Nothing says drama like more than a dozen designers in a tight workroom. “Project Runway” season 17 has been full of conflict and controversy, and that’s just after two weeks. Were there any more fireworks in episode three, “All the Rage”? From that episode title, how could there not be? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.
“All the Rage” tasked designers with creating complete head-to-toe looks with one pattern. Easy, right? All you need to find is one fabric when shopping at Mood. Then again, that increases the pressure to find just the right fabric. Choose poorly and your challenge could be over before it begins.
Tessa Clark and Sebastian Grey were flying high after the first two weeks of competition. Tessa won the first design challenge, and then she was the leader of the winning team in “The Future is Here,” where her teammate Sebastian was the individual winner. But that’s no reason to rest on your laurels. You could go from the top to the bottom in the blink of an eye, though Sebastian’s challenge win gave him immunity for this week.
But having two successful designs under your belt is better than struggling, and this week it was Kovid Kapoor and Renee Hill who had something to prove. They were on the losing team last week, and Kovid was in the bottom two. The judges sent home Frankie Lewis instead, but they nevertheless dodged a bullet. You don’t want to give the judges two reasons in a row to send you home, so the pressure was on both of them to show the judges that they really belong in the competition.
So whose designs were all the rage, and who just enraged the judges? Find out below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern), and watch our special video recap of the episode all the way at the bottom of this post.
8:04pm — “This competition is definitely not what I thought it was going to be,” says Nadine, who misses her four sons and didn’t realize the show was going to be so “stressful.” Really, though? Had she not seen the show before? We’re only two weeks in, and while she had the special challenge of having to wrangle Hester last week, it’s still so early in the competition and she can’t afford to burn out so soon.
8:05pm — — Time for the challenge, which Karlie Kloss introduces to the designers with some visual references: models dressed in head-to-toe prints. So the designers need to find a single print and design an entire look from that. And she tells the designers to think editorial. Jamall is feeling especially confident since his collections are more “conceptual.” But they only have one day to complete their looks.
8:07pm — Sebastian won last week’s challenge, so he gets to pick his model, and he elects to keep the model from his winning look last week. But Nadine is not so happy with the model she drew: she has experience with head-to-toe print, but using a single print on a plus size model can be challenging. “This is a killer challenge,” she says. Starting to feel some shades of Cavanagh in the shade Nadine is already throwing at her model.
8:08pm — Tessa has “no idea” what she’s going to do, which is a surprise since she has been so rock-solid for the last two weeks. I thought using a single print would be perfect for a minimalist designer like her, but it turns out any pattern at all is challenging for her brand of minimalism. Despite her success, she’s out to prove to the judges that she can be more “editorial and a little more complex.”
8:11pm — Shopping at Mood should be a snap. Everybody just needs to find one fabric. Then again, they need to make sure to pick the right one and Christian Siriano encourages them to find something bold and attention-grabbing. Tessa is incredibly picky. Kovid is “having a lot of fun.” Rakan wants to find a fabric reminiscent of his grandmother. Christian thinks “it’s not the most exciting” fabric and he should buy something else, but Rakan is going for it anyway.
8:12pm — Garo Sparo loves this challenge since he used to be into the rave scene where everyone was in “stripes and crazy prints.” Meanwhile, Hester is “worried” because she hasn’t been able to show the judges who she really is. Just stay away from the tulle!
8:14pm — Kovid needs to prove himself after last week’s team challenge, but now that he’s working on his own again instead of in a team, he feels like “a little birdie flying away in the sky.” Happy Kovid is back!
8:15pm — Garo Sparo is making his own life harder with a horizontal stripe that he needs to make sure he matches exactly. But he also thinks his choice of a difficult fabric will set him apart from his opponents. I dig the circus-y print. Go for it!
8:16pm — Christina introduces a guest to the workroom, Marni Senofonte, who has dressed Kendall Jenner and designed fashions for Beyonce‘s “Lemonade” music film. Bishme is “fangirling hard” because of her “freaking crazy and amazing” style. And Marni will be with the designers in the workroom for challenges where styling is crucially important, like this one. She will consult with each designer for 10 minutes. Has Christian outsourced his mentoring duties?
8:22pm — — Kovid thinks Marni is like a “blooming daisy,” and the creative ideas “just start gushing out” of Kovid after Marni references gas masks work in Asia. Next up is Afa, who is going for a samurai woman and hunts down criminals, and he also gets that light bulb moment of inspiration as soon as she suggests a brilliant detail on her pants.
8:24pm — Bishme iss designed for a girl meeting the love of her life in Spain. He doesn’t know how dramatic he wants to make it, so Marni insists that he push it as far as possible since this is an editorial challenge, not ready-to-wear. And then comes Hester, whose color palette makes her the only one who could possibly make Marni look muted by comparison; Marni thinks she has amazing ideas, but she doesn’t want Hester’s choice of boots to interfere with the rest of her look.
