At the beginning of last week‘s episode of “Project Runway” the competition was down to nine designers, but one disqualification and a double elimination narrowed the field down to six. Of those six, Kenya Freeman is the only one not to have won a challenge so far while Brandon Kee and Michael Brambila had each won twice. After winning the second challenge of the season, Ayana Ife spent six challenges safe without a critique from the judges until she was named the runner-up last week. Kentaro Kameyama hadn’t been in the bottom since the third challenge, while Margarita Alvarez has been much more inconsistent with two high scores and two low scores in the last four challenges.
So with only a few challenges to go until the Fashion Week finale, which of the top six were able to improve their record, and who did the judges give low scores to? Read our recap below of season 16, episode 10, “Driving Miss Unconventional,” to find out, and then give us your reactions below in the comments.
To introduce this week’s challenge to the designers, Tim Gunn brought them to the waterfront with three Lexus SUVs in tow. Lexus was there to inspire another unconventional materials challenge using materials with car safety in mind — among the items up for grabs were caution tape, reflectors, flotation devices, nets, knee pads and traffic cones. After three minutes of collecting items the designers headed back to the workroom where Kenya quickly realized that she had far less materials to work with than her competitors. Forced to make do with what she did have, Kenya reluctantly settled on the idea of a seat-belt dress.
Elsewhere in the workroom, Margarita used knee pads as a jumping-off point for an athletic look and Michael felt like it was time to take a risk by creating something sexier than he has in the past using bungee cords. During check-ins, Ayana impressed Tim with her idea to make an oversized netted skirt paired with a tightly fitted top covered in reflectors. Kentaro’s use of a fire hose was problematic because he was essentially using the fabric of the hose, which meant that he wasn’t transforming the materials in an unconventional way as mandated by the challenge. And during model fittings, Brandon realized that his idea of a foil shirt wasn’t going to work because it was tearing at the seams too easily.
To score the runway, series judges Heidi Klum, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia were joined by “Mr. Robot” actress Carly Chaikin. With only six designs to score, each look was brought in front of the judges for critiques. Getting good marks for the week were Brandon for his use of color, Kenya for creating drama with a simple and well-thought black dress, Margarita’s athletic-inspired look and Ayana’s over-the-top, big and bold red gown. That left Michael and Kentaro on the bottom for Michael’s conventional use of bungee cords and Kentaro’s ill-fitting and uninspired hose skirt and blouse.
Upon closer inspection of the garments, the judges were concerned that Michael didn’t push himself far enough in the creative department while Kentaro struggled with styling elements and produced a simple silhouette. Because they were so impressed with the amount of work she put in to her look, Ayana was named the winner of the challenge — her second of the season, and her second unconventional-materials win too. Between Michael and Kentaro, the judges chose to eliminate Michael. But despite lots of talk about how Tim hadn’t used his save yet this season, Michael was ultimately not saved either and so he left the competition.
Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s predictions event questions for “Project Runway” #16.10:
Who will be eliminated? Michael Brambila
Who will be in bottom 2, but safe? Kentaro Kameyama
Who will win the challenge? Ayana Ife
Who will be challenge’s runner-up? Margarita Alvarez, Kenya Freeman and Brandon Kee
Will Tim Gunn use his save? No
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