Proj. Runway — Who Won $50K!!

Well it’s more like not just who, but which two! In the setup for this week, an overall $50,000 was awarded and yes, that is actually half of the cash prize the winner of PR receives. Of course the winner gets a host more of other prizes, but $50K is still a pretty hefty prize!

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Tim met with the designers to provide all of the details and joining him in the workroom was Barbara Shipley, Sr. VP of Brand Integration from AARP. AARP was the challenge sponsor, and ultimately who awarded the prize. As part of the challenge, the designers would be creating a look for a very special client and this look would be a part of representing that client’s next chapter. The special client turned out to be for each designer a family member or friend.

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The winning look would not only awarded $25K to the designer, but another $25K to the client. This I believe was the first 2-day challenge of the season. And with that, the designers were off to Mood with a $250 budget.

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When designers typically work with real world clients to that of models, sometimes issues or drama arises. This time there was not much of that with the exception of Jenni and her mom as their seemed to be confusion on the direction of the look. I wondered during Tim’s critiques though if he was being a little extra hard on Erin and Dexter? It was clear he thought Cornelius should not have gone home, only then assuming Erin or Dexter should have. He certainly didn’t hold back on critiques!

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I believe the biggest workroom issue of the week however was Nathalia and really biting off more than she could chew. This week’s guest judges were fashion and beauty trendsetter Olivia Culpo and co-founder of Birchbox, Katia Beauchamp (who also is on the new Lifetime show, Project Runway: Fashion Start-Up).

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The safe designers of the week were Laurence, Cornelius, and Dexter. I pretty much agreed with this result, but Dexter would have been in my top 3. His look was a knockout and really fit his client well. I thought he gave his friend exactly what she wanted, while still ringing very true to his designer aesthetic.

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SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty for a gorgeous, chic straight look & JustFab, love these killer blue booties

The judges’ top three was Roberi, Mah-Jing, & Rik. All were very deserving, but my winning look was Roberi. I got why they chose Rik, but Roberi, just as Dexter did, stuck true to his designer POV, all while giving his client a very fashion-forward look. I thought Rik’s dress was super great as well, but I’m not sure I really would have known it was his work in the midst of some very strong designer aesthetics.

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Roberi’s choice of prints and the ability to mix them together was genius. The look was fun and the pops of color were spot on!

JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — More cute heels!!

Rik was certainly deserving of accolades though. His dress was very cute, perfect for his mom, not about the bells and whistles, but rather conveying a story, with very intricate details. It was very much age appropriate, but didn’t come across as a mature, mumsy creation.

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SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty, love the hair & Mary Kay, love the bold red lip

Mah-Jing certainly stepped it up though this week. His look was bad-ass. I didn’t get the same vibe as the judges that his mom was really working the look. I kind of thought it was wearing her and not the other way around. Perhaps in the right setting, but Mah-Jing really did give her what she wanted and he designed the look beautifully.

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The bottom 3 was Erin, Nathalia, and Jenni. All who have been in the bottom before and all who unfortunately had the worst 3 looks of the week. Erin was again saved from the bottom two. If I’m not mistaken, every time she has been in the bottom, she has escaped the bottom 2 — very interesting. I wonder if she can find her way back to the top. I’m not seeing much by the way of improvement or growth from her the past few weeks, and she really is doing the same coat over and over again. And with this being a 2-day challenge, I would have expected her dress to have looked way better since we know she can do a coat easily in a day, if even that.

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JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — Gorgeous killer heels!

Nathalia escaped elimination this week, I believe her ideas were her saving grace. She attempted to do a lot and pretty much each article of clothing was poorly constructed. Everything read too oversized. She listened to her mom and the idea was there, but not fully conceived with regard to execution. I wish her coat had been longer and more fitting. I didn’t love the concept of a bell-bottom pant either. Jenni has had some success in the top so I would have picked her to stay in this scenario, but with 2 friends making up the bottom, sadness was inevitable.

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SALLY BEAUTY SHOUTOUT — Lovely waves!

