Project Runway — It’s the Road to the Finale

It’s that time for Project Runway, the road to the finale, where we see the final collections of the designers shown during NYFW! We at this point are left with the final 4, Nancy, Sergio, Geoffrey & Victoria. Each designer would have 5 months to work on their collections, with a $10,000 budget. Each collection would consist of 10 looks. The designers were sent home to get working! The first part of the episode consisted of Christian visiting each designer to check-in.

First up, Christian was in Philadelphia, visiting Nancy. She had a really nice setup for a studio right next to her apartment. During this season, we saw Nancy a little all over the place at times, but I guess given more freedom in a work environment and parameters, we see a different Nancy, one who is really scheduled and organized. I love that she had a cardboard popup of Christian to keep her work spirit up! Nancy had so much completed for this visit with Christian. Her collection was all zero waste. It really did look like a lot of wearable art. She was also being all inclusive with her looks, even creating another look to work for a wheelchair model. I really loved what I was seeing here. There was a lot of detail and intricacies. Christian’s advice was to make sure to edit, not overwork the looks. And a nice parting bit of fun for Christian, he and Nancy ran up the steps in Philadelphia, like Rocky, how cool!

Next up for Christian was visiting Sergio in NY. He lives in a stunning apartment and his studio was actually in the apartment. His take for the collection was to look at global warmings’ impact on the planet. Sergio was trying to create glaciers melting into ice caps. He had some stunning fabrics chosen, and had decided to use upcycled fabrics. He also decided to grow leather in his bathtub, which actually looked pretty gross! We saw a lot of the middle part of his collection, but I was with Christian on his thoughts here and that the message wasn’t reading clear. And another bit of athleticism for Christian as he left Sergio, playing a little soccer!

Christian was then off to L.A. to visit with Victoria. She had a lot completed for this visit with Christian. She had decided to create a logo, which she put on some of her looks. I didn’t care for this, it read cheap, and let’s be real, she is not LV or Coach, not at a point yet where she needs that level of branding! There were a few interesting pieces, but I wasn’t seeing a lot of cohesion. I saw a lot of RTW, nothing very high-end. Looking at what I was seeing overall was underwhelming. After their studio visit, Christian was able to meet Victoria’s family, her husband and son.

And last but not least for Christian’s visits was seeing Geoffrey, going back to NY, Brooklyn. Geoffrey had a rocky start to working on this collection. He had pulled his meniscus, so was working thru that injury while trying to work thru this collection. He really hadn’t completed much. Lots of sketches and fabric swatches, but not any completed looks. He was thinking futurism for this collection, working on specific details for the collection, fabric manipulations, texture, quilted chainmail, and more. I was intrigued by what he was saying, but Geoffrey really had his work cut out for him to pull everything together and to do so very quickly. We also later learned Geoffrey had gone thru a break-up and was having some financial woes from closing his business. So he had been thru a lot and hopefully it wouldn’t keep impacting the work on his collection.

With all of the visits done, everyone finished their work over the next couple of months and were then back to NY. Victoria had an entire new hair look, big ball of curls gone to straight locks of blonde. Before getting back to work on their own collections, the designers went to Christian’s show at NYFW. But not too much downtime for fun, as the very next day, they were all back to their new workroom to get back to work! And since Christian had a lot going on after his show, Karlie was there to welcome the designers. The designers started unpacking their collections, Nancy literally inside one of her boxes making sure everything made it out! We saw Nancy actually used no horsehair in this collection and didn’t seem to be showing much repetition from what she created on the show. I really loved this liquid like fabric she had chosen. Geoffrey had clearly gotten to work and completed everything. He looked to have created some interesting outerwear pieces. All of the designers were of course curious as to what each other had done. Victoria changed a lot of her collection from Christian’s visit. It definitely looked better than what I had seen previously!

Of course Karlie being around was not just for a warm welcome, she had a little surprise for the designers. The judges were apparently throwing out the rulebook. It was not set in stone how many could show at fashion week. It could be all 4, just 3, or even just 2. The designers had 48 hours to pick 3 looks to show the judges. It could be their 3 strongest looks, or 3 favorites or looks they wanted critique on. The designers then had to look at the model cards and pick upon themselves who would get each model. Geoffrey naturally went into panic mode, not sure what to show the judges. He did have color in his collection, but really loved his all black looks.

The next day back in the workroom, Christian returned. We saw a little more insight into each collection. Geoffrey was honoring his Dad’s purple heart, creating a collection based around armor and protection. I worried about seeing Geoffrey’s cohesion, but also just any sort of mass appeal to his work. I wasn’t seeing a lot of super wearable pieces, but there were some really cool looks. Victoria was still about some branding and accessories, but Christian warned her about distracting focus from her looks. For Sergio, Christian advised him to make the looks feel as modern as he could. Christian didn’t seem to have much feedback for Nancy, really loved what she had created, which actually brought her to tears. It was such a genuine moment of appreciation and joy to see from her. But what was also pretty cool to see was one fun accessory she had created, a bag that dubbed as a boxed wine cover, genius!

