PR Takes on Good v. Evil

First it was Leap!, now the designers were set to draw a little inspiration from Descendants 2. The designers met Tim, and actresses Dove Cameron & China Anne McClain at the Lyndhurst Castle. This too would provide some inspiration for this week’s challenge. Each designer was tasked to create an eveningwear look, some would be creating a look of good, others a look of evil. They would have a $300 Mood budget and 2 days for this challenge.

Michael, as the winner from last week, assigned each designer with good or evil. He chose evil, and joining him were Kenya, Samantha, Shawn, Margarita & Batani. The designers working on “good” were Amy, Brandon, Kentaro, Aaron, Ayana, & Claire. Dove & China Anne, joined as guest judges for the week!

I had so many fave sleepwear looks just last week, but was not a super fan of this runway. I really only liked 2 designers! Before moving onto the judges’ top 3, I will give a quick shoutout to one designer — I loved, Batani! This was majorly gorgeous! The bodice was freakin’ amazing!

As for the many other safe designers of the week, I found some elements or aspects in given looks that I liked, but overall, I was not fully impressed. I am hoping this next episode, the designers perform a lot better!

The judges’ top 3 included Michael, Brandon, & Kenya, with Brandon, surprisingly being named the winner again. My winner would have been Michael! He already had immunity this week, but was not resting on his laurels. He really pushed the bounds. Tim had warned the designers to not go the costume route, and Michael’s look was all about show, but not over the top!

But again, Brandon was the winner of the week. I am sure the 2 more youthful judges pushed for this, but I guess I am not a super fan of Brandon’s design aesthetic. I didn’t read this as “evening.” The judges see this as modern, but I was happy the judges urged Brandon to push harder. This urging statement I thought would keep him out of the running for the win, but I guess not!

With Kenya’s look, this was definitely a bounce-back from the previous week, but this was not a fave of mine. The fit was spot on, but I felt as if I was left wanting more. The judges noted at the onset that there was a lot going on, yet it worked. I disagreed.

This left Claire, Samantha, and Aaron in the bottom 3. This was such a surprise to see Samantha in this spot, so I figured she would not fall in the bottom 2. I actually didn’t mind her fabric, but all in all, this look was quite sloppy. And as the judges noted, the bottom was a let-down.

Seeing then Claire & Aaron in the bottom 2, I felt fairly confident in saying Aaron was going. I thought Claire could have wound up safe because a couple of other looks were not too impressive this week. But the judges were right it noting the lack of a unique quality. Very literal, but I did like the soft colors.

AVON SHOUTOUT BECAUSE I DID LOVE THE HAIR & MAKEUP HERE!

Aaron was the one leaving this week. It was not too big of a surprise having just been in the bottom the week before. I also haven’t found myself too impressed with his work in previous challenges. He is a nice guy, but not sure he is in his element with this competition. I don’t know if I can firmly say this was the worst look I have ever seen on PR, but it would be somewhere in that realm. This look was just not great and I think Aaron knew it. Sad, but true. It really did look like an arts & crafts project. The strips looked like streamers, not fabric. Certainly not worthy of a $300 budget spent.

Until next week…..

PR Designers Get Intimate!

This week, on Project Runway, the designers were tasked to create a sleepwear look for Heidi Klum’s Intimates line. It could be any type of look, but had to be fashionable! Additionally, the designers were to create their own textile, by hand. The winning look would be reproduced and sold as a part of Heidi’s line.

But first, to provide a little inspiration, the designers had a slumber party atop one of NYC’s most iconic locations, the Empire State Building. Each designer would have a backpack, packed with PJs & their sketching materials. The next morning, Tim arrived early, but at least with breakfast sandwiches in hand! It was then back to the workroom for this 1-day challenge.

For all of the materials needed this week, the designers rushed the tables & bins, getting a little grabby!! We got to see an adorable segment of Brandon & Kentaro’s friendship, better yet bro-ship! Heidi joined Tim for the critiques, which was a mix of good & bad. But probably the funniest part of the critiques was explaining “being anal” to Kentaro! And joining the judges this week was actress/singer Demi Lovato.

This legit was probably one of my most fave runways, maybe not ever, but definitely this season, and likely even stemming back a few seasons! There were so many looks I loved. The ones I didn’t care for so much, those looks were far too safe. So certain designers should push the envelope much more! I’m not sure if I could narrow down my faves to a top 3. If I could, it would not be the same as the judges, but definitely must dole out some SHOUT-OUTS!

Amy, loved this textile creation, gorgeous color, little fancy, but very cool, great silhouette! AVON HAIR & MAKE-UP SHOUTOUT AS WELL!

Batani had one sexy look, an amazing textile creation, and again, another great color selection!

