Rocketman is Getting all the Attention

First it was Project Runway, and then American Idol this past week was also all about some Elton John and Rocketman! This was definitely going to be an interesting runway and I finally feel most of the designers stepped up in being given such a huge budget and another 2-day challenge! For this challenge, the designers were tasked to create an over the top look inspired by the movie about Elton John, Rocketman. They were to create a look as if Elton John was coming to them for a performance look. It needed to be larger than life, spectacular, and showstopping!

The designers followed a yellow brick road near their workroom building to meet Christian and learn more. The actor playing Elton John in the movie, Taron Egerton, sent a video message to give encouragement and inspiration. Julian Day, the costume designer from the movie, joined Christian to also give the designers a bit more insight into the costume work for the movie. Julian would also be a guest judge this week.

As this was such a huge task at hand, the designers were given some extra hands. So yes, that meant all of the eliminated designers were back to assist. The button bag was brought out to select the order each designer got to choose who they wanted to work with. Garo went first, choosing Sonia. And last picked were both the first 2 eliminated designers, Cavanagh and Frankie, no surprise there! This would be a 2-day challenge. And in addition to a $400 Mood budget, the designers also got to visit a sequin trimmed notion store, Trims & Feathers, where they received another $300. Christian also announced there would be no more immunity given for the rest of the competition.

This challenge would also bring us some lovely male models! While shopping at Mood, we saw some great partnerships formed, such as Bishme and Afa. Venny was not quite as sure about choosing Nadine and listening to all of her opinions. It was then off to Trims & Feathers, which was full of so many shiny, sparkly items! And then, back to the workroom for day 1 of this challenge. The male models were creating a distraction for some, such as Tessa! And we saw Lela was choosing to expose some booty. Sebastian seemed a little lost and slow to get going.

The day winded down with some dining and wining with all of the designers. Day 2 began with some Siriano sessions. Christian needed more from Sebastian. For Venny, he needed to keep the fit in mind. We also saw that Garo was way over working with Sonia. As the day continued, coming to model fittings, Hester really needed her jacket completed, to really tie in the whole look together. And then as always, the morning of the runway rolling around, everyone was crazed, running around with so much to do. Someone had left glue on an iron, so that went all over Lela’s look when she went to use it, yikes!

But glue on a garment or not, there was just no saving a few of these looks! However a couple were supremely amazing, a knockout! The safe looks were Hester and Sebastian. Given Hester had immunity, she was safe, so it didn’t make quite as much sense to put her in the bottom, although she really deserved to be there. This is the 2nd time she has created a disastrous look when she knows she is safe, and can’t go home. So I would think the judges would cool it with overpraising her and giving her these wins, a couple of which were absolute undeserved! Elton John is all about some fun and quirky looks, but I don’t see him needing a Thanksgiving inspired, turkey look. Hester should have been able to do much better here given quirk is her thing!

And then with Sebastian, this was absolutely a safe look. The look felt too relaxed and sporty, not super Elton John-esque. There was also not enough sparkle and shine, it just kind of fell flat! As for the top looks, the only one I didn’t care as much for was Jamall. I am just not a fan of his work, and I see that now. I felt he was trying to be too modern, when this felt like more of an era challenge. And also with this look, I didn’t necessarily see Elton John, but just more of a gender fluid type piece. The reason Jamall was not in contention to win is because it didn’t fully fit the challenge parameters.

I had a hard time choosing between Bishme and Garo for the win. Both were great and would have deserved it. I think I would have given the win to Bishme though because it felt like Elton John, but not in a super expected way. There were just so many amazing things about this look. All of the details, the jacket, the hat, the t-shirt, I mean the list just goes on and on.

But I still loved what Garo created as well, so definitely would not take away from him on this win. It was sad to see so much focus on his work with Sonia in this process, but if there was ever a show-stopping, performance look, this was it. All of the bells and whistles were here, and they were ringing in the right way!

As for the bottom 3, I was surprised Tessa was there. I really liked this look and felt it was much more Elton John than Jamall. Clearly Brandon was the only one who was really hating on this look. Guest judge Julian loved it, not necessarily for this challenge, but it was not a bottom-worthy look, not as compared to the other 2 looks in the bottom. I was impressed that Tessa did find a way to make her minimalist style work here, and she did that well.

So that left it between Venny & Lela in jeopardy of going home. I can’t argue with Lela going because I didn’t see her lasting much longer anyways. And her look was worse than what Venny created. But the fact that the judges aren’t paying attention to Venny’s inconsistency more is baffling to me. They talked about feathers, flashed to 2 previous looks of his using feathers, talking badly about both looks, yet one of those looks, they put him in the top for?? I mean come on judges, don’t backtrack now on when you undeservedly put him in the top! I’ve said this before and will say it again, the judges don’t seem to get why he can be in the bottom and then be in the top. Duhhhhh! It’s because he doesn’t deserve to be in the top the times you judges put him there! All that aside, this look was just very costume-esque, not Elton John, and the coat looks like a bath robe. Very unimpressive undergarment jumpsuit here as well.

So that left Lela leaving this week, which I knew was coming. She hasn’t done anything super impressive all season, and was nowhere close to being a contender for the win. And really, this look was bad. Glue issue aside, it wouldn’t have mattered. The fit was off. The fringe did nothing to really set this look apart. It was really just a snooze. And when you think about it, $700 to make this. No way! It looks like it would cost about $150.

Designers in the Rio Mindset

Last week was about elegance, and this week was about pretty much resortwear. The designers got to enjoy some champagne last week, but this would be no vacation for this next challenge. The task for this challenge, to create a mini collection for actress Morena Baccarin for her upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro. Back this week to help was stylist Marni Senofonte and this would be another group challenge.

The designers needed to create cohesive looks to tell a vacation story for Morena. Marni described this process as creating an underlying theme when you are looking at planning for several looks. Three designers were in each group, thus 3 looks. There needed to be a chic beachwear look (practical, but glam), a daywear street look, and a killer evening look. The designers were also tasked to really utilize the Tresemme hair salon for this challenge, to create 3 unique hairstyles for each look.

The infamous button bag was back to aide in team selections. Two names were drawn, and those 2 designers would pick their teams. The remaining designers would then form a team. Tessa’s name was drawn, and she chose Sebastian and Lela. Hester’s name was then drawn, and she chose Garo & Bishme. That left Renee, Jamall, and Venny forming the final team. This would be a 1-day challenge with a $500 team budget.

The designers first made some plans before heading to Mood. The models were randomly assigned. Everyone seemed to be planning with ease. Marni joined to remind the designers to work on their story. It did kind of seem at this stage, Hester was taking the lead of her group and Garo was having some doubts. Upon arrival at Mood, Christian was there to greet everyone, giving a reminder that fabric selections would be vital here. It could lend to cohesion and of course, tying in with each groups’ story. At this stage, Tessa started to take the lead in her group, but Sebastian was having his doubts as he saw Tessa was feeling a little lost, kind of panicking at the end on fabric selections.

Upon arrival back to the workroom, we saw the groups really all had the same palette of colors — coral, turquoise, yellow, and blue. Renee decided after her last disastrous group challenge, she needed to be more vocal this go round. Jamall was worried having immunity would make his group think he was not pulling his weight. Renee and Venny were going on with this pants making process. Renee thought her typical process might take too much time, so she decided to give Venny’s mathematics approach to pants a try. And Jamall had a bit of a disaster with his lycra fabric, and learned, DO NOT IRON IT!

