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Project Runway Episode 9 — Let the sequins fly!

Carol Hannah's winning dress was a glamorous approach to the stage that won the judges over with a sophisticated combination of textures that included feathers, sequins, and fabric.

This week’s challenge on project runway was to create an “extravagant, stage look” for pop-star Christina Aguilera. Not only did Christina appear as a guest judge, but celebrated designer Bob Mackie, dubbed the “Sultan of Sequins”, presented the challenge and advised the designers on how to approach a stage look versus a fashion look. This time, the designers had 2 days, and $300 to buy fabric. Taking a cue from Mackie, the workroom was awash in sequins, sparkly fabric, feathers, fur, and beads.  

Carol Hannah, who early on felt out of her element with this challenge, set out to show the judges that she could “stretch it farther”. And that she did, walking away the winner of the challenge with a long, black gown in a simple silhouette embellihsed with feathers and sequins. The judges described it as chic, and impressive, with a beautiful combination of textures. I thought her design showed a sophisticated restraint. But, was it right for the stage?

On the other hand, Nicholas confidently stated, “I’m going to blast the industry with my knowledge. You give me some sequins, lace and feathers, and I’ll give you a couture garment,” but ended up with a garment that the judges liked, but left Tim with a moment of deja vu. Did you think any of the garments were truly couture?

Interestingly, Irina, who is shown multiple times harshly criticizing the other designers, also ended up in the middle of the pack with a short, blue, largely unmemorable sequined garment. She criticized Carol Hannah’s fabric choices, calling her mediocre, and described Shirin’s design sensibility as “bargain basement”.

Gordana had immunity, and thank goodness she did, because even she knew her garment was not up to standards and she easily could have been “aufed”. She began with a design that seemed to involve covering the entire garment in feathers, although we never saw that first design. She decided to start over on day 2, ending up instead with a “matronly” looking design based on a beaded fabric that began to fall apart as she cut it. On the runway, Gordana said it was a disaster, and the judges agreed.

While Shirin aimed for 1940’s Hollywood glamour with a long black gown of sequined and chiffon fabrics, Tim said it looked like “Gwynieviere meets Vampira” and Heidi called it an “upscale witch halloween dress”. Christopher also showed poor taste with his coat-to-bustier-and-hot-pants-look, which everyone had seen before. Bob Mackie declared, “I wouldn’t put that on the chorus girl, behind the star”. Between the two, I thought Christopher was going home, but, although Nina recognized her talent and her “meticulous hand”, it was Shirin that was sent to clean up her space in the workroom.

I was intrigued by Althea’s 9 foot long, silver sequined number and her use of both the front and back side of the fabric to create alternating bias stripes, which hugged the body and accentuated curves.

As Nicholas reminded us, there are only 4 challenges left. Who do you think is going to make it to Bryant Park? Who do you think should have been cut this week?


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  1. User avater
    Kate_W | | #1

    In a previous season of Project Runway, Chris March and Christian Siriano (team challenge) created a dress with an enormous ruffle collar which had an interesting silhouette. None of that this week.

    I have been most surprised by Carol Hannah and Althea as designers. Carol Hannah's design looked like red-carpet wear.

    I was wow-ed by Chris’ and Logan’s offerings. Neither appears to have construction or fitting abilities. Irina seems to be the snarky golden child; Nicholas, her snarky brother. Their mouths are writing checks their designs can't cash.

    Gordana is honest and has concept behind her designs. I think she got lost with the challenge and will be the next to go. Honest self-assessment doesn’t make for good reality TV. Hope I’m wrong.

    If you squint at the winning and losing designs, they both have the same shape and color base. On a previous episode Shirin gave us the lattice smocking pregnancy dress. I will miss her.

    The process of Project Runway is at work. Reality TV rules. The best designers may not make it to the end. Beginning of season, I was sure Malvin and Ra'mon would be on the platform. My final three prediction: Irina, Logan, and Althea
    Winner: Althea

  2. User avater
    grnthumb30 | | #2

    At the beginning I was cheering Christopher on simply because he's the guy with "no formal training". But last night, I thought he should have been a "aufed" before Shirin. It's not that Shirin's design was good, but Christopher simply did a poor remake of what has been done before. And although they are only judging one performance, Christopher's presentations the previous two challenges was less than great.

