Project Runway: Suit Yourself
February 7, 2020 1:01 PM - Season 18, Episode 9 - Subscribe

This week’s challenge is all about turning a timeless classic on its head: The tuxedo. Inspired by recent fashion moments like mentor Christian Siriano’s groundbreaking Oscars look for Billy Porter, the designers will each need to find their own way to take the tuxedo into the future with a mix of male, female, and non-binary models. A perfectly tailored suit is nearly impossible without help, so the designers get a surprise second set of hands to help out.
posted by kitten kaboodle (20 comments total)
This season is hitting my specific anxieties on so many levels I don't know if I want to watch till the end. Which bums me out, because I so enjoyed the refresh they gave it last season, and a lot of my shows are ending so there isn't a lot I look forward to (I'm not a binge watcher, either, I actually like weekly television).

The stuff with Delvin leading the rest of the designers in mocking Nancy last night was by far the worst of it, along with Victoria's incredibly unself-aware comment about Nancy making the same thing. Yes, it was silly to think that because they liked the pants of your look that you should make them again, and I'm sure it was irritating to have the button-hole machine ruined (LOL at Christian saying "in my day, we didn't have a machine"), but it wasn't like she did that on purpose specifically to you, and you could be a grown-up and just tell her "hey, I need Tyler to work with me instead of be your model, could you please not ask him anymore?" I was glad when Chelsea tried to buck her up, and much as I dislike Sergio, at least he's being decent about Nancy. Delvin clearly has taste issues and maybe he should focus on learning how to pick fabric and colors instead of spending all his time sneering at Nancy.

The attempts to follow the producers' narrative of Victoria's breathtaking talent are so transparent it's painful. There was nothing incredible about that gown (so many puckering seams!) and again with the shoulders and strappy things, ugh. Especially contrasting Geoffrey's well-made, innovative jumpsuit which they had to pick apart the stupid bow tie to justify him not winning. I mean, Marquise's look was good, and I'd have been torn over who should have won, but come on...the freaking bow tie? When Marquise's model's shirt was gaping all over the place?

At least I could enjoy the schadenfreude of watching Elaine throw down on Sergio over his clueless "America hasn't been great since the halcyon days of the 1950s" comment. I knew Christian would pull out his save for Brittany, even though I wish he'd have used it on someone else who isn't an ageist mean girl. It must have made Chelsea feel kind of crummy that he'd halfway dangled that at her in the after-show interview last week, when all he really meant was that they were bringing back eliminated designers.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:15 PM on February 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I binge watched 10 episodes of Next in Fashion between last week's Project Runway and this. I encourage everyone to do the same. But it did leave me very irritated with PR. Geoffrey's bow tie. Victoria's comment about Nancy. Sergio did not copy (gasp!) Galliano, is no one ever allowed to do a backwards garment again? Of course he should have acknowledged it but it was a beautiful gown and he's an idiot. Marquise would not have won, he might even have been in the bottom with that ill-fitting shirt, if not for his incredible model.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:48 PM on February 7, 2020

I thought Sergio should have been excluded from top tier acknowledgement over his reaction to the criticism of his gown and his shitty shallow political gloss. Going on and on about how no-one has ever made a backward tux, please. And come the FUCK on, he's been to two different top-tier fashion schools and knows that Galliano is a "genius" but played the "what, I was in middle school" card on Celine Dion's Galliano gown? I'm not saying that he intentionally copied it, but his lack of humility when the similarity was noted massively crossed the line.

I do not get the Brittney love or why she deserved a save. At All.
posted by desuetude at 5:23 PM on February 7, 2020

I was disgusted at the incredible sexism of the way everyone treated the male model with the well defined abs like an object. I thought society had advanced beyond the 1950s!

I definitely hope Nancy makes it to the finals, just to show up all of the ageism from the kiddy designers.
posted by monotreme at 5:25 PM on February 7, 2020 [5 favorites]

I was so ticked off and annoyed by all the heaping praise they showered on Victoria about the fit of that dress. I'm sorry, but no. That did not fit at all. It was pulling across the bust and it made the model look like she had a distended, bloated stomach. Victoria just couldn't cope with a model who wasn't just straight up and down. The model didn't look powerful, she looked like she was stuffed into an outfit two sizes too small. Sure, the design was classic, but it was nothing new or revolutionary.

I was surprised when Karlie announced that she was wearing Thom Brown because they very rarely announce the names of the people who design the clothes the host is wearing. (Which is pretty sad, when you think about it, for a design competition.) Of course it made perfect sense when they announced who the judge was.

Speaking of the judge, my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head when Brown said Geoffrey's jump suit was too much (or too out there, or some similar sentiment) for him. Has he ever looked at his own work? "Too much" and "trying too hard" is pretty much my go-to reaction when it comes to his work. (No, I'm not a Thom Brown fan, how can you tell?) All that nonsense about the bow tie was utter hogwash.

