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Project Runway – Week 4: Hearts and Flowers

Amy Sarabi won first place this week. Her dress is beautiful and the judges praised the way Amy handled the fabrics to achieve elegance and modernity at the same time.

On Project Runway nights, first, I watch the show—everything up to the last six designers waiting for the verdict—and then I pause the TV. Without further influence I need to decide: Did something catch my eye? Was I transported by the brilliance of a creation? I need to sort out my own feelings and  thoughts before hearing the final roll call from Heidi. During the show, to help remember the clothes, I make little thumbnail sketches of each garment—that’s not easy considering how fast the designs are shown on the runway. So, I spend 30 minutes pausing and rewinding until my eyes (and ears) are full.

Tonight, I agreed with the judges, and picked Amy to win as they did. And it seems that everyone concurred that it’s clearly time for Jesus to go home.

But now, my friends, what in the name of all that is beautiful was that thing that Anna pushed down the runway?! I thought it was an acceptable offering until I saw the skin-toned racing tank top under it. Tell me that was unfortunate lingerie and not part of the dress. What was she thinking?

As for the “Safeties,” as I’ve decided to call the group that’s dismissed early—Take another look at Ben’s dress—the waist and back is stunning. Jay’s dress was also quite lovely as was Jonathan’s. Janeane’s dress had a mixture of qualities but when she said, “I put some flowers on the top and it has a nice hem—so I did my job.” I wondered if her garment might suffer from a lack of enthusiasm. What did you think of Mila’s stars this week? Were you happy with the winner?


Anthony Williams


Anna Lynett


Janeane Marie Ceccanti


Emilio Sosa


Amy Sarabi


Mila Hermanovski


Ben Chmura


Seth Aaron Henderson


Jay Nicolas Sario


Jesus Estrada


Jesse LeNoir

Jonathan Peters


Maya Luz


Designers hard at work

exclusive behind the scenes photo courtsey of Brother International Corporation


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  1. User avater
    Kate_W | | #1

    I loved the idea of this challenge -- women's heart health! In assessing designs, I sometime squint -- what is the overall impression if I squint? (I also squint when "matching" prints or plaids ...)

    Since all the dresses were red, I squinted to get a sense of design and impact ... my winners: Amy Sarabi, Jonathan Peters, Maya Luz and Jay Nicholas Sario. My fav'-- Maya Luz.

    Squinting, Anna Lynett's offering looked fresh, young, and interesting, but ... Emilio called it, her inexperience in construction and fit really shows. Having never made a strapless dress, I would also resort to a skin-tone tank for a "hold-it-up-maybe-they-won't-notice" effect. Full disclosure: I live in SE Wisconsin so I'm rooting for Anna to make it, at least a little further ...

    Mila Hermanovski and Seth Aaron Henderson's dresses looked like the hostess and service person at a restaurant that makes the staff wear coordinating dress-ugly uniforms.

    The guest models were awesome. And as an arm-chair critic, I am _amazed_ at what all the designers create with limited time, budget, and range of design requirements. Love PR!

  2. User avater
    mcshanta | | #2

    I loved the challege...real women's body's to design for. What a disaster the majority of them. I agree with the overall winner - Amy. Her design looked elegant and made her guest model look fantastic.

    I would liked to have seen more of Jay’s dress as well as Jonathan’s. Jay's design was noteworthy, his design for 'his lady' took into consideration the challenge, her body type and made her look elegant. It's unfortunate that those relegated to 'safety' positions don't have enough exposure to examine more than the disaters.

  3. Skymom | | #3

    I agreed that Amy's was worthy of winning. Really lovely! By choosing chiffon, she took away the dreaded shine that makes red look tacky (and I'm a big fan of red). I also thought Jay did a great job for his petite model. Maya's was an interesting idea, but ultimately I didn't like it much--I though Ben's pairing of that bronzy-gold with the red was much more successful. His dress was quite beautiful.

    Part of what bothered me about Maya's was the fit over the bust. It looked as if the gold swirl was squashing everything down on one side--not as flattering as it could be. A better understructure might have helped?

    I loved Jonathan's choice of fabric, and his dress was beautiful from the waist down. But the front bodice didn't do his model any favors. She's narrow and slender and those cutaway armholes made her look scrawny, with her bust resting practically at the waistband. To my eye, the proportion was just off, and I don't think it had to do with her body. The back looked great, though, and the color was wonderful on the model.