Moving onto the judges’ top 3 selection, my winner would have been Kentaro. This look was just so pretty!! The bodice design was spot on, such a fantastic textile created. The judges were right in stating consumers would want this. And it was this reason I thought Kentaro would win.

I thought his look would reach more consumers. But many other correct judges’ comments included — charming, feminine, such an ease, & happy! Another one I am glad to be mentioned was regarding it being playful. I agreed with this wholeheartedly because Kentaro struck the perfect balance, playful, but not junior!

The judges named Michael as the winner, which was not totally a shock. I was happy to see Michael stepping it up. This was just not one of my faves, but it was very nice. I did agree with the judges about it’s practicality, the luxe vibe, “Deco Cleopatra”!

Shawn too did a phenomenal job. The only reason I might have selected another designer for my top 3 was because I was picking looks that did put off more of a sleepwear vibe. Of course, wearing fashionable PJs out is a thing now! This was super nice though and the hand-painted print textile was gorgeous!

The bottom was fairly accurate. I knew Aaron was making the bottom 2, but wasn’t sure if it was Deyonte or Kenya joining. I was sad for Kenya. This look was just so sloppy. So many of the designers were super creative with their textiles, but Kenya lacked in this department as well. Practicality was severely lacking also, a hook & eye to deal with in the middle of the night — NO NO! It was nice for Zac to offer some positives!

Coming down to Deyonte & Aaron, I was torn. I haven’t been impressed at all by Aaron, but he had managed to land in the bottom only once. Whereas this was Deyonte’s 2nd trip. Why should Aaron then go? I wondered if really either could go the distance?? But the judges decided to save Aaron, over Deyonte, which despite Deyonte’s bottom 3 placements, it was still a shocker! Aaron did have this amazing textile idea, but the full concept just never came to life.

I was sad to see Deyonte go. I expected a much longer run. I wondered if Tim would contemplate using the save, but he had been in the bottom more than once. This look, was very much a bore. I actually liked the darker teal color, but the mix with silver, didn’t do this any justice. There was no shape, nothing flattering, just a very sad piece.

Sad to see Deyonte go, …….until next week…….

Which PR Designer took the Winning Leap!

I have not yet seen the film Leap!, but it is on my list! And mentioning that because it of course served as the inspiration for this week’s Project Runway challenge. After watching an extended trailer for the movie and a performance by fusion hip-hop pointe group Hiplet, Heidi & Tim provided the full challenge details!

Each designer would have 1 day and a $200 Mood budget to create a fashionable, innovative look in the spirit of dance/movement. It was a chance to get creative and inventive. While creative juices flowed, Deyonte had a painful sewing mishap, and Shawn/Claire were frantically running about the workroom. Tim was very pleased during his check-ins and it showed because this was one amazing runway! Dancer Maddie Ziegler picked a great week to guest judge!

Heidi announced how fantastic this runway was, which I agreed with wholeheartedly, but my top 3 was very different! From my own top 3 and the judges’, my winner of the week was Batani!

The judges, minus Zac, really got this look and I loved that they appreciated her amazing vision. This look really captured the spirit of dance/movement, and did so without being literal, and truly encapsulated movement!

I was hopeful the judges’ lackluster top 3 meant a clear path for Batani to win, but sadly, that was not the case. Happy she made the top 3, but a few other shout-outs for me —

I loved Ayana’s look! She is really impressing me each week and I’m happy to see such versatility with her work. This sparkly, tiered look very much dazzled me!

This dress is hottttt! Samantha killed it with this look and I would wear this 100%!

SHOUTOUTS — Avon hair & makeup

This was also a top look for me, from Kenya. Love the bold jacket, and the underneath part, being a jumpsuit, STUNNING!

SHOUTOUTS — Avon More glam from the team on hair & makeup

The judges top 3 included Brandon and Margarita, which I really didn’t get. And I was even more flabber-ghasted as to how Brandon won! He notes his lack of ability to speak is due to nerves, but I believe it is because he too is shocked by the judges’ decision!

I didn’t see this as a winning look, really fitting the challenge description. And then with Margarita, her look was way too literal. I didn’t care for the stark white fabric, kind of reminded me of the muslin. I did appreciate the pop of color as the judges did and there was movement, but it straight up looked like every other salsa ensemble I’ve seen — nothing too original here! But I do like Margarita so looking forward to more from her in the coming weeks.

The judges’ bottom 3 was Kudzanai, Kentaro, and Deyonte, and this did make sense. I was so worried the bottom 2 would be the case of the designer who did too much (Kudzanai) versus the designer who did too little (Kentaro), with the designer not doing enough going home. I love Kentaro and would have been so sad had he been axed this week. Given his background in dance/music, I did expect more from him. His work does fall under the minimalist umbrella, but he should have pushed it more this week, as Nina said, it needed a punch! Glad he was safe though and that we get to see more!

