Category: Project Runway

Last week was the final challenge before the Fashion Week episodes  The final five are Viktor, Joshua, Laura, Kimberly and Anya.  We all know that Anya will make it to fashion week (technically Fashion Week already happened but we’ll pretend it hasn’t).  We love her and her outside the box creativity.  And remember, she learned how to sew in four months (I still hate people like that!).

The designers go on a field trip to Governors Island.  Some of my favorite episodes are when they actually go someplace like a museum or around Manhattan for a particular challenge.

Each of the designers pick different objects, sculptures and landmarks for their inspiration. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pics of said inspiration so you will have to use your imagination based on my descriptions.

The designers have to create three outfits in two days.  How will they do it?  But of course, they will receive help in the form of the last 5 contestants voted off.  Not much drama or fighting this time around so let’s get right to the clothes.

Although I’m not crazy about Laura, I do like that her inspiration came from circular shapes in fences, objects and other architectural builds at Governors Island.  I love my geometric shapes!  However….not these geometric shapes.  The judges actually liked the long dress but I thought it was just too much.  Maybe if the circles were smaller and all the same shape, it would be more appealing.  What do you think?  I like  the idea behind this garment just not the garment itself.

Viktor has done some amazing jackets in the past and his tailoring is impeccable but his three creations seemed kind of…well, like clothes.  The inspiration for his collection were the shapes of the sculptures and the images of Manhattan in the background (from Governors Island).  Michael Kors thought they were very sellable and I agree, just nothing exciting or high fashion.  Really, gawd forbid a designer makes something for normal people or for those of us that don’t have a $20,000 monthly budget for clothes, oops, I mean Fashion. For this collection, I like the design details of the skirt and the top is cute.

Kimberly picked a sculpture called New Beginning for her inspiration.  Hey, I’m all for that.  I need a New Beginning every day (seriously).  I’m continually surprised at the fabric the designers choose when they are at Mood.  Kimberly was looking for a cantaloupe color wool but couldn’t find one so she settles on Halloween orange.  Of course, every time I shopped at Mood, I stayed within the $8-$12 range section (now $12-$16 probably) and remember, they only have 30 minutes to shop.  I need hours for fabric shopping.

Of all the contestants that started at the beginning, Kimberly was one of the few that I wanted to make it to the end.  But (there’s always a “But” or a “however” in my PR posts), I wasn’t feeling her collection.  Were you?  I didn’t much care for her jacket but I do like how she comes up with these “orgami” like design details.  But she has done this look before.  I’m hoping that if she does make it to fashion week that it isn’t a bunch of these types of skirts and dresses on the runway.  (Did you notice how I didn’t say either way if Kimberly makes it to fashion week?!).

Joshua chooses artillery and a chapel for his inspiration.  In Joshua’s words, he wanted to look at where “fragility meets strength and power”.  Typical.  Look, I’m really trying to give Josh a chance but I think he’s over dramatic and mean.  But I’m supposed to critique the design not the designer so I will–Josh’s creations are over dramatic and mean.  How is that?

Since I’m not a real bitch (I wish I could be though!), I will admit that I kind of liked the above dress.  What do you think of Josh?  Do you think he grew during the show-as a designer and as a person?  Or is he just the same ‘ole Josh?

Anya loves sculpture.  She chose sculptures based on the lines, and positive and negative spaces.  I loved her collection.  She won this challenge hands down.  She’s extremely talented and will go far with our without a Project Runway win.

The above was my favorite piece overall.  I thought it was gorgeous, elegant and I want it!  I also thought Anya had the best model styling of all five designers.

Have you figured out who will go to Fashion Week?  The designers that are IN are Anya, Viktor, Josh and Kimberly…but only three will actually make it to fashion week.


note:  I’m a little behind on my PR blogging.  Thanks for being patient. More commentary on the way!

Was it me or was this one of the strangest Project Runways to date?  This episode included everything:  people leaving, people coming back, tears, drama, yelling, bathroom hugs, running and Bert not getting along with his teammates.  Oh, wait, Bert not getting along with people happens on every show.

