Ahoy there mates as the fashion designers of “Project Runway” boarded the Celebrity Summit cruise ship on Thursday. The Lifetime reality TV competition show cross promotion of the week featured the Celebrity Cruise lines. You’ve likely seen their TV ads featuring pop and hip hop music accompany an array of fun in the sun daytime activities and luxury dining and entertainment at night. Before the 14 designers were treated to an incredible buffet lunch, that cruise ships are famous for, it was time for details of their first team challenge of Season 14.
Seven suitcases from the seven seas were displayed on deck, while Tim Gunn and an executive from Celebrity Cruises explained the nautical challenge. Seven teams of two designers each were assigned by Tim’s infamous button bag. Whatever name and order was drawn, the team had the choice to choose a suitcase with a Celebrity Summit’s port of call. Fabrics from that specific destination were inside the suitcase. They had only one day to complete their high-end cruise wear look.
Back at the workroom was a mini Mood corner where designers could take additional fabrics to complement their construction. The teams and destinations consisted of Amanda and Gabrielle: South of France, Ashley and Candice: Venice, Lindsey and Jake: Hong Kong, Laurie and Swapnil: India (not surprising), Kelly and Blake: Greek Isles, Edmond and Hanmiao: Caribbean, and Merline and Joseph: St. Petersburg (Russia). The team of Edmond and Hanmiao should have had the easiest challenge of all since the Caribbean screams out anything to do with cruises. Instead, it was one of the most difficult teams in recent “Project Runway” history.
Luckily Edmond had immunity and could have taken this opportunity to do something risky. No matter how patient, understanding, and compromising he was with Hanmiao, she always disagreed or never responded to his ideas. After going back and forth she decides to create a bathing suit made of cotton. The print was colorful for swimwear though cruise wear isn’t all about swimming. The other teams were a lot more harmonious, except for Joseph and Merline. He actually told her no dancing or singing. One significant moment happened in the workroom when Laurie mentioned the actress Tracee Ellis Ross being her fashion inspiration. Laurie would get so excited when “Girlfriends” would come on each week. She couldn’t wait to see what Tracee would wear on the TV show.
Before the runway presentation, Heidi introduced the judges and in an extraordinary coincidence Tracee Ellis Ross was this week’s celebrity judge. Laurie could hardly contain her immense surprise. She told Heidi that Tracee is her fashion idol. Tracee was deeply touched. The fashions showcased made for interesting cruise wear, though some were as Nina described one team “hideous.” The winning look was Team Venice of Ashley and Candice (who looks like an older version of Anne Hathaway). Since both designers contributed equally to a colorful design of solids and prints (a la Mondo Guerra), that was quintessential cruise wear, Ashley and Candice were this week’s winners, a rarity on the show.
Two designs that ended in the bottom was a subtle pastel dress with a strange cape off to the side. This may have been appropriately for cocktails, but not on a cruise. Joseph stood by his matronly design. Where was Merline’s contribution? The hideous design that was called out by Nina was from Team Caribbean. The swimsuit and skirt cover-up were a hot mess. Hanmiao was sent home.