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Project Runway Episode 12 – Who Goes to NY Fashion Week?

Layers of silk organza in soft misty shades made Gordana’s angel gown, but the gown didn’t make the cut.

After watching this season’s programs so far, I’ve decided one of the most important functions of the production is casting. I like reality TV because watching the human condition fascinates me. I disagree with those who suggest reality TV is scripted. Manipulated, probably; well or not so well edited, absolutely. I’m sure that good editing can find the personality, tension, heart, and passion we need to keep our interest. However, I’m having second thoughts about the people who get chosen.

I’ve always envisioned the auditions as a process of finding strong design talent. This season has made it clear that without strong personalities the show falls flat. I think this season has had interesting characters, but they disappeared too quickly. The Manhattan environment was also missed. The last five players don’t quite have the spice and even though I’m often the first to applaud an antagonist leaving—I miss them. Wouldn’t a few lines from Santino Rice or Jay McCarroll liven up the programs about now? Or the character of Austin Scarlett or Christian Siriano warm our hearts?

This week is the final challenge and it sent Christopher and Gordana home, and Althea, Carol Hanna, and Irina to Bryant Park. Now, who do you think will win? I enjoy reading your opinions and comments. Who are your all time favorite designers? Maybe we can influence the next cast of characters.

Until next time….


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    Last night was no surprise to anyone as far as I'm concerned. I was shocked to see the normally sweet and shy Gordana morph into an Irina clone and claw at poor Carol Hannah who only asked that there be no arguing. I was disgusted to see Gordana kissing up to Irina and I can't say Im suprised and now, not even sorry to see her go. Her dress was a good interpretation of the painting right down to the brush strokes but was again gray. No shock, she even chose a gray painting. The dress was nice but no flash of inspiration and not new or even intricate. Christopher was a no brainer. I know Irina has her fans but I feel she is a good seamstress but not an inspired designer. I did not care for Irina's dress at all, I agree with Nina that it was matronly on the bottom and it just looked like she strung it together at the last minute with some twine she found on the floor somewhere. I will say this, at least she took a risk which is something she normally does not do so I will give her an E for effort. I agree with her that some of Althea's stuff looks somewhat sloppy and unfinished at times but Althea is a better designer than Irina, however, her sewing is not nearly as good as Irina's. I feel that Carol hannah is a mix of the two, a good seamstress and a good designer and I think she should win. I have the feeling Althea will win but I like Carol Hannah. I thought it was interesting that Irina's face fell when she saw Carol hannah had been named one of the finalists, I think Irina thinks Carol hannah might be some competition for her. I did not know Carol Hannah had no formal training at a fashion design school till last night, that makes me root for her all the more. Anyway, I would like to know what has become of the former winners of Project Runway, where are they now? As the last episode blogger said. I really would like to know if they have achieved success or did they just go back home? I also would like to see some different challenges such as an economy themed show. The designers could go to a thrift shop or the goodwill and re-make an outfit to fit with today's styles. Maybe even something formal, who knows? I think its very relevant considering the recession. In the end, if Irina wins, I for one will not be happy for the nasty little shrew.

  2. Ceeayche | | #2

    I thought this season of PR was good in the sense that some sort of decorum has returned to the workroom. In previous seasons, I thought some of the antics of the "personalities" glorified bad behavior and mean spiritedness. And that hystrionics in some cases triumphed interesting design. I'm glad that at least one of the reality shows seems to be taking a stand for professional behavior. Some times I've wanted to shout: STOP WHINING. YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY. SHUT UP AND DESIGN!

    That being said, I think it's time to mix up the judges again. THEY are very antiseptic in their approach and so they lean towards the very mundane. The designers in the end reflect that asthetic. Maybe if they were more animated-- or more diverse in their perspective, the designers would reflect a more interesting design sensibility. Even some of the guest celebrities that have been selected have not been "style icons" more the have good stylists.

  3. User avater
    Mrs4Him | | #3

    I agree with so much of what sews4fun said. I am really sick of the bad attitude that Irina has displayed. I think she is a good designer, but somehow I think the personality of the designer should maybe play into who should win in the end. She would definitely lose if that were the case.

