Project Runway: Ep 12: The Art of Fashion
May 31, 2019 6:56 AM - Season 17, Episode 12 - Subscribe

It's the last challenge to determine which four designers will move on to the finale; they must create their biggest and best looks as well as designing experimental art installations; with rapper Cardi B and Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo.
posted by Anonymous (16 comments total)
Okay, it's final four, five months and ten grand for ten looks. So the designers will have a chance to breathe after working for a month non-stop. Hester and Sebastian both need it. They are the only two collections I am interested in seeing.

I laughed when Christian was making his **BIG!!!** announcement that Cardi B would be at the event and Hester was in the background, totally unmoved, just working away.

You could tell that Garo, with the most experience, just breezed through this challenge. Still had the inevitable corset but I liked how his design could be pared down off the runway.

Does anyone else think that Brandon Maxwell had a few too many glasses of champagne?

I wonder how valuable the CFDA mentorship will actually be or if it's just bs. Certainly the remaining designers could all benefit from it.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:34 PM on May 31, 2019

I assume the mentorship was added to boost the likelihood that the winner will actually become successful in the industry, which is the one element that was conspicuously lacking from the original series and that could give credibility to this reboot.

I don't understand why Cardi B is any kind of celebrity and she didn't add anything to this episode other than allowing the show to say, "We got Cardi B!"—which obviously was the point, so okay. But it's odd that she didn't guest-judge. It makes me wonder whether this season's producers have less bargaining power with their celebrity guests. Dapper Dan didn't guest-judge, either. He just popped in and scored some quick brand points. It makes the show look less than it was. When Charlize Theron or Lorraine Bracco shows up on Top Chef, it's to judge.
posted by cribcage at 6:28 PM on May 31, 2019

Another episode where I feel like it could have been AMAZING but a lot of the concepts just felt a little flat.

Sebastian: I'm so glad he's safe. He really is the best technically and his stuff has a unique style. But yikes that room. I just don't understand where the yellow came from in his mind. I think you could have put that dress in a blank white room and it would have been a better theme.

Bishme: He's been so hit or miss for me. I really felt that this look needed to go OVER the top and feel more floral. But it just felt flat. Even layering some other fabrics or colors would have given it some depth. The set was beautiful. And I think a lot of people's reactions were pretty girl, sparkly dress, pretty set. It just felt a little basic and personally I don't like the texture of that fabric. It looked like a reimagined rose gold EMMY trophy.

Hester: Obviously her set was beautiful. But I'm a bit sad because I was REALLY excited about her initial concept of BDSM Rococo Picnic. I wanted a FULL gown with a bit of corsetry and a harness. If I could picture it in my head, I'm not sure how she couldn't. This dress was far too casual for the setting even though the elements were there. I do hope she gets back to herself and her style for the runway looks. Again, I love a lot of her personal style.

Garo Sparo: I agree that he did the best with the actual set design, though I wish his model was a bit more incorporated into it. The dress was beautiful, if bit boring or expected. I do think he has a lot of talent but I wish for a tiny bit more variety even within his signature silhouettes and corseting. I mean, there are SO many styles and fits of corsets you can work with. Where as he has focused mainly on a waist cincher.

Tessa: OOF. I'm glad to see her go. When she was talking about all her hems being uneven for a reason I was like, Nah. Either the producers totally cut that out and no one remembered it, or she was trying to cover her ass for past work. You CAN make a raw hem look intentional in the time they were given. You either need to stitch above where you want the fraying to stop, or use something like a hem tape inside to stop it at a certain length. Her hems never looked intentional. They looked cut once and just allowed to fray, not frayed in a fashionable way. I think this look was the most dynamic of hers, but I also get a bit concerned when using styles from other cultures. There's a fine line there and as a white person I personally can't say where that is.

I hope we get to see some exciting stuff.

Honestly, my dream would be a season of PR where they aren't allowed to use white, black, or gray unless it's an accent. I just want to push people toward FUN stuff. Brights. Colors. Textures. Patterns. We lack that not only in regular fashion but constantly on PR.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:51 PM on May 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

The one thing Cardi B gave us was that definitive no that she would not wear that terribly made ill-fitting top that Hester put on her model. I'm not a Cardi B fan, but I laughed pretty hard at that line.

I feel so much sympathy for Sebastian not being comfortable with words and stories. I think he's got plenty to say with this sewing skills and his vision for clothes. Unlike Elaine I don't need to hear a sob/inspirational story about every designer and every outfit. I don't care if there isn't some Instagrammable narrative. I just want to see design and sewing talent rewarded. As a judge, I don't feel that she should be making her preferences and biases so obvious. (And in case somebody needs to hear me say it, Bishme's dress was terrible.)

I was also annoyed at Nina today (although that's not unusual for me). The way she put down women who want to wear elegant, simplistic clothing that doesn't involve them dressing like colour-blind cartoon characters (not to mention the designers who cater to those women) was maddening. There is nothing wrong with simple or tasteful. In fact, it's probably harder to come up with endless varieties of those kinds of designs than it is to go crazy all the time. Now, I'm not saying Tessa is a sterling example of that kind of designer (her attitude alone towards non-model-sized women is more than problematic) but Nina was too dismissive of that aesthetic, just because she wanted to see the circus-clown runway show that Hester is sure to produce.

