Designer Shavi Lewis — who comes from a family of musicians and singers — tried to capture the spirit of his grandmother’s sister, who was Cuban and black but could pass for white. The challenge was to reflect his own heritage with his garment. He thought of making a glamorous outfit that his granny’s sis could have worn as a dancer at the Cotton Club. His basic idea of a gold gown with silver accents was fine. But the fabric he chose at Mood seemed to buckle and unravel as he sewed his piece and he couldn’t find the lining he needed to make it work. That led to him becoming the seventh designer to pack up his work space and leave on Season 18.
At least the native New Jersey designer got some quality facetime on mentor Christian Siriano’s after-show (see video above). He couldn’t quite handle the time limitations of a one-day challenge or deal with a tight budget when it came to materials. As Christian says, “Even the best designers have a bad day. It just really sucks when the bad day is on national television — am I right?”
Yes, he is. But when Shavi takes a seat next to Christian on the set, he has big smile on his face. He smiles again when the mentor turned bartender hands him an adult beverage. “You want to know what it’s called? ‘Nothing Really Rhymed With the Heritage Challenge,’ so that’s what this is. And they put green stuff in my drink every time. Ugh.”
Things get real pretty quick when Shavi is asked, “Was it hard to go out on this particular challenge? Because it was about heritage and was it emotional?” The answer: Yeah, it was pretty hard to go out on this particular challenge.” We see a clip of him speaking to his mom and it got his mascara running, as he puts it.
Christian quite sincerely feels sad that Shavi is leaving. His red dress for with a flowery bodice for the unconventional materials challenge almost was the winner. We learn that his grandmother taught him to sew and that she is also his No. 1 support system “ever since I decided I wanted to become a designer.”
He has also been wearing his grandmother’s vintage silver rings during challenges. “It’s just my way of carrying her with me wherever I go.” It’s good to see Shavi laugh when he and Christian bond over traveling with luggage filled with fancy gowns, and what they would say if anyone opened a suitcase. OK, this is weird. Shavi apparently names the hats he wears and the wide brim one he is sporting for his farewell is called Otter. “It’s like my black halo.” He also sports sunglasses indoors.
Christian then decides to dissect the “little crazy runway — your last runway. ” Shavi concurs. “It was intense.” The eliminated contestant then says, “Are we talking about the Sergio breakdown?” He is referring to Sergio Guadarrama, who tried to make a political statement about the six children who died near the Mexican border recently. He began to weep over it. Shavi’s reaction: “I just didn’t know where that came from.” Christian adds: “It’s hard to understand.” Adds Shavi: Especially since I understand that his culture goes through a lot of adversities and everything. My culture has gone through quite a few adversities of their own. But for this challenge, I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to kind of bring that up.”
We then get a sampling of Nina Garcia dissing the “mullet shape” of Sergio’s dress and complains there is an unfinished element to it. Her final thought: “I think you could have done much better. ” Shavi agrees: “You need to put that energy into your garment and make your garment that extravagant piece that starts that conversation.” Meanwhile, Christian admits he has “lots of thoughts,” but says “that is for the after-after show.” Shavi also shares what is next for his brand as well as who is likely to win Season 18. And, no, it isn’t Sergio.
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