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PPR Season 12: Challenge 3

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This week’s challenge is called “An Unconventional Coney Island.” We were to design an outfit using items that can be won at a carnival. Furthermore, our outfits should be inspired by three words that can describe frozen yogurt (ugh.)

Well, let’s set aside the word association part of the challenge for a moment; there was no way I was going to go to a carnival and actually play rigged carnival games in a desperate bid to get materials. So I decided to go to basically the same source as carnival prizes: the dollar store. The dollar store actually ended up being a pretty great place to find carnival-like materials–they still had a lot of summer stock. I didn’t go in with a particular idea in mind, so I went a little bit crazy choosing materials. Hey, it’s all just a dollar, so it’s not like I was breaking the bank!


I picked up: two packages of water balloons, two beach balls, a spiky play ball, and a plush dolphin. I was most inspired by the balloons, and pink was the best color option, so I decided to stick to a monochromatic pink palette.

I was really inspired by the water balloons. They are a lot smaller than regular balloons and seemed to be a great scale for my model. I envisioned a petal skirt made of rows of the balloons. I just wasn’t sure what to pair the skirt with, so I bought enough stuff to have options.

Oh, and back to the frozen yogurt “inspiration words” I decided my words would be “summery,” “refreshing,” and “fun” (I know most people wouldn’t describe frozen yogurt as “fun” but did you see some of the descriptors people used on the show? “Happy?” “Divine?” “Luxurious?” Yeah.)


Zhanna heads down the runway in a bright pink petal skirt and a matching pink crop top.

The crop top and skirt base are made of the pink section of the beach ball. The skirt treatment is the water balloons. These materials were quite difficult to work with. The beach ball material has a tendency to stretch and deform as it’s worked with and the water balloons were absolutely coated in some sort of powder which made it difficult to affix them to anything. But hey, that’s what an unconventional materials challenge is all about, right?

I knew that the skirt would be rather eye-catching, so I wanted the outfit to be otherwise quite simple. I’ve done a dress with a similar skirt treatment before (last season’s unconventional material challenge – candy.) So I wanted to mix up the silhouette just a little bit, so I decided to do a skirt and crop top. Very few people could effectively pull off this look, but I do think that even though the top is strapless as well as cropped, it doesn’t quite cross the line to vulgarity due to the high waist of the skirt.

In the styling, I wanted to speak to the “summery” part of my descriptor words.


Once again, choosing from the Belk Wall was a bit difficult. Sorry to be so negative, but I really am not impressed with the accessory wall this season. For shoes, I chose a neutral platform sandal, the Dolce Vita Paylan Wedge Sandal. I also added a pair of Ralph by Ralph Lauren Plastic Cat Eye Sunglasses and a Vince Camuto By the Horns Silver Pendant Necklace.

I think the styling of this look indicates the wearer would be a fashion loving girl who isn’t afraid to be daring. I see this look as being extreme street wear – not really a red carpet look.

In terms of hair, I think something edgy would be cool. I’m thinking an undercut style, though I don’t know how amenable a model would be to such a drastic look. For makeup, I imagine going with a super neutral, pale lips and a bold extra-smoky eyeshadow.

In general, I like this look. It might not be something I would ever wear in a million years, but I think it is interesting. I like how the petal skirt looks, and I’m proud of myself for moving a little out of my comfort zone. I think I would be in the middle this week because the petals don’t lay perfectly and there are some minor fit issues with the top.

As always, don’t forget to check out the PPR Flickr page for other fantastic designs!


2 responses »

  1. Ok, love how you did the skirt! It is a good cross between the fun of the challenge and high style. I had such a hard time at the dollar store but it looks like we got stuffed animals from the same bin.


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