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Project Runway NZ Recap: 'Most annoying monkey in the jungle'

A beautiful vineyard is the setting for the models to show the designers the gowns they will have to re-purpose for episode eight's challenge.

Andreas and the models.
Andreas and the models. Source: Tom Hollow

Each one of the models turns around one at a time to throw a bouquet in the direction of the designers. Whoever is interested in working with the dress needs to jump and catch the bouquet.

Gracie throws it in Benjamin's direction - clear favouritism according to Kerry.

Caitlin gets a polka blue dot dress from Julia. Tia's blue satin strapless dress, the last option, goes to Jess who hates it.

Gracie and Benjamin discuss ideas for the design.
Gracie and Benjamin discuss ideas for the design. Source: Tom Hollow

This challenge is not just about re-purposing clothes, it's also about working with the models as clients. Misty, who got the burgundy velvet dress worn by Heidi, is not used to work like that. She says she only designs for herself.

During their visit to the Fabric Store, Andreas calls out the designers on their use of white fabrics. Many are going for that colour to complement their look. A few hesitate and reconsider, but Caitlin sticks to her choice. Nothing but white would go well with the crazy blue polka dot she's got.

Andreas is also concerned the designers are not focused enough on their task. But, Benjamin - displaying a level of egocentricity often only found in toddlers, proclaims that if he won he'd be the only one in the group who could do something substantial and successful to make the judges proud.

In the workroom, Jess' attitude rubs the other designers the wrong way.

Cut to montage of Peni making faces and Judy doing an eye roll of Angela Merkel proportions.

Kerry thinks the most annoying monkey in the jungle is Jess.
Kerry thinks the most annoying monkey in the jungle is Jess. Source: TVNZ

Kerry is so irritated by Jess that he refers to her as "[the] most annoying monkey in the jungle". Her ear-piercing voice and laughter shrill his ears.

I can't understand why Kerry would say something like that on national television about a woman of Indian descent. It sounded racially insensitive. Doesn't he realise that this comment may come back to bite him at some point in his career?

Later on, we learn that Peni has issues with Jess too. "She is loud and just needs to stay in her lane." Did I hear a bit of misogyny? Or was Peni trying to get a soundbite on camera?

During the model fitting, the only happy clients are the models working with Judy, Caitlin and Benjamin.

Kerry believes Caitlin's garment looks like one of Benjamin’s previous designs. But maybe he should worry about the yellow pants his model Dante doesn’t like instead of being envious of other designers' looks.

Before and after. Model: Dante. Designer: Kerry.
Before and after. Model: Dante. Designer: Kerry. Source: TVNZ

Misty isn't happy with her design after Heidi tried it on. So, she's decided to change some things around.

Tia doesn't like the pattern combination on her pants. Jess obliges and changes the colour of the accent she had created for the trousers, but somehow she's left standing with two unfinished garments by the end of the day.

The next day after the runway show with usual judges Sally-Ann and Benny, plus Fashion Guru, Robert Niwa, Judy is the only safe designer.

Kerry's yellow pants ensemble is not a winning look for the judges. Sally-Ann wishes he would have been more fashion forward with the top portion. Robert thinks the colour combination is dull, and Benny thinks it’s pedestrian.

I'm not a big fan of yellow, but I like the flow of Kerry's pants. I don't know what's happening on the top, though. It seems busy and impractical.

Before and after. Model: Heidi. Designer: Misty.
Before and after. Model: Heidi. Designer: Misty. Source: TVNZ

The judges have issues with Misty's design too. Robert questions the taste level, Georgia doesn't think it’s fashionable, and Benny thinks the drama of the piece overwhelms the look.

I don’t know what Misty was trying to achieve. The organza top looks old fashioned. I also think the way Heidi strutted down the runway made the design less appealing to the eye.

Before and after. Model: Isabelle. Designer: Peni.
Before and after. Model: Isabelle. Designer: Peni. Source: TVNZ

Sally-Ann and I have the same problem with Peni’s design. It’s not a look. It’s just three pieces. Individually they may work, but together they’re ineffective. Also, there’s very little of the original dress left in his design.

Jess has sent the worst possible design down the runway, and the judges waste no time making comments about it. Both Sally-Ann and Benny like the fabric used for the pants but hate the construction.

Before and after. Model: Tia. Designer: Jess.
Before and after. Model: Tia. Designer: Jess. Source: TVNZ

For Georgia, the crop top is just too little, and for Robert, it says "Princess Jazmin".

This is a disappointing look from Jess, and she can’t blame it on the satin dress she originally got. Other designers in the season have created good designs with equally unappealing and unfriendly fabrics.

Benjamin’s design is perfection. Sally-Ann finds it cool, fresh and fun. Robert thinks it’s a fantastic look, and Benny deems it fashion forward.

Before and after. Model: Gracia. Designer: Benjamin.
Before and after. Model: Gracia. Designer: Benjamin. Source: TVNZ

Benjamin and his model Gracie are a match made in couture heaven. She’s become his muse, and I have the feeling this is the start of a long collaboration between those two.

The best feedback of the day is reserved for Caitlin. Robert likens her look to Madonna in the 90s. He thought the trousers were beautifully made. Sally-Ann compares it to Bianca Jagger; the ‘Studio 54’ years, I’m assuming.

Caitlin was the clear victor this week. The look was fantastic. It reminded me of Brooke Shields adorning the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in the early 80s.

Before and after. Model: Julia. Designer: Caitlin.
Before and after. Model: Julia. Designer: Caitlin. Source: TVNZ

Although this is her second straight win, Caitlin won’t have immunity for the next episode. From now until the end of the season no one else will be safe after the runway show.

Misty’s look put her at the very bottom, and she ended up walking. It should have been Jess because if her ill-conceived and constructed garment, but I believe this version of Project Runway relies more on the designer’s performance throughout the previous episodes than on the actual design in front of the judges on elimination day.

This was Misty’s third landing at the bottom which made her automatically vulnerable.

Misty walks.
Misty walks. Source: Tom Hollow

A body of work is important, but only when you need to choose the final winner. At the end of each runway show, the designer with the worst look should be the one to walk.

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