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.

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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……

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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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!

PRAS Designers Get Personal this Week

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That’s right! The designers got very personal this week, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Everyone was off to the Hearst Building, home of PRAS partner Marie Claire, to receive the challenge details. To provide these details, Alyssa was joined by creative director of Marie Claire Nina Garcia and Zales VP of Marketing Scott Davies.

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Davies introduced Zales’ past, present, and future jewelry collection. In fact, the winner of the challenge would win a $10,000 Zales gift card and a diamond pendant from this collection, worth $15,000. The “past, present, future” element carried over into this week’s challenge. The designers had to create a colorful party dress inspired by their personal relationships, their own journey with love. Each look needed to incorporate an element representing the designers’ past, present, and future with regard to love and relationships.

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You would think with such a pricey prize package at stake PRAS could have afforded a little more than a mere $100 Mood budget. With that in mind and only a 1-day challenge at hand, I was very impressed by what the designers created. At Mood, we quickly knew we would be in store for lots of red looks! And of course with the challenge being so personal in nature, we would hear many designer tales about their love lives. There were stories of happiness, such as with Kate’s marriage to a life-long friend and companion. But there were also some quite sad memories being brought back up, such as with Helen’s on & off again boyfriend struggles, or Gunnar trying to work thru a recent split.

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It was then time for Zanna-time. She reminded the designers to add surprising elements into their looks, there needed to be a Wow-factor! We got to see how creative Justin was being with his hand-prints painted treatment. I was impressed, just as Zanna was. As Zanna was departing she let the designers know she still felt as if their looks could be a little more representative of their personal journeys; there needed to be more vulnerability.

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Generally it’s after Zanna-time that a designer might be prompted to change up their look. But for Kate, this happened after her model fitting. She wanted to create a more sexier outfit so she began making changes. But with the morning of the runway, Kate was not the only one still scrambling away with last minute changes and work.

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The judging panel this week consisted of Nina Garcia, filling in for Georgina Chapman who was missing again. But we also had 2 guest judges, fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat, and last season’s PRAS winner Seth Aaron Henderson.

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The designers put on a fairly impressive runway and Zales took note of that as well. In addition to an already amazing prize for the winner of the challenge, each designer would receive a $1000 gift card — SUPER NICE & KIND OF ZALES! While the runway put a smile on my face, the judges baffled me somewhat this week, so let’s just get right to it, looking at the top 3 and winner for the week.

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Helen being in the top this week was confusing for me. I wouldn’t have put her in the bottom or have sent her home, but this dress seemed kind of boring to me, so for me, a safe look should be just that, Safe! But the judges flipped over Helen’s red dress and not only was she in the top 3, but she also won. Hearing the judges and Helen talk about the elements of her dress and how it reflected the “past, present, future” part of the challenge sort of began making sense. I found her dress to be a little more interesting. But I still don’t think this look was enough of a wow-factor to make it a winning number.

Chi Hair Care shout-out — this is such an exquisite and gorgeous up-do!

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I was even further baffled that there was so much debate between Isaac and Nina over who should win this week. I guess I just didn’t get it with Helen’s look. But I will give a shout-out for the Mary Kay beauty look, love this bold, deep red lip!

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Once again, the judges were in a heated debate over who should win between Helen and Sonjia. And with that, I would have picked Sonjia. I’m not sure that right when I saw this look that I was totally head over heels for it, but the way the burgundy lace worked with the cobalt blue under-garment, there was something very eye-catching about it. Zanna gave Sonjia some great advice about making sure her look wasn’t too matronly. I think she turned it around very well, but I still felt as if there was a slight matronly vibe in play. The judges flipped over the back of the look, but I’m not sure why.

Chi hair care shout-out for another stunning up-do!

