A great fashion designer is able to incorporate multiple global elements into their looks. But sometimes, the coolest styles are the ones that draw inspiration from a single culture or country. These "Project Runway" challenges are memorable because of fantastic prints, textiles, and designs used to create garments inspired by countries from around the world.
Prince of printsIn the annual HP "design your own fabric" challenge, the Season 10 designers were asked specifically to create a pattern that reflected their cultural heritage. With designers from South America, Europe, and the U.S., the resulting prints were a riot of color.
Some of the most memorable looks included Guyana-born Van's hibiscus flower design (inspired by his Indian roots), Sonjia's amazingly tailored, patterned pants, and Melissa's chic Polish print. But the winner of the challenge was Dmitry. A native of Belarus, he drew on generations of artists in his own family to create a classy red, white, and black print, which was paired with a sheer, peekaboo jacket that mirrored the geometry of the design. It was a well-deserved win that gave a nod to the art and culture of Belarus.
Thai scoreSeason 8 designer Andy South wowed fans with designs that were sophisticated, unexpected, and beautifully cut. When he made it to the finale, he opted to create an entire collection using imported fabrics from Thailand. South came to Hawaii with his family to escape the communism in Laos (located next to Thailand), but remains closely connected to his Asian roots.
However, the inclusion of these imported fabrics proved problematic. The delay of waiting for the fabric to ship cut into Andy's construction schedule, and some of the judges felt the use of so many similar fabrics made the collection feel repetitive.
African prideSeason 5 finalist Korto Momolu was born in the African nation of Liberia. In addition to fashion, Korto participated in an African dance troupe, as well as traditional African hair braiding. Not surprisingly, her collection for the finale was heavily influenced by African fashion and culture. With wonderfully chunky beads, intense colors, and sophisticated patterns, Korto's collection was the perfect fusion of U.S. and African styles.
U.N. challengeIn the All-Stars season, the contestants had to incorporate the flags and culture of various far-flung nations. While none of the contestant-country pairings reflected the personal histories of the contestants, the designs were still very striking. Mondo, in particular, whipped up a striking, classy, floor-length dress inspired by Jamaica.
- Arts & Entertainment