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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!


Project Runway All-Stars: Episode 3 Recap

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I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. I don’t know about you, but this week flew by for me. Let’s get settled and watch some fashion entertainment. I have to say, I haven’t really watched the intro all that intently before, and wow, is it ever silly. There is some seriously awkward voguing going on up there. Good thing these folks are all reality tv veterans, because some of that footage is “drunk uncle dancing at a wedding” levels of embarrassing.

So, this episode the challenge is to create a flamboyant cocktail dress for Miss Piggy. They have $150 and one day to make the dress. Now, of course they won’t be designing for a whole platoon of Miss Piggy-esque models. Instead they will be designing for regular models, and the winning design will be modified to fit the Muppet. This challenge  has some great potential for over-the-top ideas and has a bit of cheeky fun to it. I’m actually kind of looking forward to this.


The Runway

So apparently Isaac Mizrahi was unavailable this week, so Eric Daman, the costume designer for Gossip Girl is sitting in on the judging panel this week along with the client and guest judge, Miss Piggy.

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Project Project Runway Challenge 3: Runway Show

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Ah, the stilt challenge. Good thing Gia is such a multi-talented model.



Today’s runway is outside, just like the show. Gia tries her best to strut on her very tall “stilts” (cardstock cylinders masking taped to her legs.)

I found myself quite uninspired by this challenge. Generally when I watch the show, I find myself thinking “I would use this” or “I would have gone in that other direction.” This challenge was different – I really struggled this week trying to figure out what to do.

My garment for today consists of black knit pants and a yukata-inspired tunic top. I used a couple of graphic fabrics for the crossover tunic and the wide obi-inspired belt. I mostly just wanted to used the overall shape of yukata as a starting place because I liked the idea of the long sleeves both reflecting and mitigating the exaggerated leg proportions.



The other thing at play is that my husband and I are in the middle of buying our first house, so I have a lot of other things on my mind. As such, I was not in the mood for going fabric shopping (blasphemy, I know!) so these fabrics were ones I already had in my teeny tiny stash (seriously, I have one small plastic container dedicated to fabric. I live in a tiny apartment, there is no room for a wonderfully extensive stash.) The black for the pants are actually a pair of my husband’s socks he no longer wanted. Recycling!

One nice thing about this outfit is that the top can be worn as an dress in the future when Gia is not wearing stilts.

When it comes to styling, I chose not to accessorize this time, as I think the look stands on its own (and stilt walkers don’t wear shoes.) For hair and makeup, I think a nude lip and smoky eye would look nice along with a French twist hairstyle. As to who would wear this? Maybe someone like Nicki Minaj?

I hope that my execution of this look is not disrespectful. I tried to avoid cultural appropriation and I hope that I was able to to stay on the side of inspiration rather than appropriation; but if I failed in that, I am sorry.

Project Runway: Episode 3 Recap

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Ready? Let’s do this!


Opening Drama


The boys lament the loss of Josh and wish Fallene were gone. Catty, Mrrow.

Fallene says her designing is “more artistic” than what they have to do here. So why did you fail miserably in the unconventional material round?


Heidi comes out on stilts. O…kay. I wonder if Heidi has always been talented at stilt-walking or whether she practiced endlessly. Followed by “stilt models” Most look fairly model-tiny, so hopefully the whining about designing for “real women” is kept to a minimum.


The Challenge:


Come up with an outfit that is eye-catching, imaginative, and larger than life. They are paired up, and will be dressing stilt-walkers.

Teams are chosen from the button bag.

Bert and Viktor – Viktor talks trash right in front of Bert. Bert may have been a bit bratty last episode, but not classy, Viktor, not classy at all. Maybe even assy.

Anthony Ryan and Laura – Okay.

Joshua Ryan with Julie – A guy in the running for most foppish and the earthy gal. Should be an interesting combo.

Danielle and Cecelia – I don’t think either of them works well with others. This might be fun to watch.

Anya and Olivier – Good pair, I think.

Kimberly and Becky – Two underdogs. I do not have a good feeling about this

Bryce and Fallene – I can hear the hissing from here.

The show will happen in front of an audience and press. Very ANTM.

Tim points out that fashion illustration frequently features freakishly long-legged ladies. This is a chance for their visions to come to life. Yes and no. Yes, in that the proportions of stilt-walkers are more like fashion illustrations, but no in that this challenge basically requires that the designers fashion something that fully covers the stilt apparatuses. So its kind of a toss-up.

Oh, and they are consulting with the models. So, to recap: they’re a) working in teams b) for a client c) who is wearing stilts d) in a public fashion show. Whatever could go wrong? They have $500 and 1 day to complete the challenge.


The Workroom


It’s madness! Madness, I tell you!

Standout bits:

Joshua Ryan Reynolds asks Julie in an accusing voice, “How much couture training have you had?” Well, duh, none, and neither have you. I seriously doubt anyone who has been apprenticed to a French Couturier (the only real couture out there) would even consider being on a reality show on Lifetime, for goodness sake! Don’t get all pissy, Joshua, you’re just the same as her in that respect.

Fallene doesn’t want all black, she doesn’t want a “gothic stilt walker.” Actually that could be amazing. Too bad we won’t see it.

Viktor and Bert are totally at one another’s throats. One of their fabrics is a shiny damask that Bert picked. Hideous. But Viktor’s design of Elizabethan gown seems terribly dated and uninteresting so I actually don’t really agree with either of them. Hm.

Josh and Julie’s idea, romantic matador, could be lovely.

Laura and Anthony Ryan are planning a hoop skirt, which is clever, but might look very crafty (in a bad way) on the runway.

Cecelia and Danielle seem to be working well together. I am surprised. Yay lady power!

