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Project Runway Season 13 - Real Women Need High Fashion Too

Updated on October 1, 2014
Designers in Washington Square Park
Designers in Washington Square Park

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Korina finds her muse
Korina finds her muse

Finding a Real Woman Muse

Every season, Project Runway has a 'Real Woman' challenge, where the designers are tasked with creating a look using a regular woman as their muse. Typically the designers are designing looks that are worn by size 0 models, and those designs are not usually looks that would/could be worn by the typical person on any given day. So this season's real woman challenge was not a surprise for the designers. What was a surprise was that they had to recruit their models from the crowds at Washington Square Park in New York City.

The designers are personable people, and clearly they were picked for the show because of their design talent and their unique personalities. However, that doesn't mean that they are equipped with the skills to approach random people in a park and convince them to be a model on Project Runway. They did have the ability to influence what they would be creating by choosing a model that they felt they could design for.

Easier said than done! Each of the designers carefully approached women in the park, and many of the women the designers spoke to were flat out not interested in participating. In fact, Sean wasn't able to find someone to participate until the very last minutes. Kini was lucky and found someone quickly, but once he started talking to her he didn't feel like his designs and her lifestyle were a match. Char found a preschool teacher who had a husband in a rock band, and Emily found someone who liked the same design aesthetic and wasn’t afraid of taking risks. Alexander found a blond with a fun retro style, Amanda found a gal who loved a bohemian chic vibe, and Korina found a tall ballerina who was touring the city. The designers were all set.

Alexander Knox's Initial Design
Alexander Knox's Initial Design

The Designers 'Make It Work'

After talking with their muses, the designers head off to Mood Fabrics to find the materials that they will use to complete their look. Alexander Knox is immediately drawn to a hounds tooth print, and there are two different colors - green and yellow. He chooses both for his retro style model. Char chooses bright red fabric for her rocking preschool teacher and Korina adds plaid to blue leather for a motor cycle jacket. Kini feels uninspired with this challenge, but then decides to go back to his roots and chooses denim.

Once in the workroom the designers get started. Sean starts in on a gown that will be elegant for his muse, wanting to give her an Audrey Hepburn glam makeover. Amanda has chosen striped fabrics that create a v-shape through the front of a flippy skirt. Tim Gunn traverses through the workroom, and lets Korina know that her jacket looks flawless. He talks with Char and makes sure that she keeps in mind that she is designing for a preschool teacher. He then moves to Alexander. He doesn't hold back the punches as he gives his harshest critique ever saying that the look that Alexander has put together is Butt Ugly. All of the other designers are looking around shocked as Tim continues to say that the top and skirt that Alexander Knox created was hideous. Ouch! Its a good thing that its a two day challenge because Alexander has to start all over.

The models come in for their fitting and make-over consultation. Of course each one of them is excited about the garments that are being designed. Char's model even remarks that she wants the shorts as short as they can be. Wowza! Kini's model looks a little unsure about her denim dress saying that its not something that she would typically pick, but that Kini is changing her mind. Korina's model likes the jacket, but loves the racer back design of the dress that will be worn underneath.

You cant send a preschool teacher down the runway with a broken zipper
You cant send a preschool teacher down the runway with a broken zipper

A Project Runway First

The day of the runway, the models arrive and have an initial fitting before heading to 'Hair and Make-up'. This allows for the designers to touch up any areas and put in any final changes that need to be made. When the models return its time to get into their garments and head down to the workroom. Unfortunately not all the models are runway ready. Unintentionally when Char's model puts on her garment, the zipper unzips completely and the zipper is ruined. Its literally time for the models to head to the runway and the preschool teacher has quite a bit of skin showing - in all the wrong places.

Char talks to Tim Gunn who asks the other designers if they would be OK with sending their models to the runway and giving Char an additional 10 minutes to replace the zipper in her garment. The designers all look around, waiting to see who will be the one person to speak up and say they don't agree. But how can they? Speaking up means that this woman who has taken three days of her time and is looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime event will not be able to walk down the runway. Oh, and they would look like complete dirt bags to their own clients who are standing right there when Tim asks them. I have never in my life been so disappointed in Tim. Ten minutes can mean the difference between being safe or eliminated in this competition. Heck, Kini could sew another complete look within that time. I adore Tim Gunn, but that was some seriously bad form.

Alexander Knox's Elimination Look
Alexander Knox's Elimination Look | Source

Who is 'In' and Who is 'Auf'?

There are seven designers left, three are in the top, and three are in the bottom. That leaves Sean Kelly standing straight in the middle and he is sent backstage able to relax. That's the last time that will happen you are either in the top or bottom from here on out! Kick it into high gear Sean!

Kini, Korina, and Emily are in the top three. Emily's dress impressed the judges and her model was ecstatic to have an original design to wear out on the town. She might have even won if it hadn't been for the giant fanned circles around her arms. I think that for the most part the judges loved it, and would have loved it even more without that element. Regardless she is safe, and we will see her next week.

The judges also liked Kini's denim dress and jacket, and they commented on him going back to his original inspirations. They were not sure that the dress was date night worthy, that it was a little more casual than date night, but it was still a very well designed, well-constructed gown.

It was Korina's blue leather and plaid motorcycle jacket that was declared the winning look. It's her second win of the season, and I think she deserved it. I want that jacket!

That leaves Alexander, Char, and Amanda in the bottom three. Amanda's striped dress didn't fit right, but the judges understood what she was trying to convey. Had it been any other week, she might have been in serious danger of being eliminated, but Alexander's and Chars garments were much worse.

The judges were not aware of the zipper issue at the time of the runway show, only that the show started late. They were not big fan's of Char's garment claiming that it was inappropriate and out of character for a preschool teacher and mom. I didn't like that it was a complete wall of red, but that might just be me. Also, being that she was in the bottom three and had an extra ten minutes, I felt like she should be the one eliminated.

Unfortunately it was Alexander who was sent home. The look was bad (but not as bad as Char's in my opinion). The styling was off, and he could have done so much more with such a beautiful retro style muse. But missed opportunities are just that, and 'Auf' he went. However, being the youngest designer this year, he has quite a wonderful road ahead of him. Good luck Alexander!

Korina Emmerich's Winning Runway Look
Korina Emmerich's Winning Runway Look | Source

Catch Up On All The Episodes Now!

Coming up: Storage Wars

Project Runway airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on Lifetime. Episode 11 will feature an unconventional team challenge in which designers have to use the materials within a storage bin to create their look. Looks like the teams will be Korina and Emily, Amanda and Kini, and Sean and Char (very disappointed that there isn't a Sean-Kini pairing!). Find out what happens at 9/8c on Thursday October 2nd on Lifetime.


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      4 years ago

      Ya learn sotinhemg new everyday. It's true I guess!


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