One thing I recognize about this week’s Undertaking Runway: The problem acknowledges how, extra typically than we as an business would possibly care to confess, trend shouldn’t be in regards to the precise clothes; it is in regards to the particular person sporting them. That is why we get TikTok tendencies like “Is it trend, or is she simply skinny?” or, to reference tabloid fodder as outdated as tabloids themselves, “Who wore it higher?” columns. Though I am positive each the judges and designers on Undertaking Runway are deeply grateful for the fashions who sport their garments, these fashions do not get almost the credit score they deserve for pulling off every look—together with these within the class of “disastrous.” This week’s problem is all about styling, and I hope it is a PR mainstay. Acknowledging how a lot a coiffure could make or break a runway second is a little bit of much-needed honesty.

Originally of episode 11, “Haute Hair,” the designers are pulled again into the runway room to fulfill with Elaine, who introduces them to a cohort of Black hairstylists from the Tresemmé Future Stylists Fund. Our rivals study they will be collaborating with these stylists on an outfit impressed by a signature coiffure: Assume bantu knots, inventive braids, or glossy finger waves. With solely sooner or later to assemble the aforementioned outfit, the designers begin tossing out concepts inside seconds of assembly with their salon companions. Kristina needs one thing Roaring ’20s-inspired; Shantall is channeling ’90s hip-hop; Aaron’s making a rain jacket, and Bones—ceaselessly enamored with the Met Gala—is assembling a dress-cum-sari match for Girl Gaga. Aspirational.

At Temper, they’ve half-hour and $500 for materials, and Shantall makes the daring however bonkers option to blow her funds on white leather-based. Christian is understandably involved—who, of their proper thoughts, would make an all-leather outfit in a single day?—however he has different worries to seize his consideration: Aaron is contemplating crafting his rain jacket out of satin. (Aaron, darling, have you ever ever gotten satin moist?) Christian nudges him, fortunately, towards some eye-catching neon vinyl, and we will all set free the breath we have been holding.

At their stations, the designers FaceTime with their collaborators to nail down design particulars. Bones is manifesting a sentimental coronary heart theme for his gown, impressed by the center surgical procedure his father underwent. Throughout the room, Kristina is wrestling—considerably actually—with a kimono-like jacket that Christian recommends she stray from, contemplating its similarity to a lot of her earlier designs. And Coral is hooked up to her leather-based bustier-jacket, however Christian precisely guesses she’s received little thought the best way to make it match along with her hairstylist’s idea, inventive ponytails.

By the point the fashions sashay into the room for his or her first becoming, some designers are in noticeably higher form than others. Let’s give attention to the latter: Bones nonetheless hasn’t settled on the draping for his (admittedly attractive) yards of crimson material, and Chasity cuts some slashes into the torso of her tiger-print robe that Christian fears are too on-the-nose. Then the inevitable occurs: Shantall’s white leather-based material tears on the waist. Whereas she rushes to craft some form of invisible zipper to cover the error, Christian cannot resist slipping in a not-so-subtle “I informed you so.”

The designers are all so pressured that, by the point they return dwelling to rejoice Aaron’s fortieth birthday with pizza and helium balloons, Aaron will get just one good whack at his piñata earlier than Coral is available in, weapons blazing, slamming it into the bottom with a bat like an axe assassin. Sadly, issues solely go downhill for Aaron from right here.

The subsequent morning, he realizes the last-minute jumpsuit he is stitched collectively is, to make use of his time period for it, a “sizzling mess.” He spent a lot time on his (fabulous) rain jacket that he uncared for to recollect his mannequin wants one thing to put on that is not 100-percent see-through. He wastes 20 minutes arising with a pair of canary yellow pants he hates, then stitches a patchwork design on his jumpsuit’s torso that resembles a weird superhero brand. Aaron’s flailing at this level, and he is all too conscious of it.

