A helicopter ride over NYC inspires the designers' looks
Credit: Barbara Nitke

As much as I love the designers of season 15, there’s something that’s been bothering me. Tonight I finally put my finger on it: None of them are really luxury designers. The challenge in “A Power Trip” was to create an editorial, high-fashion look for a New York City power woman. I was looking forward to glamorous looks. The results were all nice, but is it too much to ask for at least one Sean Kelly or Carol Hannah this season?

Anyway, that small gripe aside — this was a good episode. And it even came with its own twist ending, so let’s dive right in…

The designers meet Tim and Marie Claire EIC Anne Fulenwider at a helipad to get this week’s challenge. After taking a ride in the helicopter, the designers must use the city landscape as inspiration for their looks, which could end up being featured in Marie Claire if it’s the winner.

They sketch, shop at Mood, and get to work: Mah-Jing wants to do wearable drama, Nathalie is struggling without Jenni around for guidance, and Erin is halfway done with — surprise, surprise — an oversize coat.


Tim tells Cornelius to rethink his “amoeba” designs, he tells Dexter to be very mindful with his time, and he tells Nathalia to limit her fabrics.

After model fittings, everyone buckles down to work on their looks. Nathalia is having a rough time and gets really emotional, and everyone is sweet and supportive — Rik even tries to help her as much as possible. It’s so sweet and makes me love this group of designers so much.

NEXT: Power walk

The next morning, Heidi introduces the designers to guest judges Anne from Marie Claire and Camilla Belle from the remake of When a Stranger Calls. (Like last week’s guest judge, Camilla also dated a Jonas brother — either Lifetime has a thing for Jonas exes or the Jonas bros just have a lot of exes!)

Both Laurence and Roberi are safe, but the remaining designers get critiques:


Mah-Jing was inspired by shipping containers and the water, which he put in a look he says reflects a powerful African queen. Nina loves his denim and tweed design — she says it’s powerful and fashionable. Zac says the contour of the dress is great, and Heidi says, “Well done.”


Nathalia was also inspired by the water, but her design wasn’t as successful. Camilla says she can see where the reference comes from, but the jumpsuit and reflective material don’t look like something a powerful, strong woman would wear. “It’s more of a Power Ranger than a power woman,” Heidi says, comparing it to a costume. Zac says the construction is poor, and Anne goes all the way to say it doesn’t look like something a fashion designer would create.


Going for a playful vibe, Erin tried to just “chill” and create this effortless look. I can’t imagine any NYC power women I know wearing this, but the judges disagree with me. Heidi says it’s very editorial, and Anne says it’s feminine and “frilly without being silly.”


Inspired by the Statue of Liberty, Rik created an interesting draping dress…thing. Key word: interesting. Zac says he was impressed when the look first came down the runway, but as the model walked past, he thought more of a toga party. Heidi says it was more “wah-wah” or like a tablecloth just blew up on the model. Nina likens it to an apron, but Anne is his cheerleader. She thinks it’s so beautiful that she forgives him for the back.


Cornelius has to prove himself after getting the Tim Gunn Save, and he definitely does with this chic look. Heidi says it’s business but fun at the same time and she’d love to wear it. Camilla says she can see a modern working woman wearing it; Anne, Nina, and Zac all have rave reviews, so much so that Nina says she’s happy Tim used his save.


Dexter felt voyeuristic from the helicopter, as he was able to see into people’s windows (just how close did this helicopter get to buildings?!). His gothic see-through look definitely shows that. The problem is the shoulders, which we’ve seen before. Anne says they’re gimmicky, Camilla says they’re Minnie-mousey, and Nina says they’re overdone — she wants to see Dexter challenge himself more.

Winner: Cornelius

Out: Nathalia

Out as well: Dexter

Anyone else shocked by the double elimination? Did you think it was warranted? Share your thoughts below, or find me below at @realdalener.

Episode Recaps

Project Runway

Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.

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