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So yes, with that, Jenni was out this week. Her look too had some construction issues, but a more major issue here was this look was not at all suited for her mom. It read “Jenni” 100%, but there wasn’t any adaptability to the client. I really wouldn’t see her mom wearing this at any of the events she mentioned. Jenni does have a strong aesthetic, but in terms of it being expansive and having the ability to be molded to different occasions, I’m just not sure she is there yet.

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Proj. Runway — Sally Beauty Challenge

I’m not sure if dubbing this episode as the “Sally Beauty Challenge” is 100% accurate, but Sally Beauty did play a major role this week. The designers met Tim Gunn and lead Sally Beauty stylist Gregory Patterson on the runway for all of the details!

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Gregory announced that Sally Beauty would be hosting a pop-up shop in NYC, more specifically in Soho. The designers’ looks would be showcased in the window displays and the the public would cast their vote for the winning looks. The public’s vote would count for 20% of the overall results. Three teams would be put together with 3 designers each. The separate teams would each be assigned a color palette to then create a 3-piece cohesive collection. Here were the team breakdowns —

Team Red Violet — Erin, Dexter, & Cornelius

Team New Neutral — Jenni, Nathalia, & Mah-Jing

Team Hues of Blue — Rik, Laurence, & Roberi

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Each team received a $600 budget for Mood and 1 day to create their collection. Naturally since this was a team challenge week, there was some workroom drama. Mah-jing initially felt left out of his group, but after Tim’s critique, they really came together. Cornelius felt left out of his group and never really jived with them as it soon became evident post runway.

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The designers were off to the pop-up shop to see how the public voted. It really came down to neutral versus blue, with Team New Neutral pulling out the win. Each team member received $500 to shop for Sally Beauty products. I kind of wish the judges had not known who the public voted for, although it didn’t seem to sway their scores. The judges went with Hues of Blue as the winner, leaving Red Violet as the bottom group.

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Joining this week’s judging panel was Kelly Osbourne. This was a hard runway I think to really label a “losing” group. I think Heidi said it correctly to Team Red Violet in that their looks were not all bad, but compared to the others, they did pale in comparison. I could see why new neutral won the NY public vote and it was a toss up for me between them and hues of blue. But I think if I had to choose, my winning team this week would have been New Neutral. But my favorite individual look would have been Roberi.

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With New Neutral, there was such a edgy, cool, street-chic vibe with this collection — also very boho chic. These tones could have been a bore, but this group made a neutral pop. I liked the great show quality here, but also wear-ability was a huge factor.

SHOUTOUTS — Sally Beauty for all, naturally with all of the highlights put in

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But as I mentioned, the judges selected Hues of Blue as the winning team. I love blue, so I did love most of what the designers did here. I really loved the plaid. Roberi was the winning designer of the group and I of course loved this decision. The sweater was intricate, very fashion-forward, but was also super practical. It worked on so many levels. And the skirt was also top notch.

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SHOUTOUTS — More lovely highlights from Sally Beauty, but I also loved the beauty look here from Mary Kay

Laurence’s look was also pretty great, especially the blazer. The pants were also nice as well, some stunning details as you looked closer. I was not as in love with Rik’s look as the judges were. I thought the dress was a little plain, a little basic. I recall Tim saying some of the pieces were a little simplistic and that was my thought with Rik’s dress. The plaid coat was okay, but it read a little thin to me. I didn’t look at it and think it would provide warmth compared to that say of Nathalia’s jacket.

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So of course, Team Red Violet was the bottom group, meaning Dexter, Erin, or Cornelius would go. Firstly, I would put out there that all 3 groups were made up of 2 friends. Any of these groups being in the bottom, I feel as if one designer due to friendship would have been the one picked to be eliminated, such as Erin and Dexter did with Cornelius. I don’t think I would have called them “Mean Girls” because we all knew they were friends and would leave Cornelius out in the cold. None of this being right of course, but was fairly predictable from the get-go.

