Project Runway NZ Week 10 recap + exit interview with Peni Moala

Project Runway NZ Week 10

There’s just five designers remaining on week 10 of Project Runway New Zealand. Image by Tom Hollow.

It’s week 10 of Project Runway New Zealand with just five designers remaining and the episode opens with Judy and Kerry mentioning that they didn’t see why Jess and Benjamin are doing well as they see their designs as having been done before. Benjamin isn’t impressed that his friend Caitlin is gone and Jess tells Benjamin that she thought that Benjamin was helping Caitlin too much and that Jess felt excluded from their friendship. Benjamin says the other’s criticisms of his friendship with Caitlin is “petty bullshit”.

The challenge

The designers head to a heliport where mentor Andreas Mikellis greets them and host Georgia Fowler arrives by helicopter looking slick in a red suit. She tells them that suits are unapologetically fierce and one of her favourite things to wear. Andreas tells them that tailoring is about structure and Georgia adds that this week they will be making a classic, sophisticated suit. The designers have $400 to spend at The Fabric Store and two and a half days to make their designs.

Peni is excited about the challenge as is Kerry who is a full-time patternmaker with lots of tailoring experience but Judy is stressing as she doesn’t have tailoring training. Benjamin notes that some other designers have more tailoring experience but that they don’t have taste. Jess admits that she’s a little bit daunted by the challenge but is sure she will be ok. Benjamin says that he’s nervous about the challenge as anything at this stage can send you home but that if he pulls his look off it will be “hot shit”.

Into the workroom

Jess starts helping the other designers with their designs and Kerry says that she should be focusing on her own work as they have a lot to do. Peni isn’t sure where to start and decides that he doesn’t like his fabric colour while Benjamin adds that he thought Peni should have gone home last week instead of Caitlin as his dress was a mess. Peni laments that he hasn’t won a challenge yet and that he could go home this week.

Judy is confused as she doesn’t have a final design yet but can’t settle on a plan, she has lots of ideas but isn’t sure how to put it together. Jess chose Benjamin’s favoured model Gracie this week and she teases Benjamin about it. Both Peni and Benjamin mention that the last person who borrowed Gracie went home.

Project Runway NZ Week 10

Host Georgia Fowler arrives by helicopter to greet Andreas and the designers.

Andreas arrives and reminds the designers to make the most of the Hawes & Freer buttons and trims on offer. Georgia surprises the designers and appears in the workroom to see what they’re working on. Peni explains his multicoloured design which Georgia isn’t sure about and Andreas reminds him to make it cohesive. Benjamin explains his masculine style look that both Georgia and Andreas are impressed by. Jess shows them her off the shoulder jacket which Georgia likes but Andreas questions her as to how it’s going to stay up?

Judy shows them her asymmetric leather design which neither Georgia or Andreas are too sure about. Kerry explains that he’s gone for a cape suit and Andreas says he needs to think about the leg shape and Georgia adds that the shape is important.

The models arrive and begin their first fittings with Benjamin still annoyed that Gracie was “poached” from him. Peni isn’t sure whether to go with black or white but is happy with how his design is coming together. The models complete their fittings and Kerry gets back into his tailoring adding that it needs to be done properly with enough time to do it all. Judy is struggling trying to match her two very different fabrics one of which is stiff leather and asks Kerry’s advice on which machine to use as you only get one chance with leather.

Runway day

Judy tries on Jess’ design and bounces around in it to the other designer’s amusement. Benjamin mentions he doesn’t like it and Jess is now feeling insecure about her design. Kerry tells her not to overthink it and to keep going. Judy has managed to fuse her fabrics together but isn’t too sure if it’s going to fit her model. Benjamin thinks he has done another winning look and has a feeling it might be his favourite yet. He remarks that he’s been in the top three every week and wants to win this week.

The models arrive and Benjamin fits his design on Gracie even though they’re not working together this week. Kerry says he’s really happy with his design but hopes the judges won’t eat him alive and criticise him. They take the models to hair and makeup to sort out their looks for the runway and Jess is feeling upset that she doesn’t think her design is strong.

Project Runway NZ Week 10

Guest judge Paris Mitchell Temple, judges Benny Castles and Sally-Ann Mullin and host Georgia Fowler.

