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Project Runway: Sean’s NYFW Collection

It was about halfway through Season 13, when I called it that the show would force Amanda into the finale, but the real contenders of the bunch were Sean and Kini, and of those two, it was Sean who had the more editorial vision. I said during the Rain Episode that I thought Sean would probably win when it came down to that, and by god, he did.

That’s not to say his collection was some amazing thing. It was better than Kini’s, and better than Char’s. At first glance it looked more couturenthan Amanda’s, but on further inspection I take that back. Sean had a problem that Amanda didn’t: he mistook repetitive for cohesiveness.

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But repetitiveness of the collection aside, the moment Nina said ‘Editorial” we all knew it was over. And to be fair, this white outfit was clean and classy, elegantly draped and the best opener of the four collections.

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Project Runway: Amanda’s NYFW Collection

I have been a little mean this season about the production’s blatant push to get Amanda into the finale. I understand there is a need to make Project Runway Redemption a little more interesting in order to get more of the audience to go to mylifetime and vote. And, to be fair, unlike the Season 12 Redemption contestant Kate, Amanda had already been to Fashion Week. In fact, all three of this seasons possible candidates had already been to Fashion Week with dummy collections, whether or not they showed them nonwithstanding.

So to bring a contestant back that already showed a dummy collection only to have them only reach that stage again would be somewhat pointless–I get that. The problem is of course, that A: the show doesn’t acknowledge this anywhere on camera and B: they shoot themselves in the foot by not allowing us to see Amanda’s growth arc from the last time she showed a collection. Instead what we saw were outfits that should have by rights sent her home at about the same point she did last time being mushy middled through, or worse, put in the top.

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That sort of blatant manipulation can lead to a lot of ill will against a contestant, most of which wasn’t Amanda’s fault. She wanted to win.

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Project Runway: Kini’s NYFW Collection

If this were Project Seamstress, Kini would have won hands down.

But it’s not and it wasn’t. To be fair, I thought he probably should have been Top two over Amanda, but that’s subjective. The polls at the bottom of the screen showed that the audience was divided into thirds over if Sean, Amanda or Kini should have won. At that point, fashion becomes purely subjective.

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There were things about this collection I really liked. Funny enough, they all involved these pieces he made last-minute that had little to no denim in them. The problem with Kini is he worked best under pressure with no time to over think. This outfit is proof.

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Project Runway: Char’s NYFW Collection

I feel bad for Char.

I mean, I shouldn’t. She would probably tell me not to. After all, she got to the finale, she got her line shown on TV. That she got there over better designers, and with no less than three saves, two of which were by Tim Gunn? Well, sometimes you get lucky in life.

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Sometimes, so lucky that you even show the turquoise outfit Tim fought to keep out of your finale collection. To be fair, it wasn’t as bad as Tim made it out to be. Maybe a touch hoochie in the back and over designed, but no worse than some of the other stuff that walked during the Project Runway show.

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Project Runway Season 13: Finale, Part 2

We return to the Finale, already in progress. Kini seems to have forgotten that he has the speed skills to remake his collection, or perhaps the show is just desperate for some sort of drama. Either way, he makes lot of hay over the judges panning his collection last week.

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He is interrupted by Tim who recaps what the judges said, in case we forgot.  He then takes Char, Kini and Sean to Mood. Amanda is self-sufficient, and brought tons of fabric, since last time she showed a dummy collection she wasn’t allowed such last-minute luxuries, and declines to go.

As our designers sew and drape in a panicked rush, let’s take a minute to note that this is the second year running that Project Runway has tied their own hands. There’s a general sense that this Final Four is not very interesting, either fashion wise or personality wise. But there is an interesting story line here. Amanda is the first in PR history to show twice under their Fashion Week banner. If she were allowed to talk about this on camera, this could have made for a very interesting experience. Unfortunately, all she can say on camera was “It feels like Season 11 was my warm up.” Once again, the show’s adamant refusal to acknowledge the Dummy Collections on camera (despite every fan knowing they exist) and plenty of sites (not just mine) running them shoots them in the foot. I cannot understand why they don’t just drop the pretense once and for all.

Oh look, Tim showed up for the walk through. I suppose we should pay attention.

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  • Amanda: She’s looking to turn the long dress the judges said to cut last week into a tunic and a skirt. Tim tells her she’s in good shape and to stop over thinking.
  • Kini: He’s already turned his coat from last week into a minidress. He talks about making shorts and leggings in a quivering voice. Tim makes positive noises at him.
  • Sean: Having been first told by Tim to go total fringe, and then told by Nina that it can’t all be fringe, Sean is splitting the difference. He got a silk in that same bright orange as his fringe pieces and is making a non fringed draped outfit with it.
  • Char: Tim has already told her once to cut the fuchsia and turquoise garments, but she still has them on the table, forcing him to push them away like they are diseased. She does have a rather nice simple hoodie dress, which Tim pushes her not to over design. She also has a cheap looking gold lame, which makes Tim look ill. He has to raise his voice over her protests that she needs to think about what she’s doing.

