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Project Runway: The Sasha Cohen Competition

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 19th 2006 7:03PM
Project RunwayHeidi Klum announced that the designers would be getting a package instead of telling them what their challenge was going to be. After the designers waited a while in their rooms, season one's Rob (the one that busted his head open when he was trying to show off his mad hanging-upside-down skills to the ladies) showed up in an USPS uniform with a bunch of boxes. Everyone seemed excited to see him (except Emmett, who, embarrassingly enough, didn't recognize him) and eagerly opened their boxes. Inside was a short a message telling them to put on the enclosed outfits and go to the lobby. The ladies don itty-bitty, form-fitting dresses and the guys wear tight-fitting pants and puffy shirts (again, except Emmett... he wore an atrociously bright pink top. He tried to class it up with a fedora, but to no avail). It looks like someone threw up the Ice Capades and a box of Crayons at the same time.

Tim Gunn took the group to a super-secret location to learn more about their challenge... When they headed to the secret location (ice rink), they found a young lady doing some amazing moves on the ice. Nick immediately recognized the girl, Sacha Cohen, and started flipping out. Well, I wasn't really watching the screen at this part so I was surprised, too... "Holy crap! What is Ali G doing on Project Runway?" I thought. Wrong "Sacha". Turned out that the designers had to create a new figure skating outfit for World Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen. I still stand by my statement that it would have been cooler to design a figure skating outfit for Ali G.

The designers got $150 for supplies, 30 minutes to sketch, and, this time, two days to work on the outfit. I'm sure they needed the extra time because having to work with all that new stretchy fabric in a style that they were probably not familiar with must have been quite difficult. It was clear from the get-go that some people had no idea what the hell they were doing. Sure, their concepts were nifty on paper, but once they got started with putting fabric on the mannequins, things just fell apart...

Andrae, despite losing design time to a fiasco with a sewing machine, managed to complete his outfit. It was a black, asymmetrical number with a big feathery thing on the shoulder. It hung somewhat loose on the body (it looked like the folds were purposely placed there) and, form-wise, I just didn't think it looked like a figure skating costume. However, it was well-constructed and had certain elements to it that showed Andrae paid attention to how the outfit would move on the ice.

Chloe's design strayed from the flesh tones and the dark colors of the other designers. She opted for a bright aqua fabric and constructed a flowy Christmas tree. The color was a good risk to take but I thought the silhouette looked wonky. The way that he fabric ruffled out to the sides hid the figure too much for, um, figure-skating.

Daniel V. created a dark wine-colored outfit that didn't really look like anything special. The color was really seductive and cool but the actual design followed the traditional outfit. It looked a little too safe, to me... Not much to say about it.

Kara really got into fringe because the entire skirt of her design was just simple black fringe. It looked awkward coming down the runway and probably would have looked even worse on the ice (dozens of little strands flailing from Sasha's waist during a spin... scary). I've never been a big fan of Kara's work but I must say I liked the top of this outfit. However, I don't know if looks good because I'm comparing it to the terrible fringe right underneath because, hell, anything would look good compared to that stuff.

Definitely did not like Nick's design. No. A big "Wh-wha-what?" to him. Looking back at the photos, the fabric looks ridiculous. While actually watching the episode, I didn't notice the fabric because I was too distracted by the top. For the breast area, Nick did this weird thing where one side was wrinkly horizontally and the other was wrinkly vertically... I can't even explain it properly. Blech. I don't know what the hell it was. It just made the model's chest look really lopsided. It's a good thing everyone else's designs were so mediocre because this one was baaaad.

Nick got the "Wh-wha-what?" from me... Santino, however, got a straight-up "Double-you tee eff?". I'm starting to wondering if Santino is actually trying to get kicked off the show. With each episode, he's just growing to be a bigger and bigger jerk and designing crazier and crazier things. Seriously, this outfit topped them all (well, it rivaled that creepy German lingerie). He had the concept of a phoenix rising from the ashes... on paper, anyway. On a model, "phoenix rising from the ashes" apparently means "sew some feathers and random shards of fabric onto some flesh-colored fabric". Horrible. It was horrible. Hell, the model even knew it was horrible. She looked terrified when Santino attached extra red fabric ("fire") to the back of her outfit. Seriously, if Santino got cut, that would have been the end for his model.