I actually really liked Nancy's look, and there is no way she should have gotten slammed for repeating those pants. The judges told her they were sorry they couldn't see more of them the first time she showed them, so she gave the judges a variation on her original design. That's perfectly fair--at least once in the competition. It's especially hypocritical after praising Victoria's one-note look and even Delvin's repeated corsetry (I'm pretty sure he has gone that route more than once). As for picking on the pattern, Nancy and Chelsea were right on the fashion mark. There has definitely been a (mini) trend of Hollywood actors (and I do mean the men) wearing patterned tuxes on the red carpet. I really liked Nancy's print choice.

Of course I hated Sergio's assumption that nobody had ever done a backwards tuxedo look before. I actually forgot about what Celine wore, but I swear there have been a few musicals that incorporated that concept into their dance number costumes. (I thought at first Victor/Victoria might be one but upon reflection I realized that was half-and-half.) Sergio really needs to learn to shut up when standing on the runway.

I liked the purple pleated jacket from Marquise, but I did feel the pants were unresolved.
posted by sardonyx at 5:36 PM on February 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think that Nancy could have gotten away with repeating the pants more gracefully if she'd picked a different model. Show us those pants on someone else!
posted by desuetude at 6:06 PM on February 7, 2020

After binging all of Next in Fashion I popped in here to see if maybe I should start watching this season of PR...and all of your comments show me that the answer is no. I guess I want more clothes, less snippy reality show stuff. Next in Fashion was pretty good about keeping most of the focus on just the clothes, the fabric, the work at hand. Oh well.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:35 PM on February 7, 2020

Well, you know, montreme, the 1950s were the time when America was truly great, so...

The body commentary about the men is truly gross; I thought they'd have learned after last year but they clearly aren't capable of that.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:36 PM on February 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nothing new to add but my takeaways about things the rest of you have said already - the drooling over the male models was gross. I seriously do not understand how anyone could think this was ok. Really disgusted me. I cannot stand either Victoria or Brittany and hope they don't win. Neither is that talented and their attitudes just don't make me want to root for them.

I am so sad about all the ageism directed towards Nancy. It's just infuriating how much she is dismissed and the mean things that are said on air, makes you wonder what the hell's being edited out for time....I mean. Wow. It is just neverending. I commend Sergio for always being empathetic to her, I have to say.

Sergio. Gah. I still feel he is a phony. His MAGA crap was so out of left field and so incredibly offensive. And clueless. I actually gasped out loud as he was talking. I can't believe I'm going to come to the defense of someone I really dislike here, but : why would he purposely copy a well-known design, knowing that all of the judges would of course immediately recognize it? Maybe he remembered it in his subconscious, sure. But I don't think he deliberately set out with that design in his mind.

I laughed when the camera immediately went to Karlie as soon as he started in with the MAGA, just as the camera slyly went to Sergio at the very beginning when the tuxedo gown Christian made for Billy Porter was shown.

I did like Marquise's winning design very much. His model just sold the hell out of it. There was nothing at all new about what Victoria did. Where was the modernizing of the tuxedo? There was not one new thing. It was a black dress. It looked very much like something Angelina Jolie would have worn in Mr and Mrs Smith. And the rhinestone garter thing would have a gun tucked into it.
posted by the webmistress at 7:19 PM on February 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I know it's not how it's supposed to work, but I kinda hoped the Siriano Save was going to be deployed on one of the returning designers (Shavi!) given that there was so much attention given to their support on the runway.

Interesting them bringing Brittany back when the mean girl shizz she and Delvin were dishing out got such a prominent edit; talk about casting for drama.

It was nice seeing Sebastian Grey and his low key energy again!

Justice for Geoffrey. That jumpsuit was gorgeous, I could 100% see a Chalamet or Michael B. Jordan rocking it on the red carpet.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:46 AM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Victoria's incredibly unself-aware comment about Nancy making the same thing
A million times. Victoria's dress was terrible, looked uncomfortable, did not get any tuxedo reference and yes, puckered all over. Hope she goes home soon.

Will Brittany or Delvin learn their lesson about criticizing others while making their own terrible crap? Unknown. Nancy's was much better and deserved to be safe. I liked the fabric and her choices and fuck you Nancy-haters.

Geoffrey was robbed.
posted by Glinn at 7:05 AM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

But the bow-tie! 0_o
posted by the webmistress at 8:06 AM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Imagine if one of the female models had been discussed in the same way as Taurean was, with comments about her tits. It was beyond gross.

