PR Designers Order Classics with a Side of Modern Twists

pr14-ep4-episode3So before the designers headed off on their 1st trip this season to Mood, they met with Tim & Mary Kay global makeup artist Luis Casco on a NYC dock. Why?!? To receive their challenge of course! The challenge this week was to take a classic design and add a modern, unique twist to it. Meeting on the dock was to allow the designers the chance to take in the gorgeous city views as inspiration. In addition, as Luis was there to provide the challenge details, this of course meant it was a Mary Kay challenge. Each designer would receive a makeup consultation to give their modern designs a modern beauty amplification.  And finally, to incentivize the designers (which I think was needed!), the winning design would receive a cash prize of $5k and their look would be featured in a Mary Kay ad in Marie Claire magazine.


The designers had 30 minutes to sketch and then it was off to Mood with 45 minutes to shop and a budget of $250. Tim reminded the designers as they got back to the workroom to be mindful of time as this was a 1 day challenge, but they also had to do meetings with him, consultations with Luis, and of course do their model fittings. As the designers started working, we saw Gabrielle anxiously awaiting for Tim to come by and Amanda in doubt. I totally got where Amanda was coming from with being in the bottom so much. I stick by what I’ve said in previous recaps though, Amanda should not have been in the bottom 2 for the Hallmark challenge and her bottom 3 placement last week was ridiculous. Not being in the bottom would have been a much needed confidence booster for her!


Tim-time highlights, Swapnil going from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Breakfast in Vegas! Also, Blake was baffling Tim! But overall, Tim was energized about the work he was seeing! For model fittings, Laurie was given a new model — not sure why?? But much sooner, rather than later, the morning of the runway came about and it was chaos as usual. Gabrielle was having sewing machine troubles, while Blake was dealing with cuts and blood stains on his garment. Yikes!


This week’s guest judge was Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka!


I was actually quite impressed with the runway this week. I had a hard time myself picking a top 3. Most of the judges’ top 3 was understandable, but my top 3 consisted of Candice, Ashley, and Laurie.


I saw Ashley’s look come down the runway and I was like, Wow, so pretty! This was feminine, fashionable, and the back was GORGEOUS! I think the skirt could have worked a tad shorter, but overall, this look was super impressive! Shout-outs — JustFab for the stunning accessories, killer heels & coordinating white clutch; Sally Beauty for hair, lovely side-swept wavy do; & Mary Kay for the beauty look, very natural, slight cat eye, love it!


Laurie’s look was also a stand-out for me. I loved the volume on the top and the eye-catching print for the pencil skirt. Heads would definitely turn as this look walked the streets! Shout-outs — JustFab for the sexy heels and oversized envelope clutch


The judges top 3 differed from my own, as did their winner. Hands down, Candice should have won this week! How the judges picked Blake’s look over this one is mind-boggling to me. This look was bad ass, phenomenal jacket, and what a fit!


The best part, not only was it a great look, but it was also well-made, unlike the winning look. Come on judges, let’s reward execution as well as design!


Shout-outs — JustFab, love the heels! Also Mary Kay, love this bold red lip!


Even though Swapnil was not in my top 3, he still did an amazing job this week. And with the judges’ top 3, this should have at least came in 2nd! I love a LBD and I would for sure rock this one. It was super sexy and the back was quite alluring. I love when a look is captivating from all angles.


Blake rounded out the top 3 and was the winning look. I’m still not sure how this happened. I don’t think Blake should have gone home, but he even thought his look was in the bottom. That should kind of tell you something. If he couldn’t even be confident at first, how should we as viewers buy that this was not just in the top 3, but also the winning look??


The judges even admitted this look was poorly constructed, which even further confuses the result for me. I am eager to see more from Blake and I’ve loved a lot of what he has done this season. His look last week was my winning look and was far more deserving than this dress. I’m sure it will photograph well and the color use was great, but still not a winning look for me.


Shout-out, Sally Beauty, spectacular fishtail braid!

Before getting to the bottom, let’s look at the rest of the safe designs. Kelly’s look was quite interesting this week. I was impressed that she made a great pair of pants, especially after seeing so many horrific ones last week. But the more I look at her top, the more I love it. The styling threw me a bit, but this top had such great details, making it more than just a shirt & a pair of pants.


I will give Joseph & Merline some credit this week for showing signs of improvement. They really needed to at this point. Joseph’s black look was well-made and had a great fit. It wasn’t overly brilliant, but better than his previous work so good for him. Merline did amazing work with this jacket. I couldn’t fully see what was going on underneath the jacket, so not sure of my feelings there, but again, a vast improvement from not just last week, but all of her previous work.

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Shout-out — Sally Beauty, love Joseph’s messy updo

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Edmond did a good job, little short, but much better than last week. Not top 3 material, but I appreciate a comeback. Jake’s look on the other hand was was a trainwreck. It was way too short and there was nothing innovative or original about this look at all. Hello, Tom Ford!! Shout-out to him with Sally Beauty though, love the sexy, gorgeous waves!


Lindsey came in third from the bottom. I pegged this as a bottom look as well. I don’t think she should have gone home, but my notes here were that the skirt could have been shorter and more of a crop for the crop top. I didn’t get the pairing of these 3 pieces. If the focus was on the inner pieces versus the outer, then I say ditch the outerwear. The judges were correct in saying that this ready as thick and it did swallow the model. Shout-outs Mary Kay for this stunning burgundy lip & Sally Beauty for another pretty side-swept wavy do!


