No Drink & Chill for Proj. Runway Designers

pr15-ep6-5Right at the start of this week’s PR episode, heck, no paying tribute to Alex or anything, but right into the action we went with the designers attending a press event at Absolut Elyx House. Also in attendance were Nina, Zac, Heidi, and Tim. And of course no press event would be complete without press — bloggers Sydney Salick with Daily Front Row, Jonathan Cordero, Lauren Kornutik, Lemara Ablyakimova, and then also Asst. Editor of Marie Claire, Chelsea Pants. But as my title hinted, there was no drink and chill time for these designers.


Jonas Tahlun, founder of the Absolut Elyx vodka brand, began the challenge chatter, ending up saying how all martinis naturally come with a twist. And we all know, so does PR. Heidi said the event was not just a fun cocktail party, but the start to the next challenge. In spirit of the evening, the room serving as inspiration, each designer would create a luxurious cocktail dress. This would be a 1-day challenge with a Mood budget of $300.


Tim-time brought about an interesting paradox — pretty much half the designers were good and the other half literally started all over! I’ve seen a few designers in the past having to start over, but so many, very much a shocker, including Tasha, Cornelius, Mah-Jing, Roberi, and Nathalia. Some more delightful workroom moments were that Jenni was really being a super helpful designer this week, giving fabric to both Nathalia and Tasha, and she also helped Nathalia with some rushed touches to her look.


Guest judges this week was designer and model Emily Ratajkowski. I thought she did a standout job with her critiques, making lots of sense, quality thoughts and notions. And I kind of loved her disagreeing with Heidi so much! So who captured luxury this week with their looks?

pr15-ep6-37Firstly, Heidi often scolds designers with immunity if they missed the boat with their recent look. Dexter was called out this week. I didn’t love his look, but I certainly didn’t hate it. There is no way it would have gone home over Tasha or Nathalia, so I don’t think the comments were necessary!


SHOUTOUTS — JustFab, cute heels; Sally Beauty, such chic sleek locks, & Mary Kay, love the deep burgundy lip


SHOUTOUT — JustFab, killer heels; Mary Kay, stunning smoky eye; Sally Beauty, love this updo/bun!

I didn’t totally agree with the judges top 3, but of their top 3, I think Laurence would have been my winner. I wouldn’t have ever advised her going with a black look and I think Emily mentioned that as well. This is a great LBD, but black and cocktail is all too common, so to stand out even more, I would have picked another color. But other than that, this look was top-notch. Everything from the back to the shoulders to the bodice was A++.


SHOUTOUT — Sally Beauty, another chic updo & Mary Kay, great golden-bronzed beauty look!

Jenni was the winning designer however for the judges. The look read a little wrinkly to me, but I didn’t hate it that she was in the top. This by far has been her best work and I am interested to see if she will stay on top. What I didn’t like was that so much of her win was spent comparing her work to Erin — the workroom, the judges, and during judges’ deliberations. I am so glad Nathalia, kind of in a smart ass way, said that Erin is not the 1st person to ever embellish a look. I didn’t find it that similar!


Rounding out the judges’ top 3 was Rik. I definitely didn’t love this look and it probably is the reason for my disagreement with the judges’ top 3. I would have gone with Roberi. The look had a great fit, was certainly unique, but I didn’t love the leather look in this color choice. I get that the color was stemming from the apron inspiration, but I think the silhouette gave that away, so a different color might have worked.


Moving onto the bottom 3, let’s start with Erin, a surprising designer to be found there. I think a couple of designers barely missed making the bottom, it could have been a toss up, but probably better that Erin found herself there now than later in the competition. I don’t think this look read as Erin being the designer. This might have been part of the reason for the Jenni comparisons. I didn’t mind the brocade, but the feathers were a little cray cray!


SHOUTOUTS — Chic sideswept updo from Sally Beauty & love the pink-a-licious makeup look from Mary Kay

This left Nathalia and Tasha as the bottom 2, which unfortunately was very obvious from this runway. I like both designers, but at this point in the competition, week after week, good designers, faves of all the fans, will sadly have to go home. Nathalia had quite a few construction issues, but from her original garment, this was much better. She showed some creativity and has been doing fairly well in previous challenges. But clearly having Emily & Zac disagreeing with the look being so bad, obviously Tasha was going home.


