project runway sa

Can you imagine what would happen if the designers were paired up to face a team challenge? You don’t have to. Here’s what happened on episode nine of Project Runway SA.

At a private party thrown in their honour at the exclusive Randlords, the designers, dressed to the nines, sipped on delectable-looking 4thSTREET Wine cocktails as the sun started to dip over the horizon. But Stephen had mused that this would be a “party with consequences”, and Sandile was right when he decided to “party with one eye open”.

They were about to hear about their next challenge. They just weren’t prepared for what kind of challenge it would be.

project runway saThey listened attentively as 4thSTREET Wines Brand Strategy Manager, De-Mari Shaw, spoke about the way the brand connects people and emanates urban street style. But their faces dropped when they were told it was going to be a team challenge.

Lerato told them they had to create a three-piece outfit as individuals, and that those outfits had to connect to form one cohesive look when interchanged with their partner’s.

So who would be partners? The ones holding matching cocktails of course!

Kentse and Stephen were excited about their pairing, especially because they both admire each other’s aesthetic. Kireshen was also excited, and believed that his couture and Sandile’s African style could be something quite special together. And even though he would have preferred not to be in a group challenge at all, Sihle said that Jaimie would have been his first pick.

And then the challenge kicked in.

They had just 20 minutes to consult with each other, get all the inspiration they could from the 4th STREET Wines team, and sketch their designs.

In the fabric store, the strategy for Kireshen and Sandile was to grab as many fabrics as they could according to their colour palette. Kentse and Steven were both clear about what they wanted and were loving each other’s finds. Jaime and Sihle both got a whole lot of fabrics and sifted out the ones they didn’t like at the counter.

As they got snipping and stitching and measuring, Kentse was relieved to have someone to consult with instead of always being stuck in her own head. But no matter how almost seamlessly these ‘dream teams’ were working together, they still had to create three pieces each. In just 16 hours!

And time swished by faster than they could imagine.

With just an hour to the runway, Sandile was frantically trying to finish his work, Stephen wasn’t done yet either, and Sihle remarked that his model might just hit the runway without a much-needed zip. They were all pretty frazzled by the time Gert herded them to the runway where, to their star-struck astonishment, they met guest judge CEO and Founder of Ndalo Pictures and Ndalo Media, Khanyi Dhlomo.

As a huge fan of wearable, creative fashion, Khanyi said she was looking forward to seeing all the designs.

On the runway, the models showed off both looks – the individual designs as well as the collective look when they interchanged elements of their 3-piece garments. There were a lot of jackets on the runway this time, each one uniquely expressed by each designer, and the design element most freely interchanged to connect the paired looks.

It was a tough call for the judges, but Kireshen and Sandile were the first to leave the runway. While Khanyi loved the use of their colours (inspired by the pineapple and apple undertones of a 4th STREET wine), Rahim felt their looks were a little too obvious.

project runway sa
Kireshen and Sandile

With her abstract jacket, boyfriend shirt and pants ensemble and his mesh shirt dress, crop top and colour block pencil skirt ensemble, Kentse and Stephen were the winning team. Khanyi applauded the unpredictable connection the pair made, and Noni said it was a very transitional wardrobe that came together beautifully, both as an interchangeable wardrobe and as individual looks.

The winning team Kentse and Stephen

And Stephen was the winner of the challenge! It may have taken him 9 episodes, but Stephen finally has a win.

Jaime and Sihle were the last on the runway. Jaimie, with his rock girl multi-wrap body suit, is still in the game.

project runway sa
Sihle and Jaime

And although the judges were impressed with Sihle’s striking bomber jacket, Rahim thought his banana pants looked like a pudding, Gert was disappointed that Sihle wasn’t pushing himself hard enough, and Lerato felt that Sihle just didn’t seem happy to be here anymore.

Tsamaya hantle Sihle, go well.

Project Runway SA fans… there are only 4 episodes left. Of the designers still standing, it’s only Kireshen who hasn’t won a challenge, and as the workroom gets emptier and emptier, the expectations get higher and higher.

Because in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next, you’re out.

Don’t miss Project Runway SA on DStv Channel 161 at 21h30 next Tuesday. Project Runway SA is presented by Mzansi Magic and Ndalo Pictures, in association with 4th STREET. The production partner is Rapid Blue (Pty) Ltd and sponsors include Edgars, Kelso Beauty, TRESemméMenlyn Park Shopping Centre and Lexus South Africa.