Project Runway: Just Fabulous!
September 22, 2016 8:58 PM - Season 15, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The task of creating an outfit that is flattering to all body types poses a greater challenge to some contestants than to others.

Laurence's dystopian sci-fi prison uniform won while Linda's bland sweater dress sent her home.
posted by bleep (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I found this episode extremely frustrating. Somehow "Make a look that will flatter a lot of different types of people" somehow lead to "Everybody wants an accentuated tummy" or "Drop crotch!!" and "Something only art school kids would ever wear". I was sure that there was going to be a twist where they introduce plus sized models after the looks had been mostly constructed and I was really disappointed when that didn't happen. I hope they still do that challenge and this wasn't their way of getting away with not having to think about clothing anyone who's not a fashion model. Well at least it helps me understand why clothes shopping is so unbelievably hard all the time. To be honest I fast-forwarded from after the initial post-show critique just to see who went home. I was also frustrated with how they seemed to be critiquing the actual wearability of the looks for normal people in a way that seemed totally arbitrary. The one that was like the black cropped pants and the big bow crop top was a very lovely outfit but had nothing to do with the criteria given.

It was pretty obvious Linda was going home throughout the episode. As soon as she was already talking about "I don't have a back up plan!" at Mood I was like "that's it, she's already done."

Roberi did good again though, I like him.
posted by bleep at 9:01 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

This show just gets worse and worse. Where were the different body types. It was more meaningless pandering to skinny women everywhere.

I would like to see rotating models each week that represent actual women of different sizes. The designers have to design for who ever they are randomly assigned. Then we would have a show with lots of whining, crying, and hopefully some real designing.
posted by cairnoflore at 12:30 AM on September 23, 2016

They were definitely forecasting from the very beginning that Linda would go home.

Where were the different body types = definitely noticed that! They did a fine job of patting themselves on the back for including such a wide range of tall, skinny women!

WHAT THE HECK was Heidi wearing at panel?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:43 AM on September 23, 2016

final looks

I liked the jumpsuit but I disagree that different types of women could wear it. The back especially I thought would look terrible on someone with a booty.

I hated Dexter's weird jacket, and I didn't care for Cornelius's look either. Mah Jing should have been in the top -- that dress jacket was cool, and I feel like I could have pulled it off as a curvier lady. Sarah did a nothing of a dress and I think she would have been in the bottom for it if there weren't worse looks on the runway.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:31 AM on September 23, 2016

I really really liked Erin's white and orange dress! Can't believe it didn't win.

Linda just showed again that fabric choice is super important. Both of those choices were horrible, with the fraying, fly-away silk and the warpy knit for the dress.

My aunt still likes ManBun (she has taken to calling him Cutie Pie), but I don't think he is long for the competition. On the other hand, I definitely saw a student at my university wearing the exact pants he made on campus today, so clearly he understood the "ready to wear" idea the best.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:25 PM on September 23, 2016

I surprised myself by hating Erin's look. That stiff neoprene, the weird sequins (I agreed with the idea of adding sparkle, but not that way), and the overall shape of it just had me saying "gross!" out loud when I saw it come down the runway. I was shocked it was such a big hit.

I doubt Laurence's jumpsuit would be flattering on me, but I thought it was super chic and cool and I would desperately want to wear it.

Linda's outfit was horrific. It had not one single redeeming feature, except I suppose for the attempt at doing... something. Which was more than Crying Bun could say. I agree that it was a completely bland, personality-free look that looked like something a person might end up wearing a bit sheepishly on laundry day.
posted by Superplin at 7:20 PM on September 23, 2016

I also hated Erin's dress. Like, everything about it. I felt badly for the judges that they were so oblivious to its fugliness. The part that offended me the most (what to choose...the fit, the color combo, the silhouette, the sequins...) was that horribly and uneven juvenile red stitching at the top of the shoulders. It reminded so much of those educational toys they give kindergarteners to help teach them how to sew. I just hated it and how fake and plastic it looked. I also really disliked the outfit that was just a floral skirt and plain ass tank top, and also the one that was a crop sleeveless button front shirt, and the skirt was mini and also looked like it was made from a shirt. Just hiddy. Not sure how the work out gear with a coat over it represented all body types and ages either. Really ridiculous how hardly anyone actually completed the assigned task. Erin's dress and also the winning look were ridiculous in that they would not look good on most people, and Erin's dress was FMO (for models only, no mere mortal could wear that and not look ridiculous).
posted by the webmistress at 8:30 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've never understood Heidi's wardrobe choices on this show. You'd figure that she'd be wearing something that somehow relates to or reflects that challenge but instead she seems to do completely the opposite. This episode's nightgown however seemed like a step too far.

