Project Runway Recap: S11 E6

The older the lady, the more time she’s had to perfect being fabulous. Let’s celebrate these broads – and judge the designers.

The Challenge: It’s the dreaded “real client” challenge! The designers are tasked with creating a look for their elderly clients/models. And though I’m sure the producers thought this conceit would provide near-constant entertainment, this episode was one cliche after another and I found none of it particularly entertaining.

Guest Judge: Joan Rivers. She alone should have been able to make this at least a marginally interesting episode, but the extraordinarily dated, poorly-scripted one-liners the producers fed her were torture to listen to. “She looks like a first wife!” isn’t helpful or funny, and if you’re not being helpful or funny, then what the hell are you doing here?

AMANDA VALENTINE
Bottom 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The print was pretty, but my praise ends there. The silkiness of the fabric was far too delicate to be the only fabric in the design – it needed to be lined with something a little more constructed so that a woman with the body and skin of someone above the age of 30 could actually wear it. And I don’t know what the hell’s going on wit the construction in the back, but it’s a big old nightmare. This wasn’t the worst look on the runway, but it was definitely a misstep for Amanda, and I’m convinced she’ll be the next to go home if she doesn’t turn it around soon.

BENJAMIN MACH
Eliminated
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This was terribly simple, and the color and fit were all wrong for the client. Instead of making a modern look for a mature woman, he made a dated look for a little girl – that’s about as far from the challenge as you can get, so I understand why the judges came down so hard on him. But as far as I’m concerned, no one deserved the auf this week more than Patricia.

DANIEL ESQUIVEL
Top 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

A little on the boring side, and there are some glaring construction problems with the jacket, although the pants fit nicely. But you could buy this at any store in America, so why the judges were kvelling over it is beyond me. Good, sure, but not great.

KATE PANKOKE
Bottom 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Not great, but not particularly deserving of the bottom four, either. The top was too tight, but otherwise, I thought this was vaguely pretty and basically inoffensive, which is much more than I can say for most of the looks on this runway.

LAYANA AGUILAR
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Cute print, but there’s nothing remarkable or memorable about this look.

MICHELLE LESNIAK FRANKLIN
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I think I’d hate it more if the woman wearing it didn’t clearly love it so much. I think the bustline is wonky, as is the dip in the back, and this print is impossible to wear anywhere but a Christmas party. But girlfriend is clearly having a good time in it.

PATRICIA MICHAELS
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The fact that this not only avoided an auf, but the bottom four altogether, is a joke. The judges must be hitting their crack pipes harder than ever if they’re able to ignore the fact that this look was absolute trash.

RICHARD HALLMARQ
Top 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I hate the fit and that awful waistband, but I actually don’t dislike it as much as I originally did when it came down the runway. At least it’s easy to wear and fairly polished.

SAMANTHA BLACK
Top 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

It’s too tight and the shoulders are a bit much, but this was a great combination of the client’s badass attitude and Samantha’s funky aesthetic.

STANLEY HUDSON
Winner
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I loved this. It definitely had some construction flaws, but Stanley seems to have done triple the work of most of the other designers, and I’ll forgive a wayward zipper when you’re at least attempting something ambitious and interesting. And the result was flattering, modern, interesting, age-appropriate, and utterly fabulous.

TU SUTHIWAT NAKCHAT
Bottom 4
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Bad. Tu had to admit on the runway that the dress is not much more than a bathrobe, since it doesn’t actually close without that belt. The color is nice, and I think there was a good idea or two in here somewhere, but like most things on the runway, this ended up looking like quite the hot mess.

Judges’ Top 4: Stanley, Richard, Daniel, Samantha
Diva’s Top 4: Stanley, Daniel, Samantha, Richard
Judges’ Bottom 4: Tu, Kate, Amanda, Benjamin
Diva’s Bottom 4: Amanda, Tu, Benjamin, Patricia


© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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3 responses to Project Runway Recap: S11 E6

  1. I’ve not seen anything from Patricia that I think any real person would want to wear.

    This team deal is really protecting some designers who’ve yet to produce much of any quality.

  2. Ivy Freeborn

    I’ve loved some of the textile work that Patricia has done, but it’s not going to be enough to take her much further. Actually, I dislike the team concept. It’s protecting some bad designers and it’s not helping the good ones. Working in a team just doesn’t work on a competitive reality show- they’re in it to win it. In a real life situation, somebody could get fired for lack of cooperation.

    I’ve never understood why the contestants don’t pre-design something for the Real Woman challenge. They know it’s coming- at least, they should. And what happened to the ability to sew part of the deal? I can overlook a certain amount of rough finishing; the time is short. But even Nina isn’t commenting on the construction unless it’s a total disaster. At times, the construction is so bad you can’t tell if it’s supposed to be part of the design or not- see the back of Amanda’s design, above.

    And once again, the designer with the tall, slim Real Woman won. What a remarkable coincidence!

    • democracydiva – Author

      I wholeheartedly agree, and have felt since the beginning, that this Teams conceit was a terrible idea. You’re right that the nature of a reality TV competition means there shouldn’t be teams, regardless of what it’s like in the “real world.” And yeah, the fact that the most model-looking “Real Woman” wins EVERY SINGLE TIME is total garbage. Thanks for commenting! ❤

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