    And I have become disappointed with Althea's attitude. She has chimed in with Irina a few times to bad-talk someone, such as Logan in last week's episode. I understand she was upset with the copy-cat collar issue, but she should not have said things that she did.

    Anyway, back to the 'deciding' episode at hand---I knew that Christopher and Gordana were going to go. Neither have been consistently good with what they have sent down the runway. I knew as soon as Christopher's dress came out that a judge would say something about the 'stiffness' of it. And Gordana's was nice (probably second in line last night to Carol Hannah's) but, again, gray. I really thought she should have left before some of the other designers.

    I was actually shocked with Irina's dress because of the shape, or lack thereof. It did look matronly and not a signature 'Irina' piece. As Rowley said, she liked the back. I agreed with that. Oh--and I could NOT believe in the beginning of the episode that she was considering using the rabbit fur with that flowing fabric!

    And yes, I did notice Irina's reaction to Carol Hannah being one of the 3 going to BP. I really like CH and do hope that she wins. I didn't know either that she had no formal education--like Christopher. She has much greater skills and talent than he does though!

    Looking forward to the BP showdown. May the best woman win (hopefully Carol Hannah!).

  4. ejlee | | #4

    I think the three most promising designers are going to fashion week. I'm thrilled that the judges got it right! I cannot wait to see what they create.

  5. Cherlyn | | #5

    The only design I liked was Carol Hanna's dress. I thought anyone would love to wear that one. What was Irena thinking? That was ugly and I couldn't believe the judges liked it. Athea's dress---hummmmm----I think she made some bad fabric choices. The combination isn't bad together, but the design of the two pieces are in conflict with each other. Gordana's dress was okay, not stunning or different. The back did look bad. I had to agree with the judges on this one. I thought a scoop back would have had more impact and a different closure or a zipper in the side, so it would have been hidden from the eye. I have not cared for anything from Christopher for several episodes. He needs to take some classes and learn about fabrics.

    I'm tired of Irena's comments too. I think the other two girls, Carol Hanna and Althea have nicer personalities. It will be interesting to see the show next week. I think that Carol Hanna could win this!

  6. User avater
    Kate_W | | #6

    Chris March of the human-hair-as-embellishment is my all time favorite Project Runway designer. He was grateful to be there and his sentiment that sometimes the universe gives you love and you can take it, had me hooked. I thought Malvin this season might be another Chris.

    I agreed with Nina that Christopher doesn’t know fabric. Compare the flowiness of Gordana’s long dress to Christopher’s. Christopher has had memorable designs but even with no formal design education, (rant on) for crying out loud, has he ever walked through a department store and seen or felt what different types of garments are made of? (rant off)

    Gordana surprised me with her sudden alliance with Irina. I was not surprised to see gray in her inspiration and project. (OK, snark off.)

    Since the newspaper project, I’ve thought Althea would be in the final three. I think she will win because she’s edgier than Carol Hannah and Irina. Carol Hanna would be my sweet surprise winner.

    Irina, I believe, will be successful whatever the outcome. She is organized, presents herself well, does beautiful, albeit, somewhat predictable design.

    OK, at the time of the wedding dress challenge, I was trying to figure out how to modify a men’s suit jacket to make it more feminine, fit me, be fun, etc. (sews4fun: are you looking in my sewing room?) With the challenge last night, I am at about 70%, in the meantime the designers have made three complete projects. I love sewing but I cannot imagine sewing for more than 3-4 hours at a stretch. I cannot imagine working in the same room with the same people for 12 hours at a time. (Tim Gunn makes it sound like a good thing.) And I cannot imagine spending a half hour planning a project and then be limited to a half hour in an awesome fabric store (what kind of sick show is this, really?) I have spent months and years planning a project in my head. No matter how it plays out on TV, the designers are creative, driven, and focused. They have my respect.

  7. Cherlyn | | #7

    Kate W and I agree on something. What kind of "sick show" is this that allows only 30 minutes to sketch and then 30 minutes in that awsome fabric store, running around like fools searching for the perfect fabric?! I take my time too. I have to think about all the details. I want to be happy with the end product and not end up with something disgusting and totally unwearable which is what we witnessed in almost every episode!

