— Project Runway (@ProjectRunway) October 28, 2016
What is streetwear? This is the question that plagued designers on this week’s episode of “Project Runway” (2004-present) as many stepped out of their comfort zone of cocktail dresses into the “Urban Jungle” (it’s clever because that’s the title of the episode!).
The show goes off the product placement deep-end in this episode, flying all ten remaining designers to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. for a five-minute rollercoaster montage. This is, however, the first product plug that Emily actually enjoyed watching as the designers trekked through a virtual reality ride called “Skull Island: Reign of Kong,” which became the source of inspiration for this week’s streetwear challenge. Back in New York less than 24 hours later, the designers rush through Mood Fabrics, collecting textiles inspired by the ride’s rocks, bats and creepy crawlers.
This week, back by popular demand, we welcomed our guest judges SMFA seniors Mary Herrera and Kevin Valderrama. We also invited two of our favorite people and Ana’s housemates, senior drama and computer science double major Mitchell Katz and junior chemistry major Monica Dawes. Mitchell has been begging to be a guest judge since we started writing this column and did not disappoint. Monica is a religious watcher of the show and is actually the person that inspired us to write this column.
Designer Erin Robertson returned to her roots this episode after being in the bottom last week for using embroidery to create her own new textile for a pair of shorts. While we were initially excited to see what she would make, her lack of time management meant that the stitching on the shorts was wonky and the look’s accompanying shirt was not thought-out and poorly made.
Designer Dexter Simmons collected canvas in different shades of green that he turned into a weird army jacket-inspired look with round protruding shoulders that looked like Mickey Mouse ears.
Nathalia JMag was inspired by bats, creating a jacket with wing-like sleeves. Mitchell aptly responded, “[It] looks like an ugly blazer had sex with a tent.”
The most controversial look of the episode came from our dear, quirky Brik Allen. He mixed a lot of patterns together and, while some of us thought it was successful, the judges hated it and sent him home. The winner this week was Laurence Basse who created yet another impeccable red leather jacket mixed with yet another horrible drop-crotch pant.
This episode was harder to watch and critique as we all are feeling exhausted by the overbearing force of midterms. When we asked about everyone’s semesters during the commercial breaks, we mostly got panicked laughter. Mary vividly described the sensation of wanting to “scream and backflip into the sun.” We did begin to warm up after we decided to make a batch of pizza rolls which reminded Ana of childhood. Thanks, pizza rolls!