Project Runway, Season 12, Episode 11: Next Generation

With Ken gone, this episode of Project Runway is relatively free of craziness. Let’s see if the designers can bring the drama to their work.

This is the HP pattern design challenge. I love the opportunity the designers have to create a pattern but I wish they could get it printed on better fabrics!

The twist this year is that the designers need to be inspired in their pattern (though not the garment itself) by an innovator.

Helen Castillo gets to choose first and picks Ryan Keeley, an artist who mixes painting with new media. Dude just took a picture of Helen and then spray painted devil horns on her. Cool. Does she get to keep it?

Kate chooses Maria Gonzalez, a teen software developer and creator of the app “Say Something,” which helps homeless individuals.

Kate makes the utterly clueless comparison of her inspiration as a designer to the inspiration of a teen trying to help people who are homeless. Yeah. Totally the same thing. Hopefully that was unfavorable editing.

Kate is thinking of working binary code into her pattern–a cool idea but a glance over her shoulder makes me think that she does not really understand her own concept…where’s the binary code?

Alexandria chooses Ilana Greenberg, who uses her graphic design skills to assist social causes. They meet at a restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and Alexandria is inspired by…wait for it…a brick wall. Huh.

Bradon picks Nigel Sylvester, a youth mentor and extreme bike rider.

Alexander chooses Thiago Silva, pastry chef. He’s nervous about the potential for a costume designer inspired by pastries to go too campy, which makes me wonder why he chose Silva.

Dom grabs Premal Shah, founder of Kiva, a crowdfunding venture. At first, Premal Shah seems rather uninspiring on the fashion front but then Dom gets a load of his work funding global entrepreneurs, including textile designers in Africa, and it is clear that Dom hit the jackpot.

Justin is left with Nana Meriwether, Miss USA 2012, who created a foundation focusing on education and health in Africa.  Impressed by Nana Meriwether’s joy and love, Justin decides to create an abstracted sign language “I love you” in his pattern.
Dom – Premal Shah – Kiva crowdfunding – Dom is inspired by the global nature

Back in the workroom, Tim is relieved to no longer have to play babysitter/therapist/mediator and breezes through with a touch of advice here and there. He likes Dom’s sleeves, is perplexed by Bradon’s design, advises Justin to keep everything curvy and avoid straight lines, takes a moment to calm down Helen who is freaking out about using a print, and warns Alexander that the giant white cross down the front of his dress could go clerical.

Let’s hit the runway with Peter Som guest judging!

Alexandria von Bromssen: The model looks likes like she was in the restaurant when the hurricane hit. How Alexandria manages to scoot by as safe with yet another shredded look, I do not understand. The top had some potential, at least from the front view. Deconstructed is one thing but this just looks tacked together. And the pattern is so blah.

Wave of the Future (Top)

Dom Streater: This is evocative of the tribal fabrics without being a parody or derivative. She used the pattern in the best possible way, although my viewing partner found the placement of the hot pink over the chest to be unfortunate. The shoulders really take it to a fashion place and the fit is excellent. Zac says the dress is runway ready and, determined to make at least one uncomfortable revelation per episode, adds, “If I were a woman, I’d wear that.” Nina says this was Dom’s challenge (which is often a bad sign in Project Runway world but in this case is not). She says it is tribal but current.

Bradon McDonald: He designs a hot little black dress with a cool little jacket. Overall, it is a nice look, if a bit dated in its interpretation of “urban.” Ya, as usual, elevates the garment beyond what it is. Nina says that if it were music it would be jazz. Zac says it is Bradon’s best work yet.

Helen Castillo: Helen managed to salvage a decent look from her patterned fabric almost meltdown. The design is cute if a little junior hipster. I keep seeing black dots in an unfortunate place on the model’s chest. Nina really likes it, especially how the ecru color contrasts with the white, declaring it vintage but modern. Peter Som says it is “star spangled hipster.”

Dom Streater is the (obvious, in my mind) winner of the challenge!


Uninspired (Bottom)

Justin LeBlanc: The bodice is lovely but, as Heidi points out, the seam between the bodice and skirt is messy. I don’t know why he didn’t join those better or, preferably, make a much shorter dress. The other judges see depression in dress form.

Alexander Pope: It is bold and fits well. The judges, however, savage it. Zac says that chocolate should be sexy but Alexander’s model looks like the cult leader of chocolate. Heidi says it looks like he left on the masking tape…I agree that the cross was a bad decision. Nina actually likes the print but says that she is too covered up. I disagree about the last part–not everything has to be revealing. Besides, tell me that back isn’t sexy.

I think if he had lowered the neckline a little and cut the center stripe, this could have been quite nice.

Kate Pankoke: Wow. Just. No. A lot of people thought Kate was the producers’ darling this season, the comeback kid with her second chance. And she’s done some nice pieces and racked up a few wins. This was just awful. The top looks like a denim vest from a 1990s Guess ad…you know, the model leaning against the vintage car in a field of wheat, crepuscular light creating a halo around her curly hair… the bottom is just unforgivable in any decade. It looks like an undergarment. Nina asks how many panels there are (five) and says, “Five panels too many.” Peter Som says she fell into a Kleenex box and her bust needs to be set free.

Heidi warns that one, OR MORE, of them may be out and this time it is no idle threat. Alexander is out and deadpans: “I guess I shouldn’t mix religion and cake.”

Justin and his nice bodice are safe.

Kate is sobbing because she was definitely the worse one on the bottom. And, yes, she is out. Personally, I would have auf’d Kate and Alexandria instead of Alexander but there you have it!

Who will make it to the finals?

Tune into Project Runway Season 12 on Lifetime Thursdays at 9/8 central.

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One comment

  1. Linda Rand says:

    What happened to Kate!!! That was HORRIBLE.
    It’s ok that Dom won. I agree with your viewing partner about the pink.
    But, I loved Bradon’s.
    Alexandria……always messy, I don’t get it. Should have been in bottom 3.
    My guess for Fashion Week:Dom, Braden, and Helen.