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It did seem as if at first, Cornelius was not being listened to. I thought we were seeing a change here, but the one area that was not truly listened too was regarding the “too much read” comment. This was the biggest problem in my eyes for this group. The other groups had some breaks in the color. And with red being so bold, so bright, you would think a plan would have been executed on this. And then to further exacerbate the issue, the styling was also too red. For more on the direction of the collection, this did put Dexter in jeopardy. His look was also not that great. I felt a little underwhelmed. And when looking at all that Cornelius did, some at the direction of Erin it appeared, I think that is what made his look suffer.

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The judges were right to point out that Erin should have thought a bit more about her team here. She executed an excellent coat, but why would she not do more. I’m not sure of the episode slant in how it was portrayed that Erin & Dexter were goofing off quite a bit, but my thought is that if they weren’t talking and playing around, their wouldn’t have been enough footage to show on the matter. Cornelius did really get the raw end of the deal here, doing all of the work and then ultimately being sent home. Tim Gunn was right in that regard to save him as this was result was not the fairest of all. I was still a little upset Tim didn’t use the save a few weeks back, but Tim’s use here was the right thing.

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Proj. Runway & the Urban Jungle

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As PR began this week, we saw the designers taking a ride on the Rip Ride RockIt rollercoaster. But no episode of PR is about fun & games. As the “8 hours earlier” caption came on the screen, we were transported back to the runway, where the designers were chatting with Heidi. Heidi informed the designers they were going to recharge their batteries a bit, as they looked restless, and doing so by heading to Universal Studios in Orlando.

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There, the designers met up with Tim Gunn and Mike West, the Director of Design for Universal Creative Studio, recently creating “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.” Of course, the challenge instructions were then provided. The designers were to find inspiration from the theme park, the Skull Island jungle, and then create looks for the Urban Jungle, aka streetwear for NYC.

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The designers sketched at the park and then headed back to NYC to hit up Mood with a $200 budget. It was then back to the workroom to begin this 1-day challenge. The designers faced normal hiccups this week, lots of doubts and frantic flurries to finish up on time.

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Heidi announced at the start of the runway show that whomever won this week would hold the last immunity for the season. The guest judges for the streetwear runway were designer Rebecca Minkoff and actress Carly Chaikin.

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The judges’ top 3 was a little confusing. Dexter I assume was on the top, but certainly didn’t get love from all 5 judges. This has happened before, and it always makes me wonder how nobody else received a higher score to make the top 3. There were certainly a couple of other good looks. I thought Rik and Jenni did some good work, very strong streetwear pieces.

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I didn’t mind that Dexter was in the top, it’s just if he is going to be there, let’s get mostly praise, not crazed arguments. I thought this was elevated streetwear, definitely something different. The shorts were very tight, and that was my main critique.

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JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — Love these bright yellow heels!

The clear top 2 for the judges was between Nathalia and Laurence, ultimately with Laurence being selected as the winning designer. This was the right choice. Her jacket was fierce. Nathalia’s color palette was a little bland, so with Laurence, she at least had the great pop of color.

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Nathalia’s pieces were not all bad, despite the monotone color choices. I did appreciate that she made so many pieces and they all looked very well made. I wish she had instructed the model to take off the jacket on the runway because the top she made, it really had an interesting back. It would have added some dramatic flare to the whole look.

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JUSTFAB SHOUTOUT — Gorgeous earrings!

The bottom 3 consisted of Brik, Erin, & Cornelius. I really could have seen the bottom 2 going in all possible directions because they were pretty hard on all 3, but Erin escaped the bottom 2. She certainly was deserving of this bottom 3 placement. Last week, other looks could have ended up there over her. But here, it was a very different case. She really needs to start thinking of the challenge, and how to adapt her aesthetic a little better. So much time on this look made “0” sense. It makes one wonder in the next episode, will she get back to the top???

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I really wasn’t sure who was going home between Cornelius & Brik. Both had faults, but it seems as if when one designer does too much versus one who does too little, the one who does too little goes home. Thankfully that was not the case this week and Cornelius was saved. I didn’t have a problem with his pants, but the top was not only too basic, it was poorly constructed.

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SHOUTOUTS — SALLY BEAUTY & MARY KAYChic, sleek locks & a great pop of color on the lip!

