As Season 17 of “Project Runway” begins to wind down with four more episodes to go in its return to Bravo, episode 10 that aired on May 16 proved to be one of the more passionate and satisfying shows yet. That’s because the challenge — to make an outfit that represents a cause ranging from LBGT issues and racial equality to the endangered status of bees and the #MeToo movement — inspired designs that proved to be more personal than usual.
That didn’t mean that a few of the remaining seven contestants still fell short in accomplishing their assignment, which included making a logo T-shirt that complimented the main ensemble that they themselves wore down the runway. As usual, Gold Derby senior editors Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna got right down in discussing the worst and the best of the night in the video above.
Ultimately, Venny Etienne, who has been inconsistent all season by scoring three highs, three lows and three safes, who couldn’t quite pull of his idea of exposing racial stereotypes by having a masculine jacket with a hoodie come off to reveal a feminine dress. Time management has been a big issue this season as many designers bite off more than they can sew. That meant that Garo Sparo, whose bright yellow corset dress that looked like more like a bee costume than couture also earned a low score, was safe. Daniel nails it when he dubs it a “Party City sexy bee costume.”
It seemed that a wrongly attached zipper contributed to Venny’s downfall. Says Daniel, “The key parts of his plan, the most important parts to convey the message were the two parts he couldn’t execute.” Somehow, says Susan, “The zipper was backwards or up-side-down. I don’t know what he did but it couldn’t come off the way — the reveal — that Brandon (Maxwell, one of the judges) would have commented on. She also dinged the netting on the shoulders. “It looked like (the model) was going to go fishing.”
Then there was his garish leather-like green material. Notes Daniel, “It looked kind of like an unconventional materials challenge and he made that out of tires or something. But I actually thought it was a near-miss.” Or, as Susan says, “We have seen worse this season.”
Of course, the editors discuss which design was their fave — which does not reflect the judges’ pick: Bishme’s purple flower-power dress with faces of children. Daniel preferred Tessa Clark’s female-empowerment with a drawing of woman’s body while Susan thought Jamall Osterholm‘s puffer gown — a nod to Black Lives Matter — was very cool.
Here’s some good news: If you like the T-shirts that the designers wore, you can buy one for just $35 at the Nineteenth Amendment site. Next week, the contestants will be designing clothes for real women (always tricky) who run New York City — a cop, an EMT, a sanitation worker, a teacher and more.
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