This week on Project Runway, the designers were tasked to put their spin on the classic tuxedo. The inspiration was looking at the modern tuxe look Christian Siriano created for actor Billy Porter for the Oscars 2019 red carpet. Each look would need to incorporate satin. And the models this week would be a mix of male, female and non-binary. The designers were thrilled to hear this would be a 2-day challenge. And because this task would involve some extra work due to tailoring, all of the eliminated designers would be back to lend a helping hand.
The twist here was that the eliminated designers would choose who they wanted to work with, chosen at random draw, from the button bag. I think the remaining designers would have preferred choosing their help, but for the most part the pairings ended up looking pretty well. Not surprising, but Victoria was selected last, by Alan, and she didn’t even have him help that much. The designers were paired off and went to sketch. Brittany had never created any sort of menswear and was already starting to worry. The designers were then off to Mood, given a $600 budget. I feel like that is one of the higher numbers of the season.
While Brittany was in panic mode, Marquise felt super comfortable, in his element. Delvin originally migrated towards a powder blue fabric, thinking bad prom tuxe, but thankfully Christian saved him from that! With lots to do, it was back to the workroom for the rest of day 1 of this challenge. Delvin bragged on how his skillset would create for smooth sailing on this challenge. Brittany was still in panic mode, maybe having bit off more than she could chew. But at the end of Day 1, the designers were given a little break, having some fun, playing cornhole, and drinking cocktails.
The start of Day 2 also provided some treats for the designers, last season’s winner Sebastian Grey, and he brought them breakfast, with a side of advice. Next up with some advice, Christian with his Siriano sessions. He cautioned Nancy on fit, questioned Delvin on his fabric choice, and gave Brittany food for thought about maybe changing up some on her design. We later saw Delvin’s helper Tyler assisting Nancy with a bit of a pre-model fitting. Delvin was upset, but I guess was unable to act with any maturity and just ask Tyler to just focus on him. Instead he bashed Nancy because I guess that 15 minutes Tyler was away would be such a make it or break it moment for Delvin’s look!
The actual model fittings were up next. Everyone loved seeing some abs in the workroom! Victoria had some behind the scenes comments about Nancy’s work being somewhat derivative. This was laughable coming from the queen of repetition this season, who was just called out for that last week! Many designers overuse common elements, but Nancy has certainly created a variety in her looks. Some of the designers weren’t using their helpers as much as others, as mentioned above, Victoria with Alan, but also Sergio with Veronica. I can’t blame someone for trusting their own skillset versus designers who were eliminated for not the best skillsets.
The morning of the runway produced some true deplorability from a few of the designers. It was like a real life version of Mean Girls! Honestly though, it was abundantly evident these 3 cowards bashing Nancy were just trying to mask their own insecurities. But that is no excuse. Victoria was in the bottom 2 weeks prior, so who is she to throw shade? Delvin has been up and down from week to week, clearly seeing his skillset is not all he thinks it is, but rather than focus on himself, he chooses to tear others down, so sad! And Brittany knew she had a bottom look this week, knowing how hard it was, and yet also joined in on this nonsense. This is nothing but pure jealousy and very disappointing to see! Nancy overheard all of this and took the high road to not say anything. This is the difference between someone with class and those who act like immature children!
Rant aside, the rest of the morning was par for course. All of the designers were rushing to finish their looks. Britt was having some major last minute glitches (KARMA!), Marquise was trying to get his fit nailed down, and Alan decided to help Brittany since Victoria wasn’t using him. Delvin after already going in on Nancy all episode had another childish moment. Nancy was using a button machine, I guess there is only one and it broke. Of course Delvin blamed her, as if she did it on purpose. Thank God for Christian who provided Delvin with a dose of reality in that he could still just do the work himself and that those machines weren’t always around! He also had a helping hand in Tyler, so just make it work and stop whining!
After all of this drama, I was ready for the actual runway. This week’s guest judge was menswear designer Thom Browne. As this week’s runway was a little more menswear based, I looked at the looks a little differently than I do from other weeks. So not so much what I would wear, but focus on the technique, could I see that look on a red carpet, and did it meet the challenge, really taking the tuxe to a new, modern level. All of the designers received critiques this week, making it to a top 4/bottom 3. My top 2 would have been between Marquise & Geoffrey, but Marquise winning made sense.
I really liked the jacket he created, and doing the skirt/pant bottom was certainly one of the more innovative features I saw on this runway. There was a lot of great attention to detail. Given he was eliminated and came back, I am sure this win felt great for him. I do think it was justified in his elimination, but he should be very thankful for 2nd chances!
Geoffrey also did some great work making a tuxe into a jumpsuit silhouette. I could see a lot of people wanting to wear this. He made some great color choices.
I think Victoria was given more consideration from the judges for a top spot, but not for me. She didn’t have the best or worst look, but I wasn’t blown away. I did like the open back, but I felt the bodice area looked very bunchy. I also agreed with Thom Browne that this wasn’t really a next level tuxedo.
Sergio also received some positive commentary, and that was deserved. He created a very polished look, superior technical quality. The problem was that it did seem super similar to a well know Celine Deion red carpet look. I actually don’t think Sergio had that in mind when creating this. He didn’t intentionally break the rules as Victoria has done in the past. It was still a great look, very well made, and would have been hard to send him out on this look. I also wondered why Christian didn’t bring this reference up?? The hard part with Sergio was hearing his political message related to this look. I don’t think anyone wishes we were back in the 50s!
This left Delvin (KARMA), Nancy, and Brittany as the bottom 2. I hated seeing Nancy be in the bottom 2, but ultimately it didn’t matter. There was no way Brittany shouldn’t have gone home over her look. The other 2 looks were at least finished well, and it was just a matter of subjective liking. But Brittany’s look had so many construction issues, and was just such a hot mess! She kept saying she was trying something different and used that as an excuse for her poor look. I actually didn’t buy that. She created a shorts tuxedo look, which actually doesn’t even meet the challenge requirements. This has been done, so there was no real innovation here, just a poorly created look because Brittany doesn’t do menswear.
It was great Karma seeing Delvin in the bottom. Not just because of how he treated Nancy, but also because he was so overconfident all episode; it grew tiring! Supposedly being Mr. Tailor, I actually thought his look didn’t have a great fit, it looked super tight. The judges were correct to point out he had too much going on and should have streamlined his focus to what he does well.
I’m a huge Nancy fan, so seeing her in the bottom was a little nerve-wrecking. You can tell the judges like Brittany more, so it did worry me that they would choose someone they liked more, even though that person clearly had the worst look! I liked that she used a print and I would see a ton of people going with a look like this. I’m glad the judges hadn’t lost all of their marbles though and Brittany was eliminated. I get eliminations are tough, but I felt the judges were a little over the top on how bad it was that Brittany was being eliminated. She is a great designer, but she hasn’t had the most consistent work. Not many bottom looks, yes, a couple of wins, but also a lot of safe looks. I think we all knew though that Christian would use his save if he needed to for a few designers, Brittany being one of them. She was saved, good for her, hopefully next week she can focus on being a designer instead of taking part in mean girl antics!