Project Runway Review: So Ugly It's Cute...Almost

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The Project Runway All Stars needed to create an affordable ready-to-wear look for real women this week. Unfortunately what the show considers affordable is way above my budget and whether real women can wear most of these outfits is debatable.

"Let's Get Down to Business" featured designer and guest judge Nanette Lepore and her coster giving the designers advice on what their sketches will cost in the real world. 

Mondo Guerra on Project Runway

I love that the show thinks most real women have between $300 and $500 to spend on a single outfit. Is that its definition of affordable? Perhaps compared to high fashion, but the vast majority of women I know can't drop that much money on a whim. 

But moving on... it is interesting how the coster can look at a sketch and assess how much fabric and labor will be necessary to produce it. Somehow she even magically comes up with a number for Mondo's sketch, which Nanette admits looks like a tin can with a string.

Kenly can't help snarking about Mondo's lack of sketching abilities but it doesn't seem to be slowing him down any. The final four get busy in the work room and Joanna and Nanette wander through to give their critiques. 

The conversation at Michael's table is reminiscent of last week. Again, he's designed a dress with a plunging neck and back. I love the sexiness of it but the reality is that most real women have to wear a bra and even if he puts in a hook and eye closure that's still going to be awkward. 

Some of Michael's outfits are great but if you aren't a tall, skinny model with no breasts, you simply can't wear them.

We move on to Kenly. I hate that peacock print when I first see it yet somehow Kenly seems to pull it off. Kenly's problems are twofold: First, her seams are never quite right. Second, she can't take criticism or advice. The keyhole cutout in her design is what made it unique. Nanette tells her as much but instead of taking the heads up, Kenly just becomes defensive.

Mondo's multi pattern look doesn't look anything like the tin can he sketched. Thank goodness. And Joanna once again tells Austin he's bordering between hideous and fabulous. Then it's off to the runway we go.

  • Mondo's mixed print dress gets high marks but it's so boxy that it looks like it's designed for a woman who is pencil thin or has the shape of a 12 year old boy. But I'll say that he pulled off those crazy fabrics making them look young and fun. Angela's right however, in that he should have paired this outfit with sandals instead of heels.
  • Michael's long print dress is sensual but Nanette says that backless dresses never sell well. Hmm... hence Joanna's point that most women have to wear a bra! The print makes this not so stunning dress a hit but Georgina thinks that Michael hasn't truly found his own point of view yet as a designer.
  • The seams of Kenly's peacock print throw off the eye. Her print isn't working with her design and Nanette really wanted to see that keyhole cutout. She thinks that's what could have sold this dress.  
  • Austin's coat is wrinkly but it works. Angela loves the cut and color and Nanette believes it would sell well. Georgina says that Austin is on his own plane as a designer.

And the winner is... Mondo. I thought the boxiness would have cost him but the inspired prints pushed him ahead of Austin.

The judges argue over Kenly's contemporary look versus Michael's designer creation. In the end, it's Kenly's inability to take advice that does her in. She won't be headed to the final runway. I'll admit she's stubborn and a more annoying diva than Austin but I would have liked to have seen what she'd come up with for an entire line. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

And then there were three.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


I am sick to death of Gretchen! Everytime she opens her stupid mouth she is bnhisag another designer! Gretchen look in the FREAKIN mirror honey! You are not the authority or a judge play nice you bad soul!Why does everyone have to pick on Michael C obviously the judges like his work!


"...but I would have liked to have seen what she'd come up with for an entire line."
Um, don't know if you remember but Kenley did get to create an entire line already, being one of the finalists in season 5.
(how could anyone forget all those garish headpieces she used to wear? My therapist is still hearing about them...)
I'm glad she went home. IMHO, her style was immature and unflattering. During the entire Season 5 and this season, I had yet to find one of her garments I'd actually wear (most them I just wanted to use as bed dusters). Whereas, anything by Jeffery S, Christian S, Mondo, and Seth Aaron (GOD I WANT TO WEAR ALL HIS OUTFITS SO FREAKING BAD! WHY WON'T YOU DESIGN A LINE FOR A STORE THAT I CAN ACTUALLY AFFORD? ;_;), I would've worn in a heartbeat. Surprisingly, men know 'what women want' to wear more then women do, lol.


Do the designers ever stop to think why the clothes in Primark and Walmart sell so well? Do they think its BECAUSE women want to look like that? No, you precious darlings. It's because it's all we can afford after we've clothed the kids and fed them and squeezed into that (not just bra) but all-in-one hold 'em in and push 'em up garment that let's us think we still have a youthful figure. These guys are great designers and beautiful craftsmen, but realistic they're not. I love PR - I love watching people actually doing the real work and using their skill to produce beautiful things - but let's not kid on that these outfits are for 'ordinary' people.

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