Project Runway season 18 episode 11 review: Go for the gold

PROJECT RUNWAY -- "Olympic Game Plan" Episode 1811 -- Pictured: (l-r) Lindsey Vonn, Elaine Welteroth -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)
PROJECT RUNWAY -- "Olympic Game Plan" Episode 1811 -- Pictured: (l-r) Lindsey Vonn, Elaine Welteroth -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo) /

As New York Fashion Week approaches, the Project Runway designers need to go for the gold. Did these designs honor and celebrate U.S. Olympic athletes?

When a fashion designer needs to appease a client, which vision should guide the design? In this week’s Project Runway episode, the six remaining fashion designers needed to make their special clients happy but still retain their voice. Which designer found the balance, and who felt the agony of defeat?

Each season, Project Runway tries to have a client-based challenge. This idea forces the designers to understand the real-world application of their talents. Pleasing a client isn’t always about pleasing themselves.

Although the designers can push a client onto a slightly different path, the truth is that the client is usually right, in some ways. No designer wants an unhappy client; that would be bad for business.

One of the biggest themes in this Project Runway season is the idea that a woman should feel confident. The goal of these designers isn’t just bringing their aesthetic to the runway. They need to find a way to create a confidence in the woman wearing their designs. That idea was clear in this challenge.

For the client challenge, the Project Runway designers had to create victory looks for several U.S. Olympic athletes. Over and over, the designers were reminded to honor and celebrate these athletes. Basically, no one wanted to see a gold medalist pouting on the runway.

Since athletes do not have typical model figures, the designers needed to listen to both their clients wants and respect the women’s shapes. Just because someone wants a super high slit, doesn’t mean that the design choice is right for her body. Again, it is about the balance.

Project Runway
PROJECT RUNWAY — “Olympic Game Plan” Episode 1811 — Pictured: (l-r) Marquise Foster, Victoria Cocieru, Geoffrey Mac, Nancy Volpe-Beringer, Brittany Allen, Sergio Guadarrama — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo) /

In a very rare occurrence in this type of Project Runway challenge, all the clients were happy. From the beginning of the show until the end, these women were radiating happiness. Given that outcome, everyone was a winner.

Still, some designs were more successful than others. In the luckiest fashion, Victoria’s client wanted an asymmetrical, cut out dress. Given that it was Victoria’s birthday, she got some lucky karma.

While the dress was nice and the client was pleased, it would have been nice to see something a little different. The side panel hanging down made me want to grab a pair of scissors. Still, the judges just love Victoria.

In a slightly different direction, Nancy’s was a top look. After being criticized for presenting the same pants and an unfinished look last week, Nancy shined in this challenge. She had the most inspired look for her Paralympic athlete.

Sometimes, fashion designers can bring fantasies to life. Nancy’s client always wanted a train, but her wheelchair prohibited it. Nancy found a way to make that train happen. As she came down the runway, everyone looked at her, not her chair.

More importantly, each aspect of Nancy’s design was adaptable. The ability to combine fashion and function earned Nancy the win. She made a huge statement on the runway.

As for the other looks, Sergio’s look was nice, but it didn’t make a big impact. The color was stunning, but the fit was slightly off.

Additionally, Sergio’s attitude is starting to take a toll. Sometimes it pays to be a little humble.

For Geoffrey, it was a bad day in the workroom. This week, he struggled with staying focused. From last minute alterations to a ironing mishap, his look needed more time to come together.

Overall, the judges thought that the dress complemented his client’s body and it felt luxe. Although there were some issues, it wasn’t a complete train wreck.

Brittany seems to be feeling the pressure from the Siriano Save. While she made her client happy, the dress didn’t look like something from her vision. It was actually a little cliché.

Given that Brittany was saved, the judges seemed to have expected more. While it can be hard to push a client in a different direction, Brittany could have thought a little more out of the box.

Lastly, Marquise found a way to give his client what she always wanted: a grown-up, long gown. Overall, the dress was right for her figure, but it had some issues. The bodice was more sheer than it needed to be. Also, given his client’s height, the dress made her feel a little young. Still, the high slit celebrated her prosthetic, and that moment needed to be appreciated.

While the judges agreed on Nancy as the winner, the bottom looks — Geoffrey, Brittany, and Marquise — caused quite a debate. In a twist no one saw coming, everyone was safe this week.

Given that there was no elimination, next week’s episode means that two designers will leave before the finale. With an avante garde challenge ahead, these designers need to go big or they will be going home.

Next. Chelsey Carter epitomizes effortless cool. dark

Do you think that the judges made the right decision this week? Would you have eliminated on of the Project Runway designers?