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Season 13, Episode 3: Welcome To The Future
Everything old is new again, time is a flat circle, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and the clothes we're wearing now are gonna look awful in 10 years but will probably inspire popular fashion in 20 years. That's life! And that's this week's episode of "Project Runway."
The designers meet Tim and Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider on the runway, which is flanked by enormous copies of early Marie Claire covers. The magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and in honor of that we get to see some hashtag-throwback-Thursday shots of our judges (none of whom have aged a day, obnoxiously) from 1994. Ann confesses that she was into grunge in the '90s, to which Tim yelps, "NO!" Anyway, this all sets up this week's challenge.
Challenge: Using inspiration from their lives in 1994, the designers must create a look for 20 years in the future (2034).
Parameters: One day to work, PLUS the season's first Mood shopping trip!
The designers run around Mood, save for Amanda, who sort of glides through it with the expertise afforded to her as a previous "Runway" contestant. Back in the workroom, we're treated to throwback photos of the rest of the gang, and it's adorable: Lots of flashbulb-lighted photos featuring questionable haircuts, weird glasses, and ill-fitting clothes. The early '90s were wild.
Nothing too out of the ordinary goes down in the workroom this week, so let's proceed right to the runway, with guest judge Amanda de Cadenet:TOP THREE
Sandhya - I really dig Sandhya's explanation that in her idea of the future, women's fashion won't need to crib from menswear to be seen as strong. Nina loves it because it's editorial (obviously). Amanda thinks it's bold: "This dress would take an empowered woman to wear it." Heidi thinks it's too comical BUT she admits that of the whole show, this is the most memorable look. The consensus: It's a weird, innovative risk, and it paid off. Sandhya gets the win -- her second of the season.
Kristine - This is the one Nina wants to wear. (She nitpicks the styling, though: "Less is more.") Zac isn't fully impressed by Kristine's brand of '90s grunge references -- he wants to see something more from her at this point in the competition -- but the rest of the panel is very into the chic editorial quality of this look. (For what it's worth, I would wear the hell out of that neoprene jacket. Gimme!)
Emily - Heidi is uber-complimentary; she likes the back and the length of the pant and the belt. She and Ann and Amanda all want to wear this jumpsuit. Nina, not so much, but she likes that the model looks powerful. Zac praises the garment's fabrication. There's a little bit of a negative association with Emily's use of the term "Ewok" to describe the hood, but it still gets raves.
Sean - Zac is the only one even vaguely charmed by this look. From hat to hemline, the panel eviserates it. Shoddy construction and a "Prada Mary Poppins" vibe seem to be the primary concerns.
Alexander - The biggest cons here are the fabric choices (complete with wonky grain line) and the dismal dishwater colors. Best quotes: "It's like a full-on horse blanket," "The biggest problem I have with this is that it's so sad," and Nina screeching, "SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE'S COMING FROM 'PLANET OF THE APES!' AND SHE'S ONE OF THE APES!" I admit: Bad outfits bring out the best in our judges.
Angela - This look is supposedly inspired by Angela's time in the world of finance, but Zac thinks it looks like "a stewardess from the future. And I'd be afraid to get on her plane." The panel likes the idea of updating a suit but no one thinks this works: It looks unfinished, the pale pink is boring, and the draping details on the side of the skirt are unflattering. "[Angela]'s getting more and more sad-looking, and so are her clothes," Heidi says when the judges get the chance to see the garment up close. Ouch.
Had this challenge happened last week, I think Alexander would've gotten the boot, but as it stands Angela has been in the bottom for three weeks straight and clearly does not seem to be taking well to the pressures of the reality competition show environment. She's auf'd in what felt to me like a merciful move by the judges. Do you think it was her time to go? Were you as put off by Alexander's look as the judges were? How cringe-worthy was your sense of style in 1994? Let me know in the comments!