It’s back to school, kids! The remaining Project Runway designers find themselves in a classroom setting and as expected most are confused, moaning and reminiscing that they weren’t great students. Tim Gunn is at the head of the classroom with JustFab Fashion Director Yuchin Mao. She explains to the class that JustFab has recently expanded beyond cheap shoes and accessories and has jumped in to the fast fashion apparel arena, so basically delivery Forever21. A nightmare to a true designer’s sensibilities I’d assume.
For this week’s challenge the designers have to create a high-fashion look that can be mass produced so it must be “inexpensively” made. The look must also be inspired by one of five JustFab style personas which are Trendsetter, Girl Next Door, Bombshell, Modern Classic and Femme Nouveau (I still have no idea what the hell that is).
Since Candice won the last challenge (and has immunity) she gets to pick her persona first and also gets to assign the remaining designers any one of the 5 style personas she so chooses. You would think she would be strategic, but you’d be wrong. Surprisingly she assigns them according to what she thinks they would pick for themselves.
Trendsetter: Candice and Kelly
Girl Next Door: Ashley
Bombshell: Swapnil and Edmond
Modern Classic: Laurie
Femme Nouveau: Merline
The only person not happy with his assigned look is Edmond, who considers himself more of a Trendsetter designer than a “bombshell” one and is a bit taken aback Candice thinks of him as a designer of tartlet-wear. Merline seems excited to create her Femme Nouveau look but like the rest of us is unclear what that is exactly.
With a budget of $100 and their initial sketches the designers head to Mood, but most admit they will have to see what materials they can buy with their paltry budget to commit to a design. It’s going to be hard to create an expensive looking look on a shoestring budget. Of course Kelly excels at this because she says she can design on a dime (literally)…so she heads straight for Smurf blue faux fur. Mmmokay.
Swapnil equates Bombsell with Jessica Rabbit but instead of obvious red, he heads for the second most obvious option: leopard print. Ashley for some reason gravitates towards a hospital gown print, Merline goes for stark white and well, I have no idea what the hell any of them are thinking.
This next part is boring so I will speed through…during his initial critique Tim has concerns with Merline’s white fabric and says she had better execute it perfectly or it will look cheap. He also calls out Swapnil for defending his “seen this to death” look. Candice’s top shows promise but her peplum is disconcerting. Edmond’s print looks cheap and his draping is matronly and NOT Bombshell. Even though Kelly’s fabric choice and idea is vomit inducing, Tim appreciates she’s staying true to her aesthetic. She is gonna win out of sheer moxy and the ability to design from a dishrag. Right? Ashley’s cropped gold faux leather motorcycle jacket is proving to be the best piece designed but she questions if a motorcycle jacket is “Girl Next Door” and it takes Tim Gunn to tell her “it is now!” This girl needs a transfusion of confidence STAT. Okay, so her dress looks like a hideous hospital gown, but she assures Tim she will somehow “Make it work.”
During the initial model fitting Edmond finally realizes his look is not cutting it and has an “aha” moment to start from scratch…thank God. Candice gives Laurie some of her material so her model can have a top. Why is Candice being so nice this week? Laurie constructs a top with black organza in 20 minutes and this is the point you know it’s not going to end well for her. At the 11th hour Swapnil realizes he has the wrong zipper and will have to sew his model into the dress. Earth to Swapnil, come in. This guy WANTS to go home.
Off to the runway. This week’s judges are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi, Yuchin Mao from JustFab and guest judge Ciara. Tim is there too, but as usual remains silent.
The big news is that in all the seasons of project runway, this is the one challenge where the judges do not agree whatsover so how I’m going to write this is a challenge for me! So let’s just go through each designer one-by-one because there were no clear winners or losers.
Kelly: Her two-sided jumpsuit made from a color-splattered print material with her Smurf blue vest is an eyesore. Yuck.
