Lifetime’s newest fashion competition series, “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” (#UnderTheGunn), will be “making it work” the Marvel way this Thursday, April 3 at 9 PM ET as Tim Gunn presents the remaining contestants with a ready-to-wear challenge that asks the designers to create a look inspired by some of Marvel Comic’s most iconic heroes.
Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Falcon, Hawkeye, the Guardians of the Galaxy and many more Marvel heroes will be the muses for these exceptional looks to come down the runway this Thursday at 9 PM ET on Lifetime.
The series’ Emmy® Award-winning host Tim Gunn selected three past “Project Runway” luminaries, Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos, to each lead a group of designers to fashion stardom. They will have to nurture and inspire their band of hopefuls week-after-week to ensure their designers’ looks impress the program’s judges and this week’s guest mentor will be Marvel’s own Cort Lane, VP, Animation Development and Production.
When asked why the Marvel Universe is a perfect inspiration for fashion Lane said, “Our characters are dramatic, visually exciting and rich with story—and isn’t high fashion all of those things? I got to spend so much time explaining the Marvel characters to the designers—each one of them found something really relatable and inspiring about a Marvel hero.”
This episode of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” will feature a guest judge: Lady Sif herself, Jaimie Alexander (“Thor,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).
“Project Runway: Under the Gunn” remaining designers are:
- Asha Daniels, 25 – Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
- Oscar Lopez, 40 – Hometown: Coral Gables, FL
- Sam Donovan, 23 – Hometown: Ashland, MA
- Shan Keith, 33 – Hometown: St. Louis, MO
The winner of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” will receive a cash prize of $100,000; a top of the line sewing and embroidery studio, courtesy of Brother International Corporation; an all-expense paid inspirational trip to Paris, courtesy of Blowpro the blowout experts, and Blowpro styling products; the opportunity to design the uniform for Benefit Cosmetics; a fashion spread in “Marie Claire” magazine; a 2014 Lexus CT 200h; and the opportunity to design a collection sold exclusively at francesca’s®, your destination for unique clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Winner will also receive the opportunity to go to Benefit Cosmetics headquarters in San Francisco and work closely with the creative team to design a new uniform for the Benefit Cosmetics field team members. The designer will then travel to NYC for a national press conference unveiling the new design for benefit cosmetics to the top beauty and fashion editors.
The winning mentor of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” will receive a 2014 Lexus CT 200h, a fashion spread in “Marie Claire” magazine and a spot as guest editor for one year.
“Project Runway: Under the Gunn” hails the producers of the Emmy nominated “Project Runway,” The Weinstein Company and Bunim/Murray Productions. The 13-episode series was made in Los Angeles at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). Executive producers include Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Co-Chairmen of The Weinstein Company), Meryl Poster and Barbara Schneeweiss of The Weinstein Company, Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea and Teri Weidman of Bunim/Murray Productions and Tim Gunn. Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and David Hillman of Lifetime also executive produce.
Marvel had the opportunity to speak with the “Project Runaway: Under the Gunn” mentors about this special episode…
Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos
Marvel.com: How would you design clothing differently for a super hero than for the runway?
Mondo Guerra: Lots of Lycra? Just kidding—I think the approach would be fairly similar, actually. The costume is what transforms a mild-mannered citizen into a super hero. And I feel like fashion does the same thing. A good outfit can bring out our best super-qualities.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: For a super hero you have to consider the functionality of their garments on an entirely different level than looks for the runway! And yet super hero style is certainly just as bold and flamboyant as any couture creation.
Nick Verreros: If I was to design for a super hero, I would definitely go with a “stronger fabrication” and experiment with “tech fabrics”, leathers and molding plastics and nylon and closer to the body to define the superhuman figures/bodies of these super heroes.
Marvel.com: Fashion vs. Functionality. Which is better for a super hero?
Mondo Guerra: Probably functionality. I mean, Black Widow would have a hard time doing her thing in a ball gown. But at the same time, a super hero costume needs to make a big impact without compromising function.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: Both fashion and functionality matter for super heroes. Their garments need to stand up to the rigorous nature of their active lifestyles and simultaneously express their individual style. A super hero’s look is their visual trademark and an essential element of his or her identity.
Nick Verreros: I think both can work in tandem. But…I think the most important quality is function. A super hero must be able to jump, run, do “super hero” things and normally there’s a lot of athleticism and extra bending and stretching, etc.
Marvel.com: What elements do you want to see incorporated when one creates a gown inspired by an iconic look such as a super hero costume?
Mondo Guerra: I think color and proportion are great ways to capture a costume’s spirit. When a woman wears a gown, she’s out to impress and wearing a bold color is an easy way to stand out from the crowd. Either that or wear an elegant cape.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: It is important to distinguish between a gown that is inspired by a super hero costume and a gown that is a costume in itself. To achieve the former, the gown must borrow or reference key aesthetic elements of the super hero costume from which it is inspired, to the degree that the point of inspiration is recognizable, yet the gown must exist entirely independently of the costume and become a piece on its own accord.
