Project Runway: The Sky's Is The Limit
January 29, 2022 12:43 PM - Season 19, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Four designers compete for only three spots in the Season 19 finale. For the last challenge, the designers will need to show the judges their brand and vision for the future of fashion in a single look. It's no small task as these finalists put everything they've got into this runway show to convince Brandon, Elaine, Nina and guest judge Karlie Kloss that they deserve the opportunity to make a collection for New York Fashion Week. (IMDB) Contains spoilers.

The four remaining designers - Coral, Shantall, Chasity and Kristina - are summoned by letter to meet Christian on the roof at the Rockefeller Center. Nina is with him, and gives them their brief - to create an outfit to highlight their brand. The judges want to see why each designer believes they deserve to be at NY Fashion Week. Nina also celebrates that the final four is all women for the first time ever in PR history.

After choosing their models, the designers are given a little time to sketch and then head off to Mood with a budget of $750 and two days to finish their challenge. They will also have the use of a seamstress (in one case, a seamster). To say the designers tested Christian's patience at Mood is an understatement.

Coral goes for nude lace and Christian is almost apoplectic. Kristina decides to make a pair of jeans and so heads for denim. She then picks various prints - stripes, gingham, florals, in blue and white. Christian points out that she's used blue before and maybe she might want to think about a different colour palette, so she goes for some red stripes, with the American Flag as her inspiration.

Chasity decided to make a black gown. Nothing Christian said could deter her from this path.

Shantall chose navy, and Christian pointed out that she needs to make something that has impact on the runway and maybe navy isn't the right colour for that. Shantall bought some white fabric too, which she thought would give her options, as she was making something gender-fluid.

Back at the workroom Sara Kozlowski from the CFDA and publicist Tenique Bernard (who name-dropped Brandon as a client) were there to help the designers focus on their brands.

Chasity explained that she wanted to focus on streetwear (which seems bizarre, given the number of gowns she's designed, but she did also design a beautiful streetwear outfit - a white one - a few episodes back).

Sara and Tenique liked Coral's blend of her cultural heritage, her macramé skills and the accessibility of her clothes to a wide market. They thought Kristina's designs were interesting but thought a mix of too many prints can put some customers off. They weren't sure who Shantall was as a designer and said she needs to find her own signature.

As usual, Shantall was doing a hell of a lot - patterning a complicated jacket with cut-outs and a peplum. Her model was DD, who was stoked at the gender-fluid concept. But Shantall had nothing to to fit other than pants which were transparent on DD and so needed to be lined. Christian was concerned that Shantall would need to do that as well as, you know, make the actual garmen.

Because Coral had someone to help with sewing, she was doing a lot more macramé on this dress than she'd done before. She was using an ivory fabric, string, and some kind of trim with large beads that Coral had stitched together to make a textile. She was also going to make a jacket, but Christian got her to abandon that idea, which turned out to be very sensible.

Kristina's design looked exactly the same as several other garments she's put down the runway, and Christian told her she needed to do something different. He liked the idea of adding in the red fabric. The advice he gave to Chasity was the equivalent of Tim Gunn's "make it work!" From looking at what was on the mannequin, the dress Chasity eventually put down the runway had a different bodice from her original design. She looked to be laying strips of fabrics over black sheer fabric when she was talking to Christian, but the finished dress was quite different.

It was probably the editing, but it didn't look to me as if anyone would be able to finish their outfits, but, lo and behold, they all did.

Mimi looked amazing in Coral's outfit - a dress of two halves - the right side being all macramé and the left this textile made of beaded trim, with a collar made of the same trim, and a chiffon overskirt. She even carried through the macramé into Mimi's hairstyle. I think it was Coral's most accomplished outfit yet.

Shantall's white suit with cutouts and a peplum looked fantastic on DD, but I thought it gaped a lot around the cutouts and showed DD's nipples, which I thought for sure the judges would comment on.

Kristina had refined her ideas and instead of a tie-string one-sleeved loose-fitting coat, she made something that still bore her signature but was far more fitted on top, with a gingham sleeve, an open shoulder and a more sophisticated bandeau underneath than she'd planned. She made very baggy denim pants and her model also had a red bag in the 'paper bag' style which is uniquely Kristina's.

Chasity made a Disney Villain black gown with big square shoulders, and rhomboid cut-outs on the waist. It was beautiful but uninteresting and didn't seem very original. I could see Cruella de Ville wearing it, or Snow White's stepmother.

Guest Judge was Karlie Kloss. As she'd not seen the designers' work before, she wasn't jaded by seeing repeat designs from the same couple of people.