    After seeing Mood, I want to go there with a couple $100 or so and buy something awsome to make for me! We have nothing where I live. Those chain fabric stores carry junk compared to what I've seen in some nicer stores that are privately owned.

  8. COBrenda | | #8

    I have only been watching project runway for part of this season but I am excited by the creativity of the designers. I do find myself wondering about some of the techniques that are used. The cattiness of the judges seems a bit gleeful and unnecessary to me. The limitations of time for design and shopping commented on by others certainly adds to the stress for the designers but also the drama of the show. It also emphasizes the incredible creativity of the contestants. I believe the magazine could do a very interesting regular feature that features some of the techniques or design processes of the designers, I am thinking of the amazing neckline/necklace Gordana did a couple weeks ago. The tv show commented on her decision to focus on the necklace and to spend a major part of her budget in that area. I thought it looked amazing and would love to know more about this type of work. I am assuming that Gordana has done more of this type of work in the past. Brenda

  9. User avater
    Soli | | #9

    I was disappointed in the final three, as I thought that the sloppy execution of Althea's skirt looked a lot worse than the closure on the back of Gordana's beautiful angel dress. I would totally wear that dress. I'd love to try to re-create it. This is the first season of PR that I really don't care who wins, as long as it's not Irina. The last time I wanted someone *not* to win, it was Jeffrey. I really preferred Laura Freeman's aesthetic over his.

    As far as having 30 minutes to sketch, as well as 30 minutes to shop, it's a competition. I think that the casting directors choose people they feel have produced enough, and are somewhat experienced enough that they will be able to deal with the time constraints. And for aspiring designers, I think everyone has watched the show through it's various seasons enough that they know what to be prepared for. Someone from the fashion world might have a beef with the time limits, but let me tell you, if you want to be prepared to deal with PR type challenges on short deadlines and dealing with whatever material is thrown at you, get a background in theatrical costuming. That's why Chris March had such an easy time with the challenges. In theater departments, you sometimes find yourself having to knock out 22 pairs of pants in a short period of time, quick and dirty, because the director changed his mind. If you've got a great budget, you get to work with some incredible fabrics on someone else's dime, but if you've got the usual no budget, you work with some really awful stuff, but learn ways to make it look good. Your cast can change at the drop of a hat, and something you were building for a specific actor has to be changed overnight to fit the replacement. You're constantly problem solving, again with a deadline, because the show must go on, and I can't think of a better proving ground for the experience of making clothing from every time period imaginable, down to periods that don't exist yet, every sort of fabric and crazy trim imaginable, and also having to find a way to make the clothes look like they're supposed to look to suit the character, and wear like iron to survive 8 shows a week.

    For someone who is trying to make a living designing/fabricating the clothing, they are going to be used to working for long stretches at a time, with some tea/food breaks thrown in. But the more experienced designers are going to know to use smaller needles with certain fabrics so they don't get the puckering, which fabrics are stiffer and which have better drape. For the self-educated, it's vital to do the research or at least ask questions and find out how certain fabrics behave and how to best treat them to get the desired effect.

  10. Skymom | | #10

    What a challenge! I didn't love any of the results, but I guess Gordana's and Carol Hanna's were the most successful. Irina's was just so off proportionally, and by lining the fabric, she lost the diaphanous quality. For some reason, I found her literal translation of the painting a little annoying--Gordana did a better job reimagining Monet's painting in fabric.

    Overall, I was rooting for Althea this time, because she was the only one who tackled the challenge of trying to interpret the architecture of the Getty Center. I worked at the Getty for a few years when it first opened up there on the hilltop, and I never got tired of the architecture. There were wonderful surprises around every corner and curve. (Christopher actually won me over by choosing one of my favorite fountains as his inspiration--but the gorgeous algae was new to me!) She didn't quite "make it work," but I loved that she bit off such an ambitious project.

    Personally, I'd have tried to find a way to work with the marvelous fossils you can find throughout the center, embedded in the travertine walls. Subtle, lovely details!

