Project Runway Recap: Episode 11, "The Art of Fashion"

Project Runway Rundown: Episode 11, "The Art of Fashion"

Then there were five. And though we know all five show at Bryant Park, you can rest assured that Project Runway is going the traditional route and only airing the top three. You'll have to read who was eliminated after the jump, but what a shocker!

On to the episode, the designers got their first non-sponsored challenge in a while, and what a welcome change of pace. Instead of designing a look for Levi's or Hershey's, the team was lead by Tim to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Inside, they received their challenge: to create an outfit inspired by a work of art. And because the Met is so big, Tim narrowed the galleries to choose from to three: the Greek and Roman sculpture courtyard, the European painting wing, and the Temple of Dendur. Certainly a smidge more highbrow than last week's wrestling diva challenge.

One of the best parts about last night's challenge is that we got to see not only what each designer created, but also what piece of art he or she chose as inspiration. The two most obvious translations came from Rami, who chose a sculpture of Aphrodite with a draped toga (yawn), and Chris, who was inspired by a painting of an 18th century noble woman. The rest went a little more non-traditional. Christian's muse was a painting of a Spanish man, while Sweet P used a painting of a peacock. Jillian, meanwhile, picked a painting with a group fighting scene. She felt that this would help her "express a certain edgy side of [her]self." Yeah, sure, Jillian.

To read about how each of these inspirations came to life, and to see a gallery of all the photos, read more.

Before we get to the looks, let's talk about how hilarious it was that Chris took a nap during the final challenge. I mean he took a nap, snores and all. Speedy seamster Christian was done too, but even he continued "touching up, snipping threads." After he was awoken from his nap, Chris chatted with Tim about his gown, and Tim expressed his concern that it wasn't refined enough. Tim seem less worried about the rest of the designers, but from what I could see of Sweet P's look, I was surprised it wasn't a bigger topic of conversation.

Another side note: Has Tim Gunn ever been less relevant to a season of ProjRun? Most of the designers (Sweet P excepted) just take his feedback and kind of say "Sure, Tim, whatever, I like it my way."

On to the last runway challenge before the finale. The special guest judge was Roberto Cavalli, and along with Heidi, Nina, and Michael, he had plenty to say about the final looks. If anything, he was a bit too complimentary, but there wasn't a lot to fault with this challenge.

  • Sweet P — To be fair, Sweet P's dress turned out a lot cuter than I had expected. But, my expectations were rather low. In her defense the judges applauded her peacock-inspired dress for its commercial appeal, just not for its wow factor. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to keep her in the running. Surprisingly, I'm sad to see her go.
  • Jillian — She created a gold dress with a black blazer for her final look, and it was quite stunning. It was enough to impress all of the judges. Roberto even said he'd be very happy to have her on his staff. She's in. I kind of feel like Jillian should only ever make coats; they're always great.
  • Christian — Christian won the challenge with his multi-piece outfit. Though I didn't love the look, it certainly had drama, and he was applauded for both his showmanship and his ability to think practically. His "super, super chic" look got him the win and a trip to Bryant Park. I'm not shocked.
  • Rami — Rami went the traditional drapery route, and he was faulted for playing it safe yet again. The judges wanted to see something different from him, and I couldn't agree more. But ultimately, Rami's taste level and consistency were enough to triumph his one-notedness. He's in. Sort of.

So that means Chris is out, right? Right?

  • Chris — Chris is . . . in! Say what? The judges liked Chris' gown, but they thought that it looked too much like his avant garde dress from episode eight. I agreed, but the beauty of his dress last night was undeniable. Plus, how can you fault a man who's made two similar looks, when all of Rami's have looked the same?

In the end, both Rami and Chris are creating a collection for fashion week because the judges were deadlocked and couldn't decide between the two. However, only one will be truly competing in the final episode. When Chris and Rami come back to New York, they will show the judges their three strongest looks, and whoever wins that will compete with Jillian and Christian. Wow. Nice twist, ProjRun.

So what did you think of the episode? Are you sad that Sweet P's out? Who do you think will triumph, Rami or Chris? And are you ready for the claws to come out at next week's reunion?

Photos courtesy of Bravo