Sep 28, 2014

What Did We Learn From Project Runway This Week? Episode 10, Season 13

My apologies for the much-delayed post, but if you knew how glorious the weather in NYC has been this week, you wouldn't blame me for choosing to spend the day yesterday romping around with my family instead of writing. Friday, which is usually when I write my Project Runway posts, was Rosh Hashanah and a public school holiday here, so that's the other half of my rock-solid excuse. Thanks for reading and let's get to it!

Near the beginning of this week's episode of Project Runway, my friend Lizzi texted me to comment on how crazy were all the people who turned down the designers seeking makeover models in Washington Square Park. 

But by the end of the episode we both agreed: we wouldn't say yes either. After all, would you want to be on national TV in a get-up like this:

Or have your semi-private parts exposed when a zipper bursts open pre-runway:

Also, if you're a Project Runway fan, then you know the winning designer of the "real person" challenge never has a short, stumpy model. And often (though it didn't happen this time) someone plus-size ends up in tears because there's a good reason why some of these designers are not yet a success: they can't fit clothes on non-model bodies — and their people skills suck. What if, I asked Lizzi via text, someone ignored my bottom-line and put me in a miniskirt and my cellulite was on national TV? 

"Oh damn," she replied. "What if they put me in COLOR?" (She only wears black, gray and blue, bless her heart).

Thankfully for the designers of Season 13, Washington Square Park is the kind of place where you can find tall, thin actress/ballerina/yoga teachers with time to spare and low expectations. Did the producers of Project Runway seed the park with the results of a "regular lady" casting call? Or are there truly that many attractive women with no prior obligations just lounging around the West Village on a sunny summer day? You and I will never know.   

Moving on to our lessons:

Lesson 1: Tough love from Tim Gunn will only get you so far

One minute, Tim Gunn is holding your hand and telling you that you are the most talented person he's ever met — and in the next he's doing the gentleman's equivalent of smacking the stupid straight out of you. 

This week Alexander nearly sent this cropped-top-and-high-waisted skirt ensemble down the runway. 

Tim intervened, calling it the "most hideous garment he has ever seen IN HIS ENTIRE EXISTENCE." Those are strong words from a man who mentored Timothy from Season 12:

Ah, memories
Sure, it may have resembled an oozing pizza monster costume, but "hideous"? Really? (I bet if Sandyha had designed it — and came up with a good justification, the judges would have eaten it up.) And did Alexander deserve to go home for his final toned-down cropped top and skirt look? How was that look (see the first picture above) any worse than Amanda's dress?

 No lie, I saw a better version of this dress on an extra in a Payless Shoes commercial yesterday (but my phone was out of battery so I couldn't snap a pic). If you are going to do chevron stripes, you gotta match everywhere (even Forever 21 can manage that much)....though even if she had nailed that, I think this dress would have been a clunker. It's too short and chevron...well, it's kind of dated now, isn't it? This belongs on a Pinterest fail board. SO WHERE WAS TIM WITH THE TOUGH LOVE ON THIS ONE?

Lesson 2: Side zips and short shorts are not a match made in fashion heaven

It was an apparent Project Runway first when Char was given a few extra minutes to resew a busted zipper into the flaming red booty shorts she made for a preschool teacher. Everyone else conceded she should get a break lest her model be mortified on the runway with her hip hanging out. (But of course they complained behind her back after the fact.)

I don't know. I hate wearing shorts and avoid them as much as possible, but a side zip? To me, that seems weird. I know an actual fly would take longer to sew...and a center back zip on shorts is tacky and gross (like the one sewn last week by Alexander, may he rest in peace). Maybe if they had more than a day for each challenge this season's designers could sew real-world closures for their real-world women.

 The lesson here: zippers are hard to sew and falliable too — even when you're a skilled seamstress like Char.

Lesson 3: Maybe Project Runway should be called "Project Would I Wear That?"

Too often, the most important measure for Heidi, Nina and the guest judge is "Would I wear that?" — which shouldn't be the only test for fashion supremacy. Zac is the one judge who cares more for creativity and vision than whether something would show off enough of Heidi's legs. 

How else to explain the fact that Emily's interesting look...

...lost to Korina's motorcycle jacket. 

Kini's look, meanwhile, did a great job of answering the challenge; he channelled his model's personal style into something cooler than she would have chosen on her own. Heidi would never wear this though, so sorry, Kini:

Meanwhile in real NYC this week I took my daughter to Mood in search of some Halloween costume fabrics. Guess what we spotted while we were there:

That's right! Char's fabric from last week. It's $18/yard and Oscar de la Renta. You can find it with the printed cottons. You're welcome.