It was soon time for Siriano sessions. He was excited about all of the color. We began to learn more about each groups’ themes. Renee’s group was thinking Carnivale, but Christian urged to not go too party. Tessa’s group was thinking Roman Holiday, to escape from life and experience something new. But Christian wasn’t sure that made sense since Morena goes to Rio often. And really with all of the groups, he had to make sure they realized they all had the same color palette, so how would each group separate themselves from the rest of the pack?!?

Before getting back to work, the designers noticed it was snowing out, so they decided to take a little “play in the snow” break! Tessa was filling Lela in on some earlier drama. The episode began with Bishme calling out Tessa as to why she wasn’t in the bottom last week. Bishme was in the bottom so naturally he was probably not handling well that bottom placement for himself. I don’t care for Tessa’s personality all the time, but in this instance, she was deservedly safe in that challenge, so Bishme’s comments were unnecessary.

Model fitting time was next and Hester was expressing some concern over her swimsuit. Garo was over working with Hester, and Venny was worried his look was feeling to junior. But work was over for this 1-day challenge, and the designers had to head home in the snow. The morning of the runway soon approached, and Karlie joined Christian that morning. She would not be judging/hosting that day, so she at least wanted a peak! Jamall was still complaining about his immunity, OVER IT! We also learned Nina would likely not be judging that day. But the panel would at least be Marni, Morena, Brandon, and Elaine filling Karlie’s role.

I absolutely think Team Rio Holiday was robbed! Sebastian’s look was beyond phenomenal. I loved what Tessa created. And even though I feel Lela’s look was the weakest in the group, I don’t think it took away from the overall group impact. I thought they had the most cohesion. I could see the same woman wearing these different looks. No way you could say that about the team that won — the same woman wearing Hester’s swimsuit would wear Garo’s look, I don’t think so! I can’t say enough positive things about Sebastian’s look. I loved the pants! The top was amazingly crafted.

Tessa’s look wasn’t my fave of hers from the season, but this was such a great resort streetwear look. I wish one of the designers had created a skirt look or maxi for this type of garment, but Tessa still did a great job. Sebastian was worried his look was too sexy as compared to the rest of his group. But I still think Lela brought that in her look, especially the slit. The back of her look was gorgeous. I didn’t love this color, the darkness kind of made the look read heavy. But still disappointed that this group was safe!

But alas, it was team Disco Queen that won, overall winner being Hester. I just can’t imagine any person picking Hester’s swimsuit as the best of everything on the runway. It wasn’t well made, as we saw her complain about all episode. It was very complicated as a swimsuit. And I do not see Morena actually wearing this. I am familiar with her style and from what I’ve seen, from what she said at the start of the episode, I don’t see her in this. She’s having fun, playing with her kids on the beach, yea, those straps wouldn’t get in the way at all!

Bishme’s look was not horrible. I didn’t see them giving him the win over Hester because outside of the top, there wasn’t much to discuss. His top was amazing, but some basic white pants, ehhhh, not impressive. Garo’s look was actually the best of this bunch and so for him to not even be in contention for the win is hysterical. It kind of read a little heavy, but the color was spot on, and this was no doubt an impact look! And yet another reason I felt Team Rio Holiday was robbed, we later see during judges’ critques, it wasn’t such a love-fest with Bishme or Garo’s looks. So it left me wondering, how did this group then really win??

Despite a confusing win, it was clear the bottom group was Team Carnivale. There was no cohesion in this group whatsoever. Given that Jamall had immunity, of course he was not at risk for leaving. But just like last week with the bottom 2, I think had Jamall not been given that immunity, he might have gone home on this look. I would have loved having Renee stay and Jamall left, but dang, that immunity is giving some of these designers undeserved 2nd chances! I just don’t get the craziness with all of these weird swimsuits. And yes, the ice skater comment was absolutely correct!

Even though Venny created a very junior look, there was just no way this look was going home over what Renee created. I love Renee, but her look was not great. Venny’s look was very junior, but actually was the best of this group. I didn’t like the flounce and the ruffles. But again, as I said last week, this guy is overpraised when he is in the top, very undeserved every time he has been in the top. And the judges then debate why he can so easily fall in the bottom, which he has done. It’s because he shouldn’t have been in the top those times and he really is just in the middle of the pack for this bunch.

As much it pains me to say, Renee just doesn’t thrive at group challenges and this look was deserving to go home on. If ever there could have been a Siriano save, this is where it should have been used. Renee has been robbed the past several challenges on being in the top, so it’s almost as if she was going home on a low note. And that sucks! But there really wasn’t much positive in this look. The pants were a hot mess. But I don’t get why it had to be pants! And the top, the print was okay, but overall, it just read so messy. I will very much miss Renee!


Designers go With Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

While yes, there was some champagne & caviar in this next Project Runway episode, the focus really was all about elegance. The designers were invited to a Brandon Maxwell photoshoot, featuring Karlie Kloss. And this is where they did receive a champagne toast with a little caviar to snack on. It was the perfect moment to celebrate the top 10! But celebrations aside, there was a challenge to face for the week.

Brandon challenged the designers to impress with elegance. Elegance doesn’t have to be a gown, but just the epitome of true elegance in whatever look each designer chose to create. We then found out that this season’s button bag actually came from Brandon’s Spring 2019 runway show. So this clear, hard clutch-like bag, is now the official button bag for Project Runway as well. This week, the button bag was also a part of the challenge. There were 10 bags filled with 10 different items. This item would serve as a jumping off point for the designer’s looks.

Names were chosen randomly from the bag to have each designer choose their item, but also their model. Tessa received some flack for making a comment about being left with a curvy model. Brandon was certainly a little snippy. Actually, Tessa & Garo were the last 2 designers, and both were left with the only 2 curvy models. So yes, while Tessa actually said something about that, every other designer did so as well by not choosing one of the plus size models. Actions definitely were speaking louder than words, even though some words were definitely spoken as well!

This was another flash sale challenge for Nineteenth Amendment, upping the game a bit for the designers, as well as being a 2-day challenge. This would also be the biggest budget thus far of the season, $400, so the designers were cautioned to use that wisely. The designers were off to Mood. Christian reminded the designers that success would come from fabric selection. It is what would make the look feel expensive. The designers were of course excited to begin work for the 1st day of this challenge. We saw Lela was all about some organza, and Bishme was having a hard time choosing between fabrics.

Day 2 was proving to be make it or break it for the designers. Tessa was really worried over what she was creating. But Garo was over her whining! I’m sure at this point though, the designers were ready for some Siriano sessions. He was interested to see where Hester was going. And he didn’t seem impressed with Jamall’s jacket. It was at model fittings that Jamall decided to go in a new direction. Sonia was have a major freakout moment with her look. And really it came down to Sonia & Bishme with worry over time.

The morning of the runway was of course crazed! Garo was getting some finger cuts. And he and Tessa were exchanging some negative remarks. It was a battle of the plus size looks. Venny ran into a zipper malfunction. They were all working right up until the runway began though. I have to say, given such an extreme budget for this challenge, I was less than impressed with the overall outcome of the 10 looks. I don’t even know if I could come up with a top 3. And most looks did not even look like a $400 outfit. I think the designers should thrive in a 2-day challenge, such a large budget, but thus far, the designers this season are not doing that.

Sebastian and Renee were robbed! Their designs were the epitome of elegance and really looked like $400 well spent. Renee did a great job with her items of lemons and limes, creating a truly inspired look. Everything just read super luxe. She always creates so much, never plays it safe, but yet she keeps landing SAFE! Sebastian was inspired by an orchid, and I don’t think this look was his best, but even not his best is still great. The shoulder embellishments were stunning and he really took the orchid inspiration into his entire look.

