Project Runway Turns On the (Southern) Charm

It’s Friday again, Project Runway fans! Last week was all about creating activewear for Heidi’s New Balance line. This week, the designers faced the Belk (of the Belk Accessories Wall) Challenge. Belk’s Executive VP of Private Brands, John Thomas, asked them to create a modern look for a Southern woman to be produced and sold in Belk stores and online. I love when there are two big-stakes, huge-prize challenges in a row – keeps everyone on their toes.

The good: John enjoyed Kate’s bright and modern pattern, but Heidi thought the empire waist made the model look pregnant – a valid argument, but it likely would have been flattering on an average- or plus-sized figure. Bradon’s plaid shirtdress with its asymmetrical high-low hem was a hit with all the judges, and Alexander’s sweetheart neckline? My fave. The movement won me over.

The bad (and the ugly): Dom’s dress reminded Nina of hospital scrubs. Ken took heat for creating “a beautifully cut purple nightgown” and playing it safe, especially after he bragged the whole challenge about being from the South. And finally, Jeremy’s colorful, sleeveless V-neck dress and red “casino jacket” earned him a round of “madame” comments – again.

Great advice from Zac: “You’re not going to become a star of 7th Avenue if you’re going to be safe all the time. Fashion is about taking those smart risks.” I think we can all find truth in that.

The second chance: Heidi and team, thinking the Bottom Three didn’t understand the challenge, sent them back to the workroom for another hour. The result? Dom’s monochromatic flirty number was a clear winner. Ken’s piece was my least favorite – it was far too short and looked like two dresses fused into one – but ultimately, Jeremy’s simple redesign, while pretty, just didn’t impress.

Are you as ready as I am for Ken to go home? (And who misses Michael Kors already?) Let us know on Twitter at @ruelala, and I’ll catch you next week. Auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

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