Tim Gunn

Project Runway Season 14 Finale

Okay, the actual finale!  This happened last week and I have some thoughts about it to end our time with Project Runway season 14.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.53.45 PM

After the judges’ critiques, each designer had a little work to do… okay, some more than others.  Edmond and Candice had to rework a lot of their pieces.  Kelly was basically told to amp it up, and Ashley just told she needed better finishing.  Tim went shopping for Kelly and Ashley and came back with glitter and zippers and threads, oh my!  We finally got to see the full collections.

Kelly presented first, and I can honestly say this was my favorite line.  I was so nervous about adding the glitter to the shoes, the pristine headphones, and even the lips, but man did it work so well!  It was very Kelly, and it was very cool.  As Zac put it when Kelly was oh so close to winning, “Kelly’s a cool girl.”

Edmond’s line definitely benefitted from the judges’ critiques.  His silhouettes were, for the most part, sleek and sexy.  The judges did not respond well to his ruffle dresses, but I especially loved the white one.  It was whimsical to me, not– like Heidi said– a toilet paper dress.

Candice’s line was “Asian infused,” as she kept saying, and I really think she meant Asian-inspired, but what can I do about it?  Actually, if she did mean infused, maybe that’s why there was such muddling of her voice.  Candice did great work throughout the season– I like the black and witchy, and I love Asian inspiration.  Aside from the jacket/cigarette pant look, I didn’t love this collection.  I did burst into tears when she scooped up her children for her walk up the runway, though – precious!

Finally, Ashley– the winner, by the way, if you haven’t heard by now.  I love that she did a plus size collection.  I love her color palette.  I love, and would wear, several of her pieces.  Nina seemed especially taken with Ashley this time around and how it’s “brave” to be “inclusive.”  As someone not in the fashion world at all, I don’t quite understand this, but I do know that a “plus size model” is a real size woman, so I’m glad a plus size collection was finally made.

Ashley and Kelly displayed the most creativity throughout the season.  I’ve been head over heels for Kelly lately, and I did really want her to win.  I think back to Ashley’s polaroid dress and remember that she deserved this win just as much as Kelly.

Thoughts?!

Project Runway: Finale part 1

I’ve already explained that I’m not one for finales, but I’ve watched this episode twice now and I can honestly say I can’t wait to see these designers’ runway shows and the judges’ reactions!

As I’d predicted desperately hoped, Tim Gunn uses his save to bring Edmond to the finale.  THANK GOODNESS.  These four– Edmond, Ashley, Kelly, and Candice– were really the standout designers of the show.  They deserve it.  Heidi mentions that they hope Ashley considers making a plus size collection, which was her plan, and Tim says they will support her with plus size models.  A first!  How cool!  The get 7 weeks and $9000 to cook up their 10 look collection.  For finale part 1, we have Tim visiting each of the designers at home.

First, Tim goes to see Ashley in San Diego.  She apparently lives at her sister’s house, where she has a pastel and lace-filled collection brewing.  She’s dyed all of the fabric herself and designed floral headpieces to be worn with each.  Tim then heads to her parents’ house with her, where he is charged with making tortillas.  Adorbs.

Tim then hits the beach in San Francisco to meet Candice, her mom, and her two kids– Perseus and Logan.  They go back to her studio where the cage for her final piece is sitting outside waiting.  Candice’s collection is an amalgamation of Asian inspirations and full of black and red leather.  Tim worries it could go full-tilt drag queen.

Next, it’s off to see Kelly in Springfield, MA… which, if you didn’t realize, isn’t actually Boston!  Seriously, she may as well be Kelly from Albany in that location.  I guess all of Massachusetts does feel very connector to our capital city.  Anyway, Tim previews Kelly’s studio 54 meet streetwear collection which is full of detail and so, so cool.  She has cool headphones to pair with some of her looks and has made fanny packs from scratch to go with each.  In love!  After dinner with Kelly’s dad, aunt, and cousin, Tim is off to Kelly’s deli where they’ve names a sandwich after him!  Tim gets the “Big Gunn Milanese” wrapped to go and he’s off!

