Project Runway: What Do You Care About?
May 17, 2019 12:03 PM - Season 17, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The remaining seven designers dig deep in this challenge and use their skills to bring attention to a social cause they care deeply about. Judge Elaine Welteroth mentors each designer on channeling their creative voice for change, a skill she honed in her time at Teen Vogue. Just as the designers start to get comfortable creating this emotionally charged look, they’re hit with a Flash Sale twist.
posted by Anonymous (9 comments total)
This is a general comment on PR, what I'd like is someone to go through the original footage and recut all the episodes to remove all the silly reality show faux drama and spend much more time in the workroom looking at the thought processes and technical challenges of each challenge. I expect there's a treasure trove of authentic banter between talented artist/craftpersons, talking about the nature of cloth, color, texture, how they mold and shape for the specific model and expectations of the judges. Also there must be more gutsy discussion during the judging.

(but also how is anyone not team sebastian, that shades of brown dress is just an artwork)
posted by sammyo at 1:04 PM on May 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Poor Sebastian makes miracles happen week after week and gets no love. Bishme should have won last week and Sebastian should have won this week, although I did like Bishme's dress and t-shirt. Sebastian's dress was a 3 dimensional work of art. Hester gets away with costumes week after week and if Garo makes another corset dress I'm going to scream. They're one trick ponies and the time has come for them to get over it or go home.
posted by ceejaytee at 3:56 PM on May 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sebastian's dress was gorgeous, but I wasn't sorry to see Bishme win, because I adore him. And I agree, I don't understand how the judges let Hester and Garo get away with it week in, week out. At least Venny's outfit had a point of view, even though it was poorly made.

But I'm afraid, ceejaytee, I have to take issue with your use of the phrase "one-trick pony". In PR threads, only Dmitri's version of this - one-way monkey - is the correct one. ;-)
posted by essexjan at 4:43 PM on May 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

Bishme was such a riot this episode! First there was his reaction to "resting Bishme face," then his over-caffeinated monologue at mood staff, his runway walk, and his " "So we aren't going to Mexico." For me, he won the episode before he won the challenge. I also think the thing that put him over the top was his lovely t-shirt design. I would incorporate Bishme's shirt in to my wardrobe, while Sebastian's I would only wear to paint the house.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:35 PM on May 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

For once, I was happy with the judging??!!?

It was a close call for me between Bishme and Sebastian. I feel like Sebastian doesn't get the fawning he deserves from the judges; they seem to take his talent for granted, like he set his own bar too high. I wanted him to get some of what Garo and Bishme got last week with "THIS WAS SO CLOSE."

I do not think that Jamall deserved to stay this long, but I must admit that he did a great job with this challenge.

I don't think Garo did his best work here, and agree that overall he is too costumey to be the kind of designer they're looking to reward, BUT I think his dress was still better than Hester's. She's gimmicky AF, yet they're in love with her for mysterious reasons.

For once, Tessa didn't freak out over having the plus sized model, and I appreciate that.

I like Venny's energy in the mix in the workroom, but was a gift that he stayed this long. No regrets about him getting cut.
posted by desuetude at 9:13 PM on May 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sebastian's was the one that was most successful as a concept and a look, allusive, not literal. The judges take him way too much for granted. Bishme's was fine, though.

I like how the judges only just now realized that Garo's been doing the same damn thing week in, week out.

I'm starting to get embarrassment squick from watching Hester use five-year-old slang as if it were the Cutting Edge of Coolness. My great-aunt probably uses "AF" by now. But I almost have a slight respect for the measure she's taken of the judges, knowing exactly when to do no work and ride on either immunity or their obvious blind spots (like this team was going to oust the designer who chose the LGBT theme). Reminds me of what Jay McCarroll said back in the day: "Don't play the other contestants. Play the production."
posted by praemunire at 10:47 PM on May 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Okay, they've done away with the reality-show-contestant designers. Now it's reality show challenges. Take a bunch of sleep deprived, stressed out people cut off from their family and news of the outside world and ask them to work on something very personal and meaningful to them in hopes that someone will breakdown on the runway. Tessa strikes me as a private person. In her facetimes to the camera, she alluded to something that happened to her but she never came right out and said it. It took a guest judge to ask the obvious producer-supplied question. I just found it very crass and manipulative. What's Tessa going to say? "I'd rather not talk about it ON NATIONAL TV!!" Ugh.

The rest of it, TLo pointed out in their podcast. Treating serious subjects in a superficial, gimmicky way and also noting the difficulty of criticizing a design without criticizing the message. PR is trying super-extra hard to be relevant after years in the Lifetime wasteland.

One thing I did like about this episode is that they judged all the designs. I don't know if they talk to all the designers every week, we just don't see it, before they decide who is safe. Feedback is critical for them especially because the final judging is quixotic and it's the producers who make the ultimate decision. I was actually surprised that Garo was not sent home because Venny has a better "story", accountant by day, dress designer by night.

If they talked to *all* the designers every week, the footage could be posted on the website. Or even just the judges deliberations about who is safe vs top or bottom.

Was anyone else thinking about which cause they'd pick? I would've died laughing if someone picked "Impeachment".
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:12 AM on May 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

What Nina said about Garo only being there because he is "technically very good" is spot-on. The frustrating thing for me is that he talks a big game about pushing himself in these design challenges, but then refuses to apply his understanding of corsetry to a garment in any other way than...literally making it a corset.

A signature is absolutely fine, but a crutch is not, and it makes me wonder whether there is some ordinary aspect of construction that he just can't do effectively? Like, is he afraid to make a tailored waistband or a zipper?

(See also: Tessa, are you just really bad at hemming?
posted by desuetude at 9:56 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would really like the show to implement a regular technical challenge. I know the contestants are all supposed to be skilled designers, but everybody can benefit from some extra education, so every two or three episodes I'd love to see them bring on on expert from the industry--somebody who is know for their skills in pleating or working in leather or incorporating lace, or something and let them give the designers (and the viewers) a seminar on expert-level techniques. Then follow up with a challenge that would require the designers to, in some way, make use of what they've learned. I think that would be a lot more interesting and valuable than silly themes like this week's episode (at least as far as I understand what happened this week not having watched the show yet, but having read TLo's write-up).

That way we could eliminate a lot of the boring, reality show bickering and the people who watch this show because we're interested in clothing design and construction would have something to enjoy.
posted by sardonyx at 10:22 AM on May 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

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