Zac Posen

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.

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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: 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:

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  • 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: 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:

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  • 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: Mad Dash

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I like reality TV competitions, especially when they are creative in nature.  So, Project Runway works for me.  I also really like to start the week off with some sort of TV recap, so despite the fact that this show is on on Thursdays, it’s going to be my Monday post!

It’s season 14, and as with every new season’s start, there are too many designers to distinguish many yet.  Along the way, perhaps three stand out to me immediately: Lindsey, whose overall aesthetic strikes a note with me; Merline, who annoys the designers and myself with her constant singing and calls muslin “muslim” enough that Tim corrects her; and Hanmiao, who refers to herself as a “pistachio” which in Chinese means happy nut… that works for me.

The slew of designers find themselves in Madison Square Garden where Heidi announces their first challenge.  Looking around, there is fabric scattered throughout the stadium seats.  The designers have just three minutes to grab up to four pieces of fabric.  From there, they have one day to construct anything– as long as it represents them as a designer.

The get to the work room and Tim calls some of them out immediately for not coming prepared.  Apparently, Merline, Swapnil, and David all came to Project Runway without any tools and will have to depend on the kindness of others for scissors, shears, and any other tools of the trade.  Construction begins and the next time Tim comes to check on the designers, things don’t end much better.  While a couple designers receive positive feedback from Tim, he is largely disappointed in what he sees.  The last couple of hours helps some of the designers work some magic, because the next day, the work looks better and Tim feels better about it too.  Here’s what the designers send out on the runway:

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And here’s how I feel:

  • Blake | I hate this.  I hated it in the work room and I hate it on the runway.  Why did he put this necklace with it?  I hate that too.
  • Amanda | I want to like Amanda, but I hate her dress.  I think in a different print it could work better for me, but it doesn’t as is.
  • Laurie | I love the top and the fit, but I wish the slit were lower or cut differently so it didn’t look so much like one completely bare leg.
  • Hanmiao | I don’t know why, but I get this look.  It’s too matchy and doesn’t look well made, but I understand her aesthetic.
  • Swapnil | This came out nice.
  • Duncan | This literally looks like he just pinned the piece of fabric on the model.  The back looks better than the front, but this doesn’t work at all for me.
  • Edmond | After seeing two earlier versions of Edmond’s garment, I am so happy with how this turned out!  Good choices were made.
  • Merline | I thought she was going to get no work done, so I’m especially surprised at how much this works for me.  It looks so well made.
  • Lindsay | Very cute.  Extremely wearable.
  • David | I’m so surprised at how much I like this.  I would love to wear something similar.
  • Joseph | Love the colors.  Also very wearable.
  • Kelly | Not a fan of the top, but I like the skirt.
  • Jake | All print, nothing special about the dress.  Like the print, though.
  • Gabrielle | Someone’s mom who thinks their chic would wear this.
  • Candice | Liked this in the work room, like it on the runway.
  • Ashley | Slam dunk.  Cute and totally works.

Heidi, Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, and Hannah Davis judge.  The judges call out Edmond, Merline, and Ashley for the top, and Hanmiao, Duncan, and Blake for the bottom.  I am so nervous for Hanmiao, because I really like her and I fear the judges will prefer the others.

Ashley takes the first win and secures immunity for herself for the next challenge.  She definitely deserved it!

Duncan ends up being the first one out.  I breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s always hard to see the first one go.

What do you think of the designers so far?  Any early favorites?