That said, Coral had really elevated her signature style and it was well-received, with praise from the judges for both the design and the execution. One of the judges - Nina? - didn't like Shantall's peplum, but Karlie and Elaine loved it. Nobody mentioned the visible nipples. I'm not sure such a flared peplum was particularly gender-fluid though. The judges noticed that the sleeves on Chasity's dress were too short and got to her admit it was an error. Karlie loved the gown though. Kristina's outfit came across as a bit too complicated, and Brandon was quite clear that, despite Kristina saying she'd made jeans, without a fly, they were just denim pants.

As soon as the judges started conferring in front of the designers, I knew nobody was being auf'd this week. Ho-hum, we could all see it coming a mile off. Maybe they'll do the thing they've done in the past where they have to show a mini-collection of three outfits, and make a new one, to decide who's going through.

All four designers get $10K and five months to make their collection, with a visit from Christian to see how it's going. I always love the home visits.

I deliberately didn't watch the preview for next week, as I like to be surprised by the collections.

All of this week's looks can be found here.
posted by essexjan (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you have Instagram, Nick Verreos has posted very clear, close up photos of the outfits.

Agree, an all woman finale was a given from early on as the women were much stronger designers this season. Aaron was the only serious male contender but he had the dreaded older designer cooties and was not au courant. Final four going to fashion week, also predictable, so one last-minute challenge to winnow it down to three is also in the cards BUT at least they all get ten grand and five!! months to work on their collection.

This was a lackluster runway though. Coral? Macramé. Soooo uninterested in her macramé style and I don’t think the judges should encourage that. Shantall? Over-committed and the resulting jacket was sloppy. The peplum was practically a full skirt so maybe she should’ve made a coat-dress. Chasity, reminded me of a 1980s Bob Mackie gown for Cher. Kristina, remade her outfit for Dariana on a slender model. Her’s actually looks better in Nick’s photos but sooo much fabric. One thing I like about Kristina is that she uses cotton (lovely fabric, terrible drape) and she uses shirting which I love for its lightweightedness but (ditto). Favorite part was the red bag.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:33 PM on January 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

i LOVED Coral's creation! truth, i would like less of the chiffon overlay in the front, so one can see the macrame work better; but that is a truly minor quibble. Mimi ROCKED it. i think her macrame looks very elevated, and have enjoyed seeing it incorporated into her designs. i do think she needs to focus on her editing. i am curious to see her collection - looking forward to it with anticipation.

Shantall had a wonderful idea, but the result was not as good. the jacket was too complicated. DD really worked the look, but that peplum was a mistake. Shantall does have the best overall sense of who and what she is as a designer, and even though she personally bugs the heck out of me, she knows how to represent her brand the best out of all finalists. i do look forward to seeing her collection, and have a feeling she will be the ultimate winner. (that said, i would be happy to NEVER see that terrible black and white jacket she wears in the interviews!)

Chasity's gown was a bore. i am tired of the princess gowns, they look dated. vintage/retro is one thing, but it has to be a conscious and careful choice. i've seen so much of that style already done to death, in years before - DECADES, even. she does have skills, and i've enjoyed some of her other creations. i think her collection will be worthwhile, especially if she mixes street and formal wear. i'm glad she made it to the finals, she's worked hard to get there and she deserves it.

i don't like anything that Kristina makes. it's either a look i've seen before - kinda reminds me of conservative 80s ladywear/boring resortwear - or it looks like a kid playing dress-up with bedsheets. i do think she made an interesting bandeau, but it's not enough. she's too fond of the dangling straps that i call "toilet-dunkers" - a trend i hate and would like to see designers stop using. it's no longer fashion-forward, rather hard to wear, and one of the worst trends to come out of streetwear.

instead, would have been happier to see just one more design from Bones. his work was weird, and didn't always work - at times it was unwearable - but it was unique and took chances. he made art. i doubt he would have made it to the finals, though; he's just not quite ready. (talk about needing to edit, edit, edit!) but i wouldn't mind seeing him show up again in another season.

thanks for posting these recaps, essexjan! i have enjoyed them.
posted by lapolla at 4:52 PM on January 29, 2022

Swatch watch: still with us!!!
posted by praemunire at 6:52 PM on January 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

That reminds me, Shantall wearing the black and white jacket for her interviews. She’s worn that a lot…and if you listen to her remarks, they could easily apply to one of the other challenges so I wonder if that’s something she did for more airtime. Does anyone else think she had more private interviews than the other designers?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:06 PM on January 29, 2022

If you'll look over time, you'll notice that the designers generally wear the same outfits in their interviews, at least pre-Fashion Week. It's just that that jacket is verrrrry noticeable.
posted by praemunire at 9:31 PM on January 29, 2022

I’m a week late on this, but once again I do not understand and do not like Kristina’s outfit. It looks like drapey baggy nonsense. I don’t understand what the judges see in her. I like Chasity and want her to succeed, but I didn’t think her gown was modern or innovative.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:16 AM on February 6, 2022

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