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