Model fittings were up next. Christian provided some final tidbits of advice. He was not going to be with the designers the day of the runway because he was preparing for the Oscars. And with that, the designers finished off their night’s work, Geoffrey making a new skirt for one of his looks and Nancy treading very delicately because one mistake with her fabric could be endgame. For the morning of the runway, Sergio was having an issue with a visible panty line. Geoffrey decided to use stud embellishments for his makeup look, but was having a freakout moment because of the beading placements. And Victoria had decided to use all of her accessories. The guest judge for this runway was President and CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb. The winner would be receiving a mentorship thru the CFDA so Steven’s input would be great to have.

It was certainly hard to see where exactly the judges fell with this 4 because they really did have critiques for all. In my opinion, they seem to have the least amount of critique on Nancy and I would be floored if she were not chosen to show at NYFW. I really feel that the judges will let all 4 go thru though. But Nancy really delivered here. She did strive to make an all-inclusive collection, and really doing more than most by creating a look for a person who is in a wheelchair. I loved the feathered bodice on this look, great transitory moment from skirt to cape.

The print she used for her suit-esque look was stunning. Such a great fit on the model. And then seeing this liquid metallic look, such a lovely color and really a high end look anyone would love to be in. I do agree with the judges she should go a little more modern on the styling, less with the makeup. And she should also think of some breathers, so not everything is so print heavy or detailed focused. But editing down versus having to edit up is certainly where one would want to be at this point!

Sergio and Geoffrey both have some work to do, but I did find what they have done so far intriguing. I guess because of some stunning fabric choices, and just knowing Sergio’s technical skills are going to be beyond top notch, I did find his work a little more appealing. This first all white look, did look great, a little off from the panty issue, but did look amazing.

He had one look that weighed 45 lbs, I am sure hard to wear, but it was just so stunning. This look just screams so regal and luxe, I feel it is certainly one standout show piece for him and something a lot of women would want to wear.

I didn’t love all the fringe. And the judges were right that some of these looks did read more dated and he needed to get messy with the editing, think less is more. Sergio seemed to be very receptive of the criticism, but the question is, can he really take this super high end escalated collection and take it from that classy somewhat dated feel to something more modern.

With what Geoffrey showed here and snippets of what we have seen in other looks, I just don’t see cohesion. I don’t see him catering to the same customer. I see a lot of the coolness factor, but not sure how it might come altogether and if he can streamline focus on some of these ideas. There is almost too much going on. This first purple look was probably the only one I liked. A very cool puffer jacket look with a new chainmail skirt he had actually just made, so he was already making changes!

This dress look again was really cool with the metal mesh, but the bodice shaping was odd to me. The silhouette was also very ill-fitting as the judges pointed out.

And while it was nice to see menswear, I did not care for this mustard look. It was a lot of layers, very heavy handed. I think the judges felt underwhelmed by this and so did I.

Victoria was my least favorite. I do see she is going for a certain look, a certain customer. As the judges mentioned, it was great to see separates, you can do a lot of mixing and matching. The judges liked the hats, I really didn’t, but I guess the point was you don’t need to have all of the hats and bags, which is what Christian told her and she did not listen. On this first look, I liked the pants, very cool, but the embroidery print work was not appealing to me.

Then you jump to this suit look which really fell out of place for me, felt dated.

I really did love this jumpsuit, although the judges did not and felt it looked cheap. Go figure the one look I like, the judges don’t! she also had some technical issues up close and some fit issues here and there.

I think some of the designers have a lot of work to do if they want to be in the running. I am really hoping Nancy pulls of this win though!

PR Designers Take on Avant-Garde — Time to go Big or Go Home!

This is it! It is the final challenge before we find out who is going to NYFW! And what better way to make that determination than by having the designers take on creating an avant-garde look. The judges would be looking for something extraordinary, going beyond the norm, a fashion first where innovation and originality would be key. And given that nobody went home last week, on this challenge, 2 designers would be getting axed. For this huge task, it really called for a larger than life runway! Instead of the regular catwalk, the designers would show their looks at NYC’s newest, innovative architectural feat, The Vessel.

Since Nancy won last week, she was able to choose her model. She then selected another designer to choose, and it was so on and so forth after that, with Victoria choosing last. This would be a 2-day challenge, with the sketching happening right then and there. The challenge itself wouldn’t start until the next day with the trip to Mood. During sketch-time, Marquise expressed comfort with this type of challenge, Victoria felt just okay, but Brittany was not feeling great at all. Sergio was planning his next big piece, but also his next big political statement, women empowerment.

