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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Project Runway: "Elements Of Fashion"

Illustration for article titled iProject Runway/i: Elements Of Fashion
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Pop Quiz, Y'all:

What do Garnier hair products have to do with the four elements?

a. Garnier harnesses the powers of wind, water, fire, and mudslides to make their volumizing mousse


b. Garnier is heart, which some cartoons consider to be the the fifth element

c. Every bottle of Garnier flexi-hold hairspray comes with a bag of dirt, a can of air, a drop of the Atlantic Ocean, and a match—you know, for styling.

d. Look, Garnier doesn't sell itself. It was either this "Make a look inspired by one of the four elements" thing or a "Make a garden party dress in Garnier's signature color: Slimer green" challenge. Garnier chose thoughtfully.

e. All of the above.

The answer is obviously all of the above. Still, as dull and uninspired and randomly pegged to Garnier hair products as this challenge was, it didn't really matter. Only a couple of the designers actually used their element as inspiration anyway—Emilio's green earth dress looked kind of like a tree trunk, which is pretty earthy; whatever Jay's swirl of chiffon thing was, it definitely looked like a tornado, specifically a tornado wearing a tornado turban, which I guess is air; Anthony decided to go with smoke instead of fire, but his fluid gray and black gown was sufficient to meet the challenge; and Jonathan's beautifully pale dress with the swooping collar couldn't have been more airy.   The rest of the designers stretched their elemental inspiration far enough to accommodate whatever they felt like doing, and in the process they created some spectacular abominations. Let's examine them element by element, shall we?


Mila (aka Bangs The Elder)'s representation of "earth" was a earthy-colored Anne Taylor Loft weekend ensemble topped with a vest (that she insisted on calling a sleeveless jacket) that looked like leather-trimmed granite. The vest, excuse me, sleeveless jacket wasn't so bad, but overall the whole thing was very boring and it only resembled earth in the sense that it made you want to bury it.

Because Seth Aaron is couture Hot Topic, his interpretation of "air" was a grand, very well-tailored black leather jacket with various swoops and sweeps on the back. It was night air, get it? Cause the air at night is black leather. Also, he made a pair of pants that were somehow jodhpurs-and-boots all in one. Naturally, the judges loved his look because…that Seth Aaron, he's just so Seth Aaron!


Both Maya (aka Bangs The Younger) and Ben picked "water" for their elemental inspiration, although they both went in wildly different directions. Maya made an IRS-auditor-gray, wool, long-sleeved mini-dress with ripple-y grey ruffles all up and down the sleeves. The ruffles were the watery part of the look, but apparently, when Maya thinks water she thinks "Wool! In the worst shade of gray imaginable." Still, Maya was in the top three while Ben's take on water rightfully sent him to the bottom two. Ben heard "water" and thought "an ill-fitting shark suit with teeth for buttons and ugly crotch-outlining pants!"

Then there was Amy's interpretation of "fire." She didn't go obvious with something in red, or orange, or maybe some kind of sartorial interpretation of flames. No, instead Amy went completely nonsensical and made her model wear a giant black bowl filled with hair. Fire = hair bowl. Sure. Why not?  It's not like the judges are really listening to these challenges anyway, might as well fulfill your dream of transforming a model into a walking shampoo sink, right, Amy?


Naturally, Amy was also in the bottom two. But because we had seen Ben talk to his husband earlier on whatever that t-mobile phone was, Ben and his rumpled sad shark suit were sent home.

Stray Observations:

—Shouldn't Bangs The Elder have been in the bottom two instead of Ben? Sure, his built-in outer jock-strap pants were awful, and the shark teeth buttons were overkill, but Mila's look was just a pile of boring.


—Nina about Mila: "She's inspired by things that have already been done." You think? All you have to do is look at her hair to know that, Nina.   

—Speaking of Bangs The Younger: "I'm really starting to see the humanity in these people." Well, you've been living with them for weeks, but I guess it's better late than never?


—I wish they would have shown Jonathan's handmade textile up close. What we saw of it looked cool, but it would have been nice to get a better look.

—"I don't know why in this moment Amy is choosing to give her model hairy tits." Only Amy knows, Anthony.


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