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Project Runway Season 12: Episode 2, “Million Dollar Runway”

Miranda Kay Levy has to make it work on Project Runway season 12. 

The button bag appeared in Episode 2 – but not for a team challenge. Heidi appeared on the runway with all of the models, and each model was wearing fabulous precious-stone jewelry.

As each designer’s name was drawn from the button bag, he or she chose a model and went off to create an outfit based on the model’s jewelry. There were diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, in settings from contemporary to vintage.

The jewelry’s total worth was more than $30 million – and the runway show was framed by two armed guards! 

The designers shopped at Mood Fabrics for this episode… except for Timothy Westbrook (Mr. Sustainable from Episode 1). Timothy went through Mood’s garbage to find some of his materials,

The guest judge was Eric Daman, the Emmy award-winning costume designer for “Gossip Girl” on the CW network.

The winner

Kate Pankoke’s winning design:

Katelyn Pankoke's design. 

The loser

Kahindo Mateene’s losing design:

Kahindo Mateene's design 

The best of the rest

Dom Streater’s design:

Dom Streater's design

Sandro Masmanidi’s design:

Sandro Masmanidi's design

The worst of the rest

Timothy Westbrook’s design:

Timothy Westbrook's design

Helen Castillo’s design:

Helen Castillo's design 

And, everyone else…

Karen Batt’s design:

Karen Batt's design

 Jeremy Brandrick’s design:

Jeremy Brandick's design

Justin LeBlanc’s design:

Justin LeBlanc's design

Alexandria von Bromssen’s design:

Alexandria von Bromssen's design

Alexander Pope’s design:

Alexander Pope's design

Ken Laurence’s design:

Ken Laurence's design

Miranda Levy’s design:

Miranda Levy's design

Bradon McDonald’s design:

Bradon McDonald's design

Sue Waller’s design:

Sue Waller's design 

What did you think of the episode?

There were a lot of breakdowns – Sandro, Sue, and Helen seemed to be cracking already. Is it just me, or do there seem to be fewer sewing machines this season, so that the designers have to share or alternate. The sewing machine situation seemed to cause a lot of strife.

Were you surprised at the number of designers who seemed to make another version of their first challenge garment for this challenge (Miranda, Sue, and Alexandria)?

Oh boy, that Timothy. Well, even if he doesn’t make it past another challenge, I don’t think the audience will ever forget his name.

The challenge! Was there another design you think should have won?


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  1. MeMarge | | #1

    Dom should have won. Or Brandon. Kate's looks like a toilet-paper gown contest. Ugh. And Strano's, tho well sewn, is a tacky whore-goes-to-an-office! Hands down, Helen's dress should not have been tolerated let alone saved.. C'mon, bring back the dignity!

  2. User avater
    kprincegentry | | #2

    Kate’s dress was a typical winning Project Runway design. Her fabric matched her jewelry impeccably, she clearly made a glamorous evening gown. But that being said, she should, she has been here before, she knows what the time restrictions are like, she knows what plays out well on the runway, she has stood before the judges on many occasions. This is experience that just watching Project Runway can’t give you. She clearly has the advantage.

    Helen's bragging agitated me, her constant advice in the work room was annoying and her dress was horrible. What was up with that shredded material that graced the hips? I thought she had forgotten to cut the loose threads off. Why would someone of that caliber, she says she makes evening gowns and this challenge is her forte, take on a style that she had never created before, especially when she only had one day. Never done bust cups and try to take that project on? Really? I can accept that a novice would try that, hell.. I have done that, letting my mouth overload my abilities in a short completion time frame, but again I am not a professional. And then to break down on the runway before your dress even made it to the floor, to have the show stop so that Tim could console her? Was the judges swayed by her tears and uncontrollable sobbing? Michael Kors said it best in season 10, “Fashion is not for sissies!” She should have been sent home!

  3. Cherlyn | | #3

    I loved Kate's dress and although she may have an edge in this competion, it is far from over. She had a winning gown look from the previous show as mentioned. Clearly she is the one that should be bragging about her gowns; not Helen. I think Helen is lacking in some skills and it is all going to come out over the ciming weeks. Brandon's gown was stunning as well. He clearly has a shot at winning this competition.

