Friday, January 27, 2006

Design a Challenge!

Okay, here's your chance to design a challenge for Project Runway. Well...actually for Blogging Project Runway.

Start with a witty title - then the challenge and the twist. Creativity counts.


R.J. said...

Maternity Vogue -
For this challenge, the designers are told that they will be fitting clothing for a very different set of measurements for a very important client. They return to the workroom to find the new measurements, altered forms and a picture of their client- their very own host, Heidi Klum! Can they make a maternity gown that dazzles? Can they keep true to Heidi's chic style without sacrificing her comfort? It will be a runway to remember!

LNLisa said...

Follow the Pattern

For this challenge all of the designers will have to use the same theme fabric. They can any other fabrics to complete their design. The only requirement is that they must use a recognizable (minimum 10%?) amount of the theme print.

Quilters have challenges like these (usually sponsored by the fabric companies to sell a less popular fabric) and it always amazes me the differences between the finished products.

Here's the fabric for this years Hoffman Challenge. And just to give you some idea of how incredible these challenges can be, Here is the fabric from 2005 Challenge and Here are the winners of the 2005 challenge.

Of course, those fabrics were each 100% cotton. I'm sure the PR people would want to choose a more technically interesting fabric.

Anonymous said...

A Voluminous Vocation

For this challenge, the human figure will just be a starting point. In the same line of the most extravagant couture designers, the designers are challenged to create sculptural garments that puff, starch and suspend themselves into the limits of three dimension space.

Examples: here, here, here, here, here, and here.

geekygirrl said...

Amazon Women on Mars

This challenge is to design the ultimate in travel wear. The designers must create an outfit for a typical scientist (female, age 19, 110 lbs, 6'-2" tall) who will be part of a three-year expidition to Mars. Our scientists are civilians, don't want to wear a uniform, and can only take a few pieces of clothing. The designers must each come up with a basic outfit of three or more pieces that can be worn in a number of different ways. In addition, the outfit must be able to be customized or changed at the whim of the wearer so that each crewmember can create something uniquely suited to her needs, personality, and mood.

memee said...

Fairy Tale

Create a fairy tale princess dress with a modern twist. Feel free to make it as crazy or beautiful as you want it to be. Designers will get double the usual budget for this challenge so they can use higher quality fabrics.

Rosebud said...


The challenge, at first, seems simple enough and a bit familiar: design complementary spring ensembles for a Los Angeleno socialite and one of her best friends. When the contestants walk into the workroom, they are given two surprises: not only will they be designing for Nicole Richie, but also for her Pomeranian pooch, Foxxy Cleopatra. Will the designers be able to create a chic outfit for their star client and something equally fabulous yet practical for her canine pal for an upcoming animal charity event? This challenge will test their creativity and design skills on new levels.

Rosebud said...


Forget the Oscars, Grammys, and formal galas. Everyone knows that Halloween is the ultimate reason to play dress-up. The designers are instructed to create a witch outfit -- a classic costume -- with a chic, modern twist. Models are advised to don "green" skin and outrageous black wigs when they show off the contestants' designs for Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and guest judge Idina Menzel, 2004 Tony Award winner for her performance in Wicked.

Rosebud said...


Project Runway contestants have been instructed to design uniforms before, but for this challenge they'll have to think more along the lines of the academic than the professional. The designers will be re-conceptualizing uniforms for the young ladies of a private high school in New York. They will be given all of the same fabrics -- white cotton for the shirts or blouses and plaid material for the skirts -- and be told that they must create ensembles that are not only original and aesthetically pleasing but also COMFORTABLE and CONSERVATIVE. This will be a true challenge for the designers that tend to go a bit off-the-wall in their work. And to top it all off, the guest judges will be a representative from Mills Schoolwear and... a nun from the academy.

Kim in Oregon said...

Simply Simplicity

For this challenge, the designers each receive a simplicity pattern from a specific era (say the '60s or the 70s). They must update the pattern in a garment while keeping the original style and spirit intact.

And wouldn't it be fun if they could have access to some classic fabric from the era! Maybe there's a Vintage Mood store somewhere in New York

Elizabeth said...

Drag it Out

Designers are brought out and told that this week, they'll be asked to work with a different set of models than usual, and that once again their models have been chosen for them. They'll be meeting them after the sketching phase.