This meant Brik was the one out and I had no problem with this. I have not been a fan of his work this season and kind of thought his elimination was long overdue. I agreed with pretty much all of what the judges said — mismatch of prints, it was too much, and there were some construction issues.

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SHOUTOUTS — SALLY BEAUTY, MARYKAY & JUSTFAB Love the heels, stunning beauty look, and this updo is beautiful!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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++.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 —

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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SHOUTOUT — Mary Kay, lovely beauty look

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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.

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

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Proj. Runway — Blacklight Fashion

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!?!

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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!

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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!!

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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JustFab shoutout — dig the bright red heels!

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Mary Kay shoutout — Clean and chic

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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!

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

PR — The Finale

So yes, finally getting around to blogging about the final eps of Project Runway and definitely just happy to get it over with at this point. I got behind on the episodes, but ultimately, I wasn’t feeling these final few shows of the season, all in all, quite disappointing. And the way everything ended up with the final 4, it certainly wasn’t making me jump to my computer to blog away. But as an avid PR fan, blog away, I must, and I did want to applaud one designer I was happy with this season — Kelly. She was my winner for the season. More on that later, but first, a bit on the episode before the finale (yep, definitely not dedicating 2 separate posts for this finale!).

pr14-ep13-episode15So of course as the almost finale began, it was clear Edmond would be saved, despite the edit attempts of it all being drawn out. Tim Gunn save used. The designers were headed home with 9k to create a 10 look collection. The Tim visit of course came sooner rather than later and the designers were quite eager.

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Tim advised Ashley to keep her hand natural when designing and not to go too matronly. For Candice, he made sure to warn her about over-designing, to keep an editing eye. Kelly found a fan in Tim, but he asked that she make sure her looks had a luxe feel, not to go the cheap route. And finally, with Edmond, he was left with a lot of work to do as not much had been accomplished.

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The designers were back to NY, Kelly feeling as if she was done, while Edmond still had 3 looks to complete and he was not even unpacking! Tim came by shortly after everyone had settled into the workroom. He told the designers they would present 3 looks to the judges for feedback. However, one of those looks had to be brand spankin’ new, created just in that 1 day. The designers were then headed to Mood with a budget of $250, which could be used in any way to enhance their collection. At Mood, we saw some zipper wars and Edmond somehow racking up a whopping $395, way over budget!! It was then again Tim-time.

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Tim instructed Kelly to think of proportion and Ashley received this same critique. With Edmond, it was all about what to present to the judges. And with Candice, there was worry over cohesion. So at this point I would cut to the judges’ critique on the 3-look presentation, but I will save that for my final discussion on each collection. So instead, I will skip to the next segment right before the final collections were presented at Fashion Week. After the judges’ critiques, the designers had 2 days to get to work and many had lots of work to do, well…..according to the judges.

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The final episode of the season began with Tim allowing the designers to hit up Mood once more. Tim himself would do the shopping. Ashley & Kelly only took part, with no objection from Candice or Edmond. Tim later went over the judges’ notes with each designer. Brian Bolain of Lexus popped in to let the designers know they could make use of 2 Lexus coops to arrive in style for their shows. Lots of last minute craziness was of course occurring in this episode. But as per usual, everything seemed to go off without a hitch. And the guest judge on the presentations of the final 4 was country music superstar Carrie Underwood.

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So without further delay, let’s get to the most important part of the finale of PR — the fashion week presentations. Ashley won, but I am going to begin with my choice for the winner, Kelly!

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After the judges’ initial critiques I was afraid Kelly would drastically change up her collection as Candice did and that would have been such a shame. Kelly is a really cool designer and this is a very hip collection. I am not sure I can rock all of Kelly’s looks, but they do make me kind of want to try. Kelly is all about experimentation and she very much makes me want to experiment with my own fashion choices.

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Kelly was the designer who stayed most true to herself. She has such a clear vision. She has a type of girl and this girl will go and buy these pieces. She has a unique spirit and you can see that in her work. Her styling was also very spot on, just such great work on the accessories, the hair (Sally Beauty), and the makeup (Mary Kay) — it was all spectacular.

