Who’s In and Who’s Out: Project Runway recap, Season 13, Episode 12

And then there were five. This is it, the big week when the contestants have to really show their stuff because it’s the final challenge before the judges determine who will be going to New York Fashion Week. When I look at the five of them, I have to say, in my opinion, the top three really stand out. Honestly, I am completely surprised that Char and Emily have made it this far. I don’t think they are competition for the other three.

Kini and Sean are hands-down going to Fashion Week. I don’t think there’s any way that they won’t. Amanda, I have been back and forth on so many times throughout this season. She has done a lot of things I thought were crazy and hated and should have been eliminated for. But then again, she has done other things that I’ve quite liked, and especially in the past few challenges, I think she’s really stepped it up and come into her stride. I think she’s going to make it, too.

So the challenge is to be inspired by the streets of New York and make a street style look. Just so we can throw in a sponsor and get some ad money, the designers are to be driven to the streets in brand new Lexuses. Lexi? Whatever. Waste of ten minutes while this all goes down.

As soon as they can, they hop out of the cars and wander the streets like they should be doing. I thought they were supposed to be inspired by street-style fashion, but most of them are actually taking inspiration from architecture and graffiti and stuff like that. Okay, maybe I didn’t quite get the challenge then. That’s fine.

Sean sees a man in some sort of religious outfit, I think, and decides to use all white. Char gets inspired by a bright yellow dress in a shop window. Oh no! Char, stay away from the yellow….remember what happened last time? Emily says she’s been waiting all season to make a giant hoodie. Wait, hasn’t she made several giant hoodies? Amanda’s doing a colorblocked maxidress. No surprise there. Kini says he’s definitely doing something in denim. Again. Why do these guys feel the need to repeat themselves so often? I mean, in real filming time, it’s only been a couple of weeks, right? Don’t they do a new challenge every day or every other day? So can’t they remember what they just did last week? I don’t understand that.

They work calmly and steadily through Day One. Char is making a skirt with a lot of little pieces to put together, but it’s purple, not yellow. Whew. Everyone is trying to knock out their hardest, most important pieces today. Then they all take a dinner break together and marvel over how peaceful and non-tense the atmosphere is without Korina. They’re all friends now. Just having fun and relaxing, Kini says. No drama for once.

Apparently, Day One was too drama-free for the producers, so on Day Two they decide to bring it, of course. Upon entering the workroom, the designers are faced with an array of five of the past losing designs, including Korina’s from last week. Here comes Tim with the button bag, to tell them they must pick to choose one of these losing looks to re-design into something new and better. So they are going to be making two completely different looks, two separate challenges, essentially, in the same two days.

Emily gets to pick first, and chooses the boring blue evening gown that sent Samantha home. Then Char chooses Korina’s look, she says because it has the most fabric to work with. Amanda picks Fade’s avant garde look with the play button and the subway lines all over it. Sean and Kini are left. Kini gets to pick, and takes Mitchell’s awful red prom dress, but Sean is the one who should really be pitied. He gets stuck with Sandhya’s baby onesie, the one everyone dreaded getting. Tim says, “The good news is, you didn’t pick it; it picked you.” Ha! Sean picks it up and waves it around chanting “Devil Baby.” They get to go back to Mood and get another $100 for more fabric to improve these looks.

Back in the workroom again, another twist. Because they have to make two looks in the same amount of time, they’re going to be awarded assistants. And of course, unsurprisingly, the helpers turn out to be the designers who made these losing looks. At this point, Char should really be regretting her choice. You’d think this just might have occurred to her beforehand. Korina’s already standing there looking pissed, even before Tim tells her she has to help Char.

