I think I knew all episode that this battle for one final 3rd spot would be a moot point. I knew the judges would not pick just one. I knew this partly because I was very sure Heidi was still not ready to let Alexandria go and yes, I was right! But more on that later. First, a quick Fashion Nexus Giveaway note as always! Below is my current weekly giveaway, Pretty Polly natural tights, a Belk Teddy Bear and dark teal snakeskin lipstick case. So make sure you like Fashion Nexus on Facebook to enter! But now, back to PR!
So we start off with the traditional challenge setup, but of course there were a couple of new twists as this season clearly loved doing. Each designer gets a $9,000 budget and must create a 10-look collection for Spring 2014. The first twist was that one look must be an unconventional material look, so nothing that is similar to fabric! We later learn that for whomever shows in the finale, they must also face another new challenge. A Tide spokesperson introduced the challenge and it stems from their partnership with the CFDA. Each designer is to create one new look from a washable fabric or something that can be put in the washing machine. This challenge is “Washable Fashion.” I think this is very interesting because I know with the very few extremely nice and high fashion pieces I own, maintenance can be difficult. So the concept of high fashion and also being able to wash it with your other clothes, GENIUS! I can’t wait to see this incorporation. I did attend MBFW for the PR finale, but I was not aware of this aspect so I’m excited to see which looks met this challenge.
So this episode is mostly about the battle for who else will show with Bradon and Dom. But first, here is my recap on what we saw from the earlier stages of Bradon and Dom’s collections. Tim went to visit Dom in Philly. It was great to see she was still working a regular job while working on her collection. Some people have to do this to make ends meet! Her inspiration stemmed from one of her fave movies, “Bladerunner”, and is all about retrofuturism. She created a lot of watercolor/ink drawings which she had produced as her fabric. Retrofuturism is all about angular lines meeting curved lines. Her unconventional look will be made from metal holders.
Bradon’s course was very different. So as Tim saw in LA, while on his visit, Bradon’s inspiration was upstate NY and their long hard winters. It was all about capturing the feeling of flowers pushing up and thru the snow, a clash of nature so to speak. It’s the feeling of bright springtime and yes the vibrancy of florals, but cast against the icy and metallic frost of snow. This was a great collection and in my opinion, should still be the winning collection!
Quick side note, what in the world happened to make Tim Gunn experience such a bad fall. Poor guy, with his immaculate face scarred by such awful cuts! This was not evident when I saw him at MBFW so I’m glad he had a speedy recovery!
So let’s start with the bad news first for the final 3. It was Helen who was the only one eliminated this week. We start with Tim’s visit to her in Union City, NJ. Her inspiration was clairvoyance, knowing the unknown. Like Dom, she too created a print from a digital image of her boyfriend’s eye, which she too used as a fabric throughout her collection. She then took this softer print and infused it with the bold and aggressive red for her other fabric choice. We didn’t get to see much from her unconventional look, which was shower mats, but it really turned out nicely from what I saw. But seeing the three pieces she sent down the runway this week, I completely agree with the judges sending her home. The collection I just don’t think had the required level of polished construction and if these 3 looks had this issue, I’m certain all of her looks did as well. This wasn’t as evident from where I was sitting during MBFW, but was very evident this week. I thought the silhouettes weren’t that innovative and the fits were also unflattering. Just overall, as the judges said, not well executed.
Now onto some still frustrating news for me with that of ALEXANDRIA! I just do not get Heidi’s obsession with this lady. I will say, I felt badly for her this week as it was clear Helen had Dom’s support and Justin had Bradons’, but really Alexandria had no one. But all of that aside, this collection was very boring to me and did not doing anything to stand out when I saw it walk the runway. First, taking a look back from Tim’s visit to San Mateo, CA for their visit. The inspiration is supposed to be about edginess, strength and being modern. It was her take on a neo-nomadic punk look, an urban warrior. She mixed prints with solids and there was a lot of mixing of pieces, lots of layering. I will admit her looks did have a lot of detail, but this is not something you can see unless you are on the front row. It’s also hard to see when the model takes her quick trip down the runway. The collection simply put, didn’t pop! If you are doing a collection that is understated, you still need something to capture the attention, perhaps a bold print or color. But all we saw from Alexandria was black, white, stone gray and nude. As I mentioned earlier, I knew 2 designers were not going home this week, but it’s clear that Alexandria has 1 major fan and that has been her saving grace this season, Heidi. There is no way Alexandria will win unless Heidi somehow makes that happen. I promise, Alexandria’s collection is not much more than what was seen this week. For her to win, would be a true PR travesty! It’s not that her clothes were that bad, but they were not show-worthy and I don’t think they deserve the win this season!
Finally, the good news from this week, the shining beacon of hope, Justin made it through and was by far the one of this group who deserved it the most. I still don’t see why he had to fight for a spot from last week, but it was evident he had to show. Tim’s visit to Justin in Raleigh, NC allowed us to see his early work with the 3d printing, some of which took over 100 hours to create from what really looked like a vending machine! Also, his unconventional look, a test tube gown, wow! But it wasn’t until I saw his 3 looks walk the runway and heard his inspirational story for this collection that it all resonated for me. A collection showcasing his journey of being deaf to hearing for the 1st time after 18 years, it was very inspiring and such a great story. Justin too had some issues to overcome with the use of a lot of white and more sportswear oriented pieces, like Alexandria, which could easily translate as boring! But he overcame these issues. He used a bold print. He amped up the looks with bold hair and make-up. I’m still not sure if he has enough to win. I was impressed, but I will say, there is a lot of white. But luckily for him, he also has great details, which really are still easy to see-cutouts, 3d appliques and more!
- Season 12 – Finale, Part 1 (televisionwithoutpity.com)
- ‘Project Runway’ Recap: See Who Made It To Fashion Week (hollywoodlife.com)
- TV Talk: Project Runway’s Justin LeBlanc Spanks The Competition (jiveinthe415.com)