Thumbs Up: Heidi, Ciara, Yuchin (though it’s too junior for JustFab shoppers)
Thumbs Down: Nina, Zac
Candice: Her black top with giant black and white striped lapels that tie is already a lot to digest and then she adds a tiered black mini skirt that poofs out in all the wrong places is even more to behold, but it is original.
Thumbs Up: Zac, Nina, Heidi
Thumbs Down: Ciara, Yuchin who likes the skirt but hates the top
Merline: I don’t think this white netted asymmetrical dress is so bad, I’d wear it. Not sure it was femme nouveau because I still don’t know what that is. Not sure it’s mass producible either.
Thumbs Up: Zac, Ciara
Thumbs Down: Heidi, Nina, Yuchin
Swapnil: His floor-length fitted leopard print dress is a hot mess. I have had it with his laziness and I was a fan. He lost me tonight. The dress is backless and has a high cowl neck which I don’t find Bombshell, just unoriginal. Then he adds a white organza balloon jacket which is baffling and a jeweled piece of jewelry in the back to ratchet up the trashiness.
Thumbs Up: Yuchin, Ciara, Heidi
Thumbs Down: Nina, Zac
Ashley: Her beautifully constructed gold faux leather moto jacket is the best thing on the runway and she does manage to make her horrible dress fabric to work by turning it into a very cropped top and mini skirt. She stupidly does not have the model remove the jacket to expose the back of the crop top which was in itself, pretty amazing. So Ashley. No confidence.
Thumbs Up: Heidi, Ciara
Thumbs down: Nina, Yuchin and Zac (all agree the jacket would sell out though)
Edmond: His final red fitted midi dress with a crisscrossed detailed neckline and back is BOMBSHELL! He is the only one who really achieves the goal properly.
Thumbs Up: Heidi, Nina, Ciara, Yuchin
Thumbs Down: Zac
Edmond is declared the winner. That’s 3!
Laurie: Her fitted high-waisted blue pencil skirt and black organza backless top with a ruffle-y neckline is a snoozefest and for the second week in a row she disregards her model’s boobs. This girl does not get bras apparently. Maybe she does not wear one. She tries to blame the situation on her assumption her model would wear a is a see-through back strapless bra. Er what? Does that even exist? The judges are not having it.
It’s obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain who has been watching all season that Laurie’s number is up. She’s auffed.
“I don’t even know what a phone sounds like. Last time I heard that was like in high school.” – Merline
“I love my teacher!” – Laurie
“Does romantic have to be soft? Could it be hard? Could it be hardcore? Could it be intense?” – Merline
“I can make a sheath dress in my sleep.” – Laurie
“I totally grabbed the wrong zipper.” – Ashley
“It depends on what neighborhood you’re living in…” – Edmond
“That’s good Tim Gunn…Thank you Tim Gunn.” – Merline
“You’re incriminating yourself! Well I know I stole the item, I killed her, put me in jail.” – Tim Gunn
“It looks like something has gone awry.” – Tim Gun
“I feel like I’ve seen relatives.” – Tim Gunn
“Man it’s bombing! But not in a bombshell kind of way.” – Candice
“It looks a bit like a Muppet bath mat. But I get it.” – Tim Gunn
“The girl next door today wears a motorcycle jacket. If I wear one, everyone wears one!” – Tim Gunn
“This textile… It looks like a hospital gown.” – Tim Gunn
“ehhem…I have a hair ball.” – Kelly
“Make it freakin’ work.” – Laurie
“I’m gonna sew this thing-a-ma-blobby in one hour!” – Kelly
“It’s Kelly from the deli!” – Laurie
“Kelly, what are you doing on the runway?” – Swapnil
“You killed Cookie Monster.” – Zac
“Not Inspired.” – Zac
“Looks like a butt flap.” – Nina
“It’s simple in the front and party in the back.” – Heidi
“You guys, it’s tacky, tacky, tacky.” -Zac
“I’m getting like man-opause here.” – Zac
“No crying. No crying.” – Laurie
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– Lauren Dimet Waters