Something can be said for that observation and since it was made I've reconsidered those who were voted off and those in the bottom and have found myself to understand that it is not only a lack of technical skills that lands the designers there, but moreso an absence of a confident design aesthetic.
Episode 1: Sky's the Limit
The challengers were thrown into the deep end with an unconventional materials challenge and asked to produce a runway look based off the materials that descended from the sky (parachutes).
The Top 3
The top three comprises of three very different looks. From left clockwise they belong to Miranda Levy, Bradon McDonald, and Sue Waller. The look from Miranda was to be honest, disappointing. Although the general design is okay, I found it a shame that she didn't take a risk with the parachute fabric and resorted to using a large amount of the supplemental fabric; to me she didn't embrace the challenge like the other two designers did. The two other top looks were amazing. I loved Levy's fabric manipulation technique, I find it to be a truly innovative way to design as she didn't cut the fabric but used this technique to manipulate the silhouette and shape. Plus, look at her styling, her model looks like a complete badass. On the other end of the badassery scale, is McDonald's look. Light and ethereal, yet captures the movement of the initial skydive. The winner of this challenge was Bradon, understandably as not only did he embrace the material, he embraced the source (the skydivers) to create a beautiful dress.
The Bottom 3
The bottom three comprised of (from left clockwise): Sandro Masmanidi, Timothy Westbrook, and Angela Bacskocky. These looks ranged from, va-jay-jay flashing overdesigned (or shall I say under) playsuit, to attemped eco-friendly preachy story-teller, to boring. The only thing I will say about Masmanidi is 'slutty cat toy' (creds to Zac Posen for the laugh). Westbrook is one of those designers I feel like doesn't know who he is just yet, he preaches about eco-design and how that is his focus and practice buuuuutttttt he didn't consider this when burning his synthetic fabric.... I am all for eco-friendly design and I do think that there is going to be development in that sector in the near future, but I think in his case it's a bit self-righteous. (Also bless his model, the poor girl broke down in tears). It was Bacskocky that was elimated this first round.
Episode 2: Million Dollar Runway
Diamonds are truly a
girls designer's best friend. This episode the designers were tasked with designing a runway look that suited, and completemented-not overpowered beautiful jewelry that was to be walked down the runway with the designs.
The top there designs are from (clockwise from left): Sandro Masmanidi, Kate Pankoke, and Dom Streater. Masmanidi climbed from being in the bottom last week to in the top three. He was criticised for overdesigning again, and I think that his taste can be questionable. The large sheer panel on each side of the skirt brought the look to a dangerous close to being slutty. Streater's look was on of my favourites, there was a bohemian, caribbean, tropical feel to her look but the green and white complemented the jewelry beautifully. The winning look of the challenge, Pankoke, was definitely not my favourites, as Alexander pointed out, there was definitely more than a nod to Dame Vivienne Westwood. I also think that it was quite a typical look for Kate and I feel like whilst I ramble on about the importance of knowing your aesthetic in this competition, her aesthetic (for me at least) is a bit lackluster, a bit conventional, a bit boring ♫ sorry 'bout it ♫.
My personal favourite.
I'll only include this section when my favourite was not included in the top 3.
This design was by previous challenge winner, Bradon. Who this challenge used curtain fabric for his design...HOW?! This absolutely stunning backless dress is by far my favourite and I thought he had a fighting chance of winning two rounds in a row (not a first for project runway history). I don't know why he wasn't at least in the top three, maybe it looks different in real life...
The Bottom 3
The designers in the bottom were (clockwise from left): Kahindo Mateene, Timothy Westbrook, and Helen Castillo. So this has been a long post and I've run out of steam, but the basics of it were that Castillo didn't have the technical know-how or time to construct her vision, Mateene wasn't inventive enough with her design (another boring design voted off), and Westbrook had what Tim calls a 'make it work moment' only that Tim didn't refer to it as such and it really wasn't as he ended up in the bottom anyways...one wonders what would have happened if he didn't have the sudden spur of....whatever it was. I was shocked to see that he was still in but I do give him credit for listening and still sticking to what he believes to be his design philosophy by only using discarded scraps of fabric he found at Mood, talk about economically friendly...
Now that I've started again I've more to say about some other designers whose work I didn't really understand or like, but it has already been a long, rambly post so I shall leave it there.
Plus, who am I to judge, I've not even completed my undergraduate education....All pictures can be found here
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