Rue Recap: An All-Star, Ready-to-Wear Runway

Hi there, Project Runway fans! Last week, the designers faced off in Roaring Twenties style. This week, it was all about creating a ready-to-wear, affordable look for the wider market.

I love ready-to-wear challenges. This show is, at its core, about jump-starting the careers of up-and-comers – and there’s no better way to prepare for a life in fashion than by designing for the everyday consumer.

The designers headed to Elie Tahari’s 5th Avenue design studio, where they met with Carolyn and Elie himself. Carolyn explained that they needed to keep the price point between $500 and $700. Elie added that the winner would have his or her work manufactured and sold in his stores and online, and profits would benefit Save the Garment Center.

The stress in the workroom was intense – typical for this point in the show. Uli picked white fabric for the fifth time (and fretted about it), Joshua struggled with his zipper, Emilio ditched his colorblocking without having a great backup plan, and Ivy refused to take hints from Elie regarding her dress’s length (even after Joanna called her a “lazy designer” for suggesting that customers could have it hemmed themselves).

I was disappointed in Emilio’s runway look – he should have kept some of the colorblocking – but Isaac was right to say, “I won’t let Emilio go this week. I will lie down on the runway.” Joshua’s color was wonderful, but the dress was the epitome of awkward between the saggy chest and bunched rear. Ivy picked a great fabric with spectacular movement, but the length killed it.

On the I’d-actually-wear-it end of things, Anthony Ryan’s dress looked comfortable and flattering (I love vertical-striped patterns), and I adored Uli’s color, detailing, and length. I doubted her fabric in the workroom, but on the runway it looked sleek and modern – nothing like a “potato sack,” as Emilio called it – and the touch of fringe on the sleeves made it 100% Uli.

My pick for the Final Three (assuming they go with that method this season): Uli, Anthony Ryan, and Emilio. How about you?

We’ll find out soon. For now, auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

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December 28, 2012