Fashion

Project Runway Menswear Challenge

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The designers were frantic about the challenge almost from the get-go, and rightfully so since tailoring a suit is one of the hardest things to do. I’ve been sewing with varying degrees of commitment for over 12 years, and I’ve still never tried to take on a full suit. But the thing to remember is that the challenge didn’t really require them to make a suit. Yes, the outfit had to be TV appropriate for Tiki, but several of the savvier designers made perfectly respectable outfits from a well tailored pair of pants and avoided the inherent pitfalls of constructing a suit jacket by pairing them with a knit top, a vest or even — in Kit’s case — a jacket made of fleece which is much more forgiving than traditional wool.

The hits were fairly good, though none of the designers had a lot of experience with menswear so nothing seemed too cutting edge. Jack ended up winning the challenge with a simple striped shirt with a bias-cut pocket and well made black pants. He probably should have included a third piece, but in this challenge keeping things simple was definitely the best strategy.

The misses in this challenge, though, were nothing short of spectacular! Oh, how I felt Sweet P’s pain when her shirt wouldn’t fit her model after she had already re-made it once. And I could certainly relate to Carmen when she declared, “This is why I admire those little old men who sit in those tailor shops all day — that shit is no joke,” while frantically trying to sew her jacket together. Despite their very best efforts, a few of the designers were in some seriously deep shit by the end of this challenge. Though Sweet P just narrowly avoided being eliminated, her good attitude throughout the challenge had me rooting for her the whole time. But she was saved by Carmen’s terrible 80s-looking, Members Only-style jacket and her “creative” use of a piece of fabric to stand in for what should have been a shirt. Carmen was out, Sweet P was in — barely.

Sweet P’s look was marred not only by pants that fit poorly (despite the fact that she traced Jack’s pants to use as a pattern, in a move that some called cheating), but it had the worst fitting shirt I have ever seen. That was until I was alerted to this Cosby Show YouTube video of Theo in a shirt made by his sister, Denise. About the only thing that sets them apart is Sweet P’s attempt to put a tie on the whole mess — this ingenious move truly sets her apart and makes her shirt the hands down winner of the Worst Shirt Ever Made Award. But I love her, and I’m glad she’ll be back for more in tomorrow’s episode. -- Aubrey Shoe

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Aubrey Shoe
Contact: Aubrey Shoe