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Project Runway New Zealand: Episode Two

. Sunday, 14 October 2018 .



It’s Sunday evening which means in my head I've basically gotten through Monday already (lol no send coffee pls) and it's Project Runway time! Like I said, I’m very much looking forward to TV viewing old-school style again that I’m even enjoying watching the ad break! Can you believe?


Anyway, I know I said I was posting a recap of the first episode and I didn’t. Ok so I lied. But shit happened (shit being me) and Tuesday came around and my whole team was off sick so homegirl was busy. By the time I got home, all I could do was legit pass out and eat in bed. Ah well, this week is a new week and I am READY!



Here’s what you missed on Glee Project Runway New Zealand: First episode finally aired on TVNZ 2 and of course they wasted no time at all and went straight to the first challenge. Actually, no, the show opened with the designers meeting each other for the first time. Of course this being New Zealand (with a small but vibrant fashun industry), we find out within the first 10 minutes of the show that some of them already know each other. That tug at my heartstrings, to be honest. I love that this is New Zealand and we are so small and that we can have moments like this on a massive TV franchise like Project Runway. The challenge for this episode was to create a cocktail dress inspired by Hopt soda, a major show sponsor. I personally found it to be a bit meh as a first challenge, but then again what do I know?



The first round of eliminations saw Nicole get the cut and while I really didn't like her dress, I do respect the fact that she stuck with who she is as a designer and what she wanted to create. I think that's the most important thing in a show like this - to create what you want. Other's opinions be damned.


Episode two was a bit more exciting for me. First of all, Judy finally got more airtime! We barely saw her in episode one - a sentiment that other people on Twitter shared too so of course I'm feeling validated. This episode opened with the designers on location at everybody's favourite mall - Sylvia Park - home to the only Zara in NZ! We are told that Kiwi Property is a major sponsor, hence the location and the accessory wall. Actually, I feel like we keep hearing about this accessory wall but never get to see it in full. Can someone please do an accessory wall tour like they do in YouTube? Kind regards.




Mentor Andreas Mikellis assigned each designer a store where they get to pick one item to incorporate into this week's look. Ok look, Sylvia Park is my jam. It is my mall shopping destination of choice. I know these stores and their merchandise and their layout so seeing them film inside Gassons was honestly the show's most relatable moment so far. Anyway, the group reconvenes back in the middle of Sylvia Park (idk what time they filmed but the mall was ghost town!) and Andreas reveals that they now need to swap items with the person next to them. They were clearly SHOOK by this and as my friend Geoj said in our comment thread, "were they not expecting the old switcheroo?!"


They weren't. But what can you do, eh? This week's challenge is to come up with a contemporary streetwear look incorporating the item they got and it is ON. I must say this week's outfits were so much better. I'm not the biggest streetwear wearer in the world, but I appreciated how they interpreted this brief. I'm not prepared to talk about each of the looks because it's been, like, a week and I'm kind of tired, but this is something I'd love to go more into this week!


What I will say though is that my boy Massey won this week's challenge with his uber chic cape/top thing that I would 100% buy if I saw it in store. I don't even mind that it's not in black! I loved everything about this look - the top and the handpainted design on the skirt was such a fresh take on streetwear. The only thing I'd probably change is the skirt length. I'd take it up a bit higher so homegirl can show off her legs more while in sneaks. And I say this as someone who wears sneakers 99% of the time.




But of course this being a competition, someone had to be cut this week. And unfortunately that someone is my girl Lenon. I am genuinely shocked about this. All she ever wanted to do was create androgynous and gender fluid garments! Is it too much to ask that we have this type of creativity on our TV screens? Is it too much to ask for Lenon to have her own TV show because I LIVE for her commentary! As I was live tweeting last week, I found that most of NZ shared the same sentiment. We want Lenon back. She deserved better. We all deserved better than this. I still can't believe they picked Beth's design over Lenon's. This is an injustice and I'm still not over it.


So this is an interview I didn't think I would be doing so soon! Lenon and I have been following each other on the ol' Instagram and have slid into each other's DMs before finally meeting IRL at the Project Runway launch last September. Lenon has such a great energy to her - fun, charismatic, unapologetically herself, and just is. She even shared her last pizza slice with me. That's a true friend, right there. I definitely don't think this will be the last we'll see of her. She tells me she's into acting and loves to pursue other creative endeavours. I told her I couldn't wait to make magic with her. It's happening. I'm excited! But for now I leave you with this:


How are you feeling now?





I don’t see leaving Project Runway as the end, it’s more like the beginning of a new chapter. The show has really inspired me to get creating!



What inspires you?


My aesthetic stylistically echoes my African heritage and also reflects my androgynous and flamboyant personality. I am a huge fan rich bold colours and strong silhouettes.



Dream collaboration/dream person to design for/dress?


I dream of dressing up Lupita Nyongo, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Lady Gaga because these figures are not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to personal style.






Fun fact, I actually had a cameo role in Scarlet Johansson’s movie, Ghost in a Shell, and after meeting her I was in absolute awe of her personality – so I would definitely take up the offer of dressing her if this were ever to arise!


Advice for those wanting to pursue a career as a fashion designer?


Don’t be afraid to take risk; trust me you will be amazed. Keep at it and believe in yourself, and one day you might surprise yourself!


Where can we follow you and keep up with what's next?

Follow me up on Instagram: @lenon_wakuwa
Facebook: Lenon Wakuwa Mudiwamwanawaishe
Also check out my website; it is still under construction, but it should be finished soon: http://lanneberry19.wixsite.com/adhala-lenzo


Project Runway New Zealand airs every Monday, 7:30 pm on TVNZ 2. Watch it On Demand here. Images by Tom Hollow.