8:25pm — — Marni loves Tessa’s fabric even though Tessa is “freaking out” over how to use a print at all. But Marni tells her that her fabric is great and contains enough geometric shapes that she really has prints within prints within prints that she can use throughout her design. I love how specific and constructive her design suggestions have been. The designers love Marni, so watch your back, Christian. There’s a new designers’ favorite mentor in town.
8:26pm — — Bishme is creating an elaborate story for his look: his girl is going to Spain, might be getting catfished by the man who bought her ticket. Her fellow designers helpfully suggest that she could be a drug mule carrying “cocaine in her coochie.” Actually, this story sounds way more interesting and I definitely want to see that look.
Christian Consultations — Christian likes Hester’s red-and-white plaid and suggests that she stick to her guns and stay consistent with her own aesthetic and personality. Hester is still insecure, though, because a fashion teacher once kicked her out of school for her sewing and style choices. Rakan is making a jumpsuit, but its leg is longer than Christian’s whole body, and Christian is still worried that the fabric is “old lady.”
8:32pm — Christian thinks Kovid has been cutting his pants for too long and needs to get to sewing — “You are killing me!” Meanwhile, Afa’s island look might be too “old” and needs to feel more modern.
8:34pm — — Nadine’s look seems “waist-heavy” to Christian, and she should keep her design from looking too “Golden Girls” … even though he loves “Golden Girls.” What’s so wrong with old ladies, anyway? Old ladies can be fabulous. Wasn’t Iris Apfel just a guest judge on “Project Runway All Stars”?
8:36pm — Model fittings go well for Kovid, who seems to be much further ahead than he was last week when he was way behind. But Rakan’s look is fairly lopsided with its extra long pants. Nadine isn’t getting what she wants: “I love this outfit, I just don’t like it on my model.” She orders her model to take longer strides and move her shoulders less. “Just practice it at home,” she tells her model, which sounds rather condescending. Being mean to your model is like being mean to a waiter in a restaurant. They can find ways to make you regret it if you don’t treat them right.
8:38pm — Hester thinks she and Tessa have “opposite problems.” Hester goes too big and needs to learn how to rein it in, while Tessa is too minimalist and needs to learn how to cut loose with her looks. Now these two might have made for an interesting team challenge. “You’re putting too much pressure on yourself,” Hester tells her.
8:43pm — On the morning of the runway show, “It’s time to focus,” says Kovid, still happy. Please, no one make Kovid cry today. That would give me a sad.
8:46pm — — Time for final model fittings, and Garo Sparo is having problems with the alignment of his horizontal stripes. Hester and Jamall’s looks seem to be coming together nicely, but Rakan’s pants still look like kind of a hot mess. He’s the designer I’m most worried for at the moment.
8:47pm — Christian thinks Afa needs Marni’s help with styling as Afa keeps trying to avoid a grandma look. “Who’s to say grandma don’t look good?” Afa argues — preach! But let’s try and accessorize this thing, so bring on the fanny pack … Okay, I’m a staunch defender of fanny packs, but that concerns me.
8:49pm — Nadine wasn’t coming off well for most of the episode, but she’s being a good sport by helping Garo Sparo finish the look he’s falling behind on. Garo Sparo’s design looks good to me, though. We’ll see how it looks walking down the runway, though.
8:52pm — Karlie welcomes the designers to the runway and introduces today’s guest judge Adam Selman, who has designed for Rihanna. Between him and Marni, they should have given a pop star internship to the winner of this challenge.
8:54pm — Right out of the gate, I love Bishme’s look with its pointed shoulders and “Pringle hat.” Rakan’s look is innovative, I’ll give him that, and when she takes off the jacket to reveal a sleeveless top I’m on-board; she looks like a couture version of Rey from “Star Wars”. Kovid’s look is pretty cool too, and a big improvement from last week.
8:56pm — Jamall’s black-and-white dress looks pretty outstanding. I haven’t seen a bad look yet. Renee’s look is a little heavy, but I think her camo look is pretty cool. I have mixed feelings about Nadine’s look, and so does she. She’s back to complaining about her model. And Renee says it’s because the model doesn’t walk, “she gallops.” Ick, you guys.
8:58pm — Lela’s look is pretty simple, but when she opens it up for a runway reveal — one of many we’ve seen in this challenge — it impresses me more. Much to my surprise, I think Hester nailed it, bringing her unique quirk to a refined asymmetric look, and the judges clearly already love her garter belt. Tessa’s look is pretty cool. I could see opinions being mixed on it (she herself gives it a thumbs down), but I’m not mad at it. Sonia’s look is also a stunner, and the judges can be overheard calling the model “gorgeous.” Time for Garo Sparo’s stripes; it’s extreme, but feels polished and exciting.
