Nick Verreos Blog

Your Fashion Passport Has Expired

By kim_messina 04/12/2013 04:04AM GMT

Europe. Haggling for prices. Lots of crying. Rapid sightseeing. Cramped economy class seats on a 10-hour trans-Atlantic flight. Sounds like the last trip I took with my family. But, nope, this was "Project Runway" Episode 12. Of course, there was also THE FASHION. Let's get started…

No Europe For You
"You’re ALL Going to EUROPE! Except You Michelle…You’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl." Yep, that's the gist of how Heidi, along with Tim, opened this week's episode as the designers were called to the runway room. At the end of last week, we were left with the dreaded "To Be Continued." No designer got the auf from Heidi but Michelle was told that this was her "do or die" moment and she would be given "one last chance." This "do or die" moment turned out to be more of a punishment and was just plain old mean. Seriously. Especially when they added the free trips to the cast-off "helpers."

Travel Dates
Layana, Daniel, Patricia and Stanley got the news that they would be traveling to a different European city and Michelle would not. Daniel cried (of course) hysterically and Michelle looked as if she wanted to slap someone (I would too!). Heidi then announces that the challenge for this very important week—that decides who gets to go to Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week—was to create a look inspired by an international fashion capital and in addition would have to be a "high end runway" creation. They all got a WHOPPING $1,000 for fabrics. Heidi also tells them that they are not going alone; they will be taking a sewing assistant (a cast-off designer). Layana is going to Barcelona with Samantha; Patricia goes to Paris with Kate; Daniel to Berlin with Amanda; Stanley heads off to London with Richard and punished Michelle gets to stay in NYC—with little Tu.

Side Bar
Besides the obvious thoughts running through my head about how we only got to travel to NEW JERSEY to a figure skating rink on my season of "Project Runway," I couldn’t help but think, "Why are they taking these sewing assistants with them? Are they sewing in Europe?" As soon as I used my loud voice asking this, I realized that A) it’s nice to have company, but more importantly B) the producers of the show need them to be interacting with someone…preferably someone who speaks English.

Gaudi vs. Graffiti
Moving on… The European kids go on their trips and are taking it all in: Stanley is inspired by the architecture of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben; Daniel is emotional and crying (of course!) after seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Wall; Layana is mesmerized by Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia; and Patricia is saying, "Oui!" to the incredible Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe as well as Parisian wall graffiti. And Michelle? Well, she gets to take a $49 double decker bus tour of New York City. Wow...they REALLY wanted to punish that poor girl! Soon, after all the designers grabbed some French wine, Tapas, Shepherd's Pie and Bratwurst, it’s time to take that transatlantic flight back home.

OMG! Europe was SO Much Fun!
The following day, Michelle is reunited with the Euro Jetsetters in the 1407 Broadway workroom. They all walk in laughing, and super excited to be discussing their FAB-u-LOUS European trips. Michelle, naturally, looks as if she wants to pummel someone with her tool box. Day 2 rolls around and they are all busy creating their designs as Tim walks in for his requisite check-in. He seems to be okay with everyone except for Patricia and Layana. Guess who coincidentally ends up on the bottom on Runway Day?

East Village Fashionista, Bond Girl and a Berlin Diva
Speaking of Runway Day, sitting in as the guest judge is the very dashing (That jacket on him was like BUTTER!), singer/songwriter John Legend. The designs come out. The great: "Do or Die" Michelle's high-low gray wool cashmere strapless dress with a hand-distressed "ombre"-like hem, paired with a quilted patent leather bib was very high-end runway. She completely redeems herself to the judges and breathes a huge sigh of relief. Stanley's monastic all black look composed of a halter gown with matching caplet was STUNNING. I loved the luxurious leather paillette lining and the styling, makeup and hair on the model were superb. She looked like a Bond Girl. Crying Daniel's look was a ten as well. He finally got it right, in terms of doing young, directional and modern. His model looked like Heidi's EVIL Berlin-born Twin! I was a bit scared when he was making those "boots," thinking it might go drag-a-licious, but nope, they were perfect for his Berlin Diva. All three designers got the "Yes!" to proceed to Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week.

Le Bottom
Patricia and Layana were on the bottom. Patricia's Paris graffiti-inspired top and black pants ensemble wasn't bad in my eyes. I get Patricia's aesthetic (and Heidi seems to be her biggest cheerleader!). Is Patricia two minutes away from looking like an arts and crafts disaster? Yes, but it is always so unusual and unique. She has an incredibly strong point of view and you always know that it is her design. Zac Posen said her look was "Trash Couture" and that it came off looking lumpy and dumpy and he was right. But in the end, Patricia was given the "oui" because she takes risks and doesn't go for the banal. And, because Heidi LOVES her.

La Pobre Señora
Layana made a black and white lace coat with a light pink ruffled blouse, all inspired by Barcelona's architecture and tiles. The coat looked mumsy and the protruding ruffled sleeves seemed very 90s Versace. I get the Spanish Flamenco reference but that has nothing to do with that region of the country, unfortunately. Standing next to Layana, the judges noted that her model looked like an older Spanish woman wearing a house coat (Ay Caramba!) and correctly told Layana that the outfit she was wearing looked more creative and younger. Layana's look wasn't "high-end" runway, unless it was Mature Señora Fashion Week. Adios to Layana. No Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week for her. (Well, actually, she did show as a "decoy" so don't feel too bad for her.) Next week....the infamous Tim home visits and the finale runway show...I can't wait!