Project Runway NZ Week 7 recap + exit interview with Camille Richard

Project Runway NZ Week 7

Host Georgia Fowler and mentor Andrea Mikellis meet the designers at Boxing Alley. Image by Tom Hollow.

We’re over halfway through Project Runway New Zealand already and the competition is really heating up as the eight remaining designers compete to win the season. The episode opens with Caitlin talking about how she is tired and upset that she was told that her last garment wasn’t good enough. She adds that she doesn’t want to go home and really wants to prove herself this week. Misty is missing Beth while Benjamin adds that Judy is very lucky to have immunity as her garment was the worst and she should have gone home. Judy says she’s going to forget it happened and move on.

The challenge

The designers arrive at Boxing Alley to find host Georgia Fowler doing boxing training with mentor Andreas Mikellis. They tell the designers that this next challenge is a quick-fire challenge with just one day to create their garments and $100 to spend at The Fabric Store to create a luxe sportsear look for Georgia herself. She adds that she’s passionate about exercise but if she doesn’t put her exercise gear on in the morning it’s not going to happen. Andreas adds the designers need to create an energetic look that works from the gym to the street.

Peni mentions he’s seriously freaking out about this challenge as last week the judges didn’t like his bodysuit but he wants to impress them. Caitlin says she likes pretty and girly but as Georgia isn’t like that she’s going to use fabric choice to make it work. Benjamin doesn’t design sportswear so is grateful he has immunity for this challenge. Kerry says he hates activewear and has never been to the gym and never will. Camille wants Georgia to step out of her comfort zone and embrace colour.

Andreas meets the designers at The Fabric Store and checks that they know exactly what they’re doing and what Georgia’s style is. Judy says she felt inspired watching Georgia boxing but she’s worried that she struggles to make one outfit over a couple of days so she’s not sure how she’s going to do it all in one day.

Project Runway NZ Week 7

The remaining eight designers learn about this week’s challenge.

Into the workroom

Benjamin is a bit worried that he is using too much pink while he’s wondering what Misty is going to do with her lip print. Mixty says she creates streetwear but not activewear but she thinks she can do it. Camille breaks out the pattern blocks instead of her usual 3D patternmaking and is excited about the challenge.

Peni is trying his best to make his garment fit as perfectly as possible and says that there’s going to be no ‘Teletubby’ stomach like last week. Caitlin mentions that she loved Benjamin straight away and that the main difference between them is that Benjamin is much more sure of himself as a designer. Jess says that she feels Caitlin’s designs are becoming too much like Benjamin’s.

Day two

Jess wonders if Georgia is actually going to wear Camille’s orange outfit. Andreas arrives and tells Misty that she needs to pare back her look as it’s not streamlined enough. Camille has a lot that she wants to do and Andreas tells her not to do too much and to figure out what she can get done within deadline.

Andreas isn’t sure that Caitlin’s fabric is going to work if she does too much and tells her to be brave. Judy keeps changing her mind about her designs but knows that this week she has to stay on track which Andreas reminds her is important. Kerry tells Andreas to pare back his outfit and Benjamin says that he doesn’t like what Kerry does and doesn’t think that he has taste. Benjamin says he’s dropping the pink from his look and Andreas agrees that just using the navy is better.

Model fittings

The models arrive and Benjamin’s model Gracie congratulates him on last week’s win. He says that she’s great and that it’s important that the model likes the design and doesn’t feel uncomfortable. Misty says her design is loud and unapologetic. Camille says she doesn’t want to simplify her design just so it all gets finished and Peni is pleased that his bodysuit fits like a glove this time.

Jess helps Camille with her machined and Kerry says that Cami has great ideas but doesn’t have the skills to pull them off. Kerry says that he is under control but there are a lot of people struggling with the short ten hour time frame. Benjamin says his look is good but it’s not finished well and that that may be the problem.

The models arrive for their final fittings and Caitlin is pleased with her innovative look. Misty says that she’s taken a risk with her look but is hoping the jacket pulls it all together. The designers take their models to hair and makeup to get them ready and styled for the runway.

Project Runway NZ Week 7

Georgia tries on Peni’s jacket during the judging.

Runway day

Georgia arrives and introduces judges Sally-Ann Mullin and Benny Castles as well as guest judge influencer Julia Matthews. Camille’s garment is first up and says she likes her look but isn’t 100% happy with it. Benjamin says his look is cool and he’s happy but that the construction is a bit off and it looks better from afar. Peni says he feels amazing watching his outfit walk down the runway and he thinks it’s the winning outfit. Caitlin says that what she’s designed is a new idea and a new fabric for her and that she wouldn’t change a thing.

Misty says she took a risk on her garment but that she loves it. Judy says her model looks cute in her outfit and she hopes that she has done enough to redeem herself. Kerry thinks his model looks strong and fierce and that he’s pleased with how many pieces he’s made. Jess loves her bright and poppy outfit on the runway.

