Project Runway Season 13: The Jewel In The Gown

This week, we meet Tim in the runway studio, where he is surrounded by cases and cases of high-end jewelry, supplied by Chopard. His guest is therefore Chopard’s artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, who I assume came along to watch over them. The challenge is a repeat from last year: Design a high-end evening wear look to go along with one of these pieces. Only one day though! Sean, as last week’s winner, picks his jewels first. The rest are chosen via Button Bag.


During sketching, the contestants are interrupted by Tim and his promised “game changer surprise.” Last week, Tim stated if it were “several challenges from now” he would have used the save on Char. I took this as proof that the TimGunn Save™ was only to be used after the Fashion Week cut off. (For many contestants, crossing this Invisible Line of Demarcation is the real goal when they are cast.) But Tim has changed his mind, or twisted a producer’s arm, and he’s using the Save now, to bring her back. This is a game changer, because chances are Char will show at Fashion Week due to Tim’s grace. But the show can’t actually admit it. Because to do that, they would have to admit it was only supposed to be used on those who were already going to Fashion Week, and that would mean admitting so many more than just the Top Three show at NYFW.

Char is back. She has two leftover jewelry sets to pick from, based on photos. (She chooses jeweled turquoise earrings and a diamond bracelet.) Everyone gets back to work, knowing that there’s one more person who might beat them to the other side of that line.

As if there wasn’t enough filler tonight between us and the designs, this is also the challenge being used to promote Harvey Weinstein’s newest property, Charles James. They do this via a trip to the Met’s current exhibition. (The same one that was the theme to the Met Gala earlier this year.) Then finally it’s off to Mood with $250 to shop.


Let’s get to Tim’s Walkthrough already.

  • Amanda: She’s not a “gown girl” so she’s making a chiffon overlay gown silhouette over a black jumpsuit. Sounds awful.
  • Char: She has a nice idea with abstract lines, but Tim frets she’s going to end up “bridal.”
  • Sandhya: I love her fabric on the dummy. Tim says she should lower the back.
  • Emily: She asks if the point bothers him. Tim says he doesn’t see one.
  • Fäde: Another gorgeous fabric. Tim says the neckline looks like an elastic band.
  • Kini: He’s having boob cup issues. Tim says it’s sending bullets at him, and the length is “hoochie.”
  • Korina: She pulled her head out of her “I don’t do gowns” ass and is making something interesting. Tim notes her seaming is off and pushed her to redo it.
  • Sean: He has immunity, so whatever. Tim loves it.
  • Sam: She has the same fabric as Sean. Considering he’s won twice and I regularly forget she’s a contestant, this is not a good choice. Tim notes that her design, like everything else she’s done so far, is boring.
  • Alexander: It looks like the fabric is deflated on the dummy. Tim bluntly says it’s a hot mess that doesn’t go with the necklace at all.

Korina redoes her seams. Alexander attempts to redrape. Char promises she will at least make it to next week. The models come and go. Kini is nervous, for once, because his bodice cups are still dreadful. Amanda suddenly discovers her design is awful and she has no idea what to do.

Day of runway, and Amanda is simply going to pretend she loves her design and hope for the best. Korina is not finished with her actual dress, since she spent all her time on the coat. Kini has serious issues with his fit, which shocks the others. Remember–this is the week you just need to be safe on! Now is not the time to crash and burn.

Let’s head down to the runway where the security guards will stand over the models as the jewels are put on them.


Heidi is wearing something that looks like an unfinished Project Runway project. Tonight is the last immunity challenge, since by this time tomorrow, they’ll all have shown at Fashion Week anyway. Zac and Nina have both come to work. Nina even came in a cast. Caroline Scheufele was paid enough to come back to judge. Either that or she wanted to make sure all the jewels that the company loaned the show are still on hand. No more TimGunn Save™, but Heidi does state tonight that the AnthonyRyan Rule™ will be in effect.

Mushy Middled Right Into NYFW


Fäde: Should have been in the Top. I feel like I say this every week.


Char: It’s a little safe, but that’s ok. I like the back.


Emily: The bubble skirt over the longer floor length skirt is awful.


Sandhya: I like the print, because print on red carpet is unusual.



Amanda: Wow that’s a disaster. I mean, worse than her usual awful. The judges should be embarrassed that this is what they brought her back to make. HOW IS THIS IS THE TOP? Anyone else would have gone home for this. Heidi LIKES this? BULLSHIT. Nina likes this? Calls it an Editorial sensation!? Are you KIDDING ME? I am stunned at how stupid they take us for. Not only horrified, but insulted. How dare you insult me Project Runway? HOW DARE YOU? Like last week, Zac is the only one who is honest about how terrible this is, but it excuses it as “disagreeing is what makes fashion great. There’s no disagreement here. It’s awful, and the show is insulting us.


Sean: It’s the best one up there tonight, even if it’s a bit standard. I would say it’s an insult he’s in the top with Amanda. He has immunity, he’s already won twice, and at this point three wins in a row would be a little on the “obvious winner” side of things. The Judges are gaga over it. I’m not sure it’s really quite worthy of gaga, but in comparison to the rest, I guess they’re just thankful someone somewhere is putting up something that might have once stood next to the things in earlier seasons.


Korina: It’s different. The coat looks really warm and heavy. But it showcases the necklace beautifully. Nina loves it and the fact that it is “ethnic” and “exotic.” Nina, don’t be racist. Zac adores it, noting how the dark of the jewels against the dark of the dress looks so good. They even love the underdress, ooh and ahhing over it, and how much they love the dropped back. Caroline says she’d wear the coat with jeans as well as with a red carpet look. They all agree it’s her best work so far. She’s given the win even though Sean’s is better, I think mostly because they feel they can’t reward Sean three times in a row. To fair it was a hell of a turn around from the last few weeks.



Kini: It’s two dresses laid on top of each other, and the bottom one is both hoochie and ill-fitting. The structure is a disaster. Heidi likes the way it moves, and demands it to be shorter and more hooch. Zac is very upset by the boob cups. He says it’s the wrong fabric. Nina says from the waist down it’s too thick and heavy to be elegant.


Alexander: It’s a My First Charles James Dress. That’s not a compliment. Zac pretends he didn’t even know there was a stone on the necklace since the neckline hid it. Nina sniffs “Princess Grace got stuck in the spin cycle of the washing machine.” Heidi says it hides the woman’s figure, which is the opposite of what a Charles James dress should do. They all agree the front is better than the back. Zac says it’s tortured and notes he can see the pins in it holding it together.


Samantha: Boooooring. Zac double checks the back to make sure there isn’t anything interesting going on. Once he’s sure, he declares it drab. Heidi points out this is a design competition, and there’s no design. Nina sighs it’s boring. She says it’s for the PR intern on the red carpet who does the dress fluffing for the A lister. Caroline says it’s totally wrong for the jewels.

Given the choice between getting rid of Alexander who is the last of the walking disasters, and Samantha, who would design the dullest collection of the remaining designers if they let her go to Fashion Week, it’s a no brainer. Boring is unacceptable. Samantha misses the cut.

Next Week: Project Runway Rents Rain Machines.

 (pics via


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