Project Runway recap: 'The Highest Bidder'
The designers work in pairs with storage auction loot to design three-piece collections.
Well, that was different.
I’m not exactly sure why this tie-breaker was necessary, but you’ll get no complaints here. The added challenge gave this season—which had been lacking—a little more oomph, and helped us finally see Korina’s true colors. (And not the black, white, and pinstriped green kinds.)
Let’s start from the beginning…
The Project Runway fairy stopped by Gotham West, leaving behind Samsung tablets. (Did you know Samsung also makes amazing refrigerators?) The Heidi video on the tablets tells the designers they are headed to Brooklyn Navy Yards—and that their challenge has something to do with a key.
The designers need keys to open storage units, each of which will contain the materials needed for the challenge. Oh, and twist! It’s a team challenge. The “dreaded button bag,” according to Char, pairs up Amanda and Kini, Emily and Korina, and Sean and Char. But I’d say the button bag is more like all-knowing, because these pairs are very well-suited.
Now, Lifetime is part of the A+E Network, the home of Storage Wars. Was anyone else disappointed there wasn’t a Dan cameo? They could have played up that connection, at the very least. Regardless, Tim did a decent job auctioning off the units, and the outcome was as follows:
Unit #1—couches and chairs in printed fabrics—went to Emily and Korina for $25
Unit #2—kids’ toys, beach balls, lots of plastic, and a “psychedelic yeti”—went to Amanda and Kini for $190
Unit #3—packing peanuts and a blue furniture cover—went to Sean and Char for $65
Unit #4—clothes, rugs, fabric—went to Korina and Emily for $305
Unit #5—lots of leather—went to Sean and Char for $325
After the units are selected, the designers have 30 minutes to pull out what they want to take back to the workroom.
In the now-disaster of a workroom (seriously, there was so much junk in there), the designers get to work on their two looks each. They aren’t working long enough for a critique when they get a visit from Tim. Double twist! The team challenge is now a three-look team challenge. But the third look can incorporate additional fabric, so one of the designers from each team heads to Mood.
During the actual critique, Tim has a lot to say: He thinks there is too much going on with Korina and Emily’s fall-to-winter look, and he doesn’t get the “Spongebob Squarepants” vest that Emily is making. He doesn’t love all of Sean and Char’s looks, but his Saved One fights back and holds her ground on her designs. For the final team, he thinks Kini and Amanda are trying to do too much and that their taste level is poor—hearing Tim say your model will look like “a teenage hooker” is never good.
The designers push through the final fits and edits—no one seems to have a time issue this go-round—and make it to the runway, where the guest judge is none other than Runway heir Christian Siriano. He’s there promoting his new show: Project Runway: Threads. Remember a couple weeks back when I wished for a tween show? It’s happening. And it kind of looks amazing. It’s the MasterChef Junior of design!
Anyway, the show must go on:
Kini and Amanda pull off a colorful and youthful collection; they described their model as an American pop star in Tokyo. The looks are red carpet, cocktail party, and “plays a small Tokyo club.” In the same sentence Zac says it has both a Clueless and a late ’80s vibe. (Zac, we need to have a talk about when Clueless came out.) All the judges love the collection. Amanda’s obsession with the psychedelic yeti paid off, but I can’t get over how one turns a painting into clothing. That’s mind-boggling.
Sean and Char‘s look is less Clueless/’80s and more sporty modern… if the sport is slow walking. The lampshade dress idea is just that—a great idea, but it earns a “shame on you” from Zac. The proportions of the dress are off, and using actual screen as mesh didn’t make the dresses wearable (as Korina loves to point out). But there’s cohesion between the three looks, and the jacket from Sean helps pull it all together. It gets a mixed reviews from the judges, though they’re mostly positive.
Korina and Emily are dressing their models for a much different occasion. It’s over-the-top on top of over-the-top. Each piece individually could have been fine, but as a collection it was overwhelming. However, the judges disagree with Tim. They love the vest from Emily (apparently the linebacker looks is in this fall?). They do hate the fabric that Korina selected from Mood—but the most damning part of the whole collection is Korina’s mouth. It feels futile saying this all the time, but WHEN will designers learn to have a good attitude on the runway?
So as the judges debate who will be sent home, Heidi gets a twinkle in her eye and says “I have an idea.” Double elimination, you might be thinking. But you would be wrong.
NEXT: Design. Walk. Repeat.
Kini is announced the winner. Emily and Sean are in. And then—triple twist!
“One of you will be out… but not yet. You have one more challenge—and it’s right now. You have one hour to create a new look. Create a look that will convince us that you deserve to stay here.” —Heidi Klum
Korina and Char get to create any look of their choosing, with fabrics provided in the workroom. They each get a helper in their current partner. And they’re off. Char commits to something form-fitting and flirty—her design aesthetic. And Korina just runs her mouth. I held my breath just watching them race through this challenge, so I’m not quite sure how she had so much time to talk. A sample line: “I’m so much of a f—ing better designer.” It gets so bad that Emily doesn’t even want to help her out. Emily says Korina’s poor attitude will reflect in the clothes, and boy is she good at foreshadowing.
Char’s look truly does represent her. She’s been a little rocky since her Tim Gunn Save™, but her quick thinking proves she knows her own aesthetic and can pull it off in a pinch.
Korina’s look is not completed, but the idea is there. And the judges may have thought more highly of it if she weren’t exuding hostility. Challenging Nina? Never a good idea. Blaming another designer for you being in the bottom? Even worse.
Out: Korina, who may not be able to make a dress in an hour—but knows how to make an exit.
BUT WAIT! Don’t count this mean girl out yet. She’s back next week, and it looks like we’re in for another ride. What was I saying about not enough drama??
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