Challenge Day on week 4 of Project Runway NZ. Image by Tom Hollow.
It’s week 4 of Project Runway New Zealand and the episode begins with Beau Takapu reflecting on his experience last week, in which he was paired with Matt Costello who was the eliminated designer sent home. Peni also reflects that being in the bottom group wasn’t fun and on what it was like to grow up as a young gay Tongan and how his culture influences his designs.
Next it’s off to the runway where host Georgia Fowler greets the remaining 11 designers and congratulates them on the previous challenge. Kerry won last week’s challenge and has immunity this week which makes him excited to push his own boundaries this week. Georgia sends the designers to meet mentor Andreas Mikellis and warns them that they won’t want to have a sensitive nose for the next location.
Andreas welcomes the designers (dressed in not quite so stylish high-vis vests) to a recycling centre and reminds them about the huge environmental impact of the fashion industry. Benjamin mentions that sustainability is a core part of his work. Andreas tells the designers that New World will be single use plastic-bag free by the end of 2018 and their challenge will be to create a new custom print for New World’s sustainable bags and the winning design will be available in stores nationwide.
Misty does a lot of screen-printing with her children with her work and is immediately excited about the challenge. She is inspired by the sky and the earth and wants to teach the up coming generations about the world and teach them about sustainability.While Beth comments that she’s not the strongest drawer and is nervous about the brief. Massey is struggling to get anything on paper and is feeling stressed about the challenge already but is eventually inspired by pop-art and gets his design underway.
Andreas arrives at the workroom and lets the designers know that they will also be creating a red carpet design inspired by the key design aspect from their bag. The red carpet is all about standing out, being stylish and contemporary according to Andreas, he also mentions the designs need to take sustainability into account as well.
The designers are given just 15 minutes to sketch their red carpet outfit with Beau and Jess excited for the challenge and Massey continuing to stress. Beau mentions how red carpet is his forte and describes a previous detailed design he created that he was proud of. The designers then race to The Fabric Store to choose the fabric for their red carpet outfit with 30 minutes to shop and $250 to spend. Judy hasn’t quite decided on her design but is hunting for the right fabric and as gowns are her business she’s worried about making something that impresses the judges enough.
Host Georgia Fowler checks out the designs on the runway.
Back at the workroom, Caitlin notes that Kerry is super experienced and that it’s intimidating to be competing with him. Kerry remarks that he thinks Caitlin has tunnel vision and her gown design is ‘ho-hum’. Beau amusingly describes his intricate design as ‘Snickers with diamonds’ much to Jess’ delight and giggles.
The designers get stuck in to creating their designs with Peni noting he’s channeling Cardi B and gives Beth tips on cutting lapels. Camille is going for a zero-waste cutting technique which she hasn’t done before but is excited to try. Judy is making detailed flowers for her dress, although she hasn’t exactly decided what that design is yet and Kerry wonders if Judy will get her red dress finished on time.
Day two of the challenge rolls around quickly and Jess metions that Massey is really struggling and isn’t sure of his concept. Peni is doing intricate cutting inspired by his Tongan culture, while Judy explains her design to Andreas and wonders if she is pushing herself enough or just making something that she usually does. Benjamin explains his feminine design to Andreas who is impressed but concerned that Benjamin may not have enough time for all the detail.
Beau shows Andreas where his design is at and his choice of cream has Andreas mentioning that Beau’s design could potentially ending up looking like a wedding dress. Massey is struggling to create a sexy, feminine design and wonders how to make something sexy. Camille is a bit nervous to start cutting her dress in case she makes a mistake while Judy’s dress get’s Misty’s attention and she offers her advice.
The designers busily assemble their dresses and Jess notes that Massey doesn’t yet have the construction skills for this challenge. The models arrive and Misty’s model is smaller than her measurements which means Misty has to considerably alter her design. Beau isn’t happy with the hem on his garment and is changing his design half-way through the challenge. Misty is worried that the black strips of leather through her dress are making it look like a bumblebee and she’s not liking it. Massey is worried that his dress is not red carpet enough.
The day of the runway arrives and Camille mentions that she’s feeling nervous that her garment is only half finished. Andreas arrives and tells the designers they’ve got two hours to get their models fitted, styled and to the runway. Peni is wondering how he’s going to get his model into his intricate top and rushes to add a zip. Benjamin isn’t impressed that Massey is drawing on his fabric with vivid and doesn’t think it’s red carpet worthy. While Kerry comments that Benjamin’s ‘Chanel-esque’ design would be better turned around.
