PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 11 Project Runway Recaps: Episode 12

Last week, the episode ended with a warning of sorts from Heidi to designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin, telling her that this would be a "Do-or-Die" moment for her and the judges would be giving her "one last chance". I wondered if this week, the episode would begin with Michelle having to do a "Quickfire Challenge" of making a garment in one hour (or something to that effect), but nope, she got an odd "You've Been a Bad, Bad Girl" punishment.

Season 11 designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin got punished for doing this above

This week's Season 11 Project Runway on Lifetime had the Final Five designers getting some exciting travel news (well, not so exciting for one of them): Stanley, Patricia, Daniel and Layana (and their already eliminated "sewing helpers") were sent to different European cities:

 Stanley Hudson (and his helper, Richard) went to London, England (Big Ben, Palace of Westminster)

 Layana Aquilar and her helper Samantha, got to go to Barcelona, Spain (Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia church)

 Patricia Michaels and her helper Kate were sent to Paris, France (Eiffel Tower and Parisian graffiti--above)

 Daniel and his "assistant" Amanda went to Berlin, Germany (the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall--above)

While Michelle was punished for not listening to judge and Marie Claire Fashion Director Nina Garcia's "directives" last week, and she remained in NYC...

...and got to take a $49 double-decker New York sightseeing tour. This was mean, silly and to me, made no sense. Annoying. Seriously. Why punish her and not just let her go to Europe?? Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with NYC, it's one of my Top Three favorite cities in the World! And Michelle probably hasn't seen much of NYC while being on the show (you're sequestered at the Atlas, then to the Workroom and then to Parsons, and that's about all of NY you'll get to see!) so it was nice to get out. But still...

The Challenge was to create a High-end Runway look "inspired" by an International Fashion Capital and the Guest Judge was singer/songwriter John Legend (above).

The Designs:

Stanley Hudson: His London-inspired design of a black halter gown (lined in leather paillettes) with matching caplet was praised by all the judges. It was monastic and Valentino-and-Ralph Lauren elegant. I thought he did a very good job here. She was very "Bond Girl". I loved her styling (the tulle "mask" was fab!).

Daniel Esquivel: Daniel's Berlin Diva design was good as well. It was a bias-cut asymmetrical dress with a white pleather jacket. He also made the thigh-high boots. It had punk-like elements of the Berlin "vibe" of the moment. She looked like Heidi's evil twin!

Michelle Lesniak Franklin: Michelle, even after her punishment, ended up creating one of my favorite looks of the night with this cashmere wool high-low dress and reversible patent leather bib. This was so directional and certainly very "High-end Runway". She tried to treat the hem of the dress to give an ombre effect but it did look as if the model had gotten stuck in a sudden NY thunderstorm.

Patricia Michaels: Oh "kooky" Patricia! Bless her heart. She said she was inspired by the Paris graffiti "art" and created a textile-on-top-of-textile jacket/top. The thought was there. I just think the execution and taste level didn't match her effort and  conceptualization. And yeah, those trousers do not belong with this. The top says "Art Gallery Owner" and the pants say "Hillary Clinton".

Layana Aquilar: Layana's Barcelona-inspired ensemble of a lace and wool coat, skinny trousers and peach ruffled blouse was deemed the worst of the night. Her model looked like a "mature" Spanish housewife--especially standing next to cool, young and hip Layana and her "I'm going out for Tapas and Flamenco Dancing" outfit.

Well, with all that as an "amuse-bouche", without further a do, here is my Project Runway Blog Lifetime Recap for this week's Episode 12:

Your Fashion Passport Has Expired

Europe. Haggling for prices. Lots of crying. Rapid sightseeing. Cramped economy class seats on a 10-hour trans-Atlantic flight. Sounds like the last trip I took with my family. But, nope, this was "Project Runway" Episode 12. Of course, there was also THE FASHION. Let's get started…

No Europe For You

"You’re ALL Going to EUROPE! Except You Michelle…You’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl." Yep, that's the gist of how Heidi, along with Tim, opened this week's episode as the designers were called to the runway room. At the end of last week, we were left with the dreaded "To Be Continued." No designer got the auf from Heidi but Michelle was told that this was her "do or die" moment and she would be given "one last chance." This "do or die" moment turned out to be more of a punishment and was just plain old mean. Seriously. Especially when they added the free trips to the cast-off "helpers."

Travel Dates

Layana, Daniel, Patricia and Stanley got the news that they would be traveling to a different European city and Michelle would not. Daniel cried (of course) hysterically and Michelle looked as if she wanted to slap someone (I would too!). Heidi then announces that the challenge for this very important week—that decides who gets to go to Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week—was to create a look inspired by an international fashion capital and in addition would have to be a "high end runway" creation. They all got a WHOPPING $1,000 for fabrics. Heidi also tells them that they are not going alone; they will be taking a sewing assistant (a cast-off designer). Layana is going to Barcelona with Samantha; Patricia goes to Paris with Kate; Daniel to Berlin with Amanda; Stanley heads off to London with Richard and punished Michelle gets to stay in NYC—with little Tu.

Side Bar

Besides the obvious thoughts running through my head about how we only got to travel to NEW JERSEY to a figure skating rink on my season of "Project Runway," I couldn’t help but think, "Why are they taking these sewing assistants with them? Are they sewing in Europe?" As soon as I used my loud voice asking this, I realized that A) it’s nice to have company, but more importantly B) the producers of the show need them to be interacting with someone…preferably someone who speaks English.

Gaudi vs. Graffiti

Moving on… The European kids go on their trips and are taking it all in: Stanley is inspired by the architecture of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben; Daniel is emotional and crying (of course!) after seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall; Layana is mesmerized by Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia; and Patricia is saying, "Oui!" to the incredible Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe as well as Parisian wall graffiti. And Michelle?

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1 Response to "PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 11 Project Runway Recaps: Episode 12"

Unknown said...

Nick, you're one of my all-time favorite contestants and I love your blog.
A few other items of note from the European episode: 1) After the big deal made in a previous episode of Stanley's dictatorial management style (Tu) and Richard's poor sewing skills (Patricia), I thought it was curios that this was not an issue. 2) I loved the guest judge -- cool, articulate and he had an opinion. 3) Fun exchange between Heidi and Nina on whether fashion can be art. Patricia remains because for whatever reason, Heidi likes her. Based on this last episode, I'm looking forward to the show.
Proof you're one of my faves: