Saturday, October 11, 2014

Project Runway Season 13, Episode 12: Wake Me When It's Over

Greetings, Project Runway fans!

Here we are on the cusp of Fashion Week in New York, five designers left. Usually three show on the runway, so conceivably, we could have had a double elimination this week. I would have been totally happy with a double elimination this week, but the judges producers saw fit to drag the drama out for one more episode.

I'm so over it.

This week, our designers hopped into expensive cars and drove around the lower east side of Manhattan to find inspiration. The last time I even attempted to drive around the lower east side of Manhattan, all I saw were construction cones and brake lights. Hardly inspiring.

Before I go much further, we all knew this was going to be a complex challenge. The "street look" would not be the only part of the challenge. There was going to be another twist. Our designers also had to re-do a losing look, with help from the designer of that look. One of those losing designers was Korina, who had just been eliminated the day before. What we see week-to-week is happening to designers day-to-day. Eliminated the day before in a poorly received critique from the judges. Korina's emotions were still quite raw.

Korina is over it, too.
I thought Korina was quite straightforward and honest. She addressed Tim even before the challenge began.

She didn't want to add to whatever drama or tension there already was in the challenge. I'm giving her a pass for her honesty and candor. Who the hell cares about her bad attitude? You try maintaining a good attitude on very little sleep and high stress of getting critiqued day in and day out. Then get back to me. Me? This week, I spent three days with 6th graders on a field trip and the only way I could get through it was to have a good cry every night. I also returned to my regular job at the end of the week and wanted to throttle people at least a handful of times.

What stops me from doing that? More years of professional experience than Korina has likely been alive. Or close to it. Youthful exuberance may be the straw that stirs the drink but maturity is the only thing that keeps a civilized society going. Let's applaud her youthful exuberance. Her maturity will get there soon enough.

Anyway, before we heap any further criticism on her, let's pay tribute to some of Project Runway's worst meltdowns.

"You ruined my f---in' laundry!" - Vincent Libretti

"I hate you Elena!" - Raul Osorio
"$%&#...$%&#....$%&#"- Sandro Masmanidi
I think we need to put Korina's meltdown into a little perspective. No cops needed to be called. No psychologist had to be brought in. It was just a simple matter of letting a designer go. Down a long hallway. Into another room and yet another room. Her exit reminded me of scene in This is Spinal Tap when the band tries to find its way to the stage in Cleveland. Thank you, Bunim-Murray for guaranteeing that any designer who doesn't play be your rules will be humiliated.


I think we've all been watching Project Runway long enough to know that when these two-part challenges come along, a designer will excel at one and not the other. That was certainly the case this week.


Sean was brilliantly inspired by a man in a clean, white caftan.
Seriously, how lower east side is that?

Sean's inspiration piece was equally as brilliant.

The cut-outs, slits, seaming, back flap...this is an updated shirt-dress if there ever was one.

The only quibble I have with it are the sleeves, which I think are too wide to be flattering. with just a little more time on his hands, this could have been absolute perfection. However....

Tim's dreaded Button Bag of Doom left him last, with Sandhya's look from the American Girl challenge. After fooling around with the ruffles for a bit, he decided to go full fringe. It had worked for him before.

Well....this time, not so much.

For starters, you could see that wonky zipper from the other end of the runway. Next, it was a shorts and long-sleeve top combination, perhaps the least versatile garment ever conceived.

She's going to Coachella. Nice try, Sean. We're not buying it. Oh, and the 1986 hair hurts my eyes. Just horrible. It's hard to believe the same guy designed both looks.

Still, that first look was more than enough to catapult him into Fashion Week.  


Kini can sew. His construction is impeccable. His combinations, however, leave a lot to be desired.

This was just too much. The trench didn't need to be paired up with such a fussy skirt. But had it just been the trench and, say, a simple black dress underneath, the judges might have wondered where the design was. This is a gorgeous trench, indeed.

Heidi looked fantastic in it.  But gorgeous trenches have been around for years. So Kini piled on. Had the competition been more fierce, this could have been his undoing. Lucky for him, he's far and away the best at construction, so his excesses were forgiven.

The re-do of Mitchell's red gown was where the design was.

Mitchell enjoyed working with Kini.

Wow wee, what a transformation.  It's hard to pull off a one-sleeved look in such a chic way, but Kini did it. The simple flap neckline was proportioned perfectly and provided a beautiful frame to the model's neckline.  Even the flared bottom with the wavy horsehair was a nice addition.  Instead of just dragging down the runway, the bottom flared out like a clamshell. Very sophisticated and a definite winner.


Amanda went to her blocking and piecing comfort zone this week.  I wasn't so convinced until it walked down the runway.

I think it's just a bit ridiculous for New York. The sides are way too voluminous. The model looks like a color-blocked penguin. Nina is right. Your head would turn if you saw someone dressed like this in New York--partly because you'd be convinced the person wearing it had to be a celebrity or model. No normal woman would wear this.

But this is a design competition, people! We don't have time to be normal. Save the normal for the other guy. Or for your re-do of the losing look.

fade's t-shirts are back!!!!
Amanda chose fade's losing look, but in the end, didn't do that much with it.

She added some leather and changed up the silhouette. It certainly wasn't enough to drag down her first look, so she's solidly in for Fashion Week.


Love you lots, Char, but had I been on the panel this week, I would have been begging and pleading for a double auf.  This was just too much of a missed opportunity.

This was the New York inspiration piece that Char worked on before all the Korina drama. In fact, she did the complex skirt first. There's no excuse here. Her original drawing did not have as many loops AND they were loopier. She even used fabric stabilizer to stiffen the fabric for the loops. Why did they end up flattened against each other? It looks like a growth rather than a fashion statement. There's one defiant loop sticking out next to the model's hand. 

That's it. A skirt with loops and a bustier top.

Char chose Korina's look for the volume of fabric it contained. She ended up using about a yard of it. She bunched it around the waist and hips--two places women want fabric bunched up--right? There were so many poor design choices that resulted in two mediocre looks. I'm disappointed she wasn't booted off.


Sad that she saved this "awesome mega hoodie" for this challenge.

Sadder still, that she didn't spend more time on it. No, she fell under the spell of some cool face fabric at Mood and spent more time designing the outfit underneath. The outfit underneath was quite clever on its own. I think she should have chosen one or the other...or...if you fall in love with face fabric, find a color palate for the hoodie that compliments it. Otherwise, you have a clever outfit with a ratty hoodie over it. That may be how most women in New York dress on a casual day, but that's not very chic and the judges are looking for chic.

Had Emily put the same attention to detail in the back of the hoodie as she did in the front, she would have been spared...maybe. I was comfortable with a double auf this week. I still don't know why the judges weren't.

What a wasted opportunity. You can go straight to any department store and buy this now. The funny thing is that Emily had originally envisioned one of her "dominatrix" strap designs for the top. That would have worked much better. Perhaps a long skirt also would have worked better as well. It's a shame. I think Emily is a very interesting and edgy designer. She just didn't give us a consistent vision this season.

The social networks exploded after this episode and poor Char was getting skewered. Had the judges been brutally honest and eliminated both Char and Emily, I think no one would have had an issue with the outcome.  Now, we have one designer who has been saved twice from elimination limping into the finals. We'll see how this works out.

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Susq! The voice of reason. Loved your blog and agree too.