Project Runway: Episode 5: There is no "I" in "Team"
Episode 6 of Project Runway was the first group challenge of the season. Needless to say, no one was really feeling it. I wouldn’t have either. There’s just too much on the line during a group challenge and you never know what you’re going to get. You have to work with other opinionated people and mesh styles while not losing your own voice. Either you win together or you lose together, no matter how good or bad of an individual you are.
For this challenge, designers had to work in two teams of 6, come up with a 4 look concept and pitch their idea to a group of investors who would determine how much money they’d have at Mood. Spoiler alert: the investors are the judges. I would instantly piss my pants when “pitching” is brought up. I don’t like public speaking; it instantly makes me uncomfortable. In a team challenge, I would gladly let someone else take the responsibility.
Team Unity pitched an average put together business woman while Team Button Bag (later Team House of Bouton) pitched for a fun and stylishly unique business woman. The investors gave $2,200 to House of Bouton for the fresh concept of their customer and garment ideas. Team Unity was left with $800 and a prayer because their concept lacked anything innovative.
Design wise, I don’t like what either team produced, but that doesn’t matter. Since I wasn’t there to physically contribute, I handled this as if my look were an add on to the existing collections. Which it technically is. Looking at the collections, I evaluated what I thought was missing and designed a fifth complimentary look.
Team Unity’s collection ended up being an over designed group with a boring color palette and came across as evening wear instead of business wear. The judges had a lot of negative comments and they ended up being the losing team.
Because of the bland colors, I immediately wanted to do something fun and a bit unexpected. Something that would have set me apart from the rest.
Originally, I wanted to use the printed fabric for a matching blouse and pants set, but when I started to render the top, it was too much print for my taste. Not to mention, there was already a printed pair of pants in the group. Instead, I paired the printed collared blouse with a natural waist pant in the shiny denim the team used. As much as I didn’t like the shiny denim, paired with the print, it adds a little freshness to what otherwise would be a common look.
My second idea is a printed collared dress with princess seams and straight shoulder/cap sleeve detail. Excuse the faces of the sketches. It's been a while since I've intentionally sketched a face and I'm a bit rusty.
Team House of Bouton was well received by the judges for their innovation. They liked the denim pants suit, the crisp leather jacket and the oversized overcoat. I really only liked the leather jacket, but hey, who cares?
Adding to this collection, I wanted to keep the clean lines. Initially, I thought the collection was missing something with flare and body but I couldn’t get comfortable designing into that. Instead, I took inspiration from the denim pants suit since it was liked so much. Using the silhouette, I updated the look into a ¾ sleeve shorts-jumpsuit that can be zipped in the front. For fabric, I chose the mauve color that was used on the overcoat because it’s a fresh neutral color for the work place. I used the sequins trim from their collection as a belt accent.
My second design uses the jean fabric from the pants suit to create a mock neck sleeveless sack dress with vented side seams at the hem. For the fun aspect, I used a stripe of the sequin trim across the chest and at the bottom of the dress.
Completion wise, I’m pretty sure I would have been able to finish any of the these looks. As for judging, I would have at least been safe to go through another round. On a team challenge, I would have been perfectly okay with that!