Friday, January 20, 2017

Lighting Up the Runway - LED Lights in Fashion

Secret deodorant sponsored this week's challenge - a Stress Test for the modern day woman. The finished items had to use LED lights wires in them as the focal element totally embracing and enhancing the design. With a budget of $350, the young designers should have been able to go a bit crazy on their material choices, but I was unimpressed with the finished designs.

Returning to the studio they found bins of LED light strips and coiled LED wires in many colors to add to their garments. This should be way fun, right? Tim introduced Maddy Maxey, an LED programmer who worked with Zac Posen on his LED designs. She was available for consulting for the entire day. I have a suspicion she worked pretty hard by the time these young designers got their designs mocked up. Since there was only a single day for the challenge, advice from an expert could have proved crucial.


Cartier, Chelsea and Allie were declared safe, leaving six designers. Here are some of their designs for you to look at:

Chris, per usual, had totally unmatched items, but used
the lighting well. 

Chris seems unable to really put an ensemble together, but he used the lights well, down the pant legs and throughout the jacket on which he used only red LED lights. The lights actually made the outfit combine into a wearable. Without the lights it would have been a hot mess.

Hawwaa - I wish I had a photo of Hawwaa's outfit, but couldn't find one to share. Maybe that's because it was horrible and really boring, poorly put together, a disaster of design, and basically just bad. I don't know who she's designing for, but right now she's a one-trick pony holding on by a very slim thread.

A'kai's design wasn't bad, but it was very poorly made
and just didn't make the grade. 

A'kai made some poor decisions this week. His use of the lights was actually really good, and the gown design wasn't bad, but his choice of a sheer fabric meant the wires were visible and he spent too much time figuring out where the battery packs should go and not enough time actually stitching the dress. It was raw and unfinished. He needs to learn to prioritize better, but he's very young - only 13 years old.

Teiler made a skeleton of a dress. It was an interesting concept. 

Teiler did the skeleton of a dress - the marks that designers follow and use to design an outfit. For each line used on a mannequin, he hand-stitched an LED light. I actually loved his concept, but it didn't come across well on the Runway, and he did nothing at all on the back. The dress fit beautifully, though.

Izzy's outfit was horrid - a skirt outlined in poorly-chosen
LED lights, topped by this "branded" jacket featuring
her name and her sprout. 

Izzy's outfit was a real mess. The judges "loved" that she branded herself on her jacket, but I thought it was a juvenile act that didn't really work well. Then again, it is Project Runway Junior and the designers are all juvenile in age. But call me super unimpressed with her design this week.

Molly - She played it safe but it was cute. 

Molly designed a sassy dress accented with pink LED lights around the neck, passing in an arc down the dress to the hem. She wove the lights into her fabric, allowing for exact placement in the design. It was really cute and well made.

Who won and who lost? The winner, barely, was Chris who was absolutely astounded and then bear hugged by Teiler. The loser? Dear A'kai was sent packing once again. He was so upset that he let Tim down since he had been saved in an earlier episode by Tim Gunn's "save". But, as Tim reminded all the designers, it is a competition and someone will be sent home every week.

We're heading into the final eight now, and there are no more immunities or saves of any kind. We've weeded out the weakest designers and now it's time for these young kids to let their skills show. I apologize that I didn't have all of the designs available for you to see, but this challenge was a bit of a "yawn" also. I was disappointed with most of the designs, although I like the concept of lighted fashions.

Enjoy your Friday and try not to throw things through your televisions if you watch the Inauguration. Chickie is taking tomorrow off to participate in the Women's March in Saint Paul, and I have other friends who are on their way to Washington DC to participate in the larger national Women's March on Saturday. I'm just going to hope that things won't be horrible over the next few years, but we made our beds and have to live with the consequences, one day at a time.

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