I thought what Tessa created looked well made, read very luxe, of good quality, but not necessarily super elegant. It felt a bit more casual of a read. And for Garo talking so much smack, the battle of the plus size, I think Tessa won. Garo was inspired by a silver mirror and brush, and I saw that in this look. It was a very pretty dress from the front, but I didn’t like his corset work in the back at all. I felt it stripped away from the elegance factor. It was far too basic and didn’t look like a $400 dress, maybe $100.

Given I already stated I felt Renee & Sebastian were robbed, clearly the judges top picks were confusing to me. I think the only one of the 3 the judges named that I found to be truly problematic was Venny. I was beyond perplexed! This guy is constantly in the top and it is very undeserved. I felt he went too literal in the interpretation of the wine bottle. I thought this look was very basic, not at all elegant. And it felt a bit sloppy as well. At least when the judges critiqued, there were some mixed reviews, not full on rave reviews. But when Venny is in the bottom, the judges question why he is there, and then yet some times in the top. The answer is simple. It’s because he shouldn’t be in the top those times! The judges are overrating him and are then confused when he lands in the bottom. I am not because I don’t think he is one of the best in this competition.

Lela being in the top, I am still mixed on this. As we later saw, the judges didn’t love her look as much up close. This was probably the best we’ve seen from her. But if this is the best, I don’t think her best is good enough. I do think she had clear inspiration with her marble statue. And the top she created with this dress was quite lovely. But the hips were too wide. I thought the stripes took away from the overall elegance of the look. It was okay, but not a knockout.

I definitely would have rather seen Renee or Sebastian win over Jamall. But I guess of the 3 the judges named as the top, Jamall winning made sense. I didn’t see anything inspired from a perfume bottle. This didn’t look like a $400 look. It felt jumbled and disjointed to me rather than effortlessly draped. And I really didn’t appreciate him saying this look was so him, when it actually took Christian prodding him that what he originally was creating for over a day, wasn’t working and this is what he transitioned to. I felt he got pushed to this, not that it organically came to him, really being the epitome of who he is as a designer.

While the top made 0 sense to me, at least the bottom wasn’t as confusing. I was sad to see some in the bottom, but based on the looks created, it was hard to argue of their bottom 3 placement. And when I say that, I am not applying that statement to Hester. Hester won in the previous episode, so she couldn’t go home based on immunity given. Given she wasn’t even at risk to go home, I am surprised the judges even put her in the bottom. Oh trust, it was deserved, but we all knew they weren’t going to do anything. At least it put her in place to some extent.

She really looked as if she was trying to be some bad ass designer with her outfit and shades, kind of a little tude to her persona, and I found her behavior to be disgusting. I get the idea to take a risk when you have immunity, but all of this felt like a slap in the face. There was nothing elegant about what she made. She created something super Hester just because she knew she could, no matter how horrid it was! I don’t mind Hester being Hester, but Hester with this cocky, overconfident tude, I do not support.

So given Hester was in no way going home, it was so sad knowing it would be between Sonia and Bishme. I knew it was going to be Sonia, so that made it even more sad. I just knew there was no way the judges were letting Bishme go. I loved his top actually, such a gorgeous back, and really did embody elegance. But the skirt was lackluster. He put too much focus on his top that it left the skirt unresolved and really falling by the wayside.

I wonder if Hester hadn’t been given immunity if she would have actually gone home on her look. She seems like the shows’ pop of color and dramatic flare for the season, so would they let that go too soon? I don’t think Hester would have created this look without immunity, so regardless of that debate, Sonia had to sadly be the one to go this week. I wish Sonia could have been applauded for her better moments, because she did have some!

But this look was just far too basic, not elegant enough, just not enough in general to warrant a save. Sonia had purple rhinestone headphones, so the expectation was just such a dope DJ look, and this look wasn’t it. I know she had more she was trying to do, making a kimono, so this should be a lesson learned, do all that you can because one basic piece is not enough!


Best Dressed — Oscars 2019

It’s been a hot minute since the Oscars, but I of course have to always go thru my faves and create a Best Dressed list. This is a mix from the main red carpet and the Vanity Fair afterparty!

MADELAINE PETSCH

MICHELLE YEOH

ELAINE WELTEROTH

HALSTON SAGE

STELLA MAXWELL

KELLY TISDALE

  • Wearing Ahluwalia

JENNIFER LOPEZ

KELLY RIPA

HELEN MIRREN

LESLIE BIBB

AMANDLA STENBERG

MICHELLE RANDOLPH

KATHRYN NEWTON

CAMILA CABELLO

AMANDA SEYFRIED

MARIA MENOUNOS

JESSICA OYELOWO

MARINA DE TAVIRA

JOEY KING



Video Games Merging with Fashion

This week on Project Runway we got a bit of insight into the video game world, and the designers got to merge that industry with fashion. The designers met Karlie on the runway, first hearing video game noises, then seeing a game character, which turned out to be Karlie’s alter ego. Joining Karlie on the runway was Robin Hunicke, co-founder of Funomena (worked with the SIMS game, tenure professor at UC Santa Cruz, & THIS WEEK’S GUEST JUDGE), Mitu Khandaker (professor at the NYU Game Center), & Nina Freeman (video game designer). These amazing ladies would also be there to help the designers for this week’s challenge.

The designers’ challenge for the week was to create a female video game protagonist with a functional and stylish look. This video game character would need a story and to have an ability. The designers were cautioned to not go too costumey. The designers lucked out in having another 2-day challenge. This is certainly one program format change I have noticed, the designers receiving quite a few 2-day challenges. I am not sure it has created an overwhelming number of successful looks, but it’s hard to imagine some of these designers coping well with too many 1-day challenges! Also this week, instead of a race to model comp cards, all of the designers would be keeping their same models.

First up for the week, mentor time with some of the leading women in the video game industry. Some of the designers looked at games, seeing how a character could encompass being anyone; the designers didn’t have to create themselves for this challenge. Others got to see how algorithms and coding worked into the games. After these mentor sessions, it was off to Mood. Christian reminded the designers this look was to be fashion, not a costume. Another change I have noticed this season is slightly larger budgets, or at least from what I recall in the past. This week the designers were allotted $300. While at Mood, many of the designers were going for red fabrics. Christian was urging the designers to be more creative and not just all go for red. Venny was one who changed up his color choice, then later finding himself overbudget by $90. He had to cut some major corners!

As the designers got back to the workroom, animators were there to work with the designers to create a digital version of their characters. It was soon time for Siriano Sessions. He reminded a couple to not be boring. He was intrigued by others, such as Hester & Bishme. And he was all about Garo’s whip! Getting into the 2nd day, Garo began with some hammer-time. Tessa went a more quiet route, really needing that laser focus to work on her look. Later in the day were model fittings. Tessa had some doubts with Hester’s look, thinking it was treading the line of a costume. Venny was worried over his lack of fabric and then couldn’t even do his fun shoe idea as it was too small for his model. Jamall was running real low on time. Sonia was having a major fit issue and thinking she might have a lot of work to redo.

With so much to do for some, it was back to work. The designers were excited to see their digital illustrations. And poor Jamall! He made some alteration marks during fittings and then ironed away those marks, yikes! The designers had been working so hard and decided to have a little fun on the way home. They took a ferry, and enjoyed goofing off a bit, doing some runway walks & posing. Fun time aside, it was back to work for the morning of the runway. Many designers still had so much to do. Rakan was very unsure on his makeup choices, like literally having no ideas for the makeup artist. Jamall decided to scrap a mesh top for his look. He had spent so much time on the tailoring of his suit. Christian did express disappointment in that choice. A few designers were working right up until the runway began. Rakan was one such who was cutting away very quickly, right until the last seconds.