To Atlanta, that is, to pop into Edmond Newton’s studio.  He has a lot of work to do still, but Tim steers him in the direction of the effortless looks and away from the architectural pieces.

Back in New York, the designers get to see each other and, for the first time, their collections.  Edmond’s stays in garment bags.  He says he’s busy with finishing 3 looks, but he’s not fooling anyone.  They know this game by now.

Of course, there’s a challenge!  Each designer must show 3 pieces, one of which is to be created right then and there.  They get to work on the additional work, and here’ what they show to the judges:

Top row: Candice, Kelly; Bottom row: Edmond, Ashley

Top row: Candice, Kelly; Bottom row: Edmond, Ashley

And after critique, they all have a lot of work to do.  I can’t wait to see part 2 of the finale tonight!  Who do you think will win?  Me?  I’m team fanny pack– go #designerKelly!

Project Runway: Red Carpet

Last week’s Project Runway was the last challenge before the finale.  Four extremely talented designers were left– Kelly, my Boston girl, who has grown immensely throughout the season, wowed the judges, and stands as my favorite; Edmond, a front-runner from the beginning creating polished and stunning pieces; Candice, who I’ve always liked and definitely has direction; and Ashley, who I liked right away but has sort of lost her shine throughout the season.

These four are flown to Los Angeles, California for the Best Western challenge.  The winner gets 100 free nights in any Best Western (!!) and obviously, goes on to fashion week along with two of their fellow designers.  They have a budget of $400.  I have a lot to say about each of the looks, so let’s just fast-forward the two days back to New York for the runway!

Zac, Heidi, and Nina are joined by guest judge Christian Siriano for the runway show.  Here’s what the designers present:

IMG_0071

  • Candice’s look is lovely.  The top of that dress is beautiful.  Is it safe, as Nina says?  Yes.  Will it get her sent home?  Absolutely not.  It fits the challenge as red carpet wear.  I’ve liked Candice throughout. Apparently I’d never noticed until now that she has a full leg tattoo (like a sleeve, but on your leg.  a pant?).  I’ve enjoyed her work and her aesthetic.
  • Kelly does it again!  I was worried about the risk of presenting a jumpsuit, but this gorgeous layered textile she created honestly works so well in this format.  I can’t even picture this as a dress.  This is absolutely polished enough for the red carpet and it’ll definitely get photographers’ attention.  I’m still so proud of Kelly.  I’m laughing about the moment she calls it “her deli” from back home and then laughs at herself saying, “I don’t own a deli; I make sandwiches!”  She’s grown so much and there’s not one second I doubted her space in the finale throughout this episode.
  • This fabric didn’t speak to me the way it spoke to Edmond in mood.  Sure, I like it, but I would never choose it.  I can’t picture this ever swinging elegant.  I do like the silhouette he ended up with, even though Christian says he could do it in 10 minutes.  It’s especially lovely from the back.  Never for a second did I doubt Edmond’s spot in the finale either.
  • Ashley’s ready-to-wear pieces are so good.  Ashley’s lavender hair and perfectly coordinated lip color are both so good.  Lately, though, Ashley’s doubts have gotten the better of her.  This dress didn’t do it for me.  I liked the textile and I liked Aube’s cleavage.  Nina noticed fit issues and so did I all the way from TV land.  She struggled in this challenge and in my opinion, she was the least deserving of the four to go to fashion week.

Candice is announced as “in” first and is off to fashion week!  I’m a bit surprised that they’d announce her first, but that’s because they were saving Kelly’s spot to announce that she had won the challenge!  Kelly wins 100 free nights at Best Westerns, a ticket to fashion week, and literally like a new life?  I’m so proud of her.  It comes down to Edmond and Ashley, and I’m shocked that the judges do not invite Edmond to fashion week.  I was sure that Tim was going to suddenly whip out that Tim Gunn save and send him there anyway.  Maybe with some time at home, Ashley will have a fresh perspective on her designs and wow us at fashion week.  …but I really wanted to see Edmond’s collection.