She pouts and stomps over to Char, but then just flat out says that she doesn’t want to be there. I mean, she was eliminated just the night before, and this is asking a bit much. She is still way too steamed to be helping anyone, especially Char. And if I was Char, I would refuse that kind of “help.” Char says she’s game to go through with it, but Korina refuses, and when Tim tells her she has the right to leave, she does, and we get to watch her stomp through a maze of backstage hallways, ripping off her mike as she goes. Kini calls her a big cry baby, Sean says we’ve seen her “dark side” and Amanda says she shouldn’t feel any more pain than anyone else who was eliminated.

Sandhya gets paired with Sean and thanks him for picking her look! They all laugh, and he has to admit that it was the last one left.

Of course, they’re not going to leave Char without an assistant, so Tim goes off to find someone else, and returns in a matter of minutes with Alexander, of course. Now, either this whole thing was absolutely planned from the beginning (of course) and they had Alexander ready and on stand-by. OR the true-life lapse of time when Char was without a helper was actually much longer, and now she is at a distinct disadvantage to the other designers in this challenge. But nobody mentions any unfairness, or giving her more time, or even brings that up at all, so we’re just supposed to pretend it didn’t happen. Okay.

This got me to thinking back to seasons ago when things went wrong which put other designers at a disadvantage. Remember when models didn’t show up and they had to scramble for last-minute replacements?  I’m pretty sure Austin Scarlett actually had to be someone’s model in one challenge because there was nobody else there to do it, right? Remember when Jeffrey couldn’t use a piece in his Fashion Week collection because he couldn’t find the receipt for the knitwear and so he had to make a new look overnight? Nobody got any special treatment or allowances made for bad luck back in those days. I miss those times, back when “the men were men” and Tim Gunn wasn’t a big pushover.

Anyway, they all get down to work and then Tim comes in for critiques. Amanda has made a big long colorblocked, patchwork kind of maxidress which is going to be very baggy. Tim is crazy about it and Char is obsessed with it. I have to admit, it actually looks like it could be good.

Emily’s making a pantsuit out of an odd print which has the image of a giant face on the front of the top. And her hoodie. It’s different. Tim’s worried she’s not making her redesigned look unique enough. Emily doesn’t really seem to care about it, she’s just focused on her streetwear.

Char’s pencil skirt has a bunch of “petals” coming up the front of it. Tim doesn’t like the pocket on the other side. I don’t like any of it. Yuck. Char says she’s keeping her pocket. She’s making a plain black dress with a little bit of Korina’s fabric around the middle for her redesign.

Kini’s redesigning Mitchell’s awful red gown into something quite elegant and simplified with one flowy sleeve. He’s already finished a flawless trenchcoat and a denim skirt with a plain white top underneath. Tim says we can buy this look at Michael Kors and he doesn’t think it’s enough for Kini to make it to Fashion Week. He tells him to re-think it.  Kini agrees.

Sean is making a white top with some cutouts on the shoulders and some gray-green pants with a jacket. It’s ugly, in my opinion. Tim says it looks like hospital scrubs and he’d better ramp it up. They’ve made Sandhya’s godawful jumper into a cropped pink jacket with fringe on the back and a white skirt. Tim doesn’t like this white skirt either. Sean is worried about having time to fix his looks and get everything finished. Based on what I’m seeing right now, I may have to rethink my prediction that he’ll be at Fashion Week.

The eliminated designers’ models get to come back to wear the second looks. Everyone’s happy to see each other. Kini’s adding a big ruffled hem to the bottom of his denim skirt to make it his “wow” piece. I like it. Amanda’s dress looks awesome. Sean’s pink fringed jacket now has a pair of pink shorts. Not sure how I feel about this. I don’t mind the pink fringed jacket. It’s almost so bad, it’s good. It’s kind of fun.

Emily’s done with her street-style look and Samantha is making a dress with a print skirt for the redesign. Amanda says the two looks don’t look like they came from the same designer. That’s because they didn’t. Emily freely admits she didn’t care and took almost no part in the second look.

Sean’s now making a new white skirt to go with his white top for the street-style look. Char’s got Alexander working on her redesign and offends him by trying to tell him how to sew. Day Two is done.