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Sonjia created a very intriguing look this week. She was very smart, picking such an interesting lace fabric with eye-catching details, and then taking that eye-catching appeal even further by pairing the burgundy lace with the cobalt blue. QVC shout-out for these perfectly coordinating cobalt blue heels. Also, Mary Kay makeup shout-out for another gorgeous bold burgundy lip.

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But once again, all in all, Dmitry would have been my winner this week, just as I pegged him as my winner last week. Come on judges, two times now, let’s show Dmitry some love! But thankfully, he’s at least still making top 3 so that is good! When Dmitry first said he was working with vinyl, and that it was his first time ever doing so, I was a little scared. But his work with it was freakin’ awesome. The incorporation of vinyl panels made his dress stand-out; I was intrigued. This look had such an impeccable fit. It was sexy, but still tasteful.

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The debate between Nina & Isaac over the flounce, I’m not sure what side I land on. Is it my favorite aspect of this dress? No. But I think if it were to not be there, the dress might have been more hoochie, or like another bodycon dress you could find at Bebe. Chi hair care shout-out, love this side-swept braided look, gorgeous!

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So for the most part, the top 3 made sense, exception being the winner. I will also say the bottom 3 made sense, with the exception of Benjamin being a part of it. I loved his flowy gold dress. First off, in a sea of red, pink, and purple, it was commendable he went with gold. I also thought his work was very much the epitome of a party dress. This should not have been in the bottom 3, especially over some other questionable looks that came down the runway.

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We have to also do a minute love-fest on this back detailing. I mean come on, this is stunningly gorgeous! I got what Isaac was saying about not wearing chains then, but those can easily come off.

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Thankfully though, Benjamin was not in the bottom 2 so the judges at least got something right after wrongfully placing him in the bottom to begin with. He was thinking outside of the box by not going with red like so many others did. I love this dress so I say to Benjamin, Great job!

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I’m going to move onto the designer who went home, Kate. Because as much as I disagreed with Benjamin being in the bottom, I too fully disagree with Kate being sent home. I knew Kate was going to be in trouble this week. She changed up her design last minute. And then there were some obvious execution issues since she was running low on time. The judges also didn’t love her use of a neutral color.

Chi hair care shout-out, lovely up-do.

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The bottom was messy, but the top beading work was beautiful. I think this should have been enough to save her this week. Gunnar was the other bottom 2 look this week and I just didn’t see a saving grace with his look. I also think his execution issues by far surpassed that of Kate’s issues. QVC shout-out, killer gold sandal heels.

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I do love Gunnar, just not this dress. He spent so much time on these details of his dress, the flaps, but it all just came across as messy. The backside was even worse than the front, just so sloppy looking. Gunnar was trying to convey chaos and this look was chaotic, just not in a good way.

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I think the slight popping out of the printed fabric he chose was a commendable element, but I was disappointed this dress just had so much wrong going on. And again, I love Gunnar and didn’t want him to go. But over Kate, he should have been out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Runway, Ep. 1 — Stunned, Shocked, & Speechless!!

**SIDE NOTE: Since PR is all about showing at NYFW, I have a free GIVEAWAY opportunity that is all about NYFW — 2 VIP Passes & a $3000 Visa Giftcard — Full details here!!

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aka Dazed & Confused! Of course, as a blogger, we know I’m not speechless, but I’m certainly all of the other alliterative “S” adjectives I mentioned above, along with a few others in fact! Despite the shock value, it was still a great Project Runway premiere night. I enjoyed watching the full 2 and a 1/2 hours. I hadn’t watched the “meet the designer” videos on Lifetime’s website so I really enjoyed the intro episode prior to the Season 13 premiere. It was great seeing that so many designers had really persevered to get where they are today and to make it on PR, whether it was from repeat auditions or a “rags to stitches” tale. And just as I mentioned in my own introductory PR post, it was hard to tell who would leave during this 1st episode. I had some hunches, but this was just one of the many shockers I was in store for during this premiere!

pr13-ep1-episode12                                      pr13-ep1-episode13So of the 18 new designers, sadly, 3 were quickly eliminated. Each designer presented a few pieces to the firing squad, aka “the judges”, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, & Zac Posen. I’m assuming the designers presented their audition pieces, basically showcasing who they are as a designer. So my first shock of the night came from who went home right off the bat!