9:00pm — Venny doesn’t think his look is editorial enough compared to the other looks on the runway, but that’s the only fault I can find with it. And yet another win with Afa’s look — definitely no old lady there. When Sebastian’s look comes out, Brandon Maxwell immediately says, “He can make a damn garment” — good sign, and well-deserved praise for a gorgeous, perfect piece. This is going to be tough. I don’t think there was really an epic fail in the entire bunch, but maybe the judges will think differently.
9:03pm — Afa, Lela, Jamall, Bishme, Venny, Sonia, Renee and Tessa are all safe. The others represent the highest and lowest scores: Garo Sparo, Hester, Rakan, Nadine, Kovid and Sebastian.
Kovid — Nina loves the boldness of the print. Brandon thinks it’s “sick” in a good way, and “the whole thing is perfect.” Karlie wants to wear the look herself. And Adam loves his enthusiasm. I’m sooo glad they liked his design. Kovid smiles save the world.
Sebastian — Elaine thought the design was like a “queen.” Adam thinks its “drag and glam in the best way.” Brandon thinks it’s “technically perfect.” Nina says all the outfit needs is a ticket and it can be sold immediately. And they’re all astounded that Sebastian is actually a housekeeper to support his design work.
Garo Sparo — Elaine doesn’t love the print. Adam thinks the fact that it was the boldest print on the runway actually worked against him because there was so much going on. Brandon thinks it’s a “jazzercise” look, and if it is from a rave, he wants the drugs to wear off. Nina thinks it crossed the line into costume.
Hester — Elaine raves, “This is you! This is the girl I’ve been waiting for since I met you. It is quirky, playful and fun.” Nina thought it was “pure sunshine” and could step on the pages of Elle right now. Adam is “blown away.” And Brandon encourages her to lean into who she is and not to let the haters get her down.
Rakan — Elaine couldn’t figure out where the print even was Brandon is “confused” by the “messy” look and thinks it resembles a cat that got caught in the drapes. Nina thinks the design has “stellar moments,” but the pants are “unexplainable.” Karlie thinks the knees are odd and the whole looks feels “monotone.”
Nadine — Brandon calls out Nadine for explaining her own look in ways that disparaged her model, and she needs to be more thoughtful when she’s standing right next to the woman she dressed. I’m with Brandon. Nadine has been throwing her model under the bus all episode. Nina thinks the look seems “improvised” and has questionable taste. Nadine is being fairly combative with the judges. Garo Sparo got critiques that were as bad or worse, but he took them without getting so defensive.
9:12pm — “I don’t give a f*ck … Them bitches can send me home, I really don’t care,” says Nadine, and now I’m kinda hoping they do.
9:16pm — On closer inspection, the judges like Hester’s look even more up close. A lot of simple construction, but great ideas all around. Kovid’s look also keeps getting better, with great draping and styling. And Sebastian gets a “wow” from Nina — “sophisticated” and “elegant.” It makes Nina want to cry. I think he’s winning again.
9:19pm — Rakan’s fabric is too subtle for the judges. They’re not sure it’s even a print. I hope they give him the benefit of the doubt because he had a lot of great ideas that the judges seem to appreciate. Garo Sparo is next,and Elaine is not mad at the hot paints, but then it loses her as it goes up. But they like his ideas, and Brandon thinks the construction is spot-on. I think he’ll stick around too.
9:20pm — Nadine’s last, and none of it works for Adam, and Nina finds it “unflattering,” And Karlie was offended that Nadie blamed it all on her model. And the model agrees: “It did feel like was insinuating that since she had a curvy model she couldn’t reach her full potential as a designer.” See Nadine, throw your model under the bus and she’ll throw you right back. The designers backstage gather around Nadine to give her moral support, and she rejects even that, telling them that she’ll be glad if she goes home. “I’m too old for this shit,” she says. Wow, this is making me miss Cavanagh.
9:24pm — Kovid is in, but doesn’t win the challenge. Keep smiling, you magnificent human! The winner of the challenge is … Hester! That means Sebastian is the runner-up, and Hester is determined to do something weird next week now that she has immunity. The judges are totally down with that idea.
9:26pm — Garo Sparo had a low score, but he’s safe, so the bottom two are Nadine and Rakan. And the eliminated designer is … Nadine. That means Rakan is safe — thank goodness. Karlie was going to ask Nadine how she’s feeling, but Nadine just stormed off.
9:29pm — “Why are you guys sad? I want to go home,” Nadine tells them. It’s clear that she hated this experience, but it doesn’t sound like the protestations of someone who missed home. It feels like she resented everyone and everything on this show so much she couldn’t tolerate it anymore.
9:30pm — Next week’s challenge will bring the designers into the woods for an unconventional materials challenge.
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