After the Runway – Season 16, Episode 10: ‘Driving Miss Unconventional’

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!


Ahhhhh, another unconventional materials challenge!! I really love these, because I enjoy seeing the designers freak out at first, and usually end up making something absolutely AMAZING in the end. This one was no exception. This week’s challenge was brought to you by Lexus, which seemed to serve no purpose other than to stow all of the construction site materials the designers were to use for their challenge.

This week, there seemed to be four top looks, and only two bottom ones. Let’s start with the looks on top.



My thoughts: I’ll admit it again: I’m not a fan of Brandon’s design aesthetic. I really wanted to, being that he was a menswear designer. This is pretty, and he made good use of the unconventional materials, but I’m simply not as much a fan of him as the judges seem to be.
Michelle’s thoughts: I am not impressed. I’ll say it again – I love Brandon’s aesthetic but this is just more of the same in different colors. It
looks dated, it looks like he chose silhouettes because he doesn’t know how to construct a proper fitting garment. The top wings out in the front and the back like the shoulders don’t have enough depth. I can’t tell if things are done on purpose, or an accident, but I’m leaning towards accident. Maybe I’m being overly critical because I expect more. A circle skirt is not usually a good excuse for a garment on Project Runway.
Lu’s thoughts: The way that Brandon manipulated the hose in order to shape the look was genius. The fabric of this look reminds me of that of a race car pit crew uniform, which was appropriate, I guess. The red triangle on the front reminded me of a slice of watermelon. I disagree with Brandon, as I thought that the skirt was too mini.



My thoughts: I really loved Kenya’s look, but I was a little concerned about the hips of the dress making the model look much wider. Somehow, it really ends up working. The seat belt as an actual belt? Genius!!
Michelle’s thoughts: I normally don’t like exaggerating the hip area on a model. Unless it’s very intentional, it normally just looks disproportionate. I wish she would have made them even bigger to highlight the fact that she did it on purpose. However, it does look pretty polished. I am finding her styling and taste level to be a bit dated. She is an expert seamstress and designer, but I would like to see her update it just a bit. The hat looks a bit gimmicky to me.
Lu’s thoughts: I liked that the hips were cut wide. it made for an interesting silhouette. The black paint on the seat belt made the fabric look elevated. I don’t love that the seat belt buckles were kept as an accent, as the materials were to be transformed. I don’t think this look was at the same level as Ayana and Margarita, but it was not bad.



My thoughts: I was not a fan of this look. It looked way too much like a super hero costume. I felt like she was overthinking, and incorporating way too much into the design. Everything looked like it was deliberately placed, and not effortlessly placed. I figured this would have ended up in the bottom. I felt like she needed to really edit this look back.
Michelle’s thoughts: Another example of how less can be more. I love what she started with – the knee pads and harness. After that, she kept adding, superhero shoulders and caution tape skirt, it gets a bit busy. I think there was already a wow factor there and she ended up distracting from that. However, I love the colors and ingenuity infused into this look.
Lu’s thoughts: Margarita gets an A+ for incorporating the most materials. As with Ayana’s dress, I enjoyed the reflector appliques on Margarita’s look, as well as the bright blue harness. The kneepads reminded me of a coconut bra for a rollerblader.

Ayana – winner


My thoughts: While I was not overly impressed by any of the designs for this challenge, this was clearly the best of the bunch. Ayana did a fantastic job of making the plastic fencing look almost like a cloud at the feet of the model’s dress. I wasn’t much of a fan of the helmet, but she did really well with the broken pieces of reflector.
Michelle’s thoughts: The clear winner of this challenge. I loved everything about this look. Even when I think I can’t love it any more, I find something else to love! I loved the showmanship she demonstrated when she instructed her model to rip off the caution tape as she arrived on the runway. I loved the hard hat cocked to the side. I love that she created so much depth by adding paint to the skirt. I love the pop of blue at the neck. I love the strong shoulder and the materials she used. It was definitely a dramatic moment!
Lu’s thoughts: Ayana’s look is phenomenal. How clever it was to smash the reflectors and assemble a mosaic embellishment; I wish she would have applied them to both sleeves. (I noticed they were only applied to one sleeve.) Prior to the sleeve falling apart and the hot glue messiness, the top looked like leather. Once I saw this piece in the workroom, I knew it was going to be the winner. And when we saw the looks side-by-side, it was so clearly the winner.

Here are the bottom looks for this challenge.



My thoughts: I felt bad for Kentaro. He was clearly confused by this challenge, and I think he took the easy way out by making the fabric of the fire hose into fabric for the dress. It looks like a Halloween costume.
Michelle’s thoughts: This is probably the worst thing Kentaro has ever made. And then he topped it off with very literal styling. Not only does she look like she is going out for Halloween, but the model looks very uncomfortable with the thick and unforgiving fabric. The skirt alone is cute but the top looks very constricting. I loved when he started using the fire hose and the text, I even love the colorful plastic bits, but somewhere this took a very wrong turn. Maybe when he added the fringe.
Lu’s thoughts: I did not find this look as bad as the judges, although I understand when it comes to the top six, the standards are higher. I guess the look was just bland. As a sidebar: did anyone else notice that Brandon’s silhouette and Kentaro’s silhouette very similar and on a similar framed model?

Michael – eliminated


My thoughts: I didn’t hate this dress as much as the judges did. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, and I felt like they were going to send Kentaro home instead. I don’t think the “bondage” vibe that Michael wanted to do translated very well in the final look.
Michelle’s thoughts: I actually LOVED the bra top he made. The rest of the outfit is a hot mess. I don’t mind the bandage look and I do like the blue colors he used mixed with black. But, the way he knotted the cords with the messy tulle underneath does not look polished or inspired. There are way too many knots going on, especially on the top. I would have even liked this a million times better if the straps were only on the skirt, not over the top. The straps on the skirt are actually quite beautiful, and flattering, however when he adds them over the top it gets way too busy. Sometimes less is more.
Lu’s thoughts: I was hoping for some Michael’s bungee bondage realness to follow up on last week’s melting disco ball of perfection. I liked the bralette and how the bungee was incorporated into the back zipper. I disliked nearly everything else about the execution.

There you have it! What did you all think about the challenge this week? Did you agree, or disagree? Let us know!


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