This week, Project Runway gave a nod to eco-friendly fashion. Tasked with making a red-carpet look with green fabrics from AirDye, the designers had a daunting task in front of them. Adding to the pressure was the fact that this week's guest judge was Diane Von Furstenburg.
Open Space and Inspiration
A field trip to the High Line park set the stage for this week's challenge. Open space is tough to come by in New York, so when it was discovered that plants and foliage were growing on the abandoned railroad tracks, it inspired this quirky urban oasis. The designers were given fabric swatches from AirDye, a minimal-impact fabric maker, to choose from. Upon return to the workroom, the designers would be greeted with a roll of their chosen swatch.
Being a bit of a tree hugger myself, I was excited about the challenge. Green fashion typically conjures images of hippies, patchouli and hemp pants. However, several fashion-forward celebrities choose green fashion, such as Emma Watson, Natalie Portman and Emily Deschanel. Celeb-favorite designer Stella McCartney is also dedicated to sustainability, so it's possible to do high fashion with low-impact materials.
Time Management Issues
Since this was a red carpet challenge, and the sheer fabric was very temperamental, there were some challenges in the work room. Between scuffles over trim-scraps, cat fighting over design aesthetics and the usual trash talking, it was no wonder the end of the day yielded little in the way of actual clothing. Ivy was over ambitious and way behind schedule, but this time, nobody came to her rescue to help her finish the garment.
It takes time to make a red carpet look, so I never expect much from these challenges. Often, I am surprised. Who could forget Christian Siriano's fabulous haute couture look from the avant garde challenge? It's hard to believe he made it so quickly. As the always chaotic model fittings took place, it became clear that there would be more than one not-so-polished look headed down the runway. More intimidating was the fact that Marchesa and Diane Von Furstenburg looks have appeared on several red carpets, so Georgina and Diane know what to look for.
Roll out the Carpet
This runway lacked the excitement and sophistication that I would expect from All Star designers. Several looks were unfinished, and some of them were plain confusing. Althea sent down a garment that looked like several purple napkins sewn together. Ivy's look did not come together, and it showed. It was not polished, the seams weren't clean and the dress was not flattering. Since the winning look would be showcased by Carolyn on a red carpet, you would think that the designers would show something that represents their best work. It's not that they should play it safe, but with such a huge opportunity, it's better to play to your strengths. Uli did this, and so did Anthony Ryan (though he did stick with the same color palette).
Although I love Isaac and Georgina, I really miss Michael Kors. His harsh criticisms aren't always useful, but they're usually direct and funny. All Stars could use some of those. Much to my dismay, Laura Kathleen's pantsuit was the winning look, so we're stuck with her 'tude for another week. Emilio was in the bottom, which was a huge shock. Get it together, Emilio! Althea was sent packing, which means that Ivy will be back to bring the drama next week.