  11. RobinDee | | #11

    I am an avid Project Runway viewer. I own all seasons on DVD and watch them frequently. This is possibly the most boring season ever. I could totally use a Santino or Jay (see him on Quilting Arts with Pokey Bolton) or even the dreaded Wendy, and I want New York back. I think the challenges are uninspired and the clothes lack color and pop. They have booted off the designers that add some personality to the show and are left with lackluster personalties that put very little color in their designs and add very little "color" to the show. Althea's clothes fit so poorly and her model NEEDS TO WEAR A BRA--hello! I would have kept Shirin and Nickolas. I think Christopher is a sweetheart, but he lasted way too long, and I would have picked Jordana over Althea. I would like to see Irina win only because she has a strong personality, the type of person to make it in the fashion business.

  12. Kathie510 | | #12

    No doubt in my mind taht Irina will win overall. Carol Hanna is my favorite this season as I like her outfits and her personality. She's relatively young and does a great job every time...also has a calm and fun personality. Unlike Irina. For me it was evident from early on which 3 would be going to fashion week. Still, I love to see the designs and hear the comments.

    I still wish there was a show that made clothing for larger women.

  13. Bavrysebring | | #13

    I do think that Irina has been the most consistant in her designs. I only wish she would learn that she can get ahead and possibly win this contest without the constant snipes at others work. It is, at the very least, unattractive. If I was looking to employ someone, it would not be her, as I would not only want successful people working for me, but people that could work together and not step on each other to get ahead. It would make me wonder when I would be her next target! Her talent speaks for her, she doesn't have to be demeaning as well. Perhaps she is not as confident as she seems?

  14. GreatDean | | #14

    Everyone else has said exactly how I feel about this year's Project Runway program. If I could communicate with the producers I'd tell them to move back to NYC ASAP. I'd also tell them to find designers who are not only very talented but ones with a personality. They're artists for gawd's sake. Show some artistic temperament. Finally I'd tell the producers that a lot of people watch this show who really want to see the design process. Quite frankly I, for one, am not interested in a model have their hair and makeup done. I want to see the artistic process!

  15. vintagecouture | | #15

    Where is the design talent? Honestly, take a serious look at last week's designs. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, unique about any of the designs. Along with a lack of design talent, I have yet to see any of the designers execute refined skills for construction. "A hot mess!" That expression pretty much describes every design on the runway this season. When they cast the show, instead of looking for unique personalitities more effot and attention needs to be focused on finding contestants who display gifted artistic ability with fabrics, and a repetoire of developed, refined construction techniques. A cute sketch is one thing, but can the designer execute a sketch into a piece of fashion that leaves those watching the runway exhaling a "Wow!" Really now, would any person watching yearn to have any of the designs created? Sad designs, dull fabric choices, inferior technique. Worst season ever.

  16. User avater
    SewJoe | | #16

    I don't know why some of these comments think that moving back to NY is the answer to the boring personalities and designs of the program. NY has nothing to do with it, these designers are auditioned from all over the U.S. (Personally, I tried out for Season 5--what a great experience!!)

    I do agree that the producers are looking more for a 'cast' than talent. When I went in, within five seconds Tim said "it's not what we're looking for". I had not even hung my garment bag, let alone unzipped it to reveal what I had designed. My husband says it's because I don't have any tattoos.

    I am disappointed in the way they packaged the Los Angeles season. I drive past FIDM quite often on my way to the fashion district in L.A., and I assure you, the building is not yellow. Most of their camera shots of downtown L.A. look yellow-tinted, are they trying to make it look sunny? We have some gorgeous old buildings in the fashion district, and the street scene here is quite fun to experience. BTW, Michael Levine fabrics has been downtown over thirty years and has way more selection than Mood, which only opened two years ago on the westside. Hmmm--isn't that about the same time the show decided to move to Lifetime?