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You could definitely tell there were some early judges’ faves. But personally, I was very surprised that both Emmanuel & Tim were cut. Maybe one, but both?? Heck, when I wrote my intro post, two of the six images I used were from them. I wouldn’t say I pegged them as potential winners, but something about their previous work did catch my eye! I wasn’t quite as shocked by Nzinga’s elimination, but I still applaud a designer who has a clear POV; it just wasn’t the judges’ POV.

pr13-ep1-episode8                   pr13-ep1-episode5                   pr13-ep1-episode9But we are still very early on in the PR process and that is how the PR cookie crumbles — each week, one designer must go. We just started this season off a bit differently, with 4 gone by the 1st episode’s end. But as we bidded adieu to three designers, one was “welcomed” to the fold. America casted their votes for the Runway Redemption candidates, Ken Laurence (Season 12), Alexander Pope (Season 12), and Amanda Valentine (Season 11). I’m generally not a fan of mixing new cast members with old ones, and this is for any competitive reality show. But I always considered Season 11 a bit unfair; it was very different than every other season. And I think if the designers weren’t forced to work in groups the entire season and further, were not eliminated based on those groupings, the season might have turned out differently. So just as I rooted for Katelyn Pankoke to come back last season, my choice this year was Amanda Valentine, and it was for the same reason. So I was very happy Amanda was the one chosen! With 16 designers ready to go, it was time for them to get their 1st challenge!

The designers were to create one piece this week that would give the judges a glimpse of what their Spring 2015 collection might look like. There was of course a huge twist though, “a trunk of doom!” Each designer was given a trunk with 5 fabric options, not likely their 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd choices! The designers didn’t have the same fabrics so they were left to just create or get to bartering! I think the other designers didn’t want to give the vet much help though, so it seemed as if Amanda wasn’t able to play the trade-game. And as per PR usual, the challenge only allowed for one day so the designers were off to quickly work! Tim was also back to his norm PR mentor status, giving a great mix of helpful advice.

pr13-ep1-episode15                       pr13-ep1-episode23Back in the workroom we were already seeing a few gossip sessions going on, mainly Mitchell & Korina — highly doubt they will be the only ones though! Mitchell redeemed himself somewhat, very nice of him to help out Sandhya when he finished his look. There were very interesting moments during the model fittings this week — many designers not ready and making some determinations as to what could be hanging out a little (side-boob, etc.)! The most stress and time management issues came from Angela & Sandhya this week, but no worries, no naked models went down the runway! Sooner rather than later it was time for the runway show. Heidi announced the Tim Gunn save would be back this season and that the prize package this year was over $300K. The judges were joined this week by Emmy award winning “Modern Family” actress Julie Bowen. With so many designers presenting this week, it had to be tough naming a top and bottom 3. It was no surprise that this was where even more shockers came to fruition.

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There were certainly a lot of safe looks this week. Many will have to step it up — I will hold off on names for now! But two looks I thought stood out and I was surprised weren’t given any top contention, were Korina’s tomato red look & Sean’s chic knee-length dress, pure minimalism at its best. I guess that is what happens though when you have 4 different judges scoring 16 designers!

pr13-rr-ep1-sk-f     PR1301-Korina-Emmerich-1-900x1350The bottom 3 wasn’t so surprising, but because of its unpredictability with so many designers, I was going to be shocked no matter who went home. Angela’s 2-piece look certainly had some mistakes, but I saw some other mistakes go down the runway too. There was a lot going on in this look, and with how much airtime she got this week, you could definitely see her bottom 3 placement coming! But I wouldn’t peg her as a repeat offender quite yet. I think she can bounce back!

