Project Runway: Sheer Genius
January 31, 2020 6:19 AM - Season 18, Episode 8 - Subscribe

(From the Bravo website) The designers realize that the challenges only get harder the longer they survive the competition when they’re faced with the hardest yet: a one-day challenge using some of the toughest textiles: sexy, sheer fabrics. As the challenges get more challenging, the competition heats up and just staying in the game becomes more and more difficult for several designers who are reaching their personal limits and question their ability to make it to the end.

Sergio was a worthy winner. His model looked stunning, and the construction looked impeccable. I loved Nancy's look too, but Sergio's just had the edge. I was very sad to see Dayoung leave, but also pleased Marquise came back. His model looked amazing and obviously felt good in her outfit. But, ugh, Sergio, please learn some humility.

I actually liked Geoffrey's dress and was surprised to hear the judges' criticisms of how sheer it was. His model was happy with how much she was showing - as it was agreed at the initial consultation. So I don't get why the judges were so scathing of it (although Nina did like it).

I cannot f'ing believe that Victoria survived. Nothing about her garment met the challenge - for the third week in a row. Chelsey's look was poor but at least it was sheer. So unfair. And Victoria's attitude with both Christian and the judges was atrocious. Spoiled brat or what? When Chelsey came back into the lounge after she'd been eliminated, Victoria couldn't even get up off her chair to hug her, she was completely wrapped up in herself.

(Also, the sheer polka-dot dress Karlie wore for the runway show was insane!)
posted by essexjan (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Quote of the season: "You keep doing these half, high-low, one-side, one-sleeve, power shoulder, long sleeve things.”

Elle review here
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:59 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I laughed when the two "safes" in the back room were like, wait Marquise is in the top? because that was a real judges smoking crack moment. The bodice of that dress was, again, poorly constructed. A wreath of black tulle to cover her boobs? Sergio is apparently the only designer who can properly fit her, although Delvin might be able to.

Delvin should've been up there in his place. After seeing all the elaborate designs, his was striking in its minimalism. The red stripe in the skirt, inspired.

I'm fine with Sergio's win, again a spectacular fit using unforgiving materials. I wish there'd been some sort of transition on the skirt where the fringe tassels were attached.

Chelsey had reached her expiration date as one of the middling designers but I wish Victoria had gone. Unless the producers have edited her story to be a real turnaround, I'm not interested in seeing any more work from her.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:28 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

His model was happy with how much she was showing - as it was agreed at the initial consultation.

Models' opinions on the appearance of the garment don't really count unless it's a challenge specifically to meet their tastes in some way. (Sometimes the judges will ask about fit or freedom to walk because that's a more objective issue.) It wasn't just that her breasts were rather visible, it's that they were clearly unsupported and boinging all over the place. Like Nina, I couldn't see anything else. No one could go out in that, except to a swingers' party or sex club. (Geoffrey seems like a sweetheart, but he seems to sometimes have a lack of clarity on sex club vs. even street wear generally.)

I'm very opposed to fringe that is too closely juxtaposed to, uh, the source of Nature's own fringe. I think I heard some comments to that effect from the judges, but, at the same time, Sergio's was clearly the most polished and best-fitted of a fairly sorry lot.

(I admit at this point I'm mostly watching out of long-standing habit. These days it's largely just last year's ready-to-wear plus horrible mistakes.)
posted by praemunire at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sergio definitely deserved the win. His dress was amazing and the model was wearing the hell out of it. It was just so perfectly suited to her, and like the judges said, she had never been styled more perfectly. So you know he was really feeling it.

Both of Karlie's looks were killer. That dress she wore with the dots on it...she looked like an angel. Like the dress Sergio designed for his model, it was so perfectly suited to her. the inital explanation of the challenge didn't she specifically say that the challenge was to use sheer fabric but that "showing a lot of skin is not what this is about" or words to that effect? I have to watch that again. I kept yelling at Jeffrey to cover up the boobs but I don't think he heard me.

