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.

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