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Mitchell was another bottom 3 placement I wasn’t so surprised by. Tim wasn’t a fan of this look either. I think he mixed his fabric choices well, but the look was very basic, definitely not a show-stopper. It also seemed very “junior” and for this show, that is not what the judges are looking for.

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The big surprise of the bottom 3 was not Jefferson’s placement, but that he went home. I was not a fan of his prior work because I’m not a fan of drop crotch pants. The main issue with this look was exactly what Nina said — proportions, mainly, the shorts were toooooooo short! I don’t think he should have gone home though. But Heidi seemed to not dislike Mitchell’s look quite as much as the others so I’m guessing Heidi had the final say-so on this one!

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While the bottom was not so jaw-dropping, the top 3 was a completely different story. I, like pretty much every other designer, thought Sandhya was for sure in the bottom. I didn’t think she would go home, but to find out she was in the top, needless to say I was stunned. However, later finding out she was the night’s winner, I kind of went from shocked to disappointed. In certain PR seasons, the judges hang onto a fave (Patricia Michaels, Anya Ayoung-Chee, Alexandria von Bromssen). America is not always on the same page! I’m hoping Sandhya is not that token fave this season that will get by with work such as this just because the judges have drank some crazy Kool-aid and are in a love-fest! The judges said Angela’s look had far too much going on, well what the heck do they think this is — frayed edges, capped sleeves, dyes, prints, etc. Based off of Sandhya’s prior work, I also don’t think anything in her collection would look like this. And also, with this floral curtain-like print, the dye, the color chosen, it just looks like a stained old piece of drapery. I am still completely baffled by this decision, but that’s PR for you!

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I think based on the task at hand and with who the judges picked for the top 3, Char should have won. This looked like a piece Char would actually have in her collection and it also read “Spring!”

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But Amanda too had a very chic and well put together look. If this is the new Amanda aesthetic, I can’t wait to see more. I’m not sure if it screamed “Spring”, but I could see it being in Amanda’s wheelhouse. And I disagree with Julie on the use of the pattern. A basic top and pants would have been a yawner! But the print made the pants pop and I was also impressed by the great fit they had.

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And finally, just like my UTG posts, I will name a stand-out for Aldo accessories, Mary-Kay beauty looks, and Philip B. hair looks!

pr13-rr-ep1-fzg-f     For my stand-out Aldo accessories look, I pick  fäde zu grau — statement jewelry pieces (bracelet & necklace), but not over-the-top or overshadowing the look, & simple, elegant black heels. I also think he did a great job of intermixing his printed fabrics for the skirt portion of his dress.

pr13-rr-ep1-hl-f    For my standout Philip B. hair & Mary Kay make-up look, it’s one in the same — Hernan Lander — chic ponytail & clean, fresh beauty look/

Did the PRAS Designers Id a New Trend for 2014?!?

Ahhhhh……No! I mean in reality, nobody could, in just 1 day, on the spot, find some big, new fashion trend for next year. It just isn’t possible. I was eager to see what the designers would come up with though. Overall, I wasn’t that impressed. My first thoughts when I heard the challenge was okay, no sheer effects, cut-outs, lace, or peplum. So when I saw a couple of those aspects, I was left SMH! I only loved 1 look, but I don’t think any fully met the challenge.

So this week’s challenge was given by PR judge & creative director of Marie Claire Nina Garcia. The designers were to pair up with some influential fashion bloggers to identify a new trend for 2014. I loved the pairing with the fashion bloggers because what people like us do is just so great. It’s always great hearing what people from all over the world have to say. Blogging is a great platform, even if NYFW doesn’t agree!

