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PROJECT RUNWAY....Season 14 "Project Runway" Finale Episode


Last Thursday was the Season Finale of Lifetime's Season 14 "Project Runway". Unfortunately I'm a little late with my BLOG PHOTO RECAP here because I have been out of the country, in Europe, for work..and a little bit of play. But, now I'm back and well, better a week late than never: Here are my thoughts on the final episode of the season, the final collections and WHO really should have won --according to the final collections shown by non-finalists (HINT: Swapnil Shinde).

To be very honest, I was a bit disappointed with the final collection designs--especially when compared to previous seasons. This was NOT a stellar season--and I said so in my Lifetime "Project Runway" Recap HERE (and at the end of this blog). I'll have much more to say if you keep reading we go, one last BLOG RECAP for this season's "Project Runway":

Tim Talk: The episode began with Tim Gunn talking to the final four designers about the critiques they received from the judges during their 3-look preview runway session. Tim thought that the session went OK and proceeded to sum up to the designers what they needed to do to make their final collections better (in the two days they had!). Tim has recently been saying a lot of not-so-nice things about this season's designers and their design talent. So, now looking back, I would LOVE to know what he really wanted to say to these final four.

Nick Verreos judging at "Project Runway" Season 10 L.A. Castings--with Mondo Guerra and Abby Gardner (No Tim Gunn)

He also said that his lack of involvement with the castings might have been a problem, saying that this was "the first time he wasn't at the castings". I might have to call Tim Gunn on that one because I've been part of the auditions/castings for many, many seasons (to be precise: Seasons 3 through 13) and for SEVERAL years Tim was NOT at the castings. So on the Tim "Truth Meter", I call "Pants of Fire". 

During the Workroom Check-in's...
Designer Candice Cuoco realized she should take out this overblown "Scarlett O'Hara"-looking gown from her ten-look collection. This was supposed to be her "Finale Wow". And...

Instead it looked like an old Bob Mackie costume for Carol Burnett. 

Neckpiece Not: Candice also took out this neck/shoulder contraption that was somehow going to be part of a look she designed. But thank goodness she came to her senses (via the judges and Tim Gunn's advice) and put this thing back in the closet (or garment bag).

Glitter Gal: Kelly asked for glitter and Tim brought her 20 pounds of the stuff, so she could glue and bedazzle the heck out of the shoes, lips, headphones...for her final collection. Up to the final day of work before showing at NY Fashion Week, it seemed pretty obvious which designers were on the right track (Ashley and Kelly) and who was not (Edmond and Candice).

NY Fashion Week is Here:
September 11th: The Season 14 "Project Runway" Finale show at NY Fashion Week occurred on September 11th and therefore--as you can see on Edmond Newton above--Newton wore an American flag scarf in honor of the day. The judges also wore variations on the red, white and blue theme:

Americana Finale: (L to R) Judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and guest judge Carrie Underwood--Season 14 "Project Runway" Finale Show at NY Fashion Week

Here are my "Nick Two Cents" on the final collections, beginning with Edmond Newton: 
Edmond's collection was a mish-mash of not cohesive designs, somehow being tied together with the black and white colors (didn't work). He had sleek column sheaths, big pouffy hi-lo tent dresses and "Big Bird" ruffle cray-cray gowns that looked like they went through a not so stylish "fashion tornado". He was the first OUT when it came to the judging.

The Good:
Simple Good: The first look out, this black halter column gown. Simple, sleek, elegant, clean. Stick to that my dear Edmond. Seriously. It's not innovative and certainly not the work of the next WUNDERKIND of Fashion but it was the best look from his collection.

The Not-So-Good:
Toga Newton: This draped toga-like gown was loved by Heidi (Oh Heidi, you're funny!). There was no reason AT ALL for this to be in his collection and it just came out of nowhere (along with many of his other looks) and it also reminded me of the design created by the first designer of this season to be Auf'ed--New Zealand-born Duncan Chambers-Watson (R).

Bebe 2013: These two were Las Vegas-club dresses from 2 years ago. Why would Edmond waste his design time--and money--on making garments that can be purchased in a mall RIGHT NOW (or two years ago!) is beyond me. These are great when he does the "Edward Newton for Macy's line" but not for NY Fashion Week.