    Since I'm ranting--where the heck were all the fun challenges? L.A. is one of the most inspiring places on this planet, but they chose boring cliche' challenges based on tourist locations. Yuk!!! Hey Tim, Heidi, give me a call! I'll show you around. You don't need another season that looks like you just flew in from NY for the filming. L.A. rocks, and Project Runway rocks, so stop trying to pick a cast to fit your formula. Get some spicier talent in there and spend a little more time digging into the L.A. scene. Heidi and the other judges often comment that they want to be 'WOW'd', but they should definitely consider taking their own advice and push the envelope!

  17. katmom | | #17

    This is the first time I have watched a few episodes of this show, but I am beginning to be hooked! I have to say I hope Carol Hannah wins -- I think she has great skills in sewing as well as designing. I think Irina has very good dressmaking skills and could be a good designer, but I was not impressed at all with her dress last week! UGLY!! She tends to be catty about the other designers which I find distasteful, but I definitely think she has good skills.

    I am rooting for Carol Hannah -- she is young, she seems to be a nice person and is refreshing, she has good skills, and she deserves it in my humble opinion.

  18. Dudesews | | #18

    A Good Challenge would be Biker Clothing from an Artistic point of view. The Designers may be next year they can hit on that Idea pass this along to Tim Gunn or whoever hope they read these. I have been watching Project Runway since season 1 . I sew Their for I am.... Dudesews Later.
    My favorite Fabrics are Tapestry and Animal Prints

  19. sewsuzy | | #19

    My daughter and I are avid PR fans and own all of the past seasons on DVD. I watch them over and over. I wave been very disappointed with the LONG awaited Season 6 also and have missed the NYC backdrop. Tim Gunn gave a lecture @ the University of South Florida last week and we had the opportunity to see him. Although most of his lecture concentrated on the history of fashion which he taught for many years and his experiences @ Parsons, he did bring up some anecdotes about PR. He said that they had gotten mixed reviews for Season 6 which was actually filmed a year ago while Bravo and Lifetime were battling it out, but said that Season 7 was fantastic (Premiers January 14th). He was also skeptical about the move to LA and said that he didn't like it at first. After a few episodes he decided that he would embrace it and it may actually be a good location based on Hollywood's influence on fashion in the US. I still miss NYC, but mostly I miss a good cast of interesting, talented designers. This is the first year that I have not been able to rally for someone or feel passionate about the outcome. Although my daughter and I never miss an episode, I doubt that we will be buying this season on DVD. I hope Tim is right and we will find what we have been missing this season in January. BTW- Tim Gunn was extremely interesting, funny, and gracious, answering all the questions the audience had and spending time with everyone in line for personalized book signings and photos. I would encourage anyone who has a chance to hear him talk to do so.

  20. perendales | | #20

    I thought that it was predictable that the three, Althea, Carol Hannah, and Irena, would be chosen to go to Bryant Park.
    However, Gordana's dress was the prettiest from the front this last week. It is too bad that she didn't look at the back details more. Someone commented that the back should have dipped down. I think so also. The dress could also have had a train. I have been watching Dancing with the Stars with a new interest and what the professional costumers do each week with each of the dancers. A lot could be learned from this show by Project Runway participants. These outfits are done quickly, also. A dress needs to look great from all angles. I didn't think that any of the dresses last week were really great. Carol Hannah's braided straps don't come off very well in application. They need to be neater. Irena's dress was hideous and I agree with the judges regarding Althea's dress. This particular assignment was very difficult and the participants needed more time for all aspects: sketching, shopping, and sewing.

  21. User avater
    dahammand | | #21

    I enjoyed this season's show a little more because there was not a much cattiness (is that a word?), bickering, back bitting, and super hugh egos. I know hugh egos are needed in this business, but sometimes it gets to be a bit much, as in Santino (even though I liked his work). If last week's episode was a regular one, Althea (that was her worse outfit) may have been voted off and Gerdano (this was her best outfit) may have won. My hat is off to all the designers. I could not do what they do, especially in the time frame given.

    I can remember in high school, coming home around 3pm on Friday, cutting out a pattern and sewing a dress (usually simple) to wear to a dance at 7pm; but I had a store bought pattern and had my material, ect. and usually was asking my mother to finish hemming it while I took a shower. Soli's remarks reminded me of a time when I was working community theatre and the costume people had to make one pregnant cast member's custume to expand as her belly got bigger.