Tim will instruct them that for this challenge, they've got to create evening wear that really pops, something that stands out and really catches attention without being too over the top. They're allowed thirty minutes to sketch and they will be meeting their models at Mood.

But when they arrive, the models standing in front of the store are a little different: they're men! Can they make a dress that won't look too campy, but still fits on a man? Will they go too far towards John Waters or Tootsie, or not far enough by playing it safe in a not-so-little black dress? And how many will panic when they get to hair and makeup?

LauraK said...

Turn The Tables

The scene opens with the MODELS seated in the chairs and the designers standing in their pajamas on the runway. Heidi pulls the buttons out of the bag and the models pick their favorite designers.

The challenge is to design an outfit to the model's specifications - exactly for her personal style and fit. That is, of course, without "compromising the designer's own voice."

Anne Slowey AND Nina Garcia show up to judge because ALL of the models will be featured in a spread in Elle magazine wearing these outfits. The winner will be on the cover.

Moi ;) said...

OK, I'm going to be more organized here....pardon all the trashcans....


For this challenge, the designers will have to come up with a uniform for color guard that can be worn for indoor in winter or outdoor in summer, and be versatile so that both women and men can wear it or a variation of it. Also there should be flexibility within the uniform structure so that variations of this uniform (with exception of color) can be worn, making the uniform not totally "uniform"...

This uniform will have to be flexible so that the guard members (aka athletes/dancers) are able to meet the physical and artistic challenges of the guard work.

For examples of what (indoor) guard is, Click Here Or here for video clips.

One of the following would also have to happen:

1) All models would be required to perform a routine in their uniforms instructed by Todd Marcocci or Michael Cesario. The uniform would have to fit the theme of the music chosen by the instructor


2) The designer would have to coordinate his model and the music used, and perform while walking the runway. Each designer would be able to use their own choice of music.

hellparadiso said...

Design a dress around this...

Spread out on a table before all the designers is an array of various items and accessories - an interesting vintage set of buttons, a scarf, a belt, a pair of shoes, a handbag, a pair of gloves, a pair of sunglasses, etc.

Each designer can choose ONE (at a time, no mad rush like with the Barbies) to build an outfit around. The outfit must not merely complement or "go with" the accessory, but must INCORPORATE IT as part of a single thought. The outfit and the accessory must look as though they were made to be together.

Anonymous said...

Jewelry makers from my forum often have challenges where we send each other a bag of supplies and you must use those items to create a piece of jewelry.

This could be used easily with clothing designs. The producers select items - materials, thread, notions, etc. - toss them in a bag and designers must use these items only.

Mystery Gal said...

I would like to see, just for one week, a design contest for plus-size models. Many Americans are heavier than models, and to sell clothing to the masses, they may have to work with larger sizes.

Anonymous said...

Start to Finish

Each designer starts an outfit. They have about half the time they normally do (not counting model time) to work. Then they switch manequins (and not with someone they normally worked with - partners should be chosen randomly). They cannot change what has already been done, but they are to finish and add to it to create what they feel is an attractive, finished outfit. Both designers get credit for each outfit they worked on (so each one has credit for two) and the judging is considered accordingly (probably focusing more on the dress they finished).

(This was actually suggested by a friend of mine, but I don't think she reads your blog, so I decided to post it.)

Anonymous said...

Ok, this is *my* suggestion.

Fashionable Stories

The judges would choose a well known storybook character like Alice, Dorothy or Wendy (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, the Oz Books, and Peter and Wendy). The character chosen should be from more than just a short fairy tale (as that isn't much to work with and will likely produce generic fairy tale princess dresses), but should be very familiar to us. Each designer must design a dress for that character based on who she is and what her story is like. They can be high art couture kinds of outfits, if the designers want, but they must clearly convey the character. When we look at the outfits we must be made to think of the character they were chosen for. They *don't* have to use the style the character is famous for, so Alice's dress could be a chess queen outfit (since she becomes a queen in one book) or Dorothy's could be a princess of Oz dress. Regardless, they must remind us of the characters and books.

ALndsy said...


Early in the season, the designers are given a nice size budget and say 2 hours at Mood to choose fabric that “speaks to them”. (Ideally this would be before or after the store opens and gives each designer a chance to explore and learn Mood.) Perhaps each designer would need to choose one plain fabric and one with a pattern. Encourage the designers to move beyond their comfort zone.

