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Project Runway Season 14: Finale Part 2

Last time on Project Runway, the first part of the finale showed Edmond and Candice receiving serious critiques of their collection, while Kelly and Ashley were merely steered towards a better way of styling what they already have. Interestingly, when we rejoin the episode with tonight’s installment, instead of everyone heading to Mood, and Edmond and Candice buying fabric to make new outfits, only Kelly and Ashley feel like they need to go. This is so totally backwards, the show has to find a way not to send anyone.

So for the first time in my memory, instead of those who want to go to Mood going, Tim goes to Mood for them, like the most dapper assistant who ever assisted. He brings back a bag  of notions for Ashley, and 20 lbs of glitter for Kelly. (He can barely contain his glee over the latter.) Everyone settles down to work, and await Tim’s return to double-check the direction they are going. (Which clearly won’t be that far off the one they were already on, since no one actually went shopping.)pr14-ep14-episode7

Before we get into to the Tim critique, we should note that the fashion press spoke long ago on the subject of these collections, and we won’t even be seeing their favorite on the runway tonight. On every blog that covered the Project Runway show last September, and every celebrity site that makes it their business to post all the pictures of every pop culture event (think Zimbio), one collection got far more pictures and words dedicated to it, and that was Swapnil’s. (It’s not the first time a dummy collection has stolen the show, Alexander Pope did the same thing in Season 12. But it is a bit of an embarrassment when it happens.) Ashley came in second, though that was partly due to the groundbreaking nature of her collection. (Buzzfeed, among other sites, did a write-up for her journey and published it prior to the finale.) Rounding out what most of the fashion world judged to be the Top Three on the night was the other dummy collection we won’t see: Merline’s. Edmond got some love for his upcoming evening looks. But Candice’s barely registered. And poor Kelly’s collection was completely ignored in some places. More than a few sites I rolled by yesterday while prepping for this episode didn’t have a single picture of any one outfit from their collections. Candice at least got her finale walk shot in a couple of places, but Kelly? Nada.

Keeping this in mind, let’s check in with Tim.


  • Kelly: Tim clearly adores glitter, and wishes he could sit around and pour it over chunky platforms for the next two days with her. He also suggests mixing and matching her pieces.
  • Candice: She’s thinking of cutting everything that was dramatic and fun about her collection, instead of toning down everything else so she has one or two wow pieces. Tim doesn’t dissuade her.
  • Ashley: Tim actually bought her a print, which matches the rest of collection really well. Tim is more concerned about the janky zippers.
  • Edmond: He’s editing out the ruffles on the more minor pieces to be able to keep them on the dramatic ending pieces. Tim is more concerned about his lack of focus.

The model fittings happen in two rounds over the next day and a half. There’s our last ads for the Name Dropping Hair Salon and the Product Displaying Make Up People. Since sponsor Lexus somehow got skipped in having an episode dedicated to them this season, they also swing by the show off their cars. Because we really care about what the contestants ride in at 4am to the presentation.


After some backstage drama, broken zippers, a few sharp words from Tim about keeping an eye on the details and as least one minor breakdown, it’s time to get down to business. Time for what we care about–the clothes!

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Finale Part 2


Celebrity Halloween Costume Round Up

You think you have fun on Halloween? Try people who keep their bodies in shape, wear costumes on the regular and have talented make up artists on hand to do whatever their hearts desire. They have some fun on Halloween.

But no one has more fun that Heidi Klum. The model is famous for going all out every year, not only for her own costume, but for the party she throws, where it’s a virtual who’s who of celebrities, dressed all out in costume.

Heidi Klum Halloween Party - Arrivals

This year? Jessica Rabbit. Klum documented the process. it took nearly all day to do all the prosthesis work on her face. Not to mention the, ahem, enhanced bosom area.

We’ve rounded the best of her attendee’s costumes up. We’ve also got a few others who did not attend that party, but were certainly on their way to one somewhere by the looks of their Instagram.

Continue reading Celebrity Halloween Costume Round Up

Project Runway Season 14: Finale Part 1

Is there anyone who didn’t see the Tim Gunn Save™ coming at the beginning of this episode? With the extra emphasis on Edmond’s history of auditioning year after year for the production, stretching back to the Bravo days? Heidi is so unconvincing when she insists she was expecting a Final Three. Where has she been since Season 10? Also can we not pretend he would not show at Fashion Week with or without the Save? The only difference is that his collection will show on TV, while Merline and Swapnil’s are only on the internet.

I am amused to see Heidi and Tim direct Ashley on camera to make a plus sized collection (as if she wasn’t already planning on it.) I mean, I know that was the point in pushing her to the finale. But they didn’t have to state it so obviously.  She’s also the first home visit, in San Diego, with tons of hand dyed fabrics, and floral headpieces. I’m a little taken aback when we meet Ashley’s mother and grandmother are very Spanish, to the point of putting Tim in an apron to hand make tortillas. This is a side of Ashley’s heritage and inspiration we never saw during the regular season, and gives a touch of insight to her that I was missing before. Candice is just up the coast in San Francisco. Her family is reality show ready, with a working class recovering addict mother, and a pair of elementary school aged kids she’s raising alone. Her collection (at least what we can see of it) is very dramatic–one of her dress cages is so wide it doesn’t fit in the studio. I have to admit, the wooden skirt is probably the thing she has that excites me most because it’s so different. Tim is worried she’s gone too far into full tilt, and uses words like “over design,” “trying too hard,” and “drag queen.”


Kelly is in Springfield (not the Simpsons’ Springfield, but the one in Massachusetts.) My first reaction to the rack of clothes is “how 70s.” She calls it “Studio 54 meets New Age Street Wear.” That’s one thing I love about Kelly. I can look at her clothes and immediately know where she’s coming from and who her girl is. Her father calls Tim  “Mr. Gunn, sir.” Their last stop is the deli she’s been talking about all season, where they’ve actually named one of the sandwiches after Tim. He takes it to go. Edmond is last on the list, in Atlanta. He seems to think he needs to make a collection that’s very “elegant.” But it doesn’t seem to be in any way personality oriented. These are pieces that look like something you’d see hanging in any prom dress shop. Tim doesn’t seem to notice, in favor of reciting that Edmond auditioned 13 times. His family also is into the recitation of “13 times” as well as how proud they are of him.

Back in NYC, Tim announces they’ll have the usual “three looks for judge’s feedback” round as part of this first half of the finale, noting that this styling and direction check has benefited every designer whose ever gone through it. (I suppose we’re supposed to have forgotten Viktor.) But of course, there’s a twist. One of those pieces, they’ll be making right now. It’s been a few seasons since the show has done that–the last couple they’ve saved the $250 and the trip to Mood for post critique, and not added any outfits, as if they assumed the finalists were in bad enough shape that they didn’t need the distraction. Post Mood trip, he does a critique of what they’re planning to show.


  • Kelly has a really good sample set, with a wood grain print  piece, a fanny pack (she made a bunch of fanny packs) as well as one outfit I know shows as is, because it was the one I put in my sampler. The weakest piece is the one she’s working on now, which feels awkward. with the long panels and the zipper sides. Tim notes the awkwardness.
  • Edmond calls his pieces “light and airy” when they are actually Victorian and heavy. His piece he’s making is a “wrap gown” which looks good on paper. Tm worries at him about time management, as if we haven’t seen Edmond speed demon sew all season.
  • Candice’s got the big ass hat and the very heavy coat from the earlier walk through. Tim pushes her to add color instead of showing three black and leather pieces. Tim notes the new look doesn’t even look like it’s new.
  • Ashley’s new look turns out to be the piece I ended up using for her in the sampler set. Tim is far more concerned about the pieces she’s pulled from her collection to show. He’s also against her putting a headdress on all the models.

Let’s see what the judges think.

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Finale Part 1

Project Runway Season 14: Saving It For the Red Carpet

We’ve reached the last challenge before the finale, and with four contestants, and Tim Gunn Save™ still left in the tank, I’m pretty sure that the only mystery tonight (other than what the designers will actually make for the challenge) is which contestant Tim’s save will be used on as the excuse to send four people to Fashion Week. (As if the show hasn’t found an excuse  to show four of the contestant’s collections from Fashion Week for four out of the last five years.)

