The usual Project Runway judges are amazing, but after so many seasons, the show sometimes needs somebody fresh — and somebody who doesn't mindlessly agree with Heidi Klum. That's exactly what guest judge Emily Ratajkowski delivered during tonight's episode. After a season full of constant agreement from the judges, it was refreshing to finally see some differences in opinion.
The item in question was a chandelier-inspired dress, which was designed to look both sparkly and sophisticated. According to Nathalia JMag, beaded fabric is the epitome of luxury. Unfortunately, she was forced to put it all together in less than four hours. As a result, the craftsmanship was, well, lacking. Furthermore, as Cornelius Ortiz aptly pointed out, the dress didn't really feel true to JMag's style.
Klum was not a fan of JMag's look; she said that it reminded her of a cheap dress that a teenager might buy at the mall. Ouch! The other judges echoed her opinion, complaining that it looked far from luxurious.
Surprisingly enough, Ratajkowski was eager to defend JMag. She said that although there were some definite issues with the dress, it caught her attention. She found most of the other designs boring, so JMag's look was a breath of fresh air.
Now, for full disclosure: I'm totally with Klum on this one. The dress just didn't have the high-fashion look I've come to expect from Project Runway's best and brightest designers. It would fit in better at Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal. That being said, the dress was definitely daring, which I firmly believe should be the goal on Project Runway. Nobody tunes in to see designers play it safe — viewers expect contestants to think outside the box and take risks.
JMag definitely did not play it safe, and for that, she should be commended. Her dress might not have stood out in a good way, but on a runway full of "safe" (read: boring) designs, it was nice to see something different.
I love when judges on any show have differing viewpoints. Yes, they are going to agree much of the time, but in an industry as subjective as fashion, I think it's valuable to hear various opinions. Kudos to Ratajkowski for speaking up!
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