Project Runway recap: 'Descending Into Good and Evil'
Tonight’s Project Runway was a tale of good and evil. Quite literally.
Receiving their challenge from Descendants stars Dove Cameron and China Anne McClain, the designers are tasked with creating eveningwear that’s either “good” or “evil.” But that’s not what has the designers thrilled — they’re overjoyed when Tim tells them they’ll have two days to complete the challenge. (My guess is it has to do with the fact they had to take a mini-road trip to Lyndhurst Mansion to receive their challenge and the travel time ate up a work day.)
After sketching at the “castle” and shopping with $300 at Mood, the designers head back to the workroom, where they’re separated on sides of the room into good and evil. The good designers are Amy, Brandon, Kentaro, Aaron, Ayana, and Claire. The evil designers are Michael (who got to assign people good or evil since he won last week), Kenya, Samantha, Shawn, Margarita, and Batani — which means that the twins are separated!
But of course this doesn’t stop them from running around like heads trying to find their necks, or whatever confusing chicken reference Kenya described. And Kentaro and Brandon are giving the twins a run for their money in the family category. They have taken to calling each other “brother” and being inseparable. And…it’s pretty adorable.
Anyway, the twins’ separation doesn’t seem to affect Shawn’s design, but Claire does struggle. She works and reworks and reworks her top, but by the Tim has arrived, she still isn’t happy.
Tim comes the morning of the second design day. He’s generally happy with the room’s work. He tells Claire to “beat back the costume”; he advises Aaron not to go too gimmicky; and he warns Kentaro away from being a “maximalist.” His strongest critique, though, is for Samantha, who he says is going down the crafty route. This causes her, along with a few others, to rework their looks.
A few hours later the models come for fittings, and outfits change yet again. Claire starts on approximately her 10th top and Michael tones down the “matronly” on his dress for Liris. As they all leave the second evening, Aaron is just starting to cut fabric for his look. He says he doesn’t like to cut regular fabric until he’s comfortable with the muslin, but this seems more stress inducing than starting with the fabric. (Recap continued on page 2)
Dove and China are back — as guest judges for the runway show. If there is anyone who understands the fashion inspiration from Descendants, it’s these two (well, okay, maybe the costume designer from the film).
Heidi announces Batani, Amy, Kentaro, Ayana, Shawn, and Margarita are all safe, which leaves Aaron, Brandon, Claire, Samantha, and Kenya for critiques.
Brandon says he was thinking about “my girl as a superwoman,” and all the models swoon. Heidi says the look is like a modern straitjacket and pauses…“I have to tell you I love it,” she finally says. She’s also a fan of the “peak-a-boob situation.” Nina loves that it’s not a literal interpretation of “good” or eveningwear. Dove says Brandon really made this challenge his own, and China says she likes that the back of the dress is “good but kind of bad.” Zac likes the design, but he does point out that Brandon could easily turn into a one-trick pony. But that’s a problem for another week!
Claire begins explaining her inspiration for doing a Disney princess, and Zac cuts her off, saying her design looks like “Cinderella on her day off.” He says it’s missing a bit of bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Nina says they’ve seen this look a trillion times on Project Runway, and it’s cliché and not good enough. Claire is clearly not loving these harsh critiques, but they keep coming: Dove says she went fantastical when she should have gone contemporary and vice versa. China says she doesn’t hate it, but also wouldn’t wear it; plus, she likens it to a prom dress. Ouch.
Kenya was excited to go evil, and she tells the judges that her mind went straight to a tuxedo look. Heidi doesn’t even have audible words to describe her love of the look, and all China can say is “girl” (but like, “guuuurl”). It’s perfectly tailored; and although it has a lot going on, it all works well together. Zac tells Kenya she took a risk choosing the fabric she did, but it paid off. Nina loves that Kenya went outside the box and didn’t do a gown; she adds that it’s the perfect balance of drama.
Samantha was inspired by poison fruit and flowers, which may be illustrated in the top of her garment, but all Zac has eyes for is the bottom. He’s confused by what she did, and Samantha doesn’t have a great answer. Nina prefers the dress Samantha is wearing — which she did design — over what’s on her model. Heidi says it’s like an ‘80s prom dress (ouch, again). Dove says the knit makes the garment look heavy and dowdy. And China says something about how the look is “bumping” her, which either is a phrase young people use or something this old person misheard.
Michael was able to pick between good and evil, and he really made his evil choice work. He was inspired by the black-and-gold lace fabric, which allowed him to do draping and hardly any cutting. Heidi says Liris looked like the queen of the runway, as if she were channeling Beyoncé. Heidi also loves how the look accentuated her body. China wrote “fabric slays” in her notes, and Dove is a fan of the cape and feathers. Zac says it’s spectacular and transformative.
Well, Aaron didn’t show up to the runway in see-through shorts, so you’ve got to give him credit for that. But that’s about all you can give him credit for. Heidi starts her critique with a sigh. And then all she can say is, “It’s like a…mess…it is so messy.” Zac says it’s a big “no.” Dove says she’s obsessed with his personal style (I wonder what she would think about last week’s look), but she thinks his design is cheap. Nina flat out tells him it looks like a child put it together. “This is Project Runway, not Project Kindergarten,” she snaps.
Aaron’s loss isn’t too much of a surprise, and he takes it really well. He admits that he has “room for growth” and I’m suddenly wishing he would stick around. I sure appreciate that attitude more than the “I’m not going to grovel and say thank you” kind. Good and evil, indeed.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you “good” with tonight’s winner? Let’s talk about it below!
Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.