'Project Runway' Recap: A Tight Race for Hideous

Jill Baughman

Project Runway 8With only eight designers left, this episode of Project Runway kicks off with them having to create a high-end runway fashion look. Their inspiration? Eye shadow ... riiiiiight. Ah, the L'Oreal challenge.

Each designer has to pick a theme (bright, velvet, crystal, etc.). They also get a $300 budget and two days to create their outfits. Oh yeah, and the prize this time is a $20,000 reward! Ka-ching! Plus their winning design will show up in a Marie Claire advertorial.

Don't you get the feeling that there's some sort of twist with this challenge? Two days seem like a lot for one outfit. There's a lot of sketching, and a lot of HP product placement, and the designers (and mostly silly drama) finally get started.

Gretchen blames Michael C. for stealing the color of her fabric. "I don't feel threatened by him. I'm just insulted that maybe some boundaries were crossed. Somehow, I've created a monster." Um, what?

Andy believes that Mondo and Gretchen are the top favorites; Gretchen even tells Mondo that she believes in her heart he's supposed to be there (with her) at Fashion Week. I tune them out because I can't get over the fact that Mondo has nicer legs than I do.

Shockingly (not really), Tim has yet another announcement. Of course, they have to create a second outfit, a ready-to-wear companion to their high-end fashion look. Seriously, did no one see this coming?

Valerie has another breakdown, while Ivy and Gretchen try to comfort her. Valerie feels the love, but Ivy bitches in an interview about how Valerie "tends to complain a lot" and that it's "wearying." So much for that love, Valerie.

But somehow she manages to pull it together and everyone gets two outfits ready. So, on to the runway. Naeem Khan, who's a designer, is the guest judge this week.

Here are your bottom 3 (or 6?):

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Her theme was bright, inspired by the beaches in Hawaii. The dresses were supposed to look like a wave, the hair was supposed to look like a wave ... ick. Michael K. thought they look like "bridesmaids under the sea." Nina said she had problems with the fit on both dresses. Naeem believed it was overkill in every way for the high-end design. The fit on the everyday dress was awful, and it looked like she just glued some blue streamers to the high-end dress. And there was nothing that screams "high-end" to me about it, nor are the colors complementary in the slightest.

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She picked crystal. Naeem said she wasn't imaginative enough and that she forced the fabric. Michael K. complained she was doing a structured dress out of soft fabric, like "making a winter coat out of Kleenex." Nina thought the high-end looked like a beauty pageant dress. The hoop at the shoulder was kind of weird, and without it, I think it'd be a pretty wedding dress. Unfortunately, there was nothing "high-end" about this one either. The everyday dress had nothing to do with crystals, as she only sewed three crystals on it.

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Michael C.:
He picked metallic. Naeem said the proportions needed a lot of work, but he liked the cocktail dress. Heidi observed that he should have to choose boob or leg with the cocktail dress. Hmmm ... really, Heidi? Do you recall some of the oufits you've worn? Michael K., however, thought the clothes were constructed, sewn, and tailored well. Pan to Ivy exploding. But Michael didn't think it was very modern and hated the wired hem as well as the ridiculous train on the high-end design.

Here are your top 3:

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She chose velvet for her theme. Michael K. thought her high-fashion dress was very wearable, but he wasn't a fan of the hair. Naeem would have liked to see more attention paid to the front. Nina thought the makeup (eh?) was perfect. I thought her high-end design looked like a hippie bathrobe, though I did like the beading in the back, even though it really had nothing to do with the feather-hippie look. I felt the everyday dress didn't go together, as I liked the skirt but wasn't a fan of the oversized hippie bodice. Not sure how Gretchen has the judges wrapped around her little finger, but her high-end design really hurt my eyeballs.

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He picked metallic. He wanted a strong yet feminine look. Naeem said he kept to his vision and that there was so much technique going on. He also loved the cocktail dress. Michael K. liked how the metallic wasn't so obvious in the cocktail dress. He thought the boot pants could translate into something wearable. Nina loved the boots too, while Heidi liked the ready-to-wear but wasn't a fan of the high fashion. This is the kind of high-end fashion that you either love or hate, and since he went away from floor-length gowns and was one of the most dramatic by far, I'll give him props for that.

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He chose bright. Everyone was in love with the hat (aka black Slinky?) and Naeem adored the frizzy hair. Michael K. thought the high-end gown was too short, and Nina said the fabric choice looked inexpensive. Michael K. noted that the back looked like a Kentucky Derby orgasm. Naeem thought the cocktail dress was simple and wearable. Again, another drama-grabbing piece with the stripes. I thought it was well-made, and these looks scream Mondo to me. He seems to be the only one with any kind of personality (at least on the runway).

Mondo wins! With the $20,000 reward, he now has $20,014 in his bank account. Minus taxes, Mondo. I do think he's the one to beat.

And Ivy's out in this competition that was an "unbelievably tight race for hideous." But don't worry, she's a bitch through and through, asking Valerie to stop complaining when saying good-bye and telling us that she's better than a lot of the other designers.

Also of note: During the advertorial shoot, they actually get Mondo to dress in a suit and tie.

Did you agree with Mondo winning this week? Aren't you glad to see Ivy go?


Images via MyLifetime.com

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