Mentor Steampunk: (Left to right) Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos--Griffith Park's "Travel Town" Los Angeles--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Ruwnay: Under The Gunn
This week on Lifetime Network's "Project Runway: Under The Gunn", it was the Avant-Garde challenge. The theme was Steampunk. In case you might be "out of the look", Steampunk style deals with fashion inspired from the genre of science fiction, which is inspired by steam-powered machinery and involves an "alternative world" of both 19th Century Victorian and American "Wild West" as well as a post-apocalyptic world involving retro-futurism. Yep: go figure...
Where's the first "Under The Gunn" Winner? Mentor Nick Verreos with designers Natalia Fedner, Oscar Garcia-Lopez and Stephanie Ohnmacht at "Travel Town"/Griffith Park--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
I was excited to be mentoring this challenge for my designers, mainly because I LOVE an Avant-Garde Challenge and because of Season 11 "Project Runway" winner Michelle Lesniak and her Finale Collection. It wasn't until Michelle that I truly became aware of what Steampunk even was (Thank You Michelle!). We drove to Griffith Park's "Travel Town" very early in the morning to film the Challenge Introduction:
Griffith Park's "Travel Town"--filming set-up for Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Griffith Park's "Travel Town", Los Angeles
Tim Gunn, the Designers and Mentors--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
After the Challenge Announcement at "Travel Town", we all went to Mood Fabrics Los Angeles...
"Welcome to Mood'--Designers, Mentors and Tim Gunn--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Nick Verreos and "Oscar" (named after Oscar de la Renta, naturally)--the Mood Fabric L.A. "mascot"
Mood Fabrics Los Angeles: Thousands of fabulous bolts of fabrics
Under The Gunn Workroom, back at FIDM:
Tim Gunn and Nick Verreos--Project Runway: Under The Gunn Workroom, FIDM--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Uh Oh: "Big Daddy" Mentor Tim Gunn just told Anya Ayoung-Chee that one of her designers (Nicholas) is having lunch when he should be working...
The Following Day, Runway:
Steampunk Mentor Chic--(Left to right) Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos--Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM Los Angeles Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Time for the "Under The Gunn" Inside Dish:
Nick's Designers: (Left to right) Designs from Oscar Garcia-Lopez, Stephanie Ohnmacht and Natalia Fedner--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Stephanie Ohnmacht: Stephanie had a difficult time finding herself--design-wise--in this episode. She is not an "Avant-Garde" designer and therefore she struggled a bit. I liked her idea but I wanted her to exaggerate everything about it; put tulle inside those billowy sleeves to "puff" them up (she didn't) and take this to another level. I did like the silhouette and especially how she used some of the "Steampunk"-like metal details which she glued onto the top/shoulder section of her look. The entire design was very "Karl Lagerfeld/Chanel" and I appreciated that.
Oscar Garcia-Lopez: Oscar went all-out, as usual. His look was like a "Steampunk Saloon Girl Couture". I loved this look in that it was a complete design, very thought-out and very well made. When I visited him, he wanted to do a "She begins with a big ball gown and then she takes the overskirt off and she's got a cocktail dress on". It was looking a bit too gimmicky...
Oscar Revolution: Oscar also painted "Revolution" on the skirt (pic above). Tim Gunn and I both told him that this would not be a needed addition to his design. Lucky for us, Oscar listens and he is AMAZING at knowing how to take our critiques and then "adjusting".
But then, there were these gorgeous pleats: those hand-pleats are out of this world! I thought his design was one of the Top ones.
Natalia Fedner: Natalia rocked it out of the "Steampunk" park with this design of hers. I was so proud. She wanted to devise a pulley system using things she had received from our time at Griffith Park's "Travel Town". It was INGENIOUS! Natalia's design merged all the elements that make Steampunk wonderful; it was Victoriana, it was mechanism-fab; it was futuristic...All of it!
Steampunk-ed: When her model stopped in front of the judges and began her lifting-up of the design, it was like "done and done"; we all gasped, the judges and production people were like "Oh No She Didn't!" and we all clapped!
Avant-Garde Twist: Natalia Fedner's model begins the twisting mechanism of her "Steampunk" design--Episode 7 "Steampunk Chic" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
My winner was Natalia, even though she did not win this challenge, I as a mentor, was VERY proud of her.