Before breaking down the judges’ top & bottom choices, here are my thoughts on the rest! I can’t help but see Lela in a battle with Tessa because they both work in a minimalist aesthetic. Tessa clearly has won each week, so I generally feel less than impressed with Lela’s work. She said this look was representative of femininity & power, I get the feminine aspect, but nothing with power. Sonia has impressed me each week, but came up short in this challenge. The styling choices she made really took her look to a costume level. I loved her story (empathy powers), she chose a gorgeous color, and the look had such great flow. But this felt like a rather basic dress with a lot going on for hair & makeup.

Sebastian has been on top lots as of late, but also came up short this week. I felt his look was more dated, more historical, than that of a video game character or a Moon Goddess as he dubbed this look. I didn’t feel it embodying a strong woman. Not his best work, but just okay. I guess that is why Lela, Sonia & Sebastian found themselves safe. I was on the fence about Bishme. I really thought he brought something so different to the table and so for that, I felt this was a top look! His woman was a goddess, or a Queen of Hearts as he called this look, and one with such a gorgeous, long back train. It was a little over the top, but could work in a game setting!

I also really felt Renee should have been in the top. She stayed trued to her aesthetic and created still a hardcore, bad ass look. Renee says “sensitive warrior”, which I feel is perfect depiction. Her mixed media choices were amazing. The top with the embellished neckline and the draped silver sash piece were just so stunning. I could have lived with Bishme being out of the top, but Renee was very much deserving. So even though Hester got the win, that would have been the person I would have had to take away from the judges’ list. Hester’s look was very Hester. So for remaining true to her aesthetic, I certainly applaud. But this look was a fun girl, not someone I felt fit the challenge parameters in creating a strong female protagonist. I mean even the name of the look, Star Raver, I take that as a depiction of fun, maybe a little adventurous, but that adventure side, I wasn’t seeing in this piece. Nonetheless the pants were super dope and she made some great styling choices.

Tessa created a great look, so seeing her in the top was deserving. She really created such a character, something very different and unique. And even though this was for a video game character, the Miller’s daughter, it was still super wearable. I didn’t even notice until later, she created an apron, which was the part that folded down, super creative!

But Garo was in my original top list, as well as the judges. I felt this was the winning look. I definitely got the point the judges were making in that a strong women didn’t have to be defined by being a dominatrix, but that doesn’t take away from this type of empowerment. And Garo really created such strength here and didn’t do so in a cheesy or tasteless way. Super hilarious that everyone thought this was Nina in a sense and I guess it might have been since Gara said this was a Fashion Editrix character!

The bottom 3 couldn’t have been more spot on. I also agreed that Rakan was clearly the right choice in being sent home. As for the other bottom 2 spot, it was hard to choose between Jamall and Venny. Neither should have felt safe. Jamall I thought was deserving for having not got another challenge. But I think the judges put Venny there to shake him a bit — seeing just as you were on the top last week, doesn’t mean you can’t go home the next week! So Jamall being saved from the bottom 2 was inconsequential since it was super clear it was Rakan’s time. I liked his idea, but this look was cheap. It looked like pleather, it was not constructed well, and it read like a superhero costume. It was not functional fashion. I don’t even think his story for the character, a Syrian Queen, made sense. It also made no sense what he said after the critiques that the best 3 designers were in the bottom. So 2 designers who have constantly been in the bottom and one who really didn’t even deserve his top placements are the three best in this competition?? I don’t think so!

So again, Jamall should feel super lucky he was saved, again. Last week his look didn’t make sense when looking at the challenge parameters and neither did his look this week. The suit fit okay, but it was not a video game character. It was too basic for this challenge task. Why when given this type of challenge do you think of a suit?? Scrapping that mesh top I don’t think would have kept him out of the bottom, but it would have helped this look tremendously in terms of at least not being basic.

And finally, looking at Venny’s outfit, I also didn’t get what he was thinking in this creation. Also similar to my critique with Jamall, why would you go to this type of look when thinking of a video game character?? This look was one you might see as part of a church choir, definitely not a Savior of the World! I think back to his changing of a color choice at Mood, per Christian’s suggestion, and also having to cut corners when being overbudget. You might think this led to his bottom placement, but if this was his idea all along, those 2 points would have no bearing here. More fabric was not going to help this look and instead of a blue look, this creation wouldn’t have been any bit of success in red.

The Designers Go Luxe with Streetwear

I am not the biggest fan of streetwear, but at least if I am going to look at a whole challenge comprised of this style, it might as well be LUXE & high-end! This challenge was inspired by trailblazer Dapper Dan, known for introducing high fashion to the hip hop world by creating luxury streetwear. The task at hand would be for each designer to create their own take on the future of streetwear, taking into account the inspiration of Dapper Dan’s work.

There would be no trip to Mood this week as the designers were provided with a great deal of high end fabrics to choose from and use for their looks. This would be a 1-day challenge. Renee, as the winner from last week, chose to keep her model, while the rest of the designers were randomly assigned models by Karlie. The designers enjoyed meeting with Dapper Dan and were pleased to learn he would be visiting the workroom to give his take on their looks.

As the designers were back to the workroom to get started, many designers were getting their ideas going, such as Kovid wanting to create multiple pieces. However some designers, such as Sebastian, were stressing right from the onset, noting streetwear is not something he typically does. Christian was around next for his Siriano sessions. We got to see everyone was wanting to do a bomber jacket. There was some excitement for Renee, while Hester seemed to be a bit all over the place. Christian was confused about Rakan’s idea of a farmer woman? And we were all really left to wonder if Jamall was even getting this challenge?

Christian then announced this would be a flash sale challenge, so the designers had to take special photos for the Instagram stories and this would be the chance where winning looks would be sold thru Nineteenth Amendment online. Next up, model fittings! Christian was still around and seemed very bothered that Rakan and Jamall were taking breaks at this time. The designers do need to eat, but maybe during a short model fitting time is not the best idea?!? But as this was a 1-day challenge, it was time to really get to work! Tessa decided to incorporate her brand name into the inner part of her jacket, hand-painted, so we then got to see her version of a fun drying technique, which was basically running around the workroom, air drying! Kovid was in major freakout mode, which I really saw as no surprise. And there was a little debate on Sebastian’s look from both Tessa & Rakan, over his sleeves.

Dapper Dan made his appearance the morning of the runway. He was very excited by some of the looks! But even with this special appearance, there was still a good bit of work to do for some, especially Jamall. And while Dapper Dan was not going to be a guest judge, we were welcoming a guest judge to the panel, Founder & President of Harlem’s Fashion Row, Brandice Daniel.

Of the 2 minimalist designers, Lela (pictured above) & Tessa (pictured below), Tessa definitely did a better job in this challenge. I don’t think either really stood out against some of the better looks this week. I do think Tessa created a solid look, but most of her intricacies just kind of fell flat on the runway. I at least found some positive with Tessa. However Lela created a rather boring look. I didn’t see anything super high end or with a nod to the future with her look. Both were fitting of their safe status.

What Hester created was very Hester, but I don’t know if it was streetwear. I saw this more as festival fashion, something you would see at Coachella. The color, the sparkle, the sheer overlay to her short, just really took this out of the streetwear element. I loved Sonia’s look, but in a similar critique to that of Hester, I didn’t see streetwear elements here. I couldn’t give this a top status for that reason. Regardless though, this was such a super chic look, the bodice, the neckline, so amazing.

