Project Runway: Why The Real-Women Challenge is a Disservice to All

Now, it’s been a good few years since I’ve bothered to recap/review/comment on Project Runway, mainly because I don’t usually care enough. However, last night’s episode left me with such a bitter taste in my mouth that the words are now a flowing.

Crew’s All In was this round’s real-women challenge and as usual it was a pointless endeavor that did nothing to show off the designers talents. This year the PR powers that be decided that they were going to makeover members of the crew aka they were too cheap to pay day-rates for the women designers would’ve reeled in off the street, the designers were also give two days AND were allowed to go to Mood, a rarity in the show these days.


The idea behind the real-women challenge has always had the best intentions, to put the designers in scenarios where they have to work with more than a size 2, and every year the designers struggle to vision this world which is what has always pissed me off.  If/when these designers were to ever get their own collection, just who did they think would be wearing their clothes considering that the average dress size these days is 12-14.

Anywho, last night, once again Project Runway ran into the same old problems. Designers didn’t listen to their “client”, the client didn’t clearly say what their were looking for, or the client did say what they did/did not want and the designer just out-right ignored them.

Marlene’s girl very clearly stated she didn’t want a big, boxy jacket and that was exactly what Marlene made. Swapnil’s client wanted a day to night look that didn’t show a ton of skin which translated to a skin tight, open back, leather/neoprene number, but to me, the biggest fail of the night was Ashley’s.


Left me preface with this: Yes, I am aware that Ashley is the first ever plus-size designer on the show and that is a HUGE accomplishment, however that doesn’t mean I can ignore bad designs.


Naturally PR producers paired Ashley with a plus-size crew member, so this was Ashley’s challenge to lose. Nicole (the client), basically wanted a fit n’ flare with sleeves and pockets. This should have been EASY for Ashley, I mean I have over a 100 of these dresses in my own closet.  The first attempt was a massive fail, the fabric was a god awful floral paired with a solid lavender that looked so dated I’m pretty sure my Grandmother had something similar looking in her closet. Next was the design. Nicole wanted sleeves and Ashley gave her an annoying off-shoulder cap thing and to make it worse did a sweetheart neckline with an empire waist. It looks like the bridesmaid dress you give someone you hate. The final design however was much, much worse. In the end, Nicole got her sleeves but also got a pencil skirt with an all floral peplum (with pockets).  I believe the first words out of my mouth when I saw it was “That is god awful” followed by “that look is disgusting”.  I can 100% say that as a plus-sized women, I would never be caught dead in an outfit like that.

Ashley's Final Runway Look
Ashley’s Final Runway Look

In the end Kelly won and Swapnil went home but it was really us, the viewers that lost. Why? Because we had to sit through an hour of this bullshit where once again another real-world challenge baffled designers and pissed off judges.

Swapnil's Final Runway Look
Swapnil’s Final Runway Look
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