Project Runway Recap: S14 E03

Come sail away. 

The Challenge: In teams of two, the designers had one day to create a day-to-evening look that advertises a cruise ship is inspired by a particular locale. Blah blah blah, “oh no! the dreaded team challenge!” Blah blah, “button bag!” Blah, “don’t get paired with the designer who has immunity because you’ll definitely go home!” It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It was kind of torturous to sit through. Like, even more so than usual.

Guest Judge: The beautiful Tracee Ellis Ross. She has a great personality, even if she didn’t bring much in the way of constructive criticism. But seeing her try on Swapnil and Laurie’s garment was extremely adorable.

AMANDA PERNA and GABRIELLE ARUDA
Bottom 3 | Inspiration: South of France

Photo: Lifetime

I loved the way the bottom part of this blouse moved, and I actually wasn’t as offended by the bellbottoms as the judges were. But yes, the back of that top is a construction nightmare. But at least I can see the south of France inspiration, and they had some good ideas, even if the execution went a bit awry.

ASHLEY NELL TIPTON and CANDICE CUOCO
Winners | Inspiration: Venice

Photo: Lifetime

I still don’t get the undying love the judges professed for this outfit. I didn’t think the draping of that reverse cowl neck was anything to write home about, and I maintain that those pants are hideous and create the appearance of a forty-foot-tall pelvis. This would have slipped into my top three by default, and because I can feel the Venetian inspiration, but it was beyond overpraised.

BLAKE PATTERSON and KELLY DEMPSEY
Inspiration: Greek Isles

Photo: Lifetime

This was the only thing on the runway I loved. It was interesting, the inspiration was clear, the execution wasn’t obviously atrocious, and it may even have – gasp! – not looked like six thousand other things that have come down this runway in the past. Someone please explain to me how this ended up in the safe pile while Jake and Lindsey’s Asian explosion landed in the top three.

EDMOND NEWTON and HANMIAO YANG
Bottom 3 (Edmond), Eliminated (Hanmiao) | Inspiration: Caribbean

Photo: Lifetime

This was straight-up terrible, but I would have sent them both home for it, immunity or no. Edmond and Hanmiao just couldn’t work together, but Edmond refused to recognize that he wouldn’t be going home no matter what. If I were Hanmiao, and I saw Edmond thinking about putting his own swimsuit on the model, you bet your ass I’d have sewn the model into my swimsuit. She was the only one in danger of going home, and if they judges realized she designed literally 0% of the garment, there would be nothing Hanmiao could say to save herself. And until the model turned around, I thought Edmond’s yellow skirt was even worse than Hanmiao’s swimsuit. And it was his idea to do swimwear in the first place – Hanmiao thought that was too obvious, and Nina ended up agreeing. But then I saw the cut of that bikini bottom, and my soul died. Hanmiao, I will forever love you for the line, “I’m tiny, but I still have my opinion,” but I do think you deserved the axe. (But so did Edmond.)

JOSEPH CHARLES POLI and MERLINE LABISSIERE
Bottom 3 | Inspiration: St. Petersburg

Photo: Lifetime

Can we stop with the “matronly is the worst thing you could call an outfit” nonsense already? Yes, looking youthful and fresh is important in fashion, but all of this “mumsy” talk came across as a bunch of whiny babies saying, “OMG AREN’T OLD WOMEN HIDEOUS AND DISGUSTING AND PROBABLY SMELLY?!” I don’t even think this twisted cape thing is the problem – it’s more that there’s not much in the way of design happening here. That emphasizes the fact that the conservative hair ages the model, and the fabric just doesn’t feel new and interesting.

JAKE WALL and LINDSEY CREEL
Top 3 | Inspiration: Hong Kong

Photo: Lifetime

What were these two praised for, again? Having vaguely Asian fabrics that were given to them as part of the challenge? Because I’d sooner have worn those fabrics straight out of the suitcase they were shoved in than be caught dead in whatever the hell this mess of an outfit is. A maxidress with shorts underneath and a long vest on top, none of it fitted properly? No thank you.