But 2 designers I have to give props to, that both would have been in my top 3 were Sebastian and Renee. For Sebastian not having any clue on streetwear, this was an impressive look. I loved the pants! Perhaps one could argue there was a lot going on between his jacket-style sleeves, the pins, and the criss cross top, but I did see this hitting the challenge mark. This was elevated street style with a modern vibe. I also really loved what Renee created. This was a super dope look. She really did a lot of great work here, especially the jacket! The pop of sparkle was not overwhelming and the plaid addition was sublime! Renee or Sebastian would have been way more deserving of top 3 than Venny!

This is the 2nd time Venny has been in the top 3, where I have been left really perplexed. He was in no way a contender for the actual win either time. This look was not elevated enough for me, sort of a snooze. I also don’t think he did well with a plus size look. The judges saw it as streetwear, which I don’t disagree with, but this wasn’t high end or something with a modern feel.

Joining Venny in the top 3 was Garo & Bishme. I didn’t hate this look, but I also didn’t love it. The wasitband detail was not working for me. The tweed was okay, but I definitely didn’t care for the zippered neckline. I didn’t agree with the judges’ assessment for this look.

But a clear contender for the win with this top 3, definitely deserving of a top spot was Bishme. The judges fell absolutely in love with this look. It really hit the mark so well across the board for the challenge. It was streetwear, super luxe, and bringing something new to the table. He chose the perfect color with this cobalt blue for the jacket.

The bottom 3 consisted of Rakan, Jamall, and Kovid. Kovid and Jamall clearly being the bottom 2. I don’t know if Rakan really deserved a bottom 3 placement. I actually kind of liked this look from him, probably the best of anything I have seen from him. I guess I sort of got what the designers were saying in this looking a bit like a “genie” look. It probably would have also come across more street in flats or sneakers, versus heels. I didn’t dislike this as much as the judges did, but I did agree with Nina’s assessment — it felt safe.

This was a tough bottom 2 because both looks were pretty awful. If the judges were making a decision based only on this challenge, clearly Jamall would have been out. But given Kovid has consistently been in the bottom and how super obvious this competition was just not for him, the right call was made in him leaving this week. Jamall really should be breathing a huge sigh of relief. This could have been an easy challenge for a double elimination and both would have been fitting for elimination. If it was not already confusing how Jamall saw his teaparty dress as street, I believe we all got even more confused listening to him explain that this look was also inspired from black culture. The look not fitting the challenge aside, it was also riddled with technical issues, which the judges definitely pointed out.

Ultimately though, it was Kovid’s time to go. I actually feel Kovid has a very street aesthetic to his look. In fact, his top look from the prints challenge was super street. I don’t know how he then really missed the mark here! I am glad the judges pointed out how out of place the top was in this look. This was one of my first notes! But there was no nod here to the future, it was very much looking back at the past.

Designers — Survival of the Fittest

The new season of Project Runway already gave us a first group challenge, and now, it was time for the first unconventional materials task. I have to admit, I was a little confused on the task at hand. I really was interested to see who would use the unconventional materials the best, but the part I was hung up on was that the looks needed to be survival chic?? I saw lots of pretty dress-like looks that really didn’t do much by way of providing protection for the model. But then I also saw more chic outerwear, really making use of the unconventional materials. That all being said, I was fairly impressed by what the designers did and am really interested to see a few designers and how they grow throughout this season!

So the episode began with the designers being whisked away for a camping trip. I feel a few thought they were going somewhere a little more glam, but nope, it was off to the woods in Staten Island! Everything was moved to this campsite, the work stations, the accessory wall, and even the runway show! The designers would have to battle in the elements in order to stay in the competition. This really would be survival of the fittest! The designers would even be camping overnight, but Christian was definitely not going to be partaking in that endeavor!

Marni would be back for some styling help. And the designers were blessed with another 2-day challenge to get their nature looks completed. The designers had 20 minutes to gather their materials. Hester was a little upset since her pile created, people started taking from it. It seemed the couple of girls who took items gave them back, but Hester still felt some items were missing. But there was no time for dawdling as the designers were eager to begin work. Tessa decided to create her own loom, to help weave a fabric out of the ropes. Sebastian was in full leaf crazy mode. While Afa was having a floral debate in terms of adding flower embellishment creations to his look.

Marni & Christian later came by to see what the designers had been working on to get started. They expressed excitement for a few, such as with Sonia & Hester. They were a little concerned for Kovid since he had a lot going on with his many different types of materials. Nighttime one was celebrated with some s’mores before lights out at the campsite.

Day 2 involved model fittings. Everyone was worried about the colder temperatures, especially with their models walking around with no clothes on. Christian was still around for his time with the designers, and he urged to get a bit more from Renee & Rakan with their looks. Day 2 went by super quick and for the 2nd overnight, the designers were all about getting a warm fire started!

The morning of the runway began super early, 530 am! There was a lot of talk going on, if it was going to rain, which in fact it did. But rain or shine, the runway was happening!

I wasn’t so sure about this bottom 3. There were a good handful of looks that felt very sloppy, really just felt unresolved. I thought Kovid was really the only solid one that belonged. Anyone else, there was some room for debate, so it was more astonishing to then see Afa get eliminated! Before jumping on that, a few other quick mentions. I wasn’t feeling Jamall’s look at all. This is the 2nd look he has created that just look liked an overworked comforter. The entire look felt messy, with a bunch of leaves scattered all over the place.

Bishme created a really cool skirt with the rocks. And I also loved the reveal for what was under the jacket. But the jacket he created was not at all repurposed enough.

Switching to a more positive note, I am not sure given the challenge parameters if Sebastian’s leaf look really fit the bill. But that aside, this was a gorgeous couture leaf creation — STUNNING!!

If Renee landed in the top with her more outerwear look, I am a little shocked Venny’s look then fell short from the top. He created a gorgeous outerwear piece, that was actually fashionable. The intricacies of the rope-work & use of chains he did on the jacket was amazing.

Moving onto the judges’ actual top 3, there was Hester, Renee, and Rakan. If I had to choose from this group, hands down it was Hester. The rope bodice she created was so high fashion, very pretty. I loved how there was a soft and hard aspect to this look that really complimented each other well.

The judges’ winner however was Renee. I don’t see how this won or was in the top. I don’t feel she repurposed the unconventional materials much or at all. Christian basically said earlier in the episode that this just looked like a tarp jacket with a bunch of stuff thrown on it. And really, that is all it was. Even Renee said she didn’t see herself in comparison to what everyone else created, so that being said, I don’t see how she received such high praise. Put her green jacket against what Venny created, you can’t tell me there is not a huge difference!

Another confusing top placement — Rakan! This look would have been in my bottom. The gauze felt so plain and sad. I will admit what he did with the sleeping bag was better than what Jamall did, but I do not see this as a top look.

Just as I was confused at some of the top, I was also confused just as much on the bottom looks from the judges. I get that Sonia’s model had difficulty walking in this look, but there was at least a good bit here to discuss. Yes, some was negative, but in comparison to some of the other super bare minimum looks, there was at least a story here, someone befitting of being in nature. I am glad at least Sonia had a fan in Karlie.

I would be surprised if Kovid has longevity in this competition, but I also didn’t see Afa going all the way either. Of this bottom 2, I think the wrong decision was made in sending Afa home over Kovid. Kovid hasn’t been super impressive thus far. He clearly showed no direction in this look. There was way too much going on. Yes, there was lots of color, and I agree with Nina, the pants were really cool. But he doesn’t know how to edit and I just don’t see his childlike spastic behavior making it much further.