For all the talk of how much better this season was supposed to be, overall I've been fairly underwhelmed and disappointed. The only bright spot for me has been Christian. He's been not just entertaining, but actually a big help to the designers in a way Tim hadn't been for a while.
posted by sardonyx at 7:32 PM on May 31, 2019

If Nina watches the show, she's going to be furious when she realizes that Hester, rather than pushing herself when she had immunity as Nina observed, openly admits to using those shows as a joke.

I called the bottom two, and the result, and, again, would've been fine with a double elimination and three designers in the finale, the way God intended it.
posted by praemunire at 7:49 PM on May 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

I just want to echo what Sardonyx said. I have really enjoyed Christian as mentor, possibly more than I enjoyed Tim Gunn. He has the advantage of having been on the show himself, and though a bit awkward early in the season, seems to have really grown into the role, and gave some really good advice to the designers as well.

I am not as taken by Hester as the judges seem to be.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I agreed with pretty much everything in the Tom & Lorenzo recap: much better challenge than the old "make something avant garde" chestnut they used to pull, and also that the designers are clearly running on fumes. I really liked Garo's whole concept - he gets presentation and marketing, of course, and it showed.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2019

If Nina watches the show, she's going to be furious when she realizes that Hester, rather than pushing herself when she had immunity as Nina observed, openly admits to using those shows as a joke.

I really don't think Hester used her immunity to make joke dresses. That they came out that way was a result of crazy ideas not working out, but in both cases with more time they might have gone somewhere and she just doesn't strike me as someone who would purposely make crap as a joke. (If she said that, I missed it. I wonder if she said it later because the two looks were quite bad, particularly the rooster.)

The right person went home but Hester's was definitely the worst because she lost her way and most of her time. I am glad they took all the designers' previous looks into consideration but that's not something they have always done.

I felt so bad for some of those room designers who could not make their designers happy, like Bishme and Sebastian. In Sebastian's case, those purple and yellow flowers were quite terrible, even if it was what he asked for. So glad he didn't leave - I wonder how much the producers played up his "giving up".
posted by Glinn at 4:07 PM on June 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I really don't think Hester used her immunity to make joke dresses.

She actually said that--I think it was the rooster. "Fashion? No. Funny? Yes." (not an exact quote, but it was sooo obnoxious it stuck in my head)

The show was pretty silly calling each an avant-garde room installation. They were shop windows. C'mon.
posted by praemunire at 9:46 PM on June 1, 2019

Yeah, the rooster-turkey. I guess I mean I don't think she started out planning to do a joke outfit. She just got to a point where it was terrible and no way to start over. It almost sounded feasible at the beginning!
posted by Glinn at 6:07 AM on June 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

After having seen Rocketman, there was definitely a gay rooster outfit among the stage costumes so it totally could have worked. I just don't think she went far ENOUGH with it, and it was poorly made as well.

I love me some Bishme, and I hope he steps it up for the finale.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:10 PM on June 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Good GRIEF the way they used Sebastian's meltdown moment as a teaser, what, five times? That felt really gross.
posted by desuetude at 9:41 PM on June 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought the rooster costume was okay, safe. It was a witty idea, looked 70s, and Tessa's bland costume had crotch issues and Jamal with his sleeping bag were worse.

I went back and looked at all of Bisme's, no thanks to Bravo. Why can't they just do a simple compilation of looks per designer? I'm glad I did because there were a couple abysmal looks that I thought he'd done but they were actually by Venny. Seeing his lined up though, it's interesting to see Bisme's focus is *shoulders*.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:40 AM on June 3, 2019

> I guess I mean I don't think she started out planning to do a joke outfit. She just got to a point where it was terrible and no way to start over.

Yeah, that's my take on her approach to immunity in general. She takes wacky (even for her) risks and really wants to make something fabulous, but was laughing at herself when it was apparent to her that the rooster was not going to work out. I'm not a huge fan of Hester's designs and find her a bit much, but she has grown on me somewhat.
posted by desuetude at 7:31 AM on June 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Hester DEFINITELY has grown on me - not her fashion or her twee-ness, but her kindness in the face of Tessa’s assholery. It’s quite a contrast.
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:58 PM on June 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I didn't see any explanation as to why Hester went back to the pink top. She had changed to a print halter top that Christian really liked, but her model was wearing that badly-made, ill-fitted pink top at the show. No one every mentioned it again.

I thought Garo did a great job with this challenge, and I feel for poor Sebastian, who just wants to make clothes and not have to worry about weird story lines and decorative rooms. I like Sebastian and Bishme the most and I want Sebastian to win it all. Although, regardless, someone is going to pick him up to work at their studio--he's not going back to being a janitor any time soon, unless the fashion world is full of stupid people.

I'm getting kind of tired of Hester's clothes. I like the crazy stuff she actually wears way more than most of the designs she sends down the runway. But as a person, she's really grown on me.
posted by ceejaytee at 12:07 PM on June 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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