Project Runway: Episode 1 An Unconventional Launch Party

For those of you who don't know, Project Runway is a show that was started years ago for fashion designers.  It's essentially the Amercican Idol of the fashion world accept they don't care about America's input.

I feel pretty safe in saying that if you're a fashion designer, you've considered what it would be like to be on Project Runway at least once.  Either you've contemplated it on your own or you've been asked by every family member if you're going to try out.  Because that's as far as their fashion knowledge goes.

I'll admit that I've thought about it.  It's a great opportunity for exposure and who wouldn't want that?  But just knowing who and how I am, I don't think that it's something I can see myself doing.  I'm alright under pressure but I'm pretty sure that I would just fold over in the angst from consecutive challenges, self doubt and short timelines.   That's not a great creative environment.

But I still wonder what it would be like.  Maybe because I've re-watched just about every season during my maternity leave or because my man has more confidence in me than I do and thinks that I could do it.  Who knows?

Either way, I had the idea to follow along with every episode in the 15th season of Project Runway and come up with a concept for every challenge that the contestants have to go through.  Yes, I know that me sketching on the couch while holding Ava is the utter opposite of sketching at a Parsons work table, but it's what I got so here we go.

FYI, I'm starting with episode 2 because the first episode was a contestant introduction and there was no challenge.  My only commentary I have for the first episode is that I was so excited to see so many black designers on the show this season.  Again, representation matters and a black designer comes few and far between. 

Now the first challenge of the season was an unconventional challenge where the designers had to grab materials from the welcome cocktail party they were attending and design a look that represented the designers voice.

If I were at that party hearing that news, I think I would have instantly become nervous.  Not because it was a challenge using party supplies, but because the judges expect to see who you are in one look.  There are times I feel I struggle with keeping my design voice.  I like to think I know who I am as a designer but that self doubt is real and crippling.

The designers essentially had to run and attack the decorations that they wanted to incorporate into their designs.

Here are the concepts of dresses I might have done had I of been competing on Project Runway: 

The first dress is a paper lantern dress.

As I was watching, I instantly gravitated towards the paper lanterns because there were a lot of them so there would have been no fear with running out.

I feel this design fits into my voice because of the seam line detail.  Each piece is strategically thought out and there's a nice contrast going on with the different directional texture.  I'm pretty sure that construction would have been a b**** though.   

My second concept is a crop top made out of flower petals and a pencil skirt made of white sticks.

The petals are taken from fake flowers and layered over each other, while the skirt is made of thin long white sticks that were used as bouquet fillers (I guess...) and positioned to make a pattern.  In my mind, it's a very clean look.

This one probably wouldn't have happened because there was almost a fight over grabbing the flowers and again, the paper lanterns were what I was first drawn to.   

This fits into my aesthetic because of the contrasting textures working together for a minimal but sophisticated edgy look. 

And my third idea was a fitted dress made from Mood Fabric Store bags.

I semi like this concept but I really don't think I would have went with it.  For 1, there weren't that many bags and if I was pulling down lanterns, I would have missed them and 2, I would've been afraid to use the fabric material in an unconventional challenged because it's frowned on by the judges. 

Anyway, this design fits my voice because of the construction detail.  The bag is cut into strips and sewn into a chevron pattern.  With the random placements of the strips, the broken gold graphic would create it's own print.  I would have hated myself for sure, though.  The back cut out is a pretty interesting shape too. 


I love the freedom of creativity when it comes to the unconventional challenge but the lack of time would surely kill me.  I'm very detailed oriented.