Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 12 L’Oreal Makeup Challenge


Hello, my fabulouses! There is not much to say about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 12’s L’Oreal Makeup Challenge because no one went home! The remaining five designers were given a run for their money this week as they had to complete two challenges in one.

Challenge One: Create an avant-garde look inspired by butterflies.

Challenge Two: Create a new look using an eliminated designer’s garment.

To see the designers before and after remakes of the second challenge of Episode 12, please visit


Bradon was the winner of the avant-garde challenge. He spent a total of $984 to construct this look. The super edgy approach he took knocked the socks off of the judges. Way to go, designer Bradon! We will see you at New York Fashion Week!


The clear winner in the VIP’s opinion is Dom. Spending only $628, she truly hit this look out of the ballpark! The mixing of patterns, flowy yet fierce construction, and extreme attention to detail made this garment look phenomenal on the runway. I am super excited that Dom will be heading to New York Fashion Week. Congrats, girl!


The designers were given a suggested GoBank spending budget of $500 to purchase fabrics for this challenge. Oh, how I would adore to have a $500 GoBank spending budget at Belk! That would be beyond fabulous! What would you buy with a $500 GoBank budget?


Although none of the designers went home this week, the bottom three will have to battle it out with their New York Fashion Week collections to see who will snag the winning spot to show at NYFW. Who will be crowned the third spot? Hm…I have my eye on my favorite designer.

Who do you want to see join Dom and Bradon on the runway? Justin, Helen, or Alexandria? Comment on this post to tell the VIP!


Lucky 13: Weekly Whistle Day-Cation–click here to view post.

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Belk Challenge Season 12 Episode 9

THE REMAINING NINE (back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria (front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin
(back row from left to right) Jeremy, Brandon, Alexander, Alexandria
(front row from left to right) Kate, Ken, Dom, Helen, Justin

Heidi: “Are you impressed that you’re still here?”

All of the designers: “Yes!” *nodding their heads*

Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.
Southern style brunch on Project Runway Season 12 Episode 9.

Hey y’all!–imagine my saying this in my most genuine Southern Belle accent–Are y’all ready for the VIP’s weekly recap of Project Runway?


Tim Gunn: “She is a modern Southern woman…She is the Belk customer…She dresses vibrantly and impressively. She is always fashionably put together. She knows how to use accessories, and she loves color and anything with feminine detail.”

Me: “Mom, I think Tim Gunn just described me perfectly!”

Mom: “Sweetheart, he just described every true Southern lady perfectly.”

Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card. Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken purchasing his fabric at Mood with his GoBank card.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After their classy Southern brunch and thirty-minute sketching time, the designers were given thirty minutes in Mood to find their fabric and were given a suggested GoBank spending budget of $200–$250. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a $200–$250 GoBank shopping budget at Belk? I can imagine myself walking out of those doors with bags of fabulous attire, accessories, and sweet high heels. Do I have a shopping addiction? Sure, some would call it that…now, back to Project Runway!

With one day to create their looks, the designers were antsy about creating something that a modern Southern woman would wear.

Helen: “I do not design for the modern Southern woman…this is way out of my comfort zone.”

Alexander: “I do not dress like a modern Southern woman…just like a modern 80s woman.”

When time was up in the workroom, Tim Gunn (looking dashing as always) escorted the designers and models to the runway.

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The winner of this challenge was Brandon. I liked the concept of his design; however, I am not too crazy about the plaid. I can definitely see this dress in vibrant colors and a pretty, flowy fabric…perhaps then…the true modern Southern woman would snatch it off the rack at Belk. Kudos for the fabulous design concept, Brandon! Boo on the plaid!


Heidi: “We think you all did not fully understand the concept of this challenge, and you all could benefit from a little bit more time…For the first time in Project Runway history, I’m going to send you back to the workroom. Right now—you will have one hour to work on your look, and to give you a little help, each of you can choose one fellow designer. You have access to all of the fabrics in the workroom….”

So…Designers Dom, Jeremy, and Ken were sent back to the workroom…all I could think was good luck, my darlings!

Designer Dom's second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Designer Dom’s second look. The second winning look of this challenge.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

I LOVE THIS DRESS! Just so all of you know….when this dress arrives at Belk, I will be running to get it!

Designer Jeremy's first look.
Designer Jeremy’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Bless his heart…Despite Jeremy’s valiant effort, he was sent home. I was very sad to see him go because I am going to miss his wonderful designs and especially his British accent.
Ken Laurence's first look.
Ken Laurence’s first look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken Laurence's second look.
Ken Laurence’s second look.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After watching Episode 9, I chatted with Ken about the challenge and his two spectacular garments.