There is no logical explanation why Victoria should still be there. Redemption arc? Judge guilt? Her dress was so terrible. Cringe-worthy, even. But. I absolutely do give some credence to the fact that she didn't truly understand what they were going after with the word "sheer", because she kept asking what it meant (I guess she didn't ever get a good answer?) and she didn't make a sheer look. If she had understood what the concept was, she would have made something sheer. They showed Christian attempting to show her what sheer meant by placing lace sleeves on the dress on her mannequin, which further did not truly explain it. Since it was apparently a language issue they should have given her image examples and tried to find the French word for sheer, there must be one (I just looked, the French word is 'pure' as far as I can tell)? Her meltdown was understandable in retrospect, but since it was not the first one, I didn't empathize as much as I normally would, I suppose. Like Sergio, I think Victoria is used to being celebrated for her designs and is not taking the critiques well.
posted by the webmistress at 12:04 PM on January 31, 2020

Victoria is talented, but I think very big-fish-small-pond to date and not coping well with the change. I'm a little sympathetic to the "I'd rather quit than put up stuff I know is terrible and be on the bottom and get sent home anyway" feeling, but you can't high-maintenance it all over everybody else.

I'm surprised at how much Grumpy Christian has grown on me. He was fairly childish and bitchy in his original season, though not actively dislikeable (Bravo was always very careful about the boundaries on its Starter Gays for the Straight Midwestern Middle-Aged Woman), but unlike, say, Mondo, who became intolerable on later appearances, he's just...funny, and generally coming from an understandable place.
posted by praemunire at 12:36 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Models' opinions on the appearance of the garment don't really count unless it's a challenge specifically to meet their tastes in some way.

Which it was. The clients in this challenge were the models and the designers were given 30 minutes at the start of the task to discuss what the models wanted and to sketch. Geoffrey's model made it clear that, as long as she had nipple pasties, she was fine with having no bra.
posted by essexjan at 1:28 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

The clients in this challenge were the models

No, they effectively weren't. The designers were instructed to make sure their planned designs weren't showing more skin than the models were comfortable with, which was sensible (unusually so!), but there was zero weighing in the judging of whether the models liked their look. When the clients are the models, they spend a lot more time consulting (not fitting) during the process, the designers spend a lot of time fretting about the ways that the models' wishes fit or clash with their design style, the judges explicitly talk to the models about whether the designers met the models' briefs, and then we have the timeless You Should Have Found A Way To Make Her Happy Without Losing Yourself discourse delivered to the loser. There was none of that last night. A model could be (in this case, apparently was) comfortable with a degree of exposure that the judges thought inappropriate.
posted by praemunire at 2:00 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think we'll have to agree to differ, praemunire, because we've obviously both got different interpretations of the first ten minutes of the show. I saw consultations with models who were asked about what they wanted (prom dress, Chinese/German, etc.), and what level of sheerness they were comfortable with.
posted by essexjan at 2:17 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think Nancy and Sergio know how a good story sells the look, if not for the judges, for the editor's cut. I don't recall any of the other designers collaborating with the models in that way. It was mostly, "how much skin are you comfortable showing?"
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:36 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I like that (finally) what the host is wearing has some relationship to the challenge. And based on the teaser for next week they're going to keep that up--at least for the short term. I appreciated Brandon coming out and talking about sheer textiles and design (even if Victoria didn't get it).

I don't know why the designers who went for colour decided to go for baby pastel versions of the colours they chose. A deep rose or (even better) dark burgundy would be better than that soft pink and dark navy or dark teal would be so much better than the baby blue that walked the runway. Having a deeper coloured sheer takes the material away from the boudoir/negligee/baby doll aesthetic that hurt some of the designers.

I don't know which male designer it was, but one of them kept repeating "titties" and that really rubbed me the wrong way. You're supposed to be dressing women, not sexy playthings or outdated stereotypes. If you can't respect a woman's body, you've got no business dressing it.

Once again, there was no Sergio-Christian consultation (or at least there wasn't one shown).

Even though Christian has way too much ego to tolerate, I'm glad Nancy has found an ally on the show (or at least somebody who isn't directly snubbing her to her face), and it was nice to see the two (temporary?) pals on top together, especially as both had really strong looks.

