Project Runway Power Rankings, week three: Ctrl+Alt+Shifty

In the third episode of Project Runway New Zealand, the designers had to make a two-piece look out of scrapped technology. Henry Oliver ranks the results.

Project Runway is back, baby! After complaining last week about the lack of quips, the lack of drama, the lack of, y’know, interesting clothes, the good ship fashion began correcting course this week with an episode of quotes, looks, rivalries and LOLs.

This show thrives on difficult challenges. Ask the contestants to make exactly what they want to and all you’ll get is boring shit walking down the runway. Ask them to make jeans and a t-shirt and two-thirds of them will find a way to fuck it up (“I went with this double helix-inspired cocktail dress because I was really interested in biology when I was at school so and thought a riff on genes would be kinda interesting”). But give them nothing and they’ll give you something worth looking at.

And this episode was classic Project Runway: send the contestants to a dump for specialist items (in this case old technology) and ask them not to make wearable art knowing full well that half of them, no matter what, will make wearable art. So off they went to Onehunga, not for a SWIDT challenge (fingers crossed for a forthcoming episode), but to a computer recycling warehouse (where they also have electric guitars for some reason) to make old tech-inspired fashion. In teams of two.

Okay, enough chit-chat. To this week’s rankings!

12. Camille
11. Peni

The judges love Camille and I love Peni. She can do wrong in their eyes and he can do no wrong in mine. That said, this was a fucking disaster and they were lucky to survive with this shit. It looked like a mermaid themed school project (calling Megan Dunn!) It was exactly what Andreas didn’t want: a wearable arts mess that barely functioned as clothing let alone as fashion.

As Peni said, Camille’s “quite an oddball” and “what the judges are looking for”. He’s right on both, but where he’s wrong is what he said next: “I’ve got to eat that up”. No you don’t Peni, no you don’t.

One of the judges said it looked like a nasty rash. That’s putting it nicely.

THE WORST AND THE SECOND WORST (PHOTOS: SUPPLIED)

10. Massey
9. Jess

Oh no! Jess! Massey! You’ve made a prototype Air New Zealand uniform that a designer would present knowing that it will be rejected, so they can then get the design they really wanted to do accepted as “it’s a lot better than that other one they showed us”.

What happened guys? Jess, you were my favourite last week and I see you going far. That coat was cool! And Massey, you just took an L. You’re all “K’Pow it!” and “this jockhead does press ups but is also strong minded” but then you just run out the clock for an episode knowing you had immunity.

Boooo….

8.Beau
7. Matt

I was just starting to warm to Matt and BOOM he’s gone. Honestly, don’t know what to say about this one. I thought it was… okay. I didn’t hate it from afar but when the judges went in close it just got worse and worse. I hated that Beau just shut down and let Matt shoot himself in the foot a little (hence Beau at 10 and Matt at 9), but I’m giving this one a bonus point for generating Benny’s bubble monologue: “Can I pop some bubble? Have you popped a bubble?” LOL. Oh and Matt’s “shifting through life” bit. Bless!

HONESTLY, IS THE RIGHT ONE THAT MUCH BETTER THAN THE LEFT? (PHOTOS: SUPPLIED)

6. Judy
5. Kerry

I gotta say, Judy breaks my heart a little. She seems so nice and I really want her to succeed, but it just ain’t happening for her. This jumpsuit is just something I cannot get into. It looks competently made but also like a grandmother’s light shade. And not in a cool way.

The judges shat themselves over the jacket but, I gotta say, I didn’t get it. The sleeves were great, the way the cords were woven together was technically smart and aesthetically pleasing but the whole thing was a bit of a yawn. I didn’t love the look but its integration of the materials was seriously impressive.

I do feel like a hater for putting the winning team so low (and you knew it was going to win all along just from the way they edited Judy this episode) but I gotta speak my truth.

It was a good episode for Kerry though. His “pretty random results, eh?” and Benjamin’s “everyone’s kind of thinking about it too much. I just think they’re being sourpusses” are good signs for more drama down the line. Oh, and he called Judy “quite a sexy little kitten” which is LOL and yuck.

Also, when he won, Kerry said immunity would give him licence to “be a bit more fun, a bit more outrageous.” Let’s drink to that!

4. Caitlin
3. Benjamin

OMG! Dream team! (Or: slightly disappointing team.) I mean, these two are obviously in the top three talent-wise, and this was pretty good, but I have absolutely nothing to say about it other than: I expected more. (I’m giving the edge to Benjamin based on previous ranking alone. You wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best.)

THE LEFT WAS GOOD, THE RIGHT ONE SHOULD HAVE WON IMO! (PHOTOS: SUPPLIED)

1=. Beth
1=. Misty

Beth! Misty! You did it! You actually did the challenge. Like, properly did the challenge, taking some technology thing (in this case, the insides of keyboards) and mixing it with fabric to make something more than the sum of its parts. It has, in Project Runway judging jargon, volume and drama.

And it was a true collaboration – not just working together, but thinking together, talking together and fusing aesthetics. Beth talked about modernising the ’50s pinup thing by adding skulls and blood, but that’s not fashion, that’s Monster High, that’s what my five-year-old wants to dress up as for Halloween (she’s not gonna BTW). But with the combination of the tech-trash and Misty’s Māori pattern-making, everything fell into place. Neither look dominated. Even though the form of the dress was totally Beth’s vibe, it was so much better than what she’s been doing, you can’t not give Misty just as much credit (or even more). Let’s call it even. This should have won.


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