After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 3: ‘A Leap of Innovation!’

Howdy howdy folks! Time for another recap! Are you all caught up and ready??

If you’re new here, this is how it works: each Monday (-ish), I, Michelle Überreste of ‘Project Runway: Under the Gunn’, and Lu of ‘Scouting Tall’, will offer up our opinions on the top 3 and bottom 3 looks from the previous Thursday night’s episode. Why on Mondays? That gives some time for folks to watch without spoiling things for them.

Okay, let’s get into it!


This week, the designers were given a private screening of the upcoming movie “Leap!”, and also treated to hiplet (hip-lay, a cross of ballet and hip-hop) dancing (which was AWESOME!!). They had 1 day (SHOCKER) to create a look inspired by movement, dance, and innovation.

Let’s have a look at the top 3 looks this week.



My thoughts: I rather liked this creation, though the wings were a little gimmicky looking. It had a sort of tribal vibe mixed with some Madame Butterfly. Had she had another day, this would have been amazing. I really dislike that the designers are only given 1 day, and are expected to create perfection on the runway.
Michelle’s thoughts: I loved this look! The print was amazing and I love the sheer fabric she mixed it with which was slightly metallic. I think she definitely achieved the “butterfly effect” she was going for. I loved how she created the wing out of different panels of fabric and broke up the print a little bit. My only complaint is that I usually don’t go for a look that is made from all one matching print. I wish one of the pieces would have been made from something else to really contrast with the colors she used. I am so glad Batani’s personality is coming through in her designs.
Lu’s thoughts: When the model hit the end of the runway and held up her arms – phenomenal. I did not see that coming and it left me awestruck. The print pattern and colors of the fabric reminded me of Milly, and I cannot get enough Milly. I even liked the black metallic fabric, as it seemed true who who Batani is as a designer.



My thoughts: This was, far and away, my pick for the winner. To me, this look SCREAMED dance, and as was said on the show, gave me vibes of night dancing in Havana. I agreed with the judges in that she chose smart fabrics to work with. This was made for dancing!
Michelle’s thoughts: I actually placed this look on the bottom because it looks so contrived to me. It looks like a cheap Halloween costume. Although I get the “Havana” vibe, I’ve seen it before. It looks well constructed but I think the white fabric isn’t spicy enough. I do like the little hint of red in the tie and under the skirt, but something about this look is not right for me. I think Margarita needs to add more creativity to her garments, and design a little less literal, and she could go far. Her flare is what makes her exciting, but I’m seeing very literal interpretations of garments from her culture.
Lu’s thoughts: I could see so many powerhouse bloggers wearing this look in a #vacationmode setting. (Blair Eadie comes to mind.) The look is technically a two-for, as you could wear the bodysuit either way, pending your comfort-level. I love that she carried the red lining from the front tie (crucial that she flipped the exposed side to the front of the bodysuit) to the underside of the skirt and punctuated it with the red shoes.

Brandon – winner


My thoughts: I was not a fan of this look when it came out. I’ll be the first to admit that creations like this are mostly lost on me. My eye tends to be geared more toward street style and everyday wearability, so this looked like a straight jacket. I did really love all of the button loops, which gave me a Chinese vibe to the look.
Michelle’s thoughts: The clear winner of this challenge and one of my personal picks for winning this season. Brandon is so talented, yet humble. The show sort of mocks him for being in his “zen zone”, but this is really important to focus on this show. He is strategic and has a vision many designers don’t have. His background in menswear helps him to think outside of the regular prescribed box, and I think that will take him far. This particular look is modern, conceptual and meets all the criteria for the challenge. It is also striking in black and white, high fashion, yet wearable in an array of different occasions and styled with different types of looks.
Lu’s thoughts: I am a sucker for structure and architecturally-inspired clothing, as well as mens-inspired womenswear. I happen to be a fan of the “wearing my boyfriend’s shirt home from his apartment”-look. It also reminded me of a 21st century Annie Hall. The back had an amazing trenchcoat flap detail. And the button loops? I died. But seriously, can I wear this to my wedding reception after-party?

