Project Runway 13: The Judges Decide

SPOILER ALERT (but of course. You have been warned)

Project Runway Season 13:

Episode 1: The Judges Decide

First of all, I will not be recapping the entire episode, mainly giving commentary on the runway challenge looks and some other comments I have regarding anything else. I shall give ratings and comments on first response (uninfluenced by the judges comments), and further on the judges critiques.

THIS is going to be a LONG post (you have been warned!) but bear with me or skip to the sections you like: Presentation before Judges with own Work, My Comments and Ratings on Each Runway look, Judges Critiques and lastly the verdict (and a tad of my rant concluding the verdict).

ALRIGHT. Here we go:

From the previous “Road to Runway episode” and the first part of this episode where designers present their existing work to the judges – Heidi Klum, Zac Posen and Nina Garcia (as only 15 out of these 18 designers will officially be a part of Season 13 of Project Runway), I got a general idea of each designers’ aesthetics and target audience. What I think of each competing designer:

  1. Carrie: Fantasy Punk, Anime-Cosplay inspired Dominatrix looks
  2. Jeffery: Simple Active and comfortable clothes which are modern and Chic
  3. Nzinga: Glam and Luxurious looks
  4. Tim: Versatile Commercial – A range of basic to different (verging on odd) designs. From the presented looks, I do not think he has good taste.
  5. Emily: Modern, Edgy, street kind of looks
  6. Fade: Art Pop-Art Illustration, Chic with a humor
  7. Kristine: To me, her looks reminds me of British Fashion (such as Topshop)
  8. Mitchell: Pop Culture, very Katy Perry.
  9. Kini: Commercial Casual ease with hints of Exoticism
  10. Korina: Modern Minimalist Cool with Tribe influence in pattern usage
  11. Angela: Modern Romance, Femine – Soft but with a nice modern polish. Quite in the vicinity of Korean fashion but with less frills and add ons.
  12. Charketa: Modern Vintage Chic (she is spot on) – Definitely Retro Modern Funk was what came to my mind
  13. Sean: Modern, Bold,  Editorial and statement making
  14. Sandhya: Cultures from the East. Definitely very cultural and true to her Indian roots.
  15. Emmanuel: Likes Bling, for Fashionistas.
  16. Hernan: Strong, Modern and Edgy provocative looks.
  17. Alexander: Editorial Couture
  18. Samantha: Urban Chic – Pretty much it.

OH, not forgetting, the 16th designer of Project Runway Season 13 will be a previous contestant, either: Ken Lawrence (season 12), Alexander Pope (season 12) or Amanda Valentine (season 11). It was determined who will be joining Season 13 from online voting. I had no idea this voting game was on, but had I voted? It probably would be Alexander Pope just based solely on their designs from their Project Runway days, and I believe Alexander Pope has a keen eye and sensible (not too outrageous) fashion sense among this bunch.

So, Nzinga, Tim and Emmanuel did not make the cut. I fully agree with the judges decision. Nzinga seems very one note, there is not much innovative or creatively challenging looks; Tim is a great seamstress but with questionable taste level, his looks just seems very cheap; Emmanuel, well, the only look I liked was the Kaftan with black butterflies, the rest are too gaudy for my taste.

And let me flag that HERNAN has presented TWICE in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, even has designs sent to Jenifer Lopez it seems! CELEBRITIES know his brand, does that not mean that he is pretty recognized in this industry? Does that not over-qualify him to be on Project Runway? Seems quite unfair to the other budding Fashion Designers who are self-taught or still trying to break into the industry and make a name for themselves.

Besides that, COME ON, Shorts and Flip Flops is your choice of attire to present to these judges who can make or break you? surely you could have put on something more presentable? It is after all a serious affair!


PRS13E00-StoryAnd first impressions are important (sure, you can be a kooky artist of enormous talent) but STILL, BLOODY DRESS TO IMPRESS! You’re a FASHION DESIGNER for crying out loud! 

Granted, Angela wore shorts as well, but I think her not wearing BLOODY FLIP FLOPS (she wore boots) and her trench coat justifies and constitutes as respectable and presentable.

Let’s not forget, WHO is the 16th returning designer? AMANDA VALENTINE IT SEEMS. I think she gotten most of her votes from being related to a member of Maroon 5. Anyhoo, I have nothing against her! Don’t get me wrong!


Alright, on to the First Runway Challenge:

Each designer was given a chest with fabrics which they have to use to create a Spring Look! I must say, after soo many seasons, this is by far the simplest first challenge they could have thrown to these designers. They have possibly ran out of ideas. I for one, do not think it is a bad idea, it is the FIRST DESIGN where judges will get a sense of each designer’s creativity, aesthetic, point of view and taste level, failing at such a simple challenge would simply be unacceptable

Runway Day, hello Heidi


At first, I am not a fan of the safety pin on the slits but suppose if anyone can pull of such an outfit, it would be someone like Heidi (of good physic and body). Very sexy look, edgy but minimalist at the same time.

