Project Runway: The Ultimate Faceoff
September 30, 2017 12:17 AM - Season 16, Episode 7 - Subscribe

It’s the JC Penney Challenge and the designers must use men’s fabrics and designs to create a fashion forward look for their female models. Not only that, they must work in teams to do it, leading to a runway elimination that no one saw coming!

EW recap with runway photos

WINNER: Margarita
OUT: to be continued, ugh
posted by carbide (25 comments total)
Wahey, I've never made a FanFare post before!

The pre-challenge scene in the women's apartment made me wonder how relieved the other designers must be to have normal human adult conversations when the twins aren't around. I hope one of them gets shot into space instead of just sent home.
posted by carbide at 12:39 AM on September 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Not gonna lie. When Heidi said "...but not yet", I involuntarily yelled "Oh, FUCK YOU!" at our TV.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:48 AM on September 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

It's clearly a producer-driven plot twist - probably decided at the time the twins were cast - that, if they were both in the bottom, there'd be this final challenge. I know this has been done before, but usually where both designers have some skill and their work's shown merit so it's been too close to call. Here there's no debate. Send them both home.

At this point, now we've got to know people a little better, I like all the designers other than the twins. I'd like Amy to be in the top at some point so I could see a little more of her clothes. They look interesting (apart from this week's nightmare). I'd love to see Michael win. I think his designs are skillful and well-made and he's clearly thrilled to be there. I recall him saying this was his first time ever having his clothes walk down a runway. He deserves a break.
posted by essexjan at 6:47 AM on September 30, 2017

I'm starting to find Clare a bit more tolerable than Shawn (except when she wears that terrible pink lipstick and high pony, ekk), so I guess I'm rooting for her of the two.

Like Michael and Kentaro the most. Still like Ayana, but I can't see her winning. I unfortunately think Kenya has not much longer in this competition.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:24 AM on September 30, 2017

After that brutal critique (saying someone has no brand is just about the worst thing someone like that can say) and being on the bottom so many times there was no reason not to send them both home except for drama. I feel bad that so many POC already got sent home instead of them over the last few weeks just to stretch out the drama.
posted by bleep at 11:53 AM on September 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

It seems like it would be better for THEM if they both went. Seriously. They both seem to know that Clare is the more skilled at actually making things. But Clare feels horribly guilty about that, maybe because she has always played a protector sort of role.

My opinion of Margarita has not improved since she blamed the failure of her last look on her model, and it looks like she may be in the middle of the controversy next week. Hmm!

I hope Kenya can bounce back again!
posted by Glinn at 1:32 PM on September 30, 2017

Those dresses are awful. Early 90s JC Penney maybe. I don't know what Margarita has on these people but ??? really??
posted by fshgrl at 6:08 PM on September 30, 2017

There was no need to draw this out to two episodes. We've had one-hour challenges in the past that have followed the main runway event and they've managed to fit them into the episode just fine. There was no excuse no to do the same this time around.

I guess the only silver lining is that one of them should be going home. I thought the twist was going to be that they're they were both going to be declared safe so they could have one final chance to prove themselves to the judges. Of course the thought of having a whole episode devoted to those two next week is just such a miserable thought that maybe a blanket save would have been better.

I really hate the pacing of the show. There is too much time spent in the workroom and not enough time showing the designs on the runway (or displaying the final designs in some other format than the runway). I really don't care about all of the "drama" that goes into making the clothes. I really want to see the finished products and get a better sense of them.
posted by sardonyx at 6:25 PM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

A JCP Project Runway collection? Are they supposed to be looks that came from the show? Because, none of that looked like anything I have seen on any season of Project Runway.

I reeeeeeally hope they deal with the twin-off quickly next week, because I will not be able to take more than 5 minutes of them blubbering all over themselves at having to compete with each other.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:45 PM on September 30, 2017

She of the truffula tree? Yeeeeeeeah, not surprised it's a hot mess.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:59 PM on September 30, 2017

So is the winning dress for sale? I didn't see it, but maybe I just missed it in all that (well called) hot mess.
posted by sardonyx at 7:04 PM on September 30, 2017

I saw that yellow thing and immediately thought Erin. And not in a good way.

Grommets AND cold shoulders AND oversized pieces of fabric tacked on. It is like Project Runway, once you divorce any personality or originality from the more mediocre designs!

As for this week, I might have woken up the guy in the next hotel room over when they pulled that Claire/Shawn nonsense with loud "Well, that's bullshit". They could have gone all wavy lines and high-speed FFing of the whining, crying, draping, moaning, codependency, and terrible design decisions and 89 seconds later, boom back on the runway with Heidi cutting them both. OK they'd never have done that, but we could have seen more collaboration around design and 10 minutes of the twins whining towards failure, and it'd be done.

I liked Margarita's dress (I thought Batani's dress was less original, but would sell like crazy, so it made sense to me that they won. It's very JCP-customer-aspirational), but I wouldn't buy it or wear it personally.

I would like the amount of time spent in the workroom if there was more time spent on the creative process and less on plumbing the relationships. I like seeing how people problem solve and make decisions and decide to adapt. I usually can tell who is in the middle based on how much screen time they don't get, and I'd rather see their decision making process then see the 97th mention of how annoying the twins are. We know. WE GET IT. We also just saw you roll your eyes and cringe.

