Once again, Lifetime’s website doesn’t yet have pictures of the outfits up, so I had to do a little digging to get pictures from this week’s episode. It’s a labor of love, but I do it for you. You’re welcome.
This week was perhaps the most interesting “real woman” challenge (read: not models) in the history of Project Runway. First of all, this might be the first “real woman” challenge with both men and women. Second of all, I’m confident that Heidi Klum never had to stand on the runway with ten naked non-models. Poor Alyssa. At any rate, the challenge was for the designers to create outfits for naturists (apparently, they no longer like the term “nudists.” Who knew?) to wear in the cold winter months. The clothes should make the naturists, who normally wear no clothes at all, feel comfortable and confident.
Let me begin by saying that the judging was complete crap this week. Like, worse than usual. I’ll go ahead and break tradition by starting with the bottom two. Yes, the bottom TWO, not three:
Here’s the thing… I’m not entirely sure why the green and yellow coat that Sam worked on for most of the episode offended everyone so much. I thought it was a perfectly nice coat, but Zanna hated it, and Sam’s model apparently also made a face when she saw it, indicating that she hated it, so Sam decided to scrap it and start over at the eleventh hour. Using fabric that he apparently pulled out of his ass (seriously, where did he get all that fabric?), he made a dowdy sweater and a circle skirt. His model claimed that she liked it, but it looks like an outfit she bought for under $5 at a Goodwill. He probably should have gone home this week, but then there’s Valerie…
Dear God that’s horrible. I’m not even sure how Sam and Valerie managed to screw up so much this week. Both of their “real” women have model-like bodies, so we can’t really blame the difficulty in fitting a real woman. When Valerie had her client consultation, her model told her that she prefers clothes that have the feel of wearing a blanket, so Valerie took that information and proceeded to make a bathrobe. Zanna tried to warn her that the print of the pants would be too much when paired with the three different fabrics in the coat, but the print of the pants such a minor issue when one considers the entire outfit. I’m pretty sure that even a pair of basic black pants would not have fixed the Ewok sweater. I still think Sam should have gone home over Valerie, but the truth is, I just wish SOMEONE had gone home. The fact that the judges gave them both another chance is silly and borderline-offensive, but we’ll get to all that drama later…
First, the top 4 (Really, we needed a top 4 this week?):
I would have gone with Dom over Emily for the win (shocking, I know), but I can’t hate on this look. It’s chic and cozy. Oddly enough, I get why naturist would be attracted to this outfit. It doesn’t look too fussy or constraining. The cape is interesting. I do feel the need to point out, though, that if this woman was wearing this outfit in the winter, she would not be terribly warm, unless she lives in Miami. If dressing naturists for winter was part of the challenge, that really should have been considered in determining a winning look. However, this is Emily’s first win ever on PR, so I’m happy for her.
Dom’s model was easily the most comfortable and confident on the runway. During her client consultation, she found out that her model used to be in the military, so she designed an outfit with this specifically in mind. Plus, he’ll be warm in the winter. Plus, menswear is very challenging for most designers in the history of PR, and she nailed it. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Dom should have won this week.
Kini, frankly, should not have been in the top 4 this week. This outfit is adorable, but it doesn’t meet the goals of the challenge. Let’s start with the fact that that’s a whole lotta look for someone who generally wears nothing at all. It’s way too fussy; way too Audrey Hepburn. It just doesn’t read as natural for a naturist. Frankly, as talented as Kini is, this was always my issue with him on his season of PR: he can be a bit of a one-note.
Credit where it’s due… given Mitchell’s history of sending crazy-ass shit down the runway, who knew he could make something so practical and functional. I don’t think this should have been in the top 4 either (but then, there was no need for anything more than a top 3). I like the scarf that looks like a collar and I like the way the coat buttons up, but this look isn’t without its flaws. The sleeves are too short, and I’m not a fan of a dropped crotch. It just always looks like a saggy diaper to me, but I suppose that’s a matter of taste. This man looks put-together and stylish, so kudos to Mitchell for making this happen.
So who should have been in the top 3 with Emily and Dom, if Kini and Mitchell didn’t deserve it?
The jumpsuit looks comfortable and (odd as this sounds) just like what a naturist would choose to wear. But what makes this outfit top-3-worthy is that fierce-as-shit jacket. I covet that jacket. Plus, she really looks confident and happy.
Meh. I don’t know. Ken’s really lucky that his model is a really cool dude who doesn’t get caught up in traditional gender roles. But this is pretty basic, and is a little bit like cheating (remember how I said that historically nobody on PR can do menswear? I suppose androgyny is one way around that little conundrum).
I like the idea of this look, but I don’t like what the shape of the shirt does to this man’s hips. I thought it was cute that Asha got a little flustered while taking measurements because, well, her model looks like an actual model and he was standing there naked.
This is a perfectly fine middle-of-the-road look.
Now to the drama of the episode…
Was it me, or did those designers all just turn on each other out of nowhere? Maybe it was the editing, but why did everyone suddenly feel like Sam wasn’t grateful enough for his second chance? What was that about? Also, I understand that Emily was upset that a really talented designer like Fade was not given a similar opportunity, but her anger is misdirected. She should be angry with the judges and the producers, not Sam. And I agree with Valerie; it was shitty of them all to claim that Sam’s flirting is what is keeping him in the game. Sam and Valerie are talented designers who both had an off week. Should he have been sent home? Absolutely. But it’s not his fault that everyone has forgotten the basic premise of this TV show.
I wonder if they’ll just all get to go to fashion week.