Venture Runway Season 20 Episode 3 Recap: Thanks, It’s FAO Schwarz

Had been I offered with this week’s Venture Runway problem—take $2,000 value of toys and rework them into couture—and set free in FAO Schwarz, I can nearly assure any considered the “unconventional supplies” problem would vanish from my thoughts. I’d waltz out of that wonderland with my Barbie Polaroid digicam and my rock tumbler and a racetrack for my husband, and you wouldn’t hear from both of us for no less than the following 24 hours. I’d neglect to acquire one single scrap of cloth for the article of clothes I’ve been tasked to create. These Venture Runway designers, nevertheless, managed to sew stuffed panda bears right into a stole.

Because the remaining designers navigate their means round a seemingly limitless provide of flooring pianos at FAO Schwarz this week, Christian reminds them of the luxurious homes already making toys stylish: Thom Browne with teddy-bear high hats, Moschino with pool floats, even Gucci with Gremlins. With their $2,000 in hand, these people go predictably nuts: They fill buying baggage with magnets, taking part in playing cards, boomerangs, sand buckets, stuffed dinosaurs and unicorns and bears, keychains, tents, puzzles, tea cups, kites, seaside chairs, wood pepperoni slices, propeller hats, crayons, child rattles, and about 11,000 of these flooring pianos. (Critically, why so many flooring pianos? Is that this all because of Large?)

Within the workroom, they settle into one thing like managed panic, which is Venture Runway’s default state. The designers have two days to finish this week’s activity, and Christian is already doling out some uninhibited suggestions. After he tells Fabio his playing-card minidress is boring, Fabio devotes treasured confessional interview time to tell us that Christian’s critique was “perhaps a little bit too dry for me. Might have used a little bit lube.” Received it, thanks for that.


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Nonetheless, there’s one thing pretty and candy about how nicely this cohort appears to get alongside. Episode 3 has remarkably little spice to supply; essentially the most heated comment comes through Hester, side-eyeing Fabio and Brittany for his or her choice to make use of glue weapons. (“I feel a really good unconventional look doesn’t want a glue gun.” Positive, I assume!) However aside from Viktor working round begging for further boomerangs—and apologizing to Korto for a way he handled her throughout season 3—the in-fighting is nonexistent. Possibly it’s the truth that my abdomen knots itself right into a pretzel form anytime anybody begins yelling, however I like all this old style kindness!

My second-favorite second of the episode (we’ll get to No. 1 in a bit) occurs when Christian confronts Anna about her work in progress. Their change is value reproducing right here in its entirety.

“Anna, what’s this?” Christian asks, eyeing what seems to be the wrinkled bedsheet thrown over Anna’s mannequin.

Anna replies, cheerily, “That is the again from the piano, and she or he can have a hat, and in addition a child swimming float, and a pacifier.”

Christian’s face right here is priceless. I would like it framed. “… What?”

“Uh huh.”

“Why? She’s a child?”



Right here, Anna—bless her stunning coronary heart—promptly bursts into tears. “That’s my child’s moments!” she cries. (From my understanding, it appears her design was meant to honor her toddler’s greatest “moments,” thus the pacifier and pool float.) To the room, Christian proclaims, “Oh my God,” not as soon as however thrice. After strolling himself again from the sting of a psychological breakdown, he pulls Anna apart and tells her she will’t ship her child’s moments down the runway. She must go “darkish and attractive and avant-garde,” to which she replies, chipper as soon as extra, “Okay. Thanks!”


My favourite second arrives when the designers unwind at a wine bar that night, throughout which Anna slips away to FaceTime her associate and her child. After the temporary chat, she returns to her fellow opponents and broadcasts, “I known as my boy, and I didn’t cry!” and actually your complete bar cheers. That is the type of Bravo tv I’m paying for! She then proclaims, “I’m gonna cry now, however I don’t wish to cry in entrance of you.” A+ to the producers.

After the same old frenzied prep on runway day, the designers meet this week’s visitor choose—Alice + Olivia’s founder/CEO Stacey Bendet—and the present begins. Right here have been my preliminary ideas:

