Project Runway Takes Fashion to New Heights on Vessel

The Bravo show used the iconic Hudson Yards landmark as a runway before judges Karlie Koss Christian Siriano and Rachel Brosnahan

On this week’s Bravo’s hit show —the last to determine which designers will show at New York Fashion Week— the oohs and ahhs started long before anyone created a single garment. “Avant garde fashion deserves an equally avant garde platform,” said co-host and fashion designer Brandon Maxwell as he unveiled the theme and location at the beginning of the episode. “No one has ever shown in this space. The Vessel, one of New York’s newest, most innovative landmarks will be the destination of your show.”

His announcement was met with absolute delight from the six remaining designers vying for the chance to create a collection at New York Fashion Week. “It’s my favorite building in New York. I can’t believe this is happening,” said contestant Geoffrey Mac. “Inspiration for my design is Vessel. It’s an incredible structure. I want to do something that makes her look ceremonial... regal.” And when choosing which model to dress, the winner of the previous episode Nancy Volpe-Beringer said: “I have to take DD [the model] to the top.” As for the look she was creating: “When I think of the Vessel I see architectural lines. I see light and dark. It’s becoming a strong inspiration for me.

After two days of creating in the workroom, the looks were ready and judge Karlie Koss was at Vessel at dawn to greet the designers: “Welcome to the runway. Or today’s case, Welcome to the Vessel.” As the six models emerged from the elevator on the top floor in the designers’ avant garde creations, the judges exclaimed: “Wow, this may be the best fashion show in Project Runway history” and, “For Project Runway this is big.” They continued to be wowed as the models strutted down the steps against the bronze and steel backdrop before stopping to pose on six different platforms across from where the admiring judges stood.

Back in the studio at “Judges Row,” Vessel continued to shine. “This feels dramatic. It moves so beautifully. I can tell it was inspired by the Vessel,” Rachel Brosnahan said when critiquing Nancy’s dress. But for Nina Garcia, Nancy’s creation didn’t live up to the backdrop: “If I am going to see something so avant garde and I’m going to see it in this incredible building that captures the light, I would have wanted to celebrate that a little more.” Meanwhile Maxwell was thrilled with the designer Victoria Cocieru’s color choice: “I do think that with the bronze of the Vessel and the light, choosing this champagne was so smart.”

Ultimately Nancy, Geoffrey, Victoria and designer Sergio Guadarrama advanced to the final challenge. And perhaps before long these designers will have their pieces in stores at Hudson Yards. Meanwhile Vessel, of course, continues to . To watch the full episode tune in Thursday at 7:30pm on Bravo or stream it . 


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