When the designers get back to Parsons, Tim asks them to gather around him with their purchases. He gets them in a circle and then tells them to pass their fabrics to the right twice. The designers must use both new fabrics in their design and cannot trade.

This would serve the purpose of acquainting the designers with Mood, teach the public about the importance of fabric selection and create some interesting dilemmas for the designers. Take the Nicky Hilton challenge fabrics for example; a number of the designers would have had an interesting time dealing with Daniel V’s fabric. I also would love to see what Santino would do with basic black!

Jojo said...

Might sounds simple, but how about Outerwear? Coats, scarfs, hats and gloves. You would think we could see more jackets by now! The only ones I remember are from the Space Age 2025 last season.

For this challange, designers are instructed to make a complete out doors, winter in NYC look. The garmet under the coat doesn't matter. The coat would need to be stylish, warm, and work well with a vareity of different looks.

Anonymous said...


This challenge is about time and resource managment, something that is very imporant on Project Runway.

In this challenge, each designer must design a garment for a specified client.

You will be given a budget of $500 and will have 10 hours to complete your creation. However, in judging the design, the judges will consider how much of the budget was spent in the process. So, before they blow the bank, they must truly think about how they might create an inexpensive outfit that looks like a million bucks.

The twists along the way:
The designers will be given 30 minutes to sketch, but given the opportunity to take another 30 minutes..for a price.

They are given only 20 minutes to shop at Mood, and must pay for additional time.

Throughout the challenge, Tim tempts them with things they can buy:

An extra hour in the workroom...
An extra set of hands to sew....
An unscheduled midproject trip to pick a different fabric....
A celebrity hairdresser, model, or make-up artist.

Each time, the designers are forced to think about what might improve their garment, and whether it is really worth spending the resources, knowing that they might be rewarded, or might be criticized for wasting their client's money.

LauraK said...

OH I LOVE the Fashion $500! Excellent! er... I mean... They all are...I have no favorites... sorry...

Aunt Teak said...

Oh No, Yoko!

For this challenge, designers must create a bag big enough for two people to spend some quality time together inside, and bake them a chocolate cake to be eaten in the bag.

Winners will be displayed in the lobby of the Amsterdam Hilton.

Nick, working on his entry. I love the back!

"--Dated?! I don't think so. Nina. It's retro!, Nina..."

sharky said...

Hi Mom!

I always thought it would be interesting to dismiss the models one week and bring out new models -- the designers' moms. Designers would have to make a nice outfit for their moms to wear out to dinner and, of course, design to their mothers' age.

Anonymous said...

For this challenge, the designers are instructed to pick out the most hideous, technically difficult fabric they can find at MOOD and return to the workroom. The fabrics are then taken and randomly assigned to a competing designer.

Tantalize said...


For this challenge, fans of the designers get to send in an essay, poem, or homage (umm, see the tie-in to Laura's recent post - she likes limericks! *grins*) regarding their favorite designer and they think that designer should win. The winner plus one guest gets flown to NYC (come on Bravo - reward the fans too!), a room at the Atlas and a Night on the Town for a design challenge involving an ensemble for the winner's "NYC Night on the Town". So the winner or the guest they chose to bring get to BE THE MODEL, WEAR THE DESIGN AND SCROLL THE CATWALK. So Project Runway, Tim Gunn and designers.... welcome to world of designing for REAL PEOPLE in real people sizes! WHAT FUN!!

Anonymous said...

little black dress challenge...

every girl needs a little black dress, right? i'd love to see all the designer's takes on it. the only restrictions? it has to be entirely black.

whatif said...

Keeping Clan

As an homage to Tim Gunn's Scottish sirname the designers are tasked with making a modern outfit using a Gunn Tartan (there are usually a couple of variations for each clan)as their fabric.

Anonymous said...

Good Night and Good Luck:
Designers create pajamas; fabric - flannel (of course).
Basketball Fashion Shoot:
Designers create uniforms for a professional women's basketball team.
Diner Diva:
Design a uniform for waitresses at a fashion conscious diner.

jilouise said...

Now that I have seen all of the challenges.....

I think a great final challenge should have be geared toward a collection. I like that they did go in that direction withthe final 4, but there were other ways to do it.

