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In the very last make-it-work moment of the season, the judges gave the bedraggled designers $500 to spend at Mood two days before their collections were to walk at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. It was time to separate the miracle workers from the lily gilders once and for all. As soon as the fatigued fashionistas returned from Mood, the wheels in Joshua';s bedazzled brain began spinning. He wanted neon-green shorts, he wanted more tank tops, he wanted a replacement neoprene jacket: he wanted it all. As the always-astute Viktor put it, "He's, like, going crazy." Meanwhile, on the other side of the workroom, Anya was back in her element, summoning her superpowers to create three brand-new looks under the wire. Unlike Joshua, Viktor, and Kimberly, who were focused on enhancing their collections, Anya was attempting to reinvent a collection that she wasn't proud of. "100 percent, it's not my best work,"; she confessed to Tim. As the judges have said numerous times, this competition is called Project Runway not Project Seamstress; what Anya lacked in experience, she made up for in spades with inspiration (behold the beauty of this dress!) and a willingness to learn and adapt. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that Homegirl has superpowers. Congrats, Caribbean Queen. I foresee many shaved sides of heads in the near future. The Winner: Anya Ayoung-Chee
The Challenge: Create a ten-piece collection over five weeks with a budget of $9,000.
The Challenge: Create a mini-collection comprised of three looks inspired by the architecture, landscape, and sculpture on Governor’s Island. Make it work! The Drama: Tonight the top five battled it out to secure a spot as one of the lucky four that gets a home visit from Tim Gunn and, of course, gets to design a collection for fashion week. Judges’ darlings Viktor, Anya, and Joshua were shoe-ins for the top-three spots unless one of them produced a look so boring that it literally put Nina Garcia in a coma, so the real competition was between Kimberly and Laura for the coveted fourth spot. Both designers were (smartly) intent on keeping the judges awake. Kimberly relied on the power of a jarring “disco Halloween” orange-and-silver color palette to get their attention while Laura incorporated a loud circular cutout into two of her garments. Laura’s floor-length gown was striking and original, but her frumpy pillowcase frock failed to make an impact; Kimberly’s silver brocade cocktail dress was pure gold, but her safety-cone-orange winter coat had Heidi convinced that her model was an exchange student from Holland. Ultimately, Laura’s circles and wearable pillowcase failed to captivate the judges. If the goal was to keep Nina awake, Ms. Kathleen should have known better than to send something that looked like a bedroom linen down the runway. She might as well have wrapped her model in a comforter and sent her out holding a bottle of Tylenol PM. Better luck next time, Laura. The Winners: Everyone but Laura. Quotes of the Night: “What’s the Statue of Liberty doing here?”—Tim Gunn doesn’t like it when the Statue of Liberty drops by unannounced. “If Anya goes to fashion week who’s gonna sew her sh*t?”—Viktor, asking the question that’s on everyone’s mind. Stay tuned for answers in the season finale. Want to own something from tonight’s episode? Check out www.projectrunway.com to bid on the original garments from this episode and to stock up on all your Project Runway needs.
The Challenge: Design two high-fashion looks inspired by one of three birds: cockatoo, Amazon parrot, or raven. Make it work! The Drama: This week, designers were pitted against one another in head-to-head bird-brained battles. Joshua and Bert were assigned the Amazon parrot for inspiration, Laura and Anya the raven, and Viktor and Kimberly the cockatoo. Bert was the least thrilled by this proposition, mostly because his dumb-dumb bird was, as he put it, “short,” “dumpy,” and “dime-store looking.” Ouch. Kimberly was uninspired, too, and a little emotionally unstable. Maybe it was the influx of wild animals in the workroom that rattled her (first there were birds, then an intrepid cockroach), but Kimberly brought us our second crying-in-the-bathroom scene of the season and then returned to the workroom only to stitch her finger. To top it off, she burned a hole in her cockatoo-inspired dress hours before the show and had to scrap the design. Ultimately, she pulled it together and whipped up a last-minute white Grecian-goddess gown (in three hours!) that the judges loved. Joshua, meanwhile, is rapidly losing patience with Anya’s lack of sewing skills, especially since she keeps winning challenges despite having to sew models into and cut them out of her designs. Our Magic 8 Ball says Joshua’s resentment is just the tip of the iceberg; the other contestants will likely be chiming into the anti-Anya chorus as the finals get closer. Bert went home this week, thanks to his dumpy, dumb bird. We’ll miss you, Bert, but your bird surely won’t. The Winner: Anya Ayoung-Chee Other Looks We Liked: Kimberly’s goddess dress, even though the peekaboo cleavage is a bit much. Quotes of the Night: “This is like saying ‘Hello sexy dot com.’”—Viktor, demonstrating how a little website speak can simultaneously enhance and confuse a compliment. “I hate this bird.”—Bert Keeter zinger. Want to own something from tonight’s episode? Check out www.projectrunway.com to bid on the original garments from this episode and to stock up on all your Project Runway needs.
