Project Runway: She's Sew Unusual
January 10, 2020 1:34 PM - Season 18, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The iconic Cyndi Lauper is both inspiration and guest judge for this totally tubular team challenge. Split into two teams, the designers must create cohesive mini-collections. They need to collaborate to pay homage to Cyndi’s '80s fashion trailblazing that brought underground punk into the pop culture while still giving the looks a totally awesome modern take. Sounds pretty straight forward until Christian throws out a mid-challenge twist that changes everything.
posted by kanata (14 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

 
Not at all. I was hoping for him to be tossed into the nearest active volcano already. That just really cemented my opinion.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:45 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The looks are up on TLo, if you want to see that.

I was certain, when they showed that little bit of Sergio's jacket being put together, that they were basically setting it up so the first team looked totally together and the second team was a shitshow, so that they'd fake us out that the first team was actually going to fail. And much as I hate that kind of editing, I was so glad they did fail, because that was some awful designing. Every time someone said "this is so punk" I thought I'd gag.

I really thought Sergio was getting the Auf edit, but they're obviously keeping him around for drama. There's no other reason for someone that terrible to be there. Christ, he's exhausting, and the kind of overconfident mediocre man I loathe from a lifetime of having to deal with guys just like him.

Glad for Geoffrey's win. Also glad they didn't tell him not to cry and let him have his very justifiable emotions. It still seems like a random, weird idea for a challenge, but I'm glad it's one that meant a lot to Geoffrey and that he succeeded at it.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:05 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I LOVE Cyndi Lauper so was so happy to see her, and she clearly knows about clothing construction. Was rooting for Geoffrey - I adored his look. I loved the billowy trousers on Brittany's suit, though the idea seemed kind of dated, and I really liked Nancy's gonzo wearable art. Did not get Delvin's leatherette girdle at all.

Sergio really is the gift that keeps giving, isn't he? even though I kinda liked his look Dayoung's "You should have stopped talking" moment was amazing.

R. Eric Thomas' recap is up: "Victoria, in confessional, says she only knows one Cyndi Lauper song, which she mistakenly calls "Girls Just Wanna Go Cry." ::pounds table:: Folks, I have a new theme song!"
posted by Gin and Broadband at 6:39 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Wow Cyndi Lauper. Still looking freaking fantastic. Meanwhile the editing was terrible and I could not figure out if Nancy's team was really being mean to her or if she was just difficult. They showed one bit where Brittany asked her to remove something and she said no, but I am not convinced by that clip that Nancy was the difficult one.

Speaking of Brittany, I did not like that dusty rose pink AT ALL. Nancy should have been in the top because after all of Cyndi's talk about volume, Nancy was one of the only ones who added a lot of it and it was a really interesting look. The other with volume was Sergio's monstrosity. Ugly as heck. But unfortunately Melanie's was worse.
posted by Glinn at 7:20 AM on January 11


Nancy's team was really being mean to her or if she was just difficult

Yes

The jodhpurs jumpsuit on team stripes was really weirdly proportioned but I guess it was well made? I thought the whole team looked a little circusy but especially that, and especially compared to Geoffrey’s look.
posted by supercres at 7:42 AM on January 11


If there is one thing you can say about both Cyndi Lauper and the 1980s, it's that there were colours and they were vibrant and joyful. None of the non-blacks used could be described that way (although that green and white and yellow pattern was the closest, even if it didn't represent the decade).

I'm not saying it was the wrong decision, but I'm sorry to see Melanie go.

Seconded that "you should have stopped talking" was amazing. I think I reacted more strongly to that than last week's in-laws name dropping.
posted by sardonyx at 12:16 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I thought Nancy's outfit was great and really fit the brief. Her team were awful to her. She should have been in the top. I know we only see snippets, but I wonder if she's irritating and unpopular in the house. Sergio is a dick and if Tyler's arrogance got him sent home last week, it's surprising Sergio's didn't this week.

I'm so glad Geoffrey got the win, which obviously meant so much to him. Although it might have seemed a fairly random challenge, I wonder if, when the designers are auditioning, they're asked about their influences, idols, etc. I say this because it seems to happen every season that a guest judge will turn out to be the idol of one of the designers.

Melanie was totally forgettable. As Nina said, I don't remember a single thing she's done in the other challenges. And every time I saw her I'd think "who's that?".
posted by essexjan at 12:37 PM on January 11


Although it might have seemed a fairly random challenge, I wonder if, when the designers are auditioning, they're asked about their influences, idols, etc. I say this because it seems to happen every season that a guest judge will turn out to be the idol of one of the designers.

Oh, that makes all kinds of sense, yeah. A lot of times the celebrity guests seem to have some tie-in, like a new movie/album/show, whatever, so it seemed odd to me, but that would definitely make sense to pick up on someone saying "hey, she meant so much to me I did drag of her."

Nancy's outfit was fantastic, and she should have been up there instead of Brittany. I'm honestly really disgusted by the group and their ageism, but maybe that's because I'm closer to Nancy's age. Delvin's repeated digs at her age (and gender! he comes across as ageist and misogynistic to me, and I'm seriously tired of him), and the editing emphasis on her doing "irritating" things like smashing ornaments and cutting up a top have a really unpleasant tinge to me. It's possible she is irritating, I don't know (the ornament smashing could easily have been done outside, but I bet cash money they wanted her doing it inside for the material), but the thing is--so are most of the rest of them.

Where last season, I found myself liking a number of the designers and rooting for them even while hoping that Sebatian would be the winner, I don't like many of these ones at all. Which is why their repeated juvenile behavior about Nancy rankles me so much, I guess.