So Tasha, who has sort of been declining in her creations the past couple of challenges, was eliminated this week. The first challenge of the season, she was in the top and she did amazing work. But from week to week, I can barely remember her looks. And I know from even last week, all she did was really do a simple yellow pencil skirt. Her streetwear aesthetic was going to have a hard time comporting with the range of themes PR wants, so she gave it her all. But at least at the end of the day, she knows who she is as a designer.



Proj. Runway — How Wrong Can You Go!

I can’t recall an episode in PR history where I disagreed so vehemently. Wow! More on that later on, but first the episode details. This episode marked the 1st team challenge of the season, more specifically the Mary Kay challenge.


The designers were divided into 2 teams of 6. Tim was joined by Mary Kay’s Global Beauty Ambassador Luis Casco for all of the details. Each team would create a 4-piece mini-collection, with the concept left up to each team, but it had to be cohesive. This would be a 1-day challenge. The extra challenge on top of the challenge, as PR always has one, was that each team’s budget would be set on how well the teams pitched their concept to a panel of mystery investors. Each member of the winning team would receive $5000, as well as a feature in Marie Claire. Onto team formation —


Rik, as the winner last week, selected first. Tim drew a name from the infamous button bag, Brik, who started the selection process for the 2nd team. Each selected designer would then choose the next. So we had Team 1, Team Unity, with Rik, Alex, Roberi, Cornelius, Mah-Jing, & Nathalia. And so for Team 2, House of Bouton aka Team Button Bag, there was Brik, Tasha, Laurence, Erin, Dexter, & Jenni.


Each team went to plan their pitch, and then it was time to “sell it” to the mystery investors, who ended up being Heidi, Zac, & Nina. Each investor had $1000 to spend. Team Unity wanted to create a collection to empower women, give them confidence in the workplace. Comparing their looks to Theory or Helmut Lang, Alex took on the leadership role in really selling the pitch. Team 2 wanted their collection to be a little more fun, aka bad-ass. Dexter came up with most of the gameplan, pitching a concept of women in the tech industry, an untapped market, looking for fashion forward looks.


The investors were more impressed with House of Bouton, seeing their concept as more fashion forward, more creative. (Splits — T1/T2 — Heidi, 400/600; Zac 200/800; Nina 200/800) This left Team unity with an $800 budget and House of Bouton with $2200.


It was then off to Mood and begin work on the collections. In the workroom, Mah-jing initially was feeling left out of his team, but soon seemed to find his groove. Dexter was all over the place with his team, really doing his part to oversee each look. As the runway neared, Team Unity seemed to be calm, cool, and collective. Whereas House of Bouton was all over the place, scrambling to finish. But sooner rather than later, it was of course time for the runway. This week’s guest judge was Disney star Sabrina Carpenter. So, why did this episode frustrate me so, here we go!


To me, neither team really deserved the title of the “winning team”, but of course one had to be chosen. I really did disagree with the judges, but after some thought, I guess my disagreement stemmed more from the ending result than the actual decision. I feel like each collection had some standout pieces, but again, neither collection, in its entirety, was full-on amazing. The judges chose House of Bouton as the winning team.


Laurence on the jacket, Tasha on the skirt; SHOUTOUTS — Stunning beauty look, with Mary Kay, the bold red lip, & Sally Beauty, all of the luscious waves

One of my issues with the win being granted here, was there were only 2 standout pieces here, Laurence’s leather jacket being one. The rest of the looks were kind of boring and basic. Such as above this very simple, easy to make, bright yellow skirt from Tasha. I’m not sure what else she worked on, but I don’t think we saw enough of Tasha in this collection.


Erin’s coat above, was another standout piece for the collection. It’s a fun coat, might not be wearable to all, but this team really did state their vision for who their client was, so it wouldn’t be a coat for the masses. But back to my point from above, what was under this coat? I don’t even think the judges looked at it, probably because it was nothing special.


Another stunning Mary Kay makeup look!

This was the judges least fave of the collection, mine too! It didn’t fit in with the other looks and  it was way too short. This kind of brings me to my next issue with this collection, the money! This team had a larger budget, but I didn’t really see it in this collection. I expected more with $2200. The problem with Team Unity was overdesign, seeing too much. I felt as if we saw more from them with less though and that didn’t sit well with me. Brik and Jenni created this look above. I’m not a fan of Briks’ and this dress does nothing to change my mind on that opinion!