The funniest part of the show for me was watching it with a couple of professional mechanics who had lots of comments about the jump suit/coverall outfits, how ugly and bad they were (dropped crotches) and how the ones they wore in the shop were much more fashionable (they didn't have back pockets that would make their rear ends look saggy).

Thor/Man Bun/Brick can't sew to save his life, but I really feel like he's getting way, way too much harsh criticism for his style aesthetic. Nina just has it out for him and that's it. I'm not saying he's good or talented or anything I just don't think is quite as bad as she believes. I mean his outfit makes as much (if not more) sense as Rik's asymmetrical skirt/sleeveless collared top (or was it a one-piece dress with a weird belly cut-out?). Or that one with the diagonal-slash belly opening covered up by netting

The criticism and judging was so unequal in terms of which designers got told off for their looks not being wearable by a non-model-shaped person and which ones didn't. There was no rhyme or reason to how that happened.

I know I've seen a bit of neoprene in the stores, but come on, how is neoprene a good choice for the average Just Fab buyer? What I really wanted a designed to say was, "the average woman cares about not having to take everything to the dry cleaners. It needs to be wash and wear friendly. The materials need to be comfortable to wear."

As usual in the early episodes, I really felt like we didn't get enough of an opportunity to get a good look at all of the clothes. I had to go to the web to look up pictures to really see some of them. (And for those of you outside the US, Tom & Lorenzo usually put up photos in their podcast post. Here is this week's.)
posted by sardonyx at 9:34 PM on September 23, 2016

I don't think the brief was 'make one outfit that will fit everyone', and that's where a lot of the designers came unstuck. The brief was to make something that would appeal to a lot of women of different ages and sizes who would buy it from the website. Brik understood this, but his outfit was as dull as ditchwater.

To my surprise, I liked Laurence's jumpsuit and I can see that it'd be something a lot of differently-shaped women would be able to wear. Even I'd wear that. And for many women, the long zip is a bonus, given the number of bathroom breaks I need to take as I go further and further into middle age.

Erin's dress would fit a lot of people but nobody would want to wear it, it was hideous, a belted neoprene muu-muu. But I disagree with Heidi that it didn't need the sleeves - for people like me with lunch-lady arms, sleeves are our friends. And those were puffy enough at the top to provide good cover-up. But that was the only redeeming feature of that outfit. So if you're making a dress that's meant to appeal to most women, it needs upper-arm cover-up of some kind - sleeves or a separate jacket.

Linda's outfit was shockingly bad. How on earth did she think that a knit dress and a transparent taffeta jacket went together? And they were both so badly made. Absolutely the right decision to send her home. At least Brik can sew.

WHAT THE HECK was Heidi wearing at panel? Yeah, WTF was up with that? She looked as if she was going straight from the studio to a booty call in a nearby hotel. That was definitely a boudoir outfit.
posted by essexjan at 3:00 AM on September 24, 2016

Design a garment for all shapes and sizes? Sorry, can't be done. What they're designing is to represent the brand's image. That's where Brik and Linda screwed up, they heard "fit" and went with knits. Being a reality show contest, they could only afford the cheapest, saggiest knits with only a few hours to construct. I thought Heidi's and Nina's "shock" about wearing knits was laughable. Look around you, 90% of the women are wearing knits. That's what tshirts are made from and god knows, I see a ton of rayon jersey as well.

Erin--and everyone else who has done so--picked neoprene because it has a lot of body and easy to work with. Volume! and no seam finishing needed! Maybe it's making its way into mass production, I don't know, but in this show, it's just a shortcut to creating an amazing look quickly. So I doubted she was going to win but I did love her look, it really stood out on the runway: the color combo, the top stitching, the curved shoulders.

At any rate, despite the teaser opening, this was not the real woman challenge. It was the mass-market garment challenge and I just looked at their website for the first time: Dresses > Body Con > KNIT DRESSES!! A plethora of knit dresses. If only Linda had done a better job with that jacket, she would have fit right in.