Ruffle Cray-Cray: I don't even know where to begin with these two. Obviously, Edward thought these were going to be "The Stars". In the end, they were probably his worst looks. The one on the left looked like she was trailing toilet paper and the one on the right was cascade ruffle overkill.

Candice Cuoco: Candice said she was inspired by the recent Met Exhibition "China: Through The Looking Glass". This could have gone well but she ended up getting TOO caught up in the exhibition and making way too costume-y creations. She was forced to take out all those extra "bells and whistles" and in the end, what was left was rather lackluster and certainly not material for "America's Next Top Fashion Designer".

The Good:
I loved the first look out, which in fact she created in her last two days in the workroom. This cherry blossom printed dress was chic, elegant, sexy. The funny thing is that her obvious "thing" is leather but this dress had none of it. And it was her BEST look. Second Runner-up was the strapless red leather gown. It fit nicely and looked great. It was too short in the front, however. Beyond these two, I wasn't a fan of most of the rest of her looks. They were very Elvira-Meets-North Beach Leather circa 1994.

The Not-So-Good:
The first one (far left) fit awkwardly (what is with the gaping sides?), the middle one looked Halloween-Witchy (she's missing a big pointy black hat) and the far right one was too Rapper hanger-on at the MTV Awards. Also, if you're going to make a leather bustier for NY Fashion Week, make one that is NOT straight out of a Patternmaking 101 Bustier book. Drape the leather huney! Do something different/new.

Kelly Dempsey: I wanted to like Kelly's collection so bad. Mainly because I really liked KELLY; she was so wonderfully self-deprecating, so funny, so honest and I loved her own quirky late 80's/early 90's style. I think that Kelly's collection would have looked better within the setting of a "done-up" runway: the runway should have been a mock deli, the models should have been chomping gum and carrying big ol' boom boxes and well, you get the picture. Otherwise, it kind of looked like costumes for "Mamma Mia: The Musical" with a little of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert".

The Good:
Disco Good: Kelly's best look was the one on the left: wood printed Lycra knit with mesh dress, with matching fanny pack. Second Runner-up was this emerald beaded and knit dress. But after that, it was "Mamma Mia" zone...

The Not-So-Good:
Donna Summer Here We Come and Jerry Hall at Studio 54. The one on the left was too costume-y and the one on the right, looked cheap and the top fit oddly. They just didn't look expensive or refined.

Cameltoe Alert and Space Odyssey New Wave. I was not a fan of these two looks. I can't imagine a single girl--no matter how fun and quirky she is--wearing these...unless it was to The Burning Man Festival.
Ashley Nell Tipton: Ashley created a plus size collection, the first one in "Project Runway" history. I applaud her for doing it. I just wish it was made better. I also thought the fit was off on several of her designs. I did like her flower headpieces. I'm sure lots of "Project Runway" fans want those. She better get to Michael's ASAP and start glueing!

The Good:
Lace Fab: Plum colored lace crop top and mermaid-shaped skirt. This was Ashley's best look, hands down. She made a variation on those Elie Saab/Zuhair Murad gowns but for a Fab plus size gal. And it worked! To me, this was the only true "Wow" of her winning finale collection.

The Not-So Good:
Frida Kahlo Flower Child and Romper Not: The one on the left was her finale look and it was a mess. She looked as if she should have been on a float--at NY Gay Pride or Rio's Carnival. And I almost wanted to strangle her when I heard she GLUED those flowers. Ayyy Dios Mio! Cheap, cheap, cheap. And the one on the right, while I liked the romper idea, it fit really badly; too tight and too much gaping. The crotch was too long and the top needed the sides to be taken out (notice the gaping). I also had issues with her poor construction...

Broken Zipper...

Hem coming off (photos above)--Did she just use "stitch witchery" tape as opposed to actually SEWING the hem??

In the end, none of that mattered. Ashley's collection was deemed the most "cohesive" and therefore she took the crown as the winner of Season 14 "Project Runway". Now, like I said: get to making them flower headpieces! 