LAURIE UNDERWOOD and SWAPNIL SHINDE
Top 3 | Inspiration: India

Photo: Lifetime

This ensemble was all about the reveal, as the model transformed from her sari to her sassy crop top. (Remember how this was supposed to be a “day to evening” look, and pretty much no one paid attention to that except for this team?)

Photo: Lifetime

Yes, I agree that those pants had some issues in the crotch, but honestly, it didn’t bother me. Everything else about this outfit was thoughtful, locale-inspired without being a costume, and really goddamn wearable. That little top is cute as a button, and the judges couldn’t wait to start modeling the sari-inspired top. Swapnil and Laurie made a terrific team, and made me want to see more from them. Which is an impressive feat, since I’m already counting down the seconds until this season is over.

Judges’ Top 3 Teams: Ashley & Candice, Jake & Lindsey, Laurie & Swapnil
Diva’s Top 3 Teams: Blake & Kelly, Laurie & Swapnil, Ashley & Candice
Judges’ Bottom 3 Teams: Amanda & Gabrielle, Joseph & Merline, Edmond & Hanmiao
Diva’s Bottom 3 Teams: Joseph & Merline, Jake & Lindsey, Edmond & Hanmiao


© Democracy Diva, 2015.
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16 responses to Project Runway Recap: S14 E03

  1. Your recaps are my favourite thing about this show. In total agreement with your top 3. I would have auf’d Joseph though. Edmond had immunity. Hanmiao was not responsible for the design of the outfit and neither was Merline, so…

    • democracydiva – Author

      Thanks Astrid! And I see your point about Joseph. I was just very bothered by Edmond’s unwillingness to recognize that his immunity meant Hanmiao was the only one at risk for going home. He seemed to want to take full control of a situation that wouldn’t end up impacting him at all.

      • Vncnt

        OK, but let’s not forget that the bikini idea would have never been pursued except that Tim Gunn encouraged (even insisted) that they go in this direction. So maybe Tim Gunn should have been auf’d as well. Seriously – his contributions to the show are becoming more dubious by the second. I’m sure it’s partially down to editing, but the editors are sure making Tim look like an ass, and here I’m referring not only to the fact that he has now played a roll in getting the last two designers auf’d for following his advice, but his “contributions” to the judging sessions, when they inspect the clothes more closely, seem a bit too calculated on his part (he lets the judges know what he thinks of the designers, while refraining from mentioning his own remarks to them in the workroom).

      • democracydiva – Author

        Oh, I could not agree more. The disconnect between Tim and the judges seems to grow every season, and it’s probably a combination of editing and Tim’s increasingly vocal frustration with the show. Apparently he really lets the designers have it this season because he found them so lazy, and the judges weren’t doing anything to help that problem. I don’t put too much stock in what he says to the judges while inspecting the clothes – again, I’m sure he’s saying tons that just doesn’t make it into the episode. I don’t think Tim was right in this episode, so maybe he did deserve the auf, but when there’s a gap between what the judges think and what Tim thinks, I often find myself siding with Tim.

  2. SheriD

    So – was Jake as bad as Lindsey made him out to be? Joseph completely stabbed Merline in the back. Nasty man.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Who can even tell from the highly manipulative editing? I swear, this show makes everyone seem like a monster, so I like to give everyone the “It was just editing!” benefit of the doubt. But even if most of it is editing, at least some of these people must be jerks…. 🙂

  3. Kitty

    Technically both Hanmaio and Jake were passive. In past seasons designers who did not stand up for their visions were aufed. Even though her bathing suit was terrible, I am sad Hanmaio was sent home. PR needs innovative and out of the box thinkers. Hanmaio represented that.

  4. SheriD

    Oh Diva, how I long for your take on episode 14. I’ve watched the show, I’ve read approximately 7 recaps/reviews, but none compare to yours.

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