Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project Runway, Season 12, Episode 12, PUNT!

Greetings, Project Runway fans!

It is I, your fine, furloughed friend, once again recapping this week's challenge.  This week, the designers went to look at pretty butterflies to get their inspiration.

Tim: "The challenge this week is to make an avant garde look that is inspired by butterflies."
Tim: "Feel free to use your HP Karl Rove to take pictures!"
Pretty, pretty butterflies.  So soothing and calming.  For the home stretch challenge, what a nice opportunity to relax and recharge the batteries.

Oh, noes!  Helen was not relaxed and recharged.  What made her so unhappy?
Helen: "My favorite is the monarch butterfly, so I'm using black and orange..."
Tim: "It looks too much like Halloween."
Oh, Tim....destroying tender egos again, are you?

I would have been happy if they had just stopped at the avant garde looks.  I guess after a day and a half of work, everyone was doing well...too well.  They needed a twist.

They brought in all the previous losing designs and had the contestants choose which one to re-do, keeping the original elements but improving on the design.
The twist turned the show into a crazy mess and the runway was kind of hard to follow.  Here's how things worked out.


Week after week, Dom continues to send out well designed garments.   She likes to use colorful prints, however, and at first, I thought this week, a floral, quilted jacket would sink her.

Pour me some chablis and let's watch The Golden Girls.

I was still a little dubious at this point.  It didn't help that she paired it up with a jumpsuit in a totally different print.

But on the runway, it made a bold, vibrant statement.  Avant garde?  To me, she didn't push that envelope far enough.  But for Project Runway judges, it was just right.

For the twist, she picked Jeremy's "matronly" outfit that  he designed for the Belk challenge.

And came up with this.

That's quite a transformation.  Both looks were enough to propel her into Fashion Week with no strings attached.


Throughout the challenge, he's been neck and neck with Helen.  He was capable of knocking this one out of the park and he did.

His inspiration was "butterfly movement."  It was totally evocative and looked magnificent from every angle.  Tim almost talked him out of those fabric tubes that he spent half a day sewing together.  This time, Bradon was able to show him his vision and Tim backed down.

For his twist challenge, he chose Sue's placemat dress from the Lexus "Drive me around to find some unconventional materials" challenge.

This was his re-work.

I thought it was a little, less successful, but the judges loved the transformation.  Bradon won this week's challenge.

And now, for the punt, which I totally understand.  Everyone else succeeded and failed at the same time.  It was really hard to choose.

I didn't think Justin could pull this challenge off, but I was wrong.

The cocoon-like jacket and the twisted, white dress underneath strongly evoke the butterfly theme.  Yes, the dress had some construction problems, but was ambitious and bold, two things you want in an avant garde challenge.

Then, he took a major risk.  He decided to revisit the glue gun disaster from the Glamping challenge that got him booted off the show before Tim Gunn used his "save."

The re-do was a relief, but the two garments just weren't enough to bounce him into the third position.


This really should have been her challenge.  All season long, she's been dropping crotches and playing with silhouettes.  I expected something really bizarre from her on the runway.  Instead, we got this.

It's certainly chic and unconventional.  But there's nothing really innovative or exuberant about this dress that sends it into avant garde territory.   In my opinion, if she wasn't going to break the planes of the body in any way the least she could have done was to play with negative space.  On her model's body, this would be difficult to do with black fabric, but she had plenty of grey.  I would have created the same intricate exposures that you see at the neckline around the midriff and hip.  I would have opened up the  skirt a little more, too--to evoke breaking through a cocoon during metamorphosis.  It's as if she made a dress, gave it "wings" and called it a butterfly.  The judges just weren't that impressed.

Her twist challenge was a hit and a miss.  She chose Miranda's plaid "Christmas pants" from the Bow Tie Challenge.

You've got style.  That's what all your friends say....
And she succeeded in making a knock-out pair of pants with leather detailing along the side and dropped waist.  Unfortunately, she was temporarily possessed by the spirit of Vivienne Westwood and paired the pants with a spiked vest, spiked hair and boots.  Downtown Julie Brown just called and wants her outfit back.


When last we left Helen, she was in tears.  Her orange sheath dress and black cocoon jacket were nixed by Tim because it looked too much like a Halloween costume.  This sent her into a tail spin and back to her comfort zone.

Remember the old Helen Castillo that stumbled into this season of Project Runway?

Yeah, that one.
Well....she came back!

It was not a bad dress, however there was nothing avant garde about it.  When Nina starts commenting on how well done the nails, eyes and hair are, you know she's grasping.  So why did Nina put so much effort into praising this look?  The twist challenge was a slam dunk.

She took Kate's dot matrix fabric, reversed it and made this....

Oh, there's raging debate out there about whether this really was Kate's fabric.  There would have been less debate if she had used the printed side, but it would have been harder to piece that skirt together and match up the print.   

So Helen, Alexandria and Justin get to produce looks and one or more of them will join Bradon and Dom in the show.  We'll see in a couple of weeks.  Next week is the Tim home visit episode.  I'll be taking some time this week....after all, I have plenty of it, to show you the runway shows of the "decoy" designers.  There's some interesting stuff to explore.  

Until next time!

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