And then of course Deyonte being in the bottom 2, that was nerve-wrecking. But I kind of felt given his strong previous weeks, with a win week 1, that he would not be going home this soon! Of course his injury was going to be brought up, but as the judges noted, this unfortunate look was not all stemming from his injury. He chose an unflattering color. The silhouette was a yawn. And really, the look was not finished well, bit of a messy quality.

This left Kudzanai going home this week. I had not seen much from him yet that was truly impressive. He had been so safe and wanted to get the judges’ attention with this challenge, but he did way too much. The look was bright, it had many colors, feathers, other embellishments, very much all over the place. The judges too noted the messiness of the piece and sadly, this was not the best way to capture the judges’ attention.

Until next week…..

 

PR — Budgets, Wabi, Tsunamis Oh My!

I feel as if Project Runway, season 16, is going to be one super dramatic season! And starting off on that note, episode 2 brings us the first team challenge, which almost always brings some drama! The designers woke to safety gear — vests/helmets — and were off to meet Tim at the Royal Waste Services, a recycling & waste facility.

Joining Tim to lay out the challenge details was Anne Fulenwider, Editor in Chief of Marie Claire. For this challenge, there would be 3 teams. Each team would be creating a 5-piece mini collection. Each look would be made out of recyclable materials. So yes, not only was this a team challenge, but also unconventional materials. Each team would be recycling, reusing and restyling to create a high fashion transformation! The winning look from the winning team would be featured in Marie Claire for a piece on sustainability.

Team 1, aka “Wabi Sabi” — Kudzanai, Kentaro, Margarita, Michael, Deyonte — focus on structure, texture, and origami techniques

Team 2, aka “Ballin’ on a Budget” — Aaron, Batani, Brandon, Kenya, Ayana

Team 3, aka “Tsunami” — Sentell, Samantha, Amy, Claire, Shawn — translucency, seaglass focus

Tim reminded the designers that cohesion would be required. And this would be a 1-day challenge. Guest judges for the week were Anne Fulenwider and actress Maggie Q.

My ranking of the teams was different than the judges. I actually did not care for Ballin’ on a Budget. So for me, a toss up on them versus Tsunami for safety. But given the editing of the show, I think we all knew Tsunami was landing in the bottom! Since Wabi Sabi didn’t receive any accolade on the show, I will devote my attention to them here as they were my winning team! And Deyonte, Kentaro, or Margarita would have had the final win for me!

Loved Margarita’s silhouette here and the bottom portion was nicely detailed.

SHOUTOUTS FOR THE TEAM — JC Penney, love the red heels & Avon for gorgeous beauty look and I love the chic ponytail!

Simply stunning & beautiful work by Kentaro — love this guy!!

Love the volume and something different by way of silhouette than the repetition seen by some of the other designers. Another great job by Deyonte. He was clearly not resting on his laurels and relying on immunity!

Kudzanai’s look — nice show piece for the runway!

Probably my least fave of the collection, but the bodice detail embellishments were nice — Brandon

Team Wabi Sabi had a cohesive collection, but each designer still had their own POV. The judges, however, loved Ballin’ on a Budget. I thought the pieces read more arts and craft than recyclable fashion. The group said this was meant to be fashion on a budget, but all I saw was the budget part. I agreed with the judges naming Ayana as the winner of the group though.

Ayana’s look

I was too happy to see that Batani did better than last week!

But it was Tsunami who landed in the bottom. There was very little transformation. Example, trash bag dresses still looked like trash bags. I liked the color palette though. And there were some positives here. Amy’s look did not fit in as much with the rest of the collection, but I loved her look.

Amy impressed me week 1 and so did this look.

Also, shout-out for the group here. Loved all the choices, JC Penney’s heels, braided ponytail, gorgeous makeup from Avon.

Samantha too did a standout job here. The bodice of this dress was super sexy and the belt detail was a great touch. It was not enough to save the team though. I was confused on the bottom 2, except for knowing that there was no way PR was letting go of one of the twins this early. And seeing Shawn with Sentell in the bottom, I knew Sentell would be going.

The reason I stated confusion on the bottom 2 was because even though Shawn did not fair well under pressure this week, it was Claire’s look (above) that was one of the worst. I did love her look so much though last week, so glad she was not at risk in the bottom 2.

I guess Shawn was not feeling the vibe of the collection, but had she focused a bit more on this, it could have been much better!

But sadly, Sentell’s uninspired garbage bag dress was the loser of the week. Sentell did stand up for himself by stating what he did for Shawn’s look. But truth be told, each designer is responsible for their own individual design and final look. But another truth, even another hour on this was not going to to save it. I then remembered his look from last week and it was too unimpressive. I am just not sure Sentell was quite ready for the challenge of Project Runway!

 

Until next week…..

