I started this current season of Project Runway late, trying to watch/catch up and just can’t help but want to blog! So taking a stab with the first few challenges here in my Recap Part 1. Looking at the first challenge, the unconventional challenge, dressing for royalty and all from the same bolt of “Red Rage”.
The various runways have been very up and down for me, some peaks of brilliance to some very lows that I wouldn’t expect from the supposed “best of the best.” I also feel like we keep hearing a lot of excuses and sad stories to distract from bad design. I’ve seen a lot of fan commentary on what the show should be about, fashion or the back stories. From just the very few first episodes it’s quite evident they all have had something bad happen to them, a rough childhood/upbringing, a tragic loss, etc. But no individual designer’s sad story should overtake the week’s given challenge, the work they actually put down the runway. So I don’t mind learning more, hearing about a journey, but it shouldn’t overtake your work or be an excuse to keep you from going home.
Thus far, I have agreed with all who have went home. I do appreciate Viktor. I have even met him; he is a great guy and designer. But that royalty look was a hot mess and that was mostly because of him. He was more focused on putting his POV on a look that it wasn’t working with. And then on the “Red is all the Rage” runway, it was abundantly clear Hester was going. And the excuse of oh, I am not familiar with this fabric doesn’t fly. You chose to create something ambitious, so if you don’t know how to work with the fabric, then create something in your wheelhouse, not something you really haven’t done on a fabric you supposedly don’t know. Sounded like a big excuse, which I think would bother the other designers, but somehow most were unnecessarily focused on Anna.
Certainly the big topic of debate from that runway was Anna repeating work? This was beyond blown out of proportion. I could maybe understand if she had won, but the judges were in no way giving her the win. And there was no way that look was sending her home. So I don’t get the outrage when it was clear that the look that was going home was the one poorly made, sloppy, and just all over the place. I don’t get all the drama there. Kind of laughable for example hearing Korto discussing it when in that same week her look was repeating a weaving design she had also done before. A few were saying Anna has done nothing but repeat the ruffle, yet I can only recall the one look.
Let’s also not pretend in the real world on a runway you don’t see some repetition of a signature design detail or that even on the show we don’t see designers re-use fashion details or design aspects. Leanne Marshall, Dmitry Sholokhov, Sean Kelly, just to name a few! I feel the designers were more upset with the bottom 3 maybe because they liked them better than actually thinking of the looks. They also seemed more upset with Anna as if she put herself in the top, when it was the judges who did this. I guess time will tell if they actually have the audacity to say something to them vs jumping on Anna. But again, the bottom 3 made sense even if you like the designer. We know Christian convinced Rami to change his design a good bit after the start. It clearly led to not the best Rami look and something that didn’t seem fully visualized. Christian also told Fabio he was playing it safe, which is exactly what the judges told him. And again, finally with Hester, it was quite clear she was the one going home.
I mentioned the runways being full of highs and lows for me. Of course episode 1, I thought it was great to see everyone back and such dramatic changes from their worst looks revisualized. The unconventional runway really blew me away – was probably my top runway thus far. Nina thought the royalty runway was complete with no bad looks, but I very much disagreed. She actually then didn’t care for the Alls Red runway, which I thought was pretty good. Going back to the royalty challenge, I really didn’t love many of the looks. And I think the problem was most were just doing whatever they wanted to and not actually thinking of the task at hand. It was either a design for future royalty or a nonexistent land of royalty, but the challenge was create a look fit for royalty, not for royalty that doesn’t exist or whatever you are just making up in your mind.
The runway was again surprisingly lackluster for me, but of course not very surprising was a teamwork challenge and that at least providing a little drama. A typical dramatic group, that of Anna/Brittany, it did land them in the bottom. It was not surprising they clashed somewhat, both with very strong personalities. I know with Brittany, I want to like her. And she is not a horrible designer. Her next winning look with the red sportswear piece was actually pretty great. But I just feel like every episode she has to try so hard to get attention. It doesn’t feel like a natural for reality TV. I think if she wasn’t so focused on trying to make what she thinks is good TV her design work would be far better.
I am looking forward to continuing to catch up on the latest episodes and putting together my Recap Part 2. It’s only going to get more tough from here on out as I am sure most of us have more than one fave!