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When it came down to the judges thoughts, early on, Nina was quick to quip that she couldn’t tell what garment was made in only a day, because what she saw, it was hard to tell. She also said that this didn’t feel like a collection that was 9k worth. How the judges could think this, but somehow feel as if their winner Ashley’s collection looked like 9k, mind boggling! Like seriously! I think the tip to amp up the styling was a good thought, but overall, Kelly was lacking in judges’ support and the producers when it would come to naming her as the winner. There were other plans in mind!

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But overall I applaud Kelly for staying true to herself all season. She was a dark horse and coming in 2nd was a huge accomplishment for her. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this talented lady in the future!

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I wish Candice had channeled some Kelly vibes when it came to her final presentation. I will still keep an eye out for Candice in the future, but her major downfall in this finale was listening to the judges in their initial critique. Her collection could have used some downplay, but taking out most, if not all of the drama, spice, and intrigue was a major mistake. She had some highlights still, but her moment felt much more blah without the full on Candice I’m sure we all wanted to see.

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If the winner was always going to be Ashley, even if Candice had gone full on in her presentation, it wouldn’t have gotten her the win, but it would have made her way more memorable. Having seen what was there before, it just really made me want more. I really just wanted to see that big ole’ dress she made, hoop skirt and all walk the runway!

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And I think the last minute changes led to some of what the judges later critiqued on, which was fit issues. I’m not sure what the judges were going on about with cohesion. I totally still saw Candice in what she presented. And had she done it the way she initially intended, I think the cohesive elements would have in fact been stronger.

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I’m sure she will present again and I’m sure she will not let anyone hold her back this time! But another great bit of work here from the Mary Kay team, Sally Beauty squad, and Just Fab accessories!

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Edmond, sadly, was the throwaway of the final 4. He started out so strong this season, but started to lag in the final few challenges. Tim Gunn had a save to use and thus he was saved. But based on this collection, it was not needed. The judges’ critiques early on were about ampin’ up the sexy vibe they had come to know from Edmond. But that was my biggest issue I had with his final pieces — where and who was Edmond??

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I’m not sure based off these final pieces if I could pick an Edmond original out in the future. This collection left me wondering who he is as a designer. There were some pretty dresses here, but nothing inventive or too creative. In fact, the one piece I adored the most from Edmond, below, is the one I see as the least like him of the bunch.

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More gorgeous work from Mary Kay, Sally Beauty and the Just Fab accessories!

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This work reminded me of Edmond’s Just Fab challenge win — the sexy red dress. It was a gorgeous dress, so sexy, so wearable, but a bit of a snooze-fest in the way of being unique. Nothing really here knocked me out of my socks or was that intriguing. I wasn’t taking too many 2nd glances. I’m sure a lot of women would want to wear some of these dresses, but likely wouldn’t know who they were wearing. It wouldn’t me memorable enough for them to want repeat looks by the designer.

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This leaves us with discussing the winner of Project Runway this season, Ashley. I have loved so many of Ashley’s looks this season. But as the season dwindled down, I became less and less of a fan. There always seemed to be so much drama and so many tears. I was kind of over it after a bit. And then came her final presentation — a first ever for PR, a plus size collection. I applaud the effort and I was happy she went for it, but to me, she came up sub-par.

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I know I am not the only one to think this or to even say it, but Ashley won this season solely so PR could get the headline — “First plus-size designer wins PR.” It was all about the press and the headline because it surely wasn’t about these pieces. It was an okay collection, but there were so many fit issues and so many flaws. There were very few standouts. I was also unimpressed by the repetition — lots of crop tops and skirts — yawnnnnnn!

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And the only way I think 9k was utilized on this collection was because of the headpieces. They were gorgeous and looked more thought out than some of pieces. But yes, we sure had to hear enough about them. I think Ashley missed out by not using any prints, but many of these pieces didn’t feel luxe to me. And I again point out the flaws — all of the shorts were so ill-fitting.