Georgia greets the designers at the runway and asks Judy how she’s feeling about tailoring and Judy admits that she’s nervous. Georgia then introduces the judges Sally-Ann Mullin and Benny Castles as well as guest judge, stylist and designer Paris Mitchell Temple.

Judy’s outfit is first up and she is pleased with how it all came together but thinks the tailoring could have been better. Benjamin’s look is next and he thinks his model looks unbelievable and is his favourite look he’s done so far. Jess loves how her pants look on the runway and thinks her look is cool and quirky. Peni is happy that his outfit is done but doesn’t like the last minute little piece that holds the jacket closed. Kerry loves how his model glides down the runway and says that he’s blown himself away this week.

The judging

Georgia says that it’s challenging for the judges this week and that each look is really different. The models return to the runway and Judy tells that she wanted to do something structural but asymmetrical and Georgia comments that she’s done a good job with the leather and Benny adds that it’s “Kermit de Fashion”. Benjamin tells them he wanted to do something chic and sexy but masculine and Georgia says that she would wear it and Sally-Ann says that she thinks a lot of women would want to wear it.

Jess says she wanted to do something fun and play with proportion and volume. Georgia says she likes the colour and that it’s brave and Paris says that it’s a bold colour choice but that it’s worked well. Peni says that his jacket was deconstructed and Georgia says she loves the pants and the idea of it but that the fabric choice let it down. Benny thinks that the design is stuck in the 80’s. Kerry says that he wanted to pair feminine and masculine and make something confident. Sally-Ann says that he certainly knows how to tailor and that she is impressed with Benny adding that he is blown away.

The designers and models leave the runway and Andreas returns with the models so the judges can have a closer look at each design. Benny says that he loves that Judy challenged herself this week and Georgia adds that she thinks the whole jacket should have been in leather. Sally-Ann says that she loves Benjamin’s design and Georgia adds that he hasn’t pushed himself. Benny is impressed by the play on proportions of Jess’ design and that he thinks she is pushing herself. Georgia says that she loves the 80s but Peni’s design isn’t luxe and the execution and fabric choice make it fall flat. Benny says that so much of Kerry’s outfit is right and that the editing is perfect, Paris thinks that it’s super hero-ish and he’s pulled it off.

The verdict

Georgia tells the designers that Kerry’s design was impeccable and that he’s won this week’s challenge and he is really excited with his win. Jess is the runner-up with a silhouette that Georgia says was exciting. Benjamin is next off the runway and is safe which leaves Peni and Judy in the bottom two. Georgia adds that Judy’s tailoring wasn’t flattering and that the base fabric let her down but that she is safe and it’s Peni who is eliminated this week. Peni says that he is super proud of himself and that it’s been an amazing experience.

Project Runway NZ Week 10

Peni Moala is the tenth designer to be eliminated from Project Runway New Zealand.

How would you describe your Project Runway New Zealand experience in five words?
I think this experience can not be explained in five words. Making it into the top 5 has been a rollercoaster ride. So many highs & lows and emotions!

If I had to describe it in 5 words it would be ‘crazy, courageous, intense, emotional, passionate’

What challenge were you hoping to have competed in?
I was hoping I competed in the final 3 challenge, but top 5, I’m proud to have gotten this far!

Is there anything you would do differently if you could do the show again?

What was it like walking in and meeting everyone for the first time?
Meeting every one for the first time is nerve-racking.

Which other designer/s did you bond with on the show?
The designers I bonded with the most was Misty (booboo) and Beau. They both made this experience fun and enjoyable; I connected with them through our heritage and our culture.

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
My favourite moment of the show was watching Georgia try on my jacket. That’s a designers dream; to have someone as big as her or even bigger wear your brand.

What is your advice for anyone who wants to be on Project Runway New Zealand in future?
Use every opportunity that is given to you and go in there and win!!!

What’s next for you?
I have my BENi summer print line for both men and women available on my website now; and I am currently working on the first BENi winter high-end street wear and sport-street collection coming next year 2019.

I have been offered to submit collection to showcase in London fashion week!

Tune in to Project Runway New Zealand next Monday, 7.30pm on TVNZ 2 to find out who will win the challenge and who will walk. We can’t wait! If you missed an episode you can always catch up on TVNZ On Demand here.

See every look from the runway this week below.

Images by Tom Hollow.

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