It’s Sunday evening which means in my head I've basically gotten through Monday already (lol no send coffee pls) and it's Project Runway time! Like I said, I’m very much looking forward to TV viewing old-school style again that I’m even enjoying watching the ad break! Can you believe?


Anyway, I know I said I was posting a recap of the first episode and I didn’t. Ok so I lied. But shit happened (shit being me) and Tuesday came around and my whole team was off sick so homegirl was busy. By the time I got home, all I could do was legit pass out and eat in bed. Ah well, this week is a new week and I am READY!



Here’s what you missed on Glee Project Runway New Zealand: First episode finally aired on TVNZ 2 and of course they wasted no time at all and went straight to the first challenge. Actually, no, the show opened with the designers meeting each other for the first time. Of course this being New Zealand (with a small but vibrant fashun industry), we find out within the first 10 minutes of the show that some of them already know each other. That tug at my heartstrings, to be honest. I love that this is New Zealand and we are so small and that we can have moments like this on a massive TV franchise like Project Runway. The challenge for this episode was to create a cocktail dress inspired by Hopt soda, a major show sponsor. I personally found it to be a bit meh as a first challenge, but then again what do I know?



The first round of eliminations saw Nicole get the cut and while I really didn't like her dress, I do respect the fact that she stuck with who she is as a designer and what she wanted to create. I think that's the most important thing in a show like this - to create what you want. Other's opinions be damned.


Episode two was a bit more exciting for me. First of all, Judy finally got more airtime! We barely saw her in episode one - a sentiment that other people on Twitter shared too so of course I'm feeling validated. This episode opened with the designers on location at everybody's favourite mall - Sylvia Park - home to the only Zara in NZ! We are told that Kiwi Property is a major sponsor, hence the location and the accessory wall. Actually, I feel like we keep hearing about this accessory wall but never get to see it in full. Can someone please do an accessory wall tour like they do in YouTube? Kind regards.




Mentor Andreas Mikellis assigned each designer a store where they get to pick one item to incorporate into this week's look. Ok look, Sylvia Park is my jam. It is my mall shopping destination of choice. I know these stores and their merchandise and their layout so seeing them film inside Gassons was honestly the show's most relatable moment so far. Anyway, the group reconvenes back in the middle of Sylvia Park (idk what time they filmed but the mall was ghost town!) and Andreas reveals that they now need to swap items with the person next to them. They were clearly SHOOK by this and as my friend Geoj said in our comment thread, "were they not expecting the old switcheroo?!"


They weren't. But what can you do, eh? This week's challenge is to come up with a contemporary streetwear look incorporating the item they got and it is ON. I must say this week's outfits were so much better. I'm not the biggest streetwear wearer in the world, but I appreciated how they interpreted this brief. I'm not prepared to talk about each of the looks because it's been, like, a week and I'm kind of tired, but this is something I'd love to go more into this week!


What I will say though is that my boy Massey won this week's challenge with his uber chic cape/top thing that I would 100% buy if I saw it in store. I don't even mind that it's not in black! I loved everything about this look - the top and the handpainted design on the skirt was such a fresh take on streetwear. The only thing I'd probably change is the skirt length. I'd take it up a bit higher so homegirl can show off her legs more while in sneaks. And I say this as someone who wears sneakers 99% of the time.




But of course this being a competition, someone had to be cut this week. And unfortunately that someone is my girl Lenon. I am genuinely shocked about this. All she ever wanted to do was create androgynous and gender fluid garments! Is it too much to ask that we have this type of creativity on our TV screens? Is it too much to ask for Lenon to have her own TV show because I LIVE for her commentary! As I was live tweeting last week, I found that most of NZ shared the same sentiment. We want Lenon back. She deserved better. We all deserved better than this. I still can't believe they picked Beth's design over Lenon's. This is an injustice and I'm still not over it.


So this is an interview I didn't think I would be doing so soon! Lenon and I have been following each other on the ol' Instagram and have slid into each other's DMs before finally meeting IRL at the Project Runway launch last September. Lenon has such a great energy to her - fun, charismatic, unapologetically herself, and just is. She even shared her last pizza slice with me. That's a true friend, right there. I definitely don't think this will be the last we'll see of her. She tells me she's into acting and loves to pursue other creative endeavours. I told her I couldn't wait to make magic with her. It's happening. I'm excited! But for now I leave you with this:


How are you feeling now?





I don’t see leaving Project Runway as the end, it’s more like the beginning of a new chapter. The show has really inspired me to get creating!



What inspires you?


My aesthetic stylistically echoes my African heritage and also reflects my androgynous and flamboyant personality. I am a huge fan rich bold colours and strong silhouettes.



Dream collaboration/dream person to design for/dress?


I dream of dressing up Lupita Nyongo, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Lady Gaga because these figures are not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to personal style.






Fun fact, I actually had a cameo role in Scarlet Johansson’s movie, Ghost in a Shell, and after meeting her I was in absolute awe of her personality – so I would definitely take up the offer of dressing her if this were ever to arise!


Advice for those wanting to pursue a career as a fashion designer?


Don’t be afraid to take risk; trust me you will be amazed. Keep at it and believe in yourself, and one day you might surprise yourself!


Where can we follow you and keep up with what's next?

Follow me up on Instagram: @lenon_wakuwa
Facebook: Lenon Wakuwa Mudiwamwanawaishe
Also check out my website; it is still under construction, but it should be finished soon: http://lanneberry19.wixsite.com/adhala-lenzo


Project Runway New Zealand airs every Monday, 7:30 pm on TVNZ 2. Watch it On Demand here. Images by Tom Hollow.

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