Mary Kay & Sally Beauty shoutouts!

Then we have Dexter’s look, the suit with trimming details. The details were nice, but I didn’t care for the fabric here and it didn’t really standout to me. I think he spent more time on overseeing rather than designing, but of this group, he was the winning designer, and I do think for his leadership role, that was well deserved. However, if it was based on the best look, Laurence should have won!


With House of Bouton winning, that meant someone from Team Unity would go home. The decision really came down to who had the worst look and who had the most responsibility in this collection’s creations — Alex & Roberi. Mah-jing, somewhat surprisingly, had the best look of the collection. Surprisingly just because he was worried on his lack of voice in the creation of the collection, but this look was chic and modern.


I don’t even recall discussion on Cornelius’ look, but this printed jacket was super cute. But it led to the start of a major problem with this collection, the cohesion. These looks individually, were not all bad, but put together as a collection, didn’t make much sense.


Sally Beauty shoutout — gorgeous curls!

This look seemed to create the most discussion, with Roberi really taking control of this look. Nathalia did the jacket, which was not a bad jacket, but back to cohesion, I didn’t really get how it fit with this collection. But the judges really didn’t care for the top or bottoms here, which put Roberi in jeopardy.


As much as I didn’t want to see Roberi leave, I never wanted to see Alex leave either. And sadly, that is what happened. Generally in group challenges, teams try to throw someone under the bus. But that was hard to do here. In fact, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it to this magnitude, but several of the designers said to send them home if it came down to it. Alex leaving was a pure shame, a major head-scratcher. And what was even worse, Tim Gunn didn’t use the save!! Are you kidding me! I am all but hoping that tonight, they start off with a “Gotcha” moment and Alex gets to come back. This look above was not the worst of the bunch. And this collection was certainly not the worst mini-collection in PR history. Alex should not have gone home this early. Perhaps Tim has in mind who he would use the save on if it came down to it. I can only think of Erin being deserving at this point. But she seems to be doing okay, so I don’t get Tim’s logic here at all. The judges decision, while hard, did make the most sense I guess with how everything came to be during this episode. But Tim could have turned it around & to me, failed in making a good decision here!



Proj. Runway & Swimwear


This week, the Project Runway designers took on swimwear. With Tim being all decked out in a special ensemble, he & Heidi joined the designers on the runway to further show off more details on the challenge!


Each designer would create their own fabric to use in designing a stylish swimsuit & cover-up that would fit in with/be inspired by Heidi’s line, Heidi Klum Swimwear. The winning design would be sold as a part of the line.


To create the print, the designers would work with technical & digital experts. The designers would then head to Mood, with a budget of $100 for supplemental fabric, all for this 1-day challenge.


The episode began with a little hate-or-ade being spewed on Erin. Natural jealousies of course since she has won 2 challenges. Moving onto a little workroom drama, we first saw Cornelius having some difficulties with this swimwear challenge. Of course, as the episode progressed, we saw other designers were too facing trouble.


Heidi soon popped in, alongside Tim, for some critiques. Naturally, she had some pretty choice opinions. I was certainly ready to get the runway started! This week’s guest judge was model & author Lucky Blue Smith. So who rose to the occasion this week, and which designers sank?


Before the judges top & bottom 3, here are a few personal shoutouts of my own —

pr15-ep4-nj-final  Nathalia J — I thought the swimsuit was pretty cute, interesting print, Also, SHOUTOUT to both Mary Kay & Sally Beauty here, love the entire beauty look!!

pr15-ep4-co-final  Cornelius — SHOUTOUT again for both Mary Kay & Sally Beauty, another stunning glam, beauty look!


Dexter — SHOUTOUTS — All areas, JustFab, killer heels, Mary Kay, love that pop of red on the lip, & Sally Beauty, curl-icious!


On now to the judges top 3, getting right to the winner, since I was certainly in agreement with both the top 3 and the winner, let’s discuss Rik. The swimsuit, the cover-up, all super chic, and in black & white, LOVE! Also, SHOUTOUT to Mary Kay for this beautiful makeup look, very natural & fresh.


The judges almost gave the top spot to Alex, however my close 2nd would have been Roberi. I loved this print, it exuded such fun in the spirit and with all the colors.


