Project Runway’s Astrology Challenge

Best. Episode. Ever.

This weeks challenge on Project Runway was for contestants, paired with previously eliminated contestants as their assistants, to choose one of the team member’s astrological signs as an inspiration for an avant garde design. Too bad the producers didn’t think to contact Brightstarlights for some insight into astrological fashion! The teams were given a binder of what looked like pretty sparse data concerning the symbol and colors associated with each of the signs.. I could have done so much better! It looks as though the designers worked more or less exclusively with the imagery of the signs symbol when they could have done soo much more. Alas, maybe next season..

The standouts were Joe’s Aries outfit, inspired by the Ram. It was very red and fiery although it could equally well have represented Leo, but was an excellent Aries. Korto’s Aquarius was also amazing, though it had a bit of a free-flowing Pisces vibe as well, where as Aquarius is more structured. But the ruffles down the back were gorgeous and actually mimicked the waves of the Aquarius symbol.

Leanne’s Scorpio creation was another winner, perfectly emulating the sharp sexiness of Scorpio. The winning detail was the mesh covering the eye; Scorpios have very intense eyes and like to keep them covered up!

The winner was Jerrell’s Sagittarius and he deserved it 100%. He managed not only to make an obvious homage to Sagg symbolism (hello, arrow through the hair) but also to hit a wide variety of Sagg themes. Sagg’s are sporty and outdoorsy and his intricate skirt was houndstooth. They are also glamorous and love to be the center of attention and are able to pull off a gold sequined top and jacket with six different trims including feathers. And their love of global culture was represent in the ikat material selected for the jacket itself. Jerrell was working with the “adventurous and fun-loving” aspects of Sagg that he related to and he pulled it off perfectly!

It was so much fun to get to learn the signs of the contestants as well. The big revelation for me was the Air sign ladies who have been dominating this season. Leanne makes the perfect ladylike Libra creations and had won the past two challenges. Kenley and Korto are some of the other powerhouses on the show and unsurprisingly they are both stubborn, fixed Aquarians. All of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) have very strong preferences and points of view. They do not like to stray from their own aesthetic. You can also see this clearly with the not-so-surprising revelations that eliminated contestants, black-leather-loving Stella is a Scorpio, and “refuse to make anything but conservate cocktail frocks” Jennifer is a Taurus.

I also loved seeing the astrological knowledge pour out of famed fashion designers Taurus Francisco Costa and my own 2008 Leo Fashion Idol, Michael Kors. Costa did not think the Leo look was appropriately dramatic and Kors accused Kenley of acting like a Taurus because she was being so stubborn in defending her bizarre design! He also knew that Leos and Saggs are “supposed” to get along. Real life Taurus Nina Garcia hit the nail on the head when she said that it seemed as though Kenley just decided to do what she wanted to do not caring whether her looked shouted “Aquarius” or not. Exactly, Aquarians are prone to do that.

Another Taurus in the house was guest Judge Fransico Costa, head of womens’ design at Calvin Klein. In a vintage article I found, he had this to say on the topic of astrology; “I’m so Taurus, you would not even believe. All the Tauruses I know have this connection to the earth and the environment. We are very curious people, very loyal, very aware of and respectful of our surroundings. Also we’re stubborn, but that’s our way. We understand what we want, which is not bad.” Very well said indeed.

So does Project Runway have an astrological signature? As I mentioned in my Michael Kors article, the show has a strong Leo/Gemini/Taurus vibe, based on the signs of it’s mainstays and winners, which suits it perfect. As Leos Tim Gunn and Michael Kors encourage creativity and authenticity. As a Gemini, Klum brings the playfulness and links togehter all of the different elements and projects. Taurus Nina Garcia brings the relevant level of refinement and snobbery. The show has had four winners so far. Chloe Dao is a Gemini and Jeffrey Sebelia is a Taurus. Jay McCarroll’s birthday is unknown and Christian Siriano is a Scorpio. There is a strong fixed vibe at Project Runway (think: “We want to see your point of view as a designer”) and since there are no remaining Taureans, Leos or Scorpios in the competition, my money would have to be on an Aquarius and I think Korto is the one to beat.