When the challenge on this week's Project Runway first got announced, I was thrilled, because I've always loved challenges where the designers have to be each other's clients. But then, Tim announced the music component of the challenge, and suddenly, we were looking at one of the most poorly conceived Runway challenges ever.
If the designers had been asked to design outfits for each other based on either the designer's or the client's favorite musical genre, that would have been fine. But to design an outfit based on a totally random musical genre, pulled out of a bag, that neither designer nor client might have any interest in? Stupid. Of course Kenley designing a hip-hop outfit for Leanne is going to be a wreck — neither one of them seems to know/care much about hip-hop! It made what could have been a really cool challenge into something meaningless and silly. That said, some of the designers still managed to produce good work, while others crashed and burned in stunning fashion, so to hear my thoughts, just read more.
Some other quick thoughts on the episode:
- This was one time where Korto's blase, "I'd-rather-be-anywhere-else" attitude seemed spot-on. The look on her face when she found out she was designing for Jerell was priceless; it only got better when she found out she'd been assigned country.
- Loved Leanne's rap: "Kenley's gonna make an outfit for me/she better not make it look like it's from nineteen-fifteeeee!"
- Jerell pledged to make Kenley look like "Kenley Spears"; meanwhile, Korto dubbed herself "Shania Jank."
- Why did we spend all that time on model selection when the models didn't even matter?
- The Kenley/Tim Gunn confrontation was everything I could have hoped for. She just does. not. listen. Poor Tim: "I'm just trying to channel your thinking, and then you led me off a precipice."
- Suede's a classically trained cellist? Cool! Now, see, I would have much rather seen an outfit based on his love of classical music. Can you imagine Suede all suited up?
Now, the looks:
- Jerell — Kenley squealed "you're gonna make me look like sex!" when she first saw that Jerell was planning a fishnet dress for her, and she was right — she was obviously representing pop. She looked surprisingly comfortable and confident on the runway considering how little she was wearing. That little purple cape added a hint at something futuristic.
- Korto — Suede got into character more than any of the other designers on the runway, and that really helped to sell Korto's look. The bleaching on the pants was cool, and I really liked the way the chains were sewn into the shirt. Despite Suede's fears that he looked like he belonged in the drag queen challenge, his outfit screamed "punk." It's a good win for Korto, though I still would have given it to Jerell.
- Leanne — Korto got into the country spirit when she saw the booties Leanne wanted her to wear, singing and two-stepping around the workroom. Love it! All the judges seemed concerned that Leanne didn't go far enough from the waist down, though the little sleeveless shirt seemed to have just the right amount of country detail. It's a fine line between classy and costumey, but she could have done a little more.
- Kenley — A disaster from the start, and that's partially because of the ridiculous challenge. But still: Kenley made ill-fitting high-waisted jeans, a floral tank top, and an OK but basic leather jacket — and then blamed Leanne for looking "like a big, fat poser" and "embarrassing" her in front of LL Cool J. Honey, that is your own fault. Bonus points for essentially insinuating to LL that a regular hip-hop look would have been "stupid." I can't believe she's still here.
- Suede — Suede made Jerell look like Jerell, and that was the judges' problem: A rock look could have been anything, and instead, his was "rock and roll going to the grocery store." The piecework vest was cool, the pants were detailed up close but merely boring from afar, and the tank top looked like it came out of Jerell's own closet. Even so, I was 100 percent shocked when the judges told Suede he was out.
Did anyone else's jaw drop at the elimination? Yes, Kenley has been better overall. She's also been rude, incorrigible, and unwilling to take feedback, and I thought she was definitely the worst in this challenge. Not that Suede's look was great, and I even said that I wanted to see him go next, but ugh, not like that. What did you all think?
Photos courtesy of Bravo