Project Runway: Flower Power
November 6, 2021 7:33 AM - Season 19, Episode 4 - Subscribe

For their fourth challenge, the designers show up to discover their work room has been "flower flashed!" Inspired by the colorful blooms, the designers must create their own unique floral print from scratch and turn it into a high-end runway look. Guest judge International Supermodel Gigi Hadid will help the judges decide who rose to the occasion and who should be sent home. (imdb) Spoilers inside

First of all, Lewis Miller, the flowerbomb guy, is a sweetheart. Secondly, after last week's amazing runway show, I thought we were on the up, but this week was a big disappointment. It was obvious floral prints are way outside many of the designers' comfort zones, and they struggled with the task of creating a print they could work with, and then using their print in an outfit that met their aesthetic. For some designers, prints were in their wheelhouse, but even they struggled.

This was Katie's challenge, for sure, and I really enjoyed seeing a little of her backstory with her family, and seeing some more of her clothes. Her print was one of the best, but it really didn't translate into a wearable garment. Katie doesn't seem to know when to stop adding embellishment, and she ended up with a garment that looked childish and craft-y. She also panicked after her critique with Christian and then tried to blame him for her poor choices in front of the judges. A Big No.

I hated Aaron's print, banana yellow with a floral border - it read so old-fashioned, the yellow is such a difficult colour and I thought he'd be in trouble (he was safe).

Anna's outfit was extraordinary - a geometrically-shaped dress and top that was very haute/avant-garde but not at all wearable outside the runway. I was amazed she wasn't in the top, it was fantastic.

Likewise, I couldn't believe Bones wasn't in the bottom, with his bodycon skirt and one-shoulder top with a weird cape thing that came off that he said could be put in your lap at dinner (wtf?). It was awful.

Coral's dress was mostly black, with criss-cross straps. Chasity's dress also had a lot of criss-cross straps, as well as awful puffy sleeves that began to deflate as her model walked. But they were both safe. Octavio's design was black and white, flowing and billowy. Not great but not terrible either. I think he's in danger of becoming a bit of a one-way monkey if he carries on making bag dresses. I can't even remember what Zayden made, so it can't have been great or awful or I'd have remembered.

Sabrina's print was bold, with a big floral vajayjay on the crotch of her bodysuit. But the burkha inspiration for her design was heartfelt and gave credence to her design. If she'd sent it down the runway without the skirt, it might have been a different story for her.

I actually liked Darren's print a lot, but the limitations of his skills and lack of experience showed, although I didn't think his outfit was the worst on the runway. (I'm looking at you, Bones ...)

The most beautiful print of all was Kristina's, a lovely red and pink print that would have made a gorgeous gown. Instead she made a nightgown, robe and a sleep mask that was apparently (according to the judges) perfect for the red carpet (what?!). Whilst I get that this is the zeitgeist, with so many people living in PJs for over a year, I didn't understand at all why the judges loved it so much as an outfit that could be worn outside the bedroom.

I thought Prajje's print was horrible and I didn't like the dress he made either. There was nothing innovative or different about it, it was just another mermaid gown. I don't know why the judges liked it so much. Maybe it looked better in person.

But most inexplicable to me was Shantall's print. In her TH, she spoke about wanting to design this unusual, innovative print featuring a chequerboard design with a hint of flowers - whilst she was literally wearing a blouse featuring a chequerboard design with a hint of flowers!! That the judges chose it as the winner spoke volumes about the fact that none of the judges actually like floral prints and so were relieved there was something else they could choose instead. The outfit itself was fine, but it did not meet the brief as a floral print.

This was one of those weeks where I had no effing idea what the judges were thinking in their choice of who was on top or the bottom. I thought Bones' dress was far worse than Darren's. At least Darren's outfit had a sense of fun and playfulness.