Guest judge Ashleigh Good, judges Benny Castles and Sally-Ann Mullin and host Georgia Fowler.
Misty mentions that no-one is doing anything like her and that she wants to win this challenge before the designers head to the runway to meet Georgia and the judges. Georgia asks Peni what it was like to be in the bottom last week and he mentions that it sucked but motivated him to try harder.
Judges Sally-Ann Mullin and Benny Castles are joined by Kiwi model turned international model Ashleigh Good as a guest judge. The runway begins and Jess, Benjamin and Kerry enthuse about their designs on the runway. Camille is pleased with hers but isn’t so happy with the finishing. Judy’s gown is beautiful and she’s happy, while Massey is nervous and realises his creation probably didn’t nail the brief. Caitlin loves her red ruffled dress and Beth is pleased with her rip-away turquoise dress too. Peni is thrilled with his design while Beau isn’t so happy with his presentation. Misty isn’t happy with how her look came together either and remarks that her design looks like a ‘runover banana’.
Georgia announces that Jess, Kerry, Cami, Caitlin, Beth are all safe and can leave the runway. While Benjamin, Peni, Judy, Misty, Beau and Massey remain on the runway as the top and bottom designers to discuss their design choices with the judges. Georgia remarks that she loves Benjamin’s design and how it reminds her of Chanel. Judy explains that she cut her dress to minimise waste and that she pushed herself to create something different than she usually does.
Sally-Ann says that it looks like Massey was working to a different brief to the others and that his outfit is corporate, Benny agrees that it was a missed opportunity. Peni explains that his outfit is a statement piece and meant for Cardi B to wear to the Grammys and the judges are impressed with his choices but not quite so much the skirt. Beau’s bag design is floral like his dress and Sally-Ann comments that the dress had impact but looked uncomfortable. Misty explains that she was referencing the sky and the earth with her design and Ashleigh comments that she loves the bag design.
The judges have the opportunity to inspect the garments closer with them agreeing that Benjamin’s design was gorgeous but weren’t sure about the fabric choice. They comment that Judy’s design was elegant and timeless. Benny remarks that Massey’s design was way off the brief and that Peni’s design is clever but the skirt didn’t quite work. Georgia comments that she has a problem with the colour of Beau’s design and the judges agree it’s a bit too bridal. Ashleigh says that she loves the concept of the dress and Benny adds that it’s not a red carpet design.
The designers return to the runway and Judy is announced as the winner of the challenge. Benjamin, Peni and Misty are told they are safe and could leave the runway with Beau and Massey in the bottom two. Beau is safe but Georgia remarks that Massey missed the brief and he is the eliminated designer.
“I’ve loved the experience, it’s like fashion bootcamp” adds Massey. “And I love bootcamp and I love fashion, so it’s been great.”
Designer Massey Williams was the fourth contestant eliminated on Project Runway New Zealand. Image by Tom Hollow.
We caught up with Massey to find out more about his experience on the show, what he would have done differently and what’s next for him.
How would you describe your Project Runway New Zealand experience in five words?
The best design experience ever!
What challenge were you hoping to have competed in?
I was really hoping that I would be able to make it through to the Avante Garde; that would have been really cool as I have such a masculine design aesthetic. It would have been interesting to see how I would have been able to interpret that.
Is there anything you would do differently if you could do the show again?
Yes – I would have made sure I wasn’t sent home this time round, ha!
Oh also, just really pushing oneself. There’s a fine line between succeeding and failing and I think had I not been afraid to be more bold in that challenge, I may have been safe.
What was it like walking in and meeting everyone for the first time?
Extremely nerve-racking! Not just because I’m meeting the designers but because it was on TV; I really hate being on camera!
Which other designer/s did you bond with on the show?
I got along really well with most of the designers, but especially Matt; we both have similar interests in fighting and our design aesthetic could be considered quite similar.
What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
There was no one moment for me, the whole experience is something that not many people get the chance to be a part of. Meeting the designers; meeting the crew who filmed it; the connections! It was all priceless.
What is your advice for anyone who wants to be on Project Runway New Zealand in future?
Go for it! But make sure you do your homework, and learn, learn and learn!
What’s next for you?
I have various projects in the pipeline. I’m currently working on releasing my first line, but I’m also dabbling in film projects, music and styling.
Pretty much, it is all go — some would say, it’s all part of helping develop and enhancing ‘disciple of discipline’.
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.