So for the first full day of work, the designers began at Mood with a budget of $600. The designers were excited, but also happy to have a little extra shopping time. Geoffrey was feeling ready, although found himself working with familiar fabrics. Christian had already warned everyone to mix it up, so Geoffrey decided instead to work with latex. This is not new territory for him, but would be on this show. It was then time for the designers to get to work. We saw at Mood Brittany was thinking butterflies, but also thinking pink! Victoria was aiming to create 100s of small, faux leather pieces, to create her own fabric, looking to be some very tedious work. And Marquise was getting into work with all of his chains!

Christian was around later for Siriano sessions. Christian was okay with Brittany’s butterfly vision. Geoffrey was thrilled to show Christian his abilities to work well with latex. For Nancy, Christian urged her to go ahead and figure out her silhouette. But with Victoria, he wasn’t sure what direction she was going. For the remainder of day 1, Sergio expressed he only saw himself as competition and that everyone is always watching him. Not sure about that one, but everyone looked tired after a full day’s work, but still ready to go the next day for round 2!

The designers began their 2nd day of work with a surprise from Christian. They thought it was bad news, but it was more positive! Christian had it all set up for the designers to see every look they have created this season. It was a lovely walk down memory lane. But of course, it was more than just looking at their past work! Each designer would choose 2 prior looks to show with their avant-garde look. They would also get to work with a seamstress to tailor their looks for the new models. Next up was model fittings. Seeing what Geoffrey was creating with his latex work, I wasn’t sure what was going on. Sergio was working away with his Samurai look. Christian cautioned Marquise to relook at his jacket. And the designers also began work with their assigned seamstress.

Justine Marjan from Tresemme then came by to consult with each designer on their hair look because this avant-garde creation needed to truly sync with the hair & makeup. Toward the end of the day, Geoffrey accidentally cut himself, what a crazy end to a hectic, filled day! Since the designers had to be on location for this runway, their day of runway had to begin much earlier! Geoffrey was still reeling from his finger injury the day before, and looked to be hurting himself all over again! But injuries aside, the looks were getting finishing touches, the designers were off to The Vessel.

The judges were also arriving on location. We saw that Brandon was really afraid of heights, so he would be taking in the show from a lower level. This week’s guest judge was actress Rachel Brosnahan. Seeing this space with the runway show going on, it looks to be a stunning spot for a fashion show! And this runway did not disappoint. I feel most of the designers really stepped up to the plate, and I do imagine the choice to send 2 designers home, so only 4 making it to fashion week, it was a tough call!

My sense from the judges was that there was no question Geoffrey and Victoria were going thru. Nancy maybe more in the safe zone, with the final decision coming down to for that 4th spot between Brittany, Marquise and Sergio. I think the final decisions all made sense to me, and I was okay with, but this is not how I would have broken up this group. I don’t think there should have been any debate over Nancy going thru. She was definitely one of my top picks. Her look was so artistic, so sculptural, such a vision. I can’t say this is something overly unique from her, but it was clear everyone loved it. Nina mentioned something about better color choices, but I thought that was nonsensical. You could tell Brittany was fuming over the good critiques Nancy was receiving, but that is pretty petty that she felt her look was better than Nancys’. Not sure in what world that made sense in her head!

I am not usually a Victoria fan, but on this look, I can see why the judges put her thru over some of the rest. I wasn’t sure about the colors when I first saw it, but looking at it now, it makes sense and I do really like the look. I don’t think the ear attachment was needed. I wish it had been a little longer in the front. But this look read better to me the more I got to look at it, and she really stepped up from work she has created all season. It was nice to finally see something truly different from Victoria.

Geoffrey nabbed that definite fashion week spot as well. The judges were in awe, but I still just don’t get it. Geoffrey has done great work all season, and I am happy he was given the chance to go to fashion week, but this look was not a knockout. I can’t recall which judge said something about him being on such an upwards trajectory toward the last part of the season, but I guess they forgot how poorly he did just the week before this with that tacky short red dress he created! I don’t think this met the level of avant-garde. The latex was cool looking, but it was a long train over a body suit with exaggerations on the top. He said he makes stage looks for singers and this is exactly what this look was. I don’t get the over exaggeration of positives here.

I think the bottom 3 should have been Geoffrey, Marquise and Brittany. And in that instance, I don’t know if I would have put Geoffrey thru based on just this one look. But it was actually Sergio in the bottom pack, which I was confused on. I thought comparing his look to that of the other 2, I don’t see how there was any debate he should go thru. His work always is high quality, technically superior, so regal, so luxe. There is a flare for the drama. Yes, his makeup and hair were not very original in this Asian influence aesthetic. But I don’t think his look itself was referential in the examples they showed of McQueen or John Galiano. His Samurai look is not the same as a geisha look. Yes, they both reference the same culture, but are 2 different things and I feel it was very ignorant of the judges to not get that. To be fair, nothing in this lineup was overly innovative or totally original!