Becky and Kimberly have no real communication. Hm.

Fallene and Bryce are making a big ass voluminous skirt. Um, Bryce, didn’t you almost go home last week for a big ass voluminous skirt? Is recreating that garment really the road you’d like to go down with your also bottom three partner. Really? Bryce is poo-pooing everything Fallene suggests, and she seems to just be rolling over on that. So I foresee a second week in a row where she is unable to defend what she sends down the runway. Uh oh.

Laura and Anthony Ryan end up scrapping the hoop skirts. We’ll see how they “make it work.”

Bryce and Fallene are still at each other in a totally passive-agressive way. Fallene won’t stand up for what she wants, and Bryce is talking about Fallene behind her back because she is a self-taught designer. High school bitchiness. I don’t like it.

Viktor and Bert are both whining to Tim. Tim is your mentor, not your referee. You’re both adults, work it out!

Tim seems a bit confused about Anya and Oliver’s fabric choices, and honestly, almost all of the fabric choices are perplexing to me. Everywhere I look in the workroom, I see some seriously tacky fabrics. And since they are designing for stilt walkers, there is going to be a lot of fabric on that runway, just in terms of yardage. So why all the truly hideus fabrics?

So the models come in and get fitted a bit.

Fallene’s bodice is wrong, she did indeed cut it off-grain and needs to cut it again. I feel bad for her, though she seems to work at a snail’s pace. Bryce is all “I’m worried.” Okay, I know it is everyone for themselves, but seriously, maybe you should help out. The look is supposed to be a unified look that you two partnered together to make. If the model has to go out completely topless, it’s both your faults, Fallene’s for not achieving what she set out to do, and Bryce’s for not stepping in when things needed to be stepped in on. I mean, it sucks if you end up in the bottom three and you did all the work of two, but isn’t it better to send a decent overall garment down the runway and not end up in the bottom two at all, and let your partner get kicked off when they have to stand on their own two feet and aren’t dragging you down with them?

Morning happens, and Bryce puts together a tube top. Okay, see paragraph above. Well, if you half-ass it like that, you are for sure going to be in the bottom two.


The Runway


Well, at least there will be fewer looks this week, covering 14 looks is exhausting.

Guest judge Kim Kardashian. Bah. Why?

All Images from



Joshua and Julie’s sexy matador costume is kind of crazy. I know getting proportions right on a lady with 6-foot-long legs is hard, but this just looks a bit weird. Maybe they should have dropped the pants a few inches to the model’s natural waist instead of doing a high-waisted look? I think dropping the crotch a bit may have helped as well. But I love the fabric for the pants, very graphic, and I think the red is gorgeous, and I like the cape-like sleeve. It might be too costume-y.



Bert and Viktor’s Elizabethan…thing is…hmmm. I hate the fabrics, I hate the half-assed pants they put underneath the skirt. The fabric choices are atrocious (still) I hate the gold mesh at the top of the bodice. I wish they had kept the big collar idea they had initially come up with, it may have helped to balance the whole thing. That being said, I think the proportions of the bodice are interesting. Maybe not fresh, but I like the structure to it. Too bad it was an atrocious fit on the model.



Bryce and Fallene’s ballerina thing. It just looks sad to me. I think the idea could have been a good one, playing with the tutu idea. But the top is (predictably) throw-away, and the pants under the skirt are just sad. They just seem like an afterthought (which they probably were.) Actually, this whole look seems like an afterthought.



Becky and Kimberly’s outfit actually turned out pretty cool. I like the way they extended the length of the jacket to make the proportions seem a bit off, but not as insane. There are some detailing issues I have with the jacket like the lime green accents and the pants aren’t the best in that I don’t really like the shape and the accents at the bottom are tacky. I feel like a lot more work went into the jacket than the pants, but I can’t say I hate this look.



Anya and Olivier’s garment. This one made me chuckle because it is so Anya and Oliver. Anya went for the interesting print, as she does, and Oliver went for the drab neutrals. Poor thing must have had to take a lie down after touching Anya’a blue and purple and khaki print. That being said, this is actually pretty cool. I wish they had used a bit more color, but with Oliver on the team, who am I kidding.



Cecelia and Danielle. Well, this has Danielle all over it. The color combination is essentially the same as her first two runways. It is her shapes, her prairie school marm haristyle. I actually have trouble seeing much of Cecelia in it, though now looking back, she also used this color combination last week. If I call out Oliver for being stuck in a color rut, I’m calling out these two as well. That all being said, the top is beautiful and the pants seem to fit her well. Not all bad.



Anthony and Laura. Well, they lucked out, their model stomps hard. I actually think they did a great job incorporating the skirt over the pants. It looks unified in a way that some of the other underpants (but not that kind!) did not. I think the dramatic shoulder treatment was very smart to help balance out the shape. The skirt flows in a lovely way. The red is a bit too Valentino for my taste, though. I still, think this is very well done. This looks like a real dress, not a costume.


Picking a top 3 teams and bottom 3 teams is hard because I feel like there was more of a top two and a bottom two. So I’ll go with that instead.


My top 2:

Anthony and Laura

Joshua and Julie


My bottom 2:

Bryce and Fallene

Bert and Viktor



The Judges’s top 3:

Anthony and Laura

Cecelia and Danielle

Kimberly and Becky


The Judge’s bottom 3:

Joshua and Julie

Bert and Viktor

Bryce and Fallene


Anthony and Laura are the top, Laura wins. Poor anthony Ryan is second place again.


Cecelia and Danielle and Kimberly and Becky are in.


Josh and Julie are in. Yay!


Bert is in.


Bryce is in.


Fallene is out.


That means Viktor is in.


Goodbye quirky quirky quirky. Maybe you can go into designing hats.