Only one man remains standing in the final five on Project Runway Season 14 and he’s the one I’m “Gunning” for, I readily admit. Heidi hints they will be bringing “some New York City landmarks to life,” and then puts on a pair of 3D glasses circa 1985 and laughs “in 3D!” Obviously we are all now confused.
The designers then met Tim in front of a view of the Queensboro Bridge and the East River. For this week’s challenge they are to use one of three Eastern New York City bridges – the Queensboro (Slow Down You Move To Fast 59th Street) Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, or the Brooklyn Bridge – as inspiration for an avant garde look. The catch is that they must use 3D-printing technology for a multi-dimensional element in their piece. Er, what? Creative Director of 3D Systems, Annie Shaw, is on hand to explain to the bewildered yet intrigued designers the basics of how the printed elements will work. Each designer will get to meet with a member of her team to discuss their designs. Whoever wins this challenge also wins a Cube 3D printer and all the accouterments. Woot.
Since Kelly won last week’s challenge she gets to pick her bridge first. Obviously she picks the Brooklyn Bridge because she’s in to hip hop. Der. Then Tim pulls out his trusty button bag to decide the rest. Candice and Merline get the Queensboro Bridge and Edmond and Ashley get the Manhattan Bridge.
The designers get $200 to spend at Mood and have two days to work.
Once at Mood the designers, acknowledging they have to bring it for this challenge and step up their game. Kelly takes a giant risk and goes for a tan faux crocodile fabric. Ashley chooses a pretty deep blue palette fabric with a complimentary sheer polka dot fabric (yeah, no lilac!). Candice really steps outside her comfort zone and instead of her usually black goes for a deep, gorgeous red fabric. However at the last minute she does grab black…just in case.
Kelly is the only designer who takes the challenge literally and designs a bridge. This is either going to be good or an epic fail. She’s not really sure what “avant garde” means and Edmond explains to the camera it’s a fine line between avant garde and costume.
The second day when the 3D designs are finished printing (apparently they take a long time) everyone loves what they see except Ashley. Her 3D designs are white and look like bones. She looks at Candice’s who was smart and made her pieces in black and in varying sizes so she has options. Smart, smart, smart.
When Tim comes through for his critique he learns Candice is inspired by her father who works on bridges so she feels she has an advantage. Ashley’s top and pants are not really cohesive and have little from what Tim (nor I) can see having to do with bridges (Ashley is falling apart). Edmond has a beautiful black dress with cool square black 3D pieces, but it’s not terribly avant garde. Merline’s umbrella-inspired dress looks awfully familiar from last season and as Tim points out is not balanced or symmetrical. Tim actually really likes where Kelly is headed with her Brooklyn Bridge dress, but feels she needs to stay cool and clear away from costumey. When Tim mentions he loves how she has brought a new twist to a “pannier dress” from the 18th century you just know she has no freaking idea what the hell he is talking about and just mumbles “yeah.” I have to admit this is my favorite part.
I for one can’t wait for this show!
Off to the runway! This week’s judges are Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn with his Tim Gunn Save and guest judge Scary Spice Mel B. who is also, it turns out, a judge on “America’s Got Talent” with Heidi. For the runway looks, I’m going to go in order from best to worst.
Kelly: Her strong textured croc brown dress wins over the judges because of her perfectly executed “wire work” with brown thin roping to resemble bridge cables down the neckline of the dress as well as the sides under the arms. Because Kelly added a tight-fitted mini skirt under her “pannier dress” it was modern and just shy of costumey…on the right side. Her 3D pieces looked like bricks and were added at the waist like a belt. Her only fault is she did not use enough of the 3D bricks, but she has come so far this competition and wins for pushing the envelope. Congrats!
Candice: Her red, skin-tight mermaid gown with black accents fits her model like a glove. She strategically used most of her black 3D pieces on the top, the sides and the back. Nina is not too keen on how it’s very Spanish flamenco dancer-esque and it’s not very avant-garde. But Mel B. swoons over it and has no qualms saying it’s her favorite by far.
Edmond: His black gown cutouts and his 3D black X print element makes for a gorgeous gown. There is a flowing piece to offset the structural side and the netted veil he adds at the last minute makes the whole look sexy and sophisticated. It’s hardly avant-garde and he didn’t dare to go there which I think really annoyed the judges. They thought he of all the designers would have gone a bit more with the flow and stepped outside the box. He did not much to everyone’s chagrin. However, all agree Edmond pulled off another gorgeous gown.
Ashley: This one stumps me because I am sure her Elvis Has Left The Building ensemble is going to be her last hurrah, but I am wrong. Instead of getting a ticket home the judges lose their collective minds and love her ugly see-trough paneled pants and side boob exposing top with ridiculous cape with bones glued on. I can’t believe Nina of all people likes it and I just think they drink the Ashley purple Cool-Aid. It was hideous.
Merline: I find her deep burgundy knee-length dress covered with 3D panels of material, much less offensive than Ashely’s but then I’m not a judge am I? Her dress is a bit safe and does not fall into avant-garde territory so she is donezo. Bye Merline. We will miss everyone calling you Marline and your quirky, odd dialogue with the camera.
Note: even though Kelly wins a 3D printer she will probably never remove from the box, Candice tums out to be the real winner when Mel B asks her if she can wear her red gown to an event. The judges were proud of the designers this week and all 4 remaining have a great chance at showing at New York Fashion Week.
“If I could do a back-flip and then a moonwalk, I would!” -Merline
“I don’t even have a 2D printer.” -Kelly
“I don’t know what else you would do with it besides making a bridge dress.“- Kelly
“I’m a bit nervous about not using black.” – Candice
“I think I’m gonna get black just in case!”– Candice
“It’s Avant Garde… it’s like Lady Gaga in a meat dress what the F-“– Candice
“There a fine line… because when you cross over the line you’re into costume zone.” – Edmond
“How do you tell your model not to wear underwear?” – Ashley
“You can sit your cup and your drink right here!” – Edmond
“Very very compelling.” – Tim Gunn
“Is it an optical illusion or are these slightly different shapes.” – Tim Gunn
“You know how you get those little amber alerts on your phone? I just got one!” -Merline
“Is this butter? I think I’m eating butter.” – Kelly
“You know when you hard boil eggs and then you put them through the cutter?…That was my inspiration for these.” – Ashley
“I could be way wrong.They can be like ‘What the heck is this?'” – Kelly
“I was expecting something more innovative.” – Nina
“Drama baby!” – Heidi
“It’s like 2 separate outfits.”– Mel B
“What it has to do with bridges I have no idea but I still like it.” – Nina
“I thought it was weird-fabulous.” – Zac
“Then it would have been like Sponge Bo'” – Zac
“I don’t have a 2D printer so I’m so exited for the 3D printer.” – Kelly
“Dream come true. You just made a dream come true!” – Candice
“I went to the moon and back.” – Merline
Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
-Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: Lifetime TV