PR’s Super Sweet Sixteen!!

Excited that once again, it is Project Runway time! We were able to see many previews for this upcoming season — looks to be a dramatic, 16th season! The designers met each other during their welcome session, sipping on some Grey Goose “Espresso” martinis. Tim & Heidi soon joined, entering in super big style, specifically in a super gigantic RV. Heidi reminded the designers to expect the unexpected, and with that, we were in store for our first surprise!

This season, the models being used range from size 2 to size 22. The models also will get some airtime thru the use of a confessional mirror. Each week, the models rotate. Tim & Heidi wasted no time getting right into the first challenge. Each designer had to create a red carpet look, demonstrating their point of view as a designer. This was a 1-day challenge, with a $300 budget at Mood.

Huge sponsors for this season — PILOT, with the use of Friction erasable pens for sketching; Brother sewing & embroidery studio; JC Penney accessory wall; Avon for makeup & hair. Prizes for this season include the chance to collaborate with JC Penney to create a limited edition capsule collection; $40k prize pack thru Brother Sewing, including 2 industrial machines; a 2018 Lexus; all expense paid trip to Japan; a spread in Marie Claire; $100k, and more!

The Tim Gunn save is in play this season. And rounding out this week’s judging panel of Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Zac Posen was actress Olivia Munn. The judges raved about the 1st runway. I thought there were some highlights, but I saw that many had an upwards trajectory for improvement ahead. Additionally, I don’t think some hit the mark on creating for the red carpet. But all in all, still an excellent runway!

I’m still wavering on my final top 3, but it would have been very different than the judges. But ultimately, I was 100% in agreement with the winner of the week, Deyonte. I could see his bold aesthetic coming thru in this look. Would this look be loved by everyone? No! But I could guarantee seeing it on red carpets now and it would make many best dressed lists.

Deyonte said Cannes, but I could see more. The flower placement perfection comment was spot on. This would be a look for a strong, confident woman.

Avon SHOUT-OUT — not for the hair, little matronly, but the makeup was beautiful!

 

Here are my other faves of the week, giving them a little shout-out!

So I actually know Shawn & Claire’s label and had no clue they would be on this season! I was not impressed this week with Shawn, but Claire’s look was gorgeous! Little more of a departure from the work I am used to from this design team, but if this is her solo voice, I LOVE IT! AVON SHOUTOUT — all around for beauty here, perfection!

I was surprised Amy impressed me this much on Week 1. I know she is known for quality and I saw that in this look. But I wondered what would set her apart from other minimalist designers? The ability to transform this look sold me! With more money and time, perhaps the top bra could have been a bit more elegant or sophisticated, but overall, job well done! AVON SHOUTOUT — love the bun, gorgeous makeup as well

A stand alone photo for Kentaro’s look doesn’t do it justice, but the movement here, the fascination attained as it walked the runway, deserves accolade! His previous work with drama and feminine beauty was a clear read in this first piece.

I was wondering what Ayana would, working with her cultural influences with each given challenge. I was impressed. A woman who wanted to don a head covering could really be a stand-out on the red carpet in this look. But additionally, even if this look was sans head covering, it would be super gorgeous. The floral embellishments were captivating.

Moving on to the judges’ faves. I was not surprised Kenya was in the top. I was surprised to see her more shock value aesthetic tamed in this challenge. Overall she did well, but it was not my fave. There was an elegance to this, but I had 2 reasons for keeping this out of my top, both of which the judges mentioned oddly enough! The bodice was a little wonky. And then something with the fabric choice perhaps, wasn’t making this dress look super high quality. But job well done for the 1st challenge!

Brandon struggled this week, so color me shocked that he was in the top. This was more on the bottom of my list! I think you could see it in his face he was confused on making the top as well. I wasn’t sure what red carpet I would see this on and really, this just lacked sophistication for me. Since he is safe, landing in the top, maybe this will give him confidence to forge ahead and impress me in future weeks.

The bottom 3 made more sense than the top. It seems as if Shawn & Claire will get much airtime this season, so I knew she wouldn’t be going home week 1. But this was disappointing to see from Shawn given her experience. She is all about being bold and modern, so I am hoping for more from her in weeks to come. The shorts were such a throwaway here, not making this fit for any red carpet. One of the judges said “club-by” and that was a good label for this.

Leaving ChaCha and Batani in the bottom 2, I was happy Batani was safe. I was so impressed with her previous work as well, so seeing this trainwreck was very disappointing. Even despite the mistakes seen/made, why was this her goal for the week. The color, the use of lace, doesn’t really seem like her forte or aesthetic. The back was worse than the front. And why did she lie about the hidden mistake/tear/hole!

