After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 7: ‘The Ultimate Faceoff’

Hey everybody! Time for another recap! Are you all caught up and ready??

If you’re new here, this is how it works: each week, ‘Project Runway: Under the Gunn’ contestant Michelle Überreste, tall style blogger 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? We don’t want to spoil things for the folks who watch late!

Again this week, Lu won’t be joining us on our weekly recap. She’s gone off and gotten married, and currently on her honeymoon! Don’t worry, she’ll be back!

Okay, let’s get into it!


This week is the JCPenney’s challenge. The designers are brought into a JCPenney location in front of a group of male models, all wearing items from the store, and holding bolts of fabric. Many of the designers immediately become apprehensive, anticipating a menswear challenge. Tim let’s them off of the hook, though: it’s a menswear-INSPIRED challenge. Each of the models hold the names of 2 designers, who have to use the fabric associated with them. Tim again produces the dreaded button bag, ready to pair up the designers, with one caveat: each pair cannot have the same fabrics to work with. In moves that surprise absolutely NO ONE, Kentaro (as the winner) teams up with bro Brandon, and the twins partner up (because they’ve basically been doing it every week).

Let’s start with the top teams this week.

Kentaro & Brandon

Kentaro Brandon

My thoughts: While I’m not a big fan of Brandon’s designs, I really loved how well the “dream team” worked together and created these looks. They are very menswear-inspired, and I love the pastel gingham pattern. I certainly would have been happy if this had taken the top spot this week.
Michelle’s thoughts: Kentaro – Clean, well put together look with the materials provided. I think this mini collection was the most cohesive without a doubt. The looks are great for JC Penney’s, but there is definitely something basic and lacking here. I wish there would have been more menswear inspiration, and I think the judges are looking through rose colored glasses at these two to be placing them in the top.
Brandon – Pretty much the same as Kentaro’s look. Black and white sporty athleisure wear with the checker outerwear over it. I think I have to give Brandon a little more credit, with the shorts and the cool longer jacket, it looks just a tiny bit less basic than Kentaro’s. The fact that these two are favorites every week, added to the fact that their construction is flawless, means that we are seeing something more out of these looks that really isn’t there.

Batani & Margarita – winner: Margarita

Batani Margarita

My thoughts: I REALLY loved Batani’s velvet dress (I LOOOOVE velvet). I really liked the lapels and buttons, which unmistakably gives this a menswear feel. While Margarita’s dress was very unique, I wasn’t over the moon for it. I LOVE the gingham and the button placement, but it didn’t seem all that marketable to me.
Michelle’s thoughts: Batani – I love this velvet jacket dress! You can tell that Batani does not have a whole lot of experience working with velvet, but if this IS her first time, then she killed it. The design speaks for itself, and I find it very flattering on all types of women, I feel it would give any
woman confidence. It’s like a power suit turned into a dress! I almost wish she would have had more time to add a bit more detail, maybe some welt pockets or something would have added more impact to the design. However, we are talking mass market here, so I guess the cheaper, the better.
Margarita – A well deserved win. This is fresh, a great twist on menswear, and also wearable AND marketable by JC Penney’s. The only thing that bothers me just a little bit is the high neckline. I feel it could have used a collar or something else. She managed to make a flirty and easy to wear dress out of men’s shirting. A+.

Here are the bottom looks for this week.

Amy & Kenya

Amy Kenya

My thoughts: For me, this was not as bad as what the judges thought of it. Kenya’s look is super pretty, and I didn’t even see the “flight attendant” vibe until the judges pointed it out. I didn’t see any real menswear inspiration in it. Amy’s, on the other hand, was clearly inspired by the fellas. I wasn’t a fan of the color she chose. It made the entire thing look dated. The plunging neckline didn’t help either. Even though the team was on the bottom, I had no concern of either of them going home.
Michelle’s thoughts: Amy – This denim pantsuit just looks sad. I think mostly it’s the droopy shaped lapels, but the peplum is also giving me a silhouette that looks extremely dated. I liked the concept, I just hated the execution. The worst part? The cheap ugly buttons. I also hated the color, but it’s worth mentioning I don’t think she had a choice in that.
Kenya – I am not a huge fan of Kenya’s work in general, although I think I am in the minority. The judges said it – cheap flight attendant. I’m not sure what else to say. The top does not even look that well constructed, and I do not get menswear vibe from this. Again, those horrid buttons are the cherry on top of this horribly rotten cake. I think she is capable of much more and I think their lack of teamwork was really exposed during this challenge.

Shawn & Claire

Shawn Claire

My thoughts: What a mish-mosh. The top of Claire’s look reminds me of the Halloween costumes where people dress up half of themselves as a female, and the other half a male. The pastel gingham belt was just an afterthought, and had no real place in the look; as if they were required to use it and just threw it in to fulfill the challenge. Shawn’s dress was just “meh”. It looks like something one could go out shopping for right now and pick up. The green ribbons on the shoulder and the opposite thigh were cute, but nothing groundbreaking.
Michelle’s thoughts: Shawn – This doesn’t even look like her aesthetic to me, which I think is a little bit more punk rock than Claire. I have no idea what she was thinking and I see zero menswear influence. The dress looks like cheap 90’s hip hop, fit terribly and looks really inexpensive. The styling with the hair and boots, with the weird clutch added does not help the garment at all.
Claire – Claire has this really bizarre sporty feminine aesthetic going on which I’m not sure I like. It’s like too pretty some weeks and too lazy in others. I didn’t hate the shirt, I actually think it’s really marketable, but maybe for a juniors customer. The pants are literally nothing. The belt was the only part I’m crazy about, after I noticed that it has the little shirt cuffs on it. However, I don’t think it’s flattering or cute with the outfit. Drop crotch pants and a bulky belt worn low on the waist does not do anyone any favors.

In a twist of fate, there was no elimination this week. The twins will be given 1 hour to recreate a look to determine who stays and who goes home at the start of the next episode. I’m honestly excited to see which one finally goes home.

What did you all think?


3 thoughts on “After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 7: ‘The Ultimate Faceoff’

  1. I totally agree with you! Kenya’s look was pretty, I find it classy but boring – like didn’t understood Nina’s rebellion agains that top, I think it was really well made.
    Zac was super rude on the twins critique like “we don’t need those clothes on the fashion industry”. What the hell, I’ve seen so many awful things on project runway that deserved that comment more than they do. I hope Shawn stays!

    Liked by 1 person

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