Again, I don’t think Afa was going far in the competition either. So being overly upset he went home now, I can’t put myself in that mindset. What I do find issue with though is how annoying the judges were being in trying to validate this decision. They made a point to give the model a blanket twice. Okay, it was cold outside, but she was hardly the only model who was barely covered. If that was part of their criteria to send him home, why not Garo, why not Tessa? Those 2 models were half naked too. This is Tessa’s look below. Now don’t get me wrong — I do not hate this look. But are we going to pretend this model wasn’t cold either??

I don’t think he did anything too amazing with the rope. And the flowers he made were kind of corny and not super chic. But he was far more innovative in his work than what Renee did by just tacking a bunch of camping gear onto a green tarp! I wasn’t in love what what he did, but I wouldn’t say it wasn’t innovative.

The Last of Project Runway on Lifetime!

This is the last showing of Project Runway ever on Lifetime, and probably the last all-stars season for a bit, which does make sense! So to crown the World Champion of Project Runway, it was great to see these last 4 designers give us a truly spectacular runway, leaving the series to go out with a bang on Lifetime!

The designers met Alyssa at Baccarat in NY. For such a glam environment they were in, it was the right mindset to be in for inspiration with the designers’ final collections. Each designer would create a 6 piece collection and the perk, it could be any theme they wanted. Their budget at Mood would be $3000, with 4 days to create it all. Another perk, the designers would get some help in the workroom.

Model casting began at the luxurious hotel. The designers would also sketch there as well. Biddell was thinking of conspiracy theories, the Queen of England as a reptile! Irina was wanting to do something very geometric, very sculptural — to work with deconstructing shapes and creating a 3-D aspect. Michelle was inspired by a favorite album, Harvest Moon, so she wanted her collection to be called Harvest Mood. And finally, Dmitry didn’t seem to focus on a clear direction, but rather creating a killer jacket.

The designers were off to Mood to shop. Biddell found a fabric Anthony Ryan used, but thought heck, it fit with this theme, he would risk it! It was then back to the workroom to finish up Day 1 for the designers’ work. Everyone was planning, then many starting full-fledged looks. Dmitry was intent on keeping a schedule. Irina was not on this same path as her first day was spent cutting triangles, no draping and no patterns.

For Day 2, the designers’ helpers arrived! Mondo would work with Irina, Erin Robertson with Dmitry, Sean Kelly with Michelle, and Christina (from this season) with Biddell. Anne came by for her check-ins as well on this day, and the helpers stepped aside for a break during this time. Anne loved what Michelle was doing; she even tried on her bold green jacket! She reminded Michelle to take her somewhat frumpy fabrics and to give them elegance. Onto to Dmitry, she put in his mind how this could be a triple win for him — the only designer who could nab that title! She loved his jacket he was so focused on, but asked him to add a little sexiness to his work. Jumping then to Irina, she noticed 2 very similar red looks and suggested her collection needed more ebb and flow. And finally, with Biddell, she really loved his interesting fabrics and the manipulative work he was doing. She questioned if there was cohesion and pushed he find that connective thread.

On Day 3, well really throughout the episode, we were taken back a little on each designers’ journey, personal confessions of why they want to win. Irina experienced a mini meltdown, which was understandable given what her mom was going thru. The models also came by for their fittings. This mostly went well. Michelle changed up her looks a bit and Irina finally found herself in a better place.

The last and final day quickly came, and there was lots left to do. Little bit of a bummer, the helpers were only there for 3 hours. Brand consultant, Francesca Amfitheatrof (formerly of Tiffanys), also stopped by for a visit. She discussed with the designers how important branding is. Michelle thought of for this collection, peach romantic moodiness, very emotive looks. Dmitry was going with a dark, romantic, graphic collection. Biddell was set to be the dramatic showman. And finally, with Irina, she was pursuing bold femininity, which actually is something I always see for her, really sticking to her true designer aesthetic. To end the day, the designers had a little champagne and cake celebratory moment.

The morning of the runway was filled with still a good bit to do for each designer, lots of final finishes, details and even doing some re-fittings. Dmitry had a minor snaffu with one of his jackets, but handled it like a pro! Even at 15 minutes left, many models were still not dressed! Of course fast finisher Biddell was doing a little rapping! But rapping aside, it was time for the runway. This show would be in front of the NY Fashion elite and many previous Project Runway designers. The guest judge for this finale was actress Andrea Riseborough.

So first up, I will discuss Biddell. He pushed his street-style with aggressive elegance, giving us Regal Reptilian. I have not been a fan of Biddell most of this season. His aesthetic is just not my thing. But I really commend him for this impressive collection. I would have to agree with the judges in his 4th place finish though. While I loved so many of his fabric choices, I didn’t love everything he did with them and how some of the final looks resulted. Using a corkscrew like fabric was so interesting, but the zipper down the front of that dress, it just lacked sophistication.

I loved the 2nd look, such fierce pants, but this super long-sleeved top was too much for me. The judges even pointed out the sleeves being too long! With this skirt 3rd look, I thought the fabrics used here were super stunning, and I loved the top, so chic. But the skirt was far too boxy for my taste.

The 4th look, shades of blue, again, such a killer pair of pants. His use of mixed media in this look was so amazing. But the jacket, it was so flared, really just took away from this piece. The 5th look, the shorts piece, definitely the worst for his collection, even with the judges agreeing. I couldn’t find anything positive here, such an ill-fitting look. Up until the final gown piece, I can’t say that I fully loved any complete look, but this last look, this was a stunner. It was so luxe and regal, which really Biddell needed for some of his other pieces. I also didn’t care for his styling choices here with the braided pigtails & huge jewelry pieces. I really think Biddell could use some help editing! Everyone was right here in saying this collection did lack cohesion. He has a clear designer POV, but there was just so much going on here, as the judges pointed out, this work needed some finesse.

Deciding 3rd was tough for me because I love both Irina & Dmitry. I wouldn’t want to offend either. The judges gave it to Irina, but I think ultimately I would have given that spot to Dmitry. He never really settled on an identity for this collection. Before presenting he just said this was his personal journey as an artist I guess coming to life. I think the lack of specific direction here hurt him. These looks were super Dmitry like, but I can’t say I saw growth here, or any elevation. I saw more from Irina in that regard, so 3rd would have been Dmitry in my book.

You can’t take away from his stunning red jacket opening look. The cutouts were beyond amazing. And these pants, I mean anyone and everyone, including Isaac is obsessing over them. I don’t know that any other look really matched this level of success.

The next look in the black LBD, it was a little too short, and I didn’t care for the shape of the over-sized sleeves, but I did love the shimmery neckline. The 3rd dress look, it had great Dmitry cutouts, but the sleeve pads, the fringe, it was probably the weakest of his looks.

I don’t think Dmitry had great cohesion here and this next yellow dress probably didn’t help that concept. It was a great color. I appreciated the drama, but the side embellishments I don’t feel were needed and the length again, way too short! The 5th look, another pants piece, I did like this look. The sheer top was spectacular. The pants, not as good as the first pair, but still an overall competent look. The last look should have been a bang, but I didn’t feel that with this dress. I loved the sheer aspect, but again, wish it was longer. I got what the judges felt here in wanting more. Dmitry even teared up some on the runway, but I agree with the judges, this collection was not enough for the win!

