The day the designers have all been dreaming of is almost here — and this week they were whisked away to Rome for some extra inspiration before the real work began. In the world of ‘Project Runway’ anything can change, especially this late in the game — and for one front runner their dreams of winning this competition begin to slip away from them. Who could it be?
This week the designers met Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum on the runway where they were once again congratulated on making it to New York Fashion Week — however, they aren’t quite there yet. The designers still had five weeks til their big moment — and they were greeted with quite the surprise when they were told that they were going to be sent to Rome for some extra inspiration to create their collection. Their last challenge was to create a 10-piece collection inspired by the ancient city of Rome. The designers packed their bags for their three-day mini vacation and were officially on their way to the final stages of the competition.
‘Project Runway’ Finale RecapPart 1, Season 13 Episode 13:
The designers met Tim at a Best Western in Rome where they were told that they had three days in the city to get inspiration for their 10-piece collection. The designers were also given $9,000 as their budget to create their collection. The designers were wearing their travel best, while Tim wore his classic tailored suit — and the five of them walked around Rome and took in the history and the sights of the beautiful city. From the architecture to the history and the culture, everything was serving as inspiration for the final four.
After spending some time taking in the sights, the designers broke apart and began to sketch out anything they could. Tim met with each of them separately to discuss what they were thinking about for their collections. Kini wanted to focus on creating timeless pieces and the only note that Tim had to add is that he needs to win the judges over with his designs.
Amanda decided that she wanted to create a collection that looked very high fashion. Seeing as Amanda was sent home a few seasons before, she feels that if she wins this competition it would be the “ultimate redemption.”
Sean explained to Tim that he really wants to focus on having a narrative throughout his collection even though in the very early stages he had no idea what that narrative would be.
Char, on the other hand, felt as though this was her time to show her voice and her true style throughout her clothes. During her one-on-one time with Tim, Char asked him why he used his ‘Tim Gunn Save’ on her earlier in the season. He told her that he used it because he believes in her and in her voice as a designer. Char once again was extremely grateful that Tim gave her that opportunity and she felt that him saying that was exactly what she needed to hear this late in the game.
On their last day in Rome the designers were taken to the fabric store, Valli, were they had the opportunity to buy Italian fabric. They did not have to buy any fabric if they didn’t want to, but Tim strongly encouraged them to bring something back to the states. Char ended up finding an extremely eccentric fabric that she immediately fell in love with. She spent close to $1,000 on the fabric and decided to let that be her driving force to create her collection.
Tim Gunn Crashes The Designer’s Hometowns:
We jumped ahead two weeks to Tim’s visit to see Kini, who is working out of his garage in Hawaii. He tells Tim that he doesn’t have a look finished but there is extreme detailing in every piece. Kini decided to stick to denim because that is what he is the most comfortable with. Tim praised him for the work he has been doing so far and to continue to do what he is doing.
Tim then travels to Detroit where he meets up with Char. At this point it is 12 days until fashion week and Char had a few pieces put together. She was working with a lot of big and bold colors, like hot pink and turquoise. Tim gave her the notes to design something more simple and to bring some cohesion to the looks, because he doesn’t see any of that in her designs.
It was 10 days until Fashion Week when Tim stopped by Nashville to visit a very frantic Amanda. Amanda is known for wanting to add a lot of extras to her pieces, which Tim automatically told her to do less of. One of the things that Amanda decided to do with her money was to design her own jewelry to go along with her ’60s and ’70s-inspired collection. She got praise for the jewelry but Tim told her to rake out all the extra stuff she has going on in her collection.
The very last visit Tim makes is to see Sean in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to see what he has designed. Throughout the entire season we have seen Sean come up with absolutely brilliant designs and this time was no different. Sean decided to tell the the narrative of the betrayal of Caesar through clothes. Sean incorporated fringe in almost all of the looks, which is a little risky considering how Nina Garcia slams designers who over-use it. While Tim loved Sean’s creations, he told him that it looks like he has two collections going and he needs to decide what he wants to keep and perhaps scrap some pieces. Sean was not surprised by Tim’s critiques and he began to rethink a few of his looks.
The Final Critique Before Fashion Week:
The designers returned to New York where they spent some extra time in the workroom finishing up their collections. While the designers quickly rushed around to finish their looks, Tim stopped by to inform them that the judges wanted a preview of their collection — they wanted to see three looks and the designers were given two hours to pull them together. With the final four designers being so different in their designs, they were all a little nervous to see what the judges would say.
Sean showed three looks from his collection: one white draped dress, a black jumpsuit and a white dress with orange fringe. Heidi and Zac Posen praised Sean for his clean and beautiful designs, and while Heidi was a fan of the fringe, Nina was immediately all over it asking how much fringe is used in the collection. Sean simply followed up by saying “enough.” Nina told him that she wanted to see more of a range of different styles and not all fringe.
Char wanted her collection to show a youthful, fresh and sleek image, but the judges saw something completely different. Heidi told her that she did not see any cohesion in her designs, Zac had no idea where any attitude was in the designs and Nina told her to completely scrap one dress. They expressed to Char that they want to see more of her attitude and edge and at that point they were not seeing that.
Amanda got high praise for her statement jewelry that she paired with her designs. Both Zac and Heidi expressed their love for the collection, while Nina told her that she liked the ethnic vibe that her clothes had — but she wanted it to be elevated even more.
Throughout this entire competition Kini has always been a front-runner. Each week he is praised for his designs and the way he puts pieces together. One would think that for this last and final challenge that it would be no different. While Kini was confident in the designs that he created, the judges did nothing but tear him apart. Heidi told him that it looked too old lady and that he needs to restyle the entire collection. Nina told him to lose one of his designs all together and to redo hair, makeup and the accessories. Zac finished off by saying that his collection is not cool, not sexy, and not edgy. It was hard to find any positive remarks from the judges and it left the rest of the designers shocked.
After the judge’s evaluation it was clear that Kini’s confidence was completely gone. He was basically told to redo an entire collection 24 hours before showtime. Sean summed it up perfectly saying: “To change an entire collection so late in the game like this is kind of insane.”
What do you think? Will Kini be able to change up some of his designs in time to make him a front runner again or will he crack under the pressure? More importantly, who has the collection that is truly ready for the runway?
— Lauren Carr