Me: “If you could have created a completely new garment, what would you have created?”

Ken: “I would have created the exact same dress in a different fabric. My goal was to find a lighter, more flowy fabric, but I ran out of time in Mood…and the color was most important.”

Me: “What was the concept behind your first design?”

Ken: “I wanted to design something that I witnessed selling on a day-to-day basis when I worked as a stylist at BCBG–before Project Runway. Southern women came in looking for maxi dresses that were simple, easy-to-wear, and could be accessorized for all occasions. Another factor I tried to think about was the climate here in Alabama, and that was why I wanted to go with a lighter fabric.”

Me: “What was your goal when you went back to the workroom to modify your look?”

Ken: “My main goal was to just have a dress…I was not thinking about the modern Southern woman anymore…I was just thinking about giving the judges a different look. In my original sketch, I actually created a silhouette similar to the one in my second look so I just went with it.

Personally, I loved designer Ken’s first look the most! I loved the fact that it could be easily accessorized…we all know how much the VIP loves her accessories!


Phew…this episode was quite the humdinger! I cannot wait to see what Episode 10 has to offer!

Don’t forget to live tweet with YOUR favorite designer by using the hashtags below!









Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 8


Hello, my fabulouses and welcome back to the blog! Today, I want to chat about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 8. How did the designers start off the challenge? Well, with Tim Gunn waking them up in a referee outfit! What? Tim Gunn in a referee outfit rather than a tux? Let me tell y’all, Tim Gunn worked that referee outfit like a pro!


Tossing on some snazzy sports apparel, the designers were off to have a Project Runway field day with the winning team being rewarded with one extra hour of sewing and first pick at fabric.


Project Runway added a new twist to the show this week by asking the designers to create performance wear for Heidi Klum’s New Balance collection that was not only fashionable but functional. The winning runway look was to be manufactured and sold at select New Balance stores under Heidi Klum’s collection. Phew…talk about motivation!

Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!  Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

With a $50.00 GoBank spending budget, designers Dom and Justin had first pick at fabric because they won the Project Runway field day challenge.

After the designers chose their 10 yards of fabric and paid with their GoBank mobile phone apps and debit cards, it was time to head back to the workroom! Go, team, go! Give me a P-R-O-J-E-C-T  R-U-N-W-A-Y…What’s that spell? PROJECT RUNWAY! Go, Team!


Lessons I Learned From the Workroom on Season 12 Episode 8:

  • Secrets and Name Calling are Never Good:

Secrets and name calling are never good…especially in high-pressure situations. “Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you, no man ask for under pressure…” (Under Pressure by Queen)

  • It is good to have a mentor, spiritual mom, and/or Tim Gunn to talk to and give you advice.

D. Green (Ken’s mentor/spiritual mom): “You can’t give up now. Do you hear me?”

Ken: “Yes, ma’am.”

D. Green: “Ken, you were born for this.”

Tim Gunn (talking to Ken): “You wouldn’t be here, if we didn’t believe you’ve got the stuff not just to sustain this but to win.”

Ken: “Yes, sir.”

  • Pep talks refresh the memory.

Ken: “After speaking with Tim Gunn, it refreshed my memory of why I am here and, in that moment, I just really needed to hear that.”

  • Nonverbal actions speak just as loud as verbal actions…sometimes louder.

Is Helen smiling like a Cheshire cat while tattling on Designer Ken? You tell me…
  • When under pressure, it is not uncommon to lash out at someone and say things one later regrets.


  • Some people will do anything to win…even ruffling a few feathers.

Helen: “It is a competition. I cannot comprehend what set Ken off. This is all about strategy; and if you’re going to win this competition, like I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to ruffle a few feathers.”

  • Don’t judge.

Ken: “You should never actually judge a person because you don’t know what they are going through….That struggle [see explanation below] has made me a very, very, very independent person.”


In an exclusive interview, Ken and I chatted about his struggle and how he arrived to where he is today.

Ken: “I have been designing clothes since I was about 10 years old…and the dream has come true with Project Runway….I have been homeless before…having to live in my car…and all of the struggles I have been through have made me into the person I am today. I am very independent because of what I have been through. If there is one thing I have learned from these struggles is that it is important to have faith in God that your dreams will come true…don’t let the distractions stop you from reaching your dream.”


  • It takes a strong person to apologize.

Ken (talking to Helen): “I’ve been frustrated all day–”

Helen: “I know.”

Ken: “–I like you, and I flipped out on you for no reason, honestly.”

Helen: “Okay, no worries.”

