So yes, courtesy of Chopard jewelry, the Project Runway designers were fortunate enough to select some immaculate pieces of jewelry to work with this week. Not exactly work with hands on because as we later saw, it was very much “lookie, but no touchie”! The Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele, was with Tim to further explain this week’s challenge. Caroline would also serve as this week’s guest judge.
The challenge this week was to create an extravagant eveningwear look inspired by Chopard jewelry pieces. But not only would the jewelry serve as an inspiration, the looks would also incorporate the jewelry. Yes! This meant the models would get to don some very expensive and luxurious pieces of jewelry! Tim reminded the designers this was their moment to WOW the judges, pull out all the stops. Chopard is often seen on the red carpet so the designers had a great deal to live up to. Here are just a few examples of some looks incorporating Chopard that I’ve included on my Fashion Nexus Best Dressed lists!
The button bag was back this week. So No Sean, you didn’t get to pick what jewelry piece each designer would work with! Although really there were no bad options. Sean did get to pick first though and whether it was production’s hand in the mix or not, I’m glad Kini was able to choose second. He should have won last week so it only seemed fitting he chose toward the beginning of the bunch. Before heading off to Mood for this 1 day challenge, $250 budget, Tim came by the workroom for a couple of additional surprises.
First, Tim decided to make use of his one-time only Tim Gunn Save. So yes! Char was back in the game! Was the save a bit too soon? Perhaps. Regardless, it at least means that the designers know from hear on out, there are no second chances left. Each week you have to go big or go home. Heidi also announced this was the last week for immunity. So really, every week from here on out, the designers have no choice but to step it up!
The 2nd bit of news from Tim was a field trip to provide some additional inspiration for this week’s challenge. Everyone was off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in the Charles James exhibit, which was of course the unveiling exhibit for this year’s 2014 Met Gala, aka Met Ball. Charles James was a major fashion designer in the 1950s; he is widely known for being America’s first couturier.
As the designers got back to the workroom, I was pleased to see that the drama of last week seemingly was no more. KUDOS ladies! But a new battle was rising………the battle of the navy blues that is. Both Sean and Samantha chose a navy blue fabric to work with this week. So of course the question was on both of their minds as to whose navy blue gown would come out on top.
Other workroom happenings this week as we breezed thru Tim-time and the model fittings — it seemed as if “Speedy Kini” was not around; Samantha was making her very 1st gown; and Amanda was really battling with the direction of her design.
The morning of the runway was full of the norm chaotic last-minute craziness. It was then time for the runway presentations where we saw that poor Nina had a bit of an ankle injury this week :(, complete with crutches and ankle boot!
The judges said this week, overall, they were impressed. And even when Heidi was announcing the winner and who would go home, she said again, how the designers had all really done a great job. This was not my sentiment at all. For me, I guess the bottom was a bit more shocking because I thought other designers could have ended up in the bottom just as easily. I’m not sure that all of the safe looks were executed perfectly, but it did seem that each of the bottom looks had some execution issues. So my assumption is that some of the safe looks I considered a bit of a yawn were likely safe because execution mistakes were either not present or not obvious.
Kini’s look was definitely one of mixed reviews. I knew he wouldn’t end up in the bottom 2! I’m not sure what it was with the white looks for the runway, but they didn’t seem to have a luxe feel to really match the jewels; this includes Char’s dress as well. I was surprised that the budget this week was only $250 being that the designers were working with such expensive pieces of jewelry. Perhaps if Kini had a larger budget he wouldn’t have chosen neoprene. Kini clearly had a design concept, and with a different fabric, or even in a different color, I think it would have paid off more. The bodice did have issues though! However I’m sure Kini can bounce back! Mary Kay shout-out: bold smoky bronzed eye!
Alexander also had a great design concept, but it was too much to execute well in such a short amount of time. One of Alexander’s biggest issues was that the neckline did hide this stunning ruby necklace. But also, the gown really just felt overworked. And the back was definitely worse than the front.
This left Samantha being eliminated this week. I don’t think this was the worst dress of the bunch. There were several dresses that were a bit of a snooze-fest, very basic. There were looks that also weren’t very red-carpet worthy, whereas at least Samantha’s gown could have worked on a red carpet. I think it could have used a necklace though! But in going with the judges bottom 2, it usually represents a designer who did too much and one who did too little. Generally, the designer who did too little goes home. But I loved Samantha kept her model’s hair down this week, Philip B hair shout-out for wavy tresses!
I got where the judges were coming from with this week’s top looks. They were clearly not looking for dresses that were a yawn. Rather, they rewarded risks! They wanted looks that could work on the red carpet, that lived up to the Chopard jewelry pieces being incorporated. Amanda’s look was definitely a risk. It paid off for all of the judges, minus Zac. This was clearly a look that would be loved or hated. It would end up on some best dressed lists, but perhaps for others, the worst dressed. I applauded Amanda for being different though and taking a risk. Safe designers take note! I loved the neckline for the jumpsuit and was pleased Amanda did pay attention to both pieces of her look. Finally, Aldo shout-out, a pair of heels I can see and that coordinate well with a look!
Sean’s strapless gown was not bad, but seeing it come down to him & Korina for the win, I am happy Korina received that honor. I’m not a huge fan of velvet. But the neckline with this necklace was also throwing me off. That sapphire necklace, while insanely gorgeous, I think is insanely difficult to make work with a look and not have it be too much. For this look, the Chopard jewelry all seemed a bit too much. But compared to the very safe looks from the other designers, Sean deserved to be in the top. His gown had such a great fit, and as he described, a very regal feel to it. The back was also quite stunning!
Korina really pulled out all of the stops this week, just as Tim said at the start of the episode. How risky was it to use an upholstery fabric and as Sean mentioned, not have it look like a couch! The long printed coat was soooooo Korina. It was bold and statement-making. She also did a lovely job with the black dress, showing that the look could work even without the coat. But really, the look paid such homage to the dramatic, dangling Chopard necklace. It certainly was the best matched look to any of the Chopard necklaces for this challenge. Korina took a risk; it deservedly paid off. She created something different and stuck true to her aesthetic. Great bold beauty look & shout-out also with Mary Kay — full details below!