Finally, I want to take a moment to discuss a collection from one of the designers who was eliminated before the Final Four--Designer Swapnil Shinde. Even though he wasn't a Finalist, he still got to show at NY Fashion Week (six total designers from the season showed, two being decoys). Well kiddies, after seeing all the final collections, I have to say that Swapnil's was BY FAR, the BEST of all of them. It was cohesive, chic, elegant, new, romantic, of-the-moment and made impeccably. it also fit well. He interjected his Indian heritage but not in a costume-y, heavy-handed way. I don't know what it says about the actual four finalists that Swapnil's was better but I guess, you can easily take a hunch. Such a shame that he was eliminated and didn't make it but in the end, he got the last laugh by showing a much better collection than even the actual winner.

The Collection That Should've WON--Swapnil Shinde--A HUGE Thank You to Blogging Project Runway for these photos!

Wow. Give him the unofficial Winner of Season 14 "Project Runway" title. Now, if you think that I'm the only one who feels this way, take a look at this photo of the judges' reaction when his collection came down the runway (remember, they knew he wasn't even a finalist)...

"Oh Dear God! His collection is better than the actual Top Four! What do we do now??!!"--Carrie Underwood, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Heidi Klum trying (badly) to keep a poker face--NY Fashion Week Season 14 "Project Runway" Finale Show
Photo courtesy of Caitlin Carpenter via Blogging Project Runway Facebook

Well, kiddies, here's my final Season 14 "Project Runway" Recap from the Blog:

Season 14, Episode 14: Now You Can Cry!

After thirteen episodes, we’ve now arrived at the Season 14 Finale of “Project Runway." During this season, we witnessed lots of crying, one too many smoke breaks, a trip to Los Angeles, Tim donning an apron to make tortillas plus much, much more. It was now time to see if the finalists rose to the challenge of showing an outstanding NY Fashion Week collection and more importantly, which one did it the best, or as it turned out, most cohesively. Time for one final recap.
The episode begins with the designers feeling bruised, battered and bewildered by the blunt critiques the judges gave them—except for Ashley. Even with just a three-look runway preview, it was pretty obvious whose collection was looking the best. The only issues Ashley had were fit and construction. Similarly, Kelly’s  critique wasn’t too negative. They just said, "Amp it up!”
Edmond and Candice suffered the most debilitating critique blows. Edmond somehow needed to bring the sexy back (slash a slit or two, perhaps?), and Candice was told to tone it down and rein back the bells and whistles…and the witchy hat. The designers had two days to remedy what was deemed not-so-good. From the outside, it looked as if they had a lot of work to do with no assistance from eliminated designers this season...

Click HERE to keep reading my RECAP on the "Project Runway" Blog!

5 Responses to "PROJECT RUNWAY....Season 14 "Project Runway" Finale Episode "

Just Terri said...

Swapnil was so talented and I wish we had seen his collection because from these picture it looks gorgeous! But he seemed to take the whole thing for granted. He spent the majority of his time smoking and not enough on designing. I was extremely disappointed in him!

Swapnil Shinde said...

Thank you so much Nick for such kind words :-) it was an out of the body experience for me backstage and I was a so disappointed that this year the decoy designers didn't get to talk on the runway :-( but eventually was just extremely grateful that I got to showcase at nyfw it was , is and forever shall be a special moment for me :-) once again thank you so much :-))) Swapnil shinde

VicPatrick said...

Nick, Could you comment in the time the designers have for each show now. I've been reading posts from many people who feel the first few years of PR was better and produced better designs because the designers typically had 2 days for each challenge. Now they tend to have only one day. First of all, is that really true. The first four seasons don't seem to be available. What was your experience of time in season 2 and do the designers now have less time?

Anne Kenniston said...

Swapnil, you were definitely the best designer last season. By far. I hope your elimination taught you that YOUR CUSTOMER is always right. S/he is not a statute for you to put a design on; s/he is a human being who has a right to say, "NO" to something. If you learn how to put your design aesthetic around the needs of your client, instead of expecting your client to work around you, you will go far.
I remember that episode very well. Your client, among other things, did not want a sleeveless garment.
Based on the pictures, you definitely presented the best collection. And, as a plus sized woman, I was rooting for Ashley - even though I would never wear any of the clothes she showed at NYFW. I have seen some of her J.C. Penny collection, some I like.

Unknown said...

You were my favorite designer by far the whole season I just pray to the thousands of Indian Gods you didn't give up on your dreams ❤️