After the Runway: Season 15, Episode 11 – Bold Innovation

Hello everyone!

Ready for another Project Runway recap?

For those who are new to this, each week, former Project Runway: Under the Gunn contestant and collaborator Michelle Überreste and myself will offer up our thoughts on the top and bottom looks each week.

If you haven’t watched the episode yet, don’t go any further! Spoilers await. 🙂

Let’s get to it!


Down to the final six remaining designers. Guess what? Heidi throws them a curve: there are only two challenges left. That means either there will be a double elimination coming, or there will be four folks heading to Fashion Week. We’ll know over the next couple of weeks, won’t we? 😉

This week, the designers were given an interesting challenge: not only is it an avant garde challenge, but they also threw in the unconventional materials challenge. The designers are taken to what looks like the industrial area for materials to grab.

So, what did the designers create? Let’s have a look at the top looks this week.

(all images via Lifetime)


My thoughts: I have to say, Rik’s dress turned out much better than I was anticipating. I really love the mix of materials. I didn’t think it would have been possible to use backsplash tile on a dress. I figured it would have been too rigid.
Michelle’s thoughts: I absolutely loved Rik’s dress, it was definitely my personal favorite. The way he created textiles and textures and played them against each other was so involved and genius. Unfortunately, I think the silhouette made this look really high fashion but not avant garde. It was far too pedestrian in my opinion. I wished he would have pushed the enveloped to make an even stronger impact using the techniques he employed. I also feel like the tiles on the back of the dress were an afterthought and seemed to interrupt the flow of the design, whereas all other parts seemed really incorporated to me.


My thoughts: This was my pick to win this week. I absolutely loved the mix of metals, and the curves of it. It reminds me of Daft Punk. To me, this was futuristic done right.
Michelle’s thoughts: I love his point of view. Something about it feels so removed from the headspace of the other designers. He really seems to enjoy creating and instead of creating rivalry in the workroom, he really focuses on himself and making something beautiful. This dress came out really amazing – structural, artistic, even though the materials are hard, the dress has so much movement and volume to it. I love how he mixed the metallic colors from dark to silver to copper and others. I also like how he pieced everything together, it seems to flow from front to back effortlessly. The way that the metal is shaped in all of the dimensions is really impressive. The ONLY thing I didn’t like about this dress was the weird hand-stitched seam in the front. It seems really out of place.

Erin – Winner

My thoughts: I’m honestly a bit surprised that this look ended up on the top, much less winning this week. I can appreciate Erin wanting to create a “paper doll” look, but this feels unfinished to me. She should have gone all out and really did the “paper doll” look, complete with the little paper tabs one folds over to attach the clothes to the doll. This one disappointed me a little.
Michelle’s thoughts: Definitely the winner in my book. I think Erin stepped it up this week and delivered her usual creative and quirky signature on the runway. The color really made it stand out against the rest of the designs, which were too dark, and the way she created delicate flowers out of something so base was really exciting. I loved the idea of the “paper doll” or apron look, and so glad that the judges mentioned she glued the ends of the wire so it wouldn’t scratch her model. That super tiny detail makes me love it even more. I love the pockets and the shape, I think the juxtaposition of hard and soft REALLY works here.

Here are the creations that were on the bottom this week.


My thoughts: Since there are only 6 designers left, I can see why Laurence was on the bottom. I’m pretty confident that she wasn’t in any danger of going home, though. Just a technicality. I do think she played it a little safe with the shoulders. I also think the skirt part was a bit too short. Had it been a little longer, it would have looked much better.
Michelle’s thoughts: I love her work, and although she usually comes across as the more serious and thoughtful of the designers, this time, I felt bored. I loved the dress, but I have seen it from her before, and her technique isn’t celebrated in the sea of black materials she used to make her garment. I loved the way she wove the leather in the metal, but I wish she would have left some of it showing to contrast the textures and colors just a bit. I also wish she would have let the blue leather show a little more, instead of keeping everything black. The dress was too short, and I wish it had been just a bit more exaggerated, or floor length for a “wow factor” on the runway. I love the dress, but I didn’t feel impressed. I felt like she phoned it in this challenge and just did classic “Laurence”.


My thoughts: I am utterly shocked that this look ended up being safe over Mah-Jing’s. I didn’t find it avant garde or anything. It looked like a basic dress with some strings of color on the skirt, and some dryer tubing glued around various parts. I’m not sure what the judges see in this that I missed.
Michelle’s thoughts: I really enjoyed the colors in this dress and the subtle textures he chose to employ. I really think the effect of the tubes has been seen before many times, but I think it could have worked if he would have pushed it a little further. I really wish he would have made this much MORE grotesque and had tubes coming out all over the place. I wanted to have MORE of an emotional reaction.

Mah-Jing – Eliminated

My thoughts: This is yet another look that I’m surprised by the judges’ decision. In my eyes, this was not the weakest look of the bunch this week. I really can appreciate the copper wiring and mesh, but it looks more like an accessory. I think he should have made them MUCH bigger, almost to the point where they envelope the dress. Regardless, he should not have gone home.
Michelle’s thoughts: I didn’t feel as if this was particularly avant garde. I like the idea of having organic shapes, but I think it just looked messy, not artistic as it was meant to be. The dress from farther away looked pretty and everything, but didn’t strike me as super original, bold, or innovative. It was a lot more successful than some of his past dresses, but unfortunately in this point in the competition, just okay doesn’t cut it.

And there you have it, folks! What did you think?


2 thoughts on “After the Runway: Season 15, Episode 11 – Bold Innovation

    1. Thanks so much, Richa! I also thought that Erin had the strongest collection. She was my pick from the first episode to win, but as the season went on, I felt like she was becoming more and more arrogant. I have to confess that I don’t like her as much as I did when the season first started.


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