Creating a Hawaiian floral look is risky at best, but Deyonte completely nailed it. The way he cut apart and broke up the large-scale floral made it look painterly and abstract, and the silhouette on his curvy model was stunning. A well-deserved challenge win for week one!
I was very upset that Ayana didn't get recognized for this look. The hand-pieced floral is intricate and beautiful, and the color combination of the grey and green is fresh and unexpected. Her modest aesthetic is unique and inspiring, and she still managed to make her model look sexy while completely covered in this gown. I could tell immediately that she had talent, and I'm glad she's made it so far in the season.
This was one of the more disappointing team challenge episodes in the show's history. I understand making clothes out of garbage and recyclable materials is difficult, but the creativity was lacking overall - except for this look. Ayana took her team's color scheme and ran with it, adding texture and hand-made textiles wherever she could, which resulted in a multi-dimensional, editorial piece.
I so, so wish Amy had been able to make it farther along in the season. She made innovative, transformational pieces right and left, and I would have loved to see a collection from her. This look featured a jumpsuit that could be flipped upside-down and worn as a hoodie. My brain is still trying to wrap around how anyone could even conceive that idea, and it looked so sporty and cool on the runway.
This was the first episode where Brandon's work stood out to me. All the loops and fastens give it a bit of a steampunk vibe while still staying modern and cool.
I'm all about a good Gatsby reference, Michael's hit all the right deco notes while still representing the Heidi Klum Intimates brand. In spite of it being a straight slip, it still manages to be shapely and would look great on any figure. The color, pattern, and strap detail is delightfully feminine, and maintains modesty while still exuding sexiness.
This was by far Kenya's best look of the season. I never would have thought to take the inspiration of evil and turn it into the baddest boss lady in a satin pantsuit, and it somehow works on every level. It has simple, clean lines but is still dark and dramatic.
Can. We. Say. Beyonce. Model Liris completely killed it in Michael's look, and I still can't comprehend that this gown only has one seam. Talk about talent in tailoring. The feather detail could have gone so tacky so fast, but it's royal and regal in all the best ways.
I knew Kentaro had potential, and he really lived up to it with this challenge. I loved how he and his model mutually connected through their understanding of Japanese culture, and he used that connection to his advantage in his inspiration. This challenge of creating an Instagram-worthy look was fulfilled and embodied new, editorial streetwear.
Kentaro whipped out another great look for the menswear-inspired challenge, and he and Brandon made a fantastic team. The "brothers" created an entire retail collection's worth of mix-and-match pieces in a sleek, athleisure, masculine-to-feminine aesthetic. There's something for everyone in this collection and it suits the JCPenny market perfectly.
As much as I loved Brandon and Kentaro's pieces, Margarita's dress was a flawless, stand-out piece for her. It was a sweet, feminine take on a men's shirt, and the ruching, slits, and asymmetry worked together beautifully. I was thrilled that she won and that this look was reproduced by JCPenny - it was actually one of the better Project Runway re-productions in the show's history, so if you got it before it sold out, congratulations! (And congrats to Margarita as well.)
Kentaro's client needed a multi-purpose dress that she could wear to an Indian wedding, and he absolutely delivered. The color was a bold and outstanding choice, his minimalist print complimented it perfectly, and the pleated details in the back were a simple but impactful touch. I was pretty bummed that he didn't win this challenge, but if he makes a fashion week collection anywhere close to this I'll be a happy camper.
There were a lot of fantastic looks in this episode, but Ayana deserved a special shout-out. How she created this in a single day is baffling, and I could totally see a version of it at the Met Gala.
This was another gloriously feminine dress from Margarita. I was worried about her in the workroom, and this level of draping can go very wrong very quickly, but in the end her model looked like she was floating on a glittery unicorn cloud.
I wasn't sure what to think about Michael's "melting disco ball" inspiration, but it ended up working really well on the runway. He definitely deserves all the props for managing to sculpt and tailor sequins, and since the challenge prize involved reproduction on a Shopkins doll, I understand why he won. It was a really cool, fantastical look.
Throughout the season, Ayana continued to pull out all the stops. This is probably the best unconventional challenge design I've ever seen. I mean, she created a leather-look top with a mosaic collar, a painted textile, a floating ballgown skirt and a headpiece. HOW. It's conceptual and impeccable, and she proved herself to be the one to watch.
Ayana blew me away once again in this episode. She took the challenge in an unexpected direction, her tailoring was flawless, and I love a girl who pulls off a stripe-on-stripe.
Brandon's looks are most successful when he stays away from his strappy-tied aesthetic (which, while a favorite of the judges, is a little gimmicky to me at this point.) This design was clearly his but he pushed his creativity and he played around with layering in a fresh way.
Kentaro had some ups and downs throughout the season, but this was a major comeback for him. I think he described it as looking like whipped cream...or a marshmallow? Some type of white dessert. Whatever. It looks fantastic. I never would have considered shorts in the winter, but in this fabrication and styled with the leg warmers it just all works.
Thanks a million for reading and waiting patiently for my two cents.
What are your thoughts? Who do you think will win this sweet sixteen season??