I was really hoping that with all these old designers back, we’d get a good reunion scene and party night at Gotham West. But nope. The show just moves on to runway day. This is another complaint I have about the current seasons. We don’t get to see much interaction outside of the workroom anymore. That kind of real drama is what I like to see, not the stuff they force them into by putting stupid conditions on the challenges.

Sean’s model can’t get her skirt over her ass, and he has to sew in another panel at the last minute, but Amanda says it’s brilliant, so she must see something I can’t. Char’s having trouble fitting her tribal-print strapless top onto her model with the purple skirt. The two fabrics don’t go together at all and it’s basically a tight skirt with an ill-fitting tube top. Good grief! Talk about a teenaged hooker! Tim should have saved that critique he gave Kini last week for Char today.

It’s time for the final runway! Guest judge is some young girl named Shay Mitchell, who is apparently an actress, I guess? I don’t know.

Amanda’s maxi dress is gorgeous.. I wish I could have it and wear it, except on a short girl like me it would just like I jumped in a pile of fabric. But her model looks amazing. Her redesigned look from Fade’s dress is a two-piece assymetrical leather outfit. I don’t particularly care for it and funnily enough, neither does Amanda, as she admits to the judges later.

Emily’s top, pants and hoodie are quite interesting. I don’t mind them, but it’s not something I would probably want to wear. Emily says that most of the time when she really loves a look, the judges don’t like it. Nina looks stoic and Zac looks confused, so sadly, she’s probably right. The redesigned dress looks like one I saw in JC Penney last week. Big yawn.

I have to admit, now that I see it on the runway, Sean’s white top and skirt look very cool. Very different and unique. I especially like the skirt. The look has a stiffness to it that I actually quite like, although it doesn’t look like it would be comfortable to wear. The pink fringed shorts outfit. Well, what else can you say other than it’s a pink fringed shorts outfit. Again, so bad it could be good, maybe. I quite like all the fringes this time, actually.

I loathe Char’s street style look. Nina looks like she does, too. Trashy, trashy, trashy. The black redesigned dress is boring and weirdly bunchy in the middle. With all that fabric in incredible  colors she had from Korina’s look, why did she make an all-black dress and only use that tiny bit of the gray wool in the middle? Inexplicably strange. There is no way she’s making it through this challenge. I don’t think anybody can save her now.

I love Kini’s street-style look. The trenchcoat is amazing, especially from the back, where it’s gathered and drapey. I want it. I really like the ruffled skirt, too. And his red evening gown is perfection. I think he is the only one who has made something good out of the old looks they had. He is going to Fashion Week for sure.

Surprisingly, the judges don’t love Kini’s look all that much. They think it’s just too much. Too many bells and whistles, says Zac. But they love the red gown.

They’re also not liking Emily’s look much. Heidi and Zac think the top she made was kind of cool and would have been better without the hoodie, which makes her look homeless, Zac says. Nina disagrees, and says without the hoodie it’s a Cirque du Soleil costume. Eeks. And Shay Mitchell likes the hoodie, too. Zac says there’s not much to talk about on the second look. Nina is disappointed that the look is not her. Zac says neither look is runway ready. Emily’s goose is cooked. She won’t be moving on.

They all love Amanda’s dress, of course. Who couldn’t? Perfect bohemian chic, says Heidi. They really don’t care for her redesign much, though. Borderline nightclub hostess, Heidi calls this one.

Nina says she likes Char’s use of color, but the look is too much. Zac says they’re not executed well. Shay Mitchell likes the street-style look but not the black dress. Heidi says she’s in-between with both of the looks and Zac says it’s not good enough.

