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The designers are taken to a movie studio lot- it looks like it might be the Fox lot, but Poodle Bitch is unsure. She does not regularly visit studio lots; she is not one of the “beautiful poodles.” Tim Gunn and Collier Strong tell the designers that their next challenge will be to choose a film genre, and create an outfit for a character from that genre.
As the winner of the previous challenge (and deservedly so), poodle companion Irina is given the chance to select first. She rather sensibly chooses film noir. Poodle Bitch has to say that she is a bit disappointed; Irina has immunity, and could really have let her “inhibitions run wild” (sorry, she has Rod Stewart on the brain, for some reason) with something like science fiction; but, no matter. Irina is the top designer, and Poodle Bitch has faith.
The designers’ names are pulled from a bag at random by Mr. Gunn.
Logan chooses action adventure. Given the way some of the models talk about Logan on “Models of the Runway,” Poodle Bitch is sure that they will disappointed that “pornography” was not a genre up for selection.
Carol Hannah does not pick woodland fairy, she , too, chooses action adventure. Perhaps she’ll make something for Legolas?
Ra’mon takes science fiction. He interviews that he grew up watching “sci fi,” and knows all about “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.” Poodle Bitch is not a snob about speculative fiction like a certain human with whom she lives, so she will refrain from making comments on the science fictional worth of the two “Star” series, “Wars” and “Trek.”
Louise goes obvious and selects “film noir.” “That has your name written all over it,” as Mr. Gunn says. Poodle Bitch has watched enough reality to know that this is what’s called “foreshadowing.”
Althea also chooses film noir, and now Poodle Bitch is confused. She thought there were only two of each genre. How can poodle companion Irina, Louise, and dull as dishwater Althea all select the same genre?
Gordana selects period piece.
Nicolas unsurprisingly selects science fiction. Did he not do some kind of ridiculous straight out of Philip K Dick’s most fevered Valis inspired nightmare outfit last week?
Nicolas designed these (along with Gordana, in fairness to him- but he did most of the design work) a few weeks ago. Poodle Bitch believes no comment is necessary- this criticizes itself.
Christopher selects period piece.
This leaves two “westerns” left, for Shirin and Epperson. No one wanted to do any western-inspired outfits, for some reason. Poodle Bitch thinks this might be an interesting way for certain designers to stand out. She has to admit that “film noir” is probably a bit too easy for most of these designers.
Epperson complains that he wanted “period piece,” but Poodle Bitch would like to point out that, by definition, westerns are period pieces. It is all in how one looks at it.
The designers are immediately taken off the (Fox?) lot and back to the Fashion Institute, which makes little sense to Poodle Bitch. Why bother taking them to the lot in the first place, if they’re only going to spend five minutes picking genres? They could have done that at the Institute. Even worse, the designers are informed that this is a one-day challenge. They have until midnight tonight to finish. So they spent two hours each way, in traffic, traveling to the lot that served only as a pretty backdrop, and now have until midnight to create their clothing?
Epperson begins by thinking of John Wayne, which won’t help him to design a gown.
Shirin starts thinking “saloon girl.” Poodle Bitch is a big fan of the television show “Deadwood,” and she does not understand why these designers are so down on western wear. There is plenty of interest to be done with it.
Carol Hannah is foregoing the “woodland sprite” look, and doing a sexy assassin. Poodle Bitch would ironically point out that that hasn’t been done before.
Logan apparently has a crush on Carol Hannah. “She’s nice to have around,” he interviews, with timid charm. Regular viewers of “Models of the Runway” know that Logan could have his pick from among almost any of the models, so his interest in Carol Hannah is both unfortunate and misplaced. Regardless, Poodle Bitch hopes that he has a happy life.
Oh, and Logan is designing a “military esque-slash-like sword fighter.” This is just another way of saying “sexy assassin look.”
For her part, Carol Hannah thinks Logan is “distracting” and “hot.” Don’t get burned!
Nicolas says that he’s out in fantasy land. In his own world. Given his feelings about his own work, Poodle Bitch would agree with that.
Althea says she likes “the sort of femme fatale woman, very sort of classic, edgy.” Poodle Bitch would like to point out to Althea that “femme fatale woman” is a redundancy, and there is very little that is “edgy” about a fashion designer being inspired by films noir. If Althea really were “edgy,” she would have selected “western” as her genre. As it is, Poodle Bitch is far more interested to see what “Trekker” Ra’mon comes up with.
Irina feels she doesn’t need immunity.