Georgia says that the designers made the judges very happy today and tells Benjamin he has immunity as he won last week’s challenge. She says Judy and Jess can leave the runway as they’re safe. While Camille, Kerry, Benjamin, Peni, Caitlin and Misty make up the top and bottom three.

Judging time

Sally-Ann asks Cami if anything in her outfit is functional and hiking inspired and Benny thinks she needs to simplify. Benjamin says he wanted something chic but the neoprene had finishing issues in the short time frame which Sally-Ann notices. Julia says that Peni’s oufit is sexy and Georgia says that bodysuit fits well and Benny adds that he likes the shorts. Caitlin says that she was trying to channel Georgia and that the fabric is was key and Julia is enthusiastic about it. Misty says her outfit is inspired by a girl travelling from Japan and Benny isn’t sure that the lip print is very Georgia. Kerry says that he thought about Georgia having her own luxury activewear and Sally-Ann says it needs to be pared down and likes it better with the over pant removed.

The designers leave the runway and Andreas returns with the models so the judges can have a closer look at each design. Georgia says that Camille’s design feels unfinished and Sally-Ann adds that it’s a bit like a straight-jacket. They like Benjamin’s design but the execution isn’t perfect. Peni’s jacket gets their attention and Georgia tries it on. The judges are impressed by Caitlin’s design and Sally-Ann says she can’t fault it. Benny says he doesn’t like the lip print and Georgia agrees and isn’t pleased by the design. Georgia loves the personalisation of Kerry’s look and Sally-Ann mentions that the look would have been a winner without the over-pants.

The verdict

The designers return to the runway and Georgia tells Caitlin that she’s the winner as none of the judges could fault her design and she is thrilled to win. Peni is the runner-up and leaves the runway while Benjamin gets third place. Georgia tells Kerry that his outfit could have been edited but that he is safe which leaves Misty and Camille in the bottom two. Georgia tells Cami that she has great ideas but doesn’t execute them very well and she is out this week. Camille is grateful to have had the opportunity and that coming on the show was about pushing herself to see what she could create and she felt like it was her time to go as she was finding it hard to come up with new ideas.

Project Runway NZ Week 7

Designer Camille Richard was the seventh contestant eliminated on Project Runway New Zealand. Image by Tom Hollow.

We caught up with Camille to find out more about her experience on the show, what she would have done differently and what’s next for her.

How would you describe your Project Runway New Zealand experience in five words?
A surreal, life-changing, insane, creative bootcamp!

What challenge were you hoping to have competed in?
Unconventional challenge and Avant Garde; I got to do both so I’m very happy!

Is there anything you would do differently if you could do the show again?
Hmm hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it? To be honest, there isn’t really anything that I would have done differently! I designed everything on the day and really pushed myself and creativity every challenge. I sometimes think – maybe I could have designed/patterned everything before the show, then recreated it for the challenge as it would have saved me time, but then I wouldn’t have come up with anything near as fun as I did on the show. Pressure creates diamonds right? But who knows!

What was it like walking in and meeting everyone for the first time?
So exciting! I remember taking a look at everyone and thinking we looked so much like a cast. I was so excited to make friends with everyone and learn. Everyone was super lovely from the get go.

Which other designer/s did you bond with on the show?
I bonded with everyone in one way or another to be honest! Matt and I would chat about #vibes, Caitlin and I would say our positive affirmations to the universe every morning and Benjamin and I recently caught up in Paris a few months ago. I still keep in contact with most of the designers from the show online, which is really lovely. I wish them all the best and am excited to see where they will all go!

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
There’s so many! Getting to do what I love everyday and being around creative people just made my heart sing. I’m so incredibly grateful for getting critiqued and having my work shown to the New Zealand public. Also, when we would stop filming for the day and all hangout in the apartments joking around and eating Burgerfuel. I miss that! Benjamin’s famous salmon fettuccine, watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race with Jess; Beau’s wisdom; Caitlin and I dancing and singing as part of our morning routine; or watching Benny have his six eggs for breakfast everyday. I miss y’all!

What is your advice for anyone who wants to be on Project Runway New Zealand in future?
Remember it’s a TV show first and a fashion competition second! Also, we truly only got 1 ½ days all up – learn to manage your time well. Don’t get caught up in the drams/comments from the public/media. Don’t play it safe. Use this incredible once in a lifetime opportunity to grow as a designer and learn as much as you can!

What’s next for you?
After filming wrapped up, I had one month to pack up my entire life before I went travelling through Europe for three months. I then moved to London straight after and have been here for two months already! Since then, I interned for Roberta Einer for the lead up to her London Fashion Week debut. I have super exciting things coming up, so keep in touch at and instagram @camillerichard_. Don’t be afraid to reach out, I reply to every single person and love having a chat and meeting new people! Come say hi if you’re ever in London, or when I’m back in NZ!

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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