‘Runway’ recap: Jackie O no to Jackie O my god

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imageWe’d never think that inspiration from the clean, simple, iconic style of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis would create such a fashion train wreck. But save for a few, this week’s “Project Runway” designers crash and burn—big time.

The challenge seems simple: Update classic American sportswear with Jackie as a muse, but infuse it with your individual aesthetic. It’s that last bit that appears to throw at least five of the nine remaining designers off their game.

Some go completely with their own style and eschew the former First Lady, and a couple go plain and boring, which satisfies neither their own creativity or something that Jackie might wear if she were around today. Most are just confused about how to strike the balance.

No such troubles for Mondo. The only designer to serve up a Jackie that’s also 100 percent him, our boy delivers (top photo) )—despite the Eddie Munster getup he himself is wearing, which we’ll chalk up as “artsy.” No matter what he wears, no matter how manic he gets, and no matter how the season falls out, he’s among the top designers in our book.

imageUsing oversized herringbone and bold stripes, Mondo gives classic separates a modern edge we don’t just like, but love. Today’s Jackie might even try the skirt with a black top, the shirt with some solid pants and the jacket with jeans.

From Jackie O, we go quickly to Jackie OK. Ivy pulls out a modern, wearable look (second photo). Where was this outfit when she almost went home in the resort-wear challenge? It would fit better there.

Teasers last week warned that this week’s episode would be a “bloodbath,” and sick of the backstage drama, we hoped it would be on the runway rather than in the workroom. Well, careful what you wish for. The judges go ballistic on several designers, and they deserve it so much that it’s pretty fun to watch.

imageThere is no love for anyone else’s design—even a mother’s love, God’s love and certainly not Jackie love. We move quickly into Jackie O No.

The judges think Christopher’s dress (third photo) is allright. We don’t, but we agree that the animal hide “shrug” was more like a roadkill “rug.”

Michael C. (not a member of Team Gay? Really?) makes a slip-cover cocktail dress, Gretchen throws a burlap blanket over a modified tank top with what may be a pretty skirt if we could see it, and April makes an interesting but inappropriately timed minidress. That’s the good news.

Valerie and Michael D. have had a rough couple of weeks, and their troubles continue unabated. Judge Nina Garcia tells Valerie that a pleat and a zipper don’t equal design, and Michael Kors goes from top to toe on both looks with a few of his favorite adjectives: ill-fitting, poorly constructed, misshapen, bulky and unflattering, plus his signatures, “no woman would wear that” and “it looks like a mistake.”

imageMost of the venom is saved for Andy’s oversized cargo pants, undersized vest and strangely tight-and-loose fitting shirt (bottom photo). Like the designer, we don’t hate it, but the judges most definitely do. The look certainly doesn’t fit the challenge. Jackie? Oh my god. No. Styling it with, as the judges say, “Nicole Kidman’s boots from ‘Cold Mountain’ and her hair from ‘Far and Away'” makes matters worse.

A gaggle of gays recently told us they love the 90-minute format that offers up longer looks at behind-the-scenes drama. While it unnerves us to know the designers this well, it’s apparently working for some audiences. We have to be careful not to pre-judge the clothes based on how stupid we think the extended comments are.

What do you think? Tune back in with us next week, because fewer designers each episode means more time for the foolishness that some relish.

Click any of the photos here for larger versions or see all the looks in the Rate the Runway section on the official “Project Runway” page at MyLifetime.com. You can also catch up on our “Runway” recaps from each episode this season and last.

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