Quick poll: Are you Team Chiffonies or Team Joan of Arc?
A boys vs. girls dynamic has arisen at this point in the season. Ven didn't win back any points he lost last week by making a big generalization: "Men are usually stronger designers, while women are a little more practical.” Sonjia put it another way: "I think men design clothes that they want women to wear. Women design clothes that women actually really want to wear."
In other words, the girls see the boys as creating overly romantic, hyper-feminine looks, while the girls have a harder edge to their aesthetics. "It’s like the guys are more feminine than the girls are,” Sonjia noted. DUH, this is Project Runway -- we'd be surprised if it were any other way. Based on their personal styles, I'm not sure most women want to look exactly like any of the designers who are still left. Speaking of which, have you noticed that Elena has basically given herself a receding hairline in an effort to highlight/isolate her bangs?
The challenge not only tested which camp was more in tune with the female consumer, but also which can handle the stress of the workroom better. The designers were tasked with creating a dress that will be sold in Lord & Taylor stores as part of a 10-piece line made up of designs by one designer from each season of Project Runway. The winning dress would have to be easily reproduced and stylish without being alienating to a Lord & Taylor customer.
Gunnar immediately took to this challenge because his target clientele happens to be older, affluent women. He made it clear to us many times that he LOVES LORD & TAYLOR. Guaranteed way to secure yourself more screen time? Sing the praises of a sponsor.
The female designers were generally more apprehensive about the challenge and worried about what they wouldn't be able to do: Elena thought she had to give up details, seams, textures, and generally making her model look like a samurai; Melissa had to temper her penchant for leather and studs; and Alicia, once again, felt the need to go against her true nature and make something pretty.
Sonjia, though, had a total breakdown, and it mostly stemmed from the residual trauma of having been in the bottom last week. She dripped tears all over her model as she struggled to get her into the dress moments before the runway. Tim had some helpful aphorisms handy: "Fake it on the runway," and "Channel your inner winner."
NEXT: Bizarre judging decisions abound...