Project Runway Season 20, Episode 11 Recap: A Shock Elimination

Project Runway Recap
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Project Runway Season 20 continued this week, with perhaps the most shocking elimination so far. The designers opened the episode in silence, missing their friend Kara Saun. But, this is a competition, and the show must go on. For this week’s challenge, they would have to battle against the “double-bind.” This meant creating one runway look to showcase two styles, in just one day. Here’s everything that happened in Project Runway All Stars, Season 20, Episode 11.

Push the button

Project Runway recap
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The All Stars had to randomly pick a button out of a bag, which would give them their design styles for the week. Bishme had the chance to swap his, having won last week’s challenge. Instead, he chose to stick with what fate had decided. Here are the styles each designer was given:

  • Bishme – Basic and Bold
  • Korto – Formal and Casual
  • Rami – Fitted and Oversized
  • Prajjé – Elegant and Edgy
  • Brittany – Sexy and Modest
  • Laurence – Classic and Trendy

With models also drawn randomly, and just 30 minutes to sketch, the designers were truly up against it this week. It’s no wonder judge Brandon Maxwell later said he would have been spiraling with just 12 hours total. Some of these challenges seem to set the competitors up to fail, honestly.

No time to play it safe

Project Runway Recap
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Rami thinks that this challenge is a catch-22. He’s not here “to play it safe.” Meanwhile, Brittany is worrying about how to balance her look. “Show some tits,” Prajjé suggests. “That is always a solution,” she responds. With a $450 budget and 30 minutes to shop for fabric, the race is on.

Christian, of course, has some advice. He thinks Korto should infuse some color. She feels as though she can’t win, and she’s been in a double-bind all season. For her part, Brittany is inspired by women who are told “they have to be modest but have the sex appeal.” We also learn that Bishme has faced some microaggressions from those assuming he would rob them in a store, just because he has a hood up.

Over in the workroom

Project Runway recap
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As the designers get to creating, Christian moves around the room. He tells Laurence that she’s making it “so complicated,” and she agrees. There’s a change she can make to the structure to make her life easier.

With Bishme, he asks for “the balance a little bit more,” between his themes. Christian wants him to “make sure that it shows both things.”

Meanwhile, he thinks Korto has a “cool concept.” This allows the two-time finalist to let off some steam. She feels insulted, because when she was told last week that her look was “safe,” that means “basic” to her. “I feel like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t,” she concludes. Despite that, she’s going to stick to her aesthetic.

Over with Brittany, he warned her to “make sure this little corset underneath is stunning.”

As for Prajjé? “This origami technique is so different and fresh, and I think will be exciting … [but] I don’t know if that’s edgy enough.” Exactly how he could make it edgier? We didn’t hear the advice, sadly.

Laurence and Korto get real

Project Runway recap
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Laurence recalled her time in school. People were so racist, they would throw coconuts at her and the other Black kids. They were even told there was a limited amount of jobs they’d be able to get when they were older. Fashion school was her way of proving everybody wrong. She’s now one of the best designers in the country. Kudos to her.

When the models arrived, Christian warned Prajjé that his look was “like a Golden Girl going to lunch.” Bishme was also having some trouble, declaring he had “officially ran out of ideas.” Not what you want to hear from someone you’ve been rooting for from jump!

We also heard from Korto about her past. She grew up having to suppress herself. Now, she’s finally comfortable in her skin. She’s found her voice, and she knows she’s the sh*t. This should provide the context some viewers need for Korto’s confidence in her own work. Some people find it off-putting, but it should be celebrated. Korto IS the sh*t. She’s allowed to acknowledge that.

Who brought it on the runway?

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This week’s guest judge is designer, Batsheva Hey. She joins Brandon, Elaine Welteroth, and Nina Garcia on the panel. But who brought it with the looks? The judges and I had differing opinions! Here are mine…

  • Brittany’s look was gorgeous. The modesty came through in that the design was a full cover, while the sexy meant that you could see exactly what the model was wearing underneath. A genius decision.
  • Prajjé’s design had a stunning neckline, thanks to the origami construction. I’d enjoy seeing some of my faves wearing this at the Met Gala.
  • Laurence’s look was sophisticated, trendy, and sharp.
  • Rami’s design was missing the oversized element entirely. I think the model looked incredible, and the outfit was gorgeous, but the challenge wasn’t met.
  • This wasn’t Bishme’s finest work. I liked the cut, but I didn’t love the hoodie pocket in the front. The embellishment also wasn’t giving.
  • Korto’s pants were to die for. I don’t care what anybody else says. This was my favorite look of the night.

What did the judges think?

Project Runway recap
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So, those pesky judges, eh? Nina loved “the duality” of Laurence’s look. Brandon said the tailoring was admirable, but couldn’t find the “trendy” part of the design.

Elaine didn’t know “how successful” Bishme’s creation was. “That hoodie … is feeling forced,” added Nina. However, Batsheva thought Bishme was the one designer who “nailed the directive the best.”

“I wish you could’ve found a way to make that cape more billowy,” Nina said to Rami. “I wanted to see a bit more dramatic,” Brandon added.

Prajjé’s color choice was called “a little old fashioned” by Batsheva. Nina “appreciated” the origami technique, but felt that the overall look was “safe.”

“It definitely screams Met Gala to me,” Batsheva said of Brittany’s look. “I thought it was a really beautiful look,” said Nina.

Then came Korto. Batsheva and Nina disagreed on which element of the look they liked, and didn’t like. Korto then decided it was time to speak up. She said she was getting “mixed messages” from the panel. And do you know what? She’s right. “I stand by it,” Korto said. “It does represent who I am.”

Who won, and who was sent home?

Project Runway recap
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In the end, Laurence and Brittany were named the Top 2 All Stars of the week. Laurence claimed her third win, and Brittany was declared safe, along with Rami. Prajjé was next to be called “in,” leaving Bishme and Korto in the bottom two.

When Elaine revealed Korto would be going home, she replied, “Yeah, I figured.” It wasn’t a bitter exit, however, as she wished blessings on the judging panel.

Korto deserved better. “Y’all were the gifts and y’all were the prize,” she said to her fellow competitors. A sad goodbye.

Next week: Designers are asked to embrace the “peacocking trend,” and create a striking menswear look.

Project Runway continues at 9/8c, Thursdays on Bravo.