What Would be Your Dream Dress?!?

A question I am sure most of us have thought of, and this week on Project Runway, 6 lucky women in NYC got the chance to try and make this dream a reality! It was a reality for a few, but certainly not for all. But let’s not jump ahead too much, first things first. The designers met their clients at Christian Siriano’s NYC atelier. Such a gorgeous spot and I can’t wait to one day go! The clients for this challenge were the women who keep NYC city moving, various civic worker roles such as FDNY, NYPD, a postal worker, and more.

The ultimate goal here, as Christian mentioned, was to make high fashion more inclusive. All women deserve high fashion that they can incorporate into their wardrobe. Each designer was paired with their client, to first meet, and learn what their dream dress would entail. Most of the consultations went well. Although Jamall was not sure if he could deliver every bell and whistle his client was desiring, and Tessa was making her designer POV very clear. But was she listening at all to her client??

The designers were then off to Mood. They would have a $300 budget. Sebastian was confused by which fabrics he wanted to choose. And earlier in the day, Bishme received a math lesson from his client, the teacher, so he was giving that same lesson to the Mood employees. Math lessons aside, the designers were soon back to the workroom to begin work on the 1st day of this 2 day challenge. Garo decided to make 2 dress options for his client, while Bishme was actually back to the math lessons! Sebastian was still unsure on this sparkly, pretty dress he was creating.

Day 2 began with some Siriano sessions. Tessa originally wanted to create pants, and on a dress challenge, that would have been a huge risk. Christian urged her to reconsider, and she did. He also made sure to have Sebastian keep in mind who he is as a designer. Next up was model fittings. Tessa & Garo’s clients both seemed happy, and Sebastian’s look was finally beginning to come together. Not so much for Hester as she was having trouble balancing her client’s wants with who she is as a designer.

The morning of the runway was filled with normal timing issues. Most of the clients were all smiles, but you could visibly see that Jamall’s model was unhappy and uncomfortable. Tessa was having some chiffon issues and decided to cut most of it away. Before the runway, there was of course the judge introductions including guest judge actress Danielle Brooks.

For once, I was in total agreement with the judges. Right top 3. Right bottom 3. Right winner. And right eliminated designer. I feel this is a rare occurrence! But yes, hands down, Sebastian was the winner. He gave his client exactly what she wanted, while also including his designer POV. His client was beyond excited, really living a dream come true, and you could tell by her beaming face and twirling runway walk. It was total old school glam, but with a few modern touches. I would rock this look in a heartbeat! I am happy most of the judges agreed, minus Elaine!

Garo was runner-up, but I didn’t see it as a close race. There were quite a few positives to mention, but it wasn’t a total love-fest. The color was bold and really just the right choice. This look felt glam and you could also tell his client loved this. I also loved the shimmer around the bodice. But the spiky points around the shoulder, didn’t really love those. And I know the cape aspect was detachable, but I think it would have been a little better if it was a little shorter. Overall a great look though, and very deserving to be in the top 3.

Another satisfied client was Bishmes’. This was another great color choice, with some interesting elements. I do feel the fit was off a bit and it read a little boxy. I think this needed a bit of elevation, but overall, for the challenge at hand, a job well done, and very clear compared to the bottom 3, this would be a top look.

Hester was definitely going to be in the bottom, but certainly wasn’t a contender to actually go home. I will say, most of the designers knocked it out of the park in some great, bold color choices. Hester picked a fun color to work with, and it aided in the overall quality of her look. I do feel all of the straps she used on this look, I get that is her trying to incorporate her voice, but I felt it stripped away from the elegance and glam this look was seeking to purport. I compared it in my mind to Garo’s look, total upscale, very high fashion, whereas this just felt like a cheapened version. The client loved it, but I didn’t see this as a memorable or special enough look.

I really liked Tessa’s original idea, with all of the colors of chiffon. Such a shame it didn’t work and led to this. Clearly not executed to the fullest, but compared to Jamall’s look, there was no justification to send this look home over his. The judges could have eliminated both, but the clear bottom look was Jamalls’. Even though the judges were not a fan, the client still really loved this look. Tessa didn’t remain quiet during critiques, and yes, there was some bite-back, but I do feel it was in a way to defend her look and not be fully disrespectful. Brandon was the one giving her the most hard time, so too bad too sad if he doesn’t care for her unfinished hems, but the other judges noted there were still positives. I also thought it was disappointing most of the other designers were quick to jump on her, but completely disregarding just how bad Jamall’s look was. And yes, at this point, these construction issues really shouldn’t be there, but Jamall had them too, and there was certainly some just even in last week’s episode. So maybe Tessa is not their cup of tea, but let’s not be hypocrites and overlook what the other designers are doing.

Just as I said with Venny last week, it was Jamall’s time to go. He has been so inconsistent. And most of his top placements, I don’t think were fully deserved. Thus when he has been in the bottom, I am not surprised. Jamall just doesn’t work the best in these competitive parameters, especially when dealing with execution of a vision and time management. Unfortunately, this look was just a hot mess. It literally looked as if it was falling off his client the entire time she was in it. The client never looked happy, so it was weird hearing her right at the end try and defend the look?? But girl, here, actions speak louder than words! There was no design here. I kept thinking, what did he spend $300 on? What was he doing for 2 days? And what is with these guest judges?? Candace said at least he seemed willing to listen, whereas Tessa didn’t. This guy has been in the bottom multiple times, clearly demonstrating he listens, but doesn’t do anything with those critiques. Being quiet, doesn’t mean you are really listening, and taking in what is being said to then turn things around and do something about your mistakes.

