"Project Runway is already pulling out the big guns wiht the fan favorite unconventional material challenge. Some of the unconventional materials from the past have included supermarket items, Times Square Hershey Store Goodies, party supplies, and the last season's starnge stretch: pet supplies (wee-wee pads anyone?).
Designers headed to Dylan's Candy Bar--a candy shop owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan Lauren--for this week's sweet and tasty challenge. Designers received $250 to shop at the candy store to buy materials for their garments. Sticky, sugary treats aren't easy to work with, but designers did their best to turn licorice, taffy, and candy dots into true candy couture. Of course, with such difficult and unusual materials, the designers encountered quite a few problems. Cotton candy melted over night, licorice refused to be glued into place, and candy fell off on the runway.
As is usual with this challenge, some designers knocked it out of the park, and some designers fell down climbing the stairs out of the dugout. (It's baseball season, folks!) I was pleased to see most of the designers stocking up on the candy instead of heading for the fabric gewgaws like Lantie did. The minute I saw her go for the umbrellas, I knew that she was toast no matter HOW bad anyone else's was. And there was a lot of ugly going down that runway.
1. Ven Budhu (I would buy this)
Created a structured strapless dress with black outlines made of Twizzlers. He filled the negative space with crushed rock candy to create the illusion of stained glass. This challenge freed him to use more graphical elements that would take a lot more time if made from real fabric. The asymmetrical V on the back of the skirt was amazingly butt-minimizing (not that his model needed that, but just sayin'), as was the placement of the abstract rose on the front. I loved it.
3. Lantie Foster (I wouldn’t wear this)
No effort, no vision, no excitement—no nothing! Honestly, this look was kind of disrespectful for the challenge at hand. She pretty much just gave up. The judges had hardly any candy on the garment to judge and she had no one to blame but herself.
4. Andrea Katz (I would not wear this)
The Twister apron with a bustle that Andrea created was really confusing. It wasn’t flattering, the orange “1” on the front was distracting, and the styling felt very matronly. The back of her garment was not harmonious with the front and nothing about the look really said fashion to me.
5. Christopher Palu (I would wear this)
Christopher got immunity last week and even if he haden't he would have been safe. He was going to go with pants but changed his mind and went with this simple yet cute little number.
6. Alicia Hardesty (I wouldn’t wear this)
She created one-shoulder overall and tried to use colors to represent the Earth. I do not like Jumpers or overalls. She looks like Pebbles from theFlintstones all grown up.
7. Elena Slivnyak (I wouldn’t wear this)
WHOA. That’s what I said as Elena’s design turned the corner. The proportions of this dress made her model seem huge. She looked like a fettuccini football player. It was a very somber, poorly executed look.
8. Buffi Jashanmal (I wouldn’t wear this)
Her look was very costume-y and lacked any sophistication. I’m a big fan of bold colors, but even this was hard to stomach.
9. Dmitry Sholokov (I would buy this)
I loved that Dmitri was able to capture a sense of movement in his dress. He was very thoughtful about the placement of his candy and I liked the exposed zipper in the back. I loved it.
10. Kooan Kosuke (I wouldn’t wear this)
I don’t think anybody could accuse Kooan of being timid in his designs. There were some really cool elements in his dress—I liked the placement of the candy on the front. But I think that he tried to use too many different types of candy and it became distracting. Sugar overload!
11. Gunnar Deatherage (I might wear this)
I love a graphic, geometric pattern but there was a moment when I wanted to yell CHECKMATE! Although the silhouette was not the most innovative thing we’ve ever seen, I think that he was ambitious and coped well with the challenge. I would have liked Gunnar to have lined the peplum underneath so it would have been a bit more finished.
12. Nathan Paul (I might wear this)
His silhouette was interesting and there was definitely a sense of playfulness with the way Nathan used his candy. But I couldn’t get over how his model had to carry her skirt the entire time. It gave me a bit of anxiety thinking that this poor girl would lose her skirt mid-runway.
13. Sonjia Williams (I would wear this)
I loved her color palette and how she used the sharks in an asymmetrical swirly pattern that mimicked real sharks circling in the water. It was fresh and fun. The issue I saw was the aqua aprony things fore and aft on the skirt. I figured they would be the factor keeping her from the win.
14. Melissa Fleis (I wouldn’t wear this)
I can already tell that the tedious all-black color palette is going to be her obstacle in this competition. Setting that aside, I still didn’t like this look. The top fit poorly and the exposed stomach was tacky.
15. Raul Osorio (might wear it)
I was confused by the exposed midriff in Raul’s design, then the patchwork of different colors and candy types didn’t work for me. But he did manage to manipulate his materials to the point that it didn’t seem like candy at first glance.
16. Fabio Costa (I would wear this)
This silhouette was very safe and wearable but there were also some special details. I liked the gumball closures on the side and the ombre he achieved on the skirt. I loved the color too.
For Ven, Heidi said he has great taste and it looks like a stunning dress and so flattering to her body. Nina said it is refreshing and beautiful. Michael said he loves the asymmetry and kept it clean and chic. Dylan said he changed the candy and took it to an artistic level. For Gunnar, Heidi said she likes what he has done and she looks quite chic. Dylan said you accessorized everything and it is something we would use in our window. Michael said you thought about it from head to toe and you thought about her body when you made it. For Sonjia, Heidi said she likes the shape and she created a really pretty dress out of candy. Dylan likes every angle of this dress and it's fun to look at. Michael said it is really well done.
Not so much:
For Buffi, Heidi said she over-accessorized too much. Michael said she is like Toddlers & Tiaras gone berserk. Nina said it is a pink explosion of messiness. For Lantie, Michael said the same problems she had on the last challenge is the same she has tonight. He feels she is a designer. Dylan said she is disappointed it is not made out of candy. Nina said at least it is not atrocious. For Elena, Heidi said it reminded her of her kids and it looks like a dress with noodles and it does not look pretty to her. Michael said she looks like Rigatoni Mad Max and it looks like she has no dimension to her body and she looks blocky. Dylan said it is not creative and she likes color. Nina said it has no spirit and no fun.
I don’t have the adequate words to tell you how completely underwhelmed I am by this.” (Tim to Andrea, delivering perhaps his harshest workroom critique ever. He also threw in the ultimate PR insult: “It looks craft project-y”).
“I feel like at this point, Lantie has just dug her own grave and is stepping into the coffin.” (Gunnar, delivering an accurate assessment, which pains me to admit because he’s an awful human being).
“If you saw her wandering down the street, you would put money in her cup.” (Michael on Buffi, whose look I personally kind of liked).
“At least it’s not atrocious.” (Nina on Lantie. This is almost a compliment coming from Nina G.)
“It’s like when you stare at a cloud and start seeing things. Now her boobs are turning into an old man’s eyes.” (Michael on Elena, in an odd-sounding critique that was actually quite accurate).
“She looks like a dude.” (Heidi on Elena. Frau Klum had a point here).
Winner = Ven
Loser = Ultimately, Lantie got the "auf wiedersehen" from Heidi because her garment was made out of an umbrella instead of candy.