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Project Runway Season 13 - A Mistep For My Favorite Designer Sean Kelly

Updated on September 23, 2014

40 Years in the Making

'Welcome to the Future' is the title of Project Runway Season 13, Episode 3. It featured a challenge in which each designer was to use the fashion of 1994 to inspire a look that could be on the cover of Marie Claire in 2034.

Marie Claire is a monthly publication that has been around for almost 80 years. It was started in France as a weekly publication, but moved to a monthly publication in 1954 after taking a 10 year hiatus at the end of World War II. Marie Claire US was opened in 1994 by the Hearst Corporation. The publication promoted it's 20 year anniversary with the episode three challenge.

Prior to 2009, Project Runway featured the magazine Elle, which is also owned by Hearst Corporation. When Project Runway moved to Lifetime for season six, the sponsoring magazine changed to Marie Claire. Winning designers of project runway receive a fashion spread in Marie Claire and typically showcase the model that the designer used throughout the season.

Use What Your Momma Gave You

This was the first challenge this season that included a trip to Mood Fabrics. The designers had $200 to pick out whatever materials they would need to complete their look. Amanda Valentine commented on her advantage at Mood. Having competed two seasons ago she knew where everything was and where to find just what she was looking for. Still, we got to see the chaos as all the other designers ran around yelling for help and pulling bolts of fabric frantically off the shelves.

Each of the designers were able to work on their own, and in their own design aesthetic to create the look for the challenge. All the designers seemed confident in their looks as they sketched, draped, and started sewing the garments. The designers only had one day to create the look, and Angela Sum was the only designer who seemed concerned.

Sean Kelly, my fan pick, designed a minimalist look consisting of a basic black dress with a dark blue overcoat. He chose to go minimalist because he anticipated the world being more cluttered than it is today, and that the modern woman would want to provide simplicity in her life where ever possible. From my perspective that is today's woman too, but I am not a fashionista in any way, so who am I to judge! But still I am going to.

Sean Kelly's Episode 3 Runway look
Sean Kelly's Episode 3 Runway look | Source

Sean Kelly - What Happened!?!

Okay, again, I am not a fashionista, but even I can spot problems with this runway look. The problem isn't the design, but the fabric. Well and maybe the turtle neck... and the front seam.. and the hat. I know it was supposed to be Editorial, but there are some design elements that I don't resonate with.

It might be that I live in Phoenix, but turtle necks are not something that I wore when I lived where it snowed. I don't like the feel of something tight around my neck. I joke a lot about scarves - I never knew what one was for until I went to New York City in the early spring. For a runway look I think a turtleneck can make a model's neck look too small.

The front seam on the dress looks a little wonky too. A seam down the front of my body is weird. I think the seem is there though because the back of the dress (which we didn't get to see until the judges took a closer look) has a cut out in the back that is really cute.

Then there is the fabric. The fabric of the blue coat didn't shape very well. The hem seemed to have puffy areas, and it wrinkled quite easily. It just didn't work.

Then there is the hat. I'm not going to say much about the hat. Seemed like some people like it and some people hated it. I am the latter. If the inspiration was to go simplistic, then the hat added more to the look. One of the Judges mentioned Prada Mary Poppins. It does kind of have that sort of vibe.

Angela Sum's Episode 3 elimination runway look
Angela Sum's Episode 3 elimination runway look | Source

A Trip to the Bottom

The look landed Sean in the bottom three with Alexander Knox and Angela Sum. Zac Posen defended Sean's work, noting that he would never use that fabric again. Though no one else had anything nice to say about it. But when you are in the bottom three you only have to be better than one other person, and Sean's look wasn't worse than the other two.

In the end it was Angela who went home. Her futuristic take on the woman's business suit was greeted as a look better suited for a flight attendant, and none of the judges were impressed. It's probably better that Angela exited the runway when she did, it seemed like the stress was getting to her. If she had created looks for the runway that were like the clothes that she was always wearing, I think she would have done much better through the season. She's got some great talent, but she didn't seem to be able to take the reality TV world by the horns and ride it like a bull in a rodeo.

What Do You Think?

Were the judges right to send Angela Home?

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Sandhya Garg's Episode 3 Winning Runway look
Sandhya Garg's Episode 3 Winning Runway look | Source

On the Road to Fashion Week

There were many really good looks this week. Some were raved on, and some seemed utterly forgotten. For that I want to mention the looks of Kini Zamora and Samantha Plasencia. Both of their looks had elements in them that I would love to wear, yet they were called to the front and sent backstage with the others who were not in the top or bottom three.

The three top designers were Kristine Guico, Sandhya Garg, and Emily Payne. Emily sent a look down the runway that included a jumpsuit with an amazing fit. Three of the judges were willing to put in orders for it right then. It also had a hood that she had named 'the ewok' hood. I loved the hood too, but the judges were a little turned off by the term ewok.

Kristine Guico sent down a look that consisted of four pieces. The main look was a white mini skirt with a light and airy white top with leather. She covered the dress with a green coat that looked quilted, and was the same length of the skirt underneath. She mentioned to the judges that she was inspired by the grunge look of the 90's - but if this look was grunge, then I don't know what I was wear in the 90's. It was amazing, and if it had been up to me, she would have won.

Sandhya Garg was named the winner though. Her take on a future look was a pink streamlined dress that held leather tubing that reached from the bottom of the skirt, over the shoulders, and down the back. I really didn't understand the look. She initially said that she believed people in the future would be making garments using recycled materials, but then by the time of the runway she was saying she wanted to represent a strong woman. I didn't see either of those concepts, and I hated the styling. This is probably why I am not a fashionista.. I just didn't get it and I didn't understand why she would be in the top three, let alone the winner.

What Do You Think?

Was Sandhya's look the best one?

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Coming Up Next

Project Runway airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on Lifetime. This week the remaining designers will have to create modern women's clothing from vintage men's suits. Looks like its gonna be fun!

Don't Have Lifetime? Get the Season on Amazon!

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