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Project Runway Season 11, Episode 12: “Europe, Here We Come”

Layana Aguilar working on her design. 

There wasn’t any winner, but there was one loser! And now we are down to just four designers ready for Tim Gunn’s home visits (always one of my favorite episodes of any season) and Fashion Week.

Last week’s episode had the five remaining designers each create a look inspired by one of the world’s fashion capitols. Four of the designers went to European cities, accompanied by a sewing helper/travel companion. Each designer had $1,000 to spend on fabric for a single outfit.

Layana Aguilar went to Barcelona, Spain, accompanied by Samantha Black.

Stanley Hudson visited London, England, with Richard Hallmarq.

Patricia Michaels went to Paris, France, accompanied by Katelyn Pankoke.

Daniel Esquivel visited Berlin, Germany, and Amanda Valentine was a long for the trip.

Finally, Michelle Franklin was “punished” for “losing” the Nina Garcia Marie Claire cover challenge on the last episode by having to stay in New York City. Her sewing buddy was Tu Nakchat.

Each of the travelling designers had to fly to their destination city and back within 24 hours. They also had to shop at whatever local fabric store they could find in their destination city. Layana and Samantha discovered that customers cut their own fabric in Spain. Patricia had to learn about Euro conversion in Paris. Daniel and Amanda had to shop in a cheerful but mostly home-dec corner fabric shop in Berlin.

I know Michelle didn’t get the chance to travel, but at least she got to shop at Mood!

The designs

There was no winner declared for this episode. The judging panel was only deciding which four designers would present at Fashion Week. The guest judge was singer John Legend. Nice enough guy, and snappy dresser, but not exactly a heavy opinion-maker for this episode.

The loser:

Layana went home for a lace lattice-look jacket inspired by Barcelona. The criticism was that it looked dated, frumpy, and old. I think it was Zac Posen that said that the model looked like Layana’s mother standing next to Layana. The flowing pink cuffs on the blouse beneath didn’t help the case, either.

 Layana Aguilar's look.

The rest:

Patricia was inspired by the layers of graphiti she saw along the Parisienne streets to create a multi-layered textile. It was an interesting and creative idea, however, the bulky fabric she created did not want to work into a flattering, fitted garment. She still made it to Fashion Week, however.

Patricia Michael's design.

Daniel was influenced by the modern architecture and vibe of Berlin. He created an asymmetrical white pleather jacket and skirt, and thigh-high “boots” (vinyl leg covers). He styled his model with a pompadour, and the overall look was very sleek and modernist. Heidi said she could see the girl fitting right in in a German city. Daniel took some flak, mainly from the other designers behind his back, for using white faux leather. Poor guy didn’t have any alternative at the store, though.

Daniel Esquivel's design.

Stanley’s look was mysterious, modest, and inspired by London, England. Stanley made a short, removable cape and floor-length gown. It was the sort of minimalist garment that draws you in with hidden details and the overall appeal of the balanced shapes. Stanley had purchased some very expensive leather paillette fabric, which he used as a skirt lining, only glimpsed when the model was returning along the runway to backstage. The design looked a little like a monk’s or nun’s habit as well, a factor Stanley said he drew from seeing historic London buildings.

Stanley Hudson's design.

Michelle created a reversible quilted leather bib, worn over a flowing cashmere strapless dress with a full, swinging skirt. Michelle was inspired by the sooty old buildings in New York City sandwiched between glossy new towers of glass. It was inventive, and the workmanship on the bib was fantastic! Thank goodness, they kept Michelle in the competition.

Michelle Franklin's design.


I’m so glad they kept Michelle and she gets to present at Fashion Week, but I wish she could have seen the bright side of staying “home” a little sooner! No jetlag, currency conversion, or language barrier! She did cheer up by the end of the show, though.

How did you feel about Layana’s losing the episode? I thought it would be Patricia, as I watched!

Would you rather have seen Layana’s work at Fashion Week or Patricia’s?

I think it will come down to Michelle or Stanley? What do YOU think?


