By CJ BOMB
Last week on our Project Runway All Stars Recap, Canadian designer Evan Biddell won in a controversial decision. And we are still talking about it! This week, the Project Runway designers are challenged to create a gender neutral look.
This week, Les is remote, which is probably for the best as I have to teach an early class tomorrow. She assures me she will be chiming in with her expert and hilarious opinions. We have said goodbye to Cynthia Hayashi on the heels of a terrible JCPenney challenge so our hopes are high that the challenge won’t suck this week. Evan Biddell points out that he and Christina Exie are the last of the international challengers. Dude, you are from CANADA.
Alyssa Milano walks out dressed as an extra from Newsies. The theme this week is gender neutral clothing as high end streetwear. Les thinks some eyebrows will raised by this but at least its better than the freaking JCP challenge. I love Rick Owens, Rad Hourani and Rudi Gernreich, so I’m cool with it.
The Gender Neutral Challenge
As for the designers, Christina Exie is happy as is Sean Kelly. The models will be male, female or non-binary and the designers won’t know until later who they are getting, they will only know the measurements. Anthony Ryan just wants to know who he’s designing FOR so he can make something that works for that person as an individual.
Michelle Lesniak is designing a hoodie dress. Dmitry Sholokov is doing a COAT dress. Irina is doing a “universal jacket”. The only person who seems to be really going for it is Sean Kelly. I take that back…Michelle is buying her typical seventies looking fabric in a floral and Evan Biddell thinks that mens t-shirts totally work with women’s evening wear fabrics. I’m not sure about either of these choices. Les isn’t sure about most of the design she is seeing.
In the workroom everyone is trying to figure out what model they might have based on their measurements. Michelle is sad that Dmitry has gone to the darkside and started hanging out with Irina. On the other hand, at least she has become friends with Biddell. Plus, she’s still hanging with Anthony Ryan, so she’s just going to let it go. Speaking of Anthony Ryan his model is 6’4”. That’s a TALL model. And he’s doing tiny shorts? And doesn’t he have a lot of fabric? A shiver goes down my spine for him. He scraps the shorts and concentrates on making just a jacket. Michelle is doing her “art” which Evan Biddell compares to someone peeling wallpaper off an old room where a crime scene took place. He thinks it’s cool.
Anne Fulenwider Comes in to “Help”
Anne Fulenwider walks in wearing a dress and jewelry that you just know costs a pretty penny. But somehow she manages to always look like she stepped out of Ann Taylor. She doesn’t see the trenchcoat in Dmitry’s garment (nor does Dmitry at this point). But,she does think that the trenchcoat is in desperate need of a makeover in general. Isn’t a trench one of ORIGINAL unisex garments?? She tells Sean Kelly he doesn’t his crazy rainbow thread idea on his outfit to make a statement, he needs to make sure he gets the details right.
Anne isn’t wowed by Irina’s woolrich looking coat and doesn’t see Irina Shabayeva in it at all. Anne is very happy Anthony Ryan is using color and wishes more people were doing the same. As Biddell is showing of his lace tshirt Sean Kelly pulls Irina over to snark “a gender neutral t-shirt…how ORIGINAL”. If you are going to snark to someone, Irina is always there to help out. Michelle gets grandma wallpaper as a comment instead of grandma curtains. Anne calls Christina’s look boring. Christina deflates. She then says screw it, I’m doing me.
The Models Arrive
The models come in and it looks like the coolest rave ever emptied out into the workroom. Anthony Ryan’s model looks like a taller version of Anthony Ryan. So of course, Michelle is reminded of the movie Twins. Christina’s model LOVES her garment and that makes her feel like she made the right decision. Anthony is worried about his look. His model identifies as female and is very striking. Irina got a blonde thin female model. I so wish they had shoved her outside her comfort zone.
Evan Biddell and Irina are finished. So, they spend their time complimenting each other on how decisively and smartly they work. Sean offers to help Anthony Ryan in the morning. Anthony thanks him and tells him that he would rather go down in flames by himself. He’s almost in tears and I want to reach in and hug him.