Thoughts?!

Project Runway: Bridges, Squares

If anyone knows where this title comes from, leave me a comment and let’s be best friends.

Last week’s Project Runway challenge was a true first for the show and a truly cool and innovative one!  When Heidi announces that the challenge will be in 3D, the designers and I are pretty rightfully confused.  I’m also confused about why Merline thinks it’s unique that she sees the world in 3D, but we won’t go there.

All comes to light when the group meets Tim at the Queensboro Bridge.  This bridge, along with the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge are to serve as inspiration to the designers for avant garde looks.  They will also be using 3D printed elements in their garment.  They’re still rightfully confused, (Kelly notes she doesn’t own a “2D printer,”) but they’ll have a consultant for sketching who knows what this Cube 3D printer can do!  As the winner of last week’s challenge, Kelly gets to select her bridge and goes with Brooklyn.  Tim button-bags the rest– Candice and Merline get Queensboro and Edmond and Ashley get Manhattan.

Here’s what they come up with:

IMG_2117

Kelly took a real risk in taking this challenge so literally, but everyone responded really well to it.  I love it too.  It’s so fitting for the challenge and it’s just so cool.  Kelly won for the second time in a row!  You go, Boston!

IMG_9983

  • Merline’s process was so interesting to watch this week.  I finally feel like I understand her as a designer.  She has such grand ideas that don’t always translate when she’s done the work.  Her 3D printing was some of the best too.  I just think the dress is underwhelming.  The judges agree.
  • Edmond’s piece is so gorgeous.  He earns high praise from the judges this week as well and is just consistently on through this competition.  I LOVE the mask he added!
  • Ashley seems to have given up to me.  While I love her pants, I hate the application of the 3D printing on the cape.  I love a cape, but this doesn’t work together as a look.
  • Candice may not have quite hit avant garde with this dress, but she had the absolute best 3D printing application around.  I loved this dress and so did guest judge Mel B., who asked if she could wear it to an event!

Ashley and Merline found themselves in the bottom this week, and Merline was out.  As much as I’ve loved Ashley this season, I thought it was her time to go.  She just seems tired.  Merline went out so positively and she will be missed.

Thoughts?!

Project Runway: Cast & Crew

Last week’s Project Runway was kind of a fun, behind-the-scenes peek at the people who make this show possible.  It was the Sally Beauty challenge, and it was also time for crew make-overs!

Tim Gunn, armed with walkie talkie, called forth several crew members and paired them with designers:

  • Camera Assistant Katie got paired with Merline
  • Sound Mixer Desiree got paired with Edmond
  • Talent Manager Ashleigh got paired with Kelly
  • Production Coordinator Jennifer got paired with Swapnil
  • Challenge Assistant Nicole got paired with Ashley
  • Model Wrangler Monique got paired with Candice

Hey, does anyone think Kelly is looking classier and classier as the show goes on?  She’s my Boston girl and I’m totally pulling for her.

Anyway, basically the designers almost all have trouble marrying their aesthetics with their clients wishes.  Because it was the beloved Project Runway crew, expectations and emotions were a lot higher.  Tim loves the crew like a family, and thus was particularly protective during his critiques.  No one has a good consultation/fitting.  In fact, Tim was pretty made at Swapnil especially, who just doesn’t use his time well or put in much effort.  Everyone started over or had major work to do after speaking with Tim.  Here are the end results:

IMG_9942

My girl Kelly ended up taking the win home.  Merline’s look also went over well, but mostly, the looks were not well-received.  Edmond’s was lukewarm.  Candice’s was basically awful and gross.  I like that Tim said it looks like it came from H&M.  Ashley’s was also not her best look.  The peplum didn’t work and neither did the print.  Swapnil, who disagreed with his client from the beginning, was the loser of the challenge and is sent packing.

Can you blame the judges?

Project Runway: Broadway Style

When you think Broadway, you probably think costumes.  That’s not what the designers had to contend with in last week’s episode!  The designers find themselves on Broadway, in a theatre, face to face to Matthew Morrison.  It’s something fun!  They actually get to sit and watch Finding Neverland on Broadway and design the next day.

