episode of Top Chef Restaurant Wars where Tom Colicchio was like, “These restaurants are so terrible, you both lose and you have to redo the entire challenge again tomorrow”? This was kind of like that…but worse. The biggest problem here is that Heidi left it wide open – there was no one-on-one consultation or discussion before the designers left for Mood. This means that they had to purchase fabric on their own, hoping that Heidi won’t hate it. The predictable result is, obviously, that Heidi hates some of the fabric choices. I mean, duh.
A little while after the contestants get started on their designs, Heidi joins Tim in the workroom for an initial critique. Things…do not go well. Heidi hates the color and the cut of Mitchell’s dress, saying that the bright red bodice looks like devil horns and it’s lacking sex appeal. She isn’t a fan of Char’s print, afraid it will look too tourist-on-a-cruise-ship. Fade’s grey print is drab and missing that wow factor. Sandhya’s look is…oof. Heidi says it reminds her of an old lady on Dynasty, which is not a good thing. If you ask me, she’s nice about it. The painted, feathered gown is a freaking mess. Kristine’s fabric choice looks cheap and she’s already cut it into little pieces, so she’s pretty much screwed. Korina’s dress is a dark teal, which Heidi thinks is sad and boring. She says it reminds her of a German hunting uniform. She also hates the snakeskin trim. She basically hates the entire thing, like a lot. Korina stands there, getting visibly smaller and smaller as Heidi berates her look. Then Heidi says, “Don’t go and cry about it,” which is hilarious to me. I mean, damn, Heidi!
The looks are, overall, so bad and Heidi Klum is not a happy camper. She does, after all, have to wear one of these things. This prompts her and Tim to return with a life preserver – if the designers want, they can go back to Mood and buy more fabric. Each contestant is given $100. This is literally a gift for people like Kristine and Korina, who have nothing but a fabric Heidi hates. For those who don’t want or need to go shopping, they can donate their money to another designer. Sandhya immediately gets to work, asking around for cash. She ends up with $400. Some of the other designers criticize her for being selfish, but I’m really surprised that she’s the only one who tried this. It’s a competition, people. You’re supposed to be thinking of yourself!
The best looks
Despite all of the above, Heidi did actually like a few of the looks. Amanda – who has immunity after her baffling win last week – lands in the top again with the exact same silhouette she’s made every week. At least this time, there is no fringe? I have to give the girl credit for doing all of that bead work by hand. I mean, damn son, that’s a lot of beading. The thing is, I don’t like the end result very much. It’s a good idea that didn’t end up looking so good, in my opinion. Heidi likes it, though. Go figure.
Also in the top is Kini, who made his gown in about fifteen minutes and then spent the rest of the day playing Candy Crush, probably. I do not understand how this man works so quickly! In reality, his black gown did need a few tweaks after Heidi’s critique, but nothing major. Heidi loves the open back, which he dropped even lower at her request. Zac Posen thinks the fit is perfect and gives Kini his highest score. Finally, Sean is on top for his risky blue fringe dress. The open back is gorgeous and Heidi loves the color. I’m still not so hot for fringe in general, but this dress is sexy and fun and original. I can see why Heidi would want to wear it, especially considering most of her other choices. Sean wins!
The worst looks
Despite the extra money and the chance to start over, Kristine, Mitchell and Korina all choke. I don’t know if they were just too far stuck inside their heads at this point or what, but not one of them made much of an improvement to their original design. Kristine probably does the worst, in my opinion. For some reason, she buys this awful bright red fabric and makes a bodice that’s oddly similar to Mitchell’s earlier design – you know, the one Heidi hated and said looked like devil horns? Yeah. So basically, this design is a mess from all angles. The color is tacky, the cut is horrible, it’s borderline (or over the borderline?) indecent on top and, you know, it’s poorly constructed. Kristine, WTF.
Mitchell’s final look isn’t much better. He also sticks with the bright red, except that his is shiny and cheap looking. Nina Garcia comments that it looks like a Christmas ornament and, for once, I have to agree. It looks like a cheap holiday decoration. Mitchell’s cut improved from the first time around, but not by much. The worst part is definitely the zipper in the back, which is puckered as all get out. Finally, Korina makes the dumbest choice I’ve seen in a while by going back to Mood and picking another dark green fabric. WHAT. I do not understand – was she not standing there when Heidi went on and on about how much she hates hunter green? UGH. STUPID. The design is also basic and poorly constructed. She’s panned.
It’s a pretty brutal cut, as the judges decide to send both Kristine and Mitchell home. I understand why they did this, since neither garment had any redeeming qualities to choose from. At least Korina has like, a tiny spark of innovation in her…somewhere…probably. Okay no, to be honest, she’s just really lucky to get a second chance. Both Mitchell and Kristine have been in the bottom more than once, so it’s not very surprising to see them go. I feel badly for Kristine, though, who really took a mental beating this week. Maybe she’s not cut out for this type of competition. Mitchell, on the other hand, was a mess from day one and I don’t even know how he got on this show. I won’t miss his tacky designs.
Side note: did anyone tell the designers that the Creative Arts Emmys take place in August? In the daytime? Everything – including Sean’s – was so heavy! Heidi probably only picked his because of the spaghetti straps, you know?
Next week: teams again! Oh boy.