    Mila's stars: they looked better in the sketch than on the actual dress, but the model did carry if off really well, and overall the silhouette and neckline were kind of terrific on her statuesque figure. (Imagine that gown in 4-ply silk crepe, with the stars incorporated into the dress fabric using Pamela Ptak's "Couture Insertion" technique. Now that would have been amazing!) The Campbell's trim seemed tacky and costumey, and in a "real" garment should be replaced by something more elegant.

    I'm carrying on! I guess my impression was that the designers who really expressed an interest in making their specific models look and feel wonderful ended up with the most successful garments. They actually assessed the figures and worked with them, rather than trying to squeeze a natural, normal body into something that would work only on a 6-foot-tall, size 2, 18-year-old. There were too many places where volume wasn't well controlled (Anthony's ghastly vest), proportions didn't work (Jesse's ensemble), and strange bits of stuff were applied here and there (Janeane, Anna, Jesus). All those garments might have been cute on some slouchy teen, but weren't suitable for grown-up women, no matter how lovely and inspiring (as all the models were).

  4. sews4fun | | #4

    Wow, this week was, how should I put this? NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE. I agree with the judges this time however, Amy's dress moved beautifully and her model looked positively etheral in that dress. I didnt feel that Jesus's dress was THAT awful, I've seen Kors crank out worse but it was Jesus's time to go. Before I say this, let me say that Anna's dress would have made ANYONE look HUGE, no matter how skinny. Her model is about my size. That being said, this dress made the model look like a sumo wrestler in drag! All that was missing was the giant diaper and the little black pony tail. Maybe thats why Kors was a little less critical of this dress than Jesus's, he was probably afraid the model would put him in a headlock if he said too much. Moving on, I think Mila and Amy look like real contenders for Bryant Park, Mila seems to be a particular favorite of the judges. Her dress didnt do a lot for me save the fact that I was tempted to stand up and say the pledge of alligence or at least hum a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner but thats about it. I liked the top of Jonathan Peters dress, I thought it worked well for his skinny model. I think the rest were pretty much forgettable except for Maya's dress, all that was missing was a torch, a crown and Ellis Island.

  5. indifly | | #5

    the winning piece was whimsical. it kind of reminded me of Marchesa. It was a good use of the colour and fabric.
    As the challenge was really boxed in where the lengths of your creativity were restricted with red which is a colour if not the right hue or type fabric can be translated tacky. But the women felt empowered which was the point but difficult all the same as it's a competition.

  6. User avater
    ExclusiveHerb | | #6

    With this challenge, one design element became a little clearer to me. I believe that proportion or rather the lack of it may be an issue for the contestants. Although I think that they are all good at what they are doing, I consider their knowledge of proportion within design to be a factor for them to concentrate on in the future. This was not as obvious with the high fashion models. When I look back to the earlier episodes, I can remember when I thought that they could improve the overall pulled together appearance of their garments. I didn’t associate this with proportion at that time. As I had mentioned previously, the designers seem good, competitive and making very fashionable garments in this season’s show.

  7. User avater
    Ephemeral_Fortress | | #7

    I always like the challenges that require the designers to use non-models when creating their garments. I believe that if you can only fit or design for one type/shape of body then you're really not that good at creating clothing. I also liked that this episode highlighted women's health issues. However, I feel that most of the dresses weren't very good (I feel that Nicolas from last season would have been forced to call them "red mess[es]" even).

    I think this is the first PR episode I've ever seen that didn't leave me scouring the internet for at least one picture to put in my inspirations folder. And I can't help but feel the campbell's element was very tacky. I mean really, had the designers been told to design an evening gown for any other runway, how well would the judges have responded to randomly placed cotton logo fabric? It seems like a number of those dresses were really cheapened by that addition. I'm assuming Campbell's helped sponsor the challenge and wanted to get some good PR out of it, however I think a few commercials during the show and an announcement (or even several) during key parts of the episode would have done the job as well without forcing the designers to do something stupid. I guess that fabric/logo could have worked out ok if they were going for a more casual outfit for their models.

