As Heidi Klum used to say on “Project Runway,” “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next you’re out” … unless you’re Dmitry Sholokhov. The bulletproof designer, who won both “Runway” season 10 and “All Stars” season 4, has looked just as indomitable in “All Stars” season 7, which brought together an entire cast of past champions from around the world. He won the very first challenge of the season and has been safe every week since. But in “All-Inclusive” he found himself in uncharted territory: the bottom two! My hot take is that the judges’ criticisms were overdue.
“All-Inclusive” challenged the designers to create gender-neutral street-wear looks for various male, female, and non-binary models. Sholokhov’s primary inspiration was a trench coat with a crisscross in the front and an open back, all in a silver metallic fabric. Judge Georgina Chapman praised him for his “flawless,” “polished” clothes, but she didn’t care for the crisscross. Isaac Mizrahi criticized the unnecessary buttons. Alyssa Milano thought it came off as too “futuristic Martian.” And guest judge Asia Kate Dillon was torn between loving it and disliking its costume quality.
I’m with Milano on this one. I thought this particular look was better suited to cosplay than to street-wear. And I didn’t feel like it achieved the goal of gender-neutrality; it looked to me more like edgy womenswear than something designed with all genders in mind. This time around the judges landed closer to my point of view, but I’ve been underwhelmed by previous Sholokhov looks this season that got raves from the panel. They admire his aesthetic consistency (I count three long black dresses with see-through details), while criticizing others for repeating themselves (Milano disliked Anthony Ryan Auld‘s “All-Inclusive” look just for having a silhouette similar to his avant garde design).
To paraphrase a familiar saying, I don’t know fashion, but I know what I like. And I usually like Sholokhov’s work, but I don’t think this should have been his first trip to the bottom three. Do you agree?
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