Christina has a lot to do so she’s in do or die mode. Anthony has pretty much convinced himself that he’s going home. Irina, never one to seek out opportunities to be helpful or even kind to others, is making herself a look. She takes over Christina’s machine and refuses to let her get on it. Christina has to hop on Michelle’s machine and when Michelle walks in to use it apologizes and explains the situation. Irina Shabayeva could care less and just keeps sewing. She’s thinks they are being petty. I think all their stuff is by their machines and that you are a narcissistic bitch with questionable taste. But, I guess I’m just being petty.
Thank you Lord! Anthony Ryan is finished. Dmitry also thinks Michelle’s outfit looks like it came from a murder scene, but unlike Evan Biddell, he is not impressed. Evan Biddell thinks that no one getting the challenge. It’s supposed to be gender neutral, NOT asexual. He has a point. Some of these look like costumes (cough, Dmitry).
I have lost Les sometime around when Irina Shabayeva was being a heinous bitch so I guess she is dealing with homework, bedtimes or both. Alyssa looks okay. What in the hell happened to Georgina Chapman’s hair? Did she lose a bet? It’s not BAD, it’s just….weird. For her. Asia Kate Dillon is the guest judge. Love them on Orange is the New Black. They are the first people to play non-binary gender identifying characters on TV who actually identify as non-binary gender.
On the runway, Sean Kelley’s look is awesome. I love this. His model has transitioned to female so he made it a little more feminine and she is rocking it. It’s asymmetrically awesome. I would wear this in a heartbeat. Michelle’s look is definitely post-grunge-curtain/wallpaper forward. Somehow it works and looks cool.
I hate Irina Shabayeva but I like her top and leggings. The coat is meh. I will never say no to a leather legging. Ground Control to Major Tom……Dmitry has made an outfit for you. Gender neutral SPACE FORCE. I’m getting Rei Kawakubo from Christina’s look and that is HIGH praise. Everything works. Evan Biddell’s fringe cowboy vest over a lace T? Not sure about this one. Anthony’s Ryan’s model is the lieutenant to Dmitry’s general in the gender neutral SPACE FORCE. I pick Sean Kelley, Michelle and Christina for the top and Christina for the win. I refuse to pick Irina this week cause she sucks as a human. It’s a toss up between the space force outfits.
Evan Biddell is safe and he is surprised. Georgina didn’t get that Michelle’s was her at all. She loves the color mix and the florals. Flowers are gender neutral. Isaac Mizrahi thinks the proportions are “banging”. Oh sweetie, no. Asia thinks it looks easy to wear as high fashion. Alyssa wants to see it up close and tells Michelle she’s “so good”. Isaac thinks that Sean’s look is cliché? And dull? Asia thinks this is what one would expect to see in the gender neutral department of a store if that was a thing and it’s disappointing. Georgina says it’s been done before.Still, she likes the proportions and interesting ideas.
Uh-oh. Isaac HATES Irina Shabayeva’s coat. Her reaction makes me happy. Does that make me a bad person? He hates the textile and the proportions and thinks its ugly. Asia loves that Irina did a fitted top and leather legging not knowing what model she was getting. Alyssa also loves it, but Georgina thought it went junior. They love Anthony Ryan’s?Asia says it doesn’t read feminine or masculine; it’s just cool. Georgina would have loved to see something a little floaty and feminine underneath. Alyssa thinks it’s too reminiscent of the avant-garde challenge.
Georgina doesn’t like the criss cross effect of Dmitry’s coat. Isaac wants the buttons off. Alyssa thinks the fabric makes it look futuristic martian (SPACE FORCE). Asia loves it but thinks it is costumey.
Alyssa loves Christina’s look. Georgina loves the color-blocking and how it is cut. Asia thinks Christina nailed it and Isaac wants the pants.
Who won? Who Lost?
Christina WINS. Sean is eliminated???? I’m COMPLETELY CONFUSED. I got this one completely wrong. Maybe my love of Francois Marithe Girbaud and vintage Gaultier clouded my judgment? Am I losing my touch or my mind? Did you guys agree with the judges this week? Are you sad to see Sean Kelley, the prince of fringe go? Have a fabulous weekend. I will still be over here scratching my head about this one.