I actually feel bad for Amanda at this point. Clearly the judges, producers, or someone does not like this girl. Why did they put her on the show then! I mean 3 weeks at the bottom, that is a lot. I think of all her bottom 3 placements, this was the most deserving, but seeing Jake escape the bottom then in light of the judges’ critiques this week, I’m baffled. I have seen Amanda’s previous work and I know she is better than this look. I actually plan to see her presentation with the House of Perna for NYFW in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait! I will continue my support of her despite the judges’ misguided bottom placements.


This left Gabrielle being eliminated this week. If I had it my way, Jake would have gone. So for everyone being upset over her early elimination, I believe the better answer or solution was not Amanda then being eliminated, but rather Jake. Gabrielle’s jacket was not that bad, but it was not a saving grace for the overall look.


The white dress was so basic and to then not be well-made was not a good thing. I hate seeing her go at this point, but I’m eager to continue to follow her work outside of the show. But from her body of work, I didn’t see her making top 3.


Shout-outs — JustFab for the metallic silver heels; Sally Beauty for the beautiful loose updo and Mary Kay for a stunning beauty look, nude lip & smoky eye.

Project Runway Returns!

hp-images-pr14-newLifetime’s hit reality series, Project Runway, is back for it’s 14th season this Thursday, August 6th!! As an avid fan, I know I am excited!! How about you?!? I wanted to put together a little intro piece for this exciting event, discuss the designers, the season details, and more! So for all you PR fanatics just like me, ENJOY!!


There are 16 designers coveting and competing for the PR title this season. Not only is the competition for the title, but a host of prizes including:

  • $100,000 to launch his or her business
  • a Celebrity Cruises® modern luxury vacation
  • a year’s worth of products courtesy of Sally Beauty
  • the opportunity to consult with Sally Beauty to create a limited edition “FingerPaints” nail color collection
  • a 2015 Lexus RC 350
  • a complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery
  • a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, and
  • from Mary Kay, an entire year’s worth of beauty products for their fashion shows and professional makeup artist services for their debut show.


In addition to the always impressive and talented judges, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and mentor Tim Gunn (and his save!), top names in the entertainment industry sitting as guest judges this season include: Bella Thorne, Kiernan Shipka, Tracee Ellis Ross, Paula Patton, Ashley Tisdale, Shiri Appleby, Constance Zimmer, Ciara, Mel B, Coco Rocha, Lisa Perry, and Hannah Davis.

So let’s meet the designers —

Amanda Perna: 28, Delray Beach, FL


Amanda’s studies included The University of Alabama, as well as a first internship with Oscar de la Renta. Her strengths, putting together cohesive collections, mixing colors and prints, as well as thinking outside the box.



More on Amanda & her brand The House of Perna

Gabrielle Arruda: 27, New York, NY 


Gabrielle hails from NYC and studied at the infamous Parsons, The New School for Design. Her strengths include time management and designing pieces that reflect her style and accomplish the task at hand. She has a modern and feminine sensibility infused into her designs.

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More on Gabrielle

Hanmiao Yang: 27, New York, NY


Hanmiao’s strengths include being a fast learner and time management. She pays attention to detail, can work under stress, is a problem solver, and being a multi-tasker.

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More on Hanmiao

Edmond Newton: 37, Atlanta, GA


Edmond’s strengths lie with evening wear & high fashion. He’s been trying to get on since season 1, is this is time??

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More on Edmond

Jake Wall: 36, San Francisco, CA


Jake’s strengths include that he is a fast learner, impeccable with time management, pays attention to detail, can work under stress, is a problem solver, and can multi-task.



More on Jake

Joseph Charles Poli: 37, Las Vega, NV


Designer strengths include creating a strong silhouette, fit and tailoring.



More on Joseph

Blake Patterson: 24, Los Angeles, CA


Designer strengths include designs, fabric selections, craftsmanship, and creating something amazing!

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More on Blake

Swapnil Shinde: 34, Mumbai, India



With a 4th time in auditioning, Swapnil is ready to show off his exquisite skills in patternmaking.


More on Swapnil —

Merline Labissiere: 32, Savannah, GA


Merline attended SCAD. She is very conceptual, tending to think outside the box, both with designs and the colors she uses. Architectural elements come out in the way Merline designs patterns.



More on Merline

Laurie Underwood: 29, Chicago, IL


Her designer strengths include creating looks that allow women to stand out, while fitting in at the same time.



More on Laurie — (brand is Wanda Grace)

Lindsey Creel: 28, Austin, TX


Lindsey feels she is strongest with patternmaking, sewing, and ready-to-wear.

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More on Lindsey, M.E. Shirley

Candice Cuoco: 27, San Francisco, CA


Candice was honored to win the SF Best Emerging Designer in 2013 and nominated for Designer of the Year in 2014. She feels and interprets everything deeply. “Women are emotional creatures and to pay close attention to the meaning behind why I create is my strength.”

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More on Candice, House of CCUOCO

Ashley Nell Tipton: 24, San Diego, CA


Designer strengths include sewing construction, thinking outside of the box, and problem solving.

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More on Ashley

David Giampiccolo: 31, Hollywood, CA


David is highly client centric, focused, and based, so he strives to make my designs comfortable and mix street wear with a touch of couture.



More on David

Duncan Chambers-Watson: 25, Auckland, New Zealand


Duncan’s designer strengths are tailoring, knitwear and patternmaking.

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Kelly Dempsey: 31, Boston, MA


Kelly is confident, with a designer strength in that of creating her own individuality, picking and choosing what she wanted to learn along the way, leading her to the designer she is today.

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More on Kelly with Keli Couture