A few weeks ago, you may have seen an article circulating the web written by our own Tim Gunn. His Washington Post article talked about how frustrated he was with the fashion industry for not paying enough attention to women of all sizes. He specifically pointed out the “every woman” challenge on Project Runway, during which the designers usually groan about having to design for someone who isn’t their model.
Well, whaddya know, season 15’s every woman challenge is here. But there’s a catch: The designers have to design looks women of every size and age can appreciate…except they’re still fitting it on their “7-foot-tall glamazon” (to quote Tim Gunn). I guess the plus side is that none of the designers grumble?
This challenge may not have broken any fashion barriers, but it was an entertaining hour, so let’s get to it!
As the designers start working, here’s what we know: They have one day and $150 worth of Mood fabric to create their everyday woman look. Oh, and Just Fab is sponsoring this week’s challenge, so the winning look will be sold on their site. I think Just Fab is one of those sites where you have to be a member, so I’m not sure how you’d buy just one item, but I digress…
Last week’s winner, Erin, is creating a large tunic for the girl who likes to “eat a bunch of snacks, but put on heels and go out.” I like to eat snacks. Erin just might be bypassing Tasha as my favorite. She uses neoprene in a bright coral and baby blue, which sounds terrifying, but we’ll trust her for now. Last week’s loser, Brik, is making a denim jacket and a knit pant for the girl who “goes all out even to the grocery store.” Honestly, Brik must be using the Desperate Housewives as his inspiration for what an “everyday woman” is.
While all the sewing and designing is going on, there’s also a storm a-brewing. And its name is Cornelius. He may smile to your face, but according to Nathalia, “He’ll claw you real quick.” Dexter says he’s trying to stay out of it, but his running around the room to tell everyone he’s staying out of it proves otherwise. Not much happens with that this week, but based on previews, we all know something’s coming. So for now, I guess it’s more Tropical Depression Cornelius than a true storm. Stay tuned.
Laurence gets a significant amount of screen time tonight as she explains how she had her daughter at 16. After finding out she was pregnant, her dad disowned her and she didn’t speak to him at all before he died in 2007. It’s a very sad and touching story, but she’s close with her daughter and says — with tears in her eyes — that it must have all been worth it. Everyone go call your parents right now.
The Project Runway editors clearly aren’t used to such touching moments anymore, because we awkwardly transition to Tim’s critiques. He’s worried about Erin’s use of glitter, but she stands confident in her design — in a non-Ian way. (RIP Ian.) Tim doesn’t have many qualms with Linda’s knit dress and urban kimono, but Laurence says the fabric she chose isn’t flattering on most women. *foreshadowing*
On Laurence’s end, Tim is worried about the jumpsuit she’s making. Her sketch and construction features lots of volume, which Tim points out isn’t great on anyone larger than a size 12. She starts to rework it, and yet she’s still ahead of Kimber, who has nothing to show Tim but a sketch of high-waisted pants and a crop top. It’s not exactly clear what she’s been doing, but she’s not worried about time — she says this word-for-word to the camera and even adds “at all.” Sometimes I feel like these people can’t hear themselves talk. When you say things like this, you automatically set yourself up to have a problem.
And boy, does she have a problem. When they leave at 1 a.m., she has just finished her top — but she sewed it inside out. The next morning she’s still stressed about it. I swear she says she still has to do the pants, too, but I must have misheard, because when Tim calls time she has two fairly put-together pieces on her model.
NEXT: This feels familiar…
Heidi kicks off the runway and introduces us to the guest judge Nina Dobrev, former The Vampire Diaries lead, future XXX: Return of the Xander star. I never thought of Elena as the most fashionable character on TV (or even The CW, for that matter), but Nina D. seems to know her stuff.
All 15 looks walk down the runway. Sarah, Tasha, Nathalia, Cornelius, Roberi, Jenni, Mah-Jing, and someone named Rik who I swear just joined this episode are all safe. The rest get critiques from the judges…
Alex designed for an Upper East Side girl who’s not afraid to get on a motorcycle…so basically, Serena van der Woodsen. Heidi loves it and thinks it’s so polished. Thankfully, she points out a crop top is difficult for most women. (I was yelling “yes” at my TV.) Nina also loves the drama of the bow and the pants make her crazy, which in this instance is a good thing. Nina D. likes it and so does Zac, but he doesn’t think it’s “revolutionary.”
For a designer who had nothing to show Tim Gunn during critique, Kimber doesn’t get as ripped by the judges as you’d expect. Zac says the pants look well-made, but the top doesn’t account for women with larger busts. The model is an A cup and it already looks pretty…billowy. Nina D. disagrees with the judges (good for her!) and says she likes the high-waisted pant and pattern on the top.
Luckily, Laurence took Tim’s critiques to heart because the judges love what she sent down the runway. Heidi thinks it’s something any woman could wear, even her 73-year-old mother. Nina points out that not every 73-year-old woman is quite as cool as Heidi’s mom, but she does love it. Zac appreciates the detail and proportions, but isn’t a fan of the zipper placement.
Poor, poor Linda. All she wanted to do is show her daughters they can do anything. She wanted to show them this through beautiful designs on Project Runway. And yet for week two, she sends a sad gray dress with an even sadder kimono down the runway. She thinks making the dress in knit was a smart choice, but the judges couldn’t disagree more. They point out that even the model has a saggy bum in the look. And as for the other piece: “Burn the jacket,” Zac says.
Zac’s response to Linda was at least better than what he had to say to Brik: nothing. He just couldn’t get on board with the knit pants and “blazer” top. Nina says Brik’s girl had too much personality last episode, but now she has none. Nina D. perfectly describes the look as “business on top and couch party on the bottom.”
Looking at all the various everyday women before their challenge kicked off, Erin really took the idea of versatility away. She wanted to create a dress that could transform, and the judges are all about it. Zac says it’s high fashion, Nina says it’s a standout, Nina D. says she’d wear it, and Heidi says she already knows exactly who Erin is as a designer.
So it’s no surprise when Erin takes the win again…oh wait, nope.
Winner: Laurence. If you’d like to have an olive-green jumper with pockets on the backs of your thighs, head on over to Just Fab!
Brik was on the block again, so of course he’s headed home…oh wait, nope again.
These judges always keep us guessing! What did you think of this week’s winner and loser? Did you feel a bit of déjà vu? You won’t next week because we’re doing it in the dark with blacklights! Until then, leave your comments below or you can find me on Twitter @realdalener.