This sadly left ChaCha out first, which anyone leaving first is always sad! He had such a great spirit. And with a wacky, interesting aesthetic, I would have enjoyed seeing a little more. Not sure he would have had the ability to stay for the long-haul, but seeing the fun exuberance wouldn’t have been bad for another week or two! But this look was not that exciting, very much a hot mess!

Until next week……

Other Fave Oscars Related Looks

The Oscars is not all about the main red carpet, there is the Vanity Fair afterparty, the Elton John AIDS Foundation party (aka the Oscars viewing party), The Weinstein Co. afterparty, and the Independent Spirit Awards, all part of the Oscars weekend. What does this mean? There are so many more looks to fall in love with and here are my top picks!

KATE BOSWORTH

HAILEE STEINFELD

EMMA ROBERTS

SAVANNAH CHRISLEY

KATE HUDSON

SOFIA VERGARA

HEIDI KLUM

DEMI LOVATO

PETRA NEMCOVA

LEONA LEWIS

PORTIA DOUBLEDAY

LILY COLLINS

NINA AGDAL

THANDIE NEWTON

EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

RASHIDA JONES

ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY

FELICITY JONES

  • a dark eggplant sequin short-sleeve Erdem gown with floral motif

NAOMIE HARRIS

Proj. Runway — The Finale!

Alas, another season of PR has come and gone. So let’s see how season 15 played out, from the final runway prep to the announcement of the winning designer.

After the judges’ preview, with 2 days until fashion week, the designers were back to work. Tim came in to announce a final trip to Mood with an additional budget of $500. Upon return and a little designer re-working, Tim then came by for a critique.

He urged Rik to open his work up, both literally & figuratively — don’t be afraid to show some skin. For Laurence, he advised on reworking a few pieces. He instructed Erin to avoid being too arts and craftsy. And for Roberi, it was all about lessening the confusion.

It was soon the day before fashion week, which hosted for the day some making of new garments and model fittings. Also as a part of the day, it was Tim’s emotional final round-up with the designers. The morning of the runway too had a lot of stirred emotions. Rik was done, all ready for the runway. But other designers were having some final issues, Roberi with a missing model and Laurence with a garment rip.

It was time though for the final runway during NYFW. Guest judge for the show was Zendaya. This was my 2nd time attending the final runway show and it was once again, another surreal experience. It was great seeing the collections live and also being a part of it with other fans. So here are my thoughts on the final runway and my ranking of the final 4.

I 100% agreed with the judges naming Erin as the winner of season 15 of PR. Project Funway was the WAY to go!

I saw such quality in her very well-made pieces. Right from the start, with the very first look, that top, I was blown away! Erin started the season making a bunch of coats and I was half expecting to see many in her final collection, but gladly that was not the case. But with missing coats aside, I still saw Erin’s aesthetic and touches come thru. I saw embellishments galore and I was in love with her uniquely creative prints. This was artsy, but certainly not arts and crafts.

The attention to detail and all of the tiny little erin-nisms, like the bananas, I just loved. I saw a modern, fashion forward collection and I was proud of what Erin sent down the runway. I’m glad the judges too loved the kookiness of her collection. Zendaya pointed it out perfectly by mentioning the balance of kook & chic!

The only negative I can come up with in Erin winning was that Roberi had to lose. I was glad he at least came in 2nd, very close to winning because I too loved his collection.

I saw fun, something different, and it was great to see. He used such beautiful colors. The full on purple look, to die for! I do feel as if some of his pieces didn’t quite fit in with the collection as a whole, like the denim pants look. I also felt like every time he was asked about his collection, he kind of said something different each time.

But overall, I saw his looks being imaginative. The second to last look, the more formal gown, it was stunning! And the very last look, going back to his threading technique, it was so impressive. I was mad that Heidi was hating on the gown I loved, and Nina of course liked the one look I didn’t care much for. But again, Zendaya was spot on in discussing the light versus heavy quality to this collection, how well it mixed or blended together.

The judges pretty much put Rik in 4th, but I thought he should have came in ahead of Laurence. Her collection was a yawn, but at least with Rik’s Bandits collection, there was some excitement.

I loved the leather pieces, especially the ones in black and white. But the denim pieces were just not my style. It was a risk for me, a love or hate type factor, and I unfortunately just wasn’t a fan. I kind of felt that way with Rik throughout the season. I would really love a piece of his, or not at all. There wasn’t much by the way of middle ground. And I guess I didn’t really get the connect between the leather and denim pieces.

I did appreciate his eyewear creations. I think the judges were too still on the same page though about the overall cohesiveness of the collection.

And finally, there was Laurence’s work. She was really working down to the last literal second on these looks. To be so minimal, not much by way of bells and whistles, I’m not sure what was taking her so long to do, but working away she did.

