Welcome back, Project Runway fans. Last week, the designers went miniature. This week? We’re turning things up a notch – or five.

That’s right, it’s the last challenge before the designers create their Fashion Week collections. Which means: finally, the show decided to air an episode that involved real, honest-to-goodness fashion – no babies, high-kicking Rockettes, or T-shirt selling in sight.

Enter the avant-garde challenge – design an avant-garde look inspired by a fairytale-like estate and a new line of L’Oreal Paris limited edition makeup (with silly, fantastical names like Seductive Temptress and Wise Mystic…).

The results? I wouldn’t necessarily call them avant-garde, but they had the kind of fashiony drama the season has lacked as a whole. Dmitry’s tailored-to-perfection, high-collared suit fit like a dream (and that back! Stunning!). Fabio’s blood-red and black look, inspired by the fact that he used to wear his shirts as pants in college (yes), was high drama in a nutshell – although in an exceptionally morbid kind of way. (I should have known: If anyone can do avant-garde, it’s the guy who shows up at the runway show wearing a dress and a black bejeweled headpiece.)

But Sonjia? The judges described her look best. Brutally honest guest judge Zoe Saldana described the ‘floating’ green fabric at the bust as looking “like a table napkin fell on her.” While MK (Kors, not Olsen), candid as ever, called it “an ice skating costume Nancy Kerrigan skated through a banquet hall.” Sigh. 

Until next week, auf wiedersehen.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

So – who’s going to win? Share your top pick in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

October 5, 2012