Next week's preview suggests the drama is back, as the designers are paired up on a Winter Olympic-themed challenge.
posted by essexjan (9 comments total)
What a mess. I'm trying and failing to think of an analogy here. Designers design clothes. Designing a repeating pattern is a whole 'nother specialty. What looks good on your screen with light shining through doesn't mean it will look right reflectively on fabric. Elements that look okay in a thumbnail have weird alignments when they are repeated. Since most of them are not textile designers, they are working in the dark. (Looks like Prajje got a do-over at least). (What I would like is for designers to have use of a digital fabric printer every week to use or not if the print doesn't work out.)

So it's not surprising that most of these prints were awful. Shantall won despite her print because she sewed the best garment. (It was so, SO obvious in the talking head, I did wonder if she created that print for her blouse because otherwise...). I did not like Kristina's print--it just looked like blotches that bled when it was washed as red tends to do)--and I was confused by the undergarment, was it a plastic apron dress? Prajje's dress was uninspired and the print was just plain ugly which surprised me because he did a painted image for Streetwear that was really good.

Sabrina actually had a good print. It looked very retro Chinese and her bodysuit idea was ambitious. She just lost her nerve and felt like she had to cover it up. I actually thought she might be in the top until the model turned around and the back view was awful. Darren, you were the last of the chum. There was no doubt that you were going home. Katie. Katie Katie Katie. Last week's message was "listen to the mentor" and this week's is "trust your gut". She's in the spongy middle now and she really needs to focus on clean lines or she's next on the chopping block.

Chasity was lucky she had immunity but she knew it was bad. Bones had a decent print at least but a terrible dress. I didn't hate Aaron's border print and he made a good pantsuit but I felt it was very Southern Lady. Octavio clearly didn't want to risk color cooties, was the bottom of his dress ragged strips? SO ANNOYING that Bravo doesn't release photos. Anna, editorial gown but fabric looked like the aftermath of a bloody operation. The others I don't remember.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:30 PM on November 6, 2021

That red robe thing was not so bad. But the thing under it was just beyond *I don't have a word for it*.
posted by kathrynm at 5:46 PM on November 6, 2021

Lord, I am not going to miss Darren inserting his immature "I'm single!" asides into inappropriate situations. Also he should have gone home earlier.
posted by desuetude at 8:25 PM on November 6, 2021

I absolutely loved Sabrina's leotard/onesie thing. The print was gorgeous. She ruined it with the skirt and the burqa, which, while such a nice design element, looked cheaply done, the way it was gathered and elasticized.

I didn't think a single look was really beautiful or well-done. A total mess. Obviously brights and prints are well outside the perimeter of the wheelhouse for most of these people, and the one designer, Katie, who loves prints did one of the worst jobs working with them. I really dislike her aesthetic, I read it as very clowny but not in a cute twee or toddler grandma kind of way. I'm sure she has a big fan base but nothing about her designs is fresh or chic at all.
posted by the webmistress at 9:47 PM on November 6, 2021

I don't enjoy Katie's aesthetic either, and agree that this entire episode was a very poor showing from everyone
posted by desuetude at 10:55 PM on November 6, 2021

And just like that, Bravo posted images of all the outfits on their webpage.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:31 AM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

When they said the designers get their own graphic designer to help with their fabrics, I thought finally, a little help in creating prints. But the graphic designers did not help at all, and wtf with Katie's designer and the yellow? What a mess.

That yellow Aaron chose was not right.
Did not understand the red plastic apron dress either.

I actually liked Octavio's dress. But it may have been that his model was styled really well. Whatever, she looked like she was ready to kick ass.

I agree Chasity was so lucky to have immunity. She may have gone home for that thing which did not have proper coverage and was coming apart.

Not an inspiring episode. Would have been much better if they had to build an outfit out of real flowers. (I did think it was going to be the unconventional materials challenge for a minute. Dang.)
posted by Glinn at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2021

Damn, I can't see the photos on the Bravo website as they're blocked outside the US.
posted by essexjan at 8:56 AM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Nevermind, I found it through a VPN.
posted by essexjan at 9:03 AM on November 7, 2021

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