Project Runway: An Unconventional Recycling
August 26, 2017 11:26 AM - Season 16, Episode 2 - Subscribe

It's the perennial favorite, Unconventional Materials Challenge. This time with Teams.

In their first team challenge, the designers struggle to make their voices heard. However, this is an unconventional materials challenge and many of them stumble when forced to create a fashion forward look out of recyclable materials. Maggie Q and Anne Fulenwider join the judging panel. (from the Lifetime website)

Final looks at Tom&Lorenzo. (Scroll down)

Team 1:
Kudzanai, Michael, Kentaro, Deyonte, and Margarita

Team 2: Aaron, Batani, Kenya, Brandon, and Ayana

Team 3: Sentell, Amy, Amanda, and TheTwinsFromHell

EW Recap
also includes final looks

Winner: Ayana

Sent Home: Sentell
posted by TWinbrook8 (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, who didn't see that auf coming? The producers are just dicking with us now with the phone call from home set up. It's going to be really interesting when the designer (forgot which one) with the very pregnant wife gives birth. Good news: your wife had the baby. Bad news: that phone call was the harbinger of Loserdom.

No issue with Sentell losing. He was the one who did the golden Star Trek trashbag last week. Of course, I would have loved a double auf but there's no way they are breaking up the horrible Twins when there's still so much drama to be had.

This had to be my least favorite Unconvential Materials result though. There wasn't a single outfit that wowed me. I thought the Wabi-Sabi team should've won but mostly because of the discipline and cohesiveness of their looks.

Something that struck me as ironic. In both shows so far, designers have created midriff-baring outfits for the largest of the models and not only have they looked fantastic, the judges have been complimentary too. Yet when Ashley Tipton did that with her final collection two seasons ago, a lot of viewers were... not accepting.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:48 AM on August 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

When you type all the names out like that, it occurs to me how many designers of color are on this season, which is great.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:59 AM on August 26, 2017

Way too much judges on the panel! 5 judges and Tim? It's too much!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:33 PM on August 26, 2017

I feel like Sentell didn't deserve to go home just because I felt like if the whole team wasn't dragging Shawn along kicking & screaming maybe someone would have had the bandwidth to say "Hey Sentell this dress isn't up to par" and he'd have had the time & space to think about it & address it. Shawn created a black hole of attention seeking and Sentell fell into it & it was just really hard to watch.
posted by bleep at 7:56 PM on August 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty sure it was a producer contrivance to put the twins on the same team. Simple enough to do if their names weren't put in Tim's button bag, then they end up on the "rest of you" team. However, it makes me wonder what would happen on a team challenge where they are separated. Does Shawn bring down two teams, her own and the one Claire is on? I just don't see her functioning independently at all.
posted by donnagirl at 8:29 AM on August 27, 2017

What happens when one twin (probably Shawn) goes home? Can Claire function without her?
posted by wittgenstein at 11:47 AM on August 27, 2017

After several seasons away, I am back to watching this show. Hatewatching, really, because as usual the interesting and provocative design elements are semi-ignored by the producers and judges in favor of "drama."

Here's my look-by-look hot take:

Aaron - The look could've been cute but the proportion of the shorts is a bit weird. The curlicue detail on the top is like easter grass but in a fun way.

Ayana - Like Nina, I went for the drama of this look. Does it still look like vinyl and bottle caps? Yes. Is it a winning silhouette? Also yes.

Batani - Kind of cute, kind of awkward when the model walks, I like the criss-cross back. Nothing revolutionary here.

Brandon - I think the pattern and the idea of this are great, though again, not revolutionary, I literally wore an outfit with this silhouette yesterday. But the fit of the pants is a problem.

Kenya - This one works for me. It starts as a cute dress but the exaggerated shape sleeves and skirt give it an extra pop.

Amy - I like ponchos as much as the next person but no.