I would love nothing more than to have given Irina the win, but I don’t think this collection beat Michelle. Michelle really did find some magic. But I can very much feel good in saying Irina should have been 2nd. I appreciate that Irina pushed herself here. As much as I wanted to see 6 super glam, super luxe looks from her, including some killer gowns, I love that she gave us that more commercial, more RTW side, really showing that she can do it all. I don’t know how you could have paired some of what she did here with the gown/dress goddess vibe I love from her. But if that magic could have been found, hands down she would have won.

With this collection, it was very RTW, still some super luxe looks, but varied silhouettes. I think to really perfect what she was aiming for here, she also was lacking a bit in time. Other designers were relying on fabrics and prints to do their work. Irina was creating her own, making her own textures, and so in that regard, it wasn’t about simply cutting fabrics and patterning. But this collection still embodied what Irina set it out to be, the strength of a modern woman, Fearless Femininity.

Her first look, a jacket look, I did love this blue piece. I felt the top to bottom lacked some connectivity, but overall, I really liked this piece, solid opener, really showing this sculpture and geometry she was aiming for.

I agree with the judges, the 2nd look was probably the weakest. I didn’t love this color choice in lime green, but I appreciate the direction she was aiming for. I thought the 3rd look, red & pants piece, very solid and I loved the pants here.

The next piece, the red dress, my fave of the collection. It was super chic and so cute, still very sculptural. I’m afraid of white pants, lol, so I don’t think I could rock those in this next look, but I loved the black sculpted top, so interesting. The judges raved over the final all white lace look, but I still contend the red dress was the best! I agreed with the judges that there was a heaviness to some of her pieces, which really didn’t go with her last 2 lighter pieces.

Super hard to take away the win from Michelle though. She really did pull out every stop here and I hope she can take some of this magic home, to revitalize her business. Her goal was textured baroque, romance, nice to naughty, her Harvest Mood collection. The first piece was stunning. I don’t know why everything looked so short for me, but other than length, I loved the peach color and the mixture of lace work.

The 2nd look has grown on me now and I really do like it. Fierce pants and such a shimmering and shiny, eye-catching top. The 3rd look was a little repetitive then to this 2nd look. It was a great fabric choice, but not as successful as the 2nd look.

It was that look and the full peach look that were the weaker links for her. But neither took away from the supreme quality of the other 4. The fully peach look just felt a little too voluminous. The green jacket look, such a success. Everyone would want that jacket, and whatever was under it looked amazing too.

And the final piece was a great closer. The fabric was another solid choice, so sexy and dramatic. Probably what I didn’t care for more than any of her looks was the big hair — way too over the top with already such a voluminous collection.

I do congratulate Michelle on this win. So what again does she win —

  • Guest editor for Marie Claire
  • chance to also collaborate for an editorial and photospread for Marie Claire
  • Create a signature color for Butter London
  • A trip for 2 to London, sponsored by Butter London
  • a $40,000 Brother Sewing package
  • a cash prize of $100,000

So no more Project Runway on Lifetime, but ready for the focus now on this new season on Bravo!

Designers Go Print-Tastic

I was a little uneasy with this week’s challenge! Head to toe print looks, that is a lot, especially when picking that perfect print which could make or break one’s look. Prints are a huge trend in the industry, so successfully taking on this task and thriving would be a great feat for any burgeoning fashion designer.

A little bad news for the designers however — no more 2 day challenge. We are now at the first one-day challenge! Last week’s winning designer, Sebastian, in getting to choose his model, decided to keep who he was working with. The rest of the bunch had to race to get their first choice. Nadine ended up with one of the plus size models and was less than thrilled. She claimed to be a print pro, but I would think a person who can work with prints, should be able to design for all.

Some great news for the designers, they were going to receive some expert help from celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte. But first, the designers had 15 minutes to sketch. Tessa was one who definitely felt worried as prints really do not fit the mold of her minimalist asethetic. It was then off to Mood with a $250 budget. Rakan decided to go with a more somber, bland print, despite Christian’s suggestion to rethink that choice.

Getting back to the workroom, the designers first met individually with Marni. She discussed with the designers how integral styling can be for any look to be viewed as a success. After her visit with Marni, Tess seemed a bit calmer. Hester was beginning to have a little self-doubt though. We heard a bit of her backstory, kind of sad, seeing that her aesthetic was not suitable to her design school professor and she actually got kicked out.

Christian was beginning his Siriano sessions, helping some with their styling choices. The models later came by for their fittings. Nadine seemed to have zero patience with her model. She was even stressing over her model’s walk. Most of the designers seemed to be doing okay, and that trickled over to the next day, the day of the runway. Afa was one that certainly was still receiving a bit of help in styling his look.

I was excited to see how this runway was going to go! And joining this week’s panel was the first guest judge, designer Adam Selman.

I noticed 2 designers used an army fatigue print, REALLY! All of the prints and 2 chose the same unimpressive one — CRAZY! I loved Venny’s jumpsuit and the print he chose. However, his print didn’t really translate well on the runway, or really when photographed, so I wish he had chosen something a bit more eye-catching. Bishme’s look would have been in my bottom list. He chose a bold print, striking color in red, but the look was too “big” — big shoulders, a big hat (which was not great), big train. He could have toned this look down some.

Jammall would have been in my top group. I have to give him a little credit now since I have been hating on him most of the season. I loved his print, such a sexy, chic look. I also really loved Tessa’s look. I don’t understand why she still didn’t love this look. She stayed true to her aesthetic and I loved the print she chose.

For the top though, the judges chose Hester, Kovid, and Sebastian. Hester ended up winning, which I don’t agree with, but I am not going to put down too much. She really stuck the right balance of quirk with this look. I wasn’t ready to go on the picnic, but I appreciate her work here. I loved the accessories she created for her look!

I get why Kovid made the top for the judges. He was back to his street chic style, doing a fantastic job. I thought he chose a great print. And who can’t appreciate a strong comeback, which he did from the work last week. I didn’t love this look at much because it read very heavy to me and super streetwear is not really my taste.

The judges were salivating when Sebastian’s look came down the runway, so clearly he was making the top. I loved the silhouette, such great structure, an amazing flow. His quality of work is so superior and he really does have top construction skills. My issue here was the print he chose. I didn’t find it to be super striking.

The bottom consisted of Rakan, Nadine, and Garo. I don’t agree with Garo being in the bottom and am happy he escaped the bottom 2. I actually really liked his look. I loved the poppin’ pink color and this look felt bold to me. I get what the judges were saying about the crotch though.

Rakan being in the bottom was no shocker though. He really did choose such a boring print. And the look he created, too much coverage on his model, very messy feeling, super drab. The look really had no life in it.

But the writing was on the wall it would be Nadine to go this week. And I can’t say it wasn’t deserving. The print she chose was unimpressive. I still don’t think she can make pants. I have seen her make several pairs now and none of them seem to fit well. I did like the open back though. I would also give her that this model is not the best walker, which I know she complained about. But a good walker is not going to magically make your look better.

And then listening to her on the runway, she was being so unkind to her model and I am glad the judges called her out on that. The message is clear, no attitudes this season! First it was Cavanagh and now Nadine. Although I feel Nadine acted far worse, especially in this episode. She rolled her eyes constantly during the runway critiques. She was instantly complaining backstage since she was in the bottom. She even called the judges bitches — REALLY? This was the sign of someone with not just a bad attitude, but someone who clearly believes they can do no wrong. It was sad to see. And to see her then say she was ready to go home, wow, how defeatist. At least Cavanagh handled her elimination with some professionalism and class.

The First PR Season Team Challenge!