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    I too am glad to see Michelle go to fashion week, I would have been very upset had she not gotten to go. I just can't understand why Heidi Klum insists on keeping patricia in this competition, the woman is no designer. Nearly every person they have sent home has been more talented than patricia and I KNOW layana is. Why is it that when Patricia makes something awful ( usually every week ) they sit her on their collective lap, comb her hair, wash the tears from her face and tell her a bedtime story as they tuck her in for yet another week while they send some deserving designer home? Poor Michelle makes one mistake and they nail her to the cross! I don't blame her for being upset about not getting to go to Europe, I would have been too. But, as stated, she wasnt worn out when she got back only to have to get right to work. I don't think Daniel will do well at fashion week because he wont have Amanda to edit his designs. I honestly think Nina Garcia's constant fear of being embarrassed is going to finally come to pass this time, what with Daniel's usual jackets and other not so new stuff and God only knows what atrocity Patricia will put down the runway.
    I still don't understand the love affair with Stanley, his look was the flying nun on a halter run. It was dowdy and drab and most certinaly seen before. I felt most sorry for Layana getting sent home, Patricia was the clear loser. How hard THAT must have been to swallow! The stunned looks on the designers faces when Patricia came in to tell them she was going to fashion week pretty much said it all.
    At the end of the day, it gives me hope though. No matter how BAD your look is, as long as it's different, you are IN!

  2. Cherlyn | | #2

    I didn't like that caplet Stanley designed either! I thought it took away frm that beautiful gown. I really liked his dress best without that caplet.

    I thought Patricia was a gonner this week so very surprised when they kept her. I'm not crazy about her stuff but she comes up with some neat textiles. She is a textile artist no a designer.

    The only thing I hated about Layanna's look was the way she chose to do those sleeves. I thought it took away from her coat-which I liked; but not wth that blouse.

    Daniel is okay but I have not seen anything new! The skirt or dress has been over done everywhere. Black and White stores probably carry something close to what he designed!

    Michelle. Well, I'm not her biggest fan. I hated that dress but the work she put into the bib was good. I hated her entire look. She has talent, I just think she is too dark and makes things for people that are depressed!

    Stanley is going win this because he has the most talent! He can design and he can sew. Michelle can sew, but she is not a very good designer. Maybe she would be better as a costume designer!

  3. hazelspi | | #3

    I kinda "get" what Heidi sees in promoting Patricia...I, too, keep looking for something outstanding and different in something she designs, just haven't seen it yet and I'm very curious as to what she will come up with for fashion week. I think Stanley will be the final winner. The clips shown for next week sounded rather dismal but don't know who they were talking about. I wish that whoever audits the scenes for the show would emphasize more on the garment construction rather than the back biting nasty remarks. I'm sure we would all like to have seen more of the European visits.

  4. GMterrie | | #4

    This season's Project Runway has been a big disappointment. There has been very little design creativity, mostly because of the "team" approach. The contestants all appeared to be as scattered as chickens in their thoughts and actions. I hope that this team thing is never done again.
    The one good thing about going to fashion week is that Richard will finally be out of the picture. He has been a thorn in everyone's side and of little help. It is good that the designers treated him well, though. It must have been difficult for him, also.
    Patricia is so clueless. She is in the wrong place. I hope that she learns to direct her talents in a better direction. I did not see those googly eyes last week as much as the weeks before. Whew! I wanted to scream at her every time I saw them. It reminded me of Andre, yet I liked Andre very much.
    Stanley is the one person that has taken the bull by the horns and focused on his work completely. He did not get caught up in the goings-on of the others, nor did he allow the team concept throw him while he did what he knew he could do.
    Michelle is very talented. I like her very much. Yes, she has needed to grow up, yet she has contributed well to the game. I hope she does well at Fashion Week.
    Daniel, well, he has talent. No doubt about that. I like him as well. He has behaved as a gentleman and done his best under the absurd situation. He's the one that could get lost in a closet, though. He should do well at Fashion Week because he will finally have a chance to be on his own. He's always trying to please everyone...not the best behavior that, although it's useful at times. He's a sweetheart.
    I'm looking forward to this next episode.

  5. User avater
    Soli | | #5

    I was happy to see Layana finally auf'ed. She's not original, she's immature and egotistical, and average. At least Patricia takes risks, even if she is more of a fiber artist than designer. Layana's jacket looked like something out of the 80s, with the exception of that ghastly collar treatment. It wasn't flattering, interesting or sexy, and with all of the Gaudi and Modernismo inspiration that fills Barcelona, how could she have such a boring look?

    Daniel - he profited handsomely from Amanda's help. The cool girl vibe coupled with his tailoring made a difference. Heidi would obviously know what cool German girls would want more than anyone else on the panel, so I think her praise was justified. I'm glad he had the opportunity to go. However, they must have had some suspicion they would be going somewhere, because you can't just up and leave the country without having a valid passport. They must have been warned in advance to have them handy if they were at a certain stage of the competition. I know the hoops I had to jump through to get my renewal the last time I went to Europe. I had the thing in my hands five days before I left and that was cutting it close.

