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'Project Runway': changing of the avant-garde

OK, raise your hand if you thought Christian Siriano and Chris March would be a disaster as teammates on last night's Project Runway?

I did, until I remembered the avant-garde theme, which I think played to the strengths of the costume-maker, as well as our edgy Annapolis boy.

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This week, the designers were randomly assigned into teams of two and had to create an avant-garde look inspired by the crazy hairstyles given to their models. (Well, except the one girl who just looked like she had dirty roots -- and then no one picked her, so she was out of the models' part of the competition.)

The teams got to work on their creations, and most were struggling with the time frame on the second day when mentor Tim Gunn dropped another bomb: They'd also have to create a ready-to-wear garment that complemented the original piece. EVERYBODY PANIC!

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Chris and Christian used 40 yards of organza cut into circles to create this amazing piece that included basically a wire sculpture on the shoulder. It was impressive. Their second look was an organza, sleeveless ruffled top and a pencil skirt. Interesting top, rather boring skirt, but still, they worked together.

Victorya and Jillian seemed to have such different styles of communicating that it seemed they would never get anything done. They were way behind schedule on their original look -- an intricate, punk-inspired trenchcoat with a lovely blouse and jodhpurs. In fact, it appeared at first that they might not even complete the second look, but Jillian created a cute, if somewhat basic, black dress with some plaid edging similar to that on their trenchcoat.

Kit and Ricky teamed up to create Kit's vision -- a hoop skirt with all sorts of different fabric. Early on, she seemed to be questioning herself, asking at one point if it was too much costume and not truly avant-garde, and at another point saying they needed to make sure it didn't end up looking like Little House on the Prairie. Both of these ended up being valid points, so I wish she'd pursued the thoughts a little more. The ready-to-wear dress was a boring little sundress.

Rami and Sweet P were a disaster of a team. He wanted to implement his vision, but he didn't really listen to her input. But she acts so insecure and weird about sharing her opinions that it's not that surprising to see her get ignored. They created a not at all over-the-top dress that looked like a slightly amped-up version of Rami's usual draping. Sweet P, meanwhile, created the ready-to-wear look, an adorable short dress in silvers and grays.

In judging, it was pretty easy to see who would be at the top and who would be at the bottom, once it was clear that Jillian and Victorya hadn't totally punted on the ready-to-wear look. They and Chris and Christian got good marks, and the other two teams, not so much.

In the end, Chris and Christian won the challenge, and since Christian was the team leader, he has immunity next week. Also, their looks were shot for a Tre Semme ad that will be in Elle magazine.

Rami was criticized for trying to blame the whole mess on Sweet P, when the dress was clearly 100 percent his style, but they were safe. There wasn't much time given to Kit and Ricky's discussion of the outfits, but since Kit was group leader, Ricky was safe. Gah! So sadly, Kit went home.

I understand why the judges had to go that way, but I am so over crybaby Ricky and his bad sewing skills. Sigh. Maybe next week.


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