‘Project Runway’ Season 19, Episode 2 Recap: ‘#Streetwear’
May I recommend draping your self in a heat blanket earlier than we start? Issues get a lil’ icy within the Project Runway workroom this week—courtesy of some hair-raising ignorance and a patchwork vest—so, earlier than we unpack, let’s all assume a cushty sitting place. The excellent news? Knowledge Kaye, TikTok’s reigning vogue king, is that this week’s visitor choose. The unhealthy information? Earlier than we will witness his taste-making in actual time, we first should endure a lot of shouting. (Do keep in mind, buddies, this can be a Bravo present. There’s precedent.)
Episode 2 begins with our drained designers dragging themselves again to the runway, the place Christian informs them of this week’s problem: streetwear. They’ll have two days to make a high-fashion three-piece ensemble that might stand out on the sidewalk; ideally, the look can be characterised by consolation, wearability, and outsized proportions. Our fashion-week hopefuls have a number of hours to sleep earlier than they drown their insecurities in espresso and get to sketching.
However when the erasable pens come out, so do the claws. Haitain designer Prajje needs a Black mannequin for a design impressed by his house nation, however by the point he scoops up a mannequin card, all that’s left is white-guy Tyce. Prajje expresses his frustration to fellow competitor Meg, aka final week’s “juicy b*tch,” and he or she, a white lady, makes an attempt to clarify to him, a Black man, why placing Tyce in Haitian streetwear is so problematic. “It’s cultural appropriation,” she says a number of occasions. “I really feel insulted in your behalf.” She monologues at appreciable size about how onerous it’s for Black folks—and in addition herself as a plus-size white lady—to not see themselves mirrored on the runway. Babe, I hear you; I actually do. I’m all for physique positivity, however perhaps let’s take a beat?
We get Prajje’s response through audience-facing interview: “Oftentimes you discover folks in help of our points as Black people, they type of come off as in the event that they know what our troubles are and so they’re our saving grace. I’m feeling uncomfortable just a little bit, however she’s going and going and going.” Already I’ve hit my Apple Watch’s day by day train purpose with the hassle of my full-body cringe, however Meg is, as of but, blissfully ignorant.
At Temper, the designers have $300 and 45 minutes to choose their materials, and earlier than lengthy Christian’s making his devious prowl by means of the workroom. He critiques Zayden on an oversimplified hoodie-jacket. He reminds everybody, “There are such a lot of streets, you guys—Sesame Avenue, what in regards to the yellow brick street?” (I imply, there is a mannequin for Big Bird couture.) Lastly, he makes his method to Darren, whom you may recall had a cigarette-related sequin meltdown last week. This week, nevertheless, he’s plugged in, stitching away at a jacket impressed by Gen Z.
“I don’t know if you recognize about TikTok e-boys,” he tells Christian, who strains to stifle a visual eye twitch. The designer who’s assembled matches for Jennifer Lopez and Zendaya seems briefly cowed, however Darren—who’s already established he’d prefer to shoot his shot with our host—is on a roll. “He lived that vibe; he was that child!” We get some delectable flashbacks of Christian, circa his season 4 win, along with his hair in an iconic (and undeniably e-boy) asymmetrical mop. Sadly, now we have no time to understand these photographs, because the digital camera’s been lured again to Meg.
At this level within the episode, she’s pretending she invented the time period “shacket” and waving her ally get-out-of-jail free card beneath Christian’s nostril: “There is just one race, and that’s mankind.” However after Prajje and Coral change fashions so Prajje can current a Black mannequin in his Haitian outfit, Kenneth realizes he, too, would like to signify his tradition with an Asian mannequin. Who’s the one particular person within the room with an Asian mannequin? It’s your lady, Meg!
Kenneth politely asks if she’d think about switching, and instantly you possibly can see the items spinning in her head like the math meme. She realizes saying no might pin her as this season’s Karen. She additionally does not wish to say sure. When he asks her once more if she’d be up for a commerce, she loses it: “I believe it’s f*cking bullsh*t that you just’re doing this now. I respect the race factor”—say it with me now, OOF—“I’ll do it only for that issue.”
Candy, child boy Kenneth responds, “When you don’t really feel snug, we don’t have to do that.”
“Cease speaking,” she snaps. (At this level, my shoulders have climbed so excessive I know I’m going to have a migraine within the morning.)
