catching up on the runway

heidi and tim glamping

It’s that time again, kids. And due to my blog hiatus, this morning’s ‘weekly windup’ will include three weeks of PR recaps. Settle in.

For Episode 5, titled ‘YOU Choose Your Materials!’, the designers…chose their materials. (Why the title is shouted in caps and with an exclamation point I have no idea. Perhaps one of you can let me know in the comments.) Regardless, there was much eye-rolling and virtue-extolling in the meatpacking district as the designers were informed that they would once again work in teams. Let it be known that at this announcement, I was primed for a double elimination – or possibly a double win. (Have they ever done that on PR?)

To heighten the team effect, the challenge was yet another unconventional one, as the teams were told to choose their materials from 2 of 3 shops – a wallpaper store, a party shop, and the obligatory food market. Of course, they were also told to create a ‘unique yet cohesive’ collection to highlight their talents and showcase their abilities to work together. And as inspiration: the 2014 Lexus sedans sitting ominously in front of them in the street. On cue, the designers chose a car (more choices), and set off to their 2 destinations.

Now since I’m only watching the challenge and then skipping to the runway, I am sure that I missed out on some great, highly-contrived drama in the workroom. Especially given Ken’s parting comments of ‘living a nightmare’ on his way into the challenge. Blood was already in the water.

The teams – and where they shopped:
Bradon, Alexander, and Miranda = wallpaper + party shops
Dom, Helen, and Justin = wallpaper shop + food market
Karen, Kate, and Jeremy = party shop + food market
Ken, Alexandria, and Sue = wallpaper + party shops

Here are the winning team’s looks:

And here, as we could have guessed due to the editing, are Ken’s the losing team’s looks:

The judges, which included guest judge June Ambrose, had an easier job this week, I think. Kate, Karen, and Jeremy seemed the veritable ‘Three’s Company’ (minus the menace of Mr Roper or the creepiness of Mr Furley). And as for Ken’s team… Well one need not say much, je pense. It was ugly. And despite the shocking lack of creativity (and possibly talent), I thought Ken would be out due to his snarkiness and all-around bad form. But he is a goldmine of drama, especially with Sandro gone, and got the ‘you’re in’ from Heidi. Sue, on the other hand, was out. Bye-bye, Sue. Hand-sewing is always best left for when you have either loads of time or no deadline. And no teammates breathing down your neck.

Moving on to Episode 6: ‘Let’s Go Glamping!’ Indeed! And with Tim Gunn in that *amazing* camo suit (see above), why would one not?

Having never been, I was curious about the whole idea of ‘glamping’. And after seeing what it is – ‘glamorous camping’, I would definitely be game. Give me a yurt bedecked with linens and off-the-floor beds, lighting, and enough amps/volts for hair-drying and bug-zapping and I’ll be glamping before you can say ‘pass the smores’. Add in the fact that it’s fully catered and we should call it what it is: sleeping in a luxury resort out-of-doors.

So the designers went ‘glamping’. And were taken off on ziplining escapades and rafting adventures. And were to be inspired by their surroundings. And they were. Mostly. It is here where I should confess: I watched the episode until the workroom antics began. I couldn’t help it; they were glamping and I was jealous.

Here’s what inspiration a night in nature provided:

Lovely. I loved Alexander’s dress, with just enough leather on the jersey to be interesting. And Kate is edging into my ‘favorite designer’ spot. This tulle skirted plastic bustier concoction is delightful and inspired; I want to wear it. But Alexandria’s look won. And won over a ‘drop-crotch-pant’ skeptical Zac Posen – and me, it must be said. It was editorial – and a very clever use of denim. Well done.

On the other hand, Justin’s losing look was uninspiring to behold:



Glue as lace accents? Hmmm. Was this an interesting concept poorly executed? Perhaps. And perhaps given that I was influenced by the story behind Justin’s design, I thought Ken’s ‘b-o-r-i-n-g’ wool frock was worse:



Alas, Ken was safe, and the judges used their glamping boots to kick Justin out.


TIM GUNN USED HIS SAVE. (Sound the trumpets and light the beacons!)

Justin stayed in the competition. And there was much rejoicing.

Did the judges get it wrong? I thought so, too, said the Friday morning quarterback. Seriously though, if I’d had a seat in the judging row, Ken would have been out. And I’m not just saying that because he has complained through two entire runways now.

After a wringing-out of the hankies, we move to on to the final recap for today: Episode 7, aka ‘Shoes First’.

Apparently shoes, not diamonds, are a girl’s best friend. Not sure about that because if you have diamonds you could actually sell them for some shoes. Whereas having shoes does not necessarily mean that you could pawn them for even the most humble chip. I digress.

The challenge begins in a place of wonder and delight: the Marie Claire Closet. Tim Gunn and MC Editor Anne Fulenwider engage the designers in a little fashion quiz, wherein the winner of each round gets to approach the shoe wall and choose a pair as inspiration. As the winner of the last challenge, Alexandria is exempt from playing. She promptly chooses thigh-high gladiator boots. The quizzing continues – highlighting a shocking lack of fashion knowledge – until everyone has a pair and sketching time ensues. Not too much drama here; just average run-of-the-mill professional embarrassment.

All eyes were on the shoes for this runway. Here’s Helen’s winning look – a ‘thoroughly modern Audrey’:



The cape/shrug made the entire look. And just eclipsed Alexandria’s design:



I nearly fainted. Again, Alexandria got this spot-on. The design. The styling. Ya looks amazing. And looking back at Helen’s design I realise she just got lucky.

‘Miranda-of-the-Retrolook’ had the losing look this week:



Another crop-top; another day on the chopping block. FWIW, I would have loved to see that plaid as an a-line dress. Still ‘Christmas-y’ but fresher.

Here are some other looks from this week:

Bradon and Jeremy were both in the bottom 3. Not surprising because of their designs, but disappointing just the same. Justin proved Tim’s save worthwhile. And Ken’s dress was in the top 3 – and designed beautifully. Big sigh.

Get ready for tonight’s new episode on Lifetime at 9pm EST. And meet me back here next Thursday for the PR weekly windup.

BTW, are any of you ‘playing the runway’? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear about it.



What do you think?