September 4th, 2009
11:31 AM ET

'Runway': When in doubt, hand-dye it

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think “Runway’s” season 6 was going to be short a few episodes judging by how much the producers packed into last night’s hour-long design-fest.

While I loved every minute of it, it left me feeling like this season has been in fast-forward. We’re kicking off the crazies before they have time to really work over the workroom. They’re paired off in a team challenge before we have their names and aesthetics straight. And the “design an extra look” challenge twist was pulled out in episode 3 when producers had previously left such antics to the Bryant Park runway show.

But even if it felt like a lot was crammed in, thank God they did.

I couldn’t have been the only one rolling my eyes when they led the designers to the beach to chat up surfers for their surf-inspired challenge. Even Tim looked pained at thought, so clearly out of his Manhattan element as he stood on the beach in a black blazer. As Nicolas said, pullover hoodies do not high fashion make -  unless you ask them to also whip up surf-inspired avant-garde the day before the runway show.

L.A. hasn’t made “Runway” soft on design challenges after all.

The biggest surprise of the night had to be Ra’Mon, who I’ve been lambasting as unoriginal for two weeks now. But last night, the med school dropout came into his own.

Ra’Mon showed that when he’s left with the option of getting flamed for throwing something together – seriously, he sewed and hand-dyed his neoprene avant-garde piece in, like, an hour – or sending a model naked down the runway, dude goes out hard.

I don’t think I’ve had such a change of heart about a designer since …. well, ever. Sometimes it’s pretty easy to see the top sketchers from the weaklings, but Ra’Mon pulled his vision out of seemingly thin air, putting me officially in his corner.

There was SO much more to this episode than I can possibly cover here, like the crazy tension between Epperson and Qristyl that was bizarre and completely unfounded – and possibly trumped up by the producers – for instance.

I do have one complaint that I just have to get off my chest (as always): why in the world did the judges relegate Michael and Logan’s two looks to the “acceptable enough to get you through for the next challenge” pile? I thought their work was one of the few pieces I saw last night that caused me to say, “I’d rock that.” Perhaps the play on volume with their avant-garde gown was too predictable, but I wanted Michael and Logan to get more shine in the judging.

Who did you think was a hit and a miss last night? Any of you have a clue (or care) what was up with Epperson and Qristyl? Let me know!

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Filed under: Project Runway • television

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Hazel Young Academy

    President Obama says don't be afraid to ask for help , asking is the main key.If you don't ask you will never learn.-Ronald
    He also says set you own goals and do every thing to meet them.-Joequan
    He also said you"ll need the insights and critical thinking skills.-Dontre
    To stay in school and to never drop out.-Essence
    He also says "failing over and over again makes us successful because we learn from our mistakes."-Chris

    September 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. B O'Donnell

    By the looks of Mitchell's portfolio, and casting, he maybe able to design, but he CANNOT SEW, PERIOD! It makes me wonder whether or not he had someone else sew his pieces in order to get on the show. The shorts that he showed those for his casting were much better made by someone, than the ones he did for the preggers challenge. Glad he was "auf" but sorry that some other designer missed an opportunity to be on the show because of Mitchell. Phooey on those who made the decision to let Mitchell on. So I am hoping the show gets down to the brass tacks of business with the competition. I do agree that everything is pushing it too fast. I wish they would slow it down some so that we cannot only see their creations but personality as well, and quit manipulating everything!

    September 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jezoebel

    I'm just glad Mitchell is gone, Malvin and Ari were quirky, but Mitchell showed absolutely no talent for design whatsoever. You'd think after being in the bottom for the first two challenges he would've tried to step up his game. No, he decides to ride on Ra'Mon's coattails. Stupid, stupid move. Ra'Mon deserved not only immunity, but also a medal for putting up with Mitchell.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lisa in Shelton

    Was somewhat disappointed for no shout-outs to these ladies – loved Althea's black dress and Shirin's bathing suit & coverup – both were beautiful and marketable. Totally agreed that it was Mitchell's time once I heard him say hoped to ride on Ra'Mon's talent for that challenge; and despite his youth and sweetness and even cuteness, his lame schmoozing while Ra'Mon was sweating it out was appalling.

    I understand about not wanting to be part of a team that sends junk down the runway, but if Epperson had just been the good soldier after saying "I reallydon't like the design, would love if we could go in this direction...., but I'll sew whatever you like," and let Qristyl be totally in charge of a less than inspiring design, Qristyl might have been booted instead of or even with Mitchell.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Zoolander

    I thin the second look was added, because of the spinoff show. They now have to include all the models or no models on all episodes to keep the "models" show interesting.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jenickki

    I have to agree with Michael and Logan's look. I loved the avant-garde piece. Loved it. Yes, I would rock that too.

    Epperson and Qristyl?? They are two of the nicest people on the show. They always seem to show the most control and in my opinion would not attack anyone else. So, perhaps yet another ploy by the creators of Runway...to create unnecessary drama. Personally, I found it rather dull. I really wanted to see something creative out of them. They both have great ideas..use them. We have yet to see what either one can "really" do.

    Ra'mon. My heart went out to this guy. I think he is a very talented designer and yet he was left with the biggest burden of all; carrying Mitchell. I guess this experience just goes to show that Project Runway makes mistakes too. (Letting Malvin go last week....what in heaven's name were they thinking). I'm glad Ra'mon got rewarded for all the hard work and thinking on his toes.

    I am wishful, since Mitchell is no longer on the show, the designers will settle down and design.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ace

    Controversial people tend to be kept (sometimes) at the expense of better designers. Kenley Collins last seaon was proof of that, although she looked pretty hot when Jarrel dressed her like a pop star. Wendy Pepper in the first season was another designer kept for her drama. Don't forget the scores are a combination of the judges' thoughts and the producers input.

    Last night there were several great designs given "acceptable" marks and hopefully we'll see more of those designers' creations in upcoming episodes.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mickey Dean

    i love the way they are getting rid of the most obnoxious designers first!

    September 4, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |

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