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The color palette didn’t lend a hand in that department either, so many baby pinks and light teals, left the collection lacking in a rich, special quality. The exception is this look below, which was oddly enough the one she banged out in a day. The deep color was beautiful and the overall quality was heightened.

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One other standout was the floral motif skirt below and it was a bit of a showpiece, but one of very few that looked like work was put into it and even some of that 9k.

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I digress again, it seemed as if the end was predetermined — that a larger vision was in the midst. It’s happened before where the winner was a bit questionable and I’m sure it will happen again in the future. But for an overall disappointing season, I didn’t expect much here.

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A final rant/note then on reunion episode, which of course was filled with some laughs, drama, and intriguing aspects. But of course the focus was back to the most drama-filled episode this season, we all know it, the “Mean Girls” episode. And yes, I use quotation marks because I questioned the episode back then and still question the big deal over it now. I loved that it was pointed out that the girls were all being judged, yet none of the guys got called out for not picking Ashley. I don’t care if they had a plan to not do so. If she was such a great designer, one whom everyone should have wanted to work with, how only the female cast should take the blame is beyond ridiculous. She didn’t lend much to the creative process and her look was pretty much crap that week. It was one of the worst ones, so she should have taken some heat on this. She had already gotten one free ride from the Hallmark challenge, so to see her put out another bad look on the runway was clearly an issue in my opinion. It seemed to me as if all of a sudden, just this episode, those few girls were dubbed as mean girls, no mention of this before and really there was no evidence of anything shown in the episode where these girls were badmouthing Ashley or treating her so poorly. If the drama was there, the producers would have shown more. It was such a stretch. And then poof, it was all soon forgotten. No more mean girls the rest of the season, yet somehow, in the reunion episode, it was all brought up again.

Very much ready at this point for All-stars, next season, anything to get true competitive juices flowing again!

Project Runway is Back in Action!!

And as always for the 1st episode, there is lots to report! Lots of designers. Lots of looks to grace the 1st runway. And lots of other show details from designer intros to workroom beginnings. So let’s get right to it with the 1st challenge of season 14!

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Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn met the group of 16 designers at Madison Square Garden to give them their challenge details. It was nothing out of the ordinary, very typical for a PR 1st challenge. The designers had 1 day to create any garment of their choosing, as long as it represented their designer POV. There were a few tiny catches — limited fabrics (courtesy of Mood) and only 3 minutes to shop, and by shop I mean to run around Madison Square Garden as the fabrics were scattered over the arena, draped over the seats. Each designer could only take 4 textiles. And since the designers were only provided with a limited number of fabrics, these choices could be ones the designers would not typically work with or might not be familiar with using.

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The designers got a little crazed running around the arena, lots of snatching and definitely some aggressive behavior. But it was then off to the workroom where everyone got settled into their workstations with some friendly hellos and getting to know each other a little better. The mood of the room came down quite a bit though with some of the designers questioning their fabric choices and a major PR first!

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Three designers, David, Swapnil, and Merline, did not bring their designer kits. Needless to say, Tim was shocked as this had never happened before on PR. Those designers were left to the kindness of their fellow castmates. I’m assuming everyone was given a helping hand as nobody seemed to have any further issues. A bit of other drama from this 1st episode, #projectmusical. Merline was singing about the workroom, definitely being dubbed as the season chatterbox. All fellow designers seemed quite annoyed to say the least!

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The fun and laughter came to a quick end as Tim Time came around. There was a mixture of nervous designers, questions from Tim, and even some praise. Notably Tim had a disconnect with Edmond and some disagreements with Hanmiao. But overall, Tim left the designers with some firm notes. He was very disappointed and wanted the designers to turn their lumps of coal into diamonds!

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As time for the first runway rolled around, it was also time for some of the season’s intros. The entire runway and set for the runway had been re-invented. Accessories this year were provided by JustFab. Mary Kay Cosmetics were back to provide makeup services. And new for this year, Sally Beauty was on board to work as the hair team.

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As in previous seasons, the runway was being judged “anonymously” and the Tim Gunn save would return. The 1st guest judge of the season to join Heidi, Nina, and Zac was Hannah Davis, model and soon to be host of PR Junior.