I know she spent a lot of time reworking the “potato sack” looking dress, but I was still not a fan. When I was there watching the finale, before I realized there were no decoy collections, I thought this one was. There were some lovely small details to appreciate with the collection, when you could see the looks up close. But from afar, it was a basic, RTW collection, and with no “Wow” pieces, it sort of seemed very bland.

On the day, seeing this come down the runway first, and seeing the more exciting collections to follow, it was just apparent that this one was lackluster. Zac too pointed out about the lack of runway impact. There needed to be a wow factor. I wondered why during the many Tim critiques or the judges preview that this was not pointed out!

Zendaya kind of made a plea, saying that seeing the collection, it kind of made her want to see more, wondering what else she had to show. But this is not a good thing to say at this point! You need to show what you have now, not leave us all to wonder! I missed the cool-girl factor we saw during the season. This was lacking in the collection. And it was the main reason she didn’t fair well.

What a season — can’t wait to see the next one!

 

Proj. Runway — NYFW Prep!

As per PR tradition, the finale was divided into 2 parts. The first being the road to fashion week — the preparation, the changes, Tim Gunn consults, all concluding with a special judges’ preview presentation. Sometimes during the judges’ preview, one designer is eliminated right before fashion week. But luckily for this final 4, that was not the case. All 4 would show at fashion week! And so the mini-presentation would be the chance for the designers to get some vital last minute feedback in hopes of being the final one standing!

But before all of that, we start with Tim & Heidi sending the final 4 off to begin work on their collections. Each designer would have 6 weeks to work on a 10 look collection, with a $9000 budget. And with that, each designer was off and soon, Tim would be too for his visit and check-in with the designers.

SHOUTOUTS — Mary Kay & Sally Beauty fresh faced & easy going

He started first in L.A., 2 weeks until fashion week, with a visit to Laurence’s studio. Laurence’s collection was about the story of her life, going thru some rough times, starting dark and finishing with light. She had 7 pieces made and Tim was all on board. I think he could have stood to give her some real words of wisdom though. I was seeing some very wearable, minimalist pieces. But I was worried how this type of collection would standout above the rest? What was the draw?

Around the same time, while also in L.A., Tim met with Rik next. They started with some bowling fun, but then it was on to his work. Rik’s inspiration was a 70s vibe, Sgt. Pepper feel. It was a mix of denim and embroidery, unique artist collaborations and optical illusions. He had a lot made, even some cool accessories, like eyewear. Tim saw what I saw, too much! He worried about cohesion and seeing more than one collection.

Next up, with 10 days until fashion week, Tim was in Boston, visiting Erin. She lucked out being able to use MassArt studios. What wasn’t quite so lucky for her was that she didn’t have a single garment made. She had been busy creating textiles and fabrics. Her inspiration was all about positive vibes, thinking of her friends. She had a lot going on as well, embellishments, sequins, plexi-glass, bananas and more! For her though, Tim saw rule breaking and encouraged her to go with it!

SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty & Mary Kaystunning, gorgeous beauty looks!

Tim’s last visit was back in NY, with Roberi. His inspiration was about a woman going to different places, in search of something wonderful, different pieces, different moments, all at those different places. Just as with Rik, he too had lots of ideas. Tim wondered if the looks were representative of the same customer. He encouraged Roberi to think of being a designer versus a mere dress-maker.

After the visits, all 4 were back to NY. Naturally, they all wanted to see what each other had been doing. With the exception of Rik who was in the sewing room, very hard at work! Tim joined to inform them of the preview for the judges. Each designer would show 3 looks to the judges on the next day, a tease, an amuse-bouche! They would also use the Brother Dream Machine to present a logo. Laurence went with her initials, Rik with a graphic signature logo, Erin’s full name, but handwritten, and finally, Roberi, Ro.Pa., but as typography.

Tim then consulted with the designers again before the preview. His thoughts were pretty much the same as the visits, happy to see pieces from Erin finally, but very encouraging, and positive words for Laurence as well. But with Rik & Roberi, he was still worried on cohesion. As we all would later see from the judges, cohesion was the main criticism!

For this special preview, Heidi was judging remotely, but to sub for her in person, they brought in former PR judge, designer Michael Kors. So who seemed most ready for fashion week, and who still had lots of work to do?!?

While this above look was my least fave of the 3, I still loved the other 2 and what I had seen in the workroom. I was actually in attendance during the finale, and now that I can put the pieces of the puzzle together, Erin’s collection was my most fave. I believe she stuck true to who she is as a designer, minus seeing all the coats we had during the season.

The embellishments were great. I think she received the least amount of negative feedback from the judges, so I am hoping that is a good thing! I’m happy they saw the sparkle in her collection, and to encourage her to stay on that track.

This maxidress was amazing though! I’m mad at the judges for the bit of hate they gave on it. The print was unique, all the little characters. I can’t wait to re-visit her entire collection during the finale.

