They certainly aren't wasting any time with making this season of Project Runway dramatic! Week two was an unconventional materials challenge, and week three was a team challenge. Good grief.
This week's challenge had a lot of variables. They teamed up with a cruise line that travels to exotic destinations, so each team of designers had to use a destination as their inspiration. In addition, their look had to be a transitional piece that could go from a day at the destination port to an evening of wining and dining on the ship.
Oh yeah, and they had one day to throw it together. Not complicated at all, right?
My Top Two:
1. Ashley Neil Tipton and Candice Cuoco
Ashley and Candice worked so well together as a team, which I didn't remotely expect given their aesthetics or personalities. They pulled off a look that was completely unique but still fit their Venice inspiration beautifully. I want every piece of this outfit - even the 70s print jacket, which I'm normally not about, but somehow and some way I WANT IT. They absolutely deserved to win this challenge, and it was great that they were able to earn a joint win!
2. Swapnil Shinde and Laurie Underwood
Particularly with Swapnil's Indian background, this very easily could have gone costume-ey and wrong. But with the traditional Sari in the casual pattern, combined with the bright midriff top and amazing high waist pants, the look was effortless and cool and completely met all the criteria of the challenge.
My Bottom Two:
1. Edmond Newton and Hanmiao Yang
This look was just a train wreck from the start. Let me break it down for you: the team's inspiration is the Carribbean. Hanmiao wants to make something structured, because that's her aesthetic. Edmond informs her that it's a team challenge and the challenge is to make cruise wear for the Caribbean, so her aesthetic doesn't really matter for the sake of the challenge. She gets mad. He suggests a swimsuit. She gets mad. Tim agrees with Edmond's swimsuit idea. She gets mad. Edmond compromised with Hanmiao and allowed her to make the swimsuit. Not letting go of the structured idea, she chooses to make a swimsuit in structured fabric. As you can see, the result is awful. I'm totally fine with Hanmiao getting sent home. She deserved it!
2. Joseph Charles Poli and Merline Labissiere
Based on Joseph's comments in episode 1 that he likes to "make small people feel smaller," I knew that whenever he entered a team challenge it was going to be a rough deal. Sure enough, he was partnered with eccentric Merline, whom he forced into his Lily Pulitzer box. I understand that he designs for a more mature customer, but this is the second Lily-esque look he's made, and if he had allowed Merline to put her architectural flair into it (which, I might add, would have contributed to the St. Petersburg inspiration) it could have been better. Instead it's a mumsy lavender nightmare. Ugh.
So far in this season a lot of the designers have been hit-or-miss. Edmond has had a two high points and fell flat this week. Merline hit a high note week one but has been rough the past two weeks. I think Ashley and Swapnil hold the most promise so far, but only time will tell!!
All photos from mylifetime.com
I can't believe they threw an unconventional challenge at the contestants in WEEK TWO. Kind of crazy, but great for TV.
In this challenge the designers took over a Hallmark Signature card store, and had to use the greeting cards as their materials for their design.
My Top Three:
1. Swapnil Shinde
I can't even grasp how amazing this is. I was terrified when he was putting all the flowers on the skirt in the workroom (and when he described it as Alice in Wonderland on acid,) but the result was remarkable. The sheer notion that he did polka dots in the front, a chevron stripe in the back, and a mix of black-and-white with floral is insane, but the fact that he made it out of paper and it looks like something you could take right off the rack is ridiculous. Did I mention this was completed in one day? I can't even.
2. Edmond Newton
Even if it wasn't my #1 favorite, I completely understand why this look won. I mean, he made a WEDDING DRESS out of Hallmark cards. The fact that the entire bodice was the "Hallmark Signature" branding was genius, and he really pushed the boundaries in making the flower and jewelry from the cards too. I want to see this in a Hallmark print ad somewhere.
3. Hanmiao Yang
A vast improvement from last week. Using the simple color palette with the envelopes kept it minimalist but still graphic, and it's boxy but not unflattering. The length is perfect, and her styling with the loose ponytail and the gold sneakers was flawless. I can't get over the surprise theatrics in taking the card out of the envelope on the runway! So cute.
Honorable Mention: Amanda Perna
I really didn't think this deserved to be in the bottom. The skirt was a little overkill, but the top was GORGEOUS, and the whole thing was well executed.
