Last week, on Project Runway, the designers had to craft androgynous avant-garde looks that could literally be worn by either a man or a woman. This meant they each had to make two outfits, one for a male model and one of a female model. Emilio won and Kayne was sent home.
It’s the next morning and the designers meet Carolyn at The Highline, a park which used to be an elevated railway line (and still has visible railroad tracks.) The railway had originally been slated for demolition, but it was converted to a park instead– an example of large-scale recycling. Carolyn then introduces the designers to Joshua David and Robert Hammond, the park’s founders.
The three of them then describe the challenge: Male a garment that is both environmentally friendly and suitable for a red carpet event. The designers will all use AirDye fabric as the basis for their designs. AirDye fabrics have been made with no water or power. As the name suggests, air is used to help the dye penetrate the fabric. (Conventional dying techniques can use several dozen gallons of water per pound of clothing.)
Carolyn has brought several swatches of cloth, and invites Emilio, last week’s winner, to take first pick. He picks a scarlet cloth. He then invites Casanova to choose next. Althea is last and gets stuck with a reversible pink and blue fabric that doesn’t look particularly suitable for a red carpet look.
After the designers have made their selections, Carolyn explains the rest of the challenge. In keeping with the green theme, the designers will recycle embellishments and trims from past challenges, so there will be no trip to Mood. Diane von Furstenberg will be the guest judge, and Carolyn will wear the winning design to a red carpet event.
The designers then take the traditional thirty minutes to sketch. Ivy plans to make a draped dress, and she’d picked the bright gold color because it reminded her of the sun. Uli likes working with bright colors, and Althea plans to make a dress that is both form-fitted and draped.
Back at Parson’s, the designers find their chosen fabrics waiting for them, plus a collection of trims and embellishments. Cue the mad dash as everybody tries to get something they can use for their look. Everybody, that is, except Anthony Ryan, who believes a good red carpet dress should be able to stand on its own without a lot of razzle-dazzle.
As the designers work, Emilio notes that his pretty scarlet chiffon is flimsy, so he decides to make an undergarment. Uli finds that her blue fabric is darker than it had appeared in the sunlight, and is glad she was able to get a lot of trim that she can use to liven it up. Laura talks about how Diane is her idol, and how she plans to make wide-legged pants with her print. Ivy is making an asymmetrical gown. She’s worried about time constraints, because her failure to complete a look was the reason for her elimination during Season 8.
Joanna comes in to make her rounds, and she starts with Laura, who shows her a sketch of a look involving wide-legged pants. Joanna applauds Emilio’s color choice, saying it’s perfect for the red carpet. She also likes the bright blue that Anthony Ryan has picked for his look. Althea is making something with exposed shoulders. Joanna questions Joshua’s choice of colors. She notes that Casanova is using a print and is impressed by Ivy’s “clear vision.” She sees that Uli is adding trim to her look.
Ivy may have a “clear vision,” but she’s apparently bitten off more than she can chew, as she’s cutting pieces for her garment when the models come in for their fitting. Ivy has nothing for her model to try on. Uh-oh. Althea and Emilio are also feeling the time crunch. Later on, back at the apartment, the designers talk about their clients in the outside world, that have included people like the Kardashians.
On the day of the runway show, the designers get back to work. Emilio and Ivy are both very far behind on their work and end up taking all kinds of short cuts so their models will have something to wear. Ivy cuts her dress short, and Emilio skips hemming. He knows it looks sloppy. The models come in for their final fitting, followed by hair and make-up.
On the runway, Carolyn introduces Diane von Furstenberg, who is the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Joshua is up first. He made an a one-shouldered dark green dress with an asymmetrical bottom. Uli made a blue print mini-dress trimmed with blue feathers. The feathers also serve as a shoulder piece holding the dress in place.
Althea’s pink and blue dress doesn’t look too bad from the front. But from the back… what was she smoking?! She cut the skirt very short in the back and then apparently sewed or pinned a bunch of cloths there. She also draped a pink piece over her shoulders almost like a shawl. The effect looks both cheap and bedraggled.
Casanova made a sleeveless, floor-length gown out of a pink and red print with a patchwork design. He added a bright scarlet liner to the skirt. Anthony Ryan made a draped, sleeveless blue dress. It’s floor-length with a plunging back and a v-neck. It is also very voluminous.
Ivy made a sleeveless gold mini-dress. It’s got diagonal pleats down the front. The back is exposed, and the fabric in the back looks ill-fitting: too tight over the model’s rear and too loose around the back. There’s also a train attached to one side
Laura used a salmon, blue, and cream print with an abstract pattern. She made a jumpsuit with very wide-legged, billowing pants. It has a plunging back and a narrow v-neck in the front. Emilio made a scarlet, floor-length gown. It’s shoulder-less, but has a silver strap holding it in place. More silver trims the top.
Carolyn then calls Joshua and Casanova and tells them they are safe. Everybody else has to face the judges. They start with Anthony Ryan, who wanted to make a dress with a Southern flavor. Diane likes the design and thinks it looks both comfortable and elegant. Carolyn likes the color, but not the fact she could see the model’s bra peeking through.
Ivy talks about how she’d been inspired by the sun. Isaac hates the look, going so far as to say it was the worst the fabric has ever looked. Carolyn says it is definitely not something she’d wear. Georgina says the dress looks heavy. Diane thinks Ivy had a good idea– but the execution was lacking.
Emilio tells the judges that he was drawn by the bright scarlet color of his look. Diane told him the lining of the dress was a problem. She also doesn’t think the silver trim was necessary.
Uli shows off her design. Isaac says he doesn’t usually like a dress if this type, but Uli’s dress is an exception. He says it looks great. Diane applauds her skill in manipulating the feathers. Georgina thinks the back of the dress looks a bit unfinished.
When it’s Althea’s turn, Carolyn says the dress doesn’t make sense. Diane says it looks like Marie Antoinette meets Frederick’s of Hollywood, but adds that Althea shows considerable skill. Georgina says she could see that Althea had trouble with the fabric, which is a difficult one to use.
Last up is Laura, who says she likes long, flowy designs. Diane calls the look a pajama palazzo and says it’s well done. In fact, she loves it. Isaac likes the print, and Georgina advises Laura to watch her proportions, as the look makers the model look a bit wide in the waist, and women generally don’t want that.
Afterwards, the judges have their chat. Uli’s look was playful, while Anthony Ryan’s look was elegant. Laura did a good job making her pajama palazzo. As for the designers they didn’t like, Emilio’s gown looked unfinished, but the color was extraordinary. Althea’s dress was well-made, but looked old. Ivy had a good idea, but executed it poorly.
Carolyn then announces that Anthony Ryan is safe. She then asks Diane to announce the winner– and it’s Laura. Carolyn adds that she can’t wait to wear Laura’s design. Uli and Emilio are safe, while Ivy and Althea are in the bottom. Althea is out, so Ivy is in.
Next week: The designers face the dreaded “unconventional materials” challenge and have to make clothes out of Christmas ornaments.