Project Runway: Power Play
April 20, 2019 9:05 AM - Season 17, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The designers take on the virtual world of fashion in this video game challenge. Three women breaking ground in the multi-billion dollar industry visit the runway, helping the designers understand how clothing for powerful women works in video games! Inspired, the designers each create their own female video game protagonists with a functional and stylish look fabulous enough to earn them an extra life in the competition.
posted by kanata (10 comments total)
 
I had feels when the Tessa's Miller came out. Just a....yes, this is how women should be portrayed in video games. As actual human beings and not solely objects of the male gaze. I loved it so much. Straight out of Elder Scrolls. Hated Hester's, it was ridiculous. Stop talking about empowering women and then vote for this gimmicky, tacky baloney. I liked Garo's fine but it looked like every Mortal Kombat female since 1995. He does gorgeous work but needs to expand a bit beyond corseting everything and I'm surprised he hasn't been smacked down about it yet.

It was kind of annoying to hear them keep saying, "Don't go costume-y" when the actual challenge was for a costume. I on the other hand wished they had gone more costumey.

I think we've heard Brandon Maxwell say, "Oh. Another reveal" with disappointment enough already. Remove his mike.
posted by the webmistress at 10:33 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I'm not a gamer so I had a hard time connecting with this task. That said, I found the designers' interpretations of the brief interesting. I think Tessa should have won, because what she made fit the brief, it was innovative and original, and was also completely wearable. Garo's and Hesters were costumes. I couldn't believe they chose Hester's as the winner. She is definitely the Erin of this season.

Jamall's Lady Bond suit was so boring and ill-fitting. And WTF was Venny thinking with that Church Lady Superhero monstrosity. But Nina hit the nail on the head with Rakan's - it really did look like it was made of duct tape. He had to go, and I never got why some weeks the judges actually liked the mish-mash of badly made clothes he put out when his top and bottom looks all looked awful to me.

I think Sonia's in trouble, unless the edit is being skewed to trick us. And I agree, Garo needs to do something other than corsets, even though that's his signature. A few seasons ago Ven was eliminated after the judges got tired of seeing the same thing every week, pleating that looked like a rose. But then, on the other hand, Amanda did fringe week in, week out and the judges just about peed their pants each time they saw it.

As ever, what do I know?
posted by essexjan at 1:13 PM on April 20


Why Tessa Should Have Won, A List By Me:

1. No male gaze. Nuff said.
2. She was the only one who went for an RPG-ish type genre of video game and those are my favorite.
3. I would wear those overalls in real life. They look SO COMFY.
4. It was the only one that was a costume but was also actual clothes that real people would wear.
5. Pockets.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:58 PM on April 20 [6 favorites]


Tessa absolutely should have won. (However, you would die in hammered wool overalls unless you were doing your millwork in the snow! I'm a little surprised she was okay under the lights!)

Seeing Hester with her glasses off made me revise my estimate of her age up ten years, which gives me even less patience with her affectation.
posted by praemunire at 5:08 PM on April 20


I'm an avid (woman) gamer so this challenge set up seemed really fun. I'm glad Christian encouraged people to get color and not just black at Mood but it also felt like the designers themselves maybe didn't connect to it as much as they could have. A lot of looks were a bit bland.

I liked all three of the top looks. I appreciated Garo's look because she was hot in a self-owning powerful way. And I think that is separated from male gaze. She's the one in charge and it would fit right into a game.

Whereas from a feminist perspective I feel Tessa did the best, yet at the same time it did feel like an NPC blacksmith from an RPG already rather than a main character.

I know I tend to be an outlier here with my enjoyment of Hester's style - but I like things that are weird and different. To each their own I guess. I agree that they discouraged costume a little TOO much since I think Hetser won because you could really build a cool scifi game around that look specifically. But in my opinion, playing with some interesting colors and clear sections felt really cool. I could see it set in a futuristic neon sci fi game.

I'm so glad Rakan went home. I felt like he just had kind of a bad attitude and a lack of respect for people, especially Christian and his models.

Although Jamall was REALLY cringe for me. As they said, it's the antithesis of what the design called for with no top underneath. And I don't see how even WITH a turtleneck underneath that it would be video game inspired. It just felt like a cliche spy movie. with an ill fitted and ill pressed tux top.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:44 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I find this season kinda meh. None of the designers have made anything really exciting. Dear God, maybe I'm missing a little bit of the drama. Unless all these people are beginners no one has made anything that is really new that i can think of. The winning looks anyway.
posted by kanata at 7:11 PM on April 20


This episode was a miss for me. "Design a costume for a game character that doesn't look like a costume."

I understand why Hester won even though Tessa had the better-realized concept. You really could wear Hester's sweater and backpack (if not the pants) in public and not feel like an attendee from Comic Con.

Are folded-down overalls a thing? Because both Tessa and Lela made them.

I've never seen a season where the lesser talents were so obvious. Rakan, Kovid, Frankie, Jamall, and Afa should have just been rounded up in the first week and shipped home.

I'm VERY interested in next week's challenge which is IIRC, "design a pretty gown" and to see if Hester can stretch to that.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:48 PM on April 21


I'm also in the Tessa was robbed camp. Even though I'm not a gamer, I'm aware-enough of the industry to visualize exactly the type of game that would feature a character like that.

Of the safe designs, I think Renee (despite the lack of originality) and Sebastian (despite the script, which I think would be a nuisance for the game designers to render) came closest to meeting the brief.

I can't stick up for Venny's. It was bad, especially the lace, but the thing is I could almost see where the design was going. To me it looked like a combination of Dove (from DC's Hawk and Dove) and Huntress (Helena Bertinelli version). Yes, they're comic characters and not game characters, but looking at those elements, that's exactly what came to my mind. I'm sure those aren't associations that Nina, for example, would ever have, but that's what jumped out at me.

I can't even get that far with Hester's. It was just every tacky, stereotypical, uninformed idea of what a female game character should be.
posted by sardonyx at 7:13 PM on April 21


That poor model. Jamal makes her go down the runway shirtless and braless, a few weeks after Nadine has the gall to blame her terrible half-baked design on the model's size.

Also, I know it's a convention of the industry, but I cringe every time they refer to the models as "girls." Here come the girls. You're all keeping your girls. Did you try this on your girl. FFS, they're women, not children.
posted by desuetude at 10:05 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


She's not even that "big". The part of me that has been fat their entire life and has struggled to find fashionable clothes that aren't covered in glitter or giant flowers as if that would hide our size I want them to have a season where they take these designers and really challenge them. If they are so good let them have a season where they have true plus size models. Surprise them by having more than one. Also make them short large models as most clothes are displayed on tall not that fat models. That's a true design challenge. It's 2019 - really shouldn't have these ideas of large women being such a shock to design for.
posted by kanata at 7:03 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


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