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PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 13 Project Runway Episode 13: Arrivederci Rome, Hello USA

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Project Runway Finalist (and Tim Gunn) Tour the sights of Rome, Italy

On this week's episode of Project Runway...the Final 4 Designers go to Rome, Italy; get home visits from Tim Gunn; return to NYC and preview their collections to the judges... ALL IN ONE EPISODE! In other words, A LOT goes on, yet very little actually happens. Let's review....

Moments after finding out that they have made it to New York Fashion Week, the designers get a visit from Heidi, Tim and....

Dorothy Dowling, Senior VP of Marketing for Best Western.  The designers learn that in just a few hours they will be jetting off to Rome, Italy for a little inspiration!  Lucky group! Not only are they in no fear of being eliminated or stressing out over another challenge, but they get a FREE trip to Italy!

(P.S., I was lucky enough to work with Best Western for this very special episode. I made a visit to Best Western Premier in Herald Square New York and surprised guests by asking them what was in their suitcases. I also gave a few Stylish Travel Tips along the way. You can check all that out HERE.)

Buongiorno! and Welcome to Best Western Premier!

I'm sure they were happy to see these very stylish Best Western Hotel rooms after their Economy Flight.

Looks like the designers could have used a few of my Best Western Style Tips! (Tim Gunn is stylish as always...looks like he was the only one who knew he was heading to one of the style capitals of the world.

The designers were taken on a whirlwind tour of Rome...
Hopefully they had the comfort of a Production Van to take them from place to place.... I went to Rome a few years ago in August and it was H.O.T.!!!

Glistening Nick: Visiting the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome, Italy

And finally to end their tour of Rome, the designers were able to visit a very high end Fabric Store, Valli Tessuti, in which they had the ability to purchase something for their collections. There is no way in the world I would have walked out of that fabric store without SOMETHING. Hello! You have $9,000 and the best Italian Fabrics at your disposal. If you can't get inspiration from that then you are in trouble.

Next Up: The Home Visits...

Huli pau! Tim Gunn and Kini Zamora enjoy a Hawaiian Cocktail

It's no surprise that the most elaborate home visit was with Kini in Hawaii. I mean, how could the Production Team pass up an opportunity of getting a shot of Tim doing the Hula?...

I'm wondering if the Luau was actually BEFORE the critic and Tim had a few too many cocktails, because after seeing all that Denim in Kini's collection, Tim should have had some major "red flags" that poor Kini was in trouble.

Next was a trip to Detroit, Michigan...

Once again, Tim must have been suffering from Jet Lag, because telling Char that these looks were on the "Cusp of Costumes" was an understatement. Tim must have known that NONE of these looks were good enough for New York Fashion Week. Poor Char is clearly out of her league.

All went well for Amanda, and I loved seeing her calendar behind Tim. He visited her on August 14th and she must have been scheduled to ship her collection on August 26th. The actual show was on Sept. 5th. Back in my day of Season 2, poor Chloe Dao carried her entire collection ON THE PLANE! Ah, how times have changed.

The drama of Sean having no studio seems to have worked itself out and he is set-up in a nice space and ready for Tim with a great inspiration (Caesar’s “Et tu Brute?” betrayal.) He seems to have to disparate collections, and Tim urges him to take risks...in other word, embrace the fringe.

On a side note...
I recognized one of his models from the show, Alisar Ailabouni, who also happened to be Germany’s Next Top Model 2010 (crowned by Heidi Klum!). 

I presume that somehow Sean got in touch with her once he began working on his collection, and asked her if she could be his fit model. It makes total sense and I think it was very smart of him. Is it within the competition’s rules? I think so. If the designer can use a fit model --and they lived in the NYC area -- why not use a model that is ACTUALLY ON THE SHOW?! Five points for Tim's favorite.

Preview of the Collections:

Sean Kelly's Preview Collection: Clearly the best collection, based on the preview, was from Sean Kelly.

This was my favorite look he showed, but that Black Halter "Le Smoking" Tuxedo Jumpsuit was pretty amazing too! Nina got on him about the fringe, and I have to agree with her, but based on what the other designers showed, he is still the front runner.

Amanda's Preview Collection: Amanda stayed true to her Bohemian Aesthetic and tried to make it more "High Fashion".

She accomplished it best with this look, but the real star of her collection is the Jewelry.

Kini's Preview Collection: The judges really gave it to poor Kini, and I have to agree that the styling is horrible and did nothing to help out his collection.

If I had to pick a favorite it would be this look. The top is great, but his biggest problem is his total use of denim. I'm sure I'll have much more to say on that next week. Hopefully a trip to Mood is in Kini's future.

Char's Preview Collection: As I said before, Char's a bit out of her league at this point. While the printed jumper isn't bad, it is not worthy of a spot at NY Fashion Week.

If  I had to pick a favorite it would be this one because at least it evokes Char's own personal style which is much more interesting than most of what she designs.

Next week is the big Finale: will Sean breeze to the end and win or will Amanda or Kini be able to pull it together for a surprise upset?

For now, click Below to READ my Lifetime.com RECAP of this past week's "Project Runway" Episode...

Season 13, Episode 13: Arrivederci Roma, Hello NYC


This week, “Project Runway” goes international as the designers go to Rome, Italy as inspiration for their New York Fashion Week collections (P.S.: So jealous!). This week's episode begins with Heidi and Tim congratulating the top four designers for making it this far and also announcing that they are getting $9000 and five weeks to make a ten-look collection. In case you are doing the math, this means two looks per week and about $900 a look. Which breaks down to a LOT of money and NO time.
Heidi and Tim then welcome Dorothy Dowling, Senior VP of Marketing for Best Western, onto the runway stage to announce that she has an "extraordinary surprise" for the designers. The surprise? The designers will get to fly to Rome -- with mentor Tim joining them. And they have to leave that same day! They will get to tour the city for their collections' inspiration.
Ten-plus hours later, the designers arrive and get to greet Tim at the Best Western Premier Hotel Rome. Tim greets them then because I am sure he flew First Class and the four designers, alas, did not. After checking in, Tim takes the designers on a “Rome’s Greatest Hits” tour for the next two days. It's like a "Rick Steve's Italy Tour" but with a much better dressed tour guide. Tim shows them the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. They also get to visit St. Peter’s Basilica and Valli Tessuti Alta Moda fabric store. At Valli, the designers have a chance to buy fabrics to use for their collections. Only Char and Amanda purchase anything.
Let me tell you, if I had been one of the designers...
CLICK HERE to read the rest of my RECAP.

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