  8. Miscismom | | #8

    Mila's dress would have been ok with just the one, smaller star, but I thought the huge one on the bottom make her appear extremely bottom heavy - plus I would think people seeing the model in person would feel tempted to walk all around her to see "what IS that?"

  9. User avater
    Mrs4Him | | #9

    I thought this was a great challenge with 'real' models rather than the cookie-cutter version. And I agree with the judges's pick of Amy. Her gown flowed beautifully.

    And yes, it was time for Jesus to go. I actually didn't think his dress was as horrible as the judges stated. I thought Anna's was much worse. She did a huge disservice to the woman she made the dress for. It did make her look huge up top. I felt sorry for her model. To be told in front of millions of people how awful your gown looks based on your body type would certainly put a damper on your mood!

    And speaking of models, I was impressed with Seth Aaron's. She told SA that it was good he stayed true to himself-- afterall, despite that it was a different look than she had originally described to him as her preference. I have never heard a 'real' model (or even a cookie-cutter, for that matter) say such a thing when presented with an opportunity to help create a garment they adore. She kept him in mind more than herself.

    Maya's idea was great in the workroom, but translated into an ill-fitted garment in the bust. Most unfortunate. It was a good idea. Didn't care for Mila's. Again, too graphic for my taste, although I did love the neckline. She has construction down pat for sure.

    The long-haulers are being revealed.

  10. kapnoel | | #10

    I find Amy's and Mila's dresses quite nice, Janeane's, Jay's and Maya's acceptable and all the rest really ugly! The really ugly ones are so bad, I can barely look at the wearer without saying "oh, my God"! I am sure all designers did their best and that the construction methods they used were good, but some indeed missed the essential, that is to create a garment that favors the wearer! As a home sewer, I thought designers could do this with their eyes closed and I am surprised to see how mistaken I was. Neverthess, the effort is worth praising, so thank you all for participating!

  11. User avater
    BarbaraSki | | #11

    I knitted a sweater in the mid-80s with a star on it - that's what that dress reminded me of. The neckline was flattering, however, and fit her well. Besides the winner, most of the other garments were unforgettable and some unfortunate. I hope those women didn't really have to wear them to the event! A was amazed at how many of them chose satin - as any sewist knows is very difficult to work with. Especially the hems - which were mostly a mess - which is why, I'm guessing some chose to "bubble" the hem to hide it. I was very disappointed in Anna's (fellow Milwaukeean, so I'm partial to her) dress this week. In the previous weeks, she designed some very cute dresses. But, as shown in previous seasons, some designers are just better at certain segments of fashion than others. Remember Austin Scarlett? Couldn't design much outside the gown segment and Daniel V. excelled at tailored clothing. Whenever Nina scrunches up her nose and says "I question your.......taste" - I think, they can probably get a job designing for Fredericks of Hollywood!

  12. msbyrdt | | #12

    It seemed to me that some of the designers(?) were just NOT that into designing, a really inspiring dress,for a great cause. Especially, after listening to their models stories. I was pretty disappointed with most of the designs. I liked the design of Mila's dress, minus the stars. Janeane and Anna had the absolute worst dresses I've ever seen!!! Where in the world did those ideas come from? Why would Anna put that color & straps on her model? The beige was almost the same color as the models skin tone....and the deflated balloon dress(Janeane) was beyond awful. I know time is of the essence, but sending what's supposed to be a "red carpet" look like that left me feeling a whole lot better about my sewing from a pattern.

  13. Corkys_Kid | | #13

    Seriously, what part of "your design will be worn at the charity event in NY as well as being made available to the public on Project Runway.com" did these designers not understand? One would think that those two "big deals" would have inspired them to churn out something really spectacular. I was amazed at the lack of really stellar dresses with good, solid skill sets shown on the runway. Is it me, or are others tired of the whining, "we only had 10 hours to complete this," or "our models were not of model proportions." Really? This challenge was a good one: a good cause, real life proportions and is starting to weed out those who are in it for the long haul.

  14. User avater
    Kukana | | #14

    Sorry, but I think Anna's dress was the loser this week, judging from the pictures. My dear, sweet partner, who doesn't enjoy the show much deleted it from the queue prior to me seeing the actual show. I will be watching tonight tho!

  15. scarlety | | #15

    i toally loved it she deserves it

  16. scarlety | | #16

    i toally loved it she deserves it

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