Dearest Tim, you saved the girl. You broke the Fashion Week wall and forced her in. Your choice caused the production to push her all the way to the finale so we can see her collection walk. (Again, if Dummy Collections were acknowledged, this would not have been necessary.) You have led the horse to water. She will now do what she will do, because this is her design aesthetic. She’s not going to walk an amazing sound infused avante garde piece and blow you all away. You got lucky last year, and your emotional save also had that sort of creative genius in him. She doesn’t have that in her. Next time you save somebody, let’s do it because their designs are worth it, not because they have a nice personality.

The next day we have Name Dropping Hair Salon, and another round with the Product Displaying Make Up People. The Hair people should complain they got shafted.

We finally reach the morning of Project Runway‘s show in the Theater at Lincoln Center. We see what those of us who already looked at the lines know–Char loves the hoochie turquoise look, she doesn’t understand why Tim says not to walk it, and she’s putting it back in. Tim gives up. He gives up so hard, he lets her be totally unprofessional with the models having everyone switch outfits and orders, clearly to the professional models’ frustration. After all, time is up. Like last season, the best collection of the group, and the one that gets those few Fashion people who deign to acknowledge this show at all talking, won’t even be seen on camera. Might as well show what drama can be salvaged. Let’s have Amanda panic over some shoes.

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Project Runway Season 13: Top Ten Overlooked Outfits

The best way to judge a season of Project Runway is by the overlooked outfits. Some seasons it’s been really easy for me to find ten of them. Other years, it’s a struggle. This season was much like watching the show. There were overlooked outfits, but in general, the feeling I got was meh.

It did interest me though to see who was the most often overlooked. Starting with the very first episode….

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What does it say that the first outfit I pulled from this season was Korina?

Nine more, after the jump.

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Project Runway Season 13: Roman Inspirations

Our Top Four are all getting their lines televised at New York Fashion Week next week. They’re not even pretending someone might be eliminated, because then they’d have to eliminate Char. Instead everyone gets $9000, five weeks and a three-day trip to Rome to inspire them. Said trip to Italy is being sponsored by Best Western, so we have to sit through a commercial recited by one of their VPs before we watch our designers (and Tim) head to the airport.

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The trip to Rome is narrated by Tim, which is punctuated by the contestants oohing and ahhing. He also plays tour guide. There’s restaurant dinners, sketching in gardens, and a reminder of certain designer’s appointed story lines. Amanda reminds us she’s the redemption contestant. Tim reminds us Char never won a challenge. Sean, having moved here from New Zealand to be on the show, hasn’t even got a sewing machine to his name currently, and needs to use part of that $9000 to remedy this. There is a shopping trip to an Italian fabric store, but it is not mandatory to buy anything, so no one had to deal with unfamiliar units of measure with confusing exchange rates if they’re not comfortable with it. Amanda and Char shop. Kini doesn’t see denim, so doesn’t buy anything, while Sean frets about saving his budget.

With the Roman holiday over, we skip ahead to the Tim Gunn Home Visits.

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  • Kapolei, Hawaii: Kini’s studio is in his family’s garage. His pieces are almost all denim. The “Roman inspiration” is “Park Avenue Girl In Rome” which, meh. Tim loves everything. His family is very sweet, and throw a full-scale luau for the cameras where Tim gets lei’d.
  • Detroit, Michigan: We learn a bit more about Char, including that her mother abandoned her and her dad spent her childhood in jail. Her family assumed she was going to be a hairdresser, which speaks to the kind of limited imagination of possibilities that poverty causes. Her outfits are not hoochie, which is a major improvement. Her inspiration was how small and simple everything was in Rome, from the cars, to the food portions. (Not a bad takeaway.)
  • Nashville, Tennessee: Much like last time Amanda produced a dummy collection for the show, the pieces she’s produced for the runway are startlingly better than anything we saw her make during her run. Her “Rome” inspiration is negligible. Tim’s big warning is not to try too hard. She and her husband own a gorgeous 100-year-old arts and crafts home, which has a porch so spacious we never bother go inside. They also have an adorable ginger kitty.
  • Brooklyn, New York: Sean’s parents skype in from New Zealand prior to Tim’s visit. He shows Tim pictures their farm to express how middle-of-nowhere on the wrong side of the Earth it is. His Roman inspiration is the story of the betrayal of Caesar. There’s also lots of fringe. Tim is floored, but worries that there are two collections, and tells him his non fringe Ready To Wear stuff from the “prior to Caesar being stabbed” half of the collection should be cut.

With only a few days left before Fashion Week, the four return, to cattily judge each other’s work to the cameras. There’s consultations with the Product Displaying Make Up People, and model fittings. The big reason they’re here is to pick out a sampler set to show to the judges. Tim checks in during the model fittings to help them pick out which outfit to show.

Let’s head to the runway and see what the judges think of what their final four turned out.

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