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Project Runway #308 - High Flying Fashion

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Challenge: Create a look for an international jetsetter with a twist (or two).

Guest judge: Francisco Costa, Creative Director @ Calvin Klein; Catharine Maladrino.

The drama of last week overflows into this episode’s first minutes. Jeffrey still rankles from the conflict with Angela and her dear little mummy. He contends that Angela was trying to get him kicked off the show by encouraging her mother to say bad things about his outfit for her. In what delusional universe was he competing last week?

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This week’s challenge is probably one of the more creative challenges spun from the threads of high fashion on this show in a long time. Create a look for an international jet setting, trendy, hip individual. In the workroom at Parson’s, Tim Gunn reveals the twist: the jet-setting individual is the designer! They are to create and model a look based on themselves. The designers are elated. Angela squeals in delight and does a little happy dance. I, on the other hand, am not so excited. Instead, I am perched in anticipation for who will fail to capture the essence of a globetrotting trendsetter. Perhaps I am not so idealistic as Angela.

Her childlike naïveté becomes completely apparent in the fifteen minutes they are given to sketch the look. Angela’s pen hovers, quivering over a mostly blank sketchpad. Living on a secluded little farm in Ohio, she admits, jet-setting and travel for events and parties is a foreign concept. That might explain the rosettes.

Another person stumped with the concept is Vincent, who exclaims in his Woody Allen-esque voice, that he has never designed for a man before. He has designed stuff out of garbage and made a hat out of a wicker basket. Leave it to this quirky man to be nonplussed by something so easy as an outfit he wears everyday. He doesn’t strike me as a hip jetsetter, anyway.

Right away, the three people who know exactly what they are doing are Jeffrey, who designs something very much in the vein of his rock n’ roll roots, Michael Knight (whom I still cannot decide is gay or not), most at home in hip hop, and Architect who, though now pregnant, is certain that she is the quintessence of chic, hip, upper echelon. She does dress that way and all her clothes are her own design.

In Mood, what I am totally thrown by is the tacky patterned silk material Kayne spots. He calls it Versace. Later Jeffrey calls it Liberace. It’s just hideous. Purple and blue petal-like shapes spring from some unknown starting point and blossom out of control.

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Michael is working with an all white motif. The use of one colour really emphasises the shape, cut and accent pieces of bling on his outfit. His look: seer-sucker white drawstring, parachute/cargo type of pants with a clean cut white shirt with a slashed neckline. Pulling up his hip hop roots, he envisions himself flying from Brooklyn to the Hamptons to party with Diddy. It’s hot. Throw on some bad-ass kicks and a pair of big sunglasses and maybe a Kangol, and you’ve got an outfit ready for some of NYC’s hottest hip-hop slams. And what? He totally rocks it on the runway, too. (Ghetto and gay. What an awesome combination!)

Vincent plays it safe with a charcoal heather cashmere v-neck sweater and sateen cotton pant. Francisco Costa says it’s clean and sleek. Very Calvin Klein of you to say so.

Architect’s peach dress is fantastic! It is a faux wrap with the tie creating a sleek, long line down the back.

Jeffrey’s outfit is Glam Rock with all the attitude that his neck tattoo can muster. Muscle tee with silver topography design, form-fitting tight pant with motorcycle boots, and a shiny blazer with leather lapels finish off the look. It translates well from a daytime meeting with clients to a slammin’ party that rages until 5:00AM. High marks from the judges.

Kayne’s Liberace gets a thumbs down. Kors tells him, “It’s a paparazzi photo for the ‘What Were You Thinking!’ section.” Yes, cheers. The petal-like flairs from the cuffs to the explosion on the back of his black long sleeve shirt with over-sized Elvis lapels are just over the top.

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This is where the second twist happens. Instead of being in’d and out’d right there, they are to pack and board a jet with their outfit (how travel-ready is it?) to a surprise destination. When they get to JFK they find out they’re going to Paris. The home of fashion. There, Catharine Maladrino judges them on the overall look and travel wear of the clothes.

Laura, high marks. Uli’s patchwork scores low with the NYC judges, but is in. But ultimately, the challenge is between Michael and Jeffrey. Hip hop versus Rock n’ Roll. This time, rock takes the win and the glory. Well-done. The outfit is hot. If you think you’re a rockstar, maybe a little jerky behaviour might be warranted.

The low scores are between Angela’s wrinkly satin and linen creation and Kayne’s “fake pop star” outfit, as Maladrino described it. But his well-made clothes are enough to save his hide this time. They were perfectly non-wrinkled out of the plane and Angela’s looked like she had rolled in a hayloft. Too bad. She had just arrived in Paris, too.

Honestly, I feel bad for Angela. Her clothes can be very well made and her outfits from time to time have surprised me for their elegance. But unfortunately, her style aesthetic is inconsistent. Intermittent brilliance isn’t enough to get you by in this industry. From Paris to the farm. I wonder what’s next for her.

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Photos via BravoTV