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Project Runway: designing for church ladies

Anissa Ford's picture

This season’s 90 minute episodes of Project Runway transpire quickly--so quickly in fact, many viewers are falling asleep before judging.

A visit from last season’s Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung Chee didn’t add much excitement to last night’s episode. Last night, the designers partnered up and created red carpet looks for the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Anya wanted something sophisticated that veered far away from her own flowing and patterned designs. Her design team created a brown silky looking evening gown with a split well above the thigh. The judges hated it and called it cheesy. But her designers weren’t eliminated.

Smarter Project Runway competitors are familiar with the show and its challenges. Last week’s candy couture challenge with Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan unseeded Lantie, a 48-year-old designer who flubbed the recycled materials challenge.

Lantie had to make a dress from materials out of Dylan’s famous candy store. She chose an umbrella instead of candy and made a simple design. Afterward, she complained about the materials. The week before she complained about time constraints.

Who does that?

Project Runway doesn’t really get exciting until at least five designers remain. This year’s group isn’t mean or combative. They’re mostly skilled designers who’ve “given up everything” to do the show. When the majority dwindles down, viewers are better in touch with the aesthetics of their favorite designers.

So far, Ven Belhu is almost guaranteed to make it to the finale. Ven won last week’s challenge and he won again this week. Before he won either, he was runner up for best design.

After four challenges, Velhu’s got a signature style. The judges recognize his clothes without being told. Meanwhile, the judges are patiently waiting to learn more about the other designers sooner, which is h is precisely why Project Runway needs a challenge make-over.

After ten seasons, the recycle challenge isn’t too fun. Even with candy. The partnership challenges are always a blast, as are the team challenges. Designing for tots and teens is cute, but designing for women who are not a size zero is hands down, the best challenge Project Runway gives designers.

Last year, there was a menswear challenge. Anya flubbed that one easily. A good few of the season ten designers specialize in menswear. A menswear challenge could dethrone Ven and give other designers , like Alicia, the confidence needed to win.

As season ten heats up, look forward to Sonjia to ruffle some feathers. Sonjia sighed in exasperation that Ven’s rather mediocre church dress for Kendall was one of the judges’ top choices. Everyone decried Gunnar and Kooan’s white wedding dress. And Sonjia’s contempt for Ven's wins grows each episode.

Last night, Ven won a date to the Emmy’s with Kenley who’ll wear his winning blue dress that Nina Garcia and Michael Kors think looks really expensive.

According to Sonjia, however, the dress looked like an unfascinating something people see in Church on a random Sunday.

Project Runway Designer Sonjia's photo appears courtesy of Lifetime/Project Runway/Facebook.

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