PR — When Art & Fashion Collide!

And this week, this is exactly what would happen when the worlds of fashion and art merged together! The designers were off to Bergdorf Goodman to get all of the challenge details. Once there they met with Christian and painter Ashley Longshore. Also joining them was fashion director of Bergdorfs Linda Fargo. They met in the Bergdorf cafĂ©, which is actually filled with Ashley Longshore works of art. For the challenge, the designers would have to work in a collaboration between designer and artist. The end result would be a high fashion look, the designers’ voice in the look, but with the use of an original Ashley Longshore print.

Ashley was thrilled to do these collaborations as it would be her first time seeing her work on apparel. As Chelsey was the winning designer last week, she would select her print first. Each next chosen designer would then choose another designer to select after them. I guess certain designers might have wanted certain prints, but really, all of the prints were amazing. I don’t see anyone being at a loss here based on print selection! This would be a 2-day challenge. The designers would have a $175 Mood budget, so they would be able to use other fabrics, but the Longshore print needed to be the focal point of each look.

During sketch time, Ashley checked in on each designer. It was then off to Mood, where we saw Victoria hiding from Christian and Geoffrey was all about the nipple focus since his print contained nips. As shop time was done, the designers were back to the workroom for the start of Day 1. Chelsey asked Delvin for some help, and Sergio tried to offer his assistance as well. Delvin was clearly not feeling Sergio’s advice. Ashley rejoined the designers to continue the collaboration. She expressed concern for Geoffrey in that his focus was too much and too literal about the nipple. Her artwork had an err of mystery on that aspect. She also expressed concern for Victoria that she was not using enough of the print. In case anyone missed it during the episode, I believe Victoria only said it about 50 times, but she is not a fan of prints!

Ashely would also be providing accessories/trims for the designers to utilize within their looks — feathers, beads, jewels, etc. After her sessions with each designer it was a race to grab some items! As the rest of the day winded down, you could see Delvin felt like he was back to his normal self, that he would finish his work early. Before the designers went home, they were treated with some apps and drinks to enjoy! Celebrating a little bit of down time, the designers decided to put on a runway walk competition!

As day 2 began, Dayoung felt sick, again. Throughout most of the day, you could see she was struggling, no energy and couldn’t eat. Seeing her not feeling well a few times now, one has to wonder if this competition environment is too much for her? But for now, Dayoung decided to push thru. During Siriano sessions, he mentioned being excited about seeing all of the color; I was excited too. Christian was worried about Nancy’s oversize coat, however she wasn’t. Christian expressed concern for Victoria too, still not using her print as much. Victoria hasn’t followed the challenge guidelines in my opinion 2 times before, so it’s not a surprise she was doing that again here because her past rule-breaking has been rewarded with her being given a top spot.

Later in the day were model fittings. For Delvin, his look began as a bit pj-like has Christian expressed, later some shortening edits were made. Christian felt Geoffrey’s look was too oversized, looking a bit like an oven mitt. For the rest of the day, of course it was clear Dayoung was behind. The morning of the runway was filled with normal craziness. Victoria did help Dayoung finish her look, which was nice, but as we later saw, perhaps she should have been more concerned with her own look. Marquise had some construction issues with his look and was hoping to hide them with his jacket. I have to give a product shout-out on the Maybelline matte lipstick being used for a few of the models, this product is amazing, works so well!

I was very excited to see this runway! Ashley, being this week’s guest judge, was excited as well! The safe designers were Chelsey, Sergio, and Geoffrey. Chelsey’s medley of words and artwork print was not my favorite, just felt a bit sloppy. Sergio did much better than he has the past couple of weeks with this look of a butterfly focused print, very chic. I actually didn’t care for Geoffrey’s very junior-like look. As for the top 3, Brittany, Dayoung, and Delvin, I was mostly in agreement. It was great seeing Delvin so happy, but his portraits and lips printed power suit was all print and too much for me. I know the print was to be the focal point, but the entire look in this print was just a lot!

My winner would have been Dayoung. I know she had some help finishing her lips centric look, but it was still her voice and I have loved so much of what I have seen from her. I loved she matched her print with this stunning purple fabric. The look felt very fun! And it was very kind of Dayoung to actually credit Victoria for the help she was given. I don’t know if all designers would have given this credit.

But it was basically known from the jump Brittany was winning this one. Her look was great, so still deserving of the win. We heard all episode how much she was a fan of Ashley’s work, and that passion/enthusiasm, you could see in her floral/butterfly look. The 3d butterfly embellishments were great. I thought it was a very hip and chic look.

This left the bottom designers as Marquise, Victoria, and Nancy. I was very annoyed Nancy was in the bottom, let alone the bottom 2. This was not a bottom 2 worthy look! Yes, her jacket was oversized, but I feel plenty of woman would like that oversize feel. And, even if they didn’t, this jacket could have been taken in some. The rest of her look was beyond amazing, especially the pants! I feel as if the judges had a hard time sending Marquise home over her, but I just view these 2 bottom looks as vastly different and it should have been no question or hesitation who to send home!