And the Guest Judge of today? WELL WELL, I was just recently obsessing and crushing over her:

Julie Bowen from Modern Family! (and of Boston Legal)


Oh and can I just give a quick shout out to how brilliantly coordinated the female judges are today? All dressed in black, and both Julie and Heidi are in LBDs at that! Coincidence? Zac is dressed smart and sharply as well, although his suit is almost a camouflage to the blue background behind (you’re tiny enough already Zac, don’t hide from us!)!

Picture 2014-08-01 18_04_50

So fast forward to the Runway:

Sandhya: 6/10
Messy, After Thought, Artsy

  • The ripped off Collars seem like a bad afterthought, a desperate attempt to make it special
  • Outline on the neckline is quite interesting
  • Dye on the top seems like she ate curry, tried to wipe the stain off but got it all over so had to make to with it

Angela: 6.5/10
Sharp, Intriguing, Overdesigned

  • Both pieces look modern chic,but putting both of them together… there is just too much going on, the look is over-designed. As separate pieces, I like them.
  • Workmanship on pants (esp the bum) could be better

Alexander: 7/10
Pop, Bizzarre, Unique

  • Simple silouhette with an edge
  • Sweet and playful with a modern rock edgy vibe
  • Collar could be more well constructed and articulated

Sean: 7/10
Minimalist, Strong, Punch

  • A simple silouhette and average… OH WAIT look at that long deep cut at the back with a slight flutter!
  • Pattern on the front is a bit unflattering to the body

Carrie: 7/10
Playful, Trendy, Youthful

  • Love the sillouhette: mandarin collar gives a play of conservative modern chic appeal yet the cut pieces (Racer back as well!) gives it a strong sexy edge along with a modern edge by the side hip angles on the skirt
  • On the other hand, looks very been-there-done-that (It might be the print and the angled pockets structure by the hips, but it reminds me a tad of Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 collection)
  • The cuts on the dress flatters the body and the usage of one print for the entire look works

Samantha: 6/10
Simple, Strong, Easy-Comfort

  • Simple. Good styling and impeccable execution
  • Does not seem like much effort or thought was gone into it
  • Verging on boring if compared to the other looks, not exciting, pretty much been there done that
  • Not a very Spring look to me… which is the challenge

Mitchell: 4.5/10
Odd, Baby, Pyjamas

  • No faults with the hot pants
  • Maybe it’s the color that does not go with the print? Not getting the flower inserts separating the yellow and sleeve print
  • Quite like the idea of tucked in front but flowy back of the top but the entire look is not working AT ALL.

Kini: 6/10
Middle Aged, Average, Simple

  • Something very mum/teacher vibe about this outfit to me
  • Nothing spectacular or unique about this
  • Props to the pockets tho, and it is a good look for SPRING.
  • Very safe look to me, nothing to fault with it yet nothing to fall for it

Jeffery: 3.5/10
Constricted, Short, Unflattering

  • The shorts is cut at an angle that is revealing the butt cheeks, utterly horrendous and unflattering
  • Creases on the waist is distracting; The back is just making things look worse… over puffed buns and baby top
  • The shapes on the top is quite interesting as is the high waist idea, If only crop top AND shorts were longer…

Emily Payne: 3/10
Confused, Swimsuit + Gown, Crazy, Distasteful, Insane

  • The bustier cut is inappropriately emphasizing the genitals?
  • Colors do not meld together
  • A swim suit worn on top of a gown. Only an insane person would wear this.

Hernan: 6.5/10
Cute, Futuristic, Tight

  • Model looks like shes about to burst out of the dress with all those creases, verging on slutty.
  • Love the play on the asymmetic levels and cuts on the back and the sleeve
  • Very average tight little cocktail dress, the asymmetry did give it a slight edge

Korina: 6.5/10
Statement, Flows Beautifully, Chic

  • Her boobs look like it might just fall out any minute from the halter top
  • High Neckline yet cut sleeves gives a good balance for spring chic
  • the wide leg and cape combination might be a bit costume but I like it, easy flowing look, casual AND chic for ready to wear.

Kristine: 6.5/10
Sweetheart, Minimalist, Zeal, Pop

  • Sweet Candy color pallete with a strong modern sillouhette of Crop top and high slit on one leg maxi skirt
  • Nice balance of pop of flesh and conservative
  • Casual street, on trend, very British style: Crop top and the color choice. However, this also means it is Nothing new in terms of design.