But first, let’s get to Tim and Heidi and their little red carpet set on the runway, and Tim’s airplane tickets to LA. Though the show only did one disastrous season in the City of Angels (plus one disastrous season of Under The Gunn, but that doesn’t quite count) the Weinsteins and Lifetime still want to use it when they can. Unlike the trips to Europe we’ve had in the past, this trip to LA isn’t a whirlwind montage. Most of the episode will happen here. Since this is a two-day challenge, and they’ll be staying at least two nights, the Branded hotel has been comped a 30 second commercial period with Tim Gunn and the contestants, for which they have paid with a prize package for the winner of 100 free nights’ stay at any of their hotels anywhere in the world. I’m sure someone thought that was an even trade.


Amusingly enough though, the Branded Hotel isn’t cool enough for the designers to do their LA inspired sketching. For that Project Runway has rented one of those houses in the Hollywood Hills that functions as a reality show set piece (I’m pretty sure I recognize it from The X-Factor Season 1.) Much like the house and the hotel, the celebrity they’ve gotten to “inspire” them is also low-rent. If you’ve heard of Keltie Knight, it’s probably because you’ve been stuck in a waiting room somewhere that’s airing The TV Guide Channel, or something equally as banal. She hosts that show you don’t really realize considers itself a serious show, the entertainment babblefest The Insider.

After sketching poolside at the house, it’s off to Mood LA, to meet their own Swatch puppy, and shop with a budget of $400. The workrooms are at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing. (All PR seasons held in LA have been hosted here.) Apparently Edmond really misses Merline, and starts challenging her usual phrases of encouragement to help himself along. It’s adorable.


Tim doesn’t come around until Day Two. Let’s see how badly off track these guys are when he arrives.

  • Candice: I really like the crisscross sequined fabric, but the bodice doesn’t line up right on the dummy. Tim is too busy getting her to stop overdesigning to notice.
  • Ashley: I love her scaley fabric, but I am not certain about what she’s doing with it, or the terrible thing she doing with her silk bodice. Tim not only hates what she’s doing, he also hates Plan B.
  • Kelly: She’s created a really cool textile with thousands of triangles. But both she and Tim hate the skirt, so he directs her to make a jumpsuit.
  • Edmond: He also has two outfits, Plans A and B. Plan B is crappy fabric and overdesigned. Plan A has amazing fabric, but no actual design.

The production didn’t want to fly the models or the judges to LA, so there are no fittings until the morning of the runway after they’ve flown back to NYC. This means the designers try their pieces on each other to test them, and pray they’re making things the right length the first time.


Speaking of length and fit, our regularly scheduled Ashley meltdown is being replaced this week by Edmond and a lot of scissor cuts, and Kelly and her panicking over the fit of her very tight pants. The question is, how will they look on the models come runway day?

The answer turns out to be not well. Kelly’s zipper doesn’t want to go up, and the pants are like super skin-tight. Ashley’s bodice is way baggy, and she has to put a strap to keep it from flopping down and exposing the model’s boob. Edmond takes scissors to the hem of his gown for a fourth time. Let’s see what the judges have to say, and who Tim will be saving.

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Saving It For the Red Carpet

Project Runway Season 14: Bridge and Trouble Crowd

This week’s challenge is presented to us as “The 3D Challenge” but it’s actually a challenge based on bridges. Once we’re away from Heidi and her old school 3D glasses (I suppose the new school ones they hand out at theaters aren’t obviously “3D” enough), we find ourselves with Tim and the three bridges he’d like to sell you. So where is the 3D?

It turns out that Project Runway had gotten their hands on a 3D printer, which they are giving away to the winner of this “Avante Garde” challenge. (They must be starting to come down in price.) I am surprised our designers are not that familiar with 3D printing. Even if they don’t follow fashion, where 3D printing has been appearing on and off on the runway for the past few seasons, anyone who follows the show will remember Justin’s runway show for Season 12, where he made serious use of it for all his accessories.


Kelly at least gets to pick her own bridge for inspiration. The others are assigned via Button Bag. To wit:

  • Kelly: Brooklyn Bridge
  • Candice: Queensboro Bridge
  • Merline: Queensboro Bridge
  • Edmund: Manhattan Bridge
  • Ashley: Manhattan Bridge

The flapping head shill from the 3D printing company arrives to give us a 30 second commercial, and assure us that the designers won’t have to learn to use a 3D printer themselves during this two-day challenge. She’s got a team of five computer programmers with her, each of whom will work with the designers and then will translate their sketches to the computer program that creates the digital model and print it for them.