Agreed that Dayoung's "You should have stopped talking" was the highlight of the episode.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:22 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


They're doing a great job picking guest judges! I was shocked by how rude Sergio was to Cyndi, and I rather hope that there is some footage on the cutting room floor of Cyndi firing right back at him.

I cringe every time Christian announces the time limit for sketching or shopping because I personally could not handle that kind of extreme to-the-minute pressure. But even within the context of this show, I thought 30 minutes at Mood was particularly cruel for two teams of 5-6 people each. However, it certainly made for an interesting psych experiment, seeing the output from these two groups handling the pressure in such completely opposite ways.

Team Stripes made it easy on themselves at Mood by being systematic about fabric choices as a group, but got cocky about it and lost sight of the actual...clothes? We saw them do this great job of agreeing on principles for their collection, but I don't actually see those principles on the runway (where's all that contrast and gender fluidity they mentioned?) Sergio's smooth conceptual sales pitch bullshit is so infuriating; he can never back it up when it's questioned, and this time he brought down his whole team. But all of them are complicit! They all kept saying "so punk, so punk" and then made a matchy-matchy collection? Exception: Shavi's dress was actually pretty good and hit the marks. The rest were just awful, awful, awful.

Team Chaos's original strategy was not entirely dissimilar -- they were going to find a brightly-colored print to serve as a unifying colorway for everyone to riff off of in their own way, right? But it turned out to be too difficult to find that unicorn and it turned their shopping into a panic. In the end, that was apparently a blessing. It wasn't actually a very unified collection, and I'm surprised they didn't get a little ding for that. But the clothes sure were better. I didn't love Brittany's rose fabric or her design, though; I thought Nancy's entry was much better. As for the tension between Nancy and the rest of her team, I just don't trust the show edit of that situation at all. That "argument" in the workroom was so chopped up that it felt incomprehensible.

Once I went back and looked at Melanie's prior designs, I quite liked some of them. But she just didn't seem to have an instinct for how to play in this competition. She made some pretty clothes, but oof, staying in the safe middle away from the judges week after week is not how you design for a runway.
posted by desuetude at 12:59 PM on January 13


*SCREAMS INTO THE VOID* It’s Cyndi Fucking Lauper and you choose to STILL do primarily black and white. Yeah, sure, black leather-ish stuff is classic punk. But you can do ANYTHING!! You get to go to Mood and that amazing trim and notion store! It’s supposed to be CUSTOM fashion, not easily store-bought.

She is extra to the extra degree to the power of extra. She’s 5 different prints in 20 colors layered with jewelry and texture. She’s vintage and modern. She’s masculine and feminine. She’s rocking a blue side shave hairstyle. I was SO excited when the challenge was introduced. And then I got so frustrated.

Those stripes are 100% Beetlejuice (which I love in general) but it’s WAY more goth / nugoth styled than 80s punk. And again, for this show, I am so tired of black and white.

I REALLY want to stop being disappointed by this show. I keep holding out hope. But it genuinely makes me sad, as someone who loves fashion and color and print, that they constantly are so boring. Like, I almost cried type of sad. Because I just want more from this. I want inspiration. I want creativity. And it’s just not been there this entire season.

I don’t think I loved ANY entire look from anyone.
I liked Delvin’s choice of print, but nothing else. I would wear Shavi's and I think it’s cute, but I also think it’s too basic for this challenge. I think Geoffrey’s most fits the challenge and I’m glad he won, but I’m still so bored by all black.

I’m fine that Melanie was gone - but also I think I barely knew she existed.

Still can’t stand Sergio’s style or attitude and I love that he got a Talking To. Still don’t like Victoria’s looks.

PS somehow Hulu didn’t show me I had a new episode, hence why I’m late.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:57 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


I feel like Sergio is up for several talkings-to....

I’m not sure why I hate his arrogance so much but like Delvin’s.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:03 AM on January 14


When Delvin's model walked down the runway and Cyndi made her side comment to Elaine, I laughed in delight because while Delvin didn't really achieve a Cyndi Lauper look, he did in fact nail a Debbie Harry look.
posted by desuetude at 9:14 AM on January 14


> I feel like Sergio is up for several talkings-to.... I’m not sure why I hate his arrogance so much but like Delvin’s.

Delvin states his opinions; Sergio makes pronouncements.
posted by desuetude at 9:20 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I watched this on demand just before the current week's episode so it's already fading from my mind. Teams. It's suspicious when the teams are pre-assembled by the producers because the result was lopsided, esp when Victoria joined Team Chaos. So then there was 45 minutes of chaos and outbursts and bad fabric choices to disguise the fact that they were, indeed, the better team. I wasn't paying attention when the actual challenge was described so I was unclear exactly how cohesive the team looks should be. Something Christian said later on in the episode made me think it was less of a priority than usual.

Geoffrey and Victoria had the two best designs and while Victoria 's was, as she admitted, a riff on some of her previous outfits, Geoffrey really stepped up. Dayoung was the weakest, Nancy whom I really like and have picked for final three, hers was an unfocussed disappointment. Well made but really just a wad of organza. I can't believe anyone chose that dusty rose fabric but looking at the photo of Brittany's suit, it looks like it was shot with another color to give it a sheen. Still, the bustier was flat and she had all the dangly straps.

I'm almost impressed by Sergio's Great Designer delusion. He doesn't really annoy me though, and I'm not sure why. Maybe because he is his own worst enemy and because there's really no chance that he will make it to the end. Melanie never registered with viewers, period.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:23 AM on January 17


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