    I really didn't like Dom's gown. Just not classy enough for jewels! But others disagree with me and that is fine.

    Sondro's looks are interesting, but he sure does like revealing looks! I loved the top part of his look and hated that skirt.

  4. sews4fun | | #4

    I agree with Cherlyn, I didn't care for Dom's dress at all, it didn't show off the jewels, it competed with them. Kates dress was not something I would wear but it had that etheral "Im from a medevial castle somewhere " look about it and my eye was drawn straight to the necklace.
    Not a fan of Sandro's sleaze coture and why Helen was allowed to stay over .....anyone else there, is a mystery to me.

  5. User avater
    arianabauer | | #5

    I did not think Kate's look should have won. All in all, I was extremely disappointed in the designs. I felt like none of the designers really answered the challenge to truly make the jewelry the star. I just hope they send Timothy home.

  6. Sewinator | | #6

    I agree Kate's dress should have won. It was about extravagance and elegance. Her dress had all that.
    I think that Sue Waller's dress detracted from the jewelry. Something about the neckline that just didn't work. The necklace laid over one side and it drew my eye to that one spot.
    I would wear Dom's dress.

    I think they are really over the top with the drama this year. Bring it back to what the show is really about: Fashion Design.... not Flaming Divas!

  7. Flanerie | | #7

    I didn't think Dom's dress was up to the jewelry (pretty, but too beachy)and thought Kate's was as she described in her story she gave the judges - looking like a sheet wrapped around the model. The fabric was pretty, though, and did match the coloration of her jewelry. Sandro... why did the judges like that so much? I agree with previous post - the top was interesting, skirt not so much... and as soon as you hear Helen bragging about her evening dress skills you just knew she was going to mess it up... this show is always edited with a lot of foreshadowing if you listen for it! Overall, I think the diamonds warranted a lot more glamour than they were surrounded with. Pretty blah designs on the whole. Nothing really grabbed me.
    hope they send Timothy and Miranda home soon, right after Sandro.

  8. User avater
    tzivia | | #8

    Why is Sandro still there? His true calling is making corsets.

    Why is Timothy still there? He hates fabric.

    Why was Kahindo sent home? She made a simple dress from complex fabric: a shrewder judgment than making a complex dress from complex fabric or a simple dress from simple fabric.

    The designers are fascinating.
    The judges are not: they are vested in a truncated list of ideas of glamour that they serve to perpetuate. "Edgy." "Sexy." "Young." What about dignity? What about beauty? What about women who work for a living and have to present as responsible, reliable, and creative?

    I think Heidi looks awful most of the time: part harlot and part scavenger. This is what we aspire to? Fuggedaboudit.

  9. Letsquilt | | #9

    I agree, why is the tree hugged still here. His dress looked awful and the model resembled a little girl playing dress up in a costume belonging to her older fashion challenged sister.

    I like Kate, but this dress resembled a walk of shame outfit in a hotel lobby at 6:30 in the morning. It wasn't ..... Anything. Guess it must have really let the gems shine???

    The dresses that looked the best and most refined were created by Justin and Jeremy. Why do these two keep ending up in the middle?

  10. user-5242503 | | #10

    Regarding Dom's dress. Did you not see the waist line, It was extremely gathered. The neckline, what was all that other fabric. Sue, aren't you suppose to be able to sew. This not just a show about design. Sewing is an important part.
    I agree, let's not edit so much bickering into the show. Some designers are not being shown due to the time spent on the histrionics being highlighted.
    I had no idea what that 3 minute tirade was about.

  11. terricita | | #11

    I was puzzled by Helen's bad showing on her dress, especially those bust cups. How does someone apprentice in a bridal shop and not do bust cups? Most bridal dresses are strapless. I would think you would get a lot of practice with that type of bodice. I guess we'll find out if she can actually sew. And I hope not to see anymore cry fits.