They are to draw their inspiration from Fining Neverland, but the garment can be whatever they want.  The designers are all seemingly very affected by the musical and, for the most part, significantly inspired.  Candice and Lindsay are both moved to tears.  It’s Kelly’s first Broadway show and she’s feeling very special; she decides, bolstered by her immunity, to try something completely out of her norm.  Ashley is nervous; she feels she needs parameters to do well.  The next day at Mood, Edmund is choosing crazy colors.  Tim’s a bit nervous, but Edmund says he dreams in color.  Tim adds he dreams in black and white and shades of gray.  Love you, Tim Gunn.

Swapnil knows he procrastinated his look a lot the previous week.  Tim even acknowledges that he’s given 40% and needs to give 100%.  Swapnil ends up disappointed because giving 100% makes him safe.  Merline, who had a bit of trouble getting inspired but ends up with a cool cagey shoulder look, is also safe.  The best and the worst this week:

IMG_2055

  • Candice | This gorgeous floral winged-coat, leather bodice, and tight pant combo blows me away.  I love it and so do the judges.
  • Lindsay | The color is beautiful and so is the movement of the dress.  I don’t like the high cut of the neckline, but I like the flow of the dress.  The judges do not.
  • Edmund | Okay, his coat looks like Lumpy Space Princess, but I also kind of like the texture.  The crop top and pants underneath the (Zac Posen calls it a muppet) coat are pure gold, though.
  • Laurie | I mean, the model isn’t dressed.  I like her coat, but all of the models parts are out.
  • Kelly | Her reimagining of old Broadway attire works for me.  She made the gloves, so points!  Both myself and the judges love the green sequin fabric.
  • Ashley | I like the ombre textile, but I don’t like the dress.  Neither do the judges.

Candice takes the win!

It comes down to Laurie and Lindsay for who’s to be out, and Lindsay goes.  I’ve liked Lindsay, but despite her saying she likes being here, I’m not believing it.  I’m shocked that Laurie’s garment held up against hers, but maybe it was just time for Lindsay to go.  Thoughts?!

Project Runway: Futuristic Flash-Back

It may be an oxymoron, but last week’s Project Runway was both a blast from the past and a flash-forward.  It was– my favorite– an unconventional materials challenge!  It started with a boombox and the clue from Heidi to “dive in.”  How does retro tech fit with that clue?  It’s a dumpster dive through outdated technology!  It yielded, of course, mixed results.

Lindsay is getting on my nerves.  She’s such a complainer and no one understands her and she doesn’t get unconventional materials… yeah girl, that’s the point.  Kelly is totally inspired.  She thrives using unconventional materials.  ‘Atta girl, Boston!  Ashley doesn’t trust her own process, but her nostalgic polaroid picture look is pure gold.

Ashley's smashed Polaroid photo dress is my absolute favorite this week.  I'd wear that in a heartbeat.

Ashley’s smashed Polaroid photo dress is my absolute favorite this week. I’d wear that in a heartbeat.

Here’s what the rest of the designers make: (more…)

Project Runway: Pajama Party

Oh goodness, did I love last week’s Project Runway challenge!  We’ve seen some interesting ones with Heidi Klum’s various lines before, but this has got to be the first lingerie challenge.  (Right?)  It’s super interesting to me– I love a good Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and love choosing my own underthings, be they cute, comfy, or sexy.  TMI?  Well, let’s get to the designers, then.

After Heidi announces the winner’s design will be mass produced for her Heidi Klum Intimates collection, the designers find themselves in the workroom with plenty of lace, bows, and basic bra forms so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

They have one day for this challenge.  There is, of course, a twist!  Heidi also announces that they are to make a cover-up for their lingerie.  They also have to have a slumber party aka sleep on the runway before the show.  Hah!

Can we talk about Lindsay real quick?  She drops her scissors and cuts her hand and has to go get a stitch and I think she’s being a total baby.  Like, not that she didn’t deserve medical attention… but like, she was being so dramatic about it.  I still like her, so whatever.

