Fashion Tribe: Suiting up on ‘Runway’

Aug. 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Lifetime photosCaption goes here. And here and here and here.

Lifetime photos

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora’s dress was deemed “fierce” by “Project Runway” judges.


Episode 4: A Suitable Twist

The designers start their day at Red Robin, where, after a pep talk on transformations, they are greeted by a line of waiters bearing sustenance while dressed in drab to downright ugly suits. A plaid suit is the one fashion statement.

Naturally, the designers focus should be on the suits, which become the fabric source and inspiration for their challenge, to create a stylish women’s ensemble.

As the winner of last week’s competition, Sandhya Garg gets to choose her suit first. Usually, the first one to make a selection would choose the next designer, and on and on down the line until the last suit is claimed. The twist this time is that Sandhya will choose the suits for each designer and Hernan Lander is panicked because they don’t get along. Naturally, he hates the polyester suit selected for him, foreshadowing the outcome.

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora is assigned one of the better suits, a pinstripe number that could make a nice graphic element and bold statement when transformed. He creates a warrior woman dress with bold sleeve and cutout details. During his critique session, mentor Tim Gunn tells Kini that he should call him Speedy because of his quick work, and Kini jokes that what he’s showing is his 7th creation.

All the designers are now taking note of Kini’s technical expertise and speed. While they are still stressing, he is relaxing in the lounge with nothing to do with two hours to spare.

His speed is even better appreciated when taking in his final work, that fits his model like a glove, with matching stripes throughout. Anyone who sews knows this is a bit of a puzzle, cutting the fabric in a way that allows the stripes to line up. It’s even more impressive when considering that, because the fabric came from a suit, there was only a limited quantity and not much room for error.

Even so, judges were torn between his structured look and Amanda’s boho maxi. In the end, repeat contestant Amanda Valentine was deemed the winner, and even though a lot of work may have gone into the fringe she created, this is something she put out just two episodes ago, whereas I have never known Kini to repeat himself. This could be a blessing and a curse as the day may come when the judges warn, “I don’t know who you are as a designer.”

Fans of the show seem to agree that Kini should have been the victor this week. In the “Rate the Runway” portion of the show’s website, Amanda’s look won a low 2.7 rating vs. Kini’s, at 4.32.

I also liked Fäde Zu Grau’s creation, though it seemed to have a fit issue in the mid-section that showed when the model walked, and even though I’ve been ragging on Sandhya Garg each week, I liked her ensemble for its color, playfulness and humor, created from the boldest suit she had selected for herself, in yellow and purple.

After what seemed like a lengthy debate, judges picked Amanda Valentine's boho maxi for the win.

After what seemed like a lengthy debate, judges picked Amanda Valentine’s boho maxi for the win.

Hernan Lander was sent home for this atrocity.

Hernan Lander was sent home for this atrocity.

Fäde Zu Grau came up with a great ensemble.

Fäde Zu Grau came up with a great ensemble.

For once, I liked one of Sandhya Garg's because of its color and playfulness.

For once, I liked one of Sandhya Garg’s because of its color and playfulness.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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