On the last episode of Project Runway, Sean, Kini, Amanda and Char were chosen to go to New York Fashion Week.
Heidi and Tim meet the designers on the runway to tell them about their last challenge. They have $9,000 and five weeks to create ten looks for New York Fashion Week.
For inspiration, they’re flying the designers to Rome on Best Western’s dime. While that’s exciting for them, I’m not sure if I like that all of the designers will have the same inspiration. Part of the fun of seeing a designer’s final collection is seeing what they do without the constraints of a normal challenge.
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Tim goes with them to Italy to basically be their tour guide. He points out the incredible architecture, the history and the culture. Char says it’s overwhelming to be this close to history and it will be easy to find inspiration here.
At lunch, Sean expresses his dismay at not having a physical work space in America yet since he only recently came over from New Zealand. His fellow designers can definitely sympathize.
Tim asks Char if she’s intimidated because she’s never won a challenge. She says she’s in a state of gratitude for having made it this far but she definitely feels like the underdog. Sean says in his confessional that he didn’t expect Char to make it this far. He says she should buy a lotto ticket after this show because she’s been very lucky.
When talking about their ideas with each of the designers, Tim tells Kini that he needs to focus on his design because the judges know how good he is at tailoring. He tells Sean to think of his collection as a phrase of music with individual pieces as notes that come together.
Char asks Tim why he used his save on her. He tells her because he believes in her and he believes in her voice and her voice hadn’t fully been heard when she was eliminated. He says he hopes that the finale is where we are going to hear a whole orchestra from her. Char says it’s exactly what she needed to hear to prove to herself that she deserves to be here and to start on her collection.
They all go to Valli, the Italian Mood. Tim tells them they don’t need to buy anything there if they don’t want to, but it might be another good place to find inspiration.
Amanda finds some fabric for her collection that’s very expensive, but neither Kini or Sean want to spend money on fabric when they’re not even sure which direction their collection is going at this point.
Char finds a loud and colorful print that is expensive as well, but Tim thinks it’s a good place for her to start and he talks her into buying it.
It’s been a few weeks and Tim is on his home visit tour. First he goes to Hawaii to meet with Kini. Of course even his work space is beautiful. Even though it’s a garage, it has a wide open door and so much natural light.
The theme of his collection is “Park Ave. Princess Going to Rome” and he’s doing what he does best: denim. He’s also using pleats in a lot of his looks. Tim thinks it’s 1000 percent “Kini” and can’t wait to see the finished product.
Kini throws Tim a traditional luau in his backyard. Before Valerie, Kini’s mom, shows Tim how to hula, she tells him how proud she is of Kini. His name means “King of the Morning Star” in their culture and he really wants to win and prove to his family that he really exemplifies his name.
Next, Tim goes to Detroit to visit Char. We learn a little about her troubled childhood where she was abandoned by her mother at two months old to be raised by her grandmother while her father was in jail. Her stepfather says he was worried about her when she wanted to change careers from hairdresser to designer, but now he knows she had something inside of her that she needed to express.
Char’s collection is unsurprisingly mostly prints and graphic colors. Tim responds well to the patterns and likes the color statement. He tells her some of the looks are a little costume-y, but with a little editing it could be truly great. He tells her to keep her eye on the cohesion of the collection.
In Nashville, Amanda is working on her collection that is inspired by art deco. She’s going for looks that are a cross between a bohemian theme and a mod theme. She’s a little nervous about the lack of pieces she actually has finished.
Tim is worried about all of Amanda’s “bells and whistles,” like fringe that looks like a Muppet and her hand-made jewelry. Amanda agrees that it’s probably time to grow up and just make a more sophisticated collection.
Tim meets Amanda’s husband, Will. He says that Amanda had always had a strong creative voice but she has had more confidence this time around than she did in season 11.
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Sean is renting a space in Williamsburg, New York. He feels like he’s living the dream after moving to the states with just one suitcase and now he’s going to Fashion Week.
He tells Tim that growing up on a farm in New Zealand he wasn’t really influenced by popular culture. It was all about his own creativity.
His collection tells the story of Caesar’s betrayal starting with crisp whites, then a dramatic black piece, followed by red and orange looks. They are all accented by fringe and he has his own horizontally striped textile.
Tim loves the story and thinks it’s fascinating but he’s worried it’s two different collections instead of one cohesive idea. He encourages him to scrap some of the striped pieces and go more with fringe, even though Nina warned him against using it too much. Sean agrees. He says Nina is not the dictator of fashion and she can’t tell him what to do (though he seems a bit nervous saying it).
Back to the Big Apple
The designers arrive back in New York where they’re all happy to see each other. Sean scrapped four of his looks on Tim’s advice. Amanda is working hard on presenting herself in a high fashion way. Kini is feeling confident about his collection, almost to a point of cockiness. He actually complains about being bored.
Before he even finishes his sentence, Tim walks in to tell them that the judges want to see three looks from each of them. They have two hours to get their looks ready for the runway. Kini is the only person who isn’t nervous. He’s ready to show the judges what he has.
Love it or Lose It
Nina, Zac and Heidi sit on the judging panel with no guest judge this week.
Sean- Heidi likes his three looks. She thinks they’re fresh, modern and young and can’t wait to see the rest. Zac says he likes that he’s made fringe his signature but Nina thinks that he’s not showing enough range. She thinks he has a lot of ideas and would like to see even more of them in his final collection.
Char- The judges like her looks but they’re not sure how they fit together. Heidi says the three looks seem like they belong on three separate girls. Nina hates the look with the sheer detail on the top and tells her to lose it. Zac says she needs to bring more of her personal style to the models with maybe a fun lip or an interesting hair style or shoe.
Amanda- Zac absolutely loves the jewelry and he thinks it makes her clothes look even more expensive. Heidi says she’d wear any of those pieces and she thinks they have an ease to them. Nina says she doesn’t need to rely on her hippie aesthetic as much and she should maybe rework the maxi dress.
Kini- Heidi says that Kini’s collection looks very old lady and he’s much better a designer than what he showcased tonight. She says that he needs to restyle it completely to make it look more modern. Nina hates the pleated coat, which is upsetting because it’s obvious that so much work went into that coat. Heidi says if anyone can rethink their collection in a short time, it’s Kini.
Backstage after the show, Kini is devastated. He tries to smile through it, but he’s freaking out. Sean says it’s really harsh of the judges to give such a harsh critique when there’s only about 24 hours left until they show at Fashion Week.
Let’s hope Kini pulls it together for the season finale next week!
Watch the Project Runway finale next Thursday at 9pm on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)