Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway' Season 10, Episode 5: The Marie Claire Challenge
Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway All Stars': Winner Revealed
[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday's episode.]
This week, the designers punch the clock to create a look for the strong, powerful, sophisticated woman at work.
Nina Garcia joins Heidi Klum on the runway to reveal the Marie Claire team challenge. The designers must divide into two teams to create an editorial capsule collection that still works in the real world. Each team must also direct a photo shoot to accompany their runway presentation and the winning team’s looks will be published in the newly launched magazine, Marie Claire at Work.
Since there are no leaders, the teams are named based on their number of teammates. With the help of the dreaded button bag, the competitors choose their teams. On Team 6, we have Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitri, Alicia, and Raul while Team 5 is a boys-only-club with Nathan, Ven, Christopher, Fabio and Gunnar.
In the Workroom
From the beginning, it’s clear that some designers consider “team” a four-letter word. Raul is as negative and difficult as ever with his refusal to cooperate with his teammates. While the rest of Team 6 is aiming for a modern collection in a black and blue color story, Raul is determined to stick with his outdated ideas and fabric selections. Is it just me or is Raul toxic?
Elena’s aggressive attitude isn’t helping to ease Team 6’s tensions either. Her outbursts and fits of rage are dragging down the rest of her team’s morale. Despite the drama, Team 6 decides to split up the garments’ construction based on strengths -- Melissa and Dmitri will each create a dress; Raul and Elena each tackle two tops; Alicia is working on two pants and Sonjia sets out to construct two skirts.
At the other end of the workroom, Team 5 seems to be working in relative harmony -- well, everybody but Gunnar. Gunnar can’t get a word in edgewise with his teammates and struggles to maintain his point of view. They’ve chosen to incorporate a colorful floral pattern into an otherwise graphic black and white collection. Unlike Team 6, each designer on Team 5 is responsible for his own look.
After one day in the workroom, the designers meet Tim Gunn and photographer Tom Hines for the photo shoot portion of the challenge. Elena continues to make enemies as she barks orders at her teammates, the L’Oreal crew, and the photographer. While I’m shocked at her complete lack of professionalism, I actually agree with Elena that the props were unnecessary. The minimal, clean background really let the clothes take center stage.
On the Runway
Marie Claire editor-in-chief and Project Runway All Stars mentor Joanna Coles joins the judges’ panel this week (yay!), then it’s time for the runway show.
Here are my thoughts on the teams’ collections:
My biggest complaint about this collection is the use of that floral print -- it just reads “old lady” to me. The looks overall did not make a statement for a strong and powerful woman at work. I’m surprised the judges weren’t more critical.
The only look I really liked was Fabio’s. His dress, while simple, was actually very editorial and wearable. You could style it in many different directions and it still succeeds. By far the best look from Team 5 for me. My only criticism is the way the dress gathered on the sides -- it could have been a better fit.