Last week on “Project Runway,” the designers were tasked to make a outfit that reflected their family heritage. As usual, not everyone was up to the task — especially since it was a one-day challenge — and, sadly, Jersey native Shavi Lewis would the seventh contestant on Season 18 to be eliminated. Also as usual, Gold Derby senior editors Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna discuss the highlights and lowlights of the episode.
They dig right in with Shavi, who, as Daniel says, “had a really great idea about a look inspired by his great aunt who was light skinned and who could pass for white. She was allowed to perform in the Cotton Club, so he made a dress that was supposed to be reminiscent of her.” But while he picked put a lovely gold fabric at Mood, the sheer material proved a challenge in the sewing department. As Daniel notes, “He tried to layer it with muslin and it got all bunchy and unflattering. It was kind of a mess.”
Susan says that mentor Christian Siriano was right, “There was one too many booties back there.” Every stitch that Shavi did made it worse than before. And that’s not what you want to see when you are going to be judged in a few moments.” As Christian noted on his after-show when he interviews the latest designer to go bye-bye, he was sincerely unhappy that Shavi was leaving while noting that he struggled with the time and budget constraints and “he just couldn’t pull it together.
Daniel also mentions how Shavi apologized on the runway for how he “disrespected the judges, which was so sad. Not having a successful look is not disrespecting the judges.” Susan liked that he was humble and sincere, unlike another bottom-three dweller on the episode whose name also begins with an “s,” but who doesn’t question themselves. “Maybe they should step back and say maybe it’s not the best idea to make this outfit and make models stitch the names of children who have died on the hem.”
Adds Daniel, “It begins with ‘s’ and ends with a Sergio Guadarrama. I will say I didn’t think the dress he made was bad,” he states with a bit of a question mark at the end. “When the guest judge Fernando Garcia talked about it being … it took the Latin influence and he said he made it comic-book-y, which I saw his point. It sort of felt like a cartoon version of a Latina outfit. It felt very on the nose in a way.” His biggest problem, however, as one judge noted, was didn’t convey his message at all.
Susan says what made it worst was “the funky folk art embroidery” and that Nina Garcia did rightfully declare it a “mullet dress.” Also, she says, designer Brittany Allen was all over the flaw in Sergio’s concept and rightly so since his idea was less personal than political. The two continue to discuss how do you solve a problem like Sergio when on one hand he says he is trying to make a statement but also keeps saying he makes designs with his wealthy older clients in mind.
They go on to chat about the winner of the challenge, Chelsey Carter, who did a cool varsity jacket dress to make a statement for educational opportunities for African-Americans in honor of her grandmothers who both principals and Daniel particularly thought that the baby-blue jumpsuit made by judges’ darling, Moldova native Victoria Corcieru, looked like someone was going to a formal event at Starfleet.
They also touch upon the preview for this week’s challenge that features artist and designer Ashley Longshore, who has brought Andy Warhol’s pop-art aesthetic into the 21st century with a feminist twist. Where is Season 17 runner-up Hester Sunshine when you need her? Tune into Bravo at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday to see which designers are up to the task of making trippy wearable art.
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