Podzilla 1985

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fashionable Sweet Sixteen

It's been a while since I've felt the need to share my thoughts, but so far season sixteen of Project Runway is keeping me entertained.

As usual there are fifteen designers and each week we are left with one less. There is one major change this season, and it is long overdue. This time, all of the models are of different sizes and body types.

The judges and Tim Gunn have always been critical of the designers whenever they gripe about not having a size two model. The average American woman is a size sixteen, far from what the fashion industry tends to show off. I love that the people behind this show are pushing for more variety in high fashion and stressing that real people are the clients that designers should be aiming for.

Ideals are great, but we are not living in a size-two-fits-all world.

The models are also rotated weekly so everyone will be getting a chance to test their true skills when it comes to designing for real women.

Another thing that I do feel is different this time around are the attitudes. Sweet sixteen may be very fitting for this go around. In the past it's always been a room of catty divas out to prove that they are as awesome as they claim. I feel that this season's pool has a much more chill vibe happening. The designers seem to get along with one another for the most part. Several even seem humble by nature, but don't let this calm fool you - there are still a couple over the top characters with us.

Shawn & Claire in the work room
I'm going to start with the twins.

Shawn and Claire Buitendrop are identical twins but one leans more towards hard punk rock designs, and the other more feminine pop princess looks. They are competing individually, but you'd never know it. These two sisters are attached at the creative soul and can not seem to complete anything without the other.

They're not bad, but I've yet to truly be impressed by them. Also, their way of speaking drives me insane. They go from whiny and sing-song with one another to a strange case of I'm super intelligent and need to emphasize my big vocab while focusing on diction whenever Tim is in the work room. This same odd tone comes out when they talk to judges on the runway, too.

They just need to go.

I don't care that they've dressed Katy Perry. They need to go. Honestly at this point in the competition they are the only designers I really want gone. We'll see what kind of nightmare starts when one gets cut before the other, that is, if they both don't get booted for helping each other too much.

Brandon with his latest winning design
I have a couple of designers I'm also on the fence about. Brandon Kee seems like a bit of a wild card to me. Right from the start he claimed to have never done women's wear, and that it scared him a bit. He's a men's wear kind of guy. Project Runway has always been 90% women's wear challenges. It confused me why a predominantly men's wear designer would enter this competition being afraid of doing women's wear.

Despite this he's been knocking it out of the park. He's won two challenges so far and has made his models look amazing every time. So far he has also not fought with anyone in the work room, seems to be really soft spoken, and just gets in a zone to work. Nothing seems to phase this guy, except for his own occasional self doubt. Lately it looks like he is feeling a bit like a one trick pony. Most of his designs still hold the same elements, and the judges called him out on it this past week. Despite that, he still won, and I'm excited to see what he'll do next. I don't know if I want him to be the overall winner, but I'm not ready for Brandon to leave any time soon.

Batani in the work room

Batani-Khalfani, I feel, is holding back. She's been safe a lot and on several occasions her own look is more interesting than her model's. She has sent some good looks down the runway, but I don't really think that she's putting herself entirely into her work. I want to see what happens when she lets herself go, because I feel like there is so much more that she can show us.

She also kinda pissed me off by claiming that she wanted to flatter her model when she did get a full figured woman for her first challenge, yet she did nothing to flatter her body. If anything, she hid it, and all of the models on the show this season are proudly comfortable with their bodies. There is no need to hide them when they know how to rock an outfit. Use this opportunity to grow as a designer.

In closing, I do already have a few favorites.

Mostly I just love theses designers personalities, and I feel like I would want to be friends with these people. I would love to see more than one of them make it to the top three.

Samantha sketching up her "evil" design
I just get Samantha Rei.

Her style is very much what I would like to wear normally, but still get a little too self-conscious to pull off. She is so much like a handful of girls I hung out with in college. The whole punk, Gothic Lolita, fairy tale fantasy loving nerd vibe is completely my thing. Plus she has a whole army of Monster High dolls lining her closet.

She's been on the bottom a few times, but is still pushing through. I don't want her time to come to and end. I know she can step it up and put some great things forward. We just have to wait and see. I do feel bad that she was on the bottom last week, when the theme was in the field of inspiration she loves. This seems to happen a lot on this show though and designers always seem to come back harder after a heart felt fail.

Kenya with one of her high score designs
I also adore Kenya Freeman. She almost always has a smile on her face and I just love her whole attitude. She's designed for real women and knows how to make a flattering outfit. I also can't look at her without thinking of my college friend who helped make all of our anime costumes.

Kenya has also been on the top and bottom design lists so far. She's a fighter though, and an impeccable seamstress that I want to see more from. I want to see her work her magic on the larger models. She is a very emotional designer, and has cried a lot already with surely more to come.

I just hope that they are all happy tears for a job well done.

Kentrao in the work room
Finally, I can't help but root for Kentrao Kameyama. He cracks me up. It's very hard not to smile when he's talking through his work with the other designers. He also trusts Brandon's opinion a lot. Those two are never really far apart, but, unlike the twins, they still do their own thing.

Given Brandon's seriousness I doubt he'll be lead astray by this either.

His sewing skills are top notch and he's always very mindful of his model. He takes criticism and advice from Tim and his models and actually uses it to improve his pieces before they hit the runway. He still seems to be finding his way and figuring out what the judges want to see from him. I'm curious to see where this former concert pianist goes from here.

I have high hopes for this season of Project Runway.

As usual I'm sure they'll "make it work!"
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