Project Runway: Haute Tech Couture
September 18, 2015 12:19 AM - Season 14, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Unconventional materials challenge as they dumpster dive for old tech materials and make dresses. One designer has to head home and be warned - have tissues at hand if you are a softie as off-screen pet tragedy is discussed. Less drama, more technique this week. Guest judges Paula Patton and Anne Fulenwider.

Poor Jake! Also, gossip in the EW recap comments is that Swapnil vexed Tim Gunn with his frequent smoke breaks and goofing off in the work-room, from another interview.
posted by viggorlijah (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just caught 23 seconds while clicking around to get to sleep but one designer was ecstatic finding videotapes, there seemed to be nothing fabric like in the piles of junk. Robot fashion results?
posted by sammyo at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2015

I thought Kelly's dress was fantastic and she thoroughly deserved the win. Ashley's was fun, but not something I could see Heidi wearing, unlike Kelly's. And I think Heidi-wearability is high in the judging criteria, whether or not it would ever be admitted. Kelly's face when Tim was talking about paillettes was hilarious.

And my Swapnil love was somewhat diluted this week as he came across as something of a prize asshole, arrogant and entitled.

I think if the judge's had auf'd Swapnil, Tim would've saved him. But Joseph's dress was so frumpy, although I quite liked the back of it. There was something odd about the bustline. It seemed too high and looked gappy. Nina hated Joseph's clothes, so he's been on borrowed time for weeks.
posted by essexjan at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mean, half the designs were falling apart by the time the judges got their up-close look. The other half were basically serviceable/wearable, but with limited results (except for Ashley's, which I adored for its romantic colors and wearability). Damn, Paula Patton is very nice -- I know a lot of people say she always looks/acts high, but I think she probably just doesn't like being critical of others. Especially on camera.

The most impressive thing, to me, was that Kelly's dress was made of metal and yet she didn't cut herself OR her model. I was seeing all these wires and edges on various people's outfits and thinking, holy shit, these poor models are going to be scratched up and miserable tomorrow. But, luckily, I think my assumption was 100% wrong on Kelly's outfit.

I'm beyond impressed that nobody was miserable in their "unusual materials" challenge looks, though Swapnil's model looked like she itched during the close-up review.

I also liked his bustier, but if he's stopping for smoke breaks often, it's going to hurt his ability to finish something on time in later stages, I think.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2015

Swapnil's blindness to his strategy of putting out 60% and floating along until he detects he is in danger is going to bite him in the butt. Project Runway is bigger stakes than smart kids with a similar strategy who fail or almost fail a class in college (or HS), too. He knew he should have gone home for half-assing this challenge and only doing muslin on the bottom, but I am sure he is rationalizing this as being saved because he's so great, as opposed to being saved because someone else had trod more on the judges' jerking knees too often. I question whether he has developed the skills to put his nose to the grindstone regardless of outside circumstances/his own preferences.

I really thought Kelly was smart in this challenge - the construction of the straps, the inverted pipe flounce at the bottom, the use of scale and texture were all great. Unicorn on the cob is right about Kelly's model probably not cutting herself - it was constructed in a way to leave no raw edges and the glue+muslin base should protect her skin beneath (especially if she doesn't sit!)

I thought Ashley's dress was charming and delightful (and deserving of the Top 3), but more art than function. I liked that Edmond reversed his keyboard keys, but I didn't love his dress. Maybe it was because the materials were more ordinary and he was looking to replicate normal clothes? It didn't have a wow! for me.

I was so glad Merline decided to do what she wanted to do with her immunity week. I thought her birdish outfit was more interesting than Edmond's, although not prettier.

Lindsay's out of the box thinking is basically someone planking on top of the box and pointing out that she's not in the box.
posted by julen at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I agree with the top three and Kelly's win. I didn't know she worked in a deli; she's done really good work and I have her for final four (along with Ashley, Edmond and Swapnil). So it seems that participating in this travesty of a show might actually benefit her in some way (but not in a 7th Avenue way).

At the bottom, no surprise that Joseph was going home but I thought Merline should have been there and Laurie too. Both their dresses were falling apart. Lindsay's was twee which Heidi hates, and it wasn't very innovative, but at least it wasn't cable-glued-to-black-muslin like Candace's and Merline's.

Posen took a swipe at Swapnil during the close up judging; I've never seen him so vehement.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:52 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

So here is the EW article and from the quotes and Posner's notes at Swapnil, it does sound like hell gets unleashed Gunn-style next week.and I don't think Swapnil will get a retrieve because he is a processional designer back in India, and Tim Gunn is a teacher to his core. His empathy is always going to go to the talent that is developing, not talent midway.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:49 PM on September 18, 2015

Oh good, a Tim Gunn freakout's been a long time coming. This season's been a bit mediocre overall, with a few exceptional standouts.

Lindsay especially makes such ho-hum clothes with mediocre effort/design, I'm shocked she made it this far. So many of the designers this year feel like amateur hour, with Edmond being a major standout for me because of his tailoring.

In all seriousness, I've seen couture wedding gowns that didn't fit as well as Edmond's clothes this season. He, Ashley and Kelly I believe will make the top 3 and end up showing at Fashion Week. Until this episode, it would have been a coin toss for me between Kelly, Swapnil and Candice, but every year my picks get thrown by some weird challenge/issue I didn't see coming (usually the menswear, working on a team that doesn't get along well or the "real person" episode).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2015

I loved Ashley's dress; it was an unrealistic and exaggerated version of something I would wear myself. It'd fit right in on Modcloth. But I'm really glad Kelly won, it's about time. And with any luck if she makes it to the final three, somebody will take her aside and explain to her that being in the spotlight means that marmot-nest hair of hers has got to go.

