But before we get into it, one of my favorite parts of the episode was seeing TBT (that's throw-back Thursday, for the Facebook-uninitiated) pics of each judge and Tim Gunn, circa 1994:
Zac Posen is adorable (that hair!) and I love that Nina has her eyes closed in her 1994 photo — a testament to the fact that just 20 years ago we weren't documenting every day as if we were in a "celebs are just like us" photo spread (and also we used film, so we couldn't delete such imperfect pics!). This probably was the only pic she had from 1994. (In fact, I think half the photos of myself from 1994 feature me with my eyes closed.)
Anyway, on to the lessons!
Lesson 1: Grainline is next to godliness
I used to dislike Zac Posen because of what he wasn't: Michael Kors, may he rest in peace (I know he's not dead but after two seasons without him, HE MAY AS WELL BE).
But more and more I appreciate Zac for the fact that he knows his craft — and he can appreciate other points of view. Plus, he's the only judge who will call out a designer on grainline mishaps. It's something the lay-person Project Runway fan wouldn't understand, but we all know how cutting off-grain can ruin a garment.
Alexander had that issue last night, though I'm not sure staying on grain would have helped him any. It's not terrible, but sad, drab, and ... um, what else rhymes with sad?
Of course, he threw this look together quickly after his model's B-cup "chichis" (ugh!) didn't fit the pieced leather top he was creating. (Always blaming the boobs on Project Runway.... I have an idea: if you can't design for a human with breasts, MAYBE YOU SHOULD MAKE MEN'S WEAR. End rant).
Anyway, don't cut on the fold if you want to get your grainline just right. Trace your pattern into a mirror image so that you can cut the whole thing flat, ALEXANDER.
Lesson 2: Fabric choice will make you — or break you
So I'm always surprised when Project Runway contestants make it onto the show and then make bad fabric choices.
My six-year-old thought Sean's look was so terrible, she told me she "couldn't even stand to look at it any longer." That's a tough critique from a kindergartener who sits on the 1 train and whispers to me all the reasons why she thinks every woman on our subway car is beautiful. (Pretty shoes, pretty hair, fancy nails, bejeweled phone case, and so on; you are all lovely in my child's eyes).
She kept looking at it though and then uttered, "Darkish....criminalish..."
Meanwhile, one of the strongest looks smartly made use of two fabrics that didn't need any finishing: neoprene and leather.
This was my favorite look (though it was not the winner but we will get to that soon enough). Zac Posen praised Kristine's choice of fabric, calling it smart and effective. Imagine finishing the raw edges of each of those cuffs? (Note to self: start sewing with neoprene!).
Lesson 3: Practical clothes won't win you any prizes
For real my friends, I just got SO distracted searching for blazers online, which proves the point I am about to make: we all need practical clothes. We just do. We have job interviews. Or court appearances...
But when Angela said she "just likes making practical clothes" I knew she wasn't long for this world. Isn't designing practical clothes something you do to pay the bills? (Or something you do after failing at trying to design spectacular clothes?)
And, the thing is, this isn't even practical:
Too short and sleeveless, what business exec is going to wear this — even 20 years into the future (perhaps in the future offices won't be overly air-conditioned?).
A couple times Angela said she'd never been criticized so much as she was on Project Runway. She does work on Wall Street — and we all know how little scrutiny those people face. So maybe a little criticism would be helpful.
Moving on, I want to know what you all think of Sandhya's winning look. My daughter said it looked like Attack of the Slinkeys.
I thought it looked like ducting for a self-cooling system. I did, however, like Sandhya's explanation (that in the future women's wear won't have to reference men's wear to evoke a powerful image). Girlfriend knows how to make a pitch — and throw a little shade on Angela's look. Well played, Sandhya.
As for Amanda, who had immunity last night, I really missed Michael Kors' simile-packed zingers. What would he have said about this ensemble? That it looks like a goth yoga teacher at a midsummer sex party?
What do you think Michael Kors would have said about Amanda's look? What other lessons did you learn this week? Who's your current fave designer? Are the judges just trying to drive Korine crazy by giving Sandhya the win a second time?