The contestants arrive at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in my old hood, Washington Heights!  The first challenge is to run around the track once (200 meters). The four that cross the finish line first will be the team captains.  I’m loving it already!  But wait!  Before all this happens, we see Cecelia on the sidelines talking to Tim and Heidi and I know something is up. Cecelia tells them that she doesn’t want to continue and my first reaction is shock.  How could she just quit like that?   This is such a great opportunity for her!  And when so many others would kill to be in her place.  However, my thoughts changed when Cecilia explained her reasoning.  We, meaning fans of Project Runway, have no idea what it’s like to be on the show.  It must be incredibly hard and draining.  To think of a design in 30 minutes is one thing, but to complete it in 8 hours is something else.   It takes talent and skill, yes, but also emotional strength and a very high competitive spirit. Maybe Cecilia wasn’t at competitive as the other contestants.  I respect Cecilia’s decision and having experienced fashion school, I can empathize a little. However, I am disappointed because I wanted to see her go far and she will…just not on Project Runway!

Ready…steady… go… and the runners are off.  Joshua, Bryce, Anthony Ryan and Viktor finish in that order and will be the team leaders.  We are then treated to Heidi running in high heals to push Bert to the finish line.  It was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen on PR.  And even with heals, Heidi can outrun most Americans.  The four leaders choose their team and none of them want Bert.  Poor Bert 😦 and Olivier is whining in the corner about not being a team leader.  Question for my readers:  Have you ever seen Oliver smile? Maybe it was because he tripped and half fainted during the run.  Poor Olivier 😦

Josh C.

So because Cecilia is gone, an eliminated contestant gets to come back.  Viktor’s team gets to choose (since they are short on people) and they pick Josh C.  He would have been my choice too.  The teams are:

Joshua, Anya and Becky; Bryce, Danielle and Kimberly; Anthony Ryan, Laura, Bert: and Viktor, Oliver and Josh C.

The design challenge is for each team to design three looks that one can be worn with sneakers.  It doesn’t have to be exercise clothes but it shouldn’t be an evening dress either. Each garment must feature fabric from the shoes that Heidi has designed:  denim and suede either together or separately.  The winning look will be sold on Amazon and be part of Heidi’s collection.  Nice prize!

The contestants sit down on the track and start sketching.  Becky’s ideas are shot down immediately by her teammates.  Incorporating a big “N” on the back of dress as a design element (to emphasize the “N” in New Balance) is not the most…cool idea (Hey, at least I didn’t say stupid!).  And as Joshua says, Becky is no style icon.  But neither is Joshua, and neither am I for that matter but it doesn’t mean we don’t have the potential to become more design conscious (at least I hope!).  Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Madonna are style icons-we have a long way to go people!  Anthony Ryan and Laura are their own little team while Bert sits by himself sketching, probably thinking about his glory days at Studio 54.

I used to be all about teams and teamwork in the workplace.  My ideal group of employees would work well together, learn from each other, and give positive feedback.   In the real world however, this is not always the case.  Two teams on the New Balance challenge worked great together but the other two had issues…many issues.  Becky and Bert were kind of like the third wheels to Team Laura and Anthony Ryan and Team Anya and Joshua. Being a third wheel is no fun at all (I know from experience).  I once went to a Fine Young Cannibals concert with Simone and Theresa (this was in 1989).  It was a long night of one of us feeling left out because sometimes me and Simone would be bff but then an hour later, Simone and Theresa were inseparable.  My recommendation is to  always go out in groups of four or to have a design challenge composed of four people, not three!

Bert has a hard time getting along with the other contestants.  He says it’s because of the age difference but he must have known coming to the show that he wasn’t going to be competing with senior citizens.  Yes, most of the designers are in their 20s so just suck it up, deal with it and move on.  I like Anthony Ryan a lot.  He’s been through so much (cancer survivor) and I think he has a good heart and it’s unfortunate that he clashed with Bert. They could have been an awesome team.  Anthony Ryan also reminds me of Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother (from True Blood-watch it folks!).

Can you spot the Stackhouse?

