During the season 16 premiere of Lifetime’s Project Runway, we were introduced to designer Aaron Myers who described himself as a “dude in a dress” who wants to create androgynous fashions because, as he claimed, that is where fashion is heading.
But if Thursday, September 7’s episode, “We’re Sleeping Wear,” is any indication, Aaron appears to be sorely mistaken.
The designers were taken to the top of the Empire State Building for a sleepover to find inspiration for this week’s challenge, and Aaron found his inspiration in a vent he saw in the building.
“The inspiration for the pattern was based off of this vent that I saw. I kind of want, like, a simple, easy two-piece, and if I have time, like, and a-- like, a-a robe. I'm super excited about my design. I think it's something I would totally wear.” -Aaron
Except, of course, his model is a woman. Which is his point.
Not only did his design fail badly, Aaron’s own personal choice of clothing, a feminine pair of see-through frilly shorts, exposing his “tighty whitey” underwear underneath, became more of a focus than his design for his model:
Aaron: I was inspired by one of the vents as we were walking by, it had this really cool staggered, like, half-repeat print. So, I made like a stamp kind of block, and then I, like, made a print on there.
Heidi: I would love to know what happened. I was really loving the print that you were making. It's just what you did with it, I'm so surprised. This is something that is going into the real world. You're giving whoever she is out there two pieces that are way too tight, that are strangling on top, it's too high. Who wants to wear that?
Nina: The top looks shabbily made, it's crooked. The waistband looks like it could be a bad sweat pant. It just feels not well done. It's a problem.
Demi Lovato: I really dislike the shorts. I don't feel like they are flattering. I don't feel like, if I put that on, I would feel sexy in it.
Zac Posen: Aaron, thank goodness you're wearing underpants.
Heidi: It's a little distracting, yeah?
Zac: It's a little distracting. When you're presenting a model next to you, just remember that you want that to be highlighted.
Aaron: Definitely, definitely.
Zac: As for the look, I kind of thought it was lackluster. You got to bring it up, this is Runway, the world is watching, and it needs to be a stronger point of view.
Yes, the world is watching. And not only were they put off by Aaron’s androgynous design for his model, they were also very disturbed by his own shorts, which professional designer and judge Zac Posen warned him about. And it wasn’t just the sheer fabric that turned people off; many were also not happy that they were quite feminine in style:
#ProjectRunway I'm glad Zac called out Aaron for those hideous Victorian mesh lady pantalettes.— pearl13 (@pearl13) September 8, 2017
R U KiddinMe?!...the one wearing the sheerbloomers, that outfit he made was horrible and they kept him... We Need New Judges #ProjectRunway— K' Rene'e Dillard (@Glamor14kt) September 8, 2017
#ProjectRunway Can we stop tweeting about the twins and give Aaron's pants some attention? What on earth? Have some decency!— Duska Cornwell (@DuskaC) September 8, 2017
My eyes are being assaulted by Aaron's choice of outfit#ProjectRunway— Sheepie Niagara (@sheepieniagara) September 8, 2017
I would have sent Aaron home just for wearing those see through shorts. Gross. #ProjectRunway— 4thofFive (@4thof_five) September 8, 2017
It’s a shame because Aaron seems like a sweet kid who is just trying too hard to be noticed. I personally would love to see what his aesthetic would look like if he would design feminine clothing for his models and wear less shocking and attention-grabbing styles for himself.
It’s almost as if the gender bending shock factor is a gimmick and he seems like he’d be talented enough to do well without such subversive methodology. Instead of helping him, his attempts to be edgy appear to be taking away from any possible talent he may have.
Let's hope he takes Zac's and the Twitterverse's advice and leaves the pantaloons at home from now on and starts to design the feminine clothing that most people want to see on women.