And now, the bottom looks this week.



My thoughts: Kentaro had such high hopes this challenge. I was sure that his classical piano and ballet background would catapult him to the winner’s circle this week. This ended up looking so very basic, and I agree with everyone that said that it looked like what a dancer would wear when warming up. The tulle skirt was gorgeous, and everything seemed to be very well made, but it simply didn’t translate on the runway.
Michelle’s thoughts: One of the biggest mistakes on Project Runway is making a look in all black. Especially matte black. It doesn’t have any runway appeal, it fades into the background, it makes things look basic. I think Kentaro has a high taste level, but his choice of leisurely fabrics and simple design do not really highlight that fact. I didn’t think it was the worst on the runway, but it definitely didn’t stand out.
Lu’s thoughts: This look reminds me of a photo negative of Olivia Palermo’s wedding look (sans the legwarmers). I was underwhelmed that this was what the pleats amounted to. I just do not have anything else to add other than this: I agree with the judges that this episode was filled with a phenomenal set of looks. While Kentaro’s was a touch bland, I do not think that warranted a place in the bottom three.



My thoughts: There was only one thing I liked about this look: the color. The “electric chartreuse” made a great contrast against the model’s skin. The ruffled collar was odd looking, the skirt was too short, and the tail was way too long. This was definitely worthy of being in the bottom, and if it weren’t for his win in the first challenge, he may have been sent home. He really has a lot of potential, but this certainly wasn’t a great creation.
Michelle’s thoughts: This was just really unfortunate. I know Deyonte is capable of so much more, I know his taste level is higher than this. I do give him props for working through the pain as he caught his finger in the sewing machine and the needle went all the way through. I have never done this and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to drape and sew while dealing with that. However, the design was not really flattering, either. The color could have been interesting but the top was ill fitting, and the bottom was juvenile. The neck ruffle did not do the model any favors while hiding her long and elegant neck. If you can’t work hard, work smart. Even if he just would have made the top a halter fit with some gathering, at least it would have fit the model and given her a longer silhouette. I’m glad he’s staying and hoping his finger has time to heal up a bit before the next challenge.
Lu’s thoughts: While I love the color and the collar, the bottom half is a disaster. The front of the skirt is too short – in fact, while she was walking down the runway, I thought “figure skater” – and hits her at a thicker part of her thigh. (Any woman’s magazine will advise hemlines to hit at the slimmest point of the leg.) There was a moment when the camera zoomed in the hem and it was unfinished with threads falling from it. The back of her skirt drags the floor and will eventually collect dirt and dirty hem is never chic.

Kudzanai – eliminated


My thoughts: I cannot fault the judges this week for sending Kudzanai home. To me, this was one of those “edit, edit, edit!” moments. I can see where he was trying to go with the tribal feel, but it just didn’t quite make it. The more that I think about it, the more I’m feeling that if he had perhaps did more of the strips of color and feathers all over the look, it might have looked better.
Michelle’s thoughts: Definitely the clear choice to be sent home for this challenge. There were too many ideas thrown together without rhyme or reason – zipper fringe, feathers, neon colors, unflattering shapes and lots of details with no purpose. I think ONE of these ideas on its own could have made a more successful garment. Although, I feel Kudzanai needs a lot more experience to nail down his technique and aesthetic.
Lu’s thoughts: There is a lot to unpack with this look. I understand the notion of “going for it” if that is your brand and who you are as a designer. I understand that sometimes a look may appear like a folly in construction, and turn out absolute genius. I was hoping that that would be the case with this look. Like Chacha in episode one, perhaps there is something lost in translation, as he mentioned cultural influences. Like Chacha’s look, construction was an issue. Like Chacha, we had to say goodbye to Kudzanai.

There you have it!! What did you all think? Be sure to let us know!


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