In Knots

What do you mean the designers are real people?

I'm still in knots.

My stomach I mean ... from this week's episode, and it feels great! Wait -- these designers laugh? Wha ... they actually goof around and have fun!?! STOP IT -- THEY CRY!?! Oh, well we knew that one already, but still, we finally got to see the designers interacting with one another, and more importantly, having fun. Granted, it always helps when you pull out embarrassing old photos from past proms: Kit as a conformed brunette, Kevin all jersey'd up, and Christian sporting the most fabulous fierce sparkle unicorn princess vest I've ever seen!

Except for maybe this one:

sparkle_vest_320x240.jpg

 ... maybe next episode.

Well, in case you can't tell, I'm happy to finally see these peeps have a little fun. Yes I know it's a lot of pressure and they're probably aware being that it's the fourth season, that fingers across the world are furiously typing/recapping/critiquing and criticizing every inch of every stitch that they send down the runway, but they must never forget to HAVE FUN!

OK -- enough of this nonsense, let's get into the designs shall we. raterunway_07_220x415.jpg

Victorious Victorya
I applaud the bold color choice, as well as the length, as I feel young girls nowadays are opting for shorter, more modern looking party dresses than the traditional floor length gowns of old. Though it looks like it could use a little magic steam for wrinkles (those young girls LOVE to pose with their hands on their hips don't they) I think it has great movement and a whimsy about it that is perfect for the occasion! I also thought she did a nice job giving a 17 year old what she wanted, while still keeping it modern, because it's a slippery slope when adding rainbow colored crystals to a neckline, but the balance is just right. Oh, and the shoes are perfection. raterunway_02_220x415.jpg

Chris
A risky choice of color as it can make most skin tones appear yellow and sickly, but not with this cutie -- it complements her beautifully! Though the silhouette is more of a stereotypical evening gown, it still feels appropriate for the occasion with enough cover-up and movement to allow for some wild dancing. The texture on the bust also visually balances the sleekness of the rest of the dress, giving her a little more fullness where necessary. However, exactly like the first purple gown he sent down the runway, I don't understand making it ankle length? I feel she really could look long and lean by simply adding three more inches to the hem. raterunway_09_220x415.jpg

Kevin
All of the elements were there to make a "cute, flirty dress," but unfortunately when combined together it simply didn't work. I think the main problem in the design was trying to make a halter top for this specific girl who already has ample cleavage and doesn't need to accent it even more -- it makes them look like funbags. I would've opened up the neckline and brought it to her shoulders, which would've visually balanced her out a bit more instead making her look so va va voom cocktail waitress in Vegas circa 1989. Oh, and the lack of hemming of the hem didn't bother me so much (in a photo at least) but the unevenness practically sent me over the edge. Having a hem that wobbles up and down and up and down just makes the garment look poorly constructed.However, I wish good luck to you Kevin on your next endeavor. You do some great casual wear pieces and I hope to hear from you soon! raterunway_03_220x415.jpg

Jillian
I think there are some very nice elements to this dress: the torso design and the color story, but I just hate the hem. For a girl that is so tall and lean, it makes her appear short and wide, and though her color choices and piecing on the bust look fantastic, I feel overall it comes off a bit nightgown-y. Nevertheless the movement is nice and should keep her dancing all night!

Christian
This design was actually my favorite out of all of them, though the execution is what sent it crashing to its death. The color is phenomenal, as is the overall design concept: the lace work, the pleating, and the fullness. It kept reminding me of a dress and I couldn't remember it until a few hours later, but I see elements of the McQueen dress SJP wore to the MET a few years back, that I believe Christian worked on:

SJP_320x240.jpg

The layering of the exposed tulle, the asymmetry of the shoulders, the overlaying of the black lace. I so wanted him to pull this one out because I think it could've been a "wow" moment, but alas, the stars were not aligned, and we were left with an opinionated client in a heavy-handed dress. raterunway_01_220x415.jpg

Kit
This one I don't exactly get ... mainly the suspender-esqe straps w/buttons. That color blue is gorgeous, and though it's not my personal style, I think the color blocking on the bust is at least interesting and unexpected. I think my first reaction is (having been in this situation) that the client said "Oh, I forgot to tell you, but I need to wear a bra with this dress" so you unfortunately have to put a piece of fabric to hide the straps ... but she's 17, and young, and cute, and as far as I can tell she doesn't need her boobs to be strapped up in a harness for support -- a strapless bra would've worked just fine. raterunway_08_220x415.jpg

Ricky
Overall, I like this, but as The Kors said, the whole thing could've been turned up. The proportions are fantastic on her (as is her hair -- way to go Tresemme!), the fit is nice, and the texture gives it a little interest. I really have nothing else to say that wasn't already said on the runway ... turn it up. raterunway_04_220x415.jpg

Rami
This was one of the first real misses for me with Rami. With bringing such a youthful edge to the last candy challenge, I wish he would've done the same here. His client is adorable, but I again, agree with what was said on the runway -- it's not a bad design, but it was for this challenge. I do, however, applaud him for trying to get away from stereotypical prom looks, but unfortunately he didn't end up in the right place. raterunway_05_220x415.jpg

Sweet P
My favorite part of this dress is the color -- it is so chic, so sophisticated and so clean -- I love it. This design is obviously on the other side of the spectrum of Victorya's, but she completed the traditional look very well: it was sexy where V's was flirty; it was classic while V's was modern,;shiny vs. matte; long vs. short, etc, etc, etc .... It really came down to appropriateness. Great job, though, and congrats to finally making it to the top tier. Keep it up!

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!