Project Runway Season 12, Episode 6 - Let's Go Glamping!

Tim Gunn-Seona Skwara
Funny moment at the start.  Heidi Klum comes in wearing a basic shirt/pants set in a beautiful dark blue fabric, but Tim Gunn is still outfitted in a suit, shirt and tie. The twist? It's out of camouflage material. He looks hilarious and gains a few laughs when he comments, "This is about as outdoorsy as I get." I love Heidi's comment that they're dressed for the outdoors. I camped as a kid and I camped with my kids as a parent and neither outfit would have been worn. Just goes to show how far removed the rich are from REAL camping!

Re-source Spring Water is sending them on a camping trip. Some designers love it - some are horrified. Then Tim corrects it to a Glamping trip, "It's how fashion designers camp. An upscale and sophisticated form of camping."  They have 30 minutes to pack and they're on the road. Favourite comment?  Miranda's - "I hope we get to play paintball because I really want to shoot some people." When they arrive, they are introduced to Seona Skwara, Head of Activation at Resource who shares the company values having a sense of discovery and believes nature helps us discover our best.

Allison William - Nina Garcia - Zac Posen - Heidi Klum
Now for the challenge. The designers are to create a look inspired by the environment and their activities. It is to be fashion with a capital F, not something you would wear camping. High-end and editorial, but completely up to them what they choose to design. One day will be spent at the campground, then the next morning back to Mood Fabrics for 30 minutes of shopping with a suggested budget of $300 and until midnight that night to complete the look. Guest Judge this week is Allison Williams - actress (starring on HBO series - Girls), comedian and musician.

The designers laze in a hammock, go river rafting, fly down zip lines, spend some time in the evening to sketch and find a rare chance to bond away from the pressures of the work room. Around the table that night you see them eating a gourmet meal and sipping wine. Now that is glamping! The S'mores at the end are the only thing I remember from camping. I do want to comment on the judges decisions this week.  I would have put Bradon's look in the bottom 3 instead of Karen's because of serious construction issues. Yes the yoke had more work put into it, but the dress was thrown together minutes before it went down the runway and looked like it. BAD! I applaud Justin for finally stepping out of the box and trying something daring.  Because of this I wouldn't have selected him to go home.  I would have sent Ken because I don't like his dress and he is so abrasive, but probably Bradon's look deserved the boot the most.

Alexandria (Winner)
Alexandria decides to do a fitted denim jacket with a funky pair of long johns - camping wear but modernized. Tim likes the jacket, but hates drop crotch pants. When fitting the model, she realized the drop crotch was looking unflattering, so added a front drape that created a much more interesting silhouette. The fact that she won over Tim and Zac who usually hate drop crotch pants with the final runway look is a testament to her talent. Love the surprise back on this one too. Comments include - you took a huge risk and it worked, perfect styling, love that you chose denim for high fashion, love the raw cut on the chambray, the back looks fantastic, modern, cool, you made denim into a very editorial jacket, out there, I really appreciated it, I don't like poopy pants but you sold it to me on the runway, not a safe look, and I'm so impressed.

Jeremy - Alexander (also top 3)
Jeremy is inspired by his place on the planet and the smallest essence of that is his family. He starts by writing a love poem to his husband and his children on the fabric. When he tells Tim his intention to overlay bright primary abstract shapes, the response is that would be a cheap shot - "The challenge is in the execution." Fortunately he listened. Comments include - chic, I'm a sucker for bias cut, beautiful, very personal and authentic, I am crazy about the little row of buttons on the side, breathtaking, very feminine, pretty and elegant. 

Alexander decides to do a very fitted full length gown. Inspired by the trees and sky at midnight - dark blue into black. He was going to create bark with blue leather, but after Tim was hesitant, he put it at the bottom as roots. You can't see it here, but the fabric is hand painted with branches. Comments include - the fit on this dress is ridiculously good, leather on the bottom grounds it, I love the collar and the sleeves, you have the perfect little details at the sleeves and the neck, I am crazy about this dress, (Zac) it fits well and moves well but I disagree with the ladies - I'm not wow'd by it as the seam across the body is in a really hard place, perfect length, the black painting elevates it, something very dramatic, eerie and impeccably made.