*Now for a personal message to Joshua from our sponsors:  We know you are very talented and have a pretty face.  And judging from your facebook pic, you also have a penchant for leather and Mickey Mouse.  But for all that is good and right in the fashion heavens, let people find out how wonderful and talented you are.  There is a high probability that you’re not as talented as you think you are.  Or to put it another way, there will always be someone better than you.  End of message*

According to Joshua, Becky’s cliental is dowdy and age 40 to death therefore she should shut up and sew!  But poor poor Becky gets her feelings hurt and insists that she is not dowdy nor is her customer.  Joshua tells her that his words were not meant as a bad thing.  Excuse me?  Last time I checked, using the word dowdy to describe a woman’s style is no compliment.  Joshua then proceeds to tell Becky that he will have no drama with her (girlfriend-you are All about the dramaz) and if she is tired then she should take a nap (I’d like to see him tell a chronic fatiguer to “just take a nap”).  For shame Joshua.  For shame.  Becky escapes to the only place that Project Runway producers will allow-the women’s bathroom and sobs her little heart out. Anya and Joshua eventually join Becky in the stall and talk it out (*sniff) and have a group hug to seal the deal (*sniff*).  The emotions, the tears, it’s too much for me to take!

A funny conversation ensues amongst all this mayhem.  Bert supposedly took Joshua’s sewing machine while it was still in use.

  • joshua:  You going to be long bert?
  • bert:  Awhile.  I’m putting the zipper in.  I didn’t see your name on this machine
  • josh:  You have no courtesy
  • bert:  It’s not all about josh
  • josh:  It’s not all about Josh, Bert, but it’s not all about Bert
  • bert:  Where does it say on this *bleeping* machine that you’re using it?
  • josh:  Watch your language with me please
  • bert:  Drop dead and go away
  • joshua:  Drop dead?  Bert, you’re closer to death than me so I would be careful what I said
  • bert:  Death might be a blessing with you around.  Self-centered *bleep*

Um, maybe it’s time to look at some clothes, you think?!  I loved all three looks of team Viktor.  They chose a beautiful greyish/blue fabric paired with black leather which gave the collection a road warrior type of vibe.  Some people complained about Olivier’s maxi skirt and I agree, yet I kind of liked it.  I’m torn!  Yes, it could have been a more interesting line or shorter but I think it fit in with the collection.

Josh C. did a great job for his little comeback.  The black leather details on his tee looked as if the model had a backpack on.

But I loved Viktor’s dress and motorcyle jacket the best.

Team Anthony Ryan had many problems.  Bert had the best outfit while the other two were just a mess.

I’m not exactly sure what Anthony Ryan was thinking.  He wasn’t feeling well on this particular challenge so I’m sure he wasn’t his normal design self.  His outfit looks like something you would wear to bed but even then, I think your bed would kick you out if you showed up in that!  Here’s a closer shot:

My eyes!  My eyes!  I am scarred for life!  Camel toe in front and well, camel toe in back.  But I have mercy on you dear readers-I will not show a behind picture.  The model looks so bummed.  Bert needs to show a little bit more class on the runway.  Try not to be so gleeful when others don’t do so well.  If you want friends or respect, this is not the way to get it.

Team Joshua did better with their collection in spite of the drama and the tears.  Anya once again did a maxi dress.  I’ve said enough about this team.  Moving on…

Bryce finally showed us his design skills.  He made a very stylish and cool dress.  Kimberly also did a great jacket paired with an adorable pair of shorts.

Danielle’s turquoise silk top did not belong with this collection. She was voted off.  There was some disagreement among the judges for this challenge.  If it was up to Heidi, Anthony Ryan (camel toe) would have been sent home.  I’m glad he is safe.  I’m hoping he makes it to the end.

Heidi changed it up a little this week and picked two winners.  Josh won for the maxi dress (even though it was Anya’s design) and Viktor won for his adorable dress and motorcycle jacket.