I do like seeing the models expressing their worry or delight - they're wearing the clothes (and dealing with the designers in person) so their perspective is valuable to me. And I like that the designers can't have a muse and have to deal with different shapes and proportions every time. And I LOVE that the judges can inspect the garments (it makes it harder for the designers to get away with stuff).
posted by julen at 7:40 PM on September 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

It seems like it would be better for THEM if they both went.

Not necessarily. Separating them, by having one go and one stay, might be the best thing for them. I'd _love_ to see solo Claire's work, or solo Shawn forced to be creative constrained by her own technical accomplishments. It could be interesting! More than that, though, even if they end up working together again in the future, they might be better able to respect each other's strengths.
posted by amtho at 5:58 AM on October 1, 2017

I thought Michael and Brandon had the better looks--still flappy and strappy, but coordinated, interchangeable. The judges don't want to over-reward them and Margarita's dress was cute but it's the type of garment that needs a certain kind of textile to hang properly and needs to fit precisely. The JCP website photo shows the runway photo only. It also says (today, Sunday) that it is sold out in all sizes AND was already listed at half price which must be the land speed record for discounting. "No reviews".

The previews had played up the discord between Amy and Kenya so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Amy chose Kenya and they seemed to work well together for the most part.

"But not yet."

I would like to see the Twin with hair be eliminated, just to see hiw the other one copes on her own.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:02 AM on October 1, 2017

I'm an idiot, I didn't notice that you can click through the JC Penney photos.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:05 AM on October 1, 2017

Looking at the JCPenney items drives home this point: the "look" of inexpensive retail is to a large extent the result of manufacturing constraints. The designers they usually use are not uncreative or without taste; they are forced to make stuff that kind of all looks a certain way because of fabric, form, print, and sewing techniques that are and aren't available to them.

What makes a garment look really great is a certain degree of complexity or innovation. Complexity (not repeating the same small non-complex thing many times so that it becomes a pattern) genuinely costs more skilled human _time_ to create, and that's the most expensive part of the manufacturing process. There's no faking it. And real innovation would require either manufacturing by hand or inventing whole new machines, otherwise it's just the same shape with different colors.

Then, too, there are some dyes -- a fairly defined palette -- that are accessible to "right price" fabrics, and more interesting colors are more interesting because we don't see them a lot -- because they are too expensive to mass-produce.

Fit is crucially important, too, but while on PR a garment is made to fit a specific model, you can never get that with an off-the-rack item from JCP.

So, most of the freshness of the one-person-made-it-to-fit-one-person after a trip to Mood for the most interesting fabric in the budget -- isn't going to be possible at mid-price retail. Not at the moment.

I'd _love_ to see the designers go at those manufacturing techniques, those fabrics, those pre-defined sizes, over and over until something interesting, while still constrained by the above, emerged. I think it's possible, but it would require some focus.
posted by amtho at 6:09 AM on October 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Separating them, by having one go and one stay, might be the best thing for them. I'd _love_ to see solo Claire's work

Oh, you're totally right amtho, and I would also love to see Claire work free from the drama. But, I think emotionally it will be really crushing on both, and that's what I meant when I said it might be better for them to both go. But you're right, it would be good, at least for Claire. If she can get past her guilt over Shawn leaving and get to work.

Also holy cow, those are some serious ugly JCP things.
posted by Glinn at 6:24 AM on October 1, 2017

I think jcp and its ilk think people actually want runway couture fashion except bashed out on a machine at a rate of 10,000/hour? I don't think that's what most people actually want to wear to work every day. But it's what we're given and it's just a sad waste of everyone's effort.
posted by bleep at 9:34 AM on October 1, 2017

I would also love to see Claire work free from the drama. But, I think emotionally it will be really crushing on both

So, it would both help them, and not help them (bonus link for fans of The Good Place).
posted by amtho at 10:44 AM on October 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

The twins are the Suede of this season and I can't wait until they are no longer leasing space in my brain. At least I have the Brandon-Kentaro platonic bromance as a palate cleanser. They are fucking adorable and I love their dynamic.

Also the scuttlebutt on Reddit is pretty good right now (r/ProjectRunway) if you care more about gossip than about possible mild spoilers. I gay gasped, is all I'm gonna say.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:21 AM on October 2, 2017

(But I haven't found anything yet that might lead to the aforementioned gasp.)

Some interesting theories here.
posted by Glinn at 5:42 PM on October 2, 2017

It's a fun show and all but I cannot imagine caring about it so much and just not being able to wait next week to find out what happens that I have to actually write down some highly detailed speculative fan fiction.
posted by bleep at 6:53 PM on October 2, 2017

Or read it.
posted by bleep at 6:53 PM on October 2, 2017

ohh it looks like it was kind of posted in the last episode's thread, so maybe not as exciting as I thought, but this one has screengrabbed pictures! reddit thread (scroll down)
posted by en forme de poire at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2017

The stuff JCPenney is selling as part of its "Project Runway" line.... Tim Gunn would weep. Graphic tees?????
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:03 PM on October 5, 2017

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