The designers are told there will be snow on the runway. Fake snow of course. They are given money to make a winter look. Brandon, being from Utah is excited. Margarita, being from Puerto Rico, feels her winter look of a dress and a bikini may not fly. Margarita is, for much of this episode, very concerned that she has the Tim Gunn save but that the judges and maybe others don't believe in her. So, getting to Mood and having picked out a fur, only to discover that the show is fur free, doesn't help her confidence. Tim asks the other designers if they mind if Margarita can have five more minutes to replace the fur she didn't buy. They all agree. Margarita continues to struggle, and feels even her model doesn't like her outfit. The model mirror reveals that she may not entirely be projecting as Liris kindly says, it's a great idea that will depend on execution since wrap coats can make people look bulkier. Kentaro is paired with Meisha again, the model who speaks Japanese. Kenya has Jazzmine who is curvy, so Kenya is in her element. Tim is doing the typically pushing each designer down their own lane. He tells Kenya this is her time to win. And brings up the bridesmaid cliche that I hate and have already written a blog post about so we will move on.
Once again, on the runway, there is nothing the judges hate, just degrees of concern on a few. I'm going to confess, I understand it's "Project Runway" not Project Keep the Models Warm, and this was likely filmed in August, no matter how much AC is on in the studio, but as a person who fears being cold, I at least wanted more mention of exposed midriffs and such.
Ayana has a color blocked coat, a diagonal pink mixed with black, over a herringbone patterned romper. The long sleeved, long panted romper is not universally loved by the judges, but they all agree it's not boring, and they love the coat a lot.
Brandon has layered a waxed cotton green jacket over fleecy looking white. There's an exposed midriff when the coat is open, but also a hand warmer packet attached to the pants. It's very Brandon and very well received, although they note his poor model is wearing open toed heels. (Poor, if we pretend it's really winter.)
Kentaro has also gone with white, a white fleecy looking coat, with matching shorts, and grey layered leggings that almost make the model look like she's wearing boots. The judges love the outfit including the shorts, so who know, maybe Margarita could have made a bikini. And look folks, if you wear shorts in winter, I'm not trying to shame you. I have friends who dislike long pants. You do you. I will be wearing two sets of leggings underneath my long pants.
Kenya has picked a large plaid and made a great coat, pairing it with a patterned top and amazingly tailored pants. The judges like each piece but feel the coat reads more casual, and the outfit reads more sleek. (Technically the terms they used were the coat is more downtown and the outfit is uptown and but I am really over these terms.) They are just concerned.
Margarita, after Tim pointed out her original dress was just meh, went all in with a faux fur dress and a wrap coat. The dress has a tall neck, so that the faux fur peeks out over the top of the coat, but still creates drama when you realize the whole dress is fur. Nina feels it was a great surprise and made her curious to see more from Margarita, although once they see the back of the dress, there are some clear time issues. I want to note, that it is such a shift in "Project Runway" over the years, how little we accept the time issue, especially this late in the season. Certainly there are things that happen, but there are many times that designers, even now were sending barely pinned outfits down the runway and we were like, well it was a short challenge. And yes, I remember that OG Kara Saun was always done and always had several pieces, but it just wasn't true of so many.
They are asked to explain why they should go and who they would take with them. And it's time for my reminder that the judges have literally never used this second part as part of their consideration. It's just there to create drama. They have sent home designers other designers liked, and kept designers no one else picked. All of this is to say, no one picks Margarita. A lot of people pick Brandon. The judges deliberate. Kentaro is in. Brandon is in. Ayana is in. Margarita is in. Kenya is in. So, no eliminations. As last in the room, Kenya gets all the way to her seat before she lets the others know she's in. They are all happy for her. I'm happy too. I know that technically fashion week has happened, so all of these folks were at least going to present a decoy. But I'm happy we'll get to see them at least try. Because you know there's a twist. I knew that before they showed the preview from next week.