It was the right call for Sergio to go thru. Brittany’s look was not perfect, but was the only one I felt might could have gone thru, but didn’t. However in my book, if Brittany goes, then Geoffrey wouldn’t have. I do like this butterfly aesthetic. The judges weren’t thrilled with the butterfly dress, but I actually love it. It’s not avant-garde though. Obviously it was the oversized, long train jacket that was her avant-garde work, and it wasn’t anything overly spectacular. The execution wasn’t fully there, but as much pink as this look was, I still didn’t hate it. What I do hate is Brittany and her pouty attitude. I think she is such a poor sport. Yes it sucks to not make it, but to be fair, her and Marquise were both given 2nd chances in this competition. I don’t think Brittany has made the most of that 2nd chance. And her body of work compared to Geoffreys, it just isn’t as strong.

But Marquise going out on this look, I can’t say it is surprising. I do think Marquise made good use of his 2nd life in this competition. But I have always found him to be inconsistent in his work over the course of the season, and this look was not strong for him. Yes the chain pants were cool. But I know a few designers personally that work with chain metals all the time. It is not this brand new concept. The top part was just not good at all though. It was basic thoughts on hologram and futuristic vibes, but not in a good way. I think I had seen some comments from fans here and there that he was robbed. That is absolutely untrue in regards to this look. He was only brought back to the competition because another designer had to drop out due to illness. He has to prove himself just like everyone else and I don’t feel he did that. I like Marquise, but I don’t think he was ready to create an entire collection for fashion week. He has potential in the future, but he is not quite there yet!

I am eager to see how everything plays out on this road to the fashion week finale!

It’s a Tie-Dye Party on Project Runway

I was excited about the challenge this week, to see who could re-invent tie-dye looks and elevate them to chic, runway ready looks. Each designer would create their own tie-dye textile. As the news kept coming, it seemed to being throwing Delvin for a loop. Especially then hearing this would be an overnight challenge! Yes, so that meant the designers would work straight thru the night, no sleep, all the way up until the runway. A few of the designers were excited, but first, all would take a master class from Metro Dye teachers Kate Nolan & Craig Eaton. They work with Proenza Schouler and Oscar de la Renta.

The designers were showed different techniques, such as ombre and starburst. Brittany was the only one taking notes, which she bragged about later, but she still helped everyone out with answering questions. Since Marquise won last week, he chose his model. Karlie handed out assignments at random to the remaining designers. The designers next chose which fabrics they wanted to use, silks or cotton. Sergio said silk was the best way to go as it would take the tie dye easier. Everyone then sketched what there looks would be. Afterwards, the designers practiced with some of the tie-dye techniques. Nancy used the time instead to drape and get more of her look ready.

Victoria and Delvin were discussing their plans. It was hilarious hearing Victoria giving Delvin advice on not being repetitive. I see some repetition with his work, but she still holds that crown! It was then off to Mood to shop for supplemental fabrics and notions. The tie-dye still needed to be the main focus of each look. The designers had a budget of $175. The designers were then back to work, where we saw Nancy was going for a pants look again. Even though Nancy does a good bit of pants, I don’t see them as the same looks. Most designers don’t do pants because it is harder than just whipping out an easy dress. So I applaud her for making pants that are always done well and don’t read repetitive IMO.

Next up, Siriano sessions. Nancy filled Christian in on her tie-dye history. But she actually hadn’t even started her tie-dye work yet. Christian expressed concern! And for other advice, Christian warned on this being a battle of the tie-dye, with some similarities in that regard, the focus should be on strong silhouettes. Christian also mentioned repetition to Delvin. It was then time for model fittings, which seemed like a disaster! Nobody was ready because of the tie-dye work. After the models left, a few designers slipped into their pj onesies for a little fun. Nancy finally started dyeing. Delvin and Victoria were the only 2 designers who used cotton, and both saw that was the wrong call and had to start over. Brittany and Sergio lent Delvin and Victoria some of their silk fabric.

At any sleepover, it’s perfect for a pizza party, a little break for the designers, but not much napping! The morning of the runway was right there, especially as the designers worked thru the night, no sleep! Christian walked in with a burst of energy, and I am sure the designers were jealous. He then announced this would be a flash sale challenge. Christian was still worried for Nancy as she didn’t have a top for her look. Given how well her tie-dye textile came out, it didn’t seem she had a problem there, but so much went into her pants that the top was definitely done super last minutes. Based on what we saw on the show, it seemed as if she made it in 30 minutes. But everyone was working down to the wire on this one!

