Monday, October 19, 2015
 Is This Avant-garde: Season 11 "Project Runway" Episode 11 "Avant-garde Challenge"

This past week's challenge on Lifetime Network's Season 14 "Project Runway" was the Avant-garde Challenge. Fans and viewers of the show always look forward to this challenge since, besides the "Unconventional" one, this really shows how creative the designers can be and how their design boundaries can be pushed.

The Bridge Is Your Inspiration: Tim Gunn introduces this season's Avant-garde Challenge overlooking the Queensboro Bridge--Season 14 "Project Runway Episode 11
Iconic NYC bridges were the inspiration...
Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge

 Queensboro Bridge

The designers were also to create 3D prints as detail for the Avant-garde designs--using a Cube 3D printer...As a novice of 3D printing and what can be done, I am wowed every time I see the technology up close...

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of hosting a fashion event at the Las Vegas Computer Electronics Show/CES 2015 and saw this wonderful design, the "3D Spider Dress" by Anouk Wipprecht which was created using Intel 3D Printing technology

Back to the so-called Avant-garde Runway...
Not Avant-garde Judging: During the runway critique, the judges were a little confusing with their take on the Avant-garde creations from this season's remaining designers. Most of the designs were NOT Avant-garde and yet, the judges were praising them for how "Pretty" and "Red Carpet Perfect" some were. Excuse me, but I thought this was an Avant-garde Challenge NOT a Red Carpet one...

Now, in case you need a refresher course on WHAT AVANT-GARDE should look's a peak:
Comme Des Garcons by Rei Kawakubo Spring 2016

 (L to R) Commes Des Garcons by Rei Kawakubo Fall 2015, Spring 2015

 (L to R) Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Spring 2015, Fall 2015

 Gareth Pugh Spring/Summer 2015

Now that you have seen that, we can continue with what was NOT Avant-garde on the runway in this past week's "Project Runway" episode:
 Candice Cuoco: Candice's strapless mermaid-shaped gown was very elegant and pretty, as some of the judges said. And in fact Guest Judge Mel B said she would wear it to an upcoming an event. But it wasn't Avant-garde, so for me it failed at the challenge. But, yes, it was quite Flamenco pretty! I do wonder if this center back panel on the models behind...

Back Ooopsie: Was a last-minute addition since it was probably too tight. I would bet my prized pattern shears on it!

Edmond Newton: Once again, a very pretty design but not really Avant-garde. I liked how he used the "X's" of his Queensboro Bridge inspiration and his 3D prints. But this was Avant-garde Lite.

Kelly Dempsey: Kelly's design was the well deserved winner. So at least the judges got that right! This was certainly the closest thing to an actual Avant-garde design. The geometric shape was jarring yet very reminiscent of the bridges' structure and the front torso straps were a great homage to the spider web-like cables of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Bottom:
Ashley Nell Tipton: Ashley's "Wonder Woman-Meets-Church Choir" creation had drama, certainly. But A) Not Avant-garde and B) those pants were a mess:

Waaaay Too Tight: rippling that originates from the inseam and crotch/rise is Design School 101 Too Tight Pant Fit

Merline Labissiere: Merline--a student of architecture and one of the only designers this season whose aesthetic leans toward being slightly "avant-garde"--should have had this challenge in the bag. But she was OUT. This was uninspired, not Avant-garde and almost somewhat wearable. Also, as Heidi pointed out, the bottom section was very reminiscent of...

Kini Zamora of Season 13 Avant-garde design (now THAT'S Avant-garde, kids!)

And now, here's my RECAP for this past week's episode--Read all I have to say about the episode and the NOT-SO Avant-garde designs...

Season 14, Episode 11: A Bridge Not Far Enough

''Pretty." "Feminine." "Perfect for a red carpet event." These were all comments from the judges to some of the creations that came down the runway in this week's episode. There’s only a teeny-tiny problem: these SHOULDN’T BE the comments you want to hear when critiquing an avant-garde challenge. But here we were. This week’s challenge is always supposed to be a highlight of the “Project Runway” season, showcasing the limitless level of creativity that the designers can achieve. Sadly, this wasn't the case. What happened? How did four out of the five designers get it so avant-garde wrong, and more importantly, what Kool-Aid were the judges drinking? Time to investigate and recap.

The episode begins with the top five designers, Edmond being the only male left. They discuss Swapnil (who was given the auf last week) and what a shame that he gave up so soon. I know that there’s a lot of web chatter about Swapnil and whether or not he was edited to seem unproductive. However, the fact that these designers are reiterating the “he gave up” narrative, makes me think that, in fact, it wasn’t editing.

Heidi meets up with the designers on the runway stage, telling them that for the next challenge that “they are going to bring some NY landmarks to life…in 3D!” as she puts on a pair of 3D glasses. The designers join Tim at a location overlooking the Queensboro Bridge to introduce the challenge: Create an avant-garde design inspired by an iconic NYC bridge. Each designer gets a bridge: Kelly, who won last week, chooses the Brooklyn Bridge;,Candice and Merline get the Queensboro, and Edmond and Ashley are given the Manhattan Bridge...

To continue reading my RECAP, click HERE on the "Project Runway" Blog


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