Even though Victoria wasn’t in the bottom 2, at least she finally wasn’t undeservedly rewarded by being in the top. I don’t think Victoria is a bad designer, I just think she has been overpraised all season. And because of that overpraising, she now feels she doesn’t have to follow the challenge guidelines, and can do almost anything she wants and not be in the bottom. Her look this week lacked her normal great technical quality, but the design itself was not great, very derivative of she has done in the past with asymmetrical silhouette work. But it also didn’t meet the challenge requirements. I don’t think her entire look should have been the print, but she could have utilized the print more cleverly on both the pants and the top. But she seems unwilling to compromise at all and clearly doesn’t like criticism.

This left Marquise going home. I like the guy, but the judges did seem really sad about this decision. And I get that, they are human. But Marquise has not performed consistently well. Yes he had 1 win, but most of the time was safe or in the bottom. I think it is great how far he came being a self taught designer, but his skillset is nowhere near some of the top designers in this pack. I think he has a voice and over time, his skills, the added value of real time, it will all work itself out.

Project Runway Early Round-Up

As we all know, Project Runway is back on Bravo, and has been for a few weeks. I actually began recaps on the first 2 episodes and then the holidays hit, and needless to say, I fell behind! I am of course going to still watch, but after over 5 years of blogging about the show, I just can’t go this season without my recaps — IT’S TOO HARD! So I have decided to do a bundle recap of the 1st four episodes, my thoughts up until now, and then will be back on track to fully recap each episode here on out! NANCY’S LOOK BELOW

So first up, let’s go all the way back to the premiere episode, where we met this season’s designers, and they were hit with the challenge right from the gate. Almost the literal gate as they were still at JFK airport. This was going to be hard right from the jump, as the designers had to work in pairs, but did fortunately have 2 days to complete, with a $400 Mood budget. The task at hand for each duo, to create an innovative look inspired by space. The 2 looks had to be complimentary, but representative of each designer’s individual point of view. The setting would be a trip to space, one look needed to be a jumpsuit for daytime excursions and the 2nd look, a chic happy hour look for the space hotel bar. BRITTANY’S LOOK — Winner

In this episode, we saw Alan struggle as he forgot his fabric at Mood and Sergio showing a little ego. There was of course a little drama, lots of tears, but overall, a fairly decent runway. I really thought Nancy & Marquise were robbed for a top spot. Well, mainly Nancy. I just loved her chiffon wrap, the reveal was phenomenal, such a sexy LBD! DAYOUNG BELOW, BOTTOM DESIGN

For the top, the judges went with Geoffrey/Melanie & Brittany/Sergio. Of this group, I am pleased Brittany nabbed the win. Her jumpsuit felt very fashion forward, such great attention to detail. ASMA BELOW, ELIMINATED

The bottom consisted of Alan/Dayoung & Asma/Jenn, although it was quite obvious Asma & Jenn were the bottom 2. Dayoung’s look had some fit issues, but the concept was great, and with more time, I think it would have been amazing. But Jenn and Asma were on 2 different pages, not creating cohesion at all. One look was basic & boring, while the other was loud and crazy. The judges decided to send both home, which I think was the right call. Both really just didn’t hit the mark. JENN’S LOOK, ELIMINATED

Next up, with episode 2, the designers got crazy with prints! This week, the designers would take inspiration from the new film Cats! This would be a 2-day challenge, $250 budget, for each designer to create stylish, chic street style looks with a print. Everyone was ready to work, except Dayoung. She unfortunately fell ill and spent the entire first day on bedrest, unclear if she would make it back at all! She did decide to stay, but would be doing so with a full day behind everyone else. Sergio continued to throw some Christian shade, and Delvin completed his work early, yet again, actually hiding from Christian. Dayoung being behind was in an obvious struggle mode, but it was nice of her fellow designers to help out. NANCY’S LOOK

Celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte was back for this season, and was this week’s guest judge. Pictured above is Nancy’s look, once again, I say she was robbed for a top spot! These pilazzo style pants were very hip and I loved this shredded looking top. You could feel the texture in this look, and it was so chic and bold, a real bad ass girl!

But of the judges’ actual top 3, my winner would have been Delvin. This was such a great pop of color on this more overall muted runway. It felt really fresh, and very luxe. Victoria was also in the top, which I didn’t get at all, especially based on the feedback. This was supposed to be street style, but the judges even said “the club.” It was not a unanimous decision! One of the judges even referenced this look as a tennis uniform, which again, I ask how is that street?? Seeing later episodes, I think Victoria is a judges’ favorite for some reason, and I don’t get it or agree.

Marquise was named the winner, which I didn’t totally disagree with, but I still liked Delvin’s look better. Marquise’s look did well in mixing prints, and did feel like a fun, cool streetwear look.

Just like episode 1, the bottom was a little more obvious, but it was clear the eliminated designer was going to be Veronica. You could barely see her animal print. The look just fell flat.