Geoffrey should have won with his design, which was unusual and something I'd not seen before. (I did wonder how the model would pee though, as I didn't see a fly opening on it.) To nitpick a bow tie when Marquise's outfit had such an unresolved bottom half seemed churlish to me. Geoffrey is my current favourite. I like his designs and his level of skill, I like what we've seen of his personalty and that he shows his vulnerability without embarrassment. (But, ugh, I hate those ear plugs. Hate, hate, hate them. On anyone.)

Victoria's dress was booooring and didn't even fit the model properly. The garter didn't make it innovative, it just looked tacky. I couldn't believe she was in the top, other than, well, it's Victoria and it's already been pre-determined that she's going to be in the finale.

I didn't think Sergio's dress copied the Galliano look that Celine Dion wore - he referenced it, in a different way which I thought was elegant and much nicer than the Galliano baggy jacket. But it was crass of him to say he'd never heard of the other outfit before. And, Lord, he really needs to keep his mouth shut on the runway.

As much as I dislike Sergio, I'm glad Nancy has someone in her corner. Delvin and Brittney were just awful in this episode. I'd be glad to see either of them go home and I'm sorry Christian used (wasted) his save on Brittney. That horror of a suit she made was fucking tragic. And Delvin is a legend in his own lunchtime, with his stupid white coat as if he's some kind of couturier instead of a contestant on a reality show.

Marquise's jacket was different for a tux, and the pants/skirt combo was unusual. His model looked incredible in it and sold the outfit. But it should have been Geoffrey, for sure.
posted by essexjan at 8:50 AM on February 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Phew, this was definitely the Highs (defending Nancy) and Lows (that political speech) of Sergio. He should've just admitted the Galliano inspiration--his look was far from a copy and, I thought, very beautiful and flattering. Since half the time PR designers are just knocking off last year's trends ANYWAY, there's no harm in calling back to a well-known piece.

I had trouble making out the details on Geoffrey's and, to a lesser degree, Marquise's pieces. I think my old TV just doesn't differentiate amongst shades of black very well. Marquise's model certainly looked regal and the jacket made me think of the ridging on medieval Japanese armor I've seen. Very classy of him to acknowledge Shavi's contributions so thoroughly.

Bitchy as Brittany was, this was the right person to save. It's counterproductive to choosing the best designer when a clearly talented one gets knocked out for running into one challenge that is completely perpendicular to their aesthetic. That's what the mentor save is for, and she offered the most compelling case for it of all the designers so far.
posted by praemunire at 4:27 PM on February 8, 2020

I really liked Marquise's jacket! I am so glad he got to come back even though I still hold a soft spot for Daeyoung.

I started out the season really liking Victoria and I can't believe how witchy she's gotten! Chelsey giving her a talking-to last episode like she was a teenager, and then getting sent home while Victoria got to stay was infuriating. And then Victoria didn't even pull out something amazing this week like Marquise did after his second chance! Grrrrrrrr....

I'm glad someone finally said it to Sergio. For someone so politically aware he is really tone deaf and he probably should be more conscious if he's going to be dressing women and people of color. If I was that model I would have had to bite my tongue hard to not be like, "Wait, THAT'S what my garment symbolizes? One sec, gotta tear it off and burn it..."
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:21 PM on February 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

From Reality Blurred, Project Runway’s Sergio problem
posted by Gin and Broadband at 10:55 PM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Another show (new to me, might not be for some)! The Great British Sewing Bee, just started watching on YouTube, 5 seasons. Very much home sewers rather than fashion designers, and structured sort of like GBBO :
Each episode has 3 challenges: 1. follow a pattern, 2. 60 minutes alter a plain item (everyone gets the same), and 3. make a finished garment (does not have to be original pattern).

Charming folks, lack of interpersonal drama (but lots of sewing/time drama - zippers, darts, etc). Some episodes may be missing from YouTube.
posted by Glinn at 11:46 AM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love the Great British Sewing Bee, but it's hard to find anything after the first two seasons on youtube.
When the Bravo rebooted Project Runway, I think they were more than a little inspired by the intro to GBSB, even the fabric in the PR intro is similar to that of the Great British Sewing Bee intro.
posted by Duffington at 4:08 PM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yes, the Sewing Bee is a favourite of mine. I was so happy to see it come back on the BBC after a haitus. (It's made by the same company as the GBBO, and when that moved to Channel 4, there was some doubt the Sewing Bee would be renewed. I am so happy it was! What could be more British than an amateur sewing competition judged by a Savile Row tailor?!

Also check out The Great Pottery Throwdown, similar format, amateurs, challenges, weekly winner and elimination, but with ceramics. It's great. One of the judges regularly bursts into tears of joy at the sight of a pot!
posted by essexjan at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yes, I almost mentioned the Pottery one also (new episodes on YouTube)! It is crushing when stuff breaks but yes, the judge who cries! It always makes me want to start doing ceramics.
posted by Glinn at 3:07 PM on February 11, 2020

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