When “Project Runway” hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn returned to the runway Thursday night immediately following the events of last week’s dance-inspired challenge, they wore backpacks and announced that the 13 remaining designers had “somewhere to be.” With unconventional materials and team challenges already under their belt, what new twist was in store for the competition, and who was “in” and who was “out” in the design challenge that unfolded? Read our recap below of season 16, episode 4, “We’re Sleeping Wear?” to find out.
The first bit of news for the designers was that their next challenge would be to create a sleepwear look for Heidi Klum’s intimate sleepwear line with one key rule: to “make it fashionable.” In addition, they were tasked with designing their own textile to help in the creation of their look. As a prize, the winner of the challenge would have their look reproduced and sold as part of Heidi’s collection. To inspire the designers, backpacks were handed out to each designer, and they were directed to the Empire State Building where they’d be having a once-in-a-lifetime slumber party at the top.
On the observation deck on the 86th floor the designers sat down to sketch their ideas for the challenge. Michael Brambila, Kenya Freeman and Kentaro Kameyama all took inspiration from the view of iconic NYC buildings at nighttime. Aaron Myers was more specific about his inspiration, taking the image of a vent he saw in the building to help create the pattern for his textile. Those textiles were designed the next morning back in the workroom using paints, dyes and the designers’ own hands. The pressure was on for everyone as they considered the importance of Heidi’s opinion in determining which direction they took with their design.
Kenya was the most stressed, and by the time Heidi and Tim arrived for a check-in she was considering scrapping all of her work so far to start fresh. Shawn Buitendorp was on the other end of the spectrum, and to Tim’s surprise was further along in the process than she had been in past challenges. Inspired by the marble floors in the Empire State Building, Deyonte Weather was working with silver and hot pink textiles that Heidi was worried could come off looking like a “clown costume.” Michael’s strappy lingerie, Kentaro’s bold ideas and Aaron’s vent-fabric all received positive critiques from Heidi, while Kenya’s fears were realized once she was warned that there wasn’t “an ease” to what she had created so far. Later, during model fittings, Shawn and her twin sister Claire Buitendorp‘s tendency to spend too much time helping one another continued to frustrate both the other designers and even Shawn’s own neglected model.
Joining series judges Heidi, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia on the runway to score the designs this week was actress/singer Demi Lovato. Following the runway show the six designers called back by the judges for in-depth critiques were Aaron, Kentaro, Michael, Deyonte, Shawn and Kenya, representing the high and the low scores of the week. The entire panel loved the inventiveness of Michael’s look, but Heidi was disappointed that Aaron’s strong textile was brought down by poor design and poorer construction. Shawn, on the other hand, exceeded Heidi’s expectations after she was underwhelmed by what she had during her workroom visit.
Deyonte took the biggest hits from the judges, who were frustrated by the lack of sexiness, with Nina going as far as calling the shape “nothing.” While Deyonte’s was dreary, Kentaro’s was much more happy according to Zac, and Demi liked the versatility of his garment and maintained its sexiness in both forms. Kenya’s look was also in the bottom three, but the judges were much easier in their critique of it, mostly because they admired her work in other challenges and appreciated the obvious effort she put into this design. As such, Kenya was deemed safe, leaving Deyonte and Aaron as the bottom two. After being safe in the first three challenges, Michael was declared the winner (with Shawn and Kentaro as joint runners-up). But in the end, the judges couldn’t excuse Deyonte’s lackluster design and decided to eliminate him.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s predictions event questions for “Project Runway” #16.04:
Who will be eliminated? Deyonté Weather
Who will be in bottom 2, but safe? Aaron Myers
Who will win the challenge? Michael Brambila
Who will be challenge’s runner-up? Shawn Buitendorp and Kentaro Kameyama
Will Tim Gunn use his save? No
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