*sung to the first verse of Copacabana*

  • Her name was Nina.  She was so scary
  • With Conservo in her wear and a bitch attitude down to there
  • She does the fashion for Marie Claire
  • And while she tries to have a heart, the designers really test that soft spot
  • She watched the runways, and gave brutal opinions
  • but she had style, she had class
  • Who could ask for more?
(sorry for bullet points but I couldn’t figure out how to single space a verse in wordpress)

I had to giggle a little when the designers find out their challenge for this week:  Design an outfit for NINA Garcia!  If I was one of the contestants, that would definitely be my clue to get the hell out!  The look of horror on the their faces was priceless as Nina, the client, walked out from behind the curtain. *cue psycho theme music*

Nina is a tough customer plus she has one of those faces that’s hard to read. I don’t know about you but people like that make me nervous! Nina wants something that she can wear during the day that will transition into night when she goes clubbing.  *Just kidding*  No, actually she will use the transition outfit for fashion events, book signings etc. I don’t think Nina is the clubber type.  Do you?  She likes classic with an edge, clean silhouettes, streamline, nothing volumnious, no loud colors, no prints, no pleats and there were probably quite a few more things that Nina didn’t want but the show is only one hour long. She also made it clear that she didn’t want a runway full of grey designs.  The contestants might as well have thrown in the towel at this point because this women can never be pleased.

The designers are given 30 minutes  to sketch and then present their ideas to Nina.  I have bestowed on Ms Garcia the nickname of Ms. PlanB as she asked almost every person that met with her “do you have a plan B?” meaning she wasn’t too crazy about their Plan A.

My favorite part of every episode is when they go to Mood-the very best fabric store in this entire world or at least in Manhattan.  Two people came back with the same fabric.  How does that happen?  I know the designers only have 30 mintues in Mood but if another person had the same fabric as me,  I would seriously consider going back for something different.

Just as the designers are able to relax a little and breath, Nina comes into the workroom to check up on them.  Thankfully, Tim Gunn is with her to act as a buffer.  In addition to the nickname of Ms. PlanB, I am also giving Nina the name of Ms. No because every fashion item that was shown to her, she replied with a firm “No”.  Speaking of fashion, what the hell was Nina wearing in workroom scenes?  I didn’t like the top at all, however, it’s getting hugs and kisses all over the social network universe.  Some even think she wore it to throw off the designers because it’s not her normal choice of wear.  Whatever.  I guess I’m behind on my fashion magazine reading.

On the day of the runway, the usual chaos ensues with a couple people helping their friends finish their garment by sewing a collar here and finishing a hem there.  Others complained that it was cheating but it has been done before on this show.  Personally, I would be thrilled if someone offered to finish a collar for me coz I hate me a collar.  *grumpy face*

There’s been a lot of griping about Bert lately.  People seem to hate him and want him gone.  My problem with Bert is that he doesn’t seem to be really listening to what the challenge is or what the client wants.  I hope his attitude changes soon.

Now for the runway…and the designer that was out.  I liked Julie.  Her sketches were fabulous but unfortunately, her last few designs have been on the bottom.  Is it a housecoat?  a dresscoat?  I think the added belt made it even worse.  I’m not going to name names but I knew someone in one of my past jobs who wore housecoats to work. Seriously. Julie’s design was unfortunate but it wasn’t the worst outfit I’ve seen on the show.

Bryce is lucky to still be on the show.  He’s a sweetie but the hem on this dress looks like something that would be featured at your local sewing guild fashion show.

Joshua was not in the top nor the bottom but he used the color block technique which I adore. The center grey portion seemed a little uneven and I wasn’t crazy about the open diamonds in the back but overall, I liked the orange, grey and black.

Becky and Anthony both chose the same fabric.  I liked Becky’s version better (top pic).

Once again, Anya impresses everyone (because she learned how to sew 4 months ago, Remember?!) by making a jumpsuit and dying her fabric.  I thought this was really cute so kudos to Anya (again) for thinking “outside the box.”

Viktor is back in my good graces because I liked his design and he seemed nicer this week.  I thought the shape of the skirt was different and I always love zippers that are part of the design.

And the winner is…Kimberly.  The pants fit the model perfectly and I like the lines and flow of the top.  Nina liked it too!

The bonus pic for this week is Joanne Coles, Editor of Marie Claire and scarier and bitchier than Nina!  Joanne, with her British accent, came off as cold as ice and bashed poor Cecilia on the runway.

I agree that Cecilia’s dress was a disappointment but to say that Cecilia must have been depressed to design something so sad was a little harsh.  Hey Joanne-why don’t you get your *bipolar ass in that workroom and see what kind of design you can create for Nina!  I dare you.

*no offense to bipolar people or those suffering from depression*

Well, hello there, Project Runway-how I’ve have missed you while you were away!  And even though you broke my heart last season, I forgive you!