    I must admit that it was great to see smug little Nicholas not win!

    I currently think the boys better be watching the girls as I think we may have all girls in the final three.

  3. sews4fun | | #3

    I simply can't believe Shirin was sent home! While I agree her dress was a total loser, it was her first time on the bottom three that I can remember. Christopher however is a regular on the bottom three and deserved to go home! I don't know if the judges are trying to keep the boys in there a while longer or if they are afraid he will boo-hoo all over the set and short out the lighting if he is voted off. I liked his stuff at first but it has gotten worse and worse with each passing show. Shirin is talented and usually does good work. It wasnt fair. Irina's dress was the usual snore fest, no surprises there. I predict that Christopher will go home next ( if he doesn't, he should ) and the last three standing will be the obnoxious and undeserving Irina along with Carol Hannah and Althea. I also believe Althea will win. Logan is cute but his stuff doesnt measure up to the girls work. I like Althea and I think she will win but Carol Hannah has that "small town girl with a big dream" air about her and it would be great if she were to win. If that lizard Irina wins, it will be a crying shame!

  4. fabriclover007 | | #4

    What has Logan created that was memorable? They must have only been keeping him because they thought he was cute

  5. User avater
    Kate_W | | #5

    I find Logan and his creations memorable not because they're good, but because he's in the bottom three and is grateful to not be going home. My snidely snarky side would like to see him in the final three just to see what he would offer up as his vision ...

  6. User avater
    Mrs4Him | | #6

    My 2 cents worth is that Christopher should have gone home. I agreed with Nina G. that his design was 'tastless'. I believe that Shirin is talented and a better designer than Christopher. I really felt sorry for Shirin.

    I was happy Carol Hannah won--her first win, I think. She deserved it! Althea's was very good also. I figured at the end of this episode it would be between Carol H. and Althea. They are very good designers.

    Logan is 'hanging on by a thread'. He was the only one who used color in his design, but it fit poorly at the top. And Heidi was right about the hidden splash of pink for the lining--who's gonna see it! Many of his designs have not been good and he's been at the bottom a lot. I know the judges are not supposed to judge based on previous design 'looks', but sometimes it seems that they do.

    I wish that Irina and Nicholas would keep their negative comments about others to themselves, but I guess that kind of thing is what sells reality TV.

    I am still rooting for Althea and Carol Hannah to be the top 2. I really like their personalities, which I know is maybe supposed to be second to their talent as designers which they definitely have. Not sure who will make it as the third-unfortunately, maybe Irina.

    And my all-time favorite on the show?...........of course, TIM GUNN-------love him!!!!

  7. Knittinyahoo | | #7

    Shirin should have stayed. I think they need to get rid of the celebrity judges. I thought it was interesting that Christina Aguilera thought she might trip on Shirin's dress but not on the 9 ft silver sequin train that Althea put together. I don't think Shirin's dress was worse that the hideous hot pants outfit! Bad decision this week for sure.

  8. Stormee | | #8

    I was cheering for Shirin, I am soooooo disappointed. All the good designers are gone, they have voted them off. The only one I like now is Gordana. I agree with Kate W. I am bored with it now. I guess I will watch the Practice on ABC this Thursday night.

  9. indifly | | #9

    To be quite honest I thought Christopher should have been sent home. Don't get me wrong the guy is talented but his designs are depleting in the oomf factor. And he's been in the bottom two so often.

    Shirin showed so much more promise. I was upset because I have my faves that I would actually wear and it goes on the list of Carol Hannah, Althea and Shirin. Their designs are youthful and fresh and wearable. I mean does anybody remember Carol Hannah's dress for the newspaper challenge it looked like real fabric as did Althea's. Now that's what being creative is all about.

    I will miss Shirin.

    As for Christopher, he has to redeem himself big time.

    And I agree with Kate about Irina and Nicholas. I mean it's a competition but no need to be so nasty about it with the insulting comments.

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