Project Runway: Elegance Is the New Black

Posted on April 26, 2019


It’s possible we’re just wiped out after an especially dramatic week as bloggers/writers (more in today’s podcast), but this struck us as a really dull episode. One thing the revitalized PR is very good at is the way it frames and introduces challenges. So the Champagne breakfast sequence was cute and entertaining. And the idea of building a challenge around Brandon Maxwell’s lucite handbags was pretty cute. But in the end, it felt like a lot of window-dressing for a standard “Make something pretty” challenge – and we think the results bore that out.

Bravo has no pictures for this episode except the runway shots, which is a pretty good indication of how interesting the episode was, so skipping any discussions of the designers or their drama (there really wasn’t any except in the “Oh, how will I finish this/Oh, what am I going to do?” standard PR contestant response). Don’t get us wrong, Christian was entertaining, the designers are all likable and we don’t actually mind people just getting on with their work, but there really isn’t much to discuss the next morning except the work itself.


Garo Sparo

Credit to Garo for embracing his curvy model (metaphorically speaking) rather than acting like she was some sort of punishment. The top half of this look is very flattering, even if it does feel a bit stale from a style perspective. But the skirt feels like an afterthought and doesn’t really marry well to the romantic vibe of the corseted off-the-shoulder bodice. Also, the color is meh.




This was a pretty great look overall, but it didn’t really address the somewhat vague brief. Of course everyone defines elegance differently, but in fashion terms, it’s not the kind of word that makes people think of sportswear first.




This was gorgeous and it’s pretty clear by now that Sebastian is head and shoulders above the rest of the designers – not just in regards to his aesthetic, but also his technical skills. This would never have won the challenge, though. Too complicated a design for manufacture at the price point they were working in.



This looks exactly like what it is: the half-assed efforts of a designer who clearly doesn’t want to work in plus sizes. It’s dreary as hell and Tessa should’ve known better than to make such an issue of her model while on camera. Keep that stuff to yourself.




We agree with the judges on this one. It has a lot of initial impact, but the closer you get to it, the less impressive it becomes. Also too complicated for low-budget manufacture.




It’s a nice-looking dress, but a perfect example of what happens when you tell the designers to just make something pretty. It’s fine, but incredibly bland.




We tend to think Jamall won because it made for a good story and because his design was one of the easiest to manufacture, but this looks incredibly stale and somewhat drab to our eyes. It’s just okay. You can check out the retail version here. It’s … not any more impressive.




WAY too complicated for the parameters of the challenge. The blouse is interesting if a bit overdesigned. We didn’t much like the print, so we were biased against it from the jump. The skirt is also a bit overdesigned and the pieces don’t marry well.




We guess we should give her some credit for her boldness, although immunity doesn’t make it all impressive. The design has some interest to it. The skirt has possibilities and we like the cuffs. But the pasties were so bad they were almost offensive. Girl, if that’s how you define “elegance,” you’re in trouble.



Well, it’s elegant, we suppose. But again, this is what happens when the brief is too vague. She hit the mark but she wound up with something incredibly dull. It seems her time management skills tripped her up and she made a rookie mistake: she didn’t do the most complicated piece first. Had she put all her time into the kimono she had planned, she could have just pinned together the underdress to see her through the runway show.


Sorry to see her go, because we liked her personality and a good deal of her designs. We suppose there’s some merit to the idea that a vague challenge brief is a way of weeding out the designers who can’t interpret on the fly and come up with something interesting when you leave them to their own devices.

Sorry this isn’t a very funny or even insightful recap, darlings! It was an okay episode, but that’s about all that’s left to say about it.





[Photo Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo,]

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