This week’s episode of Project Runway began with an intriguing challenge. The designers met robot-Angela in Central Park and were told they’d have to obtain at least 50% of the materials for their garments by taking the clothes off people’s backs. I loved this challenge because 1) It stretched the designers’ creativity and 2) It featured the designers in all kinds of awkward situations asking random people for their clothing. Also of note – though I am not particuarly stylish and doubt I would be approached for something like this, I totally would say yes if I were. Don’t people recognize these designers at all? I mean, like, if Mondo walked up to me, I’d say, “you’re Mondo! Take whatever you want!”
(I may have been watching this show for too many years/too obsessively).
Anyway, though I thought the premise of the challenge was excellent, I didn’t love many of the finished products. In fact, there were some real atrocities and crimes against fashion in this bunch. Here are my picks for best and worst:
My Top Three:
- Rami: I love this whole look, from the cool ruffle top (or was it a scarf?) to the fun shorts to the nice hat and general accessorizing. There were so many great details, and the whole ensemble looked intricate and well-made. It seemed like perfect street style to me. And a general note – I think Rami has been on fire this season. I’m thinking it will all come down to a Rami/Mondo battle, no?
- Anthony: I loved this look (although I don’t think the photo does it justice – the outfit was very flow-y and beautiful on the runway). I love the pants (so voluminous!) and the cut of the top. The jumpsuit was a bit over-the-top, but still refined and cool. I was disappointed Anthony was so harshly penalized for not using the requisite 50% of material acquired from the street. I mean, I could understand him being scolded and ending up in the bottom, but not getting kicked out. This was too good!
- Kenley: I thought this dress was odd, but interesting. I particularly liked the combination of horizontal and vertical stripes – that was a neat idea.
My Bottom Three:
- Jerell: OH MY GOD. There are no words; this is f-ing insane. I mean, it’s just a crazy hodge-podge bathing suit. Jerell said, “I think it stands out on the runway.” Ummm, obviously. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.
- Michael: What the heck is this? Another bathing suit-like number? He tried to play these off as “short shorts,” but I’m not buying it. I also really disliked the fabric he used. And, once Isaac pointed out that the top was saggy, I couldn’t help but fixate on that.
- Austin: I was not a fan of this look, and the judges put it in the top (what?). I just didn’t like all the different ugly black fabrics sewn together, although he did clearly draw the inspiration from his “muse” in Central Park, which I guess was the challenge. Ultimately, it didn’t look Austin-y to me; it didn’t match his aesthetic at all. I know it’s good for designers to have variety but this just seemed off. (Random note: this really reminded me of Jeffrey from Season 3. Anyone else?)
Random Bits + Pieces:
- I’m super sad Anthony went home tonight, if not for his fashion talent but for his overall hilariousness. Example: when he walked up to a completely ripped stranger and asked him to take off his pants…and the guy did. So hilarious.
- Jerell made a point of emphasizing that he was using 100% of the materials for his dress from what he gathered in the Park. While I applaud him for that, the garment was atrocious…so did the tactic really pay off?
- Initially Michael was using some sort of crocheted, netted fabric – it was super gross. Joanna rightly called it a “doily.” For generally good designers, some of these people display questionable taste at times…
- At one point, Anthony said, “I’m not good at putting scraps together to come up with beauty.” Uhhhh, isn’t that basically what fashion is??? I should’ve known at that point he was doomed.
- Sometimes when Joanna delivers a particularly intense stare, she really reminds me of Tilda Swinton. I’m surprised this didn’t occur to me before, because it now seems glaringly obvious.
- Sometimes I feel bad for Michael, and sometimes I want to slap him and yell, “Come on!” I mean, he spends an awful lot of time feeling sorry for himself and being on the edge of tears. On the other hand, he does seems like a genuinely good guy.
- I thought it was odd Anthony struggled so much, as I thought he made one of the greatest finds in Central Park – I loved the bright, bold fabric he got from the girl. One other designer called it tacky polyester, but to my eye it looked quite fun – and he barely used it!
- There was a big “controversy” over the fact that Kenley sewed Kara’s pants for her. I did not find this as outrageous as Michael and Mila did. I mean, come crunch time, these guys help each other out (I actually enjoy seeing the moments of camaraderie among the designers). Also, after Michael and Mila complained about it, the editors snuck in a montage of Kenley acting like a total bitch. I mean, she is grating at times, but I thought that was unfair.
- I finally pinpointed what bothers me about Angela Lindvall (the host) – she seems to have some sort of voice affectation going on. Sometimes she over-pronounces or draws out a word and her accent is borderline Madonna-pretending-to-be-British. She had amazing hair tonight, though. So, you know, props for that.
- Sean Avery was tonight’s guest judge!!! Sorry for the excessive exclamation points, but he was on the Red Wings way back in the day when he was just a punk kid (as opposed to being a punk man-child now), so I do have a soft spot for him.
- Joanna told Mondo, “you haven’t won one yet,” so naturally I knew he would win tonight. Years of reality TV has made me a master at decoding reality TV editing. Wouldn’t my parents be proud!
Bitchy Lines of the Night (there were so many to choose from!):
- “All of the sudden, I’ve noticed Mila has gained a personality. Me having a personality is just me being Anthony L. Williams.” (Anthony on Mila’s attempts to get clothes from randos in the park)
- “Jerell. Not exactly sure what’s going on with that. Somebody look like they’re comin’ to America.” (Anthony on Jerell’s dress. It’s funnier when heard in his over-the-top drawl.)
- “Jerell’s design is one of the most tasteless things I’ve ever seen in my life.” (Austin on Jerell’s garment)
- “Initially what I wrote down was ‘Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani at Burning Man on acid.'” (Sean Avery on Jerell’s outfit. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.)