Over-sexed video-game vixens are out. Strong yet chic female heroines are in. That is what we learned while watching “Power Play,” the sixth episode of the 17th season of “Project Runway.” Gold Derby senior editors Daniel Montgomery, who is wise in the ways of current gaming culture, and Susan Wloszczyna, whose last video-game experience was probably “Donkey Kong,” debate the outcome of which designers powered up and who was out of lives in the fashion game.
“It was good news for Hester Sunshine,” Daniel noted of the designer who probably has the most playful aesthetic. “She won the challenge — her second win of the season. But bad news for Rakan Aldeen, who once again landed in the bottom three and was this time eliminated.”
As for what Susan thought of the challenge, she says that it was interesting that most of the designers kind of reflected their own personal feelings in the character they created. “It became very touchy-feely in a way I never thought a video game would be.” The task at hand was to upgrade the portrayal of women characters, who tend to be buxom femme fatales or vixen-ish warriors. She adds, “Just as things are evolving in the real world, the virtual world is trying to evolve, too.”
She was surprised to see Venny Etienne‘s “savior of the world,” who was a woman of faith with a lace cross on her pant leg. “I’m not saying that is a bad idea,” but the outfit he designed shouted not “hallelujah” but “old lady” and he landed in the bottom.
While Susan questions the lack of fun in most of what the designers created, Daniel reminds her that “women in video games have been a very contentious topic in recent years, especially after #GamerGate controversy there is more of a sense of the sexism women face not just in the games themselves, but in the industry. It’s a significant issue.” He appreciated that most of the designers thought outside the box and avoided cliches.
Then again, they both liked Garo Sparo‘s “editrix” look despite its S&M implications. “The model MiMi wore that like she was born to wear that.” It was one of the top three designs but the judges decided it was a bit of a cliche. But Nina Garcia “liked cracking the model’s whip.”
Watch the video above to hear Daniel and Susan discuss Hester’s continued rise on the show, Tessa Clark‘s intriguing flour-mill worker outfit (whose reveal on the runway had judge Brandon Maxwell salivating) and if Rakan was the right person to go home.
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