Oct 11, 2014

What Did We Learn From Project Runway This Week? Season 13, Episode 12

So many of you had kind, supportive words for me last week about my new gig and the struggle to balance work/family responsibilities/and a smidgen of personal time. I appreciated your empathy and wish I could invite you all over Thursday nights for the duration of this season! So much so, I woke up again too early for a Saturday — which means I have a few quiet moments to reflect on this week's episode of Project Runway! As always, have your say below.

The most important lesson from this week's episode of Project Runway can be summed up in one succinct Ron Swanson quote (presented to you here in poster form, created by the Etsy genius Creative Sobriety):

This week the designers were first tasked with creating a new look from one of the previously eliminated designer's losing garments — while also assigned with that designer as a helper. This challenge was surely designed by devious producers determined to cause some fireworks between Korina and Char. Though Char put on a good front, Korina huffily asked to be relieved of her contractural duties. Tim let her go (thank you, Tim!) and Alexander instead returned to help Char sew her look.

And as if that challenge wasn't enough, the designers were then asked to also create a look inspired by the streets of NYC — a perennial challenge that usually results in some of the funnest fashion on Project Runway.

But their divided attention (even with the aid of a previously eliminated designer/sewing elf) was their downfall. You just can't half-ass two things (in the same vein: I am unfortunately half-assing this blog post right now; my family woke up early too and now they won't stop talking to me, sitting next to me, reading over my shoulder...it's so hard to whole-ass something when there's breakfast to be prepared).

Amanda definitely whole-assed her street style maxi dress. I think we can all agree it was her best work so far this season (even though I shudder to think of actually walking the urine-stained streets of New York in a maxi that length):

Her re-do of Fade's Samsung dress...obviously an afterthought.

Char, meanwhile, paired a printed black and white bustier with a sculptural skirt in Radiant Orchid. I didn't really get the pocket either. But the ladies do love their pockets, don't they.

From afar, her re-do was pretty. But up close it seemed to have maternity gathering/kangaroo pouch. 

Emily's street style look was so Emily. I think it was successful, even if Heidi and Nina would only deign to wear it as pajamas:

Her re-do look....definitely half-assed. The judges said it looked like it wasn't even her...which I have to agree. That print is amazing though. I may have to stalk the aisles of Mood to secure some for next Spring's sewing projects...

The judges loved Sean's street style look, this white structured blouse and skirt with cut-outs and shaping. I thought it was interesting how his inspiration — a man wearing an all-white tunic and loose pants outfit — translated into this unique look. I wouldn't wear it, but if I saw someone pass me by wearing this in Soho, I would assume she worked in fashion. That's usually the measure of a winning Project Runway look.

Meanwhile his re-do....what could we expect when he had to refashion Sandhya's hideous kiddie jumpsuit? That color...more fringe. Ugh. Moving on.

Kini was the one designer who whole-assed the re-do challenge, turning Mitchell's failed red carpet look into this stunning gown:

His street style look was an unfortunate mashup...a result of taking Tim Gunn's advice too much to heart. Maybe the coat looks like Michael Kors off-the-rack, but it was so well done, and in an unexpected fabric...the judges loved it. Something spare underneath could have helped him win. 

So what do you think? Which challenge was the more difficult one this week? What happens when you try to half-ass two things?


  1. This was a great episode. I think I never really *got* Amanda until this dress. She has finally learned how to transform her love of seventies/patchwork into something that feels fresh. A plus. I feel really bad for Kini because he was going for a sleek look under the coat and his interpretation of Tim's advice derailed him. Though I think a ruffle that mimics in some way the horsehair on the other dress may have been successful. Lastly - I'm really glad the judges are giving Char the chance to go to fashion week. She has this spark and also a commercial sensibility that I think will be successful BUT clearly can't perform at a very high level in the limited time the designers are given, which I am glad the judges forgave of her. But that one hour elimination dress last week - she really showed her guts and smarts.

  2. I'm starting to think that Kini isn't that creative. But that could just be my intense hatred of double denim talking... don't keep using denim, dude! And I didn't really like the red dress- it's beautifully made, but I feel like I've seen this dress about 1000 times before. It's a little too Old Hollywood for me. But overall I loved all the street fashion looks. I'm obsessed with Amanda's and I thought Emily's was super cool. If I saw a girl wearing that on the street, I would want to know her!

    1. I hear you on the double denim. Double mis-matched denim. Blurgh! Char's street style was my least favorite. All the others had an "ease" to them so you can actually picture someone wearing them all day. No way her girl can sit in a park bench in that. I hope she puts vents and slits in her runway collection. Tired of seeing skirts nobody can walk in!

  3. I loved Kini's trench coat and wished he had kept the skirt plain - too much froufrou on the skirt. I loved the red dress but agree with Heidi that the horsehair on the hem wasn't necessary.

    1. I think I missed that horsehair debacle. I was falling asleep by the end of it!

  4. Listening to the judges this week made me realize that Project Runway should be called "What Would Heidi Wear." I plan to finish out this season, but don't expect to watch the next. Also, unlike many others, I am still not a fan of Amanda and would have rather seen Emily show in Fashion Week.

  5. I don't get Amanda...nope, just don't. The judges haven't like Emily from the beginning. I think she followed the challenge myself. Char may be a surprise, but she had too many chances. Kini and Sean will shine or be a snooze fest......no middle of the road for them.

    1. Sean: when he's good, he's very, very good. But when he's bad, he's terrible!

  6. Kini has mad skills so even when he'd not in top form he's amazing. The topstitching! (which adds, like, 50% more time to construction, turst me I've done plenty of topstitching on my own projects) I loved the trench, but he should have paired it with pants and sent it down the runway closed and belted to show it off.

  7. I am pretty surprised that Char made it through, because I don't think she is performing on the same level as the other three. However, I am happy for her just because I like her.

  8. Random thoughts:

    I love your quote. I think it fits this situation perfectly.

    Kini has incredible talent. That red dress was to die for. He really should not have taken Tim so much to heart with that comment. That skirt went to crazyland. He has so much skill. What if he taught a sewing weekend? Would that not be the coolest thing ever.

    Glad that Korina exited stage left. So sick of her. Tired of her drama. I have teenagers. They are not that dramatic. Char stayed classy. Good for her.

    I'm starting to like Amanda. I really did not want to.



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