Nick Verreros: First and foremost, there would probably be a cape or mini-cape (cape-let) of some sort; this would be the “hint” of a super hero, since for a lot of iconic super heroes, a cape is de rigueur. I would most probably make it one shoulder to expose the very toned arms of my super hero “goddess” and also make it sensual, very feminine but still sinewy and powerful; a strong shoulder or leather harness and/or midriff perhaps.
Marvel.com: In your opinion, who is the most fashionable Marvel Super Hero?
Mondo Guerra: Storm’s look has evolved quite a bit during her adventures with the X-Men—and I love that. She’s able to change while still keeping her signature style. That’s fashionable to me.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: I have always admired Mystique for her daring look.
Nick Verreros: This is a tough one! I think there are so many! Fashionable super heroes that come to mind are Spider-Man, of course. That costume is so iconic, superhuman, the colors and styling are superfab and I’m a sucker for a face mask! I also think on the male side, Thor is pretty stylish as well. In terms of the women, I would put Storm, Jean Grey Phoenix and Emma Frost. I love me an “Ice Queen”!
Marvel.com: If you could design for any Marvel Super Hero, who would it be and why?
Mondo Guerra: The Invisible Woman from Fantastic Four. Since her super power is invisibility, I would make sure that she makes a statement when she does wants to be seen.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: I love Rogue because of her demure yet rebellious nature and would love to amp up her image with just a little more sophistication and edge.
Nick Verreros: I would design for Emma Frost. I would “re-make” her into more of an “Ice Goddess” as opposed to what I said beforehand, a lingerie-wearing bombshell. I want to see her more sophisticated, elegant yet still very, very frosty and sexy.
Marvel.com: Many Marvel fans like to cosplay as their favorite heroes, what advice do you have for those that are new to designing their own costumes?
Mondo Guerra: Have fun! Cosplay is all about adopting a new persona for the day and celebrating your character. Find the special details that make your hero’s look unique. And a good wig doesn’t hurt, either.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: Always consider ways to incorporate your own style into the character that you are representing, as well as consider new ways of interpreting the super hero’s style.
Nick Verreros: My main advice is that if you’re going to do it, do it right. And go 110% not 75% (in terms of the whole look). Seek out quality fabrics, accessories, SPEND THE MONEY! What’s the saying? “The cheap comes out expensive”
Marvel.com: If you could work with one super powered fabric, what would it be? (i.e. unable to be burned, ripped, turns invisible, etc.)
Mondo Guerra: I want chameleon fabric—a textile that would morph and change into whatever outfit I desired. Of course that kind of super-fabric would put people like me out of business but could you imagine the possibilities?! Oh, and my prints and colors could change according to my mood and surroundings, just for fun.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: I would love to work with a fabric that can create holograms on its own and transmit moving image on the surface of the garment. I think so many exciting things could be done with a material like this!
Nick Verreros: If I could work with one super powered fabric, it would be one that could instantly turn me into a supermodel! The minute I put the fabric on, it would change me into a six-foot tall Glamazon!
Marvel.com: If you were suddenly imbued with super powers, what would those powers be and what would your codename be?
Mondo Guerra: I would love to be able to fly. Just think how much you would save on airfare! Just call me SUPERMON-DO.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: I’ve always wanted to teleport in the blink of an eye and transform simultaneously into the perfect character for that moment, always looking fabulous, of course! My codename would be Chameleanne.
Nick Verreros: If I got super powers all of a sudden, I would want the power to be “Style Powers”—the power to instantly change a person’s shabby outfit into something perfectly chic! Especially when traveling on a plane or going on vacation (have you seen those outfits people wear on a cruise??!!). My codename would be “Nickita Stylina”.
Marvel.com: Unrelated to super heroes, what is the best thing a male and a female can do to better their current wardrobe?
Mondo Guerra: Take a risk! Try something new and unexpected. Change your clothes, change your life, as they say.
Anya Ayoung-Chee: Take your time and find the perfect, timeless pieces that you will wear for years to come. Leave just enough room for the one or two trendy looks that brighten up your overall look and keep things fresh. Always have fun with what you wear, even if your daily routine is monotonous. Fashion is your right to be YOU no matter what the occasion.
Nick Verreros: Get clothing that fits! On a similar note, find a good tailor or learn how to sew to fix it yourself! Men wear jackets and shirts that are too big and baggy (every time I ask a guy what size jacket they wear and they answer “42”, they’re almost always a “40”, and just don’t realize it!). And woman sometimes go too tight. If a woman is a size 6 from the waist up but a size 12 on the bottom, buy the size 12 dress and get the top section altered. It may cost you a little extra but trust me, it’s worth it.
Watch Marvel on “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” on Thursday, April 3 at 9 PM ET