Victoria needs to be gone, and gone now. Even before her sheer meltdown, she was arguing with Christian, that no, she doesn't make the same dress all the time when it's perfectly obvious that she does (even if Nina somehow has a blind spot to the fact).
posted by sardonyx at 6:15 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I found the Chelsy/Victoria narrative arc really illuminating, because (I hate to say this) I know that under stress I go very Victoria, at my worst. Like right down to some of the faces she was pulling. And on the other hand you've got Chelsy being so gracious and CORRECT about dealing with tough times.

I feel for Victoria's language barrier but she could've turned to Christian for a debrief in Mood if she was still confused; and she was overdue hearing that real talk about making the same. damn. look.

Geoffrey has long been one of my faves as a person, but I was surprised how much I liked his look - I loved the contrast with the materials and structure, and the colour story.

I miss Dayoung already! But I was v. happy seeing Marquise come back.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 6:41 PM on January 31, 2020

Edit: Even though Sergio has too much ego... not Christian. Of course not Christian. Sorry.

I should also say that while Sergio's design was strong, his fringe placement was highly unfortunate.
posted by sardonyx at 7:59 AM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

It was Marquis with the "titties" and no, please don't do that. I don't think he even meant it in any objectifying way, but it's not a good word for this circumstance. I was also surprised he was in the top. Delvin, Brittany, and Geoffrey's all felt more successful. I do agree that the sheer breast on Geoffrey's was very distracting but otherwise it was pretty cool.

A bit more mean girl Brittany leaked out. I can't remember exactly what it was, but something about Nancy. Nancy's was my favorite and I'm so glad she's doing well and she and Sergio are friends. And not just because I'm an older woman trying to do a creative thing but maybe a little bit that.

I will miss Chelsey. She had been doing well and was surprised by this, I think. Victoria should have gone, partly for her attitude. Like praemunire said, "you can't high-maintenance it all over everybody else."

Meanwhile, if you have Netlfix you may want to check out a very similar to PR new show: Next in Fashion. Hosted by Tan France ("Queer Eye") and designer Alexa Chung. First season dropped in full Jan 29. Waiting for the mods to add the show then probably will do a post on the whole season.
posted by Glinn at 11:05 AM on February 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

Brittney is increasingly a meangirl brat and I'm over it. I thought her look was a clear "safe." I expect her to be eliminated soon.

I agree with everyone on Sergio's dress; it was stunning, clever, AND the fringe needed a transition to make the placement less...y'know. Also, his "oh good now everyone can see that I deserve to win the whole competition" was disappointing.

Victoria's behavior was awful. If she didn't understand the challenge, perhaps it was because she wasn't listening one of the five or more times it was explained in different ways. Lord.
posted by desuetude at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, overall, the clothes this season have been boooorrrring. I feel like everyone is stIcking with very, very safe and simple silhouettes.
posted by desuetude at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2020

Is the Next in Fashion post happening? I'm on Episode 3 and I have opinionz.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:17 PM on February 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

Just finally caught up with this one. Ooof. Victoria makes me think of that time in season 4 when Christian was having a tantrum and Chris March said something like "Baby needs his bottle." I get being a person who gets angry when they don't succeed, I've done some damn dumb things in life because that's kind of how I am. Usually, I get better if I can go off and lick my own wounds, not have people "support" me. But she's on a whole other level, and the praise they gave that hideous thing to try to buck her up was kind of mind boggling. If she wasn't pretty and used to having her way with the pouty schtick, I think they'd have seen through her a long time ago. I wasn't buying the language barrier and glad to see others, judges and contestants, saying the same.

Also over Delvin and Brittany's bullshit about Nancy. No wonder she was drawn toward Sergio--he seems to have been willing to make some room in his Texas-size self-obsession for her, and at least a few of the designers have been consistently shitty about her. People who live in glass houses, etc., Delvin and Brittany.

I was so excited about last season, but I feel like things have backslid a lot on the personalities this year, and we're back to de-emphasizing the process in favor of stupid drama.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:10 PM on February 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Next in Fashion post up.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:59 PM on February 5, 2020

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