Oct 18, 2014

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

The penultimate episode of each season of Project Runway is always a favorite of mine: you get a preview of the designers' collections, you get a glimpse at their lives back home, and you get to see their new haircuts. (I reckon if I saw myself on TV, my first response would be to book an appointment with my hairstylist too).

Char is probably not going to win this season of Project Runway, but she should get a special award for this 'do, which I love:

Colder months are approaching in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Sean's winter coat is coming in nicely:

And we should thank the producers for keeping Kini around; otherwise, we would never have had the chance to see Tim Gunn do the hula — the highlight of his trip to Hawaii:

Well, the highlight for us. Maybe more awkward contractually-obligated humiliation for him:

Back to the designers: sure enough, in creating their final Fashion Week collections, they returned to this season's signatures:

(C'mon Char! Can't you sew a slit, vent, or kick pleat into a fitted skirt?! I gave you a pass in the regular season because time was always of the essence. But here, in the finals....not cool.)

There was one designer, however, who shocked us all: Kini. I'm hoping he'll redeem himself in the next episode (which inevitably will include a trip to Mood, a whole new look and the return of previously eliminated designers to help). But for now, his denim-heavy preview collection was a disappointment. It's like he took his least successful look of the season and built an entire collection around it.

Amanda and Sean, meanwhile went the other route — taking their biggest successes and then flogging them to .....death? We'll see next week, I suppose. How many of you are stoked to see Amanda's patchwork maxi in shades of blue? And how many of you think Nina will drop dead upon discovering the fact that EVERY SINGLE PIECE IN SEAN'S COLLECTION HAS FRINGE?


  1. I think Kini's problem was too much time. He does his best work when he hurries!

  2. Nina will drop dead -- lmao!!!!!!!
    I am over Amanda. I liked her skirt but otherwise, she does nothing for me.
    Char's jacket dress thing was hot as hell and I'd make it!
    Kini - what in the .... That was just horrid. All of it. I hate it all.

    1. Yeah, that striped dress was cool. I would wear that.

  3. I was surprised and disappointed with Kini's collection. I hope he can fix it! I thought Sean used too much fringe. Amanda's collection was OK. And I liked Char's use of color.

    1. Char would be a surprise winner, wouldn't she?

  4. i really hope that Kini is the super amazing finale comeback story after his not good at all collection. he really does best with weird challenges and time restraints! bummer about that. i'm kinda feeling Amanda for the win. i haven't loved everything she did this season, but she seems to have it together collection-wise. and cool jewelry to boot. Char wins for best haircut, to be sure, but her collection was all over the place. Sean... i don't totally hate that he did ALL THE FRINGE, but Nina is gonna lose it!

  5. Nina: "How much fringe is in the collection?"
    Sean: ".... Enough."

    Best response ever! The hilarious thing in this whole incident is watching Tim's face. It's like, this whole season he has been trying to discourage the fringe, but then it always ends up winning. So Tim finally embraces the fringe and Nina is all, OMG too much fringe! The funny thing is, looking at Sean's original ideas for his collection, I have to say Tim was totally right - I'm glad Sean went for it with the fringe. I mean, yes, it is a lot, but I sort of love it because I think it is done well. If they were doing larger collections and he had it on everything it would be way too much, but I'm sort of really liking it as the cohesive theme for his collection, because otherwise the looks feel very different. Of the preview mini-collections I think his was my favorite.

    Amanda's collection was very Amanda. It felt a bit more elevated than a lot of her previous work this season. Still not my aesthetic, but I do feel like I've seen her improve over the season and I think that is impressive. I really like her jewelry, and I think it elevates her work. Of course, this isn't that PR Accessories show, so I don't think that should overshadow the actual clothes. I do think all of her looks are too similar though. 3 looks was enough of the collection for me and I don't really feel like I need to see more.

    Char's collection - it had a lot of things I like, but it just doesn't feel as sophisticated or polished as the other designer's work. I respond to her looks more than I do to Amanda's, but if I were judging between the two of them I would have to give the nod to Amanda. With several more years of experience I think Char could be a really amazing designer though. I would love to see what she does if they bring her onto All Stars in a few years time.

    Kini - oh Kini. I've loved so much of what he has done this season. I feel like he has exquisite taste and flawless construction, but perhaps after the full season of PR he is suffering from burn out? He keeps saying he wants to return to what is comfortable (denim), but I feel like his best work came when he was being asked to do something new and unusual (like sewing for the rainway, or children, etc.). The thing is, I think he has too many wow pieces (or ideas for them) but he layered everything so much it can't sing on its own. Tim's musical phrase talk should have been with Kini as well as Sean. Here everything is banging on the keyboard and all you get is noise. I love the pencil skirt with the leather waistband, but paired with the top it is just too much. Same story with that white top and skirt. Pair either of those pieces with something simple and you would have a knockout look, but together the volume makes it looks like a little girl trying to dress in mommy's clothes. The coat... is a bit heavy handed. I feel like it could be a wow piece in a more luxurious fabric (like a really heavy satin), but in the denim it just looks overworked and over-designed. I want him to pull it together, but I don't know if he is in a stable enough emotional place to do that in the time allotted.

    Hopes for next time: (1) Nina gets over herself and embraces the fringe (not gonna happen, but I can dream). That or else we get a super heated debate between Nina and Heidi about the merits of fringe. Or TIm pipes up and tells them both to stuff it. That would be amazing. (2) Kini makes fashion week magic happen and gives us a wow collection (Kini is fast, but I don't think even he is quite that fast). I'm rooting for him to pull it out though. (3) Amanda varies her looks enough to give us more than 10 maxi-dresses, but not so much that the judges decide to give her the win. (4) Char has a great time, observes, and learns lots because I think she could have a great future in fashion.

    Any way this shakes out should be very exciting runway to watch!

    1. I think getting to this point must be a huge validation for Char, who was still working as a hair stylist before she came to PR. I love her as a person and bet she'll rock the heck out of Project Runway All-Stars one day!

  6. OMG, the haircut thing - so true :-)

  7. I'm so into Amanda's looks and I'm really excited to see Sean's collection. He's been my favorite throughout the season, but the preview gave me pause (I like the outfit he showed to the judges, but am unsure what direction he's going to take with the whole collection). Kini... yuck. I have an immediate negative reaction to denim, and it feels so strange that he thinks of it as his signature. I just don't think he's all that creative- he seems to work better with lots of constraints, and when challenges are more open-ended, his projects sometimes seem dull.

  8. Mainly I was sad that they didn't stop for gelato in Rome.
    And I want to know more about Amanda's oblivious ginger cat!!!
    And Tim, I never want to leave Hawaii either, which is why I keep going back. Only Tim would wear a full on blazer and tie in Hawaii.

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