The Challenge: After the teams get re-shuffled, the designers are locked into a room filled with double-scented Glade candles until they’re stoned enough to create looks out of hardware AND flowers. (At least, that’s the only link I could find between shilling candles and making clothes out of nails and moss.)
Guest Judge: BETTE. MIDLER. As far as divas go, no prior guest judges can even COMPARE. Oh, and I think some fashion blogger was there too? But it wasn’t the Democracy Diva, so who cares. (Lifetime, I am also available for guest appearances with Bette Midler, especially if we get to sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” together.)
Winning Team: Dream Team
It wasn’t the most innovative or dramatic look on the runway, but this dress grew on me the more I looked at it. It’s got a sense of humor and whimsy that’s so important in this kind of challenge, and it expertly walks the line between wearable and over-the-top.
In almost a decade of Project Runway, I don’t think I’ve seen an idea as creative as Samantha’s effect of trapping the flowers and leaves inside that wiry mesh. The way she was able to construct an entire knee-length skirt with a flattering peplum out of that material was impressive, but the yellow flowers adorning the outside and the inside of the peplum looked so incredible over the leaf-printed skirt. The bodice was equally innovative and extraordinarily flattering – it’s rare that the most thought-provoking idea is also the most flattering one, but Samantha’s construction skills clearly match her creative imagination. This team had a few hits, but Samantha’s blew everyone else out of the water.
TU SUTHIWAT NAKCHAT
I loved both pieces, though not necessarily together. The vest is an incredible piece, especially with that crazy necklace-collar, but I found the skirt a bit too cartoonish to be paired with that vest.
Benjamin constructed his own loom in the workroom, which I’ll admit was pretty fascinating to watch. But I just don’t think it was remotely worth the time and energy put into it, because this dress is only okay. The combination of the flowers and his homespun thread made her look weirdly lumpy in strange places.
Stunning. It lacked the innovation that some of his teammates had, which is why I wouldn’t have considered it for the win, but I can’t pretend this isn’t breathtaking. It looks like a wedding dress from a fairy tale, and I think that’s a sign of success in a challenge as bizarre as this one.
This was breathtaking – surprisingly delicate and feminine and all-around beautiful to look at. In fact, I think it’s more aesthetically pleasing than Samantha’s look, but since it lacked the same level of creativity, I’d still have given the win to Sam. Regardless, that cage-like skirt is so interesting, and the flowers cascading over it are absolutely heavenly. The colors are perfect, the execution is incredible, and the fact that she was able to construct a cut-out in the back was very impressive.
Losing Team: Keeping it Real. Although, according to Heidi, there wasn’t a losing team – it was an “almost-winning team.” I’m sure that made Joe feel much better when he was still eliminated. Also, I found it kind of pathetic that the judges refused to find anything to really criticize about too many of the looks. Don’t worry, dear readers – I won’t be so kind.
It’s quite cupcakey, which Kate clearly thought was a good thing. I don’t necessarily disagree, but that very bottom layer looks too much like chocolate frosting, making the cake effect way too literal. If she’d nixed that last little detail, I think she’d have had a much better look.
Amanda said it looked much better from the back than from the front, and she wasn’t wrong. I don’t think the moss looked nearly as nice as she’d hoped, which is why the more embellished back looks nicer than the front. She thought a little bit too small for the unconventional challenge, but she didn’t deserve to have her whole team complain about how difficult she was to work with when that didn’t seem particularly true.
Yeah, I’m going to call BS on the judges not even commenting on the burning-hot disaster that was this look. What, since Patricia’s annoying enough to have other designers be sick of her already, her terrible looks get a pass so that she can stay on the show and continue stirring up drama? This was one of the most aggressively ugly, ill-conceived looks in the show’s history, and not so much as a negative word about it from our crack-smoking judges.
Daniel’s done great work thusfar, but this was just difficult to look at without fearing that the model was about to explode into some evil lagoon creature.
MICHELLE LESNIAK FRANKLIN and RICHARD HALLMARQ
Definitely the strongest look on this team (which isn’t saying too much). The colors of the flowers they used against the leaves in the skirt were perfect, and the cage-like skeleton they build around it looked extraordinarily cool (at least until you got to the Madonna bra).
JOSEPH AARON SEGAL
There’s no way this was worse than Patricia’s. And why does Joseph get criticized for making something too shapeless for a woman to wear when half the designers on the runway had weirder, less flattering silhouettes than this one? What about the molting green bowling balls on Daniel’s model’s hips? Joe got sent home for being the kind of weirdo who isn’t interesting to watch on television, not because he made any major errors here. I thought his wiry coat-dress was cool and the way used the flowers were beautifully – this was a matter of the judges not “getting it,” probably because they were too busy choking on the combination of crack smoke and Glade scented candles.
Judges’ Top 2: Samantha and Layana
Diva’s Top 2: Samantha and Layana
Judges’ Bottom 2: Amanda and Joseph
Diva’s Bottom 2: Daniel and Patricia