  12. bluefly | | #12

    I actually liked the loser's dress better than the declared winner. I agree with others, nature boy Timothy should have gone home last week. The judging is not fair nor consistent. I do hope the judges do not end up choosing someone showing glorified caftans a la Anya and Gretchen. I like seeing more structured details. Sewing is important as is fit, but as MK was always saying "It is Project Runway, not Project Seamstress'.

  13. User avater
    mandymarie20 | | #13

    I just thought the outfits were o.k. They had such lovely jewels to work with, I expected fantastic outfits. I was very underwhelmed.

    I don't understand why Timothy is there. I feel like he hates women. He makes things for them made out of garbage, yet he has expensive sparkly unicorn shoes for himself. I just don't think he really is a sustainable artist. He just enjoys the shock value of saying he dug in the garbage for the fabric. It's just like Chris March and his hair. He claims to be all about the environment, yet in one episode (I think it was the first), he said he was sustainable to help the unicorns. I'm not sure if he is just immature, or really has issues needs a doctor.

    I think Helen should have gone home. I definitely think the tears kept her in the game. Her dress was soooo poorly constructed. While Kahindo's was boring, it was at least wearable - regardless of body type. It was constructed 1000 times better. Fabric aside, the dress was o.k.

  14. Ikebana152 | | #14

    For most of the designers this episode should have been titled: Overwhelming jewels with underwhelming designs.

    I liked Kate's dress, but even if it isn't your taste, the combination of sewing, draping and fitting skill to produce a finished garment that complimented that necklace satisfied the challenge criteria.

    I was also impressed by Bradon and Alexander's gowns. Well executed and we all know chiffon is not easy. Dom's gown was cheerful, but all that fabric around the head and neck masked the necklace that was supposed to be showcased.

    Sandro can sew, even if it is bordello couture, but Timothy and Helen should both have been booted. I don't care where Timothy got that fabric, the dress was a disaster from design to execution. If Helen is such a couture maven, then ditch the cups and whip up a simple princess seamed bodice. Kahindo's dress had an execution problem with the back keyhole but it was minor compared to Helen's construction issues, but older women designers don't do well on PR. The others were just there.

    I don't think Kate has a great advantage. PR is in season 12. Any one there I hope has watched a few past seasons before entering the show - expect the unexpected.

  15. ItaB | | #15

    I was surprised that the judges gave the win to Kate rather than Dom. I loved both dresses, but thought that they would have appreciated the modern look over the almost steampunk period piece. And I loved Bradon's gown as well, was disappointed he didn't make the top 3!

  16. User avater
    RocksandMoss | | #16

    I haven't watched this show since last year -- all the scripted bullying and back stabbing was making me a little ill.

    Sounds, from some of last weeks posts, that maybe it's a little less like that this year? Maybe I'll give it another shot.

    I really liked the idea of artists all working to design within set challenges. It was cool to see what they came up with -- just nauseating to listen to the sanctimonious judges pontificating as if they are authorities on what isn't art and what is, and sad to see artists being encouraged in the cameos to be cruel instead of creative.

    Dont' know whether to be happy or sad that corporate media has taken an interest in art.

  17. User avater
    Soli | | #17

    Didn't care for the green trim on Dom's dress. The print was mumsy, and I don't generally agree with Heidi's taste anyway. My favorite dress was Justin's, but I think the fact that he chose to work in black probably made the judges ignore it. I thought Karen's blue dress was poorly constructed. Even if it was supposed to drape beautifully, there's a serious case of gaposis in the armpit area. Thought Alexander's gown looked too much like a neglige over a babydoll or chemise, although I did like the pop of color peeking out in the arm. We have an HDTV, and I could see jagged bits of fabric peeking out from the midriff band of Miranda's top - it just looked messy. Sandro's taste seems to veer toward the hoochie mamma, and he seems to be a nasty piece of work. As for nature boy (thank you, whoever came up with that) - poseur. I think he was striving to be Mondo, but he doesn't have Mondo's talent. Ken's gown was lovely, if a lackluster color on the screen, and Helen was lucky she wasn't sent home for that mess. I'm not particularly inspired by anyone but Sue yet, and I don't know how long she'll last as they don't seem to like women over 35.

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