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!