Project Runway: One size does not fit all
August 20, 2017 10:03 AM - Season 16, Episode 1 - Subscribe

This year kicks off (well it does if you skipped the Road to the Runway teaser, which I did) with its new twist: models of various sizes. Supposedly, they will be shuffled around and paired with different designers every week. We'll see.

We have a new man-bun this year, as well as a pair of twins likely to become the annoyances of the season, a middle-aged teacher (who we all know won't last until the end), one who has the ultimate anti-Heidi aesthetic (modesty) and at least two designers (Kenya and Deyonté) who seem to be capable of creating some skillful work. (I really think Zac should back up his statement that he'd offer a job on the spot to a designer who could pull off a boned mermaid in under a day. And he should have told her that as well.)

I'll admit, I was wrong about who got tossed this week. I thought lying to Heidi about not covering up something on the back of the dress was going to get Batani auf'ed and that they'd keep Cha Cha for the entertainment/cutesy value.

I'm going to link to Tom & Lorenzo for photos instead of Showtime because Showtime geoblocks access outside of the US.

As I've mentioned before on other threads devoted to shows I watch, I don't mind doing the odd FanFare post just to get the discussion ball rolling, but I tend not to watch shows as they air, so if people are waiting for me to put up posts about each episode, then they may find themselves waiting days or weeks. Please feel free to take over making posts about the show if you want to continue discussing it.
posted by sardonyx (19 comments total)
 
I REALLY like the diversity of model sizes this season. It's nice to see different body types represented, obviously, but I also hope the challenge of fitting different models every episode will expose who among the designers actually has sewing and construction chops. So sick of contestants coasting along until midseason or later by draping pretty fabric over the exact. same. girl.

The clothes! I though Kenya's white mermaid dress was pretty impressive for one day's work, but I am to bright patterns as Heidi is to short sparkly dresses, so Deyonté's floral two-piece look won my heart.
posted by lalex at 12:30 PM on August 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I thought that he was the clear winner as well, but I'll admit that pattern really caught my eye, even though like Tim, I'm not typically one for large patterns. Good ones are great but they're few and far between and bad ones are terrible and much more common.
posted by sardonyx at 3:01 PM on August 20, 2017


I thought between the bottom two they picked the wrong person to go home. It's true that the sparkly unicorn aesthetic does not do well on this show, but Batani actually stated she was camouflaging her models curves, the oversized lace was ugly and badly affixed, and she covered a very large hole in a too tight dress. Arrrgh.

I thought it reflected poorly on the teacher to make so many negative comments about the others. Although, we really only see a small portion of the actual time and producers of these shows are not known for reflecting reality in a consistent manner.
posted by Glinn at 6:24 PM on August 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


My daughter started to cry when ChaCha got eliminated and I am now following him on instagram. She says his dress was "amazing and colourful and funny" and called the other looks "variations on plastic bags". So he's big with the 5 year olds. She also is outraged about the hole, Glinn.

Apparently we will be watching this season. And hatewatching the twins!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:42 AM on August 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


I, too, think they picked the wrong person to go home! ChaCha is so funny and his piece, while clownish, was not a total disaster. He deserved another few episodes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:04 AM on August 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ugh - I want those twins gone. Ever since the show moved to Lifetime they seem to make everything more about the personalities and less about the clothes. So far, that trend looks like it'll continue for this season. I'll still watch it as always though.
posted by Arbac at 11:18 AM on August 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


My issue with diverse-sized models and switching them around is timing. The designers sketch, buy fabric and construct half or most of the garment before the models come in for a fitting. If the model assignment changes every week, they will be forced to play it safe. Having the same model each week is a shortcut to getting on with the design and construction. Unless the models come in at the beginning of each challenge to be measured, this is going to lead to more fake drama.

