— Project Runway (@ProjectRunway) November 11, 2016
Much like “Project Runway” (2004-present) judge and designer Zac Posen’s recent impromptu seated Rockette/karate kick, this week’s episode might be a bit kitschy, but we love it. After the designers’ moms or female best friends fly in for tearful reunions, the designers are tasked with creating a look for their loved ones. Adding higher stakes to the challenge, the winning designer and client will each win $25,000 from AARP.
This episode is exciting for us because it redeems Project Runway from its terrible “Real Woman” challenge earlier in the season. Instead of designing for the abstract “real woman” (who apparently has the proportions of a model and a penchant for jumpsuits) the contestants actually have to make outfits for women of different shapes and sizes.
Although we, Ana and Emily, were excited about the designs being sketched, our guest judge was actually more excited about the restaurant where the sketching was taking place, asking out loud, “more importantly, where is this brunch place?” Said lovely human is our boss, Editor in Chief of the Tufts Daily junior Arin Kerstein. In addition to her passion for food, Arin excels in Jewish geography, as demonstrated by her discovery within the first five minutes of watching the show that one of her best friends from home is Emily’s cousin. When Arin is not running the Daily, she is sleeping or studying Arabic. Although “Project Runway” is better than other reality shows she has watched, Arin contests that, “If we had Ke$ha in this show, in any capacity, this would be infinitely better.”
Looking around the workroom, we worry some of the designers are turning into one-trick ponies. How many big coats with giant pockets have we seen from Erin? Architectural leather jackets from Laurence? Our fave three this week were also the judges’ top picks: Mah-Jing, Rik and Roberi. In an ode to his family’s heritage, Rik employs stitching similar to the mariachi embroidery of his childhood and adds a heart to the upper corner of the dress that adds color and an extra jolt of good feelings without looking childish. Roberi also does solid work, creating a dress that, as one guest judge puts it, has, “a lot of sophistication but is in no way boring.” Mah-Jing slays the game, creating an awesome kimono-inspired leather jacket for his mom, Bahamadia. Described as an “underground hip-hop superstar,” she helps sell Mah-Jing’s look with a killer, confident runway strut. Rik wins overall with his impeccably tailored dress and jacket combo.
Erin is running out of steam: for her mom, she creates a tacky high-low dress in a baby blue floral print that is covered in heavy lace. She needs to step up her game if she doesn’t want to be eliminated. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to the girl with our favorite laugh when Jenni is eliminated. Her look isn’t bad but, again, in a season where everyone is so talented, doing just okay doesn’t cut it anymore.