Nonetheless, he isn’t the one one. Coral, over at her station, is shocked when her mannequin struts in with hair pulled right into a sequence of more and more wild ponytails, like a couture Medusa. This is not in any respect the delicate look Coral was anticipating, and he or she realizes with some horror that her jacket is totally at odds along with her collaborator’s hair design. However she has no time to make changes, and inside minutes we’re headed to the runway. This week’s winners and losers have been virtually immediately apparent by the point they hit the catwalk, however let’s break them down anyway, we could?

  • Bones discovered his draping! DD appears beautiful as they strut down the runway in that shining crimson material, stretched over the torso till DD strips it off to disclose a clear prime with a hip-high skirt slit. Then there’s one other reveal as they tear off the skirt to showcase a ruched miniskirt. There’s numerous components at play right here, however that is what makes the design so recent.
  • Coral’s look feels mismatched from prime to backside. The lacy skirt is female, virtually cutesy, whereas the leather-based jacket is edgy and refined. In the meantime, the ponytails are wild, bordering unkempt. Nothing suits collectively, and the all-black supplies do not add any visible curiosity to the design. A pop of colour might need actually saved this outfit.
  • Kudos to Shantall as a result of, miraculously, she saved her ripped pants. Her clothes are well-crafted, attractive and fashionable: The sparkly halter prime is so chunky it virtually appears cable-knit, whereas the wavy bomber jacket and cargo pants are made with noticeable ability. This design looks like a departure for Shantall, but it really works brilliantly with the mannequin’s bantu knots.
  • Chasity’s tiger-print gown is a divine match for her stylists’ braided hair. As a result of the entire look is so regal, so over-the-top, the beaded particulars Chasity added to the ripped torso make it really feel extra elegant than on-the-nose. Plus, the round pocket particulars are a genius contact. I nonetheless do not love the animal print itself, however Chasity maneuvered it into one thing beautiful.
  • No shock right here, however Aaron’s rain jacket is a triumph. The clear vinyl is so arresting, so stylish, I may see the garment in a NYC boutique window. However that jumpsuit makes me wish to cry. It appears like one thing an astronaut would possibly put on on the tennis courtroom, to not point out the fabric rides up manner too excessive on his mannequin’s crotch.
  • I understand how a lot the judges adore Kristina, and I feel there is not any query she’s an excellent designer. However I do really feel we have seen this silhouette from her quite a few occasions. I really like the black-and-white theme right here, nevertheless it would not adequately intensify her mannequin’s curves; the look is significantly better when the material is pulled away to disclose glossy, high-waisted trousers and a gingham bra prime. This a part of the look feels enjoyable, stylish, and like one thing plenty of Gen Z women would put on on an evening out.

    I feel it appears instantly apparent who’s going dwelling this week. Mannequin Treasured Lee is guest-judging with our regular cohort, and he or she has various astute observations, particularly relating to Coral’s design: As particular person items, the clothes are beautiful, however in unison they conflict. After Bones and Shantall get to cross and enter into subsequent week’s problem, Kristina and Chasity vie for the highest spot, with Chasity finally rising because the winner. “It’s the most spectacular outfit I’ve seen from you so far,” Nina tells her, and the delight on Chasity’s face is so evident it is arduous to not get emotional watching at dwelling.

    That leaves Coral and Aaron on the underside, however after considered one of Elaine’s feedback—“What’s beneath [the jacket], with all due love and respect, is tragic,” she tells Aaron—we all know what’s about to occur. Aaron is distributed packing, and Coral bursts into tears, throwing her arms round him as she expresses her shock. Amicably, he replies, “I goofed up.” This line, I really feel, completely encapsulates who Aaron has grow to be over the course of this season. After his habits with Bones just a few episodes in the past, Aaron has matured dramatically, and I feel he is exiting this competitors with a a lot stronger design sensibility—and a greater head on his shoulders.

      Subsequent week, we get to considered one of my favourite challenges: editorial. The designers will work with mannequin Coco Rocha to dream up an editorial look and direct a photoshoot round it, and if you happen to’ve by no means been on {a magazine} photoshoot set earlier than, let me let you know: Dramatics aren’t precisely unusual. This needs to be a enjoyable one.

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