The Challenge: Create a sophisticated 1970s-inspired look on a $100 budget, and a second one-piece look on a $50 budget. The Drama: Tonight, Anya found herself in a true make-it-work moment when she lost her money in the fabric store. Penniless and despairing, the less-than-thrilling options she was left with were to accept whatever charitable donations of fabric scraps and chump change her fellow designers were willing to give her and to use muslin, the drab workroom textile that’s typically reserved for pattern-making. Things were not looking good. But, like the superhero that she is (remember? I totally called it in the first episode), she channeled her anguish into focused resourcefulness, and with eleven dollars worth of fabric (plus the additional fifty dollars), produced the winning looks of the night. On the other end of the spectrum was Joshua, who had a pocket full of money, but zero inspiration. It was almost as if he was unaware that the 1970s even happened, let alone what the strange primordial humans of the era wore. His main look was a catastrophic collision of high-waisted plaid pants, leopard print accessories, and a baggy pink-and-black tuxedo shirt. Of course if we know anything by now, it’s that the judges prefer aggressive ugliness to blasé boringness, and so it was former frontrunner Anthony Ryan that got the ax tonight. His attempt at a free-spirited ’70s vibe had the judges yawning between cult-related criticisms. The Winner: Anya Ayoung-Chee Other Looks We Liked: Kimberly’s monochromatic jumper Quotes of the Night: “Girl going to the mall, or going to bury something in the woods.” —Bert sharing with us what Anthony Ryan’s fabric choices conjure for him. Indeed, it’s such a fine line between the bury-something outfit and mall-rat chic, isn’t it? “They’re hippie sister wives.” —Michael Kors hurling one last insult at Anthony Ryan, and, in our minds at least, laying the groundwork for an exciting Lifetime-TLC design challenge. Fingers crossed! Want to own something from tonight’s episode? Check out www.projectrunway.com to bid on the original garments from this episode and to stock up on all your Project Runway needs.
The Challenge: Create signature looks for the members of an unsigned rock band to be featured in Rolling Stone. Make it work! The Drama: Poor designers. Tonight they were the unwitting victims of corporate cross-promotion run amok. Heidi, Tim, and company asked them to create high-fashion looks for a group of low-key rockers who didn’t seem all that stoked about fashion, let alone the flouncy Project Runway kind. The result was a little awkward for all of us. Team Harmony, comprised of Anya, Laura, Bert, and Anthony Ryan, went the clichéd Jimi Hendrix route, designing bell-bottoms, tie-dyed tops, and dashikis for the members of Sheepdog. The other team went for a slightly more modern Western-wear vibe, but (strangely) couldn’t resist the allure of the dashiki either. Ultimately, it was the lead singer, Ewan, who suffered the most in the challenge. Bert dressed him as a pastel Viking in braids, and Olivier constantly berated him for being grotesquely huge in comparison to the svelte mannequins he usually works with. In my eyes, Ewan, you’re neither Viking nor Goliath; you are just a man. Or a Sheepdog. None of the looks were great, but some failed more spectacularly than others. Kimberly’s Scooby Doo bowling shirt/dashiki was positively harrowing, and Bert’s friendly, pinstriped Viking situation was uniquely odd. But Olivier got the ax this week, mostly because of his inability to design and tailor for real-life bodies (remember his bout with cleavage last week?). The judges made the right decision; if Olivier can’t handle some boobs and a little bit of girth, he’ll never make it as America’s next Isaac Mizrahi or Michael Kors. But we will miss his blatant contempt for humanity. The Winner: Viktor Luna Other Looks We Liked: Laura’s red pants were fun. Quote of the Night: “You’re big.”—Olivier, not mincing words to average-sized lead singer Ewan. Want to own something from tonight’s episode? Check out www.projectrunway.com to bid on the original garments from this episode and to stock up on all your Project Runway needs.
The Challenge: Design a look for real-world women based entirely on the input their not-so-fashion-conscious husbands and boyfriends provide. Make it work! The Drama: Tonight’s episode revealed a shocking anthropological insight: heterosexual men like to talk about boobs. A lot. It also revealed which designers are comfortable working with clients, and which ones would prefer to run a fashion dictatorship, where only mute, flat-chested models wear their clothes and silently worship at their feet. His Majesty Olivier was struggling mightily with his client’s pesky inclination toward speaking, preferring instead a drone of the “non-talking” variety, and was visibly troubled by her unruly (read: she had boobs) body. It seemed unlikely that he would overcome the cleavage menace, but in the end he found the strength to conquer those mountains and produced a characteristically wrapped-and-structured look that displeased his client, but landed him safely in the middle. One designer who did manage to make his client happy was Bryce—mostly because he equipped his pink cocktail dress with pockets large enough to stash a buffet lunch or a small dog. She was thrilled at the stowing possibilities it offered, but the judges failed to see the beauty of elephantine pouches on the lower thigh, despite all they could conceivably carry, so Bryce got the boot. The Winner: Joshua McKinley Other Looks We Liked: Viktor’s mod two-piece ensemble. He made the purse too! Quotes of the Night: “I don’t like women having boobs; I just want them to be flat.” —Olivier, lamenting the state of human anatomy. “Those boobs, to me, are trouble.” —Seriously, guys, keep the boobs away from Olivier. See what else you might have missed on Project Runway this season! Want to own something from tonight’s episode? Check out www.projectrunway.com to bid on the original garments from this episode and to stock up on all your Project Runway needs.
Shoe browsing isn’t what it used to be.