Project Runway review: Body modification is fashion’s future?


Is body modification the future of fashion? In this week’s Project Runway, the designers must highlight these additions while creating cohesive looks.

Do you remember when celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen donned A. Human body modifications?

Project Runway used those modification applications as inspiration for this week’s challenge. As teams of three work together to create cohesive looks, we ask can these designs be the future of fashion?

Predicting the next fashion trend is difficult. What might be trending today won’t be trending in five minutes. For this week’s Project Runway episode, the designers need to predict the next five minutes of fashion. Although this concept seems unusual, the runway creativity was a roller coaster.

While the challenge was meant to highlight the A. Human body modifications, some of the designs were more creative than those silicone additions. Granted pointed horns coming out of a person’s shoulders or feathers protruding from a person’s chest are shocking, beautiful design can overshadow the most daring body modification change.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: Model — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

With this challenge being the first team challenge, it was a little curious that the team dynamic wasn’t a bigger focus of the Project Runway episode. Some teams appeared to be passed over. Granted the beginning episodes can’t focus on all the designers, it was slightly disappointing that many designs were overlooked.

For example, the team with back body modifications was brushed over. Those three looks had drama, impact and handled the challenge well. Those looks received just a few minutes of screen time, which was very disappointing.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: Designed by Hester Sunshine — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

Also, with all the drama surrounding the shoulder horn group in the workroom, that trio was passed aside on the runway. With comments like Hester hacked up the fabric like Freddy Kruger, it would have seemed that this team would have been more controversial.

Additionally, this team’s fabric choice was a huge focus. That bridesmaid blue and the yards of tulle was a scene stealer. Given all that drama, the bottom team must have been really horrible on the runway.

Before tackling the bottom trio, the top team was quite stunning. One of the underlying thoughts of this challenge was being able to change your body like you change your fashion. While the body modifications were the shocking element, these three designs created impressive body shapes on the runway.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: Designed by Afa Ah Loo — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

Partly impressive because of the fabric and its color, the neck ruffles team — Afa, Tessa and Sebastian — clearly were a top choice. Tessa wasn’t as impressive as last week’s win. While she implored Sebastian to help her construction, the trio of designs were clearly a step ahead of the others.

Winning this week’s challenge was Sebastian. His dress was a vision. If the idea was to create a slightly futuristic vision, this dress was the obvious choice. Through well placed waves of fabric, this dress modified the model’s shape as much as the neck ruffles.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: Designed by Sebastian Grey — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

It was a perfection to a body modification challenge. Clearly, Sebastian is a contender in this season. His knowledge, construction and vision should take him far in the season. It will be curious to see how he evolves through the challenges.

The bottom team was equally obvious. The neck feathers team totally missed the mark. Part of this challenge was to highlight the modification. All three designs seemed to hide this aspect. Most disappointing in this trio was Renee. After last week’s impressive design, she seemed to take a back seat in this challenge. By letting the younger designers lose focus, the impact was huge. These three designs were a jumbled mess.

The judges described Renee’s look as a strait jacket. Her model had her wings clipped. If this look was supposed to inspire light, airy thoughts, the design took the opposite approach. Granted highlighting a chest piece is hard, there were several option. But, all three designers struggled with construction and design.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: Designed by Kovid Kapoor — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

Kovid seemed to have an emotional breakdown in this episode. The feathers were almost completely obscured. Additionally, the skirt was a throwaway. To continue in this show, Kovid needs to find time management.

Like last week, Frankie was a bottom designer. The backwards jacket was a poor choice. It was a complete disaster.

In the first episode, Frankie described herself as a designer who wanted to celebrate a women’s figure. With a focus on fuller figure models, she should be able to flatter a woman’s curves. It is clear that she cannot accomplish this task.

After fighting for her to move on from the first episode, it was clear that Frankie would be eliminated in this round. She could not construct an elevated design. She doesn’t understand the female form. It was a mess and thus, Frankie was eliminated.

PROJECT RUNWAY — Episode 1702 — Pictured: (l-r) Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, Karlie Kloss, Frankie Lewis — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)

Given this second challenge, it was disappointing that Frankie wasn’t eliminated in episode one. Cavanagh should have stayed last week. While her black dress was boring, it was well made. She could have done a lot in this week’s episode.

Truthfully the biggest highlights from the first two episodes are clearly Christian Siriano. His commentary and guidance makes this season watchable. These designers need to listen more and apply that advice.

Lastly, this week’s theme was slightly strange. While the A. Human body modifications make for interesting photographs, is this idea really the future of fashion?

People have modified their appearances for centuries. Piercings and tattoos are everywhere. The only different would be the “changeability” or “limited time” modification. Could a removable neck ruffle become the new necklace?

While it is interesting that Project Runway is trying to push the fashion conversation, this episode needs more fashion and design. Instead of focusing on the potential shock and awe, why not put the emphasis back on the clothes. Isn’t that why people watch Project Runway?

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What did you think of the body modification theme? Do you think that the judges got it right this week?