Project Runway. Season 16. Episode 3 on LIFETIME. judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen. Guest judge: Maddie Ziegler. Host: Heidi Klum. Mentor: Tim Gunn.
This week’s challenge: create a look inspired by dance, movement and innovation.In another inexplicable tie-in/inspiration, designers watch the children’s animated film Leap! as well as a performance by the dance group Hiplet. Designers will have 30 minutes to sketch and $200 to shop at Mood.
Batani: “This challenge is perfect for me. I do hip-hop dance. I do belly dance. I do Indian dance. To bring it together with fashion is just going to be explosive.”
Kentaro remarks that he’s only worked with size 0-4 models. Might be challenging for him that his model this week doesn’t fit that size range. Margarita will use her Puerto Rican culture as inspiration. Ayana has become an early favorite for me. This week she creates her own starry textile. She notes that her design is “flowy and has movement but also looks like stars and looks like midnight. Reach for the stars.”
Kudzanai wants to get the judge’s attention this week as he’s been safe so far. Whenever someone says this they ultimately win or get eliminated. He states: “I’m African so I’m incorporating a lot of different aspects from African culture—feathers, colors, all those aspects of motion and movement.” Deyonte chose a chartreuse fabric. He then has a sewing accident. A needle goes right through his finger. Medics bandage him up and he continues on.
In the workroom, there’s not yet much friction between the designers. The twins seem to annoy everyone. And you know producers were excited to bring this element to the show. Because why not? Twins worked on The Bachelor franchise. Kenya: “I’m just tired of the twins running around the workroom like their heads are cut off.” Kudzanai: “The twins are a lot. I wish I was sitting somewhere a bit quieter.” Project Runway has always attracted vast swaths of designers, this season’s cast is especially diverse. Michael and Margarita bond over their Latina backgrounds [he’s Mexican; she’s Puerto Rican] and speak Spanish to each other. Brandon, already quiet, gets in what he calls “Zen mode” when designing. He’s so focused that he blocks out all noise and distraction.
Tim comes in for critique. He tells Claire what maybe many are thinking, to “stay away from Red Bull and coffee.” He tells Shawn she might be thinking too literally. He warns Aaron not to make his garment “a pu-pu platter of different treatments.” [side note: do millennials know a pu-pu platter?] He tells Margarita that her design “looks like full tilt costume.” To Ayana: “There’s a lot going on. I’d reel it in a bit.” And to Kudzanai: “It’s a look that’s about being a lot of look and at this point I think you just have to go for it.”
Runway show notes. Deyonte’s design is way too short. Not flattering. Kudzanai’s design isn’t flattering at all. Margarita’s look is puffy. Claire’s looks ill-fitting. Ayana’s look is stunning. Shawn’s look is okay. Batani created a pretty flowy floral look. Samantha’s design is edgy.
She tells judges she got her inspiration from the inventor in Leap! She thought about colorful butterflies.
Nina: “When I first saw the shadow of this I already liked it and then when it walked down the runway, the print, the color, the fluidity of the fabric really captured it for me.”
Zac: “I was mixed on it.”
Heidi: “I am a huge fan of Burning Man and a lot of people wear this kind of stuff there. It’s loud. It’s a little bit sexy but a lot of people have wings.”
She tells judges that she’s inspired by dance and that Bomba, the traditional Puerta Rican dance came to mind. “So I set her in a little tropical paradise ensemble,” she states. I didn’t love this look. I wouldn’t have picked it for top three.
Heidi: “I loved this look. It moved beautifully on the runway. It looked sophisticated. Maybe the midriff is a little too open.”
Nina: “I love the spirit of this dress.”
He tells judges that hip-hop was the inspiration. Also something that’s inspired his designs from the beginning. After this runway, I expect Brandon to be showing at NYFW. When I saw his final look I just thought: it’s black and white. It doesn’t appeal to me. I like man-bun Brandon and his quiet Zen energy though. The models also favor Brandon. He’s handsome. And mysterious.
Nina: “Wow. I love this. I love the creativity. I love its boldness.”
Heidi: “I love your taste. It is fabulous. It is different. Something we haven’t seen before.”
Zac: “These are the moments I wait for on Project Runway. It’s a really focused point of view. It talks about movement and innovation.”
His inspiration [and his inspiration from the beginning of the competition] is his training as a pianist and classic ballet.
Zac: “I don’t think it had the biggest runway impact. It’s just not enough. I’m not impressed.”
Heidi: “It’s a little too literal. It’s a little too snoozy.”
Nina: “There needed to be some kind of punch when we saw it.”
He tells judges his woman is going out on the town to see the Hiplet dancers.
Zac: “It’s definitely vibrant. That’s about it. It’s dull. A sheer skirt and lace top and a mullet hem?”
Guest judge Maddie Ziegler: “This reminds me most of dance because I’ve worn a costume almost exactly like that.”
Heidi: “You guys are designers. This is supposed to be fashion. I see an ice skater. I see bad 80s. It is a little bit painful.”
His inspiration is mixed West Indian culture. Earlier in the episode we saw Kudzanai’s African/West Indian backstory.
Heidi: “I feel you got a little too inspired by a children’s movie because it looked very juvenile. It’s also not very flattering. It kinda looks like a piñata that exploded in the back.”
Nina: “This is maximal at the max. You embellished it so much that it’s taking away.”
Brandon is the WINNER.
Kudzanai is OUT.
Project Runway airs Thursday at 9pm on LIFETIME.