    Stanley - I'm guessing he'll be the winner too. He's certainly more focused and mature as a talent than Michelle. I may not always like his entries the best, but he's been consistent. The little capelet reminded me of some things we used to wear in the 70s (ok - Quiana prom dresses - lol), but those were inspired by 1930s looks, and that's what I was seeing - Upstairs Downstairs redux. Fortunately, his styling was contemporary to keep it from looking too costume-y. Personally, I like capelets, but that's just me.

    Michelle. I'm shocked no one said that her dress looked an awful lot like Donna Karan's work. The only thing that took it out of DK territory was the stupid breastplate/aegis. I fear they're going to give her the win, and she's another Seth Aaron/Jeffrey Sebella Haute Hot Topic designer by way of Mean-a Irena. The whole goth aesthetic has been done to death whether it's Olivier Theyskens or chain store. Personally, I'd like to see a more seasoned designer, with a more refined aesthetic win, but if they are choosing purely for the type of audience that loves the women behaving badly shows that Lifetime features, I'm afraid it will be Michelle.

    This season has been a bust.

  6. Ikebana152 | | #6

    Couldn't agree more that this season is disappointing. Too much nasty, snarky, stuff - not enough good design. Look at the photos above - all gray, black, white and drab.

    Good riddance to the whiny Layana. The concept for the coat was fabulous, the silhouette dated and stale....and those sleeves - didn't I see them on one of the Three Musketeers?

    I don't understand Patricia's presence. She doesn't understand that an interesting textile is not the same as a well designed garment. With one exception there was not a garment she created all season that would make it commercially. She has not grown at all during the season. I agree with Nina - lots of "art and crafts" projects.

    I am glad that Michelle resurrected herself. Even if her style is not something you like she is definitely talented and distinct in her point of view. I was put off by her pouting about staying in New York. She chose to completely ignore the criteria of the prior challenge, almost lost a chance to continue at all and took no responsibility for it. All that self indulgent suffering instead of a mea culpa was off putting.

    I am not sure that Stanley will be a shoe-in, but he deserves to be there. His work appears well executed. I wasn't thrilled about another long black dress, with yet another exposed zipper, but leather pailletes (sp?) are kinda cool.

    Hats off to Daniel for breaking out of his mold. His willingness to listen and to try to do something different is to be commended. I have no desire to ever own a white pleather jacket, but kudos to him for pulling it off.

    Whoever wins, I don't think that they will become a "great" American designer. I think if PR is going to continue on for a few more years there needs to be some sort of reset. Get back to more talented designers, fewer head cases and less celebrity judges. I'd rather see the head buyer at Saks, Terrence - currently on Fashion Star - than the wannabe starlet of the month judging the clothing.

  7. fabricandscissors | | #7

    Well, I have been watching this season of PR just because there is a little bit more design work than in other seasons, but I agree with previous comments about this show going down since it is in Lifetime. Actually I hadn't watch it since 2 or 3 seasons ago, just lost interest on it.

    Being myself a fashion designer, I have to say that I really prefer Fashion Star because, although it is focused on retail and massive production and I'm more in the custom thing, it shows real works, real designs and real world, not just a soap opera disguised as a fashion design show.

    That said, I think Stanley or Michelle could be the winners of this season of PR; Daniel is a darling, but I don't think of him as a PR winner. And Patricia, as everybody has noticed, is an excellent textile artist, not a fashion designer.

    Ah, and by the way, I've been several times in Spain, including Barcelona, and have bought fabrics there, and they do have people who help you and cut your fabric. Maybe Layana had to cut the fabrics by herself because her nearly unbearable attitude in the store...

  8. User avater
    Vernelle | | #8

    Although I agree that the show is getting stale in terms of showing more drama between the designers' personalities and less of the creative process, I am more pleased with this season's finalists than the last 2 or 3 seasons.

    In my opinion, the finalists this season have more talent than I've seen on the show in a while. I have loved everything Stanley did throughout the entire competition, and I am enthralled by Patricia's unique take. Daniel is a standout and although Michelle wasn't one of my favorites in the beginning, she has certainly earned my respect as a designer.

    As for Fashion Star, I watched only once and was turned off by the mass production aspect. Given the comments above, I may give it a second chance, just to see if I agree with FabricandScissors' assessment.

  9. User avater
    ctdamsel | | #9

    I have watched PR and PR AS from the beginning; even seasons with less talent - at least it is about fashion. I would wear all Stanley's designs and if I were 10 years younger Michelle's, too. I want them both to win! Patricia is a gifted textile designer. Daniel is OK. Layana who?

  10. sews4fun | | #10

    I hope Michelle wins tonight and boring old Stanley with his all too familiar stuff is second. GO MICHELLE!

  11. miranda10 | | #11

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