My Bottom Three:
1. Blake Patterson
Especially after last week's too-much-pattern fiasco, I expected this glitter bomb to be in the bottom. The fact that it was in the top makes me furious. Yeah, he used the text of the card in the lining and in the center pieces, but beyond that it's literally a muslin pattern coated in glitter. If your criteria in judging is that it needs to made mostly of the card material, he did not meet that standard, and it proves the point from last week that he's over the top and doesn't know when to stop. I mean, how much glitter does a dress need?!?
2. Merline Labissiere
The top half had promise, but she clearly ran out of time for the bottom. *I* could have made a skirt better than that. It's a mess.
3. Joseph Charles Poli
Another "ran out of time for the bottom" dress. Tim said in the workroom that it looked very Kate Spade, and I agree. But last week his look was, in my opinion, very Lily Pulitzer, so I worry about his actual ability to innovate or to have a unique voice.
I YET AGAIN disagree with who the judges sent home. I knew David Giampiccolo was in trouble because he didn't use much of the cards in his design, but it was still a unique, creative look and it showed a clear voice.
If you're going to send someone home who used too much muslin and not enough unconventional material, send home Blake!!
Yeah, I have a bit of a vendetta against Blake. I make no apologies.
But congratulations, Edmond! Your bride was amazing.
All photos from mylifetime.com
I realized I've been watching Project Runway since 2008 and I haven't really ever blogged about it or talked about it at length. That's all changing this season. PR is the highlight of my Thursdays and I'd love to share my thoughts with you!!
In this challenge, the designers had to race through Madison Square Garden to choose their fabrics, which they would use to create looks that represented them as a designer. Lots of creative freedom on this one!
My Top Three:
1. Ashley Neil Tipton
I totally agree with the judges on this one. Ashley absolutely deserved to win!! Her look had fun pattern and texture, it showed skin but not too much, it represented Ashley's aesthetic, and it was well made. I mean, she made TWO of the skirts in two different fabrics, and she LINED THEM! In one day. What even. I would totally wear this look in a second and I'm so proud of her.
2. David Giampiccolo
Super bummed this look was only "safe." The mix of patterns was so smart and the result is super cool - definitely reminds me of Amanda's maxi dresses from last season. It has a really unique vibe and I'm very into it. Plus I love me a good Italian boy...I need him to come over and say "couture" to me over and overrrr.
3. Merline Labissiere
I have no idea how she whipped this out in the 11th hour, but the result is fantastic. It's an ageless work look and I can't believe she made it in a day. I even like the pumpkin color. How.
Honorable Mention: Swapnil Shinde
The top on this is FLAWLESS. I love all the piecing and the intricacy, but I don't think you can see it as well being in a pattern. If he had made the skirt in the print and the top in the solid blue, it would have been perfect.
My Bottom Three:
1. Hanmio Yang
Yeahhh not too much can help this look. If your aesthetic is boxy, poorly made, and shiny orange, you should go home.
2. Blake Patterson
Not that bad as a silhouette, but entirely the wrong fabric. If he had made the outside in the yellow fabric and the inside the blocky print, that might have been helpful. Nina said she would prefer a designer with too many ideas vs. one who had too few, but I disagree - the history of this show has proven that those with cukoo crazy ideas CANNOT be reigned in enough to be successful. Aint gonna happen.
3. Gabrielle Arruda
The design isn't awful, but it's a boring fabric and the execution is awful. Your first impression to the judges shouldn't be a plain grey dress.
Duncan Chambers-Watson should NOT have gone home. Yeah, his styling was bad, and yeah, he should have made it a more open back and it probably could have been better as a calf-length to give a breath of skin. But it was his FIRST TIME DRAPING!! Cut him a break. The fabric was totally not that bad. He tried something new and it didn't work out. That's worthy of a second chance, at least.
I'm sorry, Duncan. I liked you. Your portfolio was great, you were humble, and your accent was cute. I would have liked to see more of you.
But CONGRATULATIONS, ASHLEY!!!!
Honestly, I would love to see a curvy girl take this whole thing. Throw some plus size models on this runwaaayyyyy!
All photos from mylifetime.com