Roberi created some debate amongst the judges, but it wasn’t so much a negative debate, just some ideas on tweaking the collection a bit. But from what I remember, Roberi’s collection was pretty close to how I felt about Erins’ — it was great! My hope is that either he or Erin will win!

I do wish Roberi had worked a bit more on shapes and innovative silhouettes, as he had done during the season. But I did appreciate his interesting use of materials, and while there might have been a lot to take in, I was impressed. Of these 3, the pant look was my least fave, but I know he has more to offer with the whole collection!

The judges’ debate was centered around excitement versus sexiness. We all know Heidi was pushing for more of a sexy feel. But I’m glad the other judges, namely Michael, was able to state it wasn’t necessary to make the collection more sexy, but just to make it a bit more exciting. There is a difference!

I feel as if the judges, as did Tim, really were all loving Laurence’s work though. I just wasn’t seeing it. I remember during the finale, her pieces showed first, and I immediately thought, oh, this was a decoy collection. Usually during the finale at fashion week, they show 9 or so collections, just so you can’t tell who ends up making it to the finale. This year was different though, they only did 4. So after that, I knew there were only 4 and I remembered being underwhelmed by this collection.

The white pearl top from above was a standout, but I don’t remember caring for much else. All during the season, we saw Laurence creating crazy cool leather jackets, designing for a modern, young, hip girl. This collection seemed very mature and just full of a lot of basics. Laurence has always been a minimalist designer, but that is hard to pull off for a runway show and achieve excitement.

I think it is safe to say Rik received the most by the way of feedback. This can either be great, in that he can make some changes to elevate himself to the top. Or it can be bad, in that he is just doomed and there is no time left.

Rik’s collection wasn’t really my taste, but there was at least some intrigue. He still had a lot going on, so I am not certain that he was able to simplify into one collection, with that needed cohesive thread. I recall seeing a lot of denim, so I think he tried to focus on that, but the denim wasn’t my favorite choice. So depending on the judges’ mood that day, we shall see if it pays off. My hope, my guess, and really what makes sense though, is that it come down to Erin or Roberi.

Proj. Runway Goes Hybrid

Yes, that’s right, for the first time ever, PR created a hybrid challenge for the designers to tackle. It could also be dubbed as the Lexus challenge, since that was part of the underlying inspiration and concept of the week. Each designer had to create an innovative, avant grade look crafted from conventional fabric and unconventional metal themed materials. The designers met Tim at a warehouse, alongside the GM of Product and Consumer Marketing for Lexus, Brian Bolane, for all of the details.

As Brian described, just as the Lexus cars push with innovation, so too must the looks for the week. The designers had 5 minutes to gather their various pieces of machinery and metal from the warehouse. They were then off to Mood, in style this week, driving in a fancy Lexus, to spend $150 on fabrics. It was then off to the workroom to begin this 2-day challenge.

Erin had some drama creating her embellishments for her look, which Mah-Jing had advised her against doing. (It worked out in the end though) But it was Mah-Jing, Laurence, and Cornelius who Tim seemed most concerned with on this challenge, and they were the ones who landed in the bottom 3. Needless to say, the pressure was on. At the start of the episode Heidi informed the designers there were only 2 challenges left, not 3 as they expected. Tim too reminded the designers on the expectations for this week, and those were for spectacular and show-stopping looks to be created. As Heidi said, they had to go big or go home!

The guest judge for the week was actress & director Shiri Appleby. I already mentioned the bottom 3, but let’s start discussions on the top 3, Erin, Rik, and Roberi. The judges got the bottom and top correct, but my winner would have been Rik or Roberi, slightly for me would be to name Rik as the winner.

His look was shiny and cool, a great merge of the conventional and unconventional materials. I saw avant garde, even if Nina and Zac had doubts. I’m glad Heidi made a point to really accentuate the positives here. This was certainly the most wearable, well integrated, and avant garde look of the bunch!

A close runner-up for me would be Roberi. This look was futuristic, intriguing in the shaping, and I was saying “Beam me up Scotty!” I loved that Roberi created a well-made, mixed media look.

Shoutouts — Mary Kay & Sally Beauty Love the hair and the makeup went in line with the overall theme for the look, perfection!

Rounding out the top 3 was Erin. I liked the unconventional creation, but the pants for me were a little ho-hum. I didn’t think it made the look overly exciting. Whereas Rik’s look really merged his materials together, I didn’t quite get the connecting link here. The pop of color was great though. And hearing here paper doll concept was what made the overall look, all the more interesting.

Mary Kay shout-out — Stunning makeup look

Of the bottom 3, as sad as it is to see a designer go home at this point, I think Mah-Jing being eliminated was the right choice of the 3. Laurence’s look was only in the bottom because it was safe. She put in some great work. It was a wearable look, but I agreed with the judges in that it produced no surprise effect. I didn’t get why the judges though were focused on discussing colors for this look. There wasn’t a wide variety of choices with the unconventional materials.