Amanda: 7.5/10
Casual, Nice Angles, Street, Urban

  • street style: casual and easy chic to me
  • Interesting enough top, the back is almost flawless
  • Hip Trousers, modern and trendy look, perfect fit. Contrast of flowy top with nice fitted pants is almost perfect.

Fade: 8.5/10
Luxe, Sophisticated, Upper East Side

  • This silouhette or the mix of prints could look more suited for middle aged women, yet it somehow seems like it would also fit beautifully on teenagers for occasions (I can see Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl wearing this, or Lily Van der Woodsen wearing this. Like the versatility)
  • The almost see through to the print insert on the top is gorgeous

Charketa: 8.5/10
Clean, Adorable. Refreshing, Lovely

  • Love the colors
  • The top and skirt are well executed AND again, love love looooveee pockets
  • like the cute and playful flow of the blouse that has a bounce, youthful vibe with circle skirt and cropped blouse. The right amount of volume with the skirt and sleeves
  • Smart, conservative neck line and sleeves yet trendy crop top with a pop at the back. Fabulous draping
My Bottom 3

Mitchell 4.5
Jeffery 3.5
Emily 3

My Top 3

Fade 8.5
Charketa 8.5
Amanda 7.5

Picture 2014-08-01 17_51_02

Judges Bottom 3:


  • “I have very little to write about this outfit…. It’s just a pair of shorts and a T-Shirt, it’s just very basic and elementary.”-Nina
  • “I don’t think this will get you into Design school.”-Zac (Upon Up Close Inspection)

=I totally agree with the judges’ critiques on Mitchell.


  • “The proportions of this… to me this look super strange.”-Heidi
  • “WTF…They’re not flattering and the proportion is weird.”-Nina (summing it up)


=Yes Nina, the proportions are totally off, unflattering and it looks like a diaper and bib. I do appreciate him trying something new but his ignorance on how unflattering it looks is unacceptable to me.


  • “Instead of calling those slits, I’m gonna call them sluts.”-Nina; “Your eye doesn’t know where to look cause there’s too much going on.”-Heidi
  • “It’s walking the line between too sexy and bad taste.”-Nina
  • “Very geisha hooker.” – Julie Bowen


=I can see why Nina thinks it’s too sexy and slutty, and Heidi when she says there is too much going on, but I would not go as far to say it is in bad taste. If only the slits were smaller, or she had a simpler top/pants, it would be much better. As separates, I like them.

Picture 2014-08-01 17_50_11

Judges Top 3:


  • “I love how you took this cotton jersey and made it look so special. You took an ordinary fabric, and made it extraordinary.”-Nina
  • “Elegant and Edgy. It’s cool.”-Zac

=Enough said by the Judges.


  • “Interesting yet commercial.”-Nina Garcia
  • “Doesn’t stand out enough.”-Heidi

=Excellent Execution and commercial but still of good taste and expensive looking


  • “You took something and made it into a fantasy.”-Nina
  • “It’s a show piece.”-Nina


=I suppose they are more intrigued with the creativity and innovation. Perhaps the styling tied everything together. Although, Nina is spot on with the above comments I must say, but still does not necessarily translate to an outstanding piece to me.

 “If your two other opponents [Amanda & Char] have FINISHED everything impeccably, you [Sandhya] should be up to par.”-Nina

“Cool and Fun [Mitchell], or someone [Jefferson] who is trying to be creative?”

“More daring [Jefferson] than the t shirt and biker pants [Mitchell].”-Nina

At this point, Mitchell for the Auf! I mean, clearly he has bad taste and did not seem to put much effort or creativity into the design. Jefferson may have questionable taste as well but I see more design in his look which could have been altered for the better.

And Char for the win please!

P/S Project Runway Producers: WE VERY WELL KNOW what DIY MEANS! 

Picture 2014-08-01 17_51_35


Sandhya Wins the first challenge.

What the hell? Sandhya wins?! …Really? Sure, props for being unique and creative… is it a polish enough look? Fine, maybe it just might work on a runway collection. I don’t think it is good enough for the win as a stand alone piece for a SPRING challenge. I suppose the judges do go in favor of culture, creativity, stand out unique looks and exoticism… even if it is not the most polished. This seems so American to fall for the exotic… culture and all because they have seen too much of the other designs are a bit familiar that it becomes the normal and less exciting or surprising to them now.

DO YOU EVEN JUDGE? Maybe taking too long of a break from the show was not a good idea… cause WHHAAAT the HELL, Mitchell IN?!

I’m already confused by the judges in the first episode. This season is going to be interesting. From their deliberation, it really seem like they were going to give Jefferson a chance. I have more confidence in Jefferson in terms of creativity… but oh well. It’s the JUDGES DECISION at the end of the day.

So what do YOU think of my view versus the judges critiques? Which were your favorite and which were trash to you? Do comment below and stay tuned for more crazy Project Runway challenges!



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