Project Runway: Week 4

Hooray for nonconventional challenges! It's flowers and hardware and dresses... oh my.

Project Runway: Week 4

Hooray for change! This week on Project Runway three team members, two from Keeping It Real and one from Dream Team, were asked to switch sides after the designers on Keeping It Real won three weeks in a row. The Dream Team chose Stanley Hudson and Layana Aguilar to join their side, while those on Keeping It Real agreed to take on Michelle. At first Michelle was hesitant to switch teams for fear of working with Patricia. So she quickly teamed up with Richard upon being assigned this week’s challenge, saving any drama for a later episode.

I always love when Project Runway assigns non-conventional challenges and this week was no different. Tim was joined by Heidi to announce the teams would be buying their materials from both a hardware and flower shop to create a line based on a ‘Hard And Soft’ theme. Each team was given $2500 to rack up materials for six different looks.

From the very beginning, Stanley was quick to come up with a theme for his new team members on Dream Team that revolved around 50-60s Dior. Each designer took on individual look, and there wasn’t much camera time spent on the design work. Keeping It Real took a much different approach, and assigned a theme to their looks in the process of building. With one person extra on the team, Richard and Michelle teamed up to work on one look while the rest of the team focused on individual pieces. Amanda had trouble working with the moss she purchased at the flower shop, and became the main concern for the other team members. But finally, towards the end and after much worry, Joe walked up to Amanda’s garment and gave it a quick re-design idea that everyone loved. The team agreed on the changes and moved forward towards the runway show with hope for a win.

Speaking of hard and soft, it was almost the perfect description for the two teams different looks on the runway. Keeping It Real’s decade themed gave their team the freedom to create a messy, edgier look while the Dream Team’s Dior inspiration kept the style neat and feminine. Sadly and in the end, it was Joe that was “Out”-ed this week, even though the entire team agreed Amanda was the weakest link on the team. Why didn’t anyone tell the judges that Joe saved Amanda’s dress? I literally was shouting at the TV for someone to speak up, but it never happened. I’m so bummed. I liked Joe and his quirky, dirty hipsterrific style, and am sad to see him go. Although ultimately, I don’t think his sense of style would have won the overall prize, but still… he made fun clothes. And fun clothes equals fun TV watching.

The Project Runway Breakdown: Week 4

The Challenge: Create a cohesive line of six looks with materials from a flower and hardware store.

The Budget: $2500 per team

The Teams (team members were exchanged this week!):
Dream Team– Benjamin Mach, Samantha Black, Tu Suthiwat Nukchat,  Matthew Arthur, Stanley Hudson and Layana Aguilar

Keeping It Real– Amanda Valentine, Richard Hallmarq, Joseph Aaron Segal, Kate Pankoke, Patricia “Water Lilly” Michaels, Michelle Lesniak Franklin and Daniel Esquivel

Guest Judges: Bette Midler & fashion blogger Leandra Medine

Winning Team: Dream Team, for the first time this season!

Bottom 2 Looks (from losing team Keeping It Real): Amanda’s mod moss dress and Joe’s oversized sweater dress (or jacket, as he described it later in critiques)

Honorable Mentions: Matt’s mop dress, Tu’s rope top and flower bottom, Benjamin’s loomed top, Stanley’s green leaved dress–every designer on Dream Team created a beautiful garment

The UN-honorable Mentions: Daniel’s hip-py dress (the judges didn’t seemed to mind it, but I thought those hip pouches looked hideous)

Winning Design by Samantha Black
Project Runway Season 11 Ep. 4 Winning Look
Outted Design by Joe Segal
Project Runway Season 11 Joe Segal
Critiques of the Week 

Every single garment looks like it was made by a crazy person and none of these crazy people are staying in the same mental hospital. – Michelle in regards to the style cohesiveness of her new team, Keeping It Real

There’s really nothing on the runway today that I don’t like. — Heidi on Team Dream Team’s cohesiveness

I loved that you use a material from the florist non-topically. — Zac Posen on Samantha’s mesh dress

I’ve never seen anything like that in my hardware store… that’s all I can say. — Bette on Layanna’s stunning bird-caged dress

Project Runway Season 11 Guest Judge Bette MidlerSome people might say–Patricia’s [dress] for example–may be messy looking by I happen to like it. — Heidi on Patricia’s flowery voo-doo doll looking dress

Sadly I didn’t get the decades theme when the girls walked down the runway. I think that was part of the problem. — Nina on the Keeping It Real’s lack of cohesiveness

I would venture to say this week’s runway show was one of the best, and certainly the most creative in a long time. I also really loved Heidi’s 80s-inspired blue and white dress.  What were your favorite flower and hardware inspired looks?


  • Kathy

    good analysis, jana! i never watch this show, but i instantly “got it” by reading your piece — not just the mechanics of the show, but the interpersonal parts. very interesting learning experience!

  • Design Gal

    I utterly loved everything the Dream Team created. I was disappointed that no one gave Stanley credit on the runway for creating the overall Dior theme – it was a real gift in terms of creating cohesion and direction for each designer’s dress. Benjamin’s hand-made loom and the woven result redeemed him thoroughly as a talent to watch. Layana’s cage dress was ethereal — and all the more extraordinary for the materials used. In fact, the resulting clothing from this challenge all felt haute couture which was all the more impressive if you go back and look at the hardware store / flower store challenges the first time around. I think Amanda should have gone home — especially as Joe has a genuinely unique vision and she appears to have no voice at all as a designer. Also, the fact that he saved her look made the decision all the more frustrating. That is going to be a lesson, sadly, for the remaining designers: help someone else at your own peril.