After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 8: ‘Client on the Go’

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!

Okay, let’s get into it!

SoT_PR

This week’s episode starts right where last week’s ended:; the final showdown of the twins to see who stays, and who goes home. In an almost comical display, the twins are COMPLETE opposites in the workroom. Claire immediately gets to work on her creation, and Shawn is frozen and blocked. After 15 minutes or so, Shawn concedes, and volunteers as tribute steps aside.

On to the real challenge! This week, the designers are tasked to create looks for nominated family members of the Project Runway crew: mothers, wives, sisters, etc.

Wow, what a DRAMAFEST this week. I also wasn’t really a fan of having two cliffhanger episodes in a row. That felt quite unnecessary to me. Since there’s no telling what happened until this week’s episode, let’s just offer up our thoughts on each look. Even though Claire was declared the winner, the way the episode was edited, it feels like even perhaps that might not be the case.

Claire – winner(?)

Claire

Me: This look was safe. Sure, it was the most commercial, but nothing innovative was done here. Claire seems to draw inspiration or her designs from others’ creations, or from her own clothing. At least, that’s how the editing plays it out to me. This was not my choice for the winner this week. But who knows? Perhaps she may NOT be the winner.
Michelle: I do think this was one of the more successful looks, it is very wearable, marketable, and attractive. However, it’s been done before. It was smart to choose these pieces, however common. The shirt is basically a take on a shirt her sister wore on so many episodes of this show before. It wasn’t original, just smart. That being said, there is very little left that is original in the world of design. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the conclusion.
Lu: I really liked Claire’s look, probably because it was the most commercial. It reminds me of something that would be on the sales floor of Banana Republic, and that is a good thing. On the other hand, it might be too commercial, too already-done? Did anyone notice that the top she produced was similar to a top that Claire herself was wearing earlier in the episode? Although I really love the print on the pant, it reminds me of the print that turns up on the 80s solo jazz cup.
solocup

Kentaro

Kentaro

Me: In my mind, this was the clear winner. Heidi’s comments about the model “swimming in a sea of fabric” is what I loved most about it. She looks graceful, elegant, and almost ethereal. I love the bright colors. Kentaro is definitely a strong contender.
Michelle: He was the clear winner of this challenge for me, though I think the show either wanted to create drama by naming Claire the winner, or it was because not all of the judges agreed on this look being on the top. When this look came out and walked the runway, I thought it was stunning. The mixture of Kentaro used is vibrant, yet flattering and age appropriate. I would LOVE to wear this dress and the little jacket is just a nice touch, but if you take it off, the dress underneath is still very interesting. I thought it gave the model a quiet and dignified confidence. It made her stand out in a very good way, without having to shout!
Lu: That pleated back detail? I am dying. It was everything and made the look. I echo the guest judge who commented on the front-only belt. And the detail with the Dixie label? It was such a thoughtful touch. While there were a lot of elements in this look, it did not feel like too much.

Batani

Batani

Me: I didn’t hate this look, but rather liked it. I really loved the color of it, but Batani really skimped on the pattern. It’s barely an afterthought. Aside from that, it’s really pretty. I have a feeling that she might be sent home purely from a challenge standpoint.
Michelle: This was a huge fail for her this week. She is a master at print mixing and I have no idea why she would pick up so many solids at mood. The model seemed to love it, and I don’t hate the design, but adding her print in felt like she was trying to force it too hard. It would have been more successful if she would have tried to make the dress out of her print, even though it was spaced out so far. At least then you would be able to see it and the color wouldn’t have fallen so flat. She tried to make it work, but failed.
Lu: The dress in Batani’s look reminded me of one of those knit dresses that my friends from undergrad and I would wear in the mid-to-late aughts, albeit shorter. Granted, I ran with a trustafarian crowd back then and while we weren’t going to Coachella as criticized by Heidi, there was definitely a few Jazz Fest and Bonnaroo outings. I think the look would have been better without the asymmetrical hem and the sash and the vest. The dress would have made more of an impact had it been entirely made of the tie dye print…or maybe that is just my trustafarian side speaking.

Kenya

Kenya

Me: I was not much of a fan of Kenya’s print that she created, nor the pink color of it. It read as being too young. I didn’t really like the double peplum either. I have to agree with the judges in that the high peplum of the top really made her look top-heavy. I didn’t mind it on the skirt, and felt like Kenya should have stopped there.
Michelle: I still do not see all the buzz about Kenya. She is a master technician and that is all I see. She took away her model’s waist. That was the main problem I had. I wasn’t crazy about the color combination she used, it seemed juvenile, but the print was fun, though very small and not very impactful. The skirt seems dated to me. I wasn’t impressed with this look at all.
Lu: I remain unsure… Was Kenya part of the top three? The way the judges were talking, I honestly could not tell. Regardless, I was not a fan of this look. I rarely like a midi length skirt with a trumpet bottom and I have never liked peplum, even back in 2012. The print did look like it would be at home on a Dixie cup, but I am not sure that was the objective. I would have preferred to see something more modern than the print she developed.

Margarita

Margarita

Me: Margarita sure was lucky she had immunity this week. Her original print was so drab and blah, and it really helped that she dyed it. It didn’t help to the point where she was in the top, however. The silver jacket was pretty cute, but the dress was a miss. It wasn’t flattering at all, and the pattern, which felt almost tribal, looked odd and out of place in the center of the dress.
Michelle: I didn’t feel this was as bad as everyone else. I guess because I feel like I could see lots of women wearing this out. It doesn’t stand out but it’s not horrible. Even if she would have used the gray fabric she replaced with fuchsia, I wouldn’t have liked the design any more or less. I didn’t think it sang of her design aesthetic or personality, either. The jacket was cute, but basic. Nothing about this was exciting except the color.
Lu: I didn’t think that Margarita’s look was nearly as awful as she or the judges thought. I appreciate that the lining of the coat was the printed fabric and incorporated the blue piping, which the judges did not call out; I only noticed the former during a fitting. Those elements tied the dressier jacket with the shift. The print was memorable and if only she had not mis-cut the gray fabric, this could have been a phenomenal look.

Michael

Michael

Me: Another look that I disagreed with the judges on. I really liked that Michael played up the model’s Native American background. I really liked how the top and his print turned out. The pants were a little strange looking. I can appreciate that he was trying to give the illusion of a wraparound blanket, but in this case, I think having the pants more fitted would have made this look much better.
Michelle: His model also seemed to love his design, though I think she was more enamored with the idea of it than the actual fit. He needed to cut the pant higher up to the natural waist to really flatter her. I didn’t hate the detailing and cut out sleeves as much as the judges did. I liked the print, though it seemed simple, it was created in 20 minutes. I think the blanket effect he was going for was lost in translation, but it was very creative, and I definitely would not send him home for this look.
Lu: While these separates may have scored better on a taller model, was anyone else disturbed by the judges talking about Michael’s model’s body as if she was not there? Yes, the look would have looked better on a taller, thinner model, but all clothes look better on those who are taller and thinner. (Before you send me hate mail, I am speaking as someone who fluctuates between a size eight and twelve.) It would have been nice if the judges had exercised a bit more tact. Michael’s print stood out amongst the group, as did the peplum pant, although this peplum did not bother me as the one on Kenya’s shirt.

There you have it! What did you all think about the looks? Can’t wait to find out what happens this Thursday!

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