There’s $200 to spend at Mood, and then it’s back to the workroom. Day Two exists because the 3D printers take hours to make their pieces, and will be working overnight. I’m pretty disappointed by some of the choices. Plastic spikes?

Let’s see what Tim says.


  • Candice: Her dad works on bridges, so she’s very emotionally connected to the challenge. She made six different 3D printed shapes, so she’s got a real variety of things she can do as well. Tim nods.
  • Ashley: Her 3D print is based on the suspension wires for her bridge. But I’m concerned about those see thru (except at the crotch) cigarette pants. Tim thinks her pants and her 3D print have nothing to do with each other.
  • Edmond: His 3D print is a branding logo. Tim is impressed he is also creating his own textiles by layering mesh fabrics.
  • Merline: This could possibly be one of the most Avante Garde pieces we’ve seen on this show in years. But Tim’s brain breaks at her haphazard working style, and lack of planning ahead.
  • Kelly: She made the Brooklyn Bridge. I…I can’t. Tim somehow finds a way to call it subtle, which, what? He also points out this historical 18th century callback in the huge hips of the gown. We can see from her expression Kelly had no clue she was referencing any such thing. He does hedge that perhaps she should be careful not to tip into “Brooklyn Bridge costume.”

Ashley is upset she wasn’t praised for her direction and decides to make a whole new “wow” piece. (Considering she doesn’t really have anything Avante Garde in her piece so far, let’s hope this helps.) We now return you to her regularly scheduled meltdown, already in progress. In the workroom, the models come and go, but no one talks of Michelangelo. Instead Merline points out that the outfits they making aren’t important on the grand scheme of things as say, people starving in Africa. Perspective!


Day of Runway, and Kelly rejects the NotFab accessory wall. Ashley tries to talk herself into liking her outfit. The Hair and Makeup People are still unnecessary. Let’s see what the judges think of all this.

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Bridge and Trouble Crowd

Project Runway Season 14: Don’t Screw the Crew

It’s time for the Real Woman Challenge, and this season it’s the new kid on the block, Sally Beauty Studio, who finds their branded challenge lumped in with this seasonal staple of the show. But the real surprise for us this year is who the show is making over. No enticing fans to apply to have a make over, or better yet, nominate a friend. No promoting the Armed Forces, no accosting plants on the street. This year the show has gone el cheapo, and is having the show make over people who are already on payroll anyway…the crew.

It’s an ultimate moment of breaking the fourth wall, as women put down their cameras, boom mics, and steamer. We  get a sense of how small the workroom is with the camera crew in it that we never see. It turns out there’s a major bonus to doing this. These guys KNOW from interviewing to the cameras, after producing this show for years. Every crew member gives some of the best flapping head responses we’ve ever seen for this challenge. All have very strong opinions on their designer’s abilities. This combination makes for one of the most dramatic episode of the show in years.



It’s a two day challenge, since there’s a hair make over involved. The drama starts early and often, with Merline’s tech making it clear she thinks her designer should have gone home by now, and all of the techs in general looking askance at what their designers are drawing. Ashley got the plus sized tech, and for the first time in Project Runway history, instead of the designer getting the woman who’s larger than a size six bemoaning their fate and wondering how one makes clothes that 90% of the female population can actually wear, we have an overjoyed designer who can’t wait to show what she can do. Well, that is, until she has her regularly scheduled Ashley meltdown. I’m officially getting tired of those.

Since the crew are all on site, working away at filming the cast making their outfits, Tim pulls each one in to participate in the walk through. This also doubles as the first fitting.


  • Kelly: She’s making Ashley the Talent Manager professional high-end coveralls. Tim: “Is this it?” The tech complains the fit of it makes her look like she has camel to that goes to her belly button.
  • Candice: She’s doing a corset? How unusual. Tim is underwhelmed by it and snaps that Monique the model wrangler looks like she shopped at H&M.
  • Merline: Tim doesn’t need to say anything, Katie the Camera Tech hates everything and is willing to say so.
  • Ashley: The plus sized assistant Nicole is really disappointed in what Ashley made. We return to Ashley’s meltdown, already in process.
  • Edmond: He made exactly what Desiree the Sound Mixer asked for: a raincoat. But when she points out it not very runway, Edmond seems confused that he’s supposed to make a tech something that she’ll wear that’s also runway. Tim begins to sputter like mad. How dare he suggest a woman who is HIS COWORKER does not deserve to wear something that is runway level?
  • Swapnil: He’s already been shown slipping out to smoke, peering in on other’s critiques instead of using his time waiting for Tim to get work done, so we knew once Tim saw there was nothing for Jen the Production Coordinator to try on, he was going to probably call him out for wasting time. But I’m not sure I was expecting Tim to explode and start cursing Swapnil out. “Why are you here?” he demands.