And then of course, as mentioned above, Alex was also in the top 3. I do think Alex did a great job. The cover-up here seemed more than just a cover-up, so I appreciate the effort he put into that piece. The overall look was very Grecian, and the trim of royal blue was the perfect pop of color!


Moving on now to the bottom 3, sadly, I don’t think Sarah should have been the one to go this week. I say sadly, because of this bottom 3, my choice would have unfortunately been Tasha. I just don’t think she did much here. Sarah’s print was a little more inventive and unique. I figured Jenni would be in the bottom because she dismissed Heidi’s suggestions, but this bikini was barely wearable. I do like Tasha, so I’m hoping she will bounce back!


Jenni, again, in the bottom, basically not listening to Heidi. I thought the coverup was interesting, and given the off coloring of Jenni’s print, I think she did her best to make it work.


SHOUTOUT — Mary Kay, lovely beauty look


So that means Sarah was out and I do think that was unfortunate. She did a pretty decent job the week before, and I don’t think of the entire bunch, her swimsuit was the worst. The cover-up was not great, but let’s get real, a lot of other cover-ups were throwaways as well. And this print, it was very vintage, definitely something I can see as a print being used today.


SHOUTOUTS — Mary Kay for the makeup look & Sally Beauty for the luscious curls!


Proj. Runway — Blacklight Fashion


This past episode of Project Runway, what a fantastic one it was! Tim & Heidi were there right from the get go to intro the challenge, which was a first for PR. Each designer had to create a look that sparkled not only in daylight, but under black lights. Tim then went to meet the designers in the workroom for more on the inspiration behind the challenge.


Joining Tim in the workroom was Sherrianne James, VP of Marketing for Transitions Optical, eyewear that transitions based on lighting. The winning design would appear in an exclusive spread in Marie Claire. The designers were obviously stoked! The workroom was filled with new UV materials — paints, highlighters, and lights. And a room had been outfitted with black lights so the designers could test their looks.


It was then time to head to Mood, with a $200 budget, to start this 1 day challenge. Throughout this episode, we saw some touching workroom support, such as ‘Happy Fathers Day’ wishes to Mah-Jing. We also learned these designers were getting a little frisky, talking about wanting conjugal visits and all!


Tim Gunn time made me all the more excited to get this runway show going! I also later heard Heidi announce the Tim Gunn save was in play for this season. I hadn’t heard her say this before, maybe I missed it, but good to hear it’s there if need be! And the guest judge for this inaugural runway was actress Jaime King. Of course, then all of the judges got to hear Jenni’s crazy laugh! But enough of the pre-runway details, so just how crazy good was this runway!?!


I was excited about the black light portions. Some of the designs didn’t really work without the black light, but we all know the point here was to look crazy cool under that type of light than regular lights! Picking a top 3 would have been so hard here, I have to give some personal fave shoutouts!


pr15-ep3-sd-final  Sarah, super cute, very Gossip Girl-esque. The skirt effect under the black light was very cool as well. SHOUT-OUTS FOR SALLY BEAUTY, LOVE THIS CHIC PONYTAIL & MARY KAY, CLEAN, FRESH LOOK!!


pr15-ep3-rp-final  Please tell me how Roberi missed the top 3 here!! This flirty dress was great, both for the regular runway and the black light portion. It really looked like under the sea magic! Also, another SHOUTOUT DUO FOR SALLY BEAUTY, FREE FLOWING HAIR, & MARY KAY, SIMPLE, CLEAN LOOK!


And lastly, Nathalia, not the greatest without the black light, a little to crazy coloring, workout gear-esque, but under the black light, this look was DOPE!

JustFab shoutout for Nathalia’s choice of black & white striped heels, super cute and looked very cool under the black light


On now to the judges top 3, and I’m just skipping to the winner, because here it was clear, ERIN!! This dress looked a little cooky on the runway, but would stand out anywhere! But under the black light, I was in awe! So pretty, so fun, the details on this dress were mesmerizing. The judges I think made a mistake or 2 in their top 3, but this was the winner regardless!


pr15-ep3-co-final  Cornelius too did a great job this week. I wasn’t sure if the judges would get the now-ness of this emoji dress, but I’m happy they did! The transformation this dress made from white sheath dress to fun spirited emoji dress under the black light was AMAZING!

