Getting Lucky

Cheering on my top pick of the final four designers.

I was so jealous of this challenge today! It was my dream challenge. Honestly, the only way you can really see a designer's potential is to give them a challenge where they have the freedom to create what they wish (i.e. a garment inspired by a painting vs. make something out of trash). I find the most successful outcomes with challenges are the ones that have this freedom, they are always the most interesting and daring.


After seeing Christian's collection at Bryant Park last week I knew he must have beenone of the real finalists. I have full faith in Christian as a designer and know he will do very well. We need a little more Britania in America anyway, so we shall welcome him with open arms. His look today was exceptional compared to those who designed just one piece. raterunway_01_411_220x415.jpg

He was completely ripped off by Chris and I thought the judges would lambaste Chris for that, but instead they gave him a second chance (once again) for an in to Bryant Park ...? I saw his collection last week and it reeked of a vaudevillian flophouse compared to Christian, Jillian, and Rami's collections, which were enlightened, modern, and daring. But more importantly, the blouse and separates Christian designed today show such a strong sense of conviction; his handle on volume and sculpting the fabric is, quite frankly, fierce. raterunway_05_411_220x415.jpg

Jillian's gold dress was lovely and she has such a knack for nailing the perfect Balenciaga-esque tailored coat. I can easily envision her line in the future as one which celebrates strong lines, masculine/feminine tweaks, and impeccably tailored avant-gardian outerwear. Her Bryant Park collection was stunning -- full of intricately designed knitwear and slouchy yet structured looks.

Poor Sweet P, I shed a tear for her today. It must have taken quite a toll on her senses to come to the realization that she was the only one truly eliminated today. Between me and you, I would so much rather see her show in the tents than certain others. She creates adorable, wearable frocks that rock, and I know she'll find this experience invaluable. She will shine on! raterunway_03_411_220x415.jpg

Rami, Rami, Rami was lucky, lucky, lucky today. His Web site shows that not only is he already an established designer, but can make really lovely wearable dresses. Give the prize to someone who has less celebrities already wearing his clothes.

The Final Showdown

Bryant Park was a frantic frenzy backstage but most kept cool.

After weeks of vigorous drawing, designing and sewing, the final three designers arrived at the last challenge. The pressure was on for Leanne, Korto, and Kenley as they geared up to show their collections at Bryant Park for New York Fashion Week!

As the TRESemmé Styling Team entered the fashion tents, we were filled with excitement and anticipation to see what the designers put together. Since each contestant had 10 models each, backstage was buzzing! Kenley was frantic because some of her models were missing and didn't even show up until the last minute. Leanne was the complete opposite - she stayed calm and collected and even had all her models ready to go way before runway time. Korto looked nervous but was ecstatic to be at Bryant Park. She told us it was something she had been dreaming about her whole life. After we gathered the 30 models, we split them up by designer so that the TRESemmé Styling Team could start transforming the girls. Korto's collection reflected her African heritage and culture. To complement the loud prints and bold colors, we decided to give Korto's models an up-do to accentuate the embellished detailing on the neckline of the garments. First, I started by taking a zig-zag section from ear to ear across the crown. I worked in TRESemme Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Crème to help create a sleek base. Then, we tied two separate ponytails to the right side of the head within the top and bottom sections. To add volume to the ponytail, we created waves using a 1″ curling iron, and then teased the hair. After, we lightly brushed the surface for a smooth exterior and neatly twisted and pinned the hair into a doughnut-shaped bun.

For Leanne's collection, she found inspiration by the lake near her home in Portland, Oregon. Each piece in her line had some sort of ripple or wave effect to it in different shades of blue and cream. We wanted to create a hairstyle that had a similar wave-like effect. Leanne envisioned the hair to look natural, organic and earthy. I began by generously spraying TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer throughout the models' hair. After blow-drying, I gave her models a deep left side part and tied back the front pieces of their hair into a ponytail. I pulled the remaining hair and the ponytail into one low pony and curled it to create soft waves.Kenley designed an assortment of colorful knee-length dresses that she hand painted herself! She wanted the hair to be classic and sophisticated, so we decided to give her models Marcel waves. To get this look, I created a low left side part from above the eye to the crown, then sectioned the hair from the crown to behind the right ear and clipped it aside. Next, I put the remaining hair into a side bun to the right side of the head. After, we released the top section of the hair from the clip and misted the hair with TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer before blow-drying for a smooth finish. Then, we finished by applying TRESemme Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray to the front pieces and used a 1" curling iron to create face framing Marcel waves. Finally, we loosely pinned the remaining length of the hair into a bun.

Even though all the collections looked amazing on the runway, there can only be one winner of Project Runway. Tim Gunn, who surprised everyone as the guest judge, thought Leanne's line was uniquely structured and versatile. Heidi said her cohesive collection floated down the runway. The judges all agreed her designs were flawless and Leanne was crowned winner!

It has been such a memorable experience seeing Leanne grow into the designer she is today, and I'm sure we can expect many more beautiful collections from her. I can't wait to see what type of ripple effect this designer will make in the fashion industry!