Christopher worries his interpretation of “period piece” might confuse the judges. If someone like, say, Nicolas who makes the same thing over and over again and has very little in the way of actual inspiration, were to say this, Poodle Bitch might consider it an example of hubris, but given Christopher’s relative skill, and the way the judges have judged this season, Poodle Bitch shares his concern.
Epperson makes the valid point that Poodle Bitch had been thinking. “’Western’ is a ‘period’,” he says. But it is his job to make “western” an exclamation.
Epperson has been creating good designs from the first episode. Why has he not yet won any of the challenges?
Someone keeps stealing Louise’s bobbins. Even as she sews, she is still working on her concept. More foreshadowing. Poodle Bitch is beginning to worry for her.
Mr. Gunn doesn’t like Christopher’s bare-armed gown for his Victorian vampire bride.
Epperson has embraced the western genre. “Annie get your gun,” Mr. Gunn says appreciatively. He is seduced by Epperson’s ruffles. Poodle Bitch would love to make something that seduces Tim Gunn.
Ra’mon’s human alien hybrid skin-like jumpsuit could be “sublime, or a big, hot mess.”
Louise needs to be less minimal.
Nicolas is told to exaggerate and go bigger. Poodle Bitch agrees. Nicolas is dull. He is so dull that part of his time with Mr. Gunn is taken up with an expression of worry about Ra’mon’s design. When Nicolas thinks of “sci fi,” he thinks of beautiful, not Godzilla. Ra’mon is twice the designer you are, Nicolas. Ra’mon is skilled and serious. You are silly.
But now Ra’mon is second-guessing himself. “It’s Kermit the frog gone wrong.” He’s going to start from scratch. A dress? A coat? Despite the fact that Ra’mon almost single-handedly saved Mitchell from elimination in the third episode, Poodle Bitch is beginning to worry about him.
Irina barely finishes her dress. Poodle Bitch has to say that she is not heartened by the small glimpses she has gotten from the editing.
This week’s judges are John Varvatos (Poodle Bitch is unsure of who he is, but she seems to vaguely recall finding herself on his email list, for some reason), Marie Claire editor Zoe Glassner , and Academy Award nominated designer Arianne Phillips.
Poodle Bitch needn’t have worried. Irina’s model looks dangerous and elegant.
Carol Hannah’s model looks like a character from “The Matrix.” Excuse Poodle Bitch while she yawns.
The same can be said for Logan’s. It looks like their pillow talk involved exchanging design ideas.
Ra'mon won such praise for the tiedye dress, which almost saved Mitchell. Can he go back to the well again (or, should Poodle Bitch say "toilet"? she has read that the above dress was dyed in one).
Oh, how Poodle Bitch wants to love Ra’mon’s design- and she does. Alas, it is the execution that lets him down. It looks like it was thrown together at the last minute, as it likely was.
Poodle Bitch’s favorites were Irina, Epperson Christopher, and Ra’mon. Her least favorites were Carol Hannah, Logan, and Nicolas. Irina, Carol Hannah, and Logan ended up in the middle, and are excused from the runway.
The judges think Gordana’s design is too dull, and too derivative. Poodle Bitch agrees.
Nicolas’s silly ice queen dress impresses the judges, for some reason. “Clever, bold, and risky,” Zoe says. Poodle Bitch would use the more appropriate adjectives, “Uninspired, safe, and boring” to describe the outfit. The hair and makeup, on the other hand, are quite interesting.
They call Louise’s dress boring and unspecial. This after praising Nicolas. Poodle Bitch wonders how it is that we are to take the judges seriously. Where is Michael Kors? Where is Nina Garcia?
Christopher’s mixing of eras gets praise from the judges.
The judges don’t like Ra’mon’s dress, much as they like his story. “Hot green mess,” Heidi says.
They did like Epperson’s denim and leather dress, with it seductive ruffles.
But it’s Nicolas’s ice queen that “blew away” the judges. How could the judges have gotten it so right last week, and so wrong this week? Nicolas’s dress might have been well-made, but it showed none of the inspiration of Ra’mon’s.
Ra’mon is sent home. Poodle Bitch cannot believe it. The judges must be smoking something that takes away their common sense. Carol Hannah, Logan, Althea, Gordana, and Nicolas are all far lesser designers, who "played it safe." Yet they are given passes, and in Nicolas's case, an undeserved victory.
This season has certainly tested Poodle Bitch. She understands that life is unfair, and the best designers are often treated shabbily by the vaguaries of fate, but must “Project Runway” so closely mirror that fact?
Ra'mon design picture source.
Nicolas design picture source.
Epperson design picture source.