Episode 1, Come as You are had me on pins and needles right at the get go.  We are introduced to 20 designers who arrive in New York for the final casting call.  16 made the show while the other four… didn’t.  I can only imagine what it felt like to leave that room with heads down, choking back tears, dragging their suitcases behind them, all their dreams shattered.  Well, maybe their dreams to win Project Runway have been shattered.  But to make it that far is a pretty awesome accomplishment so hats off to Gunnar, Serena, Amanda and David.  They will go far!

Based on the short snippets of auditions we saw, a few contestants caught my eye right away-

Anya, 29-I loved the dress she was wearing at the audition and her collection got me wondering what she would show at Bryant Park.  I hate her though for learning how to sew in four months!  Hate her!!  But I’m rooting for her too!  It’s that love/hate thing, ya know?

Olivier, 22-So adorable and cute.  I needed a “Mondo-like”designer this season so I would have something to put in my pocket.  And he has an accent which is a definite plus!

Bert, 57-I liked him immediately.  He’s competing with 20-year-olds (and a couple of thirty-somethings).   At 39, I was at FIT with a bunch of 20-year-olds and it wasn’t easy!  And he’s been through a rough 20 years.

Julie, 35-Her sketches were total win!

Becky, 38-She describes her style as edgy, artsie and girlie.  Hey, I’m all over that!  I liked her personality and vibe .  I hope she makes it far on the show.

Kimberly, 35-“She’s urban but she likes to be glammed up.”  I hear you girlfriend!

Fallene, 29-I loved her shorts that she wore (so did Nina) and I’m very interested to see how she will incorporate feminism into her clothes.

Bryce, 26-I didn’t like his feather cape but I did like his glasses because they looked a little Clark Kent, a little nerdy to me.  And I’ve been in a nerdy/geeky type of mood of late what with Comic Con happening this past weekend (I didn’t go) and my new love for the Big Bang Theory (the show not the scientific theory).

Sidenote:  OMG, did you see the butterfly earrings Heidi was wearing in the opening scene?   I want me a pair of those and I’m not a fan of big earrings.  Also, what do you think Nina is really thinking?  That woman is an enigma hidden within a puzzle hidden within a mystery.

On to the challenge…

The designers are awakened at 5am by the impeccable Tim Gun (even at 5am the man looks fabulous!) and are told to 1) get up 2) wear what they have on (meaning what they slept in) and 3) bring one sheet from their bed.  They then walk through Manhattan on a beautiful morning to Parsons New School and are instructed to design something made from what they slept in plus the one sheet.  I don’t know about you but I always imagine what I would do in the same situation.  My first thought was that I would hopefully wear some beautiful new silk thang to bed and not some old tee from 10 years ago and holey yoga pants.  But in the end, if you can’t pull out a design than it doesn’t really matter what materials you have to work with.  And that’s the damn truth!

On the runway, we see that several people chose to design pants or shorts.  Most of them were failures.  But Anya, who has never sewn on silk nor dyed nor put together a pair of pants, hit one out of the park.  Of course she did because she is that talented.  Those pants fit the model perfectly so Anya, I bow to you.

I liked the colors of Anthony’s top and skirt (above) but I wasn’t crazy about the overall look. He is colorblind but he seems to know and understand color more than most of the people I know that aren’t colorblind.

What can I say about Rafael’s look?  *sigh*

Those pants/leggings looked awful and actually made the model look heavy.  Michael Kors described it as “fashion backward.”  Ouch!  Bye Bye Rafael. It’s been nice knowing you.

Julie’s pants were also bad (below).  The construction was poor and the top was…I’m at a loss for words.  To give Julie a break, she did have a rather juvenile pajama print. However, she could have dyed her fabric a darker color.  But there still would have been an issue with the pants.

And now for the winner of the Come as You are challenge or as I refer to it, Pajama Game…Bert!  I thought his dress had some interesting design and draping elements.  He did a fabulous job for the first time up.  The judges didn’t like his styling but my being such a retro gal, I didn’t much mind the Farrah hair and 70’s look.  But yes, he needs to update his styling for the upcoming challenges.

Oh, and I thought the guest judge, Christina Ricci, looked adorable.