I also liked Tasha's, she's one to watch, Jenni's super-dropped crotch, Mah-Jing's sleeveless denim jumper, and Alex's too-sophisticated-for-this-market-but-so-well-made outfit, and the winning jumpsuit, on sale for $44.95, so she definitely judged the market correctly.

I was disappointed with Roberi; he had two gorgeous fabrics and he did a little office outfit with a white blouse. Sarah's was even duller. I liked Rik's use of pattern but the shirting fabric he used just looked a bit limp. I wish Cornelius had used a different fabric than the green houndstooth on his skirt, even turning the striped fabric sideways would've been better.

So they are back to Top Three and Bottom Three. Oh, PR, never change.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:37 AM on September 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I couldn't believe Tasha designed the asymmetrical tummy peak on her outfit. Many many women would not buy that. At least it didn't look like a cheap pastiche of dollar store fabrics sewed together by someone with a full three days of sewing lessons, RIK. (My god, that skirt was sixteen kinds of wrong). I loathed the green houndstooth skirt and even more that he seemingly sewed the far superior black/white patterned top to it.

I didn't mind the graphic orange stitching on whatshername's tent dress, but the sequins on the side straps drove me totally nuts. It did not look finished, while the rest of the dress did and it certainly didn't make it seem sparkly, as was her want. I'd have considered attaching a ring of them at the bottom of the skirt if I was bound and determined for the sparkly, but it competed with the clean lines/graphic nature of that outfit.
posted by julen at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2016

I, like Tim Gunn, love shirt dresses. I think Rik's was sewn together in the back and not officially separates. I really liked it. I do wear them more when I'm neither my chubbiest nor thinnest. Sorta that middle weight for me.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 9:05 PM on September 24, 2016

I have a soft spot for Brik and Tasha (yay Louisiana!). I really liked Brik's pants this week - that's something I see women wearing a LOT around here - pants that are almost joggers but a little fancier. I got where he was going - a woman that wants to wear something simple and casual but dress it up a bit. That being said, his jacket didn't work for me at all.

I would never wear Erin's neoprene tent dress, but it did stand out on the runway and I thought was a hell of a lot more imaginative than pencil-skirt-and-floral-blouse girl and sports-bra-under-a-giant-cocoon girl.

I would have liked to see what else Linda could do, since I always appreciate the more mature perspective, but holy hell that jacket was an eyesore.
posted by tryniti at 6:42 AM on September 26, 2016

I was really sad that they marched out all those various-sized women when they announced the challenge, then went right back to the models for the runway. You can't see if an outfit will look good on someone with a different shape if you keep to the same shape you're showing all your other clothes in. Maybe they could have asked the designers to make 2 of the same at a size 0-4 (or whatever the sizes of the models are) and then one in a size 14-18 (depending on the other model), or in petite, or in tall, or SOMETHING. Gah.
posted by xingcat at 6:53 AM on September 26, 2016

That would be an interesting challenge, an outfit worked up both in model size and plus size. I just heard Tim Gunn on NPR talking about how after size 12? 14? patterns had to be scaled differently.

I am not a huge fan of the Real Woman challenges. The designers are given a very short time to think and produce a look, so having the same model and measurements each week takes a huge variable out of the equation so they can focus on the design. Then there is the issue that the "real" women are picked to create drama. The mothers in S3, that was awful. The production staff last? season. It's the challenge where producer manipulation is most obvious. Because it all boils down to, the designer who has the woman with good proportions and who is confident walking the runway will score higher than the designer who has a woman who is insecure about her body. And the obvious issue, that if a woman has a certain style in real life, she chooses a designer with similar tastes but PR will always pair up opposites for greater drama. If you're a Kors woman, you're not going to be happy with Rodarte.

So I'd like to see bonafide plus size models rather than Real Women.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

I really love Laurence's jumpsuit and would wear it despite not being skinny - the sleeves were particularly nice as a detail.

However, I wonder whether her appeal is a little bit like S9 Anja (but personally more to my taste) in being an extremely cool woman whose designs take on some of that shine? It's a bit too early to tell, but I'm in love with her when she's on screen and it felt like the judges were doing the same (anonymous runway bullshit notwithstanding).
posted by carbide at 4:49 AM on October 4, 2016

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