  • Viktor: This is what the 2019 Met Gala theme, “Camp: Notes on Trend,” ought to have gifted us. Viktor’s banana-yellow and sorbet-green coat-dress seems to be super. I wasn’t positive concerning the dragon heads anointing every shoulder when he first offered the concept, however within the context of the finalized piece, they’re unimaginable. The boomerangs formed into scales are impeccably positioned. It’s miraculous how a lot the ensemble seems to be like a completely completed design, prepared for a purple carpet.
  • Fabio: The silhouette of Fabio’s playing-card costume is intriguing, and I’m impressed the look made it down the runway in a single piece. However the stiff development and absence of different colours and supplies makes the design really feel too protected.
  • Prajje: Prajje is in redemption mode! His retro-futuristic plastic jacket, pants, and bandeau combo are beautiful. The inventive prospers of paint sprayed in opposition to overlapping textile prints, paired with the good styling of sun shades and a daring purple lip … This seems like one thing a Hollywood starlet would put on to a rock live performance, and take all eyes off the band.
  • Hester: The massive silver boots are doing a whole lot of the heavy lifting in Hester’s look, however I nonetheless assume the purple fur stole and magnet belt make up for it. Collectively, the elements—particularly the toy automobiles on every shoulder—add as much as an important outfit; it simply doesn’t have the wow issue of a few of Hester’s opponents.
  • Anna: Even in her much less audacious moments, Anna’s technical talent is so evident in her each design, and this one isn’t any totally different. Neglect child moments (no less than till her tears are dried)! The stitching precision on this ruffle-on-ruffle bronze robe is outstanding.
  • Korto: Jackets are the actual winner tonight. I like the textile Korto crafted from flooring piano scraps for her jacket and miniskirt, and the perimeter piled on every sleeve provides scrumptious texture. The general concept feels moody and skater-chic, however nonetheless playful sufficient to suit this problem’s “whimsical” requirement.
  • Bishme: I like the sculptural shoulders and “antennae” branching off from Bishme’s high. Paired with the sci-fi goggles and the graphic corset, the entire look is vaguely steampunk meets Spy Youngsters meets Blade Runner at a Versace present. Is {that a} factor? It must be!
  • Brittany: As anticipated, Brittany’s creativity completely matches the whimsical invoice. The cotton-candy colours of her mosaic bodice, the gorgeous ruffle skirt, and using lace-up sandals and a bow choker as equipment … I imply, there’s a cause why Stacey offers a little bit smirk because the look comes down the catwalk. As Brittany herself says, “You’ll by no means know that that’s shredded tent and tea cups.”
  • Kara Saun: OMG SO FUN. Kara Saun’s macaroon high is one in all my favourite items of the evening, even when it’s fully impractical as a result of I’d wish to eat it each time I attempted to slide it over my huge head. The way through which her umbrella skirt connects with the batwing-like cape is improbable. Plus the equipment are good: The bucket hat, outsized sun shades, and stuffed pet in a crossbody bag are like TikTok come to life.
  • Laurence: Gosh, I wished to love this one a lot. Nevertheless it’s clear Laurence spent a lot time on her chain-link hood that she roughly forgot concerning the precise … outfit. The ensuing costume feels shapeless and inconsiderate, as a lot as I wish to applaud the inventiveness of that hood.
  • Rami: I just like the zany sample Rami’s intertwined out of plastic items right here, and the best way he turned a kite right into a dramatic asymmetrical second is a thrill. That mentioned, I don’t assume the cocktail costume itself is especially distinctive, nor does it appear well-constructed sufficient to keep away from the judges’ ire.
  • Mila: This one’s killing me. I’m in love with what Mila’s skirt may have been. The aquatic-colored puzzle items related like beadwork are a part of a superb idea; they’re instantly eye-catching as they shimmer down the runway. However the skirt is unfinished, and the stuffed-animal fur high is clearly an afterthought.
  • Kayne: I’ll be trustworthy: My first thought upon seeing Kayne’s look is, “Bibbity Bobbity Boo.” His baby-blue rain poncho scenario is leaning a bit too far into Fairy-Godmother-gone-wrong. However I ought to know by now to belief Kayne’s instincts. In mere moments, Godmother transforms into Cruella de Vil (er, “Pandamonium”) in a smoking-hot mermaid robe. Even the weird panda-bear boa works. It’s a delight.

Lastly, Stacey, Elaine, Nina, and Brandon decide their favorites—Prajje, Kayne, Brittany, Viktor—and their backside three: Mila, Rami, and Laurence. Viktor takes this week’s win, and it’s Mila who’s pressured to go residence, a let-down I watched with no small diploma of shock. That skirt had a lot potential! It solely wanted time!

However, as we established initially of this recap, I’ve little management over my very own toy-shopping urges, to not point out the result of Venture Runway. And I’ve it on good authority that this season ends with the best final result. As Elaine teased throughout a pre-premiere interview with, “We’ve now seen 20 seasons of this present. There are some designers who’re extra memorable than others, and our job was to decide on the primary, better of the very best, the one that we are going to be speaking about for years to come back. And I feel that we did that.”

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Tradition Author

Lauren Puckett-Pope is a employees tradition author at ELLE, the place she primarily covers movie, tv and books. She was beforehand an affiliate editor at ELLE.