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Project Runway Models' Street Style Takes The Spotlight

Those styles also take the streets -- but which designers' looks end up in the gutter?

Our Players

Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.
Hello, I'm West Coast Editor Tara Ariano.

The Talk

Tara, it's such a relief when the challenge is just a straight-ahead, untortured brief that isn't straining to cram a rando sponsor into the proceedings! Granted, the social-media aspect of this one felt a little trying-to-make-fetch happen, like with Tim putting the "self-conscious" back in "selfie" at the top of the episode -- but overall, I liked it. The models got to choose which designers to work with, and then the designers had to consult with their model clients on street-wear looks, and have those looks photographed for social media. Simple! Not that every designer could get out of her own way, of course.

Did you have one in mind? The one who, for instance, was picked dead last -- and, as it turned out, very rightly so?

Ugh, Claire. And I didn't even hate her look. I liked it fine...but once again, "fine" doesn't seem like quite enough for Runway. It's nothing new; the shorts were too short even for Heidi; and this is without even getting into her lack of boundaries.

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I did hate her look, and thought she should have gone home for it. I guess it did pass a point where the only thing she could do to try to transform the proportions was shorten the shorts even more because that sweatshirt would be too hard to alter. But my god, Claire, you weren't told to come up with something the models could wear to go shoplifting. Did you think her look was worse than Samantha's, who actually did get eliminated this week?

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Let me preface this by saying that my opinions and the judges' diverged the most they have all season. Let me also say that I suspect they wanted to send Claire home, but because she basically made Shawn's outfit and they liked Shawn's (and also because dramz), they didn't feel they could. So my feeling is that both twins should have gotten the auf, for the sake of everyone's sanity. But at the same time, I'm okay with Samantha's ouster. She has zero range; her models just kept looking like Maxi-Mes. I was a little surprised that Tim Gunn didn't bust out the Save, but what I just said is probably why.

You make a lot of excellent points here. I was with the judges inasmuch as the outfit Samantha chose for herself to wear to the runway show was more interesting than the one she made for her model.

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I just felt she should have gotten more credit for showing something well-made that her model could have sat in on the subway without leaving visible butt print condensation. But yes, AS ALWAYS, the twins are a problem -- increasingly so as they keep coming up with an average of two looks that don't get evenly divided between them. I also didn't think Shawn's look, which got the majority of attention this week, was that hot -- did you?

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I sure didn't, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who was like, "Henh?" I have long since accepted that the judges often respond to only-a-model outfits like this one -- I've been seeing variations on this crop-top/wide-legged crop pant for a year now on, like, the Gap website, and I would really like to know which seven people this is for who have not already bought it -- but this was a big who-careser for Buntsy. The bows in the back were cute; I doubt they were her idea. The fit was good; again, probably all Claire. But...the model did pick her and seemed happy, so I guess technically that's a W.

How about the actual winner, Kentaro? I was actually entirely in agreement with the judges on this one: the jeans fit like a dream, and while the skirt wrap isn't something I could wear, it 100% would get a model like Meisha stopped by a New York City street style photographer.

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I would totally wear that (with a tank top underneath! I do like a good post-apocalyptic layer, but nobody needs to see my belly), and was delighted that he got the win. Well made, good proportions, and the model loved it. And it was not Kenya's, which...tf? I really like Kenya, but this was a big miss for me, and in ways I was surprised the judges didn't call out. Did you like that one or was it...off for you too?

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A bunch of the looks didn't read "street style" for me at all, and Kenya's was the worst. It was like she sat through the brief but somehow heard it was a Bailey Quarters challenge? Similarly, I thought Batani's and Michael's were well executed but too fussy for a street style challenge: Batani's model looked like she was on her way to a beach wedding...

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...and Michael's to cocktails at the Carlyle.

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Hee, "Bailey Quarters" is exactly it. As to the others: You know I love Liris, but yes, Michael's look made her look like a human IROC. Batani's was very costume IMO and I was expecting it to get clocked. But I think I was the most puzzled by the crit Margarita got. Like, yeah, the model does look like a Fly Girl -- who is more street than that?! Fine, it's "Miami" and not all that new, but I thought it was cute. (Margarita's pre-emptive hucking of the model under the bus when she sensed her look was in the bottom, far less so.)

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It's also the second week in a row when it seemed like the early focus on Margarita meant she was about to get bounced. But yes, I'm with you: if all you saw was a couple of shots of Margarita's look, you would instantly get that it was a street style challenge: she looked relaxed and sexy in a very unfussy way. The same with Amy's model. Amy seems like she's been languishing in the middle for too long, right? Her look should have gotten more attention this week in particular, I thought.

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Yeah, has Amy ever even gotten a crit? That said, I don't know what comments I'd make about this look either. Like her, it's chic but not the kind of chic I aspire to. I would like to note here also that, while I like Brandon and I especially love his bro-ship with Kentaro, kid needs to chill with the straps before he gets sent home for one-trick-ponyism. But it's menswear next week -- uh, maybe? or a take on it? the preview's a bit vague -- so I doubt he's out next, plus the judges obviously love him. Who do you see getting the next auf(s)?

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Well, it's teams, and if the preview is to be believed, Claire and Shawn are working together (so what else is new). I would love to believe the judges' indulgence about their codependence is about to end...but I don't. If the challenge does turn out to be something toward the less traditionally "feminine" end of the spectrum, I think Margarita and Michael will have the toughest time with it. You?

As I said before, I would like to hang out with Kenya -- but I think she struggles with managing her time and problem-solving, and if we're right about the twins (and sadly, we probably are), Kenya's probably cleaning up her space. Silently, and without overenunciating. Sigh.

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