SHOUTOUTS — Mary Kay, love the pop of colors!


pr15-ep3-jr-final Rounding out the top 3 for the judges was Jenni. I was a little surprised they were so gaga over this look. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the hand paint detailing on the trim of the clear raincoat aspect of the look. But I didn’t envision top 3 here. Plus, they of course didn’t point this out, but during the judges close up look, you could see the paint was coming off again, a problem which Jenni had in the workroom.

SHOUTOUT — Sally Beauty, love the curly updo


pr15-ep3-rv-final Moving onto the bottom 3 for the judges, it mostly made sense. The judges, mainly guest judge Jaime King, seemed super offended by Rik’s look. It definitely looked way worse up close than on the runway since you could see the cheek exposure! But all in all, it was too much for the eye to take in.


pr15-ep3-mjw-final  Mah-Jing also landed in the bottom, actually super close to going home. For the 2nd week in a row, the judges were in such a heated debate on who should go home. Annoyingly, last week, Heidi won out, with I think Zac caving in, saving Brik, sending Linda out. By the way, not really loving Brik — his look this week, not anything to write home about, just a white dress that barely did much under a black light!

But back to this week, Heidi was on the outs again this week, as she seemed to be the only one who wanted Mah-Jing out. Not sure what Heidi is thinking so far this season, but Kimber going home was the better choice! Yes, Mah-Jing’s look was not great, but he owned up to it, and admitted his mistakes. Plus, this was his 1st slip-up, whereas Kimber was in the bottom last week as well.


pr15-ep3-kr-final  So yes, as mentioned already, Kimber went home this week. Her look wasn’t all that bad on the runway, but it didn’t really do much under the black light. In both regards, it was just kind of a yawn.


Until next week……


Proj. Runway — Make It Fab

In the 2nd episode of the season, the designers met Tim Gunn at a NYC park to await the details of their next challenge. Alongside Tim was Traci Inglis, the Chief Marketing Officer of JustFab (the accessories wall sponsor of this season). Suddenly, women started gathering all around the designers, very much a part and inspiration for this next challenge.


The challenge, to think of women, all ages, all sizes, all who are fab and who shop at JustFab. Each designer was to make a look for the everyday woman, a look that would flatter all body types and make each woman feel fabulous. As a perk, JustFab would reproduce and sell the winning look online.


The designers had 1 day for the challenge and a Mood budget of $150. Besides this episode being about all things fab, we of course saw some workroom drama, and more on the insanely unique laugh of one designer! This week’s guest judge was actress Nina Dobrev. So which designers’ looks were fab and whose looks ended up being drab?


Unlike in the premiere episode, Heidi didn’t sound quite as enthusiastic about this runway as the first one. I thought it was a tad better for some designers, but still hoping others will step it up. Cornelius was quite the pot-stirrer in this episode, but drama aside, I loved his mixed print dress. I thought it was quite chic. Maybe it didn’t make top 3 as I could see it not working for all body types, but I am a fan!


JustFab shoutout — dig the bright red heels!


Mary Kay shoutout — Clean and chic


For the judges’ top 3, I thought Erin should have won. Her win here would have made much more sense than the last one. This look screamed fab, and would definitely make the average, everyday woman feel FABULOUS!


The winner was Laurence. Her jumpsuit was certainly well made, a standout from some of the other looks. I still do not think it screamed FAB, but it did read street chic.


Mary Kay & Sally Beauty shoutout — Love the updo and stunning smoky eye


Alex’s look was not bad, I actually liked the pieces, but not styled together. I think they worked better as separates. But Alex has certainly not been a disappointment this season — looking forward to more!


Moving onto the bottom 3, first we have Kimber who was luckily not in the bottom 2. These two items didn’t work as a pair. And while the judges focused on the top, I didn’t think the pants were all that well made.


Sally Beauty shoutout — love all the flowing waves

There was so much debate on who would go home this week. I think with Brik being safe yet again, all of the debate was all the more annoying! It was super clear Heidi was the only one who truly thought Linda should have gone home over Brik. I’m not sure how he was safe yet again, but I think this was the WRONG decision! Bottom 2, twice in a row, seems like a no brainer!


So unfortunately, that does mean Linda was out this week. She was certainly deserving to be in the bottom 3, but she at least took some risk. I am writing this recap a bit late and just missed the 3rd episode, but it is safe to say that unless Brik the Bore steps it up, he should be out next. Not sure why the judges, aka Heidi, would want to save him yet again!