Moving onto the next episode, all about really getting into the holiday spirit! The designers’ penthouse living room was transformed into a winter wonderland, full of holiday decorations, ornaments, ribbons and more. This was of course not a coincidence, as these items would be the materials for this challenge — so yes, unconventional materials challenge time! The task at hand, create a holiday look, the perfect party dress in this 2-day challenge. As the designers got to work, Nancy was not being the quietest in the workroom. If you ask me, big deal, I would take her actually working over someone just running around, being loud, and not working! Some Sergio on Siriano shade continued, Alan wanted to see boobs on the runway, and Shavi was dealing with shrunken berries. The clear drama of this episode was that while a few designers were really flourishing, many were floundering — such as Delvin not feeling unconventional materials aka Arts & Crafts as he calls it, Tyler being left with a short freakum’ dress, and Brittany who seemed to be in a constant state of tears.

Seeing all of the wintry sparkle in the workroom, I was ready for the runway. This week’s guest judge was actress Kiernan Shipka. From the safe group, I have to say Geoffrey had to have just missed being in the top. His dress was also made with wrapping paper, and I thought what he did was just as good, if not better than top named designer Sergio. But Dayoung was straight up robbed! Her look was so magical, very festive and such a stunning holiday look.

I definitely feel Marquise and Delvin were lucky to be safe. I felt there looks were not super innovative with the use of unconventional materials. In comparison, say Melanie using the corn husks, much more inventive and eye-catching. The judges named Sergio, Victoria and Shavi for the top, with Sergio as the winner. This was definitely not my top 3, but I guess of this top 3, Sergio’s look deserved the win. It had literal bells and whistles, and not in a bad way!

Victoria’s look had flare, but it wasn’t my personal fave. It only read holiday to me because of the cranberries. I just felt there were better looks. Same sentiment I felt with Sha’Vi. His look actually read super festive, but it just didn’t stand out to me. I think his model really sold the look though and that probably helped him in landing a top spot.

The bottom 3 was much more obvious, and wasn’t hard to guess, Tyler, Brittany, and Alan. Brittany didn’t do great, but has done better and I think the judges knew this was likely a random fluke. She can’t make excuses, but at least she had some form of concept in the top. I think you could tell in contrast, the judges were over Alan. He just hasn’t done anything super great in 3 episodes. I really think that was the only reason he went home over Tyler. I would have been good with either going, but Alan just maybe wasn’t ready for this competition. Too many ideas and he didn’t know what to do with them or how to execute them.

So going into episode 4, knowing Alan was constantly in the bottom, he went home, would that same fate happen to Tyler next? For this next challenge, it was all about the ultimate upcycle. Karlie’s fashion stylist, Karla Welch, would be a mentor for this task. Karlie needed a look for a CFDA event in Paris. The look needed to be original, wearable, and cool — An American in Paris. The twist this week, the fabric would be recycling materials of used clothes from Goodwill ($150 budget). Most of the designers were thrilled with this, well except Delvin & Victoria. And in comparison to all of the other challenges thus far, this would be a 1 day challenge! Also, no surprise as this was a challenge for Karlie, there were brand new models, Karlie lookalikes! DELVIN’S LOOK

There was a lot of focus on Tyler for this episode. Sergio was trying to give him some “training” or “help.” But was it really that? Tyler and Christian were butting heads a bit on his original sailor concept. It was interesting hearing the later Tyler commentary on everyone else’s looks as not being great, when his wasn’t great at all! Tyler aside, Victoria finished her look before Delvin and was elated. And Sha’Vi had a huge hole mishap at the last minute and not much time to correct it. BRITTANY’S LOOK

Actress Laverne Cox was this week’s guest judge. So who created transformative looks, giving new life to old clothing for this runway? I was very underwhelmed with this runway. There were too many suit type looks and then denim, which I am not a huge fan of, at least on this show. Delvin should have been in the top. This sequin lace top was stunning. I was also intrigued with Brittany’s look, maybe because it was a pop of color, maybe because it was very different than the rest, but for me, it certainly stood out.

The top 3 were Nancy, Chelsey, and Victoria (pictured above). I was okay of this top 3 with Victoria winning. It was chic, great details and was one of the better jacket looks. I just feel with Victoria, she is showing a lot of the same elements and silhouettes, and I don’t personally get the judges’ infatuation. Nancy’s look was also not my favorite of hers. But for the fact I feel she has been robbed in other challenges, I am glad she made the top.

As with every episode thus far, the bottom was abundantly obvious, Marquise, Sha’Vi , and Tyler. Sha’Vi had an unfortunate mistake and it hurt his look. He hit a snag and couldn’t recover. I felt he was deserving of a 2nd chance. Marquise has been flailing, but with Tyler being a repeat bottom contender, and not doing anything overly exciting here, he was eliminated. His look was tight, it didn’t feel innovative, there was no WOW factor. This was RTW, straight off the rack.