This is the 2nd post in a new weekly feature wherein I recap all the lessons I learned from this week's episode of Project Runway. Please comment below to add any lessons you picked up that I may have missed!
And this week's challenge was a first for Project Runway (correct me if I'm wrong) — featuring a sassy group of senior ladies in all shapes and sizes!
I would have been scared too. Designing for the mature woman is not in the wheelhouse of most of these designers. And the rest of us can learn from their mistakes when it comes to style, fabric selection and slutting it up a little.
Lesson 1: You can't create structure with drapey fabric. Someone who's got the skills to make it to Project Runway should know that, right?
So why did Amanda bring this bright print back from Mood, and then immediately bemoan its inability to hold up to her design? I don't think she said what it was (silk? rayon?), but it's clearly a rather flowy fabric — not something that can hold an older woman's bust up (nor mine!). At that point Amanda would have done well to put down the rotary cutter and rethink her design.
She didn't though, and there's no number of Glade candles that could cover up the stink of this garment. (Her model was a sweetheart and a good sport for saying she liked it. Is that a handkerchief hem, or isn't it? Do those flutter sleeves start at center back? And when I look away from this dress, is it just me who's seeing spots?).
Lesson 2: When you're designing a dress, picture where you would wear it.
This sassy broad at right loves leopard — and showing off her tattoos. She also rocks a Susan Powter 'do and sexy accessories like ankle bracelets. Badass!
But the twee design features — poufy sleeves and waist-cinching bow — were at odds with the sexy straight skirt in a leopard print, according to the judges. "Where is she even going?" demanded Nina, who called it a "mixed message." Is she a slut, or isn't she? (OK, that's not what Nina said, but that's what she implied, I swear!).
The model, meanwhile, loved her dress, and I'm guessing she would wear it pretty much anywhere they'd let her in the door, so in that respect this was a win for Samantha.
(Though how much did you love this woman? She was so sweet. I loved when she asked for sleeves while waggling her upper arms at Benjamin: "I don't have Michelle Obama arms!").
Another fitting (look at her poor constricted arms!) and a better executed hem may have turned out a cute frock, but not for someone who already lived through the '60s. I think this is a great dress for Kiernan Shipka to wear to the premiere of Mad Men Season 6.
Lesson 4 is basically the same as Lesson 3: Dressing your age (as opposed to wearing the same outfit Little Orphan Annie dons after moving in with Daddy Warbucks) can actually make you look younger.
Take these two pantsuits, which were the judges' faves last night:
How much flack does Hillary Clinton get for her pantsuits? But she knows: a good one looks put together and — in the case of the above two examples — even sexy.
My other fave of the night got short shrift thanks to Patricia's stinkpot. Michelle's model danced down the runway in her flattering, brightly printed dress. I would totally wear that:
Bonus Lesson: If a woman your grandma's ages suggests you need to slut it up a little (as Kate's model did within five minutes of meeting the 22-year-old who self-describes as an "old soul" and is constantly bashed by her peers for being prim), perhaps it's time to give the gathered skirts and boned bodices a rest? Oh, nope, nevermind:
The judges liked it, so what do you know!
What did I miss this week? Have at it below!