But back to the challenge — so Pantone’s color of the year, for 2014, is radiant orchid, or wild orchid. The designer’s look had to incorporate this color. The prizes for this week were also great. The winning look would be personally endorsed by Nina Garcia so we know what that really meant, she would pretty much decide the winning look! But that look would then be shot in a video for the home page of StyleHaul, which could be seen by over 50 million subscribers. Pantone also joined in on the giving — $10,000 prize and a chance to visit Brussels, Belgium and stay in the Pantone Hotel there.

mainpage_slider_blog                                     pantone-color-of-the-year-2014-radiant-orchidSo StyleHaul played a huge role this week as the StyleHaul bloggers worked with the designers to create this fresh, new, trendy look. PR brought back the tradition of the winning designer from last week picking first. And then each designer thereafter would pick which designer would select next. I’m not sure how necessary that was since all of these bloggers were amazing! You can’t deny that, I mean altogether, they have over 6 and a 1/2 million Twitter followers, CRAZY!

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The designers had a $200 budget this week. Some funny tidbits for me this week — Elena having chainsaw fun and driving the other designers crazy!; Elena picking on Chris’ trend yet she was really just focusing on a peplum-style jacket, not that much more innovative!; finally, Viktor talking about Chris’ use of the olive green, ummmmm did he forget his dress from just last week??

This week’s guest judges were of course Nina, but she was also joined by Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein and one of my fave PR alums, the most successful ever, Christian Siriano. Zanna came by for her usual weekly visit and made sure to encourage the designers’ work processes and to think bigger. So how did that all work out?

pras03-ep8-episode7                                                                                                pras03-ep8-episode12I had no clue what would happen this week, who would win, who would go home? I didn’t think any look was that forward-thinking, but I did like 1 look nonetheless. I thought Seth’s fitted knee-length dress was very chic. I thought he incorporated the radiant orchid color well. I also liked the leather capped-sleeves, nice touch. Color-blocking, it’s not something I see as some big new trend for 2014, but I thought the look had such clean lines. I’m not a designer so maybe the color-blocking with the in-seams was at least pushing the boundary somewhat.

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The judges disagreed as Seth was in the bottom 3. But no designer this week got full praise. Although the judges did seem to really love Korto’s white vested-suit look. I actually didn’t like the use of the orchid color. For me, having to fight to figure out how something is featured isn’t doing the color justice. In fact, at first, I had no clue where the color even was. It was clever, but for me, the point should have been to feature the color and I didn’t see that here. I didn’t really see anything new or innovative for a trend either, a white suit?? But the judges ultimately declared Korto as the winner.

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Elena’s focus this week was surprise surprise, on another jacket, and working on texture. She created a peplum-style shape to the jacket and incorporated the orchid color as part of a textured print. I think had this print been a bit darker, not so bright white, it might have worked better. The judges took issue with some proportions, but really disagreed on if it was a winning look. A couple of the judges were a fan, while Alyssa and Nina were just not sold. Again, Nina was the deciding factor this week, so without her full support, there was no way you could win.

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I’m a fan of Chris, but the bottom 2 made sense this week. I know he can bounce back so I’m not worried! Lace is such a big trend right now that it really couldn’t be something much more innovative next year. I do think it’s more of even a staple trend and I’m sure we will see it for many years to come. The military aspect I guess was the twist, but if I’m not mistaken, I think even on PR a few seasons back, lace and military was a trend used for a challenge. Of course after my lengthy venting from last week, I am still not a huge fan of this olive green color, but I don’t think it looked like the swamp thing! I also wish he had done something a bit more with the color than the orchid clutch. But I’m so glad he was safe. I couldn’t take him going home since Irina was eliminated last week.

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It was sad to see Viktor go, but that is the tough part with a season such as this one, too many great designers! I really didn’t see a clear trend from his look this week. I think his vision was just a bit hazy. Of course the leather moto jacket was awesome, but it really didn’t work with this black babydoll dress. I think a jumper would have worked way better and if he could have done the splattered orchid print on the jumper, the look probably would have been outstanding!

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What will happen next week?? I can’t wait!!