Whenever “Project Runway” designers are tasked to make an outfit to please a real woman, it is often one of the hardest challenges of the season. For one, they have to fulfill their client’s wishes while also keeping true to their aesthetic in order to please the judges. Plus, they have to deal with shapes and sizes that don’t usually don’t walk down runways.
As Gold Derby senior editor Daniel Montgomery points out, “The challenge involved designing a dream dress for the hard-working women of New York City.” Namely, a cop, an EMT, a postal worker, a sanitation worker, a school teacher and a ferry deckhand. As he says, “It was like the Village People of New York City infrastructure.” The six contestants left on the show — Sebastian Grey, Tessa Clark, Garo Sparo, Jamall Osterholm, Bishme Cromartie and Hester Sunshine — had to make a fancy dress that would fulfill their soon-to-be model’s desires.
As Daniel points out, one designer — Tessa — who never met a black fabric she could resist — didn’t exactly meet those requirements. Despite that, she was not the one going home this week. The fact that Jamall was cut for his ill-fitting garment on a curvy deckhand “surprised me yet didn’t surprise me.” He and fellow senior editor Susan Wloszczyna agree that his was the worst look but, as Daniel notes, “He at least made a good faith effort to do the challenge.” At least his reddish fabric met his client’s wishes.
Self-proclaimed minimalist Tessa, on the other hand, as Susan observes, ignored her client’s desire for pink. She instead she asked her about neutrals and “How about gray and black?” Daniel suggests she could have done pink and kept it “simple, elegant and chic.” And never mind the fact she actually considered doing pants and a skirt for a dress challenge, which she wisely ended up not doing. And Daniel also thought that she lied to the judges by saying that her client wanted black and gray — which her EMT Maria later contradicted when they asked her about what she wanted.
In the recap episode above, Daniel and Susan also discuss the fact that this was one of the best challenges of the revived Bravo version for “Project Runway” in that it honored women who had these vital jobs and never had a custom-designed dress in their lives. And, of course, they discuss the top two designs by Sebastian, whose retro pretty-in-pink dress made his sanitation worker Nicole very happy, even if judge Elaine Welteroth thought (wrongly, the editors think) it looked “dated.” But the happiest real woman on the runway was postal worker Debra, who lit up the runway show as she worked it while wearing Garo’s perfectly tailored purple ensemble.
Watch the video above as Daniel and Susan further debate the show and share your thoughts on episode 12 of “Project Runway’s” 17th season in the comments section below.
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