Also: Did anyone see the commercial for "Project Runway Threads" — the kids Project Runway? After Master Chef Junior I knew it was only a matter of time before someone developed a Junior Project Runway. Anyway, can't wait to watch it with my kid!

What did you think of this week's episode? Were any of these outfits a game-changer for you?


  1. I love your PR posts and was afraid we weren't going to get one this week. What a week, too. I too thought there had to be some plants at the park and not the botanical type. Most people would have had difficulty dropping everything to take a chance at looking goofy on national TV.
    As to Char and her red was this better than last week's losing onesie?
    The preschool teacher muse didn't seem too bothered by baring her hip to the camera, why not the runway. How about the concept of wearing UNDERWEAR. But then I am old and maybe those thong things reveal this much.
    Again, I love Kini and his skillful sewing and taste. I think denim for a first date that looks this good would get you second date without looking like you are trying too hard.
    Also, why didn't Alexander show some of that talent Tim kept talking about? Did someone else make his audition portfolio? That houndstooth amoeba was beyond hideous.

    1. Good point about the red peplum romper...when is the peplum going to roll over and die already!?

  2. I thought Emily should have been the winner. The drest was interesting, dramatic and unusual and her client said she would definitely find an occasion to wear it. I loved Kini's look too.

    1. Yeah, her client legit loved it. And she successfully channelled the aesthetic into something unique. It was so much better than another motorcycle jacket!

    2. Yes - this look was the only thing that was vaguely fashion. Sure the motorcycle jacket was cute but if you can buy it in Forever 21 it shouldn't be winning challenges.

  3. When is the kids version? Kini is my favorite, Loved his look (I always do!) and the chevron stripes were hideous!

    1. The kids version starts on Oct. 23 — at 10:30 p.m., so I'm guessing they expect us all to DVR it!

  4. holy moly, I want that fabric!

    1. Unfortunately, Mood seems to have fallen behind on its "shop the look" feature on its website. I can't find this fabric on there....

  5. Emily's been so quiet, not winning or losing much, and then this was so her moment! I think you've nailed it with the would Heidi wear it criteria. How fresh is Zac Posen's technical critique? I love it! I have to admit that in all of Michael Kors' hilarious cut downs, I wondered how he the same mind could create engineered, beautiful garments. With Posen, I get it. And he agrees with me about Emily's dress and he looks sharp. Ok Zac Posen for the win actually.

    Also, didn't Tim Gunn look kind of wan? Is he ok??
    as always, THANK YOU for a place to dish. :)

    1. My husband said the same thing. I hope he just needs a vacation...

    2. I feel like TG has been off his game for a while now. I think he needs to sit out a season and feel refreshed about what he's doing again. I think he suffers when he sees talented designers lose out to people doing basic level Heidi-pleasing looks.

  6. I don't even know how a few of these people made it on to the show. And why do the designers always freak when they are dressing a 6 foot 1 model that wears a size zero? I am betting that 99.9% of their future clientele will not be a walking 18.5 yo stick figure. Kini was right on, how ever, emily really embraced the "make over" part of the challenge. they were supposed to make them over......I didn't really see much of that at all.

  7. I wanted to add (I made this comment on the Tom and lorenzo forum too) that NONE of these designers seem to have the very basic ability to hem a circle skirt and have it hang straight. Do designers get taught basic sewing skills these days? You should at least understand the elementary concepts of hanging a skirt that is partly on the bias (or at least not wholly straight grain) before you hem. Also, accounting for the size of the butt when you hem. Another TL commentator mentioned that they thought Char had shortened her zipper and neglected to sew a new zipper stop, which would be another elementary fail.

  8. always remember the heidi holy trinity: short, tight, shiny. if it isn't, she "won't wear it" and doesn't understand its other values. BOOOOO. (a huge part of why i gave up PR. also, team mondo. that is all.)

  9. Just so you know, I have to close my eyes when I see these posts in my feedly because I'm never caught up and I don't want spoilerssss. But you're so funny I'm going back to reread. I kinda hate Korina. She's so full of herself it makes me want to gag... but not as hard as Alexander's barf number. Even if that zipper had broken on the runway, he's still be goin' home.

  10. Good Blog with Fantastic variety of Kilts and other necessaries. Keep continue such kind of efforts.

  11. Beth, thank you so much for bringing back this delicious roast chicken! I used to cook it a few years ago when you first shared the recipe and we all loved it so much. Can’t wait to bring out it again!!



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