Heidi makes Sean sweat by saying “What is going on here?” but then she says his white look is fantastic, spectacular and that he’s a genius. She’s never seen anything like it and she loves it. Shay Mitchell says it’s amazing, and Nina says it’s one of the best pieces she’s seen on Project Runway. Zac calls it delicious and sublime and he’s blown away. Heidi thinks the pink outfit is silly and not cool and Zac calls it “flamenco rodeo princess.”

They all make their pitches for why they should stay and then they’re sent to the green room to wait while the judges look at the garments up close and make their decisions. I am positive it will be Sean, Kini and Amanda who get to show at Fashion Week.

Upon closer inspection, they admit that Kini’s trenchcoat is fabulous when Heidi tries it on. And they like his construction of everything, especially the red gown. He is obviously in.

They have nothing good to say about anything Char made. She should be out. But then Nina starts talking about how she got a second chance and stepped it up and that that is fantastic. Really? Did she? I must have missed that. And Heidi says that she feels like she could do a lot better without the time constrictions. So it looks like they could be going to cave and keep her in, even though she doesn’t deserve it. Because they can’t have their Tim Gunn save getting eliminated, right? Disgusting, IMO.

Amanda’s dress gets better and better the more you look at it. Nina says they’ve witnessed her transformation. They don’t like the redesign, but say the other dress saves her. So she’s in.

They like some of the interesting cutting in Emily’s work. But they hate the redesigned JC Penney dress. The other judges could live with the street-style look, but Nina refuses to budge. I think she’s done.

They all agree Sean’s white look is perfection. Nina kind of appreciates the sense of humor in the pink look and Zac says it makes you smile. Heidi says, no it doesn’t; it’s just awful.

Nina says they have a really clear decision, and Heidi says they’re only on the fence about Emily and Char. I know Sean, Kini and Amanda are in. Personally, I probably wouldn’t move Emily or Char forward. But if I had to pick one, it would be Emily. Maybe they will keep her, since she has made a lot of different and interesting things. But then again, they’ve never liked them much. I have a bad feeling from the way they were talking earlier that they might keep Char, but for the life of me I cannot imagine why.

Kini is in first, of course, and he’s jumping up and down and squealing. Emily gets let go. Not surprised, and neither is she. Sean is in, and Heidi tells him he’d better wow them. Amanda is in. Which leaves Char standing there. Either they’re being really cruel, or they’re giving her yet another chance. I see it coming.

Yup. Heidi lets her stay. This is such a dumb and unjustifiable decision. But for whatever reason, she was just everyone’s pet project this season. I don’t get it at all.

I feel so bad for Emily. She’s the only one who has to stand there while all the others celebrate. She has every right to feel screwed and as pissed off as Korina. But unlike Korina, she leaves with grace and elegance. Says she feels happy and grateful. She is a class act. It is totally wrong that they kept Char and let her go. She is a way more innovative and talented designer. I could understand if they just sent them both home, because the other three were clearly superior. But to keep Char and not Emily is so wrong.

Tim congratulates the rest and they share a big group hug. Next week, they’re taking them to Italy for inspiration. Then Tim will make home visits and the judges are going to ask for a preview before the big day. Looks like everyone’s going to run into some problems. Even Kini seems upset and overwhelmed. Can’t wait to see what happens.

I really hope Char proves me wrong, because I like her as a person. But I have not liked one single look she made on this show and I don’t think she belongs or will be able to pull off Fashion Week. What do you think?

I am also finding it impossible at this point to predict a winner. All along, I have thought it would be Sean, mostly because they were giving him so much attention and publicity when he won that Emmy challenge. But now I just don’t know. We definitely can’t count Kini out. I can totally see him as the winner. Either one will truly deserve it, I’m sure. And even Amanda has been doing some great stuff lately. Her looks are probably the most my style and what I would want to wear. I don’t think she’ll beat Sean or Kini, but who knows what could happen on the runway?

