Before we begin: Please take a moment to donate to Red Cross relief for Hurricane Sandy. (If you’re reading from outside the States, please contact your national Red Cross society for how to donate.) My parents and the rest of my childhood hometown and county have been without power for a week with no signs of it coming back soon; those who lost only power know they are the luckiest ones. This storm has devastated some of the places nearest and dearest to me in the world, and many of the people of my home state, New Jersey, and the great New York, and many others up and down the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. Please, donate what you can and if you’re in an impacted area and able, volunteer. Thank you, and let’s hit the runway.
The Challenge: Create a modern disco look for a night out, inspired by a Nine West shoe, making all the viewers pine for the days of the Neiman Marcus accessories wall so we don’t have to watch the same cheap, clunky shoes clomp down the runway. But of course, we can always count on the Project Runway producers to refuse to define the challenge in a way the designers could understand, so very little of the runway was particularly modern, disco, OR shoe-inspired, and basically no one achieved all tree.
Guest Judge: Rafe Totengco, Creative Director of Nine West Handbags. Snooze.
From the front, it kind of fulfills the requirements of being a modern party dress, though I can’t identify anything particularly disco about it. And the hideous construction in the back makes me wonder what that model’s hair is hiding in the front. I liked the colors and the trim on the bodice, but not much else.
Once again, Andrae made some sort of mysterious jacket-type garment that was – what’s the design equivalent of illegible? Can we invent that word, dear readers? During the judging, all I could think about was how much this looked like a cheap Gucci knockoff. He’s lucky there was more wildly offensive garbage on the runway than this, because two such unfortunate looks in consecutive challenges is more than enough to deserve the auf.
I think I forgot about this dress about ten seconds after it left the runway – that’s how ordinary it is. The proportions are downright ridiculous – is she supposed to look like she’s all hips and no bust? And please, for the love of god, can we kiss the exposed zipper goodbye?
Trash, trash, trash. Come on, judges. You’ve got to be kidding me. It was bad enough to pretend Casanova was an “All Star” – to keep praising his tacky, cheap-looking, incredibly basic designs adds insult to injury.
The colors were glaringly terrible, and almost stubbornly mismatched to the shoe. I mean, this gown could not have less to do with that gold platform if it tried. And I get what he was trying to do with the back, but the execution came out kind of crafty and fashion student-looking.
With a few days of reflection, I understand why this was in the top – it had some adapted disco elements and it looked like it was designed to go with the shoe. But I still thought the construction was bad, and I couldn’t see any modern disco gal partying in those giant flowy-shorts-over-hot-pants.
I liked it better on the runway than in pictures, but I thought it was by far the most excellent thing on the runway, particularly in terms of construction and memorability. The color was fantastic, the styling was chic, and the front of the look felt very 70s while the back had a more modern vibe. I rarely think a look needs a belt to improve it, but the belt really does tie this particular look together.
Let’s be honest – those pants make her ass look ridiculous, and that top is owned by strippers across America.
The jacket is fabulous, but I hate jumpsuits as a rule – the baggier, the worse. But with an elastic waistband, a hideous neckline, and an even less attractive design in the back, there was basically no saving this thing. It really is a shame, because had she paired that jacket with anything even remotely okay, I probably would have loved the look overall. But you can barely see her show piece because of the hideous monstrosity underneath it.
Oh, come on. I think I can see the pins from here. You can’t cover her in gold shiny curtains, shallack the front, randomly drape the back, and call it a gown. And what on earth does this look have to do with those shoes?
Still a little too frivolous and overly adorned, but it was still a very strong look from Uli. Something about it did feel like it managed to merge the modern disco party thing, even though the shoes (probably the best pair on the runway, which isn’t saying much) weren’t particularly relevant to the dress.
Probably the only thing more embarrassing than sending this offensively terrible, hooker-meets-Hot-Topic disaster down the runway was Wendy’s farewell line: “I have twelve friends that are gonna change my life.” What is this, the freaking Real World? Come on, producers, you can feed Wendy way better soundbites than that garbage. She deserves better! Unless you were matching the quality level of her goodbye speech to the quality level of this particular design, in which case, excellent job!
Judges’ Top 3: Uli, Ivy, Casanova
Diva’s Top 3: Joshua, Uli, Ivy
Judges’ Bottom 3: Kayne, Andrae, Wendy
Diva’s Bottom 3: Suede, Andrae, Wendy