I would have liked to see the designers either a) pick their favorite piece of their own (excluding the out of the box theme projects--lingerie, skating dress, flower power) OR b) pick one of their favorite pieces (excluding the same) designed by one of the other competitors in the final 4 (use the buttons) and use that garment as the inspiration for their final piece. The new piece should be innovative, yet be something that would conceivably work with the original piece in a collection.

soldlikebagels said...

Designers get an hour on the streets of NY to ask for donations of cash or clothes to create their designs
Brown Is The New Black
A throwback to Season 1, designers create new uniforms for UPS

Anonymous said...


Tim takes the designers on a fieldtrip to see NYC's Gotham Girls Roller Derby league have a bout. The challenge is to design the uniform for one of the teams. They must be sexy and tough and sassy while still being comfortable enough to compete in. They must also go along with the theme of the chosen team. One of the team captains can be the guest judge.

Painterchic said...

Painter Chic

Designers must creat their own fabric design with paint or ink, then create an outfit to reflect their own style, keeping in sync with the fabric they've painted.

Anonymous said...

Around the World in Eight Minutes

For this challenge the designers would work in teams to create a three-look collection embodying the aesthetic of a specific culture. The designers would choose buttons at random to be assigned into four different groups/cultures (South American, Oriental, Indian, and African).

Each group member will have 30 minutes to sketch and then present their ideas to guest judge Angelina Jolie (Ambassador/Celebrity), who will decide the leader of each group. The finished collections will not only be judged on construction and aesthetic, but also on how effectively they reflect their given culture.

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a challenge to create a chic school uniform, or a chic prom dress. The catch is, the models will be any child family member, such as a daughter, a niece, a sister, a stepsister, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Clothes Off Someone Elses Back - the designers must create a look using only the clothes another desinger is wearing at a given time. They select the designer by pulling the button from the infamous velvet bag!

Anonymous said...

my idea said:
barnyard fun: for this challenge take the designers to a feed store, give them a limited amount of time and money to buy materials to make their design.

Anonymous said...

Jolinda said:
Military Madness
The dress uniforms for most of the women of any branch in the military are horrid and very unbecoming to any woman who has ever been forced to wear one. Have the designers pick a branch & design a smashing new dress uniform for our military women! They will love you for it!

Anonymous said...

In Season -

This would be a challange near the beginning of the season. Have all the designers sketch and pitch an idea for a basic outfit that can be added to. Four team leaders would then be chosen. The basic outfits would all have to be made out of the same material for each team. After picking teams, they would then have to design additional items to make the outfits suitable for all four seasons. This is where the teams can get creative and show how different items can really make the basic outfit wearable all year long.

Anonymous said...

Erroneous Era:

The designers would each be given a different historical era of dress (Victorian, Elizabethan, Edwardian, etc.) and told that they have to update it while still keeping the basics of the style. The eras shouldn't be too modern (nothing before the 50's or so). This challenge will test the designers knowledge of fashion history (as in WAY history!) and their ability to take an old look and make it fresh -seeing as how that seem to be the big thing to do- the 60's, 70's,80's and now 90's all seem to be getting a new look. So why not do it for something even older! If you want to be really generous give the designers a collection of looks from their eras to help them out. The era each person gets should be chosen by picking a button from the bag. Thus using that delicious velvet bag!

The twist: the winning design will be worn by Cate Blanchett (or pick a celebrity! I just adore Cate!) at the next red carpet event she goes to! And of course that celebrity gets to be the guest judge.

Anonymous said...

"Who Are You Wearing?"

The challenge is to design a look for Heidi to wear in a subsequent episode.

The designers consider the location, time of year, etc and design a look for Heidi.

After the runway show, the high and low scoring designers are questionned as they usually are.

The lowest scoring designer is bid farewell.

But Heidi doesn't reveal the winner but narrow it down to two.

Later in the competition, Heidi will appear to introduce a new episode wearing the outfit which has been altered or even remade for her.

What if the desinger has been previously eliminated? They could be brought back a la Vincent and Angela.

Who likes this one?

Anonymous said...


Design an outfit based on your choice of historical period. Be as faithful to that era as possible while reflecting your own sense of style. Next, style your model in the image of the historical person that best represents the time. The judges will try and guess both the era and the personage.

Anonymous said...


Design your version of a Gothic evening gown, but let it be inspired by one of the world's great metropolises. There will be a trip to the UN for a drawing assignment.