This week’s guest judge was actress and comedian Leslie Jones. Karlie reminded the designers that there was no immunity moving forward, and with the Siriano Save now gone, there would be no more second chances. Each runway counts and anyone could go home! The safe designers were Marquise and Brittany. It was very weird seeing only a bottom 2, even though it was pretty evident who was in the bottom 2. But I think had it been a bottom 3, Marquise would have been there. But I really liked Brittany’s look. I loved the pink she used, very soft and intricately detailed look. I wouldn’t have minded if she were in the top.

The top 3 was actually Nancy, Sergio, and Geoffrey. Although it was clear Geoffrey had this one in the bag! The judges can faux debate between him and Sergio all they want, but no way was Geoffrey not winning this challenge. Guest judge Leslie Jones was going bananas and I think everyone was pretty much on that page. If I could give one critique, I don’t know if it needed the orange tie part. But the rest was just immaculately stunning. So elegant and nobody would think this is tie-dye. He really did elevate this like no other designer.

I actually really liked Nancy’s as a close 2nd. I think she did the best with the actual tie-dye textile. She was rushed on the top, but for Brittany to even think for a second this was a bottom look was hilarious. So many women would wear this and love being in it. It was so chic, read very luxe, I was completely enamored.

The judges liked Sergio’s dress a bit more though. I thought it was very pretty, certainly a great look. But the details he put in were hard to see until you saw it close up. I don’t think it was the best use of the tie dye work.

And as I said earlier, the clear bottom 2 was Victoria and Delvin. I really didn’t care who went home, but as it is always in Project Runway history, when looking at the bottom 2, the one who did more, took a risk, always stays versus someone who played it safe. I think you could have taken what Delvin made and at least had made it wearable. I can’t say Victoria’s risk was worth saving. But she has been in the top more, so the judges I guess saw more potential with her. She prided herself on breaking repetition this week, and we saw perhaps why she repeats her work. Because she doesn’t do well with other silhouettes! She also was again not really focusing on the challenge parameters. Her look was in no way focus on tie dye by just creating a tie dye top. And her splattering paint on her jeans doesn’t count. I don’t know why she keeps getting second chances on doing poor work and breaking rules, but the judges are clearly trying to shove her down our throats and I for one am over it!

That all being said, it was only one designer going home and seeing Delvin go didn’t bother me one bit. His look was super safe and it also wasn’t done well. It was very sloppy work. He definitely has some growing up to still do and learning more on his craft. I appreciated that he at least followed the rules and wasn’t super derivative. But I didn’t care for his diva antics and acting like a mean girl, especially towards Nancy. I saw where he went live after this show or the last one and was still continuing to speak poorly of Nancy, very much acting like a poor sport. Plain and simple at this point, her work is better and he is acting out due to jealousy.

Designers Go for a Modern Take on a Tuxedo

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!

PR — Go Sheer or Go Home!

So our episode began with Victoria still whining. Delvin was completely correct in this situation, Girl needed to get over being in the bottom! Someone who actually had some room to be concerned, Dayoung. Dayoung was still not feeling great, very clear her body was giving out on her. It was hard watching her go because I do think she has talent, but seeing her be in this state, it was hard. I think she made the right call to go home.

But the show, alas, must go on….. I was actually very excited about this challenge. I love a sheer look, so it was exciting to see what the designers would create! Brandon actually joined the designers for the challenge assignment. The designers would have to use sheer fabrics to create a sheer editorial look. The look still needed to be tasteful, celebrating a woman’s form, to make them feel good, but not be all about exposure. This would be a 1 day challenge, which had a few designers shook!

Since Brittany won last week, she chose her model first. Very random is this season with model assignments. This week, the button bag was the way to assign. So as a designer’s name was drawn, they got to select the model of their choosing. It was also announced this would be the last immunity handed out for the season. The models actually would be working with their designer during sketch time, to ensure they would be comfortable with the design, as there would be some exposure. You could see lots of passion with the designers, but Sergio was calling the win!

As the designers got to Mood, they were surprisingly joined by one returning designer, Marquise. Since Dayoung just left, Marquise was brought back. The designers would have a $300 budget. I never understand what Victoria is doing, except trying to get away with just designing whatever she wants, and blaming any faults on anything else but herself. She says she doesn’t understand what sheer meant? It was clearly explained and shown to her, but yet she still designed something that would not work for a sheer look? Confusion aside, it was time to get to work! Christian quickly joined the designers, teasing a twist, but really it was just time for Siriano Sessions, what a prankster!

Christian expressed concern over Chelsey and Victoria. All of a sudden, Christian finally decided to let Victoria know she designs very derivatively. She doesn’t get it still, but clearly everyone else does! Christian should have said this to her 3 challenges ago though! And I will still never understand when a designer gets lost, how it seems they lose all elements of design, from the look itself, to fabric, to even technical skills?? Still not being a fan of negative criticism, Victoria was close to quitting. I don’t see why the designers even bothered with her on this. This attitude, this behavior is disrespectful to the process and to the other designers.

