After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 5: ‘Descending Into Good and Evil’

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 week, Michelle Überreste of ‘Project Runway: Under the Gunn’, Lu of ‘Scouting Tall’, and I will offer up our opinions on the top 3 and bottom 3 looks from the previous Thursday night’s episode. Why the following week? That gives some time for folks to watch without spoiling things for them.

Okay, let’s get into it!


This week, the designers are taken to a “castle” and are given their challenge: create an evening wear look based on either “good” or “evil”. In an unheard of twist of events, they are given TWO DAYS to complete their looks. Whaaaaaaaaaaaa…??

So, who’s on top, and who’s on the bottom? Let’s start with the top looks.

Kenya – Evil


My thoughts: I had a REALLY tough time picking a favorite this week between Kenya’s and Michael’s looks. Kenya’s look says “evil” hands down. I LOVE that she went with a pant suit instead of a dress. I was afraid at first about the black ruffles, but they work really well, especially with the tiered bell sleeves. The look fit the model like a glove.
Michelle’s thoughts: This was definitely an “evil” look. Props to Kenya for manipulated that crinkled fabric and making it look so sleek. The touch of black and dramatic sleeves juxtaposed by the skinny pant was perfection. I totally get a modern villain vibe from this. Well done.
Lu’s thoughts: While the fit of Kenya’s look is perfection, I honestly did not know whether this look was going to be a top three or bottom three. There was a lot of detail and I don’t necessarily always agree with the judges, so I was not sure whether they would think the tuxedo collar on the wrist ruffles on the peplum on the open back on the tuxedo stripe was too much. I did not think it was too much, but it also worked on the model’s slim frame.

Michael – Evil


My thoughts: Even though I had a tough time picking my favorite, this one definitely should have won this week. Michael was the first designer to actually accentuate his model’s curves, and made for one sexy evil queen. I fell in love with every single thing about this, even the feathers on the dress, and especially the “crown”.
Michelle’s thoughts: I feel like Michael might be an underdog. He is just quietly and smartly working and slowly gaining my adoration. He isn’t one of the
loud ones, or favorite ones, but slow and steady might just win the race. His look was elegant, wicked, and for the first time on the show – made his model feel gorgeous and sassy. Mission accomplished! The cape was the perfect addition and the feathers transformed a dress made entirely from one fabric into something next level.
Lu’s thoughts: I do not have a ton to say about Michael’s look. It was amazing. The headpiece is a reference to a crown. The lace makes the dress look super rich and expensive. And the feathers? Give me more feathers. (Looking at Margarita [underrated contestant] for the feathers, too.)

Brandon – Good – Winner


My thoughts: I really like that Brandon is a menswear designer. However, I’m still not a fan of the straight jacket look. My eye is geared more toward everyday wearability, and this just doesn’t look like anything I’d see on the streets. Now that this isn’t the first time he’s created this, it’s starting to look to me like a one-trick kind of thing. It doesn’t even look evening wear to me. Simply not my cup of tea, and I’m okay with that.
Michelle’s thoughts: This is totally amazing and modern as Brandon’s looks so often are. However, I can definitely see the “pajama” vibe some people have been mentioning. The way he cut the dress and top is so chic, it forces you to understand the fabric choices. I love his menswear point of view and attention to detail. Everything looks clean and minimalist, but when you look closer, you see subtle detailing, a signature of menswear design. Applied to women’s looks, this perspective is unique and fresh. The clear winner in my eyes.
Lu’s thoughts: I liked that Brandon’s look was not such a literal interpretation of “good.” This looks like a high end look that just so happens to be in the wardrobe of a nice girl. I noticed the back detail when the models had a fitting and literally made a noise causing my fiancé to look up from the book he was reading. I say this nearly every week about someone’s look, but I can see this on a street style blogger.

Here are the bottom looks this week.

Claire – Good


My thoughts: It was pretty clear to me that Claire had NO idea where she was heading during this challenge. She started out with so many SUPER bright colors, and ended up with something SUPER dull. Zac pretty aptly described it as being something for “Cinderella’s day off”.
Michelle’s thoughts: This dress was really sad. The fact that it was a 2 day challenge makes it extra sad. We have seen Claire construct the same dress a couple times before, and better. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe her work flow was interrupted by not being able to work next to her sister in the workroom. Who knows? The top was boring and so was the skirt. The saddest part is that I think Claire had the most potential to create a “good” look stemming from her aesthetic.
Lu’s thoughts: As called out by one of the guest judges, Claire’s look did read prom. I will even up the ante and say Long Beach (Mississippi) High School Senior prom. I say this because I saw several girls wear this when my sister and her friends took photos at my family’s house in 2006. I knew this was going to be a low ranking look when I saw the colors of the fabric. As much as Claire said that she wanted to go high fashion and not costume, she did the opposite.

Samantha – Evil


My thoughts: For me, this was a safe look. I liked the pattern Samantha created, but when she put the dress together, it really aged things. The bottom part of the dress feels really out of place, like it belongs to another dress.
Michelle’s thoughts: This was a total fail and I think she knew it from the start. She seemed so distracted after her critique with Tim, her confidence in herself and her design went down the drain. Since that moment, it was a slow spiral downwards. The skirt part was an afterthought. I felt terrible for her, because I think she had the most potential to create the best “evil” look. Some of her looks from past challenges would have been perfect! Even checking out some of her alternate sketches, those would have been a more successful endeavor. So glad she stayed, though!
Lu’s thoughts: Tim Gunn and the judging panel, and I are going to have to agree to disagree. (Someone write them the memo on behalf.) I liked the fabric in the pieced bodice with the zipper detail. If she had just nixed the sheer black portion of the dress, I would have loved the look. Especially since there was not a rule that said “Must make a full length gown.” Doesn’t a shorter dress just read “bad girl” more so than a gown to anyone else?

Aaron – Good – Eliminated


My thoughts: After seeing this come down the runway, I couldn’t blame the judges one bit for sending Aaron home. Seeing it made me wonder what he did with the two days for the challenge. The strap at the shoulder broke off, and there were raw edges EVERYWHERE. It really did look like a child put this together with a bunch of pink streamers they had lying around.
Michelle’s thoughts: I am so sad for Aaron! I kept waiting for Tim to use his “Tim Gunn Save”! We all know Aaron obviously needs to hone his skills, but I feel he is the most unadulterated designer of the group, with wacky and creative solutions to the challenges. He thinks outside the box, he isn’t so easily influenced by already established designers or what is “in”. He has so much potential and I can’t wait to see him carve out a name for himself in the real world. His outfit was meant to be fun – all in pink. I think the concept was good but the execution ended up looking like a beaten piñata.
Lu’s thoughts: I actually got anxiety while watching Aaron during the eleventh hour in the workroom. This was the clearcut lowest ranked look. I knew it was going to be the lowest rank. I was disappointed he is leaving because towards the beginning of the episode, he referenced his week one look, which was very strong.

There you go, folks! What did you think?


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