Meg’s new mannequin, Trevor, is visibly frightened, however it’s Prajje who refuses to chunk his tongue. “Lady, that was faux as f*ck,” he says. “I misplaced a lot respect for you for that.” She calls for to know why, how, what might she probably have accomplished mistaken, however as Prajje walks her by means of her missteps quite a few occasions, their voices crescendo and climb octaves with each phrase. Maybe one of the best a part of this whole sequence is Zayden, who’s pressured to endure the 2 designers as they finger-jab and squall over his stitching station. Bones, for his half, summarizes my emotions properly: “I wish to take everybody to a pet retailer and allow them to rub some animals.”
Meg storms off the set, strips away her mike, and, quickly sufficient, drops out of the competitors fully. By way of interview, she makes an attempt to clarify her absence as the results of a psychological well being disaster, which is a superbly professional concern. However there’s no denying what occurred on display screen: A supposed ally was caught in a compromising place, and, like so many ladies earlier than her, she selected to bristle and battle slightly than hear and regulate. Positive, buying and selling fashions midway by means of the competitors was an inconvenience. However one value making Kenneth weep? One value derailing a shot at profitable Venture Runway? It’s onerous to swallow Meg’s protection of “standing up for myself” when that protection appears so callow. The style business wants allies pushing for range, however when allyship takes a type this twisted, all it leaves behind is rot.
With Meg gone, the designers can sharpen their cloth scissors and give attention to vogue. After a fast scurry to the, ahem, Tresemme Hair Salon and Maybelline Make-up Studio, all can lastly relish in runway day. Let’s break down the matches:
- First is Darren’s look, a pink punk jacket paired with a plaid skirt and distressed mesh high. The e-boy affect is clear, however the inventive finesse? A wee bit missing.
- Katie exhibits off her fabric-design skills with a mixed-pattern ensemble that’s a complete lot of one thing. Hassle is, the cropped pink pants with fur vest and collared shirt scream Kindergarten image day slightly than New York runway.
- Prajje’s Haitian-inspired outfit pairs dishevelled trousers with a shocking yellow jacket, hand-painted with a picture of Erzulie Dantòr, the Haitian goddess of motherhood.
- Chastity makes a comeback after final week’s lackluster design. Her all-black asymmetrical organza jumpsuit is stylish however nonetheless slick sufficient to look street-ready.
- Subsequent, we get the ensemble of my desires from Aaron. His mannequin’s in a reversible (!!) cropped jacket with ruched bib overalls and a white ribbed high. In ‘70s-esque yellow sun shades and a shag haircut, she by some means appears to be like able to take pleasure in each après-ski cocktails and a Brooklyn storage social gathering. Magnificent.
- Sabrina showcases a brilliant and boisterous costume with a turtleneck collar, puffed sleeves and a floor-length fringe belt.
- Y’all know I like Kenneth, however his look isn’t doing it for anybody. As Elaine later places it, the patchwork vest and harem pants are giving “soccer-player crossing guard.”
- Kristina’s design fuses a bucket hat, ribbon-cuffed high and wide-leg pants for a sublime look with beautiful motion.
- Then now we have Shantall’s mannequin, wearing a halter-neck crop high and matching black pants with a yellow polka-dotted windbreaker. It’s not something extraordinary, however it does really feel street-ready.
- Octavio goes for one thing extra avant-garde with a striped high, mesh faceguard, ruffled skirt, and highlighter-colored shoulder pads. The general impact is weird—however in an intriguing, pleasant means.
- For the second week in a row, Anna has one in every of my favourite appears to be like. She pulls off a *second* when her mannequin, wearing a floral two-piece bodycon jumpsuit, drops her ruffled skirt to show leggings beneath. We love a reveal!
- Tyce comes down the runway in Coral’s all-black zip-up jacket and pants, accented with macrame and leather-based. It’s clear, subtle, and undeniably avenue.
- Sitting within the viewers, Bones shimmies in appreciation to his “Martian, galactic, tribal” look, which mixes a peekaboo crop high with a detachable skirt and dishevelled shorts.
- Final however actually not least is Zayden’s Trayvon Martin-inspired design: a tank and joggers with matching belt motifs, in addition to an outsized camouflage coat spray-painted with the phrases “Say Their Names.”
The judges have numerous favorites, together with Zayden’s coat, Aaron’s reversible jacket, and Prajje’s painted match. They dock others for ill-conceived ideas: Darren for too many concepts in a single look, Katie’s for an unflattering silhouette, and Kenneth’s for poor development. In the end, Prajje pulls by means of with a win, and nobody—sure, nobody!—has to trudge house and pack their baggage. I assume that’s what occurs when one other contestant blows up their very own runway. I want Meg one of the best, however I’ll be glad to launch my shoulder stress and take a number of ibuprofen tonight. That was a protracted one, and Venture Runway is aware of it. Subsequent week we will possible anticipate lighter fare, particularly given the theme: all issues Halloween.
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