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Reality Check: All Project Runway, All the Time

By Olivia Leigh in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 15, 2007 8:46PM

Here at the Chicagoist offices, several reality shows are popular among the staff, but our devotion for the majority of programs pales in comparison to our love for the crème de la crème, Project Runway.

Bravo's hit show returned last night for its fourth season of designing, measuring, catwalking strutting and drama, with two Chicagoans vying for the chance to take it home at New York City Fashion Week.

The first episode was the usual insanity of trying to introduce all of the contestants, lay the groundwork for their "characters," and showcase a bit of workroom drama. After landing in their dorm rooms-gone-glam, the designers met the always adorbs Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, who gave them their first challenge. Presented with tents stocked with $50,000 in upscale fabrics from Mood, the contestants were given free reign to select their materials and design a garment of their choosing.

2007_11_nicebutaverage.jpgSteven, a former Columbia College student and current textile prepartor for those oh-so-fashionable Submarine and Transportation Galleries at the Museum of Science and Industry, came across as nice, but innocuous, a bit like the talented but generally forgettable Emmett of Season 2. Steven's design struck similar chords -- nice, lovely, but in the end, we had to go check the Website to remember what he had created. Here's hoping he can spice it up as the season progresses.

2007_11_secondbestisnotthewinner.jpgThankfully, Victorya, a U of C grad who worked as a European journalist before enrolling in Parsons Associate Degree program, seems to be in the all-so-important good graces of judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. A bit quiet, but with underlying sass and chicness, Victorya could prove to be a contender. In the top three (something we might argue was deserved or not) for her black trapeze dress with giant silver flower (seriously, didn't Sarah Jessica Parker put this to bed a long time ago?), here's hoping she can continue to win over the judges while upping the style ante for the viewers at home.

In the end, Simone went home for her shoddily constructed dress, somehow faring worse than hippie puppet maker Elisa, whose dress Miss Klum oh-so-eloquently described as looking like it was "pooing fabric." The sexy Israeli designer, Rami, unsurprisingly won, with his gorgeous modern Grecian-inspired gown.

Photos from