By the way, I’m not sure how these things work exactly, but just to cover my ass & give credit where credit is due, any and all photos of Project Runway scenes and designs come from the Project Runway website on Lifetime.com or their Facebook page. I don’t think anybody would be dumb enough to think I was there and made the pictures myself, but I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s copyright or anything. Lifetime is trying to make the pictures impossible to copy these days, and that’s why they’re kind of blurry. So, my bad if I shouldn’t be doing it.


8 thoughts on “Who’s In and Who’s Out: Project Runway recap, Season 13, Episode 12

  1. Really good recap. I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with any of the designs. But I was really disappointed that Char won out over Emily. I haven’t liked one single thing Char has done and while I wouldn’t wear most of Emily’s designs, they are always interesting. I would be very icurious in seeing what she would present for an entire collection.Kini has been my favorite since the first episode, but I think it could be anyone’s win, although I’d be shocked if it were Char.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joan! Thanks! I agree with you about Emily. Sometimes I like her stuff & sometimes not, but it’s always interesting and I think she’d put on a good show. I’ll be surprised if Char makes it past the preview critique. I don’t want to see a whole show full of pencil skirts & backless drapey tops. Has she ever even made a pair of pants?


    • Oh no! Surely even these fools can’t carry their stupid decsions that far! But yes, the Gretchen over Mondo fiasco was inexplicable and almost made me swear off the show forever. I feel like now we’re just all watching to see how dumb it can get & they know it & are playing into that.
      Thanks for commenting!


  2. Kini looks upset in the Finale preview because his entire original NY Fashion a Week collection was lost in transit between Hawaii and New York. He had to create nine (I think) new garments in less than two days to show. And he did it! Read this on a blog a month ago, right after the event. That post had now been removed. Probably for the same reason Lifetime makes their photos difficult to reproduce: lawyers.
    Have enjoyed reading your recaps and analyses throughout this disappointing season of PR. Char’s mysterious survival to the finale? I think Tim Gunn “saved” her not out of sentiment, but because he knew Sandyha bullied her into using that cornea-scorching yellow fabric in the wedding challenge. Korina was a wanna-be smiling assassin compared to her. Actually loved Korina’s multicolored sweater in the muse episode, but I too am small. On me, it would look like a teapot cosy with feet.
    Because of Kini’s misfortune, believe the winner will be Sean or Amanda. Gosh, that wasn’t hard to deduce . 🙂
    Look forward to your observations next week. And thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you & thanks for your comment! That is so interesting about Kini. I usually avoid reading about the PR fashion week shows so I don’t know ahead of time what’s going to happen, so I hadn’t heard about that. Wow. Makes me wonder if somehow that was manipulated. Surely they wouldn’t stoop that low to mess with somebody’s collection to create drama. But it seems a bit much of a coincidence that it would happen to Kini, who is surely the only person who’d be capable of creating all those new pieces so quickly.

      I agree with you about Char & Korina. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all ends up, too! Thanks for the great info.


      • Apologies for the typos in previous post. Do this very late at night when I have free time. As you probably noticed, Korina’s sweater was from the storage unit challenge, not the muse one.

        Thanks for your response! A little while ago, I saw a Kini tweet saying Tim visited him in Hawaii this weekend. Maybe he triumphed in spite of everything. If he did, am willing to believe that the man truly does have superhero powers. Hope springs eternal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No need to apologize. I do my posts usually late at night too. Have to edit those recaps A LOT later on. Yes, I knew which sweater you were talking about, but I did love it, too. Can’t figure out why Nina was hating on it so much she acted like was allergic.

        I would not count Kini out, even if he did have to remake half or all of his collection. He really is amazing. The fastest sewer I have ever seen. You think the tweet was after the scheduled home visits for the next challenge? Then maybe he will be triumphant. I think he and Sean both have an excellent chance.

        The way this season has been going, I wouldn’t die of shock if they proclaimed a tie and made them both the winner. I don’t think they would really do that (not going to double the prize money, surely) but that’s the kind of cop-out that seems to have prevailed this season.


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