Sponsored challenges on Project Runway can often feel gimmicky and gross (looking at you, American Girl doll challenge), but other times they can bring out a type of creativity we don’t usually see. Luckily, tonight’s Transitions lenses-inspired challenge was the latter kind. Yes, hearing Tim wax poetic about how he can go inside and outside with his glasses is cringe-worthy, but the blacklight runway forced the designers to think in a completely new way. And it led to some pretty interesting designs.
The challenge, as Heidi tells the designers, is to create a next-level versatile design — instead of a day-to-night look, they must create a daytime lighting to blacklight lighting look. They have $200 at Mood and 24 hours to create it, and the workroom is stocked with ultraviolet-sensitive materials and a blacklight-lit room. Basically, the designers could have a rave if they wanted.
But they get to work instead. Erin wants to have a sweet dress during the day and a “sex bomb” at night. Kimber is focusing on the color of her fabrics and finds a floral pattern with lots of colors that pop. Dexter is going for a “Stevie Knicks Meets the White Queen From Narnia” look, and Mah-Jing is inspired by his fiancée.
Speaking of Mah-Jing’s family, it’s Father’s Day, so he takes a moment to FaceTime his 4-year-old daughter. The sight of her makes him burst into tears. It’s sweet — but there’s no time for tears in fashion…and Tim’s back to do critiques.
He loves Erin’s concept even though he doesn’t understand her bare-bra approach: “I’m not a nipple guy,” Tim says to the shock of no one. Cornelius, meanwhile, is in the corner saying he doesn’t like Erin’s look. Cornelius has a lot to say about everyone’s looks — sometimes straight to their faces. But he doesn’t want to be rude, so he always says, “No shade, but…” No shade, Cornelius, but you need to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Anyway, with Kimber being in the bottom last week, she’s very open to Tim’s advice. When he tells her he hates her large expanses of white, she scraps her dress and starts over. Mah-Jing also has to start from scratch. He was focusing on making a wedding dress for his fiancée (which Nathalia wisely points out is kind of bad luck), but when Tim mentions the word “costume-y,” Mah-Jing switches thought processes completely.
Speaking of Nathalia, she’s working on a brightly colored jacket and was going to put neon-yellow leggings with it, but her classy mentor talks her out of it. She says Tim is introducing her to “this whole world of sophistication.” The changes she makes don’t quite take her into “sophisticated” territory, though — as Cornelius points out, she’s basically designing Zenon’s signature outfit. And zedis lapedis! He’s right.
During and after Tim’s critiques, both Jenni and Cornelius start getting a lot of screen time — which means they’re either going to be in the top or bottom. Tim thought both of them were going too safe, so they blow up their looks in big ways. Jenni decides to create an overcoat made out of your grandma’s plastic couch cover and Cornelius elects to put giant neon emojis all over his white dress. No risk, no reward, right?
NEXT: Project Runway: Turn Off the Dark