This being a 1 day challenge, the day of work really flew by. And of course the Victoria drama took up a good part of the day. So the morning of the runway, many designers were still working away. Victoria was giving Christian the silent treatment and Sergio decided to help Nancy with her final look details. This week’s guest judge was model and activist Paloma Elsesser. But the question remained was which designers felt the sheer joy for this week!?!

Brittany and Delvin were the safe designers. I get the desire to win, to be on top, but these two were actually highly delusional to think they should have won. Third to last, these 2 in safe, and even Marquise being 3rd, it could have gone a few different ways. But it was abundantly clear who the bottom 2 were this week, and who were the top 2. So hearing these 2 complaining, it was hilarious. And to make matters worse, showing true shades of jealousy and talking poorly about Nancy, let’s just say green with envy isn’t a cute look! I want to like Brittany, but seeing her childish side, I can’t support that. Last week, she was saying Nancy was her friend, her roomie, but now she is saying unnecessary and nasty comments. I don’t care for being 2 faced and petty.

Back to her & Delvin’s looks though, they were just okay. Good elements, but not knock outs. Delvin’s top was sloppy. And Brittany’s shorts were a hot mess, and not everyone wants to look like a poster child for Pepto Bismol! As for the top 3, Marquise, Nancy, and Sergio, I was mostly in agreement. Marquise did come back with a bang, but you could tell his look still had many imperfections. I just still don’t see his technical skills and work measuring up for the long haul.

I would have given Nancy the win over Sergio. I think Sergio did too much in his look, the fringe placement was off. Nancy however struck all the right balances. The top, the embellished neckline was divine.

Aside from Sergio’s random fringe placement, I did love this look. A little less fringe, it would have been an A+. This flower lace work was stunning!

The bottom 3 consisted of Geoffrey, Chelsey, and Victoria. I was surprised seeing Geoffrey in the bottom. I loved this color choice. The look felt different from the rest, very modern, sporty, and very editorial! Maybe up close the exposed bodice looked different, but I didn’t see it as all that bad. A lot of sheer work exposes breasts. The judges were clearly not sending him home and sang a bit of a different tune once giving the look a full evaluation.

Chelsey and Victoria were the clear bottom 2. The judges still seem obsessed with Victoria. For the sheer fact she told them she wanted to quit, I would have sent her home just for that. It is a slap in the face to then send someone home who got lost, but really wanted to still be there. Victoria only seems to thrive when everything is positive, going her way, almost as if life is all rainbows and sunshine. But sadly, the real world doesn’t work that way. You have to sometimes endure failure and take in some tough criticism. If you don’t fail and get back up, if you can’t work thru criticism, you can’t grow. I can’t support a designer being in this competition who is against growth. And not to beat a dead horse, but this look was horrible! Not understanding sheer, to me doesn’t translate to the fact that you forget all of your technical capability!

Unfortunately it was Chelsey paying the price for the judges’ unwarranted obsession with Victoria. I still don’t know if Chelsey could nab the ultimate win here, but I would have much preferred seeing her continue than Victoria. Chelsey isn’t derivative, she has a unique voice, she is open to growth, and she has fight, not a quit spirit. She unfortunately got lost in this challenge. Her look wasn’t great; it needed more. I have read people think Christian could save her? I feel we would have seen this if that were the case. I just hope Christian doesn’t drink the same judges’ Kool-Aid on Victoria and that in the future he wastes his save on her!

PR Designers Get Family Help

Well not literal help from family members, but help from family histories. The episode actually began with a little Victoria segment. Hearing her faux guilt on making the top so much, it was quite laughable! Because in actuality, the judges are overly obsessed with her, and that’s about it. She is a good designer, but she is not the best in this bunch, and even her montage of looks shown prove that her work is very derivative, not overly innovative.

My shade aside, back to the challenge. The designers were tasked to think of their family histories and channel those stories, that background, into any look of their choosing. With such an unlimited amount of options here, Delvin was seemingly nervous. I get this show sets boundaries, but in the real world of fashion, designers always have that freedom, so I was a little surprised Delvin was struggling. Another point of nervousness for some designers was that this would be a 1-day challenge. Sha’Vi was clearly not excited as the last 1-day challenge was hard for him.

The designers were give tablets to research their backgrounds and sketch. All of the designers received calls from their family and it was a touching moment to see. It was then time to head to Mood with a $300 budget. I think Christian was feeling a little underappreciated on this shopping trip. Chelsey was not asking for any advice, and Victoria was ignoring Christian’s thought on her color choice. After shopping, the designers were back to work. Dayoung was feeling feverish so decided to put a scarf over her face and warned the other designers to steer clear.

