Project Runway Season 16 Recap: Winter Is Coming
Our final Project Runway episode before the finale sees the Top 5 compete for a second time for NY Fashion Week.
With Tim Gunn saving Margarita last week, it’s almost a foregone conclusion this week which of the contestants will probably be out by the end of the episode. (Hint: it won’t be Brandon, Ayana or Kentaro.) But since we’re heading to NYFW Spring 2018, to get there they’ll have to go through… winter wear. There’s fake snow on the runway and everything, which Tim is trying very hard not to look annoyed with, before taking them to do a commercial for the famous Manhattan Ice Bar where they’ll sketch. At least they have two days to create their look.
Unsurprisingly everyone wants to turn this into a coat challenge. They get $400 to spend at Mood, which means these are going to be some serious luxe coats too. Kenya is the only one who shops in wool, while Margarita is going to go fur — real fur, rabbit pelts. Tim halts her at the counter after she’s already spent the money and time is up for shopping. Apparently, Project Runway is a fur-free show?! Who knew? But then again, no one has ever *tried* to buy fur on Project Runway, not once in sixteen years. To do so was sort of just understood to be gauche and controversial. (And besides pelts are *expensive.*)
Tim asks if the contestants will give Margarita an extra five minute to shop to replace her returned pelts since, as he quite rightly explains, it’s his fault for assuming that everyone shared the same “no fur” values. They give it to her, but I’m not sure it helps. She’s already is a terrible headspace having been humiliated like that on camera, and just buys the first faux fur she finds.
Day two sees Tim turn up early to judge the coat collection that’s happening.
- Kentaro: He’s got a wrap jacket that looks Asian inspired, but his “pop of color” is bright yellow against the white fabric, and he’s thinking it looks like an egg dish. Tim nods and tells him to own the neutrals.
- Kenya: Her wool is loud and 1970s couch-like. Under it, she’s got polka dots and pants. Tim can already see the complaints about “lack of innovation” coming, and tries to warn her. She shakes her head.
- Brandon: It’s a Brandon distressed special, that looks like something I bought at Khols five years ago and wore to death already because Cheap Chinese Clothing doesn’t last. It’ll probably win. Tim shrugs and says he’s a fan.
- Ayana: Asymmetrical peacoat. She’s planning to paint it. Tim says it’s got a lovely clean vibe, so why? He says painting it will be a great big mess and could turn it into a Kindergarten project. That is until she demonstrates her idea, and then she decides, well, what the hell.
- Margarita: She’s the only one with nothing on the dummy and no coat. Tim worries her fur strips look bird like. Tim pushes her to go mad and make the entire dress out of the fur. Because why not? She got saved last week, and when have the judges *ever* eliminated a Tim Gunn Save contestant after they’ve been blessed with that mark?
Margarita has to start over, so now she’s also the only one who’s massively behind when the models arrive. Her model, one of the most outspoken, looks really dubious when she sees the rushed muslin and hears she’ll be wearing a cavewoman faux fur special. Everyone else is loudly positive about their outfits.
Day of runway and Margarita looks panicked. Kenya is quietly muttering to herself because the model points out her polka dot top is not ok. Margarita’s model looks almost ill when she puts on the fur. At least she has a coat that covers it, and with the coat on, the fur neck is actually pretty ok. Meanwhile, Ayana is so ahead of the game, she’s made a top hat, which she then cuts once she sees it on the model.
Let’s see if the judges cut someone unexpected, or if this goes exactly as most assume it will.
Heidi is wearing fashionable pyjamas, which only makes the “winter wonderland” set look even more like a Macy’s commercial. Zac Posen and Nina Garcia are both here for judging, and they’re joined this week by Katie Holmes, the only woman to escape Tom Cruise and Scientology and get custody of her kid in the process. She doesn’t have a project she’s hawking, but then again, she doesn’t need to. She’s Katie Holmes. Heidi insists the AnthonyRyan Rule™ is still in place before admitting that by this point, they know the designers work well enough that its BS.
Kentaro: It’s everything we love about Kentaro, and if anyone complains about the lack of color, they ought to be slapped. He admits it’s this model that really inspires him to do his best work. Nina calls it sculptural. Heidi calls it heaven, and clearly wants to own this outfit. Zac says “chicest snow woman he’s ever seen.” He is the first to go through to Fashion Week.
Brandon: I am entertained that the model shrugs the coat down so hard, that it becomes an afterthought and his far more Kentaro like outfit underneath takes center stage. Zac says it’s nice to see “Winter Brandon.” Nina likes the layering and proportion. The only complaint they have is she’s over-accessorized, and Heidi points out open-toed sandals are not the right shoes, which is totally quibbling. He is the second to go through to New York Fashion Week.
Ayana: The painting is genius. It’s like the black fabric is growing tiny branches over the pink. The rest of the outfit I could take or leave, and the “mini coat” the top one turns into is meh. Nina loves the painterly aspects of the coat. Heidi calls out the romper as childish. Zac isn’t about to admit she screwed up and says it’s fine. Katie likes the two in one coat. She is third to go through to New York Fashion Week.
Margarita: The model took off the coat on the runway. Qu’elle dommage. The fur dress is simply ridiculous, and embarrassing when she turns around. Everyone praises the jacket and bullshits about the dress being a “surprise,” because once Tim saves someone they’re not allowed to dismiss her again. Katie says the only believable compliment, which is that neckline of the fur dress, with the coat on and closed, is very dramatic.
Kenya: The coat is great, couch print aside. The rest is unfortunate. Zac finds nice things to say about the coat. Heidi says “it’s nice” with a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. Only Katie Holmes believably effuses about the coat.
Everyone is asked the usual question of “Who would you take without to Fashion Week,” and no one picks Margarita. She says “Only Tim wants to see me go,” as if she’s actually so foolish to think the contestant’s opinions will outweigh Tim’s Save. Perhaps she was? Because when she’s told she’s going through, she loses it on the runway.
So Kenya is out, right? The second to show at NYFW but not be shown on TV, along with the eliminated-two-weeks-ago Michael? NOPE. ONLY MICHAEL IS A DUMMY COLLECTION. The show said to heck with it, they’re filming her collection anyway, let’s just show all five of them!
Now Tim has to do five home visits next week. But he’s not complaining…