We all know what this means! We see some sparks of genius from some designers, while others become an utter disaster! And with this bunch of designers, this trend was no different. The episode began with the designers walking into a transformed workroom. They were able to see a pop-up installation from Simon Huck & his A. Human body modification exhibit. The exhibit featured live models with special effect-like transformations to parts of the human body.

Of course this pop-up was the inspiration for the challenge. There were 5 types of body modifications. With 5 types, this meant there would be 5 teams of 3 for this first team challenge! Each team would create a mini collection, each designer creating their own look. Despite individual looks being made, each mini collection still needed to be cohesive. The looks would need to demonstrate the future of fashion. Additionally, their looks needed to highlight their assigned body modification — so enhance the special effect, not cover it up!

The teams were randomly chosen from the infamous button bag. And with a revamped season, we get to see a new button bag! It actually looked more like a clear clutch, but oh well, it does the job. Here were the teams and the assigned body modifications —

  • Shoulder Horns — Garo, Hester, Nadine
  • Neck Ruffles — Afa, Sebastian, Tessa
  • Scaffold Back — Lela, Venny, Bishme
  • Chest Feathers — Kovid, Renee, Frankie
  • Necklace/Neckline — Sonia, Jamall, Rakan

I didn’t recall from the last challenge that the winning designer was given immunity. So with that, Tessa could not go home on this challenge. There would be a winning team with a winning designer, also again receiving immunity. And then 1 losing team, with one designer going home. The winning designer also gets to choose their first pick for a model, leaving the rest to race to the comp cards to get their choice, or for some, just what is left.

This was another 2-day challenge, with a $750 team budget from Mood. Before shopping, the teams had to sketch & game-plan first. Most of the teams were doing okay. Hester was getting a little crazed with her team, really trying to make sure she didn’t lose her designer POV. Tessa’s team was also finding difficulty getting on the same page. And these 2 teams still found trouble at Mood. Tessa’s team was lost, trying to find cohesion. And Hester was determined to get a ton of tulle. Christian nor her teammates were feeling this. And even with being overbudget, the team still sacrificed fabric for tulle.

Getting back to the workroom, Tessa decided to take charge of her group. Frankie having been in the bottom last week had her teammates worried, namely Renee. Hester was being a little chatty and Nadine nipped that in the butt. And even though Tessa decided to put on her boss hat, she was having trouble executing the design she wanted. Her teammate Sebastian had to help, but ended up losing time for his own look. In fact, he ended up scrapping everything he worked on with Day 1, meaning he was starting all over on Day 2.

On the 2nd day, Sebastian had a new gameplan — he was going to work on his own garment, no teammates getting his help, even though they were still asking! It was a little disappointing to see some not so pretty personalities come out with this team challenge. I am intrigued by Hester’s aesthetic and love what Tessa has created thus far. But both really showed poor personality skills when working in a team setting. You can be a bold, strong, confident woman. But don’t be overly bossy or unrealistically uncompromising.

Siriano sessions included reminders to find cohesion. Christian said it couldn’t be just a color that created cohesion. He also reminded the designers of time management! After the chats, Hester decided she wanted to change her look, lose some of the tulle. She needed fabric, but since her team didn’t get that much fabric (remember, she insisted on tulle!), she was kind of left with no wiggle room. Nadine was saying No at the onset. I didn’t really care for Tessa being a part of this discussion; she is not on this team so butt out! Nadine ended up later changing some of her design so that she could give Hester some fabric.

Next up, model fittings! I love that Christian really seems to be sticking around for more than just one session. This is where Kovid began losing steam and he started crying, definitely taking over Frankie’s drama queen role. Kovid was having some fit issues with his model. The morning of the runway quickly approached and many teams were scrambling right up to the last minute. Again, designers working up until the runway show was about to begin!

Only 2 teams were critiqued this week, the top & the bottom. So despite Hester’s team craziness, they were safe. And they were lucky! I actually loved the blue they used, but most of the looks were constructed so poorly. They worked with their shoulder horns well, but the looks were vastly unimpressive. I don’t think Nadine can make pants. I’ve seen her do 3 pants looks now and they are all way too tight. But her structured top was the strongest piece here. Garo seemed to make such a simple dress, very sad it was still so poorly made. And I liked the softness Hester was trying to go with to contrast the hardness of the horns, but you couldn’t see past the poor construction in this look! I couldn’t even focus on finding the future of fashion in any of these looks because the construction was just that bad! Luckily for this team, other teams were also riddled with issues.

Even though the necklace team had some issues, Sonia was their saving grace. I loved her fabric choice, so stunning! She really showcased this light up neck feature so well. And I did like the idea of using nude fabrics with this entire group because it highlighted the body modification very well.

The looks went downhill from Sonia’s bombshell opener. Rakan just created a big nude moo moo. There was absolutely no design in this.

And then the big bragger Jamall, his look actually took away from the neck modification rather than enhancing it. And really, what was this, attack of the bed comforter?? I didn’t see the future of fashion with these looks either, but I am still in love with Sonia’s look!

It was hard for me choosing between the back scaffold and the neck ruffles team as to who should win. Ultimately, I agree with Neck Ruffles winning, but Team Back Scaffold did a pretty good job here too. I loved that Bishme brought back his super sexy style. I guess his attempt with the future of fashion was playing with the shoulders on his dress. I didn’t care for the pointy shoulders, but it was a great dress (photo below on right). Venny continued with the sexiness, a standout jumpsuit (photo above). I appreciated for the future of fashion he played with the jumpsuit silhouette. And of course given that this collection had to showcase back scaffolds, all the open backs were even more amazing to look at! And what a comeback for Lela! Such a gorgeous voluminous top, very glam chic. There was such great cohesion in this collection, between the color, ruffles and glam vibes, probably the best of the bunch.

I too loved Team Neck Ruffles. I think what held me back a little here was it being all white, very one note, lacking a bit in dynamics. But ultimately, it was still a strong, regal collection. Afa had a solid look, nice fit on the pants and an interesting, cut-out bodice.

Tessa created another strong look, very upscale and luxe. All really did attempt to work towards the future of fashion, putting in interesting twists on their silhouettes.

But wow, Sebastian really just knocked this out of the park. He wins for basically doing some of Tessa’s look and creating his own knockout look. Tessa certainly tried to go for the win saying she took charge, but she didn’t help her situation when she admitted to having help on her look. Great job Sebastian, well deserved win!

I wasn’t sure who would be in the bottom between Team Chest Feathers and the shoulder horns team. Both teams were so heavily featured during the episode, so both could have been contenders. But ultimately it was team chest feathers. Given Frankie was on this team, I wasn’t surprised. She still had so many construction issues in her look. It was a step up from her last look, but that is not saying much.

I did at least see cohesion in this collection, but each look was such a hot mess. And most of the looks hid the chest feather modification. This lifted wraparound neckline, with a bold line going right thru the feathers, where was the logic in that. As seen below with Kovid’s look, I think if you actually took away the connecting piece from the neckline to the dress, and this gold dress was sewn better, it could have been amazing. But ultimately, the future of fashion also missed the mark for everyone here as well.

Renee has been such a standout, so it was shocking to see she even created a poor look. The pants & top were so ill-fitting. And the binding jacket didn’t work either. There was no leader here, but Renee was doing some of the talking for the group during the critiques. Kovid was crying which Nina seemed to not be having any of that. And it obviously crossed the judges mind in saving Frankie, only to see her in the bottom again. Kovid probably had the best look of the bunch and Renee has shown much more potential. It was clear Frankie was the one who needed to go!