Zulema's costume was fairly bland save for the intricate design she had on the top. It was to represent a woman's transformation from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. It was really that only thing that kept her from joining the ranks of the "playing it safe" people. The costume didn't fit her model (the chest was too low), so I was surprised Judge Anne didn't call it "vulgar". Poor Zulema always seems to have trouble getting the size right for her model... No matter, because Zulema won this challenge. Sasha will wear Zulema's design in a future competition.

Well, Santino didn't get cut because Emmett did. His outfit was too safe, for sure. The guest judge, Anne, said that the shortness of the skirt was "vulgar". Definitely didn't agree with her. It was short, yeah, but it wasn't "vulgar". It was down to Santino and Emmett and I was somewhat shocked that Santino didn't get the boot instead. Emmett has never been the strongest designer because, like he always says, he does menswear. Although his skills are in place, he still hasn't grasped the ideas of women's clothing, let alone reached the level where he can start being innovative with them. Santino's outfit was, without a doubt, the worst one. But, he makes good TV and Emmett doesn't. Auf Wiedersehen.

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Oh my gosh! I am so sick of Santino!!! I am so ready for him to lose at fashion week! I think Chloe or Daniel should totally win! Santino's work is just too way over the top that I am afraid that he is going to win. Why aren't the judges cutting him? His outfit for Kara wasn't even finished! I am thinking this is fixed!

February 21 2006 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Lott

Hi I hope sasha wins,
she's very graet at what she do's I say she been given
many blessings from H.F. and I am 20 years old and I just rtuned home from Florida Mobile mission and I like who modest she is and I thank her she has curege to so I know she's got notime to talk but would it hrut to say that she's the true star showing people that its posible to do any thing they like doing if they put there minds to. she's such an example to me of graet faith.

February 21 2006 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kay salerno

As a former figure skater I can tell you that only emmet(sic) and Kara's designs would be appropriate for figure skating. The other designs are ghastly jokes that no skater would be caught dead in.

February 09 2006 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best moment of the week -- when Tim was warning Santino to turn down the attitude toward the judges. Even though it was bleeped, it was pretty cool to hear Tim say "f(beep)k you."

January 20 2006 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

It seems to me that when they chose to keep Marla over Guadalupe, the main reason was that Marla at least made something that the customer would wear: that is, she at least tried to keep the customer in mind.

In this case, they flat out said that Santino's dress was just not a wearable ice skating dress. While Emmet's might have been more traditional, it was at least something you could skate in. Santino disregarded the customer's needs.

I look forward to Zulema's fun next week: it is getting to the point where someone needs to throw folks off their game by having them have to design for a different model.

January 20 2006 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Simmons

Clearly, Santino should have been eliminated. His design in the back was way too busy and that's an understatement of the century! While, Emmett is not as good as the others, I think Santino should have been the one to be eliminated this run because Santino's design was much worse than Emmett's.

Incidentally, I think Heidi Klum needs to come up with new one-liners to say because while her comments are funny, they get rather boring.

She needs to say something more like along the lines of, oh I don't know, maybe..."You just don't fit in."

January 20 2006 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was hoping that the Phoenix would not arise from the ashes. For fashion's sake! Stop adding crap if your model is telling you not to! Boy was Santino lucky that Nina wasn't there. (However unlucky for the viewer. I hate Nina but love how she and Santino fight!) I usually don't like Zulema's style but she definitely did the best job on this project. It is a little risque for an ice princess but she's only going to be wearing it for an exhibition- not Torino.

January 20 2006 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's possible that I may have spent a significant amount of time last night listening to Tim Gunn's iTunes podcasts. Tim said he didn't think Emmett would go all the way in the competition, but he did like his costume this time and very much disagreed that it was vulgar (I think he mentions that in the blog, too--yes, okay, I read the blog and listened to the podcast...)--he wasn't especially fond of Zulema's, but when Sasha Cohen's mom saw it, she picked that one as the one that would win. The podcasts are awesome. Tim Gunn might be my new TV boyfriend.

January 20 2006 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hated Chloe's and probably would have went with Daniel V's or Andrae's. Zulema's seemed way skimpy to me.

January 20 2006 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I, too, keep thinking "Ali G" or "Borat" when I hear someone mention Sasha Cohen the skater on TV, which seems to be a lot these days.

January 20 2006 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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