Project Runway Recap: The Underdog Scores the Cover

So last night, we finally realized there’s justice in the world. The “bang gang” was taken down a notch, and a hero emerged from the pack. For the first time ever, the Project Runway designers were asked to design an outfit to be worn by a cover model for Marie Claire magazine. The model in question? None other than Heidi Klum herself.

While most of the designers seemed to treat the challenge like it was no biggie, we were surprised to see that Anthony was very thoughtful and a lot less flamboyant. He made it a point of saying he’d taken the judges critiques to heart and he really wanted to prove he had listened and was growing as a designer. Props to him for a little humility – you’d think former challenge winner Emilio would feel the same way, but yet AGAIN he was too busy talking smack about everyone’s fabric choices and styles to really take a moment to just focus on his own work.

Ok, right off the bat we noticed something disturbing. The “bang gang” (a.k.a. Mya and Mila) chosen similar color fabrics and styles, which leads one to believe that the “winning” duo are going to end up canceling each other out if they’re not careful. On top of that, most of the designers didn’t really have a grasp of what it meant to do a cover dress. Muted, plain, and colorless, just isn’t going to cut it folks. When was the last time you picked up a magazine with a white girl wearing a white dress against a WHITE background.

Once runway time rolled around, we knew it was going to be a tight race. Ben’s “Madame Butterfly dress on acid” was a pretty tough contender, while Emilio’s hot pink mini was right up Heidi’s alley — Victoria’s Secret Angel, anyone? But then the world seemed to tip on its axis. Anthony, OUR little Anthony proved he was a man of his word. The turquoise dress he created with cool detailing across the bodice and shoulder even made Michael Kors smile. It was obvious the judges (especially Heidi) were rooting for him. He’s like the new Christian Siriano minus the “fierce” tag line. It was praises all around even from Marie Claire EIC Joanna Coles (is it just us, or is EVERY magazine head in NYC a VIP member of “The Devil Wears Prada” club?).

When it came time to pick a winner, Anthony blew everyone else out of the water. His honest joy and exuberance was so nice to see — even Heidi and Michael Kors couldn’t help but smile (we can never tell when it comes to Nina Garcia since her face doesn’t seem to move much). Unfortunately, Anna’s separates sent her packing, while Mila ended up in the bottom three for her washed out dress. Honestly, this episode redeemed our faith in this season. It’s easy to forget that these designers are not only here to create, but to learn as well. And being the best means taking note of of how you can improve — not just make it to Bryant Park. Kudos to you, Anthony. You managed to prove you’re truly a Hotlanta contender!

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