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Ep 8: The One Where Anna Sui Talks Teamwork, But No One Listens

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It's Week Eight of Project Runway, and Tim has bad news for the designers. They must create T-shirts using paint and glitter. Then they must hawk those T-shirts on the street so that they can earn money to buy their fabrics at Mood. And if that isn't bad enough, the most combative cast in Project Runway history must once again split into teams of three and design two fall ensembles—including outerwear. Elena is almost ready to check out when she learns about the glitter. Much to the disappointment of her fellow designers, she doesn't.

The teams are supposedly chosen by Tim, using the dreaded button bag, but the fact that one team includes foes Christopher and Gunnar and another includes the constantly feuding Boris and Natasha, makes us wonder if the teams were actually decided upon in advance. Gunnar initially complains that he doesn't want to work with Christopher because, "I can't stand the sound of his voice." This is like Mary Kate complaining that she doesn't want to work with Ashley.

Despite this, the two manage to work well together. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Boris and Natasha. Snape snipes, "To kill the witch we need a silver bullet and a stick." And Elena makes fun of Dmitri's accent, at least we think she does, we're not positive, because her own is so thick.

This week Michael and Nina are joined by special guest judge Anna Sui. The New York designer is known for her youthful, cool, rock and roll aesthetic, so we're not sure why the producers paired her with this generic challenge. Nor do we understand why almost all the commentary we hear from Anna is about how to work together in teams—with barely anything said about the actual clothing.

Our top team this week is made up of Gunnar, Christopher, and Sonjia. Christopher makes a long, somewhat asymmetrical sleeveless camel-hair coat. Nina thinks it looks editorial and we think looks like an irregular. Sonjia makes a short, fitted, asymmetrical hunter green jacket with a nipped waist. The judges rave that they've never seen anything like it before. We guess the judges slept through the '80s. And Gunnar compensates for the fact that he isn't making a coat by designing two striking, well-fitted dresses. Sonjia is chosen the winner, which means that next week we will be spared watching her go into another post-bottom-three melt-down.

Of our two bottom teams, the one that avoids the guillotine is made up of Ven, Melissa, and Fabio. They think their dusty rose and beige garments look youthful and hip, but the judges think they look cheap. Fabio does a schmatta of a coat. Michael says it resembles, "A grandma house coat—she should have Kleennex in her pocket." The team is criticized for being too polite to each other and not pushing each other enough. That's right, a team with Ven on it is criticized for being too polite to each other. Perhaps it's because neither of his fellow designers wear plus-size clothing.

Early in the episode, Christopher points out that when there is a team challenge, whichever team gets stuck with the combative Elena "sinks." This week continues that tradition. Our bottom team is made up of the feuding Boris and Natasha and the somewhat over-shadowed Alicia. The judges criticize Elena for makings another ill fitting Elena-coat—which Anna describes as looking "angry." They criticize Dmitri for making another perfectly fitted Dmitri-dress, along with a hideous shawl. Alicia, however, is the one who gets the shaft. The designer is "aufed" for making two tired, sad tops and a pair of pants, which Heidi describes as "throw away."

The highlight of this ho hum episode is an appearance by Mood's dog Swatch, who should appear on all episodes of Project Runway. And perhaps even host the next season of All Stars.
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