I still wish the first two or three episodes were non-elimination. I thought the winning garment was not flattering but it did end up looking better than his original design. I was surprised how poorly Batani did because the clothes she herself wore during the episode were very stylish, I assume they were her own designs. I didn't watch any of the Road to the Runway stuff or look at the online portfolios yet.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:14 PM on August 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


oh sorry, Brandon did not win with the boxy camo top and wrap bedsheet (it was the large floral Michelle Obama gown that won). I did think he would be Bottom Three though.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:33 AM on August 22, 2017


Much like watching Alexis Michelle on Drag Race, the twins make me cringe because I'm pretty sure I *am* them. Theater kids of the world unite!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:43 AM on August 22, 2017


I think it's great that they have models of all sizes now, but it really must be a mindfuck for the designers. In every previous season, so many of the critiques have amounted to:
"You made her look fat"
"No woman wants a bigger butt"
"Why would you draw attention to her hips? Women don't want bigger hips"
"She looks like she has a tummy"
...and now Nina is freaking out because Batani said she was trying to camouflage a part of her model's body that they've specifically critiqued on other models/designers in the past? It's good to see them moving past those kinds of critiques but I'm 90% certain Batani was doing that because of the reaction she thought the judges would have if she didn't. That dress was still horrendous though.
posted by primalux at 8:52 AM on August 22, 2017


Tim Gunn has been on the "real women are all shapes and sizes" kick for a while, but hearing it from Nina feels really wrong? hypocritical? It really feels like more of a marketing ploy coming from her than anything else, and for whatever reason those statements out of her mouth bug me more than the same type of things from Zac or Heidi.
posted by sardonyx at 10:52 AM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


The 'coming up this season' preview looked really interesting, with allegations of cheating and a lot of draaah-maaaah. The twins are horrendous, but will be good entertainment. The producers will probably insist they stay beyond their sell-by date. That fashion design professor's comment about how easy she was going to find it all will come back and bite her on the bum, probably sooner rather than later.

At this stage, most of the other designers are a blur, but Deyonté thoroughly deserved the win. I also loved the black and white dress made by the Japanese former classical pianist whose name I'm too lazy to look up, sorry. But as there are so many designers in the early episodes, we only got a glimpse of all but a few garments. And Tim Gunn studied classical piano! Who knew? We need a piano in the workroom at some point this season.

I'm glad ChaCha went. He annoyed me from the very first moment I saw him. But it was nice to see ManBun overcome his lack of confidence and make something his model loved and looked great in. It won't last. He'll be gone soon, I predict.
posted by essexjan at 11:22 AM on August 22, 2017


I don't understand why they didn't just get all plus size models this season. It really doesn't seem fair to have a wide variety of sizes, given how most of them have a lot more experience making size 0 clothing than anything else.
posted by meese at 12:18 PM on August 22, 2017


I loved Samantha's dress and thought it should have been in the top three instead of Brandon's. That's one I would love to wear. Deyonte absolutely deserved the win, though.

The twins are really going to work my nerves.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2017


I hated Man-Bun's dress, although I did like him as a contestant. Although why you would go on Project Runway with zero experience in women's clothing is beyond me.

The twins - I'm not sure I can watch a whole season with them.
posted by lyssabee at 3:02 PM on August 22, 2017


Tim Gunn has been on the "real women are all shapes and sizes" kick for a while, but hearing it from Nina feels really wrong? hypocritical?

Agreed! I felt that way about Nina and Zac cooing over the models- y'all are fashion industry LEADERS, you had the chance to do this for years but you didn't, just cut it out already.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:56 AM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]


Omg the twins are so insufferable, but in a super specific way I haven't seen represented a lot on TV.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:17 AM on August 26, 2017


I really liked that they chose a variety of body types rather than just a plus-size season, because even many of the thinner models are outside the traditional shape with larger butts, busts, hips, etc. And it does seem like they will have the chance to measure their new model each time.

Honestly, it's about time and while the judge's comments are a little hollow/hypocritical in light of how they have been & I see that it's a move to stay relevant, I'm still on board with it.

Also Ayana is everything.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:56 AM on August 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I was sure they were going to keep Cha Cha after that wink
posted by bq at 1:59 PM on September 5, 2017


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