Tonight is the semi-final of Project Catwalk, so I decided it was time for a mini-update. The fashion content of the shows has taken a backseat to the backstabbing drama over recent weeks, which is why I've not been reporting quite so excitedly as I did during the first few episodes. Now, as we move towards next week's final, it's time for a recap...


Last week, the remaining five contestants worked together on a capsule wardrobe for Topshop. If the designs were successful, they would possibly go into production once the competition ended. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, things began to go pear-shaped the moment the team leader was picked. Renato was picked at random by mentor Ben De Lisi. This was fine for everyone except Matthew, who Renato has spend the last three episodes complaining about. Granted, Matt has had a few weak weeks over the course of the show and has scraped through to the next round more than once, but he's also delivered the goods - lest we forget he won last week's hotel uniform challenge (and stole Renato's model away from him as a result).

The problem with Renato seems to be a huge overdose of self-confidence. Some of his outfits have been great, but some haven't. If we're to believe Sky's clever editing, he just doesn't think he needs to be taught a thing. Every week he thinks he's going to win, and doesn't seem to think he needs advice or guidance. This week he went as far as to bitch about mentor Ben, telling the other designers to ignore what he says because the judges always disagree. There may be a bit of truth in that (Julien doesn't go for Ben's classic looks) but when you're going to rant about someone assigned to help you, you don't do it when they're within earshot. Ben overheard this exchange, had a hissyfit and left the designers to fend for themselves for the entire challenge. Ha ha!

Things then went from bad to worse. Dyed fabrics didn't dry in time, Matthew forgot to take the teabags out of his natural dye, and Kirsty decided to start from scratch 3 hours before deadline. The capsule 'Pirate' collection ended up being the weakest set of designs since the very beginning of the competition. The designers knew this, and Topshop were not impressed. It really was car-crash stuff! Nasty 80s bleached denim, splash-bleached knickerbockers and barely any colour at all, thanks to those dying experiments gone wrong. There were a couple of pieces that were workable - Christopher's sailor button shorts and Kirsty's 3-hour dress - but the standard was so low no outright winner was picked this week.

But there was a silver lining...Renato got booted off. We can only hope that will give him the kick in the teeth he needs so he realises he needs to be more open to comment and criticism. I'm sure he has a big future in fashion ahead of him if he listens a bit more. Problem is, I can see him just getting indignant and thinking he was dropped only because Matthew's more camera friendly.

So we come to the semi finals, and four very different designers vying for those three fashion week places. Pattern cutter Debi, who's more or less consistently delivered quality stuff, Christopher, the functional boy who's been my dark horse the whole way through, Kirsty the Scouser with her quirky, girly look and Matthew...who I think might be on the way out this week, purely because of his inexperience. He and Kirsty are both still students, but she seems to be miles ahead of him where technical knowledge is concerned. He's been fabulous eye candy, but it may be time for him to go.

Project Catwalk Quote Of The Week:

Christopher: That's opening up a whole new kettle of fish...