Project Runway Season 13: There Will Come Soft Rains
We can all relax now. Fashion Week has come and gone, and everyone left on the show is a winner. (For a spoiler free sampler of they showed, click here.) Perhaps that’s why Tim and Heidi meet the contestants with the TVs of Celebrities Who Cannot Bother To Show Up in the Runway Studio? No. These TVs are here to show off themselves–they’re the idiot Curved TVs. (Curved TVs! Because 3D turned out to be the short-lived fad you thought it would be!)
Somehow in their commercialize blathering about how great these gimmick TVs are, Heidi and Tim turn “wacky fad in televisions” into “Avante Grade challenge.” Just go with it. It’s an easier jump to make the connection between the gimmicky TV and Project Runway‘s gimmicky concept: The Rainway. At least it’s a two-day challenge, and the budget is decent–$300.
During sketching, everyone takes their inspiration from the rain….except Sandhya, who is taking her inspiration from television when the channel is on standby. At Mood, more than one designer buys heavy clear plastic fabric.
Kini promises that he won’t be done by the end of day one. Fäde is uninspired (perhaps because his clearly top looks have been ignored in favor of the embarrassing shit Amanda has been putting out.) There is quite a bit of side-eye going on, but the mood in the workroom is more relaxed than it has been in weeks.
Let’s get to Tim’s Walkthrough.
- Kini: His “pencil skirt” with the exaggerated hips mimics an semi-closed umbrella on its point. Tim is wowed.
- Sean: His outfit is currently all white, but on his work table are boxes and boxes of dye. His idea–put the powdered dye in the dress so when the water hits it, the colors run. I am wowed.
- Emily: She’s got a sci-fi armor look going. Tim says “don’t go too R2D2.”
- Amanda: She’s making hieroglyphic eyes. Tim points out her red pupil looks like a period stain.
- Alexander: He’s painting his clear plastic fabric with purple floral shapes. Tim shrugs.
- Char: She has a black plastic boa like piece that’s all hard ruffles. Tim shrugs.
- Fäde: He’s talking about a “power” button, but what he has is a play button. Tim is stunned at how boring it is.
- Sandhya: Her jumpsuit made out of rainbow stripes is something, but her plastic covering with the silver pinwheels is something else. Tim is concerned.
- Korina: It looks like a superhero outfit. But she has immunity, so whatever.
With all this time, we sit through the designers partying it up overnight, Korina remaking her outfit from scratch, and folks to call home in order to be walking ads for technology. (There’s also a really embarrassing ad for the break room refrigerator.) The models finally come and go. Sean starts loading his dye, only to discover it starts dying the fabric without being wet. Kini points out he should have loaded it with paper shields and pulled the paper at the last minute.
Day of the Runway Show, the contestants are ferried out to Brooklyn, where the Rainway is set up. The Name Dropping Hair Salon and the Product Displaying Make Up People were also ferried out. Amanda suddenly wonders if her outfit will melt in the water. Dude, you’re only thinking of that NOW?
Let’s get to the runway and see what kind of trainwreck results.
Heidi seems reinvigorated to be walking the Runway on a new set. She does her usual “Welcome designers!” from her seat though. Is she afraid of getting wet? Everyone is going to be thoroughly damp by the end of this! (Especially with the hot lights and the water evaporating? Steamy!) Zac and Nina are both in attendance (because they weren’t going to miss this one.) The guest judge is “stylish star of Masters of Sex“…. Not Lizzy Caplan. (It’s Caitlin Fitzgerald. But I think we all agree the actual stylish star of Master of Sex is Lizzy Caplan.) Heidi insists the AnthonyRyan Rule still stands.
Alexander: It’s not bad for a plastic tent.
Char: It’s standard ProjRun Avante Garde.
Amanda: It’s the only one that falls apart in the rain.
Sandhya: Up top where the pinwheels are small and close together enough that the stripes are visually broken up, it’s not awful. But they’re not turning in the rain like little waterfalls the way she wanted. Heidi calls it a “happy look.” The judges mostly seem impressed they knew it was her right away. Nina warns her she’s on the line between gimmick and art. Zac says he would wear it to do a rain dance and then does an embarrassing white boy stereotype of a Native American rain dance move.
Kini: The upside down umbrella skirt is stunning. I also love the hat. Heidi calls it clever, and agrees it’s very avante garde. Caitlin likes that it’s got a dominatrix feel, but she hates the hat. Nina calls it sublime. Zac calls it “a moment” and says it was impactful. There is quite a debate on the hat, which is the only part Zac didn’t like. Nina liked that he kept the model’s face dry with it. Heidi agrees.
Sean: The picture above should really be labeled “before. Because the real wow factor is comparing that and “After.” In fact, you should just watch it happen.
The judges issue a collective jaw drop. Heidi agrees it was a wow moment. They love that her crinoline was waterproof as well. Zac says it could be gimmicky, but in context it was exceptional. They agree it was a performance piece.
As much as the show had originally written this season to be All About Amanda, it’s clear right now that this season is really a fight between Sean and Kini. But this week, they both win.
Korina: It’s not as bad as her original superhero look, but it’s mostly gimmicky crap. At least I saw the Thunderbird image in the superhero version. Heidi does not get it, and points out the bottom dress is just a plain little black dress and the silver is too filmsy. Caitlin calls it a Halloween costume–she’s not wrong. Zac shrugs that maybe if she had a fabric that made noise like thunder? It’s a good thing she has immunity.
Emily: This has nothing to do with rain or TVs. It’s just a dark gothy look. The judges shrug at it, unimpressed. Zac calls it a walking cliché. Nina says we would have through this looked modern a decade and a half ago. Heidi agrees she’s seen versions of this before. Caitlin did like how the rain rolled off the shoulder pads, but that was about it. She notes the hips and bodice would probably fill with water though.
Fäde: It’s cute, but he suddenly realizes as it walks it has no connection to rain. Nina sighs and says putting a “play” button on the dress doesn’t make it modern or techy. It’s gimmicky. (Kinda like a Rainway!) Heidi says it just wasn’t strong enough. She compares the “electrical lines” to a subway map. Caitlin like the graphic nature of it, but this had no connection to the rain. When Fäde defends his piece saying avante garde doesn’t need to be over the top large, Zac agrees. But to him the technique wasn’t good enough, and it needed to feel more electric.
Sadly, Fäde is out. Heidi fought for him, but Nina and Zac were done with him after ignoring him for weeks on end. It’s sweet to hear her speak to him in German one last time.
Next Week: OMG it’s an American Girl Doll Challenge! (My inner eight year old totally just freaked out.)
On Monday, we’ll run Fade’s full runway show so we may all judge it.