Claire - Doesn't quite fit. The silver fabric wants to be very tin man david bowie with sharp glam angles but the silhouette wants to be very flowy feminine. Also she's insufferable.

Samantha - The braiding on the top has been done, for good reason - it's a surefire way to transform plastic into fabric. But she's not doing anything exciting with it here.

Sentell - Garbage bag napkin style on top, garbage bag assymetrical wrap skirt on bottom. Even if he'd made this out of actual fabric it would still have somehow looked like a garbage bag. However, I was still sad when he was eliminated because he seemed like a lovely person.

Shawn - Actually my least favorite. There is nothing cute or fun about this. Also it fits terribly and hits in all the wrong places. But let's be honest, it would look bad on a size 0 model too. Also she's insufferably smug AND a total whiny meltdown shitshow at the same time, which should be impossible and is not entertaining.

Deyonte - I love this. The ugly color and oversized fit combine with the shredding affect to create a kind of packing-tape-realness couture that I find very compelling.

Kentaro - Cute but boring.

Kudzanai - This is my favorite. Part raincoat, part workpant, somehow still completely impractical. Also part bikini for some reason. He's my new favorite.

Margarita - I loved her look in the previous challenge. This one is cute but boring.

Michael - I dig the feather plume front and the bright red-orange color but the overall shape doesn't really work.
posted by mai at 12:14 PM on August 27, 2017

Also I thought Nina's admonition about recyclables being the future of fashion as if we're all about to be plunged into an apocalyptic hellscape imminently fashioning crude coverings from garbage and it'll be their responsibility to make them chic as opposed to like new & different methods for manufacturing conventional fabrics was pretty funny.
posted by bleep at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

AGREED, bleep, that cracked me up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ugh, the twins.
posted by essexjan at 11:00 AM on August 29, 2017

Every season, I find myself growing more and more frustrated with the designers during the unconventional materials challenge. How the heck do so many of them end up using the materials as they are discovered? Haven't they ever seen the show before? Don't they know how much the judges hate seeing a piece of plastic that looks like a piece of plastic?

That's, like, rule #1 of the unconventional challenge: make sure a plastic bag doesn't look like a plastic bag!
posted by meese at 9:57 AM on August 30, 2017

meese: That's, like, rule #1 of the unconventional challenge: make sure a plastic bag doesn't look like a plastic bag!

At least we didn't see anyone break the # 2 rule of don't use something that's basically fabric as fabric.
posted by Arbac at 11:01 AM on August 30, 2017

I am not watching this season, I have not watched in several seasons, but I saw "unconventional materials" and being a fan of creative reuse, needed to look at the pictures. All I have to say is this: Thank God Sentell lost, because I have seen better designed garbage bag dresses come out of a bridal shower party game.
posted by booksherpa at 8:41 PM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if I can handle the twins. It's like Project Runway is just fucking with the audience, to see just how much the viewers can tolerate.
posted by lyssabee at 4:55 PM on August 31, 2017 [3 favorites]

likeatoaster: When you type all the names out like that, it occurs to me how many designers of color are on this season, which is great.

Yes, this is a wonderfully diverse group, which is pretty exciting. Of the 16 original members, only 5 are white. And it's interesting to see how Ayana makes "modest" fashionable.

To be honest, neither my wife nor I were fans of her look. Is miles of super-long fringe really that exciting? Seems so, but we're not in fashion, so what do we know.

We thought team Wabi-Sabi were robbed, but that's in large part thanks to Brandon's pattern that really tied everything together. He's doing this show right, first by directly asking his model in the first episode what she liked and wanted to wear, and in this episode, again complimenting his model very well. Contrast with the twins, who kept digging themselves into a pit with their "we don't do curvy models" talk. LISTEN, there are two guys who have only done menswear before this, you have absolutely. no. room. to complain.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:30 AM on September 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah I want to hate Brandon but his attitude is honestly pretty good and is winning me over.
posted by bleep at 12:42 PM on September 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

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