Here’s what the designers come up with: (more…)

Project Runway: Fashion Flip

Did anyone else think last week’s Project Runway had like, a lot of themes?  It was the Mary Kay Challenge, meaning the winner gets $5000 care of Mary Kay Cosmetics.  The challenge was to update a classic garment (think: the wrap dress, the pencil skirt) by adding your own twist.  Also, the designers were to use the New York City skyline as inspiration.  See what I mean?  There are a lot of things.

Anyway, I can’t help but find this a very daunting task.  The designers take their very first trip to Mood after sketching to pick out fabrics.  They only get one day for this challenge as well.  In that one-day, they fit in some model fittings and hair and make-up consultations.  At the end of it all, here’s what they put on the runway: (more…)

Project Runway: Not the Love Boat

Last week, the designers were taken aboard a cruise ship to announce their challenge.  Seven suitcases boasted seven fabulous destinations to serve as inspiration for a day-to-night vacation look.  Fourteen designers for seven suitcases meant this would be their first team challenge.

Tim brings out the dreaded button bag to get it all started.  Amanda and Gabby are the first pair drawn and they select their location first: the South of France.  Ashley & Candice are drawn next, and they chose Venice.  Lindsay & Jake are partnered up and select Hong Kong.  Laurie & Swapnil select India.  Kelly & Blake take the Greek Isles.  Edmond (who has immunity) and Hanmiao pick the Caribbean.  Merline and Joseph are left together and the St. Petersburg.

It’s not smooth sailing for all the teams once they get to work.  Two different points of view clash for Edmond and Hanmiao.  Edmond makes very feminine clothes, but Hanmiao prefers structure.  Hanmiao seems unable to communicate anything but that fact.  Lindsay’s ideas all get shot down by Jake, but he doesn’t seem to offer any suggestions of his own.  Joseph decided Merline would annoy him before they even began, so he “put her on lockdown” and wouldn’t let her sing/dance/act like herself… or even contribute any ideas.  While I admit, she’s been a bit much, her ideas have always been well received by the judges.

The other pairs are getting along perfectly– Laurie & Swapnil are integrating bits of each other into one finished product, Ashley & Candice are inspired by each other’s style and the fabrics from their suitcase, Amanda & Gabby seems to share a point of view, and Kelly & Blake are perfectly aligned on their Greek goddess garment.  Here’s what the teams come up with:

After endless fighting with Jake, Lindsay somehow manages to create this.  She did, however, have to do all of the work by herself.

After endless fighting with Jake, Lindsay somehow manages to create this. She did, however, have to do all of the work by herself.

IMG_9096

  • Lindsay & Jake end up in the top!  Despite all of their troubles, Lindsay’s design and hard work pays off.  I love this risky fabric mix.
  • Amanda & Gabrielle are a bottom look for the night.  I think the shirt is entirely confusing.  I don’t like it either.
  • Blake & Kelly’s jumpsuit may actually be my favorite look this week.  They are the only team that is safe straight out of the gates.
  • Candice & Ashley’s look is definitely bold, but it does work.  This one puts them in the top.
  • Swapnil & Laurie’s look is pretty perfect.  Laurie’s fabric suggestion for the sari-like piece is definitely “the secret sauce,” as Tim Gunn said.  This look is another top one!
  • Joseph & Merline end up in the bottom for this hideous, matronly dress and cape.  The fabric is awful.  The color is awful.
  • Hanmiao and Edmond’s Caribbean disaster also deserved to be in the bottom.  Hanmiao’s bathing suit is so poorly constructed.  Edmond even made another one while she sewed the model into this one… yeah, communication was an issue.

The choice comes down to Hanmiao and Merline for who’s out.  If it were up to me, I’d have chosen Joseph to be out, believing he’s more at fault for a bad garment than both of these ladies.  Between the two, though, Hanmiao is out.  I agree with this decision, even though I’d enjoyed her thus far!  I do think Merline has more to accomplish.

What did you think of last week’s elimination?!