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Project Runway recap: Oh, God, SHOES!

Shoe la la! The contestants create a look inspired by footwear

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Project Runway

TV Show
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen
Current Status:
In Season

In the immortal words of Carrie Bradshaw: “Men I may not know, but shoes … shoes, I know.”

Not surprisingly, every designer was thrilled about this week’s challenge, which had the contestants create an outfit around a pair of shoes. After a season heavy in unconventional challenges — which normally I love — it was good to see a simple, practical challenge that reflects how women actually decide what to wear.

But first, we dealt with Justin’s close brush with getting auf’ed. Luckily, and rightly, Tim swooped in like a superhero with his Tim Gunn Save. (I’m still mad Tim was forced to burn his Save so early. Karen was such an easy choice last week). More than anyone else in recent memory, Justin seems universally loved by all his competitors, yet they don’t love him enough that they’re glad the Save doesn’t exist anymore.

I loved Ken’s double-take when he saw Heidi rocking her gold gladiator sandals on the runway to announce the shoe challenge. I must say, Heidi’s personal style is hugely improved over last season, or even more so, over two seasons ago when she looked a mess literally every time she appeared on screen.

The designers trekked to the offices of Marie Claire to raid the shoe closet for inspiration, since the Belk (BELK! I still can’t with Belk) Accessories Wall can only hold so much fabulousness. As everyone ogled the shoe porn, Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider quizzed the designers on fashion trivia to see who got to choose their shoe-muse first. Initially, I thought fashion trivia would be the thing in the world I’d be worst at, but actually the questions were super-easy, yet they still managed to stump many of the designers, especially Dom and Miranda. Seriously, who doesn’t know that Coco Chanel is largely credited for originating the LBD? I loved the question about Random Task from Austin Powers. “Who throws his shoe?!”

(For a blast from the past, click here to watch Carrie Bradshaw act insufferably while visiting Vogue‘s shoe closet. God love her).

Alexandria, who was exempt from the quiz, was the first to choose, and after a maddeningly long decision process, she nabbed the thigh-high bondage-y strappy boots that most of the designers were drooling over. Miranda found her first-choice shoe among everyone else’s rejects, which I found symbolic.

NEXT: Battle of the plaids. And that’s not a Braveheart sequel.


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