    I would have liked to see more of what Epperson and Nicolas could do. Over all I have been pulling for Carol Hannah and I think she has been consistant week after week turning out good designs. Fashion, to me, is a lot like art--it is all the eye of the beholder.

  22. msbyrdt | | #22

    Is it me or beside the other complaints...are the models getting a lot more focus, than they used to? They have a show of their own now that follows PR, so....? Also, the show has become a commercial within a commercial...again, maybe it's just me.
    On the next note...where's Micheal? Out networking? He's been scarce this season. I'm glad Tim, is still his same charming self, I really enjoy him.
    Finally, I liked Gordana's gown. I liked the simplicity of it. I wouldn't have rated it the winner, but I don't think she should've been cut, but I guess they had to narrow it to 3. I think she got stuck on greys or grays...whatever( :) ). I also think that where she's from has a lot to do with her style...simple, subtle, quiet.
    I'm just sayin'...

  23. snapitup | | #23

    Seriously, no one else saw the "erotic image" Gordana's gown elicited? Bold, provocative, sensual, to say the least. Shades of Georgia O'keefe!

  24. Fabric_Addict | | #24

    I enjoy Project Runway very much and I am happy with this season's designers. I especially like Carol Hanna. I really think Tim Gunn makes the program. I like the fact that this season there is not so much bickering back and forth.

  25. marthaq | | #25

    Especially to Snapitup,
    When Gordana's gown walked out, I yelled "OMG a giant vagina!" My husband was on the floor and thank god my 2 teenaged sons were out of earshot.
    Love Project Runway, can't wait for better contenders!!!!

  26. cranger907 | | #26

    A friend got me hooked on this show a few seasons ago. My biggest complaint about this season has to do with the time allotted to challenges. Most of them had to be completed by midnight of the day in which the challenge was given. Personally I think this biases the competition towards the most efficient sewers, not necessarily the best designers. I doubt Jeffrey would have survived this format. If you want to see talent, give the designers space to execute something stellar, or fix a garment that didn't quite make the translation from page to form.

  27. MeMarge | | #27

    Carol Hanna is the most creative, down-to-earth and talented designer we've seen in a looooong time. She is consistently good and has never been a contender to be eliminated. The fact she is self-taught is all the more proof of her innate talent.
    No question: Carol Hanna all the way.

  28. MeMarge | | #28

    Carol Hanna is the most creative, down-to-earth and talented designer we've seen in a looooong time. She is consistently good and has never been a contender to be eliminated. The fact she is self-taught is all the more proof of her innate talent.
    No question: Carol Hanna all the way.

  29. MeMarge | | #29

    Carol Hanna is the most creative, down-to-earth and talented designer we've seen in a looooong time. She is consistently good and has never been a contender to be eliminated. The fact she is self-taught is all the more proof of her innate talent.
    No question: Carol Hanna all the way.

  30. User avater
    ghis | | #30

    In respond to (not ghis?) my password has change but my user`s name is still Ghis.I think that Carol Hanna should win,her design is very distinguish and at the same time very sexy.The color is very rich and the work seams to be well done,so BRAVO to Carol Hanna Ghis

  31. tutusdivine | | #31

    Is it true that this is the last season????? I hope not, this is a show that I have had to watch even when I really hated some of the people, but after I got hooked I'd do the Sat. or Sun. all day thing that they used to have on Bravo......they almost kilkled it by taking it to LA, and this year it is kind of flat........I love the drama of the Scarlette guy, and the girl who won with the pettles, she was an artist.......I liked Laura , and I liked Chris also..... I like the over the top "costume" guys who think out of the box. I loved the gold bodice the the one guy did when they went to Paris, and the judges tore him apart.....did they not see how that thing fit, and laced on an curve?????? Then they go over the top for the little guy with the wild hair, he has talent, is young, and will do well if the industry gives him room to grow.....sometimes people need more than talent, and life is not fair........there is no gold at the end of the rainbow.....but we just keep trying.....and learning.....

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