Rue Recap: Project Runway’s Flapper Face Off

Hello again, Project Runway fans! Last week, the designers celebrated Christmas in New York (literally). This week, they faced off in crafting fashion from the the 1920s – the days of flappers, Prohibition, and speakeasies.

Host Carolyn Murphy had each designer select a card: Emilio and Joshua got an afternoon garden party, Ivy and Anthony Ryan picked the after-hours speakeasy, and Uli and Laura Kathleen wound up with an evening social soiree. The task? Create a ‘20s-style design for the assigned event – and make sure it’s better than their opponent’s.

The face-off format created plenty of drama in the workroom – especially when the Ivy we remember and love (to hate) gave Anthony Ryan’s look a five out of ten, when he rated hers a seven or eight. And in a direct attack on Uli’s aesthetic, Laura Kathleen quipped, “I’ll combat trims and feathers with fur.”

The runway roared with flapper style – and since we’re down to six, all the designs were up for critique. The judges split them into high and low scores based on the match-ups – Emilio, Anthony Ryan, and Uli scored high, while Joshua, Ivy, and Laura Kathleen (two of which were this episode’s biggest trash-talkers – oh, the irony) scored low.

Emilio’s dress was smart and ladylike, but I agree with judge Georgina Chapman in that it lacked personality. Uli’s design was my personal favorite this week – between the movement of the fringe and the shawl, it was beautiful and original. And Anthony Ryan’s feathered capelet helped the design feel powerful and striking while remaining feminine and fun.

The use of color on the back of Joshua’s dress was remarkable, but the front – between the brooch and the simple style – wasn’t interesting enough. Ivy picked a gorgeous, expensive fabric – and then went on to create a heavy dress with a poorly executed feather trim. Laura Kathleen’s fur and imperfect trousers fell flat with the judges, though they appreciated the whimsical nature of her outfit.

And then there were five. Auf Wiedersehen – until next week, anyway.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

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December 21, 2012