I was not impressed last week with the All-Star designers’ dual color challenge. However, this week was a major turnaround, and a truly outstanding runway! The ever-popular unconventional materials challenge definitely made the designers step up their game.
The designers all met at the Southwest Airlines terminal, appearing as if they might be going on a trip. Once Alyssa greeted them on board the plane, they quickly knew a challenge was awaiting, not a destination. This was the week for the always popular unconventional materials challenge. All the materials were in the baggage claim, all flight related — tags, coffee cups, reflectors, air sickness bags, and more! The designers would have 2 days to create a look for modern-day travel.
On top of winning $5000, the week’s winner would also receive a vacation to any destination Southwest Airlines flies too, for the winner and a companion. The winning designer would also get to partner with a non-profit group affiliated with Southwest, Re-Threaded, and would serve as a consultant on upcycling, all for women empowerment.
The designers had 5 minutes to collect materials and then it was off to the workroom. Everyone quickly began figuring out their goal for the challenge. I think the global winners of Project Runway had the most trouble at the onset here, maybe not being as familiar with this type of challenge. Jasper mentioned during his season of Project Runway, there was no unconventional materials challenge.
The 2nd day of work soon arrived, and Django began by starting over on his design. Anne came by for her check-ins, urging some to do more, or saying some might be going in the wrong direction. She did have some positives — Hey, I love pockets too! As the end of the day approached however, many designers still had quite a bit to do!
The morning of provided its usual frantic moments, although it seemed Jasper had finally finished his work craziness and was soon focused a bit much on his model’s walk for the runway. I was getting very excited to see this runway, as I’m sure were the judges, including 2 guest judges — award winning journalist Tamron Hall and supermodel Martha Hunt.
As I mentioned in my introduction, I absolutely loved this runway! I had so many faves, and picking a top 3 was hard! I guess what it came down to was who not only made a great look, but one that was also fitting to the challenge theme of a modern day travel look.
I did love what Michelle created, but I think my top 3 would have included Cynthia. I loved her use of color, and she got a great fit for her model despite the type of materials she was using. But I guess with Michelle, she also had a striking color, and the reflectors created that extra pop of intrigue for the runway. However, I did find Cynthia’s look a bit more suitable for travel, and with Michelle, I felt a bit more of a red carpet or cocktail vibe. Nonetheless, both did excellent work!
A few other shout-outs, Django and Evan first. I loved these looks, but they definitely read more upscale than travel. Christina and Anthony Ryan both went a bit more of a sportier route, which was nice to see, but I don’t believe there work was quite as polished as some of the others.
The top 2 was without a shadow of a doubt Irina & Jasper. This was a tough call and it really could have gone either way. I am a huge Irina fan, so I am very happy for her win, and given she was on the bottom last week, this was a great turnaround to see for her.
And Jasper’s look was deserving of all the accolades too. He seemed so crazed during this challenge, and I thought we were in store for a disaster. But that was clearly not the case! I loved his color palette, and he really did create a super chic, high fashion travel look.
The bottom 3 made sense, although I did not like seeing Sean there! It was clear as the judges discussed though that he would not be going anywhere. There were really on 2 poor looks this week, and that was the bottom 2, Juli & Seth Aaron. I can see why with Sean’s look it created some discussion, but I was happy to hear this look had some positives mentioned. I thought it was a colorful look, perfect for travel!
A lot of times in a bottom 2 scenario, we see someone who did too much, and one who did too little, usually with the one doing too little going home. For Juli and Seth Aaron, I guess you could say both did too little. Seth Aaron made a dress from seat belts and that is exactly what it looked like. And Juli made a super safe, very basic look, that had 0 wow factor.
I guess what saved Juli was that her dress was at least wearable. However, I have only seen “safe” looks from her, where as Seth Aaron was just in the top last week. And at least with this challenge, Seth Aaron showed some attempts of trying. I think he should have stayed over Juli. But since she is not out, hopefully we see her step it up next week because safe is not what needs to come down the runway!