Mary Kay shout-out — Love this gorgeous, glam beauty look!

With Cornelius’ look, I really liked the concept actually. The amount of tubing use and certainly the placements were a bit odd. But it was different and intriguing. I liked his use of color, as well as the mixed media. The main positive about the look was there wouldn’t be any lack of conversation regarding ut. Whether it be good or bad, it was attention-grabbing.

Mah-Jing, again, was the one to leave this week. Nina had it right in saying that the unconventional material usage seemed more like decoration than integrated materials. It did kind of looked placed on, not really a true part of the overall look.

Until next week….

 

Proj. Runway — Let’s Take a Ride

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For this challenge, the designers began with a helicopter ride over NYC, to take in the aerial views, but to also be inspired by the sites. The reason for this bold, “power trip” was so the designers could create a bold, high fashion, dramatic and powerful editorial look for Marie Claire. In fact, the winning look would be featured in a spread for the magazine.

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Tim Gunn, alongside Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwider, provided all of the details. In addition, Anne was also one of the guest judges for the week, and it was announced she would soon be the new mentor on Project Runway All-Stars. With all that said, the designers were ready to hit up Mood, with a huge budget of $300, all for this 1-day challenge.

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Tim-time was pretty much ho-hum, with the exception of Erin & Nathalia. To each lady, he really urged some re-thinking on what they had already started on. Nathalia was also a focal point of this week, specifically when it came to the newfound help she had been receiving from Rik. Jenni used to be her go-to, but with her gone, Rik has seemingly taken her place in the aide department. He even helped her out in finishing her look. Fellow designers, specifically Erin, took issue of this. My thought — even though Nathalia’s help might have been excessive, the designers always seem to ask each other for thoughts and help at times. It happens. Get over it. Nathalia and Erin are a bit like Dexter and Cornelius, in their somewhat hypocritical back and forth on one another. It is definitely a bit of humor listening to them bad-mouth each other, when more often than not, what they say is the equivalent of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

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Joining Anne Fulenwider this week as guest judge was actress Camilla Belle. So who ended up making the pages of Marie Claire, and who fell short?

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Rik being in the bottom this week was surprising, and this left Laurence and Roberi being safe. This was the area I guess I was most in disagreement with, but it was either Rik or Laurence in the bottom, and both were worthy of being safe from the bottom 2, so I guess all is well that ended well.

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Rik’s look was not all bad, and in fact, it had some huge positives. But the judges were right in pointing out the lack of design on the back of the dress. And while the movement and initial impact of the splotched-created fabric was great, it did lose luster upon further inspection. The splotch-work wasn’t the most glamorous looking. Perhaps in a different color, it might have looked better, but brown on white, certainly an unfavorable color-combo choice. But on a positive note, Anne really loved the look!

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The bottom 2 was Dexter and Nathalia, who both ended up being eliminated. I felt badly for Dexter since he thought he was safe, but it did unfortunately really feel like Nathalia’s time. I think the pressures of the competition have been too much for her to handle. She has frequented the bottom and hasn’t been excelling in this environment. Her look this week did read costume, not editorial. And I agreed with the judges’ assessment that the look was too basic, with reflectors put on as gimmicks.

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A double elimination at this point in the competition was not surprising. The judges had not been feeling Dexter’s work and I didn’t get the feeling he loved the critiques, so it might have been best for him to go. It was a shame to see a similar jacket from Dexter again, but he was correct to point out about designer aesthetics, because other designers, namely Erin, has sent down the runway some similar coats. But I did forget that the first jacket was not loved by the judges, and with this really being the predominant aspect of the look, it was a huge gamble. Especially since the only other item he made was the goth-lace dress. I completely forgot the undergarments were not his creation.

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JustFab, Sally Beauty, & Mary Kay shoutouts — Killer heels, love the hair, and the bold red lip is fierce!

The top 3 this week was Mah-Jing, Cornelius, and Erin, with Cornelius receiving his first win! I was in agreement with this decision and very happy for him. This look had some quirk to it, but it was definitely intriguing and easily wearable. I would think it would span to a wide audience of women who would love to wear this look.

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Sally Beauty & Mary Kay Shoutouts!! — Gorgeous hair & makeup work!!

It was nice to see Erin bounce back this week and finally not send down yet another outerwear piece. Nina was right in pointing out that this was not her best look, nor was it the best look on the runway, but it was very different and a great bit of excitement to see on the runway on the day.

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And finally, we have Mah-Jing, riding a great stride with his recent work — can he keep it up! I am not huge on wearing denim, but I did like what he did here, with the use of denim in a mixed media capacity. It was innovative and it was clearly inspired from the helicopter trip.