And unrelated to the challenge this week, as much as I generally hate Zac Posen, I have to say I loved the sparkly brooch he was wearing on his lapel. More men wearing sparkly brooches, please. We hardly ever see androgynous fashion choices along the women's wear for men line and that was one little touch I really loved and would like to see more of.
posted by phunniemee at 4:52 PM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by en forme de poire at 2:23 AM on September 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

And holy Swapnil edit whiplash out of nowhere, what's with that? Why has Zac "had it" all of a sudden after him being in the top for the last forever? Idk.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:38 AM on September 19, 2015

Oh that EW article is definitely about Swapnil. Well, at least he did a collection for FW.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:08 AM on September 19, 2015

People. I cried and cried, right along with Jake and Tim re: Jake's dog. Difficult choice but I would have done the same. So glad he got a lot of support instead of a lot of criticism. He wasn't likely to be in the top 3.

The whole bitch girl crew seems like a thing of the past? With the possible exception of Candice. I am still surprised that people use the talking heads to insult or dismiss the other designers (though I bet the producers prod them to do just that). Did not like her dress. Did not understand the love some folks had for it.

I was very worried for Swapnil and expected him to be eliminated. Some folks over at the Previously TV forums suggested maybe Swapnil only claimed to be working at 60-80% because he was frustrated by being in second place so many times. They must all be exhausted at this point.

I hope Kelly wins the whole damn thing. I don't know if she was part of the bitchy girl crew or how much that was fabricated, but I'm happy to forget about it like everyone else. I expect Ashley to be with her in the finals, along with both Edmond and Swapnil. Shush! I can hope for a final four. (TWinbrook8! I totally wrote that before I saw you said the same thing.)
posted by Glinn at 6:44 AM on September 19, 2015

As a bit of a side note, did Lindsey get a makeover? Maybe she's taking advantage of the Mary Kay crew? A bit too much makeup if she wasn't on tv maybe, but she looked totally adorable (partly because she also seemed like a nicer person this week). Her white typewriter keys look really was quite boring but I warmed up to her more this week.
posted by Glinn at 6:53 AM on September 19, 2015

did Lindsey get a makeover?

I didn't notice but I've seen it plenty of times with other designers suddenly looking very glam during the judging. This season, it was Gabrielle who was so forgettable but part of it was because she looked so totally different from week to week, makeup, no makeup, glasses, no glasses, different hair styles.

But now it occurs to me (finally), if they've got time to get made up, then they've finished their outfit. It always looks like a race to finish but hmmm. Swapnil gets called out for smoke breaks but no one says anything about the makeovers or the times the designers are wearing garments/accessories clearly made from the fabric they are using for the challenge. Maybe one day IS enough for the challenges, LOL.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:46 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

That is totally true about getting made-up for judging. But I actually thought Lindsey looked very different the whole episode. (About 13:45 I found a spot. She's got her hair up in a bow! And no glasses. Compare to her contestant photo.)

I wonder if the judges will allow a week with no elimination since an extra person left unexpectedly. I always think it's nice when that happens!
posted by Glinn at 11:17 AM on September 19, 2015

Oh my goodness! From those EW comments I found the archery story/photo shoot for Laura Bennett! So sorry to hear of the loss of her husband but wow, she looks like a superhero with the short blonde hair and archery gear. I was a big fan of hers but also had no clue how she could have six small boys and at least one turtle and be an architect and such an accomplished designer.
[Sorry if this is the wrong place to put this.] :)
posted by Glinn at 11:23 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised they didn't bring Blake back. Happy, but surprised. That's usually the format: if someone leaves unexpectedly, the last eliminated designer gets a lucky break.

Overall, I thought the designs were kind of underwhelming. I wanted so much more than what we got here! I wanted someone to go completely over the top with circuit boards and wiring and what-not. I wanted visions from a futuristic technocratic dystopia! but no. Instead, it was all "let's see how much flotsam we can glue to muslin."
posted by meese at 11:32 AM on September 19, 2015

They said at the beginning of the season there'd be one week where two designers were eliminated, so I'm guessing that won't happen now.

That was a really interesting interview with Laura Bennet, Glinn. Thanks for linking.
posted by julen at 1:31 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did they always have muslin available during the unconventional materials challenges? I seem to remember that it used to be much harder to create a wearable garment out of whatever; now they just stick the whatever onto some muslin and call it a day.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:35 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I agree, Weeping_angel; certainly Austin's was muslin-free, and you know Wendy Pepper would have jumped at the chance to use muslin vs. sending this down the runway. Rewatching S1E1 I don't think there was anything that was not an unconventional material -- the garments seem like they were a lot higher-variance without that safety net/crutch.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:43 PM on September 19, 2015

Heidi's red carpet dress at the Emmys. Holy shit, what was she thinking?
posted by essexjan at 2:04 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

(Michael Kors) It LOOKS like Big Bird at the CHICKEN disco
posted by en forme de poire at 8:36 AM on September 21, 2015 [5 favorites]

posted by bq at 10:11 PM on September 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would totally dig a challenge where they all did some bong hits first.
posted by Glinn at 2:10 PM on September 23, 2015

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