There have been some who have compared Chris to Jay from Season One of Project Runway; quirky, rotund and opinionated.
But from the outset I could tell Chris had a more gentle way about him than Jay. Chris' humor was jolly and sweet, rather than edgy. All the pre-season promos made him appear at first glance to be cut from the same cloth as Jay.
But as these episodes wore on, I could see that Jay was shaggy fake fur while Chris was a nubby fleece.
And in the end, easygoing Chris was booted from PR because he was too weak a leader.
When Donna Karan appeared as this week's guest judge, I immediately thought of Chris' team and their neutral color palette, something I recall Donna Karan having done a decade or so ago. But the color palette was the only unifying element, the garments were so disparate and disjointed.
Sweet P finally came into her own, with kudos from Donna Karan and Michael Kors and the rest of the judges for her bubble dress.
And Ricky ... I've felt so much this season that Ricky's been on the edge, ready to fall apart at a moment's notice. And for sure, this week Ricky got an education in dealing with people, both good and bad. I wanted to shout for joy when I saw his satellite reach Planet Elisa! How he applied his experience in modern dance and communicating with people in that creative world to speaking with Elisa in her language, calmly educating her on the basics she needed to get the job done, and getting pretty impressive results from her simple shift dress.
But Victorya? That girl is just grabby and unethical and she will get hers.
Victorya, I do not trust and do not like - she is passive-aggression personified. She took the self-serving stance of not wanting to be leader (so as to avoid the ax if they failed) yet dramatically proclaiming the creative vision was hers so she could be lauded if a miracle happened and they succeeded. Once she gauged the judges comments and saw she was safe, she threw Ricky a bone, crediting him with pinning her dress - which, hello? - completely saved her from disaster. Every judge would have pounced on the flat-front monostrosity of her garment's bodice before Ricky gently made his suggestions.
Loved the way Christian's team interpreted all the outdated trends without looking outdated. Kit, Christian and Jack looked like they worked together easily. Whether it was the team name or the lack of drama over their equal abilities, but their collection worked well, looked good, and personally I thought looked a lot more fashion-forward than Team Jillian's.
Calling Jillian a team leader is inaccurate and here is where I disagree with Nina Garcia: Jillian was Rami's puppet, pure and simple. She fretted and second-guessed and mulled and worried, yet never directly addressed Kevin's slow pace. Kevin, kudos to him, came through in the clutch with gorgeous-looking hot pants.
Regarding how Kevin works, I can completely understand. Sometimes it takes the squeeze of a very tight deadline for your vision to become unclouded. For you to get into a flow state. To pull out all the stops, draw on all your experience, and see your way to the finish line. I've been there; it's as if your creative stores of your brain are saving the best for last, and you have to wring out all the other superfluous stuff to get to those last drops of essence that will make the statement you intend.
But Chris ... I don't know. He seemed to just run out of steam. This is a series of sprints, not a long 5K walk-a-thon. His easygoing pace I think was what made him the least successful of all. It's like he lacked the energy that propels a spectacular garment into being: The cropped jacket was all wrong, like she was wearing a loud slipcover for a doll's couch. Maybe he was so distracted by having to be the leader, by wanting to keep above the fray, that he meandered all around, mentally, and in the end, he missed the mark.
Whatever it was, Chris did not take on the role of leader, didn't make a garment that made sense, and was shown the door by Ms. Klum. I felt badly for him because he seems such a good egg, though.
It's a rough business, this world of fashion.