It’s a moment. Look, Swapnil is one of my favorites this season, but the man has been going downhill fast, and the editing has been really unkind to him. It is very clear that Tim is basically done here.


Tim comes back afterwards and tries to smooth things over, including adding an extra fitting. But to say the damage is done is an understatement. The rest of the time is watching Swapnil flounder over and over and fail and fail again to make this woman anything she would possibly want to wear. Day of runway, and she’s so upset at what should have been her moment on TV, her moment to get a make over, and it’s such a disappointment, she bursts into tears.

Dude, you made the Production Coordinator cry. You screwed one of the people who make your life work on this show. You’re fired.

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Don’t Screw the Crew

Project Runway Season 14: Just Not Fab

This week’s Heidi Mail has been hijacked by Tim to start off our classroom themed set in the workroom. Turns out this is the Just (Not) Fab Accessory Wall’s turn to have a branded challenge. Amusingly enough, the JustFab shill is terrible on camera, clearly reading the prompter the entire time. Even when she’s announcing that the winning piece will be sold on their website.

Candice, having won the challenge last week, gets to assign the sexist stereotypes for each designer to work with. Since there are only five tropes and seven designers a couple of wind up doubling up. Candice attempts to assign everyone what she thinks they would do well at, so she’s not seen as winning through sabotage.


To wit:

  • Candice: Trendsetter
  • Ashley: Girl-Next-Door
  • Swapnil: Bombshell
  • Kelly: Trendsetter
  • Laurie: Modern Classic
  • Merline: Femme Nouveau
  • Edmond: Bombshell

Since the plan is for the look to be affordable, the budget is only $100. But they are shopping at Mood, instead of working with fabrics that JustFab already buys cheaply in bulk, which suggests that whatever they design will probably look nothing like their original design when the website has to mass produce it.

Back in the workroom, the show has already started the idea of Trendsetter look versus Trendsetter look, and Bombshell vs Bombshell. The latter matchup looks to be the one they’re looking forward to the most since that pits Swapnil, who has yet to catch a break in this competition and Edmond, who is a clear frontrunner.


Let’s see what Tim has to say about all this.

  • Merline: She’s doing a skirt over a dress, because she can’t make up her mind. Tim scolds her for being complicated.
  • Swapnil: His dress is nearly finished, and it’s very 50-year-old lady who hasn’t accepted that she’s no longer 22.
  • Candice: I’m not a fan of peplums. And hers looks like what a 19th century French Maid would where in 2015 and mistake herself for classy.
  • Laurie: She’s still here? Tim seems to have the same response to her design.
  • Edmond: He didn’t want “bombshell,” so he’s not actually making a “bombshell” look.
  • Kelly: Did she skin Cookie Monster? What is that muppet fur on her station? Tim asks in horror if she is actually using it.
  • Ashley: And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled self-doubt meltdown, already in progress.

But there’s not time for that now! Because Tim is about to add a twist–creating a label for their “brand,” and after designing and producing it with a brand machine, will be silkscreened on a tee-shirt they will wear to the runway. (Will the label also be on the outfit? It doesn’t sound like it has to. So this is not really an addition to the challenge, as much as a distraction.)pr14-ep9-episode14

Day of runway and we’ve got Laurie having made a top out of leftover donated fabric from Candice, having screwed up the stuff she bought. Merline also doesn’t have a top, and is having her model sew for her. Swapnil on the other hand is finished, until he realized he totally screwed up the zipper and will have to sew his model into her outfit. Edmond had made a completely new outfit that looks like he stole Swapnil’s strap idea from the lingerie challenge a few weeks back.

Let’s see how badly the judges call the winners and losers of this challenge.

Continue reading Project Runway Season 14: Just Not Fab