Classroom to Contentious to Retail: Lifetime Network's Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9 "JustFab" Challenge
The JustFab Challenge: This week on Lifetime's Season 14 "Project Runway" the designers had to create a so-called "High Fashion" look that would be mass-produced and sold on the JustFab site. JustFab is one of the show's sponsors, providing the accessories for the contestant's looks. Their creations were to be "inspired" by JustFab Style Personas including "Bombshell", "Trendsetter", "Girl Next Door", "Modern Classic", and "Femme Nouveau". It all made for a rather confusing directive, challenge and especially, runway judging. The episode began harmlessly enough...
Tim Tablet: Tim says "Good Morning Designers! Get up and Get Ready. Class starts in One Hour" via a Tablet--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
Class Is In Session: Tim Gunn, along with JustFab Fashion Director, Yuchin Mao, introduce the challenge at the mini-classroom/workroom--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
During the Workroom and Pre-Runway:
Not Sure of That Print: Designer/contestant Edmond Newton originally wanted to use this printed fabric to make a one shoulder/one sleeved dress he thought would be very "Bombshell"--his JustFab design Style Persona. Tim was a bit perplexed by the design and how un-Bombshell it might look. He fittingly questioned Edmond's love of the print. During the model fitting...
Now That's Better: Edmond finally realizes it's time to ditch his original printed design and use a red Lycra knit to make it truly Bombshell--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
And then, there was Miss "I Forgot" Laurie:
Ummm, Are You OK with Your Model's Bra Straps Showing? One of the other models asks Laurie Underwood, if this is how she intended her design to look going down the runway...with her model's bra straps showing with the see-through organza top she made for her look. Underwood's excuse: "Oh, I Forgot!". Well, we knew that this was not going to be a good sign. You may remember, last week, she got bitten by the Nipple Pasties Virus.
Judging Time: (L to R) Yuchin Mao, JustFab Fashion Director; Singer/songwriter/fashion diva Ciara; Marie Claire's Nina Gracia; Designer Zac Posen; Heidi Klum--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
My Two Cents:
The judging turned out to be ALL OVER THE PLACE, so much so that no one was on Top or Bottom. The reason, I feel the judging was CRAY-CRAY was because of the confusion of the Challenge. You'll have to read my RECAP beginning at the end of this post and then on the MyLifetime.com "Project Runway" Blog HERE to find out what I thought the directive of the Challenge should have been.
Just one look at the site, you know that "High Fashion" (as in a look straight out of the Alexander McQueen runway for example) isn't a necessary criteria; and neither is "Innovation" as in a forward/modern/Viktor & Rolf type design. One just needs to make something cute, chic enough for a Millennial, 20-something gal, and easy enough to be mass-produced and retail for under $40. And BTW: if something retails for $40, this means that it should cost about $10 TO MAKE (including fabric, label, EVERYTHING!).
Un-Fashionable Judging: Queen Nina and Prince Zac were two of the most vocal when it came to not liking any of the designs that would have actually been PERFECT for JustFab. Which tells me two things:
A) they didn't even LOOK at the JustFab website to see what they sell
B) They were too stuck in their "High Fashion" criteria.
Kelly Depsey: I liked this printed cropped top and leggings look. It is very JustFab and made of not-expensive knit fabrication (although it might have been difficult to mass produce these specific prints that Kelly got from Mood). Oh, and yeah, that faux fur chubby was verging on "Muppets Hooker", so there was that.
Top Two: Ashley Nell Tipton (left) and Edmon Newton (R). Loved Ashley's super cute look and especially the cropped gold faux leather Moto jacket. Nina hated the top and skirt, naturally. And Edmond--well, thank goodness he changed his original design (with a little guidance from Tim Gunn) and created this "Bombshell" sexy red dress. It was simple with one unique detail (the spaghetti bias), can be worn by many sizes, cheap fabric, done and done. It rightfully won.
And here's the actual style and how it ended up for production and retail at JustFab.com:
Bombshell Red--Edmond Newton's design at JustFab. I doubt if he's making anything from the sales (99.99 % sure he's not), but congrats for winning!
Too High Fashion: (L to R) Candice Cuoco and Merline Labissiere. These two designs were so off-the-JustFab mark, it was as if they forgot the "This Must be Mass-Produced for $39.95 for a 22 Year Old Millenial to Buy it!" part. I don't fault them so much for it since again, the challenge directives were so convoluted.
No Gowns on JustFab: Not sure why anyone--Tim, the producers...SOMEONE!--did not inform Swapnil Shinde (his cheetah printed gown design is above with organza cocoon coat) that JustFab doesn't sell gowns ANYWHERE On their site. And trust me, if it ever did, it wouldn't be one like this. This gown doesn't scream Hipster Millenial, but rather the BET Awards in 2003.
Laurie Underwood: Oh Laurie. While from a distance, I would say this look is sophisticated and quite va-va-voom chic. But, it's SOOOO NOT JustFab and then, there's the see-through organza halter top. It really wasn't even a top but more like a front bib of sorts. And yes, it ended up that indeed, we saw her model's...
Nipple Pasties!!!--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
Laurie should have...
...probably stuck to her original design of a v-neck sheath dress. Maybe she might have been on top along with Edmond and Ashley and not OUT--Season 14 "Project Runway" Episode 9
And now, time for my RECAP of this week's "Project Runway":
Season 14, Episode 9: Runway Retail
This week’s challenge was to design a look for
JustFab, the online fast-fashion retailer and one of the sponsors of
this season’s “Project Runway.” Easy, right? Nope, not so much as it
turned out. I think the actual challenge suffered from an unnecessary
"high fashion" directive which then lead to contradictory expectations
and critiques from the judges and somewhat perplexing creations.
Eventually, there were some super-cute JustFab designs among all that,
but it felt like we had to go through tooth surgery to get there. Let's
The episode begins with the
remaining designers in their apartments finding a tablet on their
kitchen tables with Tim Gunn making an announcement, “Good morning
designer. Get up and get ready. Class starts in one hour and you don’t
want to be tardy. Today is going to be JUST FABULOUS!” While the contestants mulled over a possible “school” inspiration, I knew better.
and Yuchin Mao, fashion director for JustFab are in the workroom, which
has been redecorated to resemble a mini classroom. Mao tells the
designers that JustFab had recently expanded their business beyond
accessories and is now selling apparel. There is a blackboard with five
JustFab member style personas: Bombshell (sexy, not shying from the
spotlight), Trendsetter (risk-taker, edgy), Girl Next Door (casual, easy
spirit), Modern Classic (tailored look), and Femme Nouveau (a romantic
Candice, who won last week’s
Click HERE on the MyLifetime.com "Project Runway" Blog to read the rest of my RECAP!