Next up were Siriano Sessions. He urged Dayoung to not be as shy with her designs. Sergio at first didn’t want to show Christian what he was working on. But he later decided to show his political statement piece to Christian. I applaud Sergio for making a statement with his work. The rest of the day included model fittings. Delvin wasn’t ready for his, going from Mr. Finish Early to Mr. No Clue What is Going On. Christian was still not overly enthusiastic with Victoria’s work, especially the ice blue color choice. Before he left though, he did announce to the designers that this would be a flash sale challenge. Dayoung was still not feeling well. Shavi had so much to do, but decided to tackle it all in the morning.

The morning of the runway was filled with last minute rush drama. Sergio had a couple of the models helping him with his work. Brittany was upset by this, but the situation here was hardly a first occurrence on this show. Most of the designers were working up until the last minute! This week’s guest judge was fashion designer Fernando Garcia, who has worked with both Monse & Oscar de la Renta.

This was a pretty decent runway. Most of the designers were strong, and the ones who weren’t, they were correctly in the bottom. As a huge Nancy fan, I will give her a shoutout — I loved the jacket she created. It was super cool, very chic. I continue to be impressed with her work.

I did not care for Marquise’s work the past couple of weeks, but this was a big step back in the right direction for him. I would have much preferred seeing him, Nancy, or even Brittany in the top 3 over Victoria. Brittany probably not as much. Her look was okay, not her best, but it was good. I thought she was kind of pouting about not being in the top, but I did at least understand her frustration over Victoria being undeservedly in the top again.

The top 3 were Chelsey, Dayoung and Victoria. Thankfully Victoria didn’t win! I really don’t understand how this look ice blue eye-sore was in the top. The judges were split, and this was probably one of her worst looks. I just don’t get certain judges infatuation with her. The judges’ commentary regarding her actually is making me question their taste level. And the fact that her look had nothing to do with the challenge, she should not be rewarded for not following the rules!

Dayoung would have been my winner. I thought her look was gorgeous. Such a great color palette, clear story of heritage. But it wasn’t a costume. I felt it was a modern interpretation of that type of cultured look. Elaine asking about the color palette choice, and how that tied to her heritage, I was laughing that this needed any clarification. These judges certainly had me scratching my head at times during this episode.

Chelsey’s look was very cool, but to me it was just a letterman jacket. I didn’t mind her being in the top, but not on board with the win. I just didn’t find it overly innovative, or really set apart from other similar looks I have seen in this style of work. So when Karlie said it was fresh, needless to say I was scratching my head again!

The bottom 3 was abundantly obvious, Sergio, Sha’Vi , and Delvin, with the bottom 2 being Sha’Vi and Delvin. Sergio had such a strong story behind his look. I would have been really surprised if they had sent him home. Story aside, the look still needs to be great fashion, and this look was not that. The names were hard to read, the entire bottom portion was messy. At least Sergio finally seemed to be accepting of criticism.

Sha’Vi & Delvin both have done good work this season, but I do feel Delvin has stronger potential and was glad he stayed. Delvin got lost entirely in this challenge. This was probably his only shot at that level of mistakes, so hopefully he gets it together and bounces back.

Sha’Vi ‘s look was just not that great. And I do feel badly he messed up this poorly and had to go home. You could tell he felt bad and was truly upset for letting the ball drop on this one. I wondered if Christian was contemplating using his save, but ultimately, it might have just been too early to use it, not knowing what the many weeks to come would have in store.

Cannes 2018 — Even More!

Even more from the Festival de Cannes 2018, including various premieres, AMFAR gala, Chopard party, De Grisogono event, Fashion for Relief gala, Beyond the Red Carpet, Lark & Berry boat party, L’Oreal event & more! Here is my final list of top picks!!

ARAYA ALBERTA HARGATE

CARIN OLSSON

MARIA THELMA

YANINA YULIA (on far left)

LADY VICTORIA HERVEY

FREDERIQUE BEL

NATASHA POLY

SOFIA BOUTELLA

NIEVES ALVAREZ

NABILLA BENATTIA

GULI NAZHA

DARIA STROKOUS

  • at the AMFAR GALA
  • Wearing Prada

DASHA YANINA

DANIELLE HERRINGTON

MARIANA XIMENES

MARTHA HUNT

ANNE HECHE

  • at the amfAR 25th Cinema Against AIDS Gala

RAYA ABIRACHED

JANE FONDA

VICTORIA BONYA

JACINDA BARRETT

DIALA MAKKI

DAPHNE GROENEVELD

LOLITA CHAMMAH

CINDY MELLO

  • at the #amfARgala
  • wearing a nude, silk tulle gown with a deep-V bust and empire waist embroidered with bronze beads from GEORGES HOBEIKA’s Haute couture spring summer 2018 collection

 

Cannes 2018, Part 1 — Best Dressed

The Festival de Cannes is always a major highlight in the movie realm, but it standouts with regard to fashion as well. There is always so much to fawn over, so here is my 1st Best Dressed list of faves!! This is from various red carpet premieres, the AMFAR gala, De Grisogono party, Fashion for Relief gala, photocalls, Kering Women in Motion Awards dinner, Positive Planet‘ charity gala and Chopard Secret party.

