'Project Runway' Recap: Print Innovation
'Project Runway' Recap: Print Innovation
Gina Pusateri
Gina Pusateri
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
There are seven designers left in this season and you know what that means: everyone is talking a lot about how there are only seven designers left. Well at least one of them isn't Ken, because he FINALLY went home last week.

Prolific Prints

Brace yourself: a crap ton of product placement is coming. It's the HP textile design challenge. But this time the designers are to meet with seven young "innovators" that HP thinks represent their brand for inspiration. The innovators aren't meant to be the models or clients for this challenge, but only to inspire each of the designers' prints.

Bradon meets Nigel, a BMX rider. His print represents Nigel as a blur moving through the city and it turns out looking like a kind of blue and gray plaid.

Alexandria's inspiration is Ilana, a magazine director who is passionate about re-purposing materials to help communities in need. She gets inspired by the bricks in Ilana's photographs and creates a linear print.

Unfortunately, Alexander isn't very inspired by Thiago, the pastry chef. He's worried that as a costume designer he could take the pastry motif too far. He settles on recreating the chocolate lattice on top of the cake into a print.

Kate designs a print that looks like a floral from far away, but up close it is binary code after being inspired by Maria, who makes software tools available to young women to bridge the gender gap in the computer technology world.

Justin meets with Nana, who was Miss USA 2012. He's surprised at how different she is than what he expected when she tells him all about her non-profit foundation that helps educated children in third world countries. He designs a fabric that incorporates the sign for "I love you" in sign language.

Dom meets with Premal who is the founder of kiva.org. Dom likes how the site brings people from different cultures together. So she creates a bright and colorful linear print that she wants to represent several cultures in one.

Helen comes from a family of artists so she's thrilled to meet Ryan, who is a new media artist. But she's still kind of intimidated at the thought of making a print and settles on a pretty basic design with some small star and shape details on it.

Designing for the Innovators

Dom really wants to make her dress all about her print so she designs a basic dress where the print speaks for itself. Justin wants to make another evening gown but wants to make sure he doesn't go wrong with the look like when he was eliminated.

Tim is worried that Alexander's look is too clerical, and that might be because it has a giant cross draped across the front of it, but Alexander is in love with his look. He also tries to encourage Alexandria to focus all of her effort on either her top or her vest.

Helen is struggling with working with an actual print in this challenge, as opposed to her forte which is all black (excuse me, she did use a dark navy blue last week). Tim and every one of the other designers have to give her a pep talk before she settles on a cropped top and a long skirt.

Bradon starts off making a maxi skirt of his print, but Tim is perplexed by his design. He decides to scrap the skirt and make a black tube dress and use the print as a jacket.

Kate is a little lost on this challenge but Tim encourages her to stick to her original vision. Unfortunately, her original vision includes huge pleats that come halfway down her skirt that are just plain ugly.

Runway of Tomorrow

As a special treat, the innovators the designers met with earlier get to sit with them for the runway show. And the judges are the usual but fabulous Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, joined by fashion designer Peter Som.

Top

Dom- Zac says the dress is runway ready. He loves the detail on the print and it reminds him of a butterfly. Nina says she loves the tribal, yet current look about it.

Bradon- Heidi loves his modern print and the cool sexy dress under the jacket. They all love the print and how he creatively used it in a bomber jacket. Zac says it's his best work all season.

Helen- Zac thinks the piece is very cool and Nina says that it looks vintage and modern at the same time. Everyone thinks she did a good job for how intimidated she was.

Bottom

Kate- The judges agree that the print was not utilized enough. And of course they hate the pleats, which Peter says look like Kleenex. Zac is disappointed in his golden girl.

Justin- Heidi likes the print and the top of the dress, but she says the skirt is unforgivable. Zac says the skirt has a lot of construction flaws and looks unfinished.

Alexander- No one is a fan of the bold white cross-like stripes. Nina actually liked the print but it felt like he over-used it. Heidi, on the other hand, felt that he wasted a good opportunity to do something fun inspired by cake.

Dom is the winner of the challenge. She wins an HP technology set that her innovator, Premal, also wins.

Heidi gives Alexander the auf wiedersehen but keeps Kate and Justin out on the runway for dramatic effect. She tells Justin that he's safe and then tells Kate that she's also out. What a bummer. She's only been in the bottom once this entire competition and she's definitely a better designer than a few of the people left (cough, Alexandria, cough). Even Tim is shocked.

Next week: the last challenge before fashion week!

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(Image courtesy of Lifetime)