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Project Runway NZ recap: When a designer gives you lemons, make it work

This week, the designers drive themselves to a shopping centre where Andreas tells them that they’ll have to design a contemporary streetwear look embodying the colour, energy and fusion of sportswear and streetwear from the late 20th century.

Massy is enthusiastic about the challenge. This is more of his element, and he needs to redeem himself after last week’s fiasco.

Beth is not used to the style, hers is more a 1950’s silhouette than an urban look.

The designers have to get an item from one of the stores to incorporate in their garment.

Judy shopping for an item to incorporate on her design
Judy shopping for an item to incorporate on her design. Source: Tom Hollow

Peni runs after shoes. He loves shoes. As a kid his family couldn’t afford shoes, so he had to go barefoot to school. You would never see him wearing jandals. I couldn’t agree more. Every time someone refuses to wear jandals, an angel in heaven gets its wings.

After the designers have collected their items, Andreas has them hand it to the person standing on their left.

No one is happy about it. Kerry is appalled by Judy’s original item, a canary yellow blouse, and calls her on her bad taste in front of everybody.

Beau picks the item that Massey will end up using as part of his design.
Beau picks the item that Massey will end up using as part of his design. Source: Tom Hollow

With $200 they go to The Fabric Store where Judy is lost. She doesn’t know what to get for her design, her item is a pair of pink sneakers chosen at first by Caitlin. Streetwear is the opposite of her style.

With three hours to the end of the working day, the designers start on their garments.

Matt doesn’t like the silver backless slip-ons that he’s got from Benjamin.

Kerry is bothered by people asking him for constant advice. After all, this is a competition. He wants for them to leave him alone and do their own work. I can see his point, but he could be more gracious about it.

Kerry tries to include the blouse chosen initially by Judy in his design.
Kerry tries to include the blouse chosen initially by Judy in his design. Source: Tom Hollow

Benjamin seems to be the only one happy with the item he's got. He admits he’s now come up with a better design.

Lenon sets out to do something androgynous, a dungaree. Say what? A dun-ga-ree with poufy legs.

The next day, Andreas comes for feedback. He tells Beau not to lose the sense of streetwear. He’s doing a blouse with oversized bishop sleeves. I hope he’s on the top this week.

Andreas encourages Camille to keep exploring her experimental side.

Lenon seems to have changed his design from a day ago. Is she using the same fabric from the previous week?

On runway day, besides the regular judges, Sally-Ann and Benny, we meet guest judge James Dobson who is the founder and designer of Jimmy D.

After the anonymous runway show, Georgia asks Judy, Massey, Benjamin, Beth, Lenon and Camille to stay on the runway. The rest of the designers are safe.

The wining looks from Camille, Benjamin and Massey.
The wining looks from Camille, Benjamin and Massey. Source: TVNZ

First up is a nervous Judy. The judges only like the twisted gold leather work she’s done on her jacket’s sleeves. Guest judge James thinks it’s clever. But, there are issues with the rest of her look. The top is unfinished, and Sally-Ann thinks the shorts are not finishing at the right point of the leg. I see her point, but I like that Judy thought of shorts for her design.

Massey feels better about this week’s garment than he did with his first one. The judges are impressed with the design he’s created on his skirt’s fabric. The dark blue neoprene cape produces gasps from the judges when it’s opened to reveal the model’s left shoulder. I think the wrap is exquisite and the overall look of the model is flawless.

Although safe this week, Benjamin has managed to give us another chic perfectly designed and constructed garment. Sally-Ann thinks his denim overalls are commercial and sellable, they’re different and memorable. Although the inspiration comes from a Parisian woman, I can see Jackie Kennedy walking down Park Avenue in NYC in the 1970s.

The looks in the bottom from Judy, Beth and Lenon.
The looks in the bottom from Judy, Beth and Lenon. Source: TVNZ

Beth’s look is not a winner. Although she thinks it’s polished, the judges don’t know what to make of it. Benny thinks the back is interesting with the half skirt Beth has attached, but Georgia and Sally-Ann don’t agree. I don’t know what’s going on, but this isn’t ‘unicorn poop’ Beth promised in episode one.

Everybody seems to agree that Lenon’s fungus hood – as Benny describes it, is not the best. The top of the dress is not fitted, and on closer inspection, Sally-Ann and Georgia are not impressed by the finishing. Lenon hasn’t hemmed the garment. When the model put the hood on all I could see was the creature from "Alien" walking up the runway.

I thought Camille would be in the bottom, and so did she. Although the judges like her design on the runway, Georgia thinks it’s fun and flirty, they’re not impressed when they examine it up close. Benny changes his appreciation of it when the model takes the jacket off and sees that the top and the skirt are unfinished. I don’t know what they saw on the runway. On my screen, it looked terrible as soon as it hit the runway. Misty’s and Beau’s urban designs looked 100 times better than Camille’s droopy pink jacket.

Guest judge James Dobson, Benny, Sally-Ann and Georgia discuss which the winner look should be.
Guest judge James Dobson, Benny, Sally-Ann and Georgia discuss which the winner look should be. Source: TVNZ

In the end, Massey deservedly wins. What a comeback! Lenon walks. She’s disappointed because she had a lot more to offer.

* Project Runway is on TVNZ 2 at 7.30pm on Mondays and on TVNZ OnDemand

The designers learn about the twist in the challenge.
The designers learn about the twist in the challenge. Source: Tom Hollow