Rue Recap: Project Runway’s “Surprise” Client

The designers create press-ready looks for Heidi Klum in Season 11, Episode 3

Hello, Project Runway fans! Last week, the designers made server and ball-boy uniforms for Susan Sarandon’s club, SPiN. This time around, their client was Heidi Klum, who needed two looks ­– one for a TV and print ad campaign and one for a public relations event – for the launch of her perfume, “Surprise.”

The fragrance’s packaging was pink, gold, and black (to go along with the scents of pink pepper, mandarin, and jasmine), and each team was asked to use those colors to craft six dresses – four options for the ad campaign, and two for the event.

Team Keeping It Real – unsurprisingly – worked well together (despite Layana panicking about using pink rather than gold during the critique session),  while the Dream Team fell apart. Benjamin needs to learn that, ultimately, he can’t control everyone else’s work and still design good garments himself.

On the runway, the winning team was once again apparent. Kate and Layana’s gown was one of my favorites, and Daniel’s would have looked better with some lining (to allow for a neater slit). Though the judges adored Patricia’s crafty leatherwork, the garment seemed too boxy for Heidi.

Over on the Dream Team, the inappropriateness of Matthew’s S&M dress made my jaw drop. What was it that Heidi said, about looking sexy but not slutty? Yeah, a little over the line. Benjamin’s strappy (literally) gown reminded me of a kid wrapping a string around his finger until the tip turns red. And Cindy’s iridescent pink fabric looked too cheap for the challenge guidelines.

This season is starting to feel like a season of Survivor where one team dominates and the other team is picked off one by one. I wonder what will happen if the Dream Team is demolished?

Let’s find out together. Until the next episode – auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

My favorite designer so far is Daniel – who’s yours? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala

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February 8, 2013

Rue Recap: Project Runway’s Ping-Pong Style

The designers craft nightclub server uniforms in Season 11, Episode 2

Hi there, Project Runway fans! Last week, we got through the initial groaning over a whole season of teams. This week, the designers created new uniforms for SPiN New York, the “preeminent Ping-Pong social club.”

Knowing the club was owned by the ever-beautiful Susan Sarandon seemed to make Team Keeping It Real and the Dream Team even more nervous. (Can you blame them?) Each team was asked to design five uniforms: three for female servers, one for male servers, and one for male “ball boys” (featuring the club’s “balls are my business” slogan – cue 90 minutes of male-anatomy jokes).

The Dream Team’s Benjamin micromanaged Cindy – who is a competent designer, if a bit dowdy – yet ignored James and his horrible blue fabric until it was too late. Over on Team Keeping It Real, Daniel generously helped Layana, who struggled last week. I do love that a self-taught designer like Daniel can share some tricks of the trade with the FIT grad who interned with Oscar de la Renta.

You may be able to guess what happened on the runway.

Team Keeping It Real
I really loved Layana and Daniel’s upscale take on a server’s tee-and-apron look, though it would have been better without the asymmetrical collar and back. Stanley’s male-server attire worked for the client, and no arguments here. Susan loved the graphic pockets on Joseph Aaron and Richard’s ball-boy uniform, but it seemed busy (on the plus side, the shirt and harness were fabulous).

The Dream Team
The length didn’t work for James’s cabana-boy shorts, and pairing them with that ill-cut top made it worse. As for Benjamin and Matthew’s kilt, Heidi put it best: “The crotch piece was tasteless.” (Yet “ballsy,” said Susan. Ha.) Really, not much worked out for the Dream Team – including the jacket and shorts created by Benjamin and Cindy.

No tears from me over the elimination this week, but the Dream Team has got to get it together. How are you feeling about the teams? Do you agree with Cindy that “the thrill” is gone?

And PS: Just in case you’re as intrigued by Joseph Aaron’s multicolored cat sweaters as I am, I had to share. You can thank me later. Until next week – auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

Did the right person win? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala

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February 1, 2013

A First Look at Project Runway: Teams

The designers begin their team-challenge journey in Season 11, Episode 1

Welcome back, Project Runway fans! A week ago, the second All Stars season came to a (rewarding) close. This week, we met an all-new set of designers striving to make it to Fashion Week – but with the addition of a new twist. Teams. All season long.

I (like everyone) doubted the premise when I first heard about it. Everyone will participate in critiques of their team members’ garments. They will be judged individually, but one team will win and one will lose – so it’s possible for someone to have the worst design and stay. I’m curious to see how this affects the workroom dynamic.

But, I mean, Tim Gunn says it’s his favorite season ever. Can’t argue with that.

Anyway. After the designers began to assemble, it was clear there were some standout characteristics, like Daniel’s mustache, Benjamin’s Australian accent, Michelle’s presentation of her age (“thirty-fou-dorable”), and Cindy’s past career as a funeral director. Patricia has the distinction of being the first Native American to join a Project Runway cast.

Heidi parted the group like the Red Sea, into two teams of eight: Team Keeping It Real and the Dream Team.

The Dream Team’s Emily only had sketches to present during the critiques, which we all know means disaster (ironic, since she talked a big game). Kate didn’t want to listen to her Keeping It Real team – until Tim said the same thing.

On the runway, Emily’s unfinished piece, Cindy’s horribly mixed prints, and some of the other designers’ “sad and boring” looks (stated by both Heidi and new judge Zac Posen, who replaced Michael Kors this season) had the Dream Team on the bottom.

Over on Team Keeping It Real, Daniel’s silk wool crepe suit felt very New York. I really liked Richard’s sporty, asymmetrical dress and Stanley’s metallic halter jumpsuit (though I wouldn’t wear it myself). And Patricia’s painted pattern with the pop of blue was a lovely addition.

All in all, a winning premiere. Are you looking forward to more from the teams? For now – auf Wiedersehen. 

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

Did any of the designers immediately strike you? Sound off in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 25, 2013