Project Runway Power Rankings, week seven: Watching reality TV in my activewear

In the seventh episode of Project Runway New Zealand, the designers had to make an athleisure look for Georgia. Henry Oliver ranks the results.

Well, this is good timing! Just this week I was reading about the history of the athleisure/activewear trend and GUESS WHAT, it is, in fact, not a trend at all, but the central influence on what we wear every day, even when we don’t think what we are wearing is sportswear. Think shorts, sneakers, blazers even. As the article says, everything you wear is athleisure, even though some of the most popular items of clothing in the world actually started as workwear or underwear, but why mess with a catchy line?

Anyway, back to the show, there were two things to consider here: the designers had to make some functional sportswear, and it had to be made for Georgia, our host and judge who I didn’t know (because I don’t follow her on Instagram) looks like she can really throw a punch in a box-for-exercise kinda way. (Side note: who would Georgia’s Fight for Life be? Comment on Twitter or something). So while the instruction to make something that can go “from the gym to the street” is super clear, it was interesting/telling what each of the designers thought Georgia was into and then which designers gave a shit about what they thought she’d be into.

So… how’d they do?


8. Camille

Cami’s mess-thetics could only get her so far. You could tell from a mile away that as soon as she was asked to make something that had to be structured, that had to be exact, she’d be in deep shit. I’ll say upfront that I liked her impulse here. Starting from tramping rather than, say, yoga or the gym was a great idea no other designer had (see the whole outdoor wear trend from the last few years) and her excessive use of nylon straps reminds me of those super long Off-White belts.

Unfortunately, the end result was decidedly unfunctional and just messy in the worst way. It’d take someone way edgier than Georgia to wear it but then they probably wouldn’t wear it because it’s kinda flat (as one of the judges said) and un-edgy. And that’s just the jacket. Everything else – the shorts and the top – were much worse, just because of how boring they were.

Benny said it “is you” and I’m pretty sure he meant that as a diss.

(Side note: I appreciate a good reality competition exit speech and Camille’s was my favourite of the show so far)


7. Jess

Jess would have won a pyjama challenge. Or a long-haul flight challenge. Or a hungover millionaire challenge.

6. Judy

The jacket is kinda cool, but everything else is a snooze fest. Looks like when a tennis player is in between sponsors and buys some blank but ‘design-y’ outfits online only to end up looking like a cheap version of some Adidas collaboration.


5. Misty

Lips! Lips! Lips! Is there anything else to say?

Sometimes an outfit is doomed at the fabric store, but this is not as bad as it could have been. I probably like it more than most people, and definitely more than the judges. Cut the tail off the jacket and you might have something there. The pants weren’t to my taste, but they were about as good as you were gonna get out of that fabric.

4. Kerry

OMG, there is so much to unpack here. First, the jacket. I like this jacket. Like, really like it. It looks weird and different, even for a pretty straightforward design. I want this jacket. The bag too. But everything else is questionable at best. He made snap pants again and these were worse than his first pair. I like that they have a boxing look at the waist, but his attempt to flatter himself to a win with the “GP” branding is gross and cheeky in a non-charming way. Still, that jacket is my favourite thing he’s made this season. It’s just such a pity about those pants.

(Side note: “She looks so bougie,” is yet another of Kerry’s great lines.)


3. Benjamin

A rare miss from Benjamin. The bomber jacket is cool and the shorts look like Gyakozu (a fancy Japanese Nike Running collaboration). So I like the design elements quite a lot (and the very high rise togs under the low rise shorts is a lot), but the construction is so poor, it just looks super unimpressive when put together. And that broken white line running down the middle is not good.

I know Benjamin brags about his taste (and bags on everyone’s taste) a little too much, but this outfit illustrates that even when he makes something shit, it still looks okay just because he does have taste.

2. Peni

This was basically a better version of last week’s disaster. Still, I cannot believe he didn’t get called out for making a fucking plastic Matrix coat. And everyone thought it was a winner! C’mon! Not only can you not exercise in that shit, if you put it on after the gym, you’re also going to continue to sweat until you take it off, by which time you’ll be dangerously dehydrated.

(Side note: Did anyone else find his “she better start running” thing just a little weird?)


1. Caitlin

This is the best thing Caitlin has done on the show. She’s right, it is innovative and interesting. It looks like something 2000s Björk might wear to work out in. Or the designer from The Incredibles. The fabric is cool, the zip thing is cool, the silhouette works – it’s all just right.



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