Designing for Good Causes

On Project Runway this week, the designers were tasked to bring attention to a social cause that was one they personally cared about. It seemed this challenge began right after last week’s runway, with Christian and Elaine providing all of the details. Elaine would mentor each designer to channel their voices to create change. This look needed to be a high fashion interpretation, a statement look, where it clearly represented their chosen cause.

This was set to be a 2 day challenge, but it was more like a day and a half. The first day was really just sketching and chatting with Elaine. The work to be done, it was all boiled down to one day. With the Elaine mentor sessions, she cautioned Hester to not go too much off the deep end. And did we really learn that amongst all of the great causes, Garo was choosing “save the bees”?!? For the next day, it began at Mood, with a budget of $250. It was there we learned Bishme could really channel Lorelai Gilmore, talking a mile a minute. And Hester was going crazy with tulle — clearly, seeing it was all about the tulle!

Day 2 continued as the designers got back to the workroom. Bishme was still doing some crazy talk. And Hester seemed to finally be seeing the error in her ways in the way she was working when she had immunity. I’m not sure I buy this and will really need to some great work from her in the future to view her as a true contender for this competition. It was soon time for Siriano sessions. He let Bishme know that his cause was not coming thru in his look. He cautioned Garo that he was beginning to see repetition in his looks. And as always with Jamall, he needed to really focus on time management!

Also as a part of this challenge, there would be a flash sale twist! There would be a 2nd model for this challenge…..the designers themselves! Each designer would make statement tee to correspond with their look, showing support to their chosen cause. The shirts would be sold on Nineteenth Amendment. And the designers would walk on the runway with their models. With the morning of the runway, so many still had so much to do. Hester was seeing she bit off more than she could chew. But really it was Venny who was having some major time issues. He was having to cut some corners, and even had a major zipper issue.

But time running down aside, the show must go on! Guest judge for this week was Aurora James, Creative director for fashion brand Brother Vellies. I can’t say I agreed entirely with the judges this week, but at least the right designer went home! It was Venny & Garo in the bottom 2, and even though Garo’s look was not great either, there was no way Venny should have been saved, yet again. His cause was breaking down stereotypes, so his vision was to create a bomber jacket to unveil then to a glam LBD. The problem was, his vision did not come to life. The jacket was ok, but this dress he created, so poorly constructed, super ill-fitting, and it didn’t read well at all. It was way too edgy. From the dress and jacket pairing, Venny’s overall vision was unclear in direction. His statement tee was okay, not the best of the bunch, but at least clear in its messaging. Regardless, he has been in the bottom far too many times, and saved one too many. It was just his time to go!

I still am a little confused about Garo choosing “Save the Bees” as his social cause. Not saying it’s not important, but among so many other causes out there, this just seemed to fall short in a level of severity or priority. And I think a less than passionate cause created a less than great look. This look read cheap. It was crossing the line on taste, meant to be sexy, but not achieved. Garo has achieved greatness a couple of times in this competition, but really has been inconsistent. And when his looks are average or on the bottom, they really do lack taste and come across tacky. Bottom-worthy look, as well as a bottom-worthy statement tee!

Very odd that there wasn’t a bottom 3 this week, just a bottom 2 and top 3, leaving Hester and Tessa safe. I imagine Hester would have been in the bottom, but given she had immunity, there was no way she was going home. I guess it didn’t make sense to even put her in the bottom. Her social cause was Marriage Equality, quite clear in her rainbow colored look. She did really bite off more than she could chew. The tulle faux fur styled jacket was very underwhelming. And the under garments here, this blue exercise style shorts look, it was nothing equating to fashion. It was poorly fitted, and this was overall, not a great look. The statement tee was great in design, but I didn’t care that it was a crop top. You want everyone to wear statement tees in support and that should be something of comfort. A crop tee is not going to work for everyone.

I actually would have placed Tessa’s look in the top. Her minimalist aesthetic read so clear here, and didn’t need bells and whistles. I applaud Tessa for sticking to who she is as a designer week in and week out. It’s a close call between Tessa and Hester, of all the designers left, who really have the clearest vision of who they are as designers, but Tessa executes her work much better! Her social cause this week was Women’s Rights. It was such a personal story for her to work with, and you could really see the passion and feeling behind this look. It was conceptual, intriguing, and the reveal was amazing. This guest judge was crazy in trying to call her out for the reveal, and being unclear on her look, yet had no problem coddling Venny with his super underwhelming, and clearly bottom-worthy look. Great job on the statement tee as well!

I think the judges were split on trying to name a winner between Sebastian and Jamall, and in not being able to agree, chose to name Bishme the winner instead. I am actually just thinking this was what happened, regardless, I am much more pleased with Bishme as the winner than Jamall. Jamall’s cause was Changing the Black Narrative. I liked his idea, but can’t get behind this gorgeous dress in a puffer jacket materials. He uses puffer jacket way too much and it’s not a great fabric choice in my opinion, or is one that is overly intriguing. I also don’t think he created an aesthetic that is overly inventive or creative. Thank god for Nina here and her voice of reason! And not an impactful statement tee here at all!

Congrats still to Bishme, but Sebastian was clearly the winner here. I mean this dress was just stunning. His social cause was Racial Equality, and it read thru so clearly. This was so high fashion, a work of such beauty. And this guest judge was whack this week! First she harshly and unfairly critiqued Tessa, and then said this look wasn’t elevated. Girl, bye! Thankfully again for Nina who made it clear to later say how elevated this look was. I’m going with Nina as the better fashion expert here! Top look and a top statement tee!

Ultimately though, it was Bishme for the win. His social cause was Youth of Baltimore. Up close, I think the cause rang thru a little more clearly, but on the runway, in just a quick glance, I didn’t see his cause in this look. I loved the color, but felt the top was larger than life and not in a good way. And given the print didn’t come thru as clearly for me, the statement tee also fell a little flat.

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!