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With regard to the massive 1st runway, I was not in total agreement with Heidi’s statement that it was so spectacular. There was definitely some highlights, but I kind of agreed with Tim’s earlier sentiment of disappointment. Many of the safe designers were just that, lucky to be safe. The bottom 3 I couldn’t say I disagreed with, but I believe a few other designers could have easily found themselves to be in the bottom. I will give one honorable mention that was in my top, but forgotten by the judges, and that was Swapnil’s sassy royal blue frock. I love this color choice and the bodice was intricately created and detailed. In the midst of mediocrity, Swapnil certainly stood out for me.

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Another quick honorable mention, Amanda. The more and more I look at her design, the more and more I like it. But what I wanted to point out was a shout-out for her work with Mary Kay and Sally Beauty. We see a lot of updos on PR, so to see a fresh, gorgeous hair look that is down, I had to give some props here. But also, I thought the sunkist, bronzed beauty look was a great pairing with her flirty, girly, fun look.

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Ashley was the clear winner though this week. This look was so chic, very fashionable. I can’t imagine any young fashionista wouldn’t be over the moon to wear this piece!

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Ashley not only created a rave look, but she stood out with hair and makeup as well. This lovely chignon updo by Sally Beauty was spot on. And the bold burgundy lip by Mary Kay was a great touch.

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I was 100% in agreement with the judges here, top 3 placement and winning look. I loved that Nina pointed out the texture. This was so impressive for a 1st look and I’m happy Ashley was given immunity for next week. But I would hope she doesn’t need it!

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The other 2 designers in the top I was more on the fence about. Edmond’s black tube dress with a train, showcasing a bright neon color, was very much a turnaround from Tim time. But I’m not sure about the neon fabric on the train as Hannah pointed out as well. In fact, several of the designers made use of a yellow under-fabric so I’m guessing it might have been the most prevalent of the fabric choices at Madison Square Garden. Clearly Mood was trying to get rid of this busy color! I believe it was Nina that was quick to remind her fellow judges that this was not overly innovative, a tube dress with a train. I might have responded differently without the neon color, maybe a royal purple or cobalt blue, but I get that Edmond was working with what he had. I appreciate his ability to “make it work”!

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Merline rounded out the top 3 this week, but I was not so gaga over this one. I loved the use of color. And there were some nice details, but I just wasn’t over the moon here. Just as with Edmond though, I know Merline did a lot to make this work. I would just hope for the future we see less chat and more work. It will only serve to improve her work.

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Nobody wants to be the first to go, but this is PR and each week there is a bottom 3 and one must go. Of the bottom 3, I was so surprised to see Blake become a part of this, so I’m happy he was saved. I loved Blake’s audition pieces, so I certainly didn’t want him axed first. This print could be a lot to take, but I think it was a bold, daring choice, which I applaud him for. However, there was a lot going on here and with such a busy print, too much wasn’t going to work. And again, we see this god awful yellow color as part of an under-fabric, which really didn’t make much sense. So I don’t disagree with the judges on this one, but I’m hopeful we will see better from Blake in the future!

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This left Hanmiao and Duncan in the bottom 2. The judges felt Duncan didn’t do enough and when it comes down to designers not doing enough versus doing too much, the one who doesn’t do enough generally goes home. What saved Hanmiao was the judges did get her aesthetic, which was not a vibe they received from Duncan. I actually believe if Hanmiao had ditched the jacket she would have been safe. The dress on it’s own wasn’t altogether terrible, but with the matchy-matchy coat, it was too much. The dress still had some issues, but I’m guessing with sole focus on the dress, it might have been better. I know she demonstrated a stubborn side with Tim, but Duncan firmly stood by his design with the judges. On top of doing too little, it just wasn’t going to clearly work out in saving Duncan.

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Duncan selected a stunning bun updo, which I loved for this look. I also liked the back. But other than that, this gown was a hot mess. If you are going to just drape, you have to do so superbly. And this wasn’t it. Duncan accepted his elimination well though; he left with his head held high.

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