SUI HE

  • at the ‘Sorry Angel’ premiere
  • Styling by Min Ruir

2nd look —

FAN BINGBING
2nd Look

3rd Look

AISHWARYA RAI

2nd Look

3rd Look

PRAYA LUNDBERG

2nd Look

CATE BLANCHETT

2nd Look

3rd Look

  • backless, long-sleeved tiered rainbow gown by Givenchy
  • at the premiere of BlacKkKlansman

4th Look

  • a high-necked, lace Giorgio Armani gown that she also wore to the 2014 Golden Globes

5th Look

6th Look

VU NGOC ANH

2nd Look

  • Makeup & Hair Hoang Hien
  • Stylist —Lưu Tường
JESSICA SY

IZABEL GOULART

2ND LOOK

PARIS HILTON

2ND Look

3rd Look

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO

ANN ANDRES

NICOLE SCHERZINGER

2nd Look

HAILEY BALDWIN

  • wearing a sheer pink Roberto Cavalli Couture strapless gown featuring crystal fringe and glass beading
  • a diamond Chopard bracelet and earrings
  • Styling — Maeve Reilly

TALLIA STORM

LY NHA KY

HOFIT GOLAN

Most gowns provided by Vault Couture

STACY MARTIN

GUAN XIAO TONG

LUPITA NYONG’O

BELLA HADID

PENELOPE CRUZ

  • photocall — 355

ROMEE STRIJD

  • a 42-carat white diamond and sapphire snake necklace by de GRISOGONO
  • at the premiere of Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)

NAOMI CAMPBELL

CELINA JADE

2nd Look

 

Met Gala 2018 — Best Dressed

This year’s exhibition theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Here are my fave looks of the night!!

GIGI HADID

ARIANA GRANDE

KATE BOSWORTH

KELTIE KNIGHT

JENNIFER LOPEZ

NATASHA POLY

BLAKE LIVELY

STELLA MAXWELL

IRINA SHAYK

ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY

ANNA WINTOUR

POPPY DELEVINGNE

SCARLETT JOHANSSON

ANYA TAYLOR JOY

LETITIA WRIGHT

EMILIA CLARKE

CARA DELEVINGNE

SIENNA MILLER

  • a white top and champagne sequin skirt (both Louis Vuitton)
  • Jimmy Choo clutch and chain-link accessories, including a necklace and golden belt
  • two Fred Leighton star tiaras worn together

NICKI MINAJ

ALICIA QUARLES

LILY COLLINS

RITA ORA

  • black Prada gown with confetti-like embroidery, shimmering gloves, a yellow clutch and a custom “very heavy” crown
  • earrings by Lorraine Schwartz

2018 — Best Dressed Round-Up

Lots of red carpet events — iHeart Radio Music Awards, Olivier Awards, various premieres, and more! Here are some faves of the past few weeks!

TAYLOR LOUDERMAN

Mean Girls premiere

Theatre Forward Gala (on the right)

MASHA

ROWAN BLANCHARD

A Wrinkle In Time Premiere

at Miu Miu show in Paris for Fashion Week

HAILEY BALDWIN

LOTTIE MOSS

AMANDA STEELE

RITA ORA

Brit Awards

KAREN GILLAN

Avengers — Singapore premiere

Glasgow FilmFest

Tribeca Film Festival

SOPHIE HUNTER

Avengers premiere (on the left)

TALLIA STORM

Brit Awards

MARSAI MARTIN

Kids Choice Awards

Wrinkle In Time premiere

HELEN MIRREN

Oscars

SHANTEL VANSANTEN

Oscars 2018

CHRISTINE EVANGELISTA

MEGHAN TRAINOR

I Feel Pretty premiere

 

PARIS HILTON

DARBY STANCHFIELD

Oscars 2018

UCLA Sea of Change Gala

ASHLEY GREENE

BRITNEY SPEARS

Hollywood Beauty Awards

AMY NOBLE

Olivier Awards

JESSICA SWALE

Olivier Awards

ASHLEY PARK

Mean Girls opening

Theatre Forward Gala (on the left)

MAIA SHIBUTANI

Apex for Youth Gala

iHeart Radio Music Awards

LESLIE BIBB

Pre-Oscars

ISLA FISHER

DANIELLA MONET SHIMMERS

Kids Choice Awards

ALEXIS REN

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Event

NAVIA ROBINSON

At the Avengers premiere

BEBE REXHA

LESLIE MANN

Directors Guild

 

OLIVIA HOLT

Avengers Premiere

Family Equality Council’s Annual Impact Awards

SHAY MITCHELL

NYC Upfronts

MEL B.

America’s Got Talent season 13 premiere