Forget runway, think avant garde. That was the jumping point for this week’s Project Runway challenge. The remaining designers (only ten left) were paired up with an art student from the Harlem School of the Arts. The duo would paint a picture together, which would then be the inspiration for the designer to create a fashion forward look. “Fashion forward” is the key word here and many of the designers seemed to have trouble understanding that concept. Poor Olivier (he sort of reminds me or Eeyore) seemed to think that since he never worked with chiffon before he was being fashion forward when he chose to use that fabric to work with. Oh, poor, sweet Olivier. I, along with most of his female competitors, seem to constantly feel for him, he looks like such a little boy.
While I’m not big on these sorts of inspirational challenges, the student paintings were really well done and all but a few designers were easily inspired. The vibrant colors and overall movement within the works of art really seemed to speak to the designers and carried over into the workroom, which seemed extra crazy this week. Dress forms were falling, fabrics were being seared, feathers were flying, faux fur was being considered, and children were voicing their enthusiasm. Most of the designers seemed to embrace the challenge and enjoyed receiving feedback from their student artists; but not Viktor. He wasn’t thrilled with having a chatty 16 year old voicing her opinion and claiming that she’d buy his dress if it were cheap.
Many of the designers who have had average scores in past challenges really wanted to push the envelope, but there were still a few who continued to play it safe. Bryce’s orange and blue mermaid dress was a yawn, but was good enough to make it to the next round. Becky, uses denim dress with fabric square blocks attached wasn’t good enough to warrant any comments, but good enough to make it to the next round and so was Kimberly’s design as well as Anya’s feathered carpet bag look. The designs that caught the judge’s eye, in a good way were: Laura, Anthony Ryan. andJoshua M. The judges loved the texture and painting techniques Joshua’s skirt and dress had as well as the idea behind it and the stark contrast the bright orange made against the drab brown skirt. His look was one that could have easily been worn on the street. Laura’s gown was very ethereal and had the judges impressed with the thought process behind it. Unlike Becky, I thought Laura’s was the best design of the week. It was well made with a lot of detailing, pretty to look at, yet still avant garde. But the judges, named Anthony Ryan the winner, even though guest judge Kenneth Cole liked the idea of the dress but not the execution, which I agreed with. To me Anthony Ryan’s sheer, nude dress with patches of colored fabric splashed across the dress looked a bit like felt stuck to a felt board. But who I am to name a winner?
In the bottom, Bert, whose clown jumper with puff squares affixed to it entertained Heidi and a number of fellow designers, but disappointed everyone else. Poor Olivier’s dress had a nice bodice, (which he tried gluing to his model, a big no-no!) but the bottom was either too plain or too busy, depending on who you asked, but everyone agreed it was completely snooze-worthy. But none of the designs were quite as bad as Josh C.’s, who had the most powerful of paintings to work from, a scary looking wolf, but ended up with little more than a dominatrix black pleather skirt and corset and white cotton top. Sorry, Josh C., but you get kicked off of Project Runway twice. Ouch!
Working with children, how cute is that. –Viktor
I just hope it doesn’t look like a House of Dereon dress. –Viktor
You don’t want this to be a look that says, ‘Take me to Hiawatha’. –Tim Gunn
I don’t want to interfer with your vision, but ask a few questions because I don’t want you to go home again. –Tim Gunn
I haven’t made a pair of pants in like 25 years. –Bert
I secretly liked Berts the best. –Viktor
It kinda looks Carmen Miranda vampire. –Viktor
Work like there’s no tomorrow, because for one of you there won’t be. –Tim Gunn
I’m going to try gluing this on your boobs. –Olivier
She looks like a Victorian cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. –Michael Kors
First thing I was thinking, I’m going to be a hooker for Halloween –Heidi Klum
The rest of the dress looks like Mood exploded on her. –Michael Kors
His clothes are like Valium clothes. –Michael Kors
He’s still in love with his hooker. –Michael Kors
I think it looks like something a Tellatubby would wear to a party. –Michael Kors
I mean, it’s like the belt matches the shoes, what’s next? A purse? –Michael Kors
Bert, you’re lucky I liked your outfit. You’re in. –Heidi Klum
Until next week! Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
– Bonnie J. Brown
Photos: LiftetimeSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: Blogging Project Runway, Harlem School of the Arts, Heidi Klum, Kenneth Cole, memorable quotes, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Project Runway Memorable Quotes, Project Runway Recap, Project Runway Season 9, The Art of the Matter, Tim Gunn