I have to say, I’m sort of bummed with the quality on this season of Project Runway. When I consider the potential of this week’s challenge, and what we could have seen on the runway, I am pretty disappointed. Even the good designs – which were few and far between – were sort of…boring? I don’t know. When I think about what Christian Siriano or Chris March or Austin Scarlett might have made…and our best look is a pair of black pants and a white top? Yes, simplicity can be chic, but this was a non-traditional wedding challenge, for God’s sake. Where was the excitement? Give me drama, give me volume! What we got instead was a heavy emphasis on a pointless fight between two designers and a lot of questionable dresses.
The challenge, introduced by Tim Gunn and guest judge Dita Von Teese, is to create a non-traditional wedding dress and an accompanying reception dress for the bride. There are no other rules – the designers are encouraged to be creative and innovative. They have one day and $400 to complete their looks and they must work in teams of two. The teams, which are chosen “at random” from the button bag, are: Kini and Sean; Emily and Fade; Sandhya and Char; Alexander and Samantha; Amanda and Korina. It’s the last one that makes me think these groups were chosen to maximize potential drama.
And what drama is that, you ask? Well, it seems that Korina and Amanda are no longer friends. In an off-camera confrontation, Korina tells Amanda that she’s a huge phony. Char, who was pretty drama-free up until this point, agrees with Korina. Harsh. Amanda has no idea what brought on this unsolicited opinion and is clearly shaken by the whole thing. Now, don’t get me wrong – Amanda does kind of seem like a phony. But it also seems like jealousy rearing its ugly, Korina-shaped head. After all, she did just get eaten alive by the judges and Amanda has received nothing but praise, week after week. Naturally, the two women aren’t thrilled to be paired up. They don’t argue or fight outright, but there’s a palpable tension between them. When Amanda tries to clear the air, asking what she does to get under Korina’s skin, Korina refuses to discuss it. Very mature.
Things get even worse when Korina’s design goes wrong. Her idea of a non-traditional wedding dress is to just put the model in a tuxedo. Like, that’s it. When Tim rightly says that it’s predictable and lacking creativity, Korina gets all defensive. “This is me. I’m not just going to do something weird,” she whines. I have to agree, though. Predictable is her. She frets over the jacket well into the next day, so Amanda decides to make the tuxedo pants – but she cuts them too small. This pairing is a nightmare from start to finish. Sandhya perhaps says it best: Korina came into this competition thinking she was the best and she treated everyone like garbage. Now things aren’t working out for her. I totally agree – and I also think that Korina did this whole thing to throw Amanda off her game.
There’s not much drama, otherwise. Sandhya convinces Char to go for a bright neon yellow, which probably isn’t the best idea. Char wants something softer, but it’s really the difficult leather fabric that puts Char in trouble, not Sandhya’s choices. Fade and Emily have trouble making their designs meld together. Kini thinks Sean is taking too long with his pants, so he ends up making Sean’s top for him – because of course Kini finishes early. That’s about it.
The best looks
After all that nonsense, Amanda and Korina end up with two decent garments and they’re safe. Sheesh, that was a lot of build-up for nothing. It seems pretty clear that Kini and Sean are the top looks, even though the judges don’t say it outright. Dita Von Teese loves Kini’s dress and Sean’s wedding pantsuit. She says she’d wear both of them. Nina Garcia loves the movement of the shirt, which is part of Sean’s look – though Kini made it. They don’t seem to mention that part, though? Weird. Nina thinks the side piece of Kini’s dress is “a little Flamenco,” but no one agrees with her because she’s an idiot. When asked, both Sean and Kini say that Kini should win.
The worst looks
I can’t really tell if Emily and Fade are in the top or the bottom. I’m going to put them here, although the judges seem to be split down the middle. Dita – no stranger to a non-traditional, somewhat goth wedding herself – thinks that Emily’s look is a little too much. She says it’s almost like a parody of goth instead of genuine goth. Zac also thinks it’s costume-y. Heidi and Nina both like the drama, though Nina thinks the sleeves are overpowering. Most of the judges like Fade’s treatment of the fabric, but Heidi thinks it could be sexier. All of the judges agree that Fade’s look and Emily’s look do not match – these are two different women, not the same bride.
Sandhya and Char are definitely in the bottom – there’s no uncertainty about it. Zac and Nina hate the yellow. The other judges don’t hate the color, but – as Heidi says – there’s just so much of it. I agree that they need something to break this up – a belt, even? I don’t know. It’s so bright. But anyway, the real problem here is the sloppy design. Both Char and Sandhya had a hard time finishing and you can tell – neither look is polished. The bodice of Sandhya’s dress is interesting, but the bottom looks like an afterthought. Or, if you’re Zan Posen, like a toilet paper accident. Char’s is just a mess in general. It’s really poorly made and she knows it.
Finally, there’s Alexander and Samantha. Man, the judges really hate these looks. Nina says that they suffered from an excess of embellishment – too much happening all over the fabric. Honestly, I don’t think the looks are that bad. The only thing I agree with is the seam along Alexander’s dress – bad move on that one. But otherwise, there’s something really interesting about the leaves along the gown and Samantha’s reception dress isn’t overdone, in my opinion. But hey, whatever. Zac thinks it’s cheap looking. Nina says “hashtag throwback Thursday,” because she’s an idiot.
I’m sad to say that Char goes home. Yes, she definitely deserves it – that dress is a horror show – but I like her a lot and I think she has a lot of potential. Tim Gunn even says that he would’ve saved her, were it a bit later in the season. Total bummer. Bye, Char!
The winner, though…UGH. Sean wins…and Kini loses yet again. Even though Kini made everything but the pants. “I was robbed,” he says with a shrug and yes, it’s true. Kini was robbed. Sean wins for the second week in a row and gets immunity yet again. No one ever told the judges that Kini made the shirt? What a crock.
Next week: Tim has some sort of breakdown and there are lots and lots of diamonds.