Welcome to Tokyo.
Tim Gunn is SO CUTE in his chalk stripe coveralls, bucket hat, bright white sneakers, and side-mount fanny pack! I just love that man, let me go on the record with that.
The challenge: a two-look streetwear collection, one showstopper and one accessible. The winner gets to do a collaboration with Puma. Wowie wow. Tim encouraged them to find a muse in their explorations around Tokyo, and also to create their own print.
Sabato had some issues in the workroom. He said, “It’s very challenging for me.” Um, yeah, it’s challenging for everyone. That’s why it’s called a “challenge.”
On to the runway, aka ex-calator:
Guest judge: Chiara Ferragni, the most famous fashion influencer in the world! This show makes me feel so out of touch, I’ve never heard of her. Do I need to subscribe to Vogue? Or similar?
Ji Won: the red and orange outfit was sharp. I would have liked the print better if had been bigger.
Esther: love the wigs, but the outfits were underwhelming.
Sander: the runway look was indeed a showstopper and the accessible look was fabulous, but the judges weren’t sure it was streetwear.
Jonny: great attitude in his clothes, the print in the accessible look was divine. I felt like the chopsticks were cliché. The judges were crazy for both looks, but I didn’t feel the second look had the impact of the first.
Megan: the print was fantastic, and a nice sense of ease.
Sabato: dull, dull, dull. And Tim was angry that he had scrapped the striped dress.
Rinat: I LOVED the mixed print shirt, that was fantastic, looked so fantastic with the pants. And the lining on the runway jacket, that was brilliant. The strongest of the group. The judges loved her outfits but felt like they didn’t necessarily understand who she is as a designer.
Hoorah, Rinat was the winner.
Esther: when the judges spoke to her, I expected them to ask her, “Tell us, do you see a red door and want to paint it black?” Naomi felt like showing nothing but black doesn’t appeal to a customer, and Heidi said black doesn’t come across so well when you’re looking at a garment online. Word.
Sabato: Heidi thought his clothes were goth and “not good.” Joseph felt like his looks didn’t live up to his work. Naomi made the point that streetwear wasn’t for everyone. He brought up the dress he decided not to show and Tim confirmed that it was one of the strongest looks in the workroom (I imagine that decision will keep him up at night for a while). Sabato tried to defend himself, he said he had so much more to show them. Sorry, girl bye.
Heidi and Tim introduced the challenge by talking about how Tokyo is a dichotomy of the old and the new. Heidi said she had never heard the word "dichotomy" before, which I thought was a cute bit invented by the writers, but then I remembered Tim schooling Project Runway designers on unusual words and phrases ("viscera," "Sturm und Drang"), and those bozos were native English speakers.
The challenge: make a two-look collection that illustrates opposing forces - - old and new, hard and soft, masculine and feminine, whatever they like.
Esther was inspired by the steeple coming out of the roof of a temple, which she contrasted with a flowy, “water world” dress. Tim was shocked that she was using color. The judges liked the black dress but thought the acid yellow dress was costumey.
Rinat’s dichotomy was Jewish vs. Buddhist. Tim liked the Buddhist look but wasn’t sold on the Hasidic look, he felt like the knot in the front of the skirt looked like “a dry cleaning accident.” Heidi said the first look was like hand-me-downs. The judges thought the shiny fabric in the second look was cheap.
Jonny’s dichotomy was his repressed Catholic upbringing working against/with his current freaky gay self, aka darkness and light. He used black and white print fabrics, representing the light and the dark. Heidi felt like it could all sell. Joseph felt he had softened his brand in a way that was very useful.
Ji Won was inspired by traditional Korean fashion, paired with something more edgy and modern. Tim felt like it verged on costume. I loved the robe but felt like the dress was cheesy, Chiara said the dress was “not special.” Heidi felt like the skirt was too short.
Heidi and Tim told Sander to make something accessible, since he hadn’t really achieved that in the previous challenge, so he chose to do creativity vs. commerce. The dress was a T-shirt x 2: a T-shirt top with a T-shirt shape blocked on the bodice, and a skirt with the pockets sticking out - - and the jumper had pants on the bottom and a pants structure to the top.
Megan chose to do the old vs. the new. The silver flounce on the dress had major impact, and the judges loved the suit. Joseph mentioned that it’s difficult making a pantsuit in white.
The runway show was at the Amazon fashion headquarters, with an immersive digital backdrop (chosen by the designers) projected onto the wall. Guest judge, Noonoouri, a Japanese web character. The winning look would be worn by Noonoouri on her website.
Sander was the winner, the judges loved that his conceptual high fashion was being translated into something wearable and sellable.
Ji Won was close to being cut, but she ended up being safe. Rinat was on the chopping block, Heidi didn’t feel that the clothes were flattering. Naomi believed in her and didn’t want her to leave, but the other judges outvoted her. Ouch, she had just won the previous challenge, that’s harsh.
BTW I went to Amazon to see how much these clothes are selling for, and literally everything was sold out. Maybe they're made in very limited editions, or maybe they're just selling like hotcakes? I'll try and remember to check it out sooner next week. And grunt, I noticed that the Making the Cut page on Amazon includes a link to Heidi's intimates collection. Hashtag "rabid capitalism."
We're down to five designers. I thought I'd choose a final three but I really don't have any idea who it's going to pan out, each of them is so talented and also has issues. I will say that I think Sander will be in the final three, not because his win in the most recent episode puts him at the front of my mind, but because he did the most impressive look of the whole season, the silver satin bubble outfit from episode two, that was stunning. We'll see!