Proj. Runway — How Wrong Can You Go!

I can’t recall an episode in PR history where I disagreed so vehemently. Wow! More on that later on, but first the episode details. This episode marked the 1st team challenge of the season, more specifically the Mary Kay challenge.


The designers were divided into 2 teams of 6. Tim was joined by Mary Kay’s Global Beauty Ambassador Luis Casco for all of the details. Each team would create a 4-piece mini-collection, with the concept left up to each team, but it had to be cohesive. This would be a 1-day challenge. The extra challenge on top of the challenge, as PR always has one, was that each team’s budget would be set on how well the teams pitched their concept to a panel of mystery investors. Each member of the winning team would receive $5000, as well as a feature in Marie Claire. Onto team formation —


Rik, as the winner last week, selected first. Tim drew a name from the infamous button bag, Brik, who started the selection process for the 2nd team. Each selected designer would then choose the next. So we had Team 1, Team Unity, with Rik, Alex, Roberi, Cornelius, Mah-Jing, & Nathalia. And so for Team 2, House of Bouton aka Team Button Bag, there was Brik, Tasha, Laurence, Erin, Dexter, & Jenni.


Each team went to plan their pitch, and then it was time to “sell it” to the mystery investors, who ended up being Heidi, Zac, & Nina. Each investor had $1000 to spend. Team Unity wanted to create a collection to empower women, give them confidence in the workplace. Comparing their looks to Theory or Helmut Lang, Alex took on the leadership role in really selling the pitch. Team 2 wanted their collection to be a little more fun, aka bad-ass. Dexter came up with most of the gameplan, pitching a concept of women in the tech industry, an untapped market, looking for fashion forward looks.


The investors were more impressed with House of Bouton, seeing their concept as more fashion forward, more creative. (Splits — T1/T2 — Heidi, 400/600; Zac 200/800; Nina 200/800) This left Team unity with an $800 budget and House of Bouton with $2200.


It was then off to Mood and begin work on the collections. In the workroom, Mah-jing initially was feeling left out of his team, but soon seemed to find his groove. Dexter was all over the place with his team, really doing his part to oversee each look. As the runway neared, Team Unity seemed to be calm, cool, and collective. Whereas House of Bouton was all over the place, scrambling to finish. But sooner rather than later, it was of course time for the runway. This week’s guest judge was Disney star Sabrina Carpenter. So, why did this episode frustrate me so, here we go!


To me, neither team really deserved the title of the “winning team”, but of course one had to be chosen. I really did disagree with the judges, but after some thought, I guess my disagreement stemmed more from the ending result than the actual decision. I feel like each collection had some standout pieces, but again, neither collection, in its entirety, was full-on amazing. The judges chose House of Bouton as the winning team.


Laurence on the jacket, Tasha on the skirt; SHOUTOUTS — Stunning beauty look, with Mary Kay, the bold red lip, & Sally Beauty, all of the luscious waves

One of my issues with the win being granted here, was there were only 2 standout pieces here, Laurence’s leather jacket being one. The rest of the looks were kind of boring and basic. Such as above this very simple, easy to make, bright yellow skirt from Tasha. I’m not sure what else she worked on, but I don’t think we saw enough of Tasha in this collection.


Erin’s coat above, was another standout piece for the collection. It’s a fun coat, might not be wearable to all, but this team really did state their vision for who their client was, so it wouldn’t be a coat for the masses. But back to my point from above, what was under this coat? I don’t even think the judges looked at it, probably because it was nothing special.


Another stunning Mary Kay makeup look!

This was the judges least fave of the collection, mine too! It didn’t fit in with the other looks and  it was way too short. This kind of brings me to my next issue with this collection, the money! This team had a larger budget, but I didn’t really see it in this collection. I expected more with $2200. The problem with Team Unity was overdesign, seeing too much. I felt as if we saw more from them with less though and that didn’t sit well with me. Brik and Jenni created this look above. I’m not a fan of Briks’ and this dress does nothing to change my mind on that opinion!


Mary Kay & Sally Beauty shoutouts!

Then we have Dexter’s look, the suit with trimming details. The details were nice, but I didn’t care for the fabric here and it didn’t really standout to me. I think he spent more time on overseeing rather than designing, but of this group, he was the winning designer, and I do think for his leadership role, that was well deserved. However, if it was based on the best look, Laurence should have won!


With House of Bouton winning, that meant someone from Team Unity would go home. The decision really came down to who had the worst look and who had the most responsibility in this collection’s creations — Alex & Roberi. Mah-jing, somewhat surprisingly, had the best look of the collection. Surprisingly just because he was worried on his lack of voice in the creation of the collection, but this look was chic and modern.


I don’t even recall discussion on Cornelius’ look, but this printed jacket was super cute. But it led to the start of a major problem with this collection, the cohesion. These looks individually, were not all bad, but put together as a collection, didn’t make much sense.


Sally Beauty shoutout — gorgeous curls!

This look seemed to create the most discussion, with Roberi really taking control of this look. Nathalia did the jacket, which was not a bad jacket, but back to cohesion, I didn’t really get how it fit with this collection. But the judges really didn’t care for the top or bottoms here, which put Roberi in jeopardy.


As much as I didn’t want to see Roberi leave, I never wanted to see Alex leave either. And sadly, that is what happened. Generally in group challenges, teams try to throw someone under the bus. But that was hard to do here. In fact, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it to this magnitude, but several of the designers said to send them home if it came down to it. Alex leaving was a pure shame, a major head-scratcher. And what was even worse, Tim Gunn didn’t use the save!! Are you kidding me! I am all but hoping that tonight, they start off with a “Gotcha” moment and Alex gets to come back. This look above was not the worst of the bunch. And this collection was certainly not the worst mini-collection in PR history. Alex should not have gone home this early. Perhaps Tim has in mind who he would use the save on if it came down to it. I can only think of Erin being deserving at this point. But she seems to be doing okay, so I don’t get Tim’s logic here at all. The judges decision, while hard, did make the most sense I guess with how everything came to be during this episode. But Tim could have turned it around & to me, failed in making a good decision here!



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