Justin (Sent home and then saved by Tim)

Justin was inspired by the river and the way the water interacted with the rock. He decides to take a risk and create the interesting textural lace with hot glue. Tim is impressed with the lace and comments he is glad Justin is finally pushing himself out of the box. I'm not a huge fan of this look, but respect the inspiration and the difficulty of construction. Bottom 3 yes - sent home no. I was surprised, however, that Tim used his one time only save.  I love Justin, but so far he has not show anything of note on the runway. Comments include - I'm not a fan, it's borderline halloween costume, I admire experimentation but it looks like she's frothing from the hips, it looks like she has a foaming vagina, I think the execution was a little off the mark, it's awful, the play of transparency is fine and I do like the colour.  

Karen - Ken
Ken pulls inspiration from the waves and the water during the rapids, so decides to drape the fabric and allow it to speak to him. Tim seems confused when he looks at it, but doesn't have much to say. I don't feel this is great either, and added to his complaints at camping and disrespect for other designers, would have enjoyed seeing him leave. His ego is enormous. Comments include - boring, the bodice is very heavy - it's overpowering this dress, don't love the styling, frog queen, a squished frog and a lot of fabric on her chest. 

Karen's inspiration is the drape of the tent as well as lights hanging in the trees. She describes the look as vintage safari. Tim encourages her to do something with the beige textile as overall it is too simple, so she dips it in an ombre dye. I agree the design is overly simple, but it floated beautifully on the runway and the colour suited her inspiration in my mind. I also like hard and soft and usually the judges do too, but not this time. So not a top look, but better than Bradon's. Comments include - she looks trashy, a bed sheet put on with a belt, a big muumuu, looks like a beach dress but with a rodeo leather harness, 2 conflicting stories, a little bit of runny egg in the colour and a bit of her femininity was lost, 

Bradon - Miranda - Dom
Bradon was inspired by the glow of moss and decides to use a fabric technique he calls thread painting to make the yoke. Tim was surprised that it was thread painting, but noted it was very distracting - "It looks like a kid's drawing." Bradon totally loses focus this challenge and ends up making all but the yoke the morning of the runway show and it looked like it. Poor technique, the model looks very pregnant and just not well designed - just nothing interesting except the technique used to make the yoke. It was unfortunate as I do like his work, but this day I would have sent him home.

Miranda's inspiration is a tree trunk with origami leaves coming out the bottom. Nice fit, but all that detail on the bottom with the very plain top just didn't quite hit the mark for me. 

Dom is inspired by a waterfall. This is one talented designer. I get it. Easily could have been top 3 for me. Well made, simple and elegant - my only comment would be that the model struggled to walk. Just not quite enough room at the bottom for comfort.

Helen - Kate
Helen tells Tim she was inspired by a moth that was dying in the bathroom sink. His response, "This is going to be a work of art.  Go for it." The other designers are very behind this design. It didn't click with me for 2 reasons.  I loved the skirt itself - very intricate and difficult - but the bodice looks like a total afterthought. Distracting and unconnected. Also the colour is not great on this model. Perhaps if the bodice had been a shade darker and a simple accessory at the neck, it would have blended a bit better. Nina smirked as it came down the runway. Not sure why, but her smirks talk volumes. 

Kate's work is impeccable and the cut-out shiny bodice she created is interesting, but I am not a fan. First, the show never covers her inspiration from nature and/or Glamping. In looking at the dress I can't even guess at whether she had any or just made an outfit she likes. Second is the silhouette. I've never been a fan of a high waist with poofy short skirt. One designer noted the model looked like a pregnant fairy strapped into a shiny harness and I totally agree. Nina, however, smiled as it went down the runway so maybe it looked better in person.

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