The avant garde challenge that designers Melissa and Fabio have been waiting for ousted the New York designer Sonjia whose mom taught her to sew. When Heidi Klum asked Sonjia why she deserved to go to Fashion Week, Sonjia said that in her life, she’s never considered any other career outside of fashion.
Sonjia won three challenges and blew two.The Rockettes challenge and the Fashion Week challenges were tough for Sonjia and prompted Zoe Saldana to ask if Sonjia could produce a collection that “tells a story.”
The judges chose Fabio, Dimitry, Melissa and Christopher to compete for a showing at Fashion Week. Fashion Week took place in September, but Project Runway keeps the final three designers a secret by having the final few contestants participate in the show.
During the avant garde challenge, Tim Gunn was especially hard on the remaining designers. Fabio sat through a minute or two of silence because Tim Gunn didn’t like Fabio’s red velvet coat.Tim Gunn said the coat made him sad. Fabio took the criticism and rearranged the coat the next day. The judges loved Fabio’s final design, but Heidi hated it.
Heidi hated Melissa’s avant garde piece also. Melissa used turquoise leather for a jacket, and black and white print design for a floor length skirt. Heidi said she didn’t know whether Melissa’s outfit was uglier than Fabio’s, but the judges disagreed. Furthermore, Saldana loved Melissa’s three piece ensemble.
Heidi’s displeasure with Melissa and Fabio’s work didn’t say much or help Sonjia’s emerald green avant garde piece at all. Michael Kors hated Sonjia’s work. Sonjia’s dress was a play on nude skin, but no one liked the work which looked to Zaldana like an unfinished piece. Michael Kors tore Sonjia’s dress apart, he said it looked like something an old woman would do because she’s too old to show her real skin in a bare backed dress.
Sonjia disagreed with Kors’ criticism. Heidi liked the green, but Nina Garcia had reservations about it. Sonjia left five feet of gold fabric in Mood, but it’s not entirely clear how much that mattered because when Sonjia purchased her fabric, she didn’t have a design. Sonji also had a green print, but didn’t use that either.
Dimitry created another exquisite jacket and the judges loved it, except for the shoulders which were to stiff and wide. The neck was avant garde, and the tailoring was fabulous. Dimitry’s signature is apparent in his work and judges are looking forward to an entire collection from Dimitry. When asked who Dimitry would take to Fashion Week with him, he said Christopher and Fabio.
Christopher’s outfit was a take on Olivia from the Addams Family. Judges were okay with dress, but criticized Christopher for not taking into account that his design made a flat chested model look even flatter. Zaldana told Christopher that it’s his responsibility to make his model look good, not like his clothes are too big for his body.
The four remaining designers return home to produce their Fashion Week Collection. In the past, the judges have sent four designers to Fashion Week, but typically three go and one is eliminated.
Next week, it’s likely that Melisssa and Fabio will cancel each other out if the judges are strict about choosing three designers. Dimitry and Christopher are virtually assured of a space in Fashion Week because neither has anything else to prove to the judges. The judges are really interested in seeing Christopher and Dimitry’s work, whereas they are more interested in seeing Melissa and Fabio’s prove they are able to do the work necessary to design for a living.
photo: Fabio's avant garde look from Thursday night's Project Runway/photo credit Project Runway/Lifetime