Ken: “I just needed to apologize. Can I have a hug?”


Tim Gunn: “I feel like a proud dad!”

Designer Dom (commenting on Ken’s apology): “It felt genuine. I think he just got really stressed out.”

Okay…that’s enough with the life lessons. Let’s get back to the runway!

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

What do you wear when you work out? Are you sleek and chic or comfy and casual? I completely understand what Heidi Klum’s vision for this challenge was…but when the VIP works out, I like to dress very basic and carefree. I do not care if my outfit could hit the runway after an hour of booty-kicking Insanity with Shaun T…Oh, Shaun T is such a motivating cutie.

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Designer Ken’s athletic wear outfit is something I could wear during my work out–while being covered up and feeling confident. I like the approach with the longer shirt because let’s face it…we all worry about what our booties look like when we are running or doing squats in front of an entire gym of hot guys.

Designer Ken’s look was basic and wearable for the everyday woman; however, Helen took home the win with this challenge because her performance wear jacket exemplified Heidi Klum’s concept of bringing the runway to the treadmill.


Man…Episode 8 was quite the doozy! Now, I feel like I should go throw on my slouchy work out clothes and go for a run with my precious Giant Schnauzer, Ziva! See y’all next week for yet another VIP Project Runway recap post!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 6


Hello, my fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog! Today, I am going to chat about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 6 along with some exclusive commentary from designer Ken Laurence! Whoo hoo! Come on, let’s get to chatting!


My first thoughts when Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn announced that the designers were going on a camping trip–I mean glamping trip, which was sponsored by ReSource water–are as follows:

  1. Oh, I so need that jumpsuit Heidi is wearing. I wonder where she got it???
  2. Is that…Tim Gunn…in a…camouflage suit…no way…???
  3. Tim Gunn actually looks quite dashing in that camo suit! It is official. Tim Gunn can pull off anything and everything. Fabulous.
  4. What is…glamping?

Glamping? What? Huh? According to the Tim-Gunn Fashion Dictionary, “glamping is how fashion designers camp.” Oh, okay–that makes much more sense. Hmm…still not sure how I feel about glamping….I wonder if I could glamp? Sure, as long as my tent has air conditioning, a mini fridge full of my favorite snacks and beverages, WiFi, and a comfy, fluffy bed. Anyway, this is not about me–back to Project Runway!

On the glamping trip, the remaining designers were to use the lovely outdoor activities and the scenes of nature to kick-start their creativity for this one-day challenge. After relaxing and having some ziplining fun, the designers entered a tranquil mindset and began sketching garment ideas to reflect Mother Nature–all while creating a look that was very high-end and editorial.


“People think that since I am from the South that I am a nature boy. I don’t wanna’ walk in the dirt, I don’t wanna’ be bitten by bugs, and I am not sleeping in a tent,” explained designer Ken.


After Ken made this remark, I just had to ask him about his glamping experience…I must admit I am not one to enjoy bug bites or sleeping in a tent. *itchy-scratchy, itchy-scratchy*

Abby:  “What was your favorite activity during the glamping trip?”

Ken:  “Abby, I loved everything besides sleeping in the tent lol. But, glamping is amazing.”


Abby:  “Do you remember what you were reading in your Bible while you were sitting by the stream?”

Ken: “Looking around and seeing nature from that standpoint, I thought about God creating the world. So, as I sat by the stream I began to reflect on the book of Genesis.”

Oh! My favorite designers ever! Justin, Jeremy, and Ken, I absolutely adore y’all. You guys amaze me with your fabulous work each week!



Designers Karen and Ken using their mobile GoBank apps at Mood!  Image provided by the Weinstein Company.
Designers Karen and Ken using their mobile GoBank apps at Mood!
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

After the glamping trip, the designers went shopping for their materials at Mood with a suggested GoBank spending budget of $300.

“I have no idea what I am going to create. Walking down the aisles at Mood, I see this wool fabric, and it automatically made me think of nature. It’s perfect,” stated Ken Laurence on Episode 6.



Comedic relief moment: As designer Ken and Jeremy were getting ready for the judging day…well, let me put this in dialogue for simplicity.

Ken:  “So, you have immunity today.

Jeremy: “Yes, I do.”

Ken: “Can I purchase that with my GoBank card?”

Immediately, my entire family bursts into laughter–even my dad. Because of my Project Runway recap blogs, not only has my dad started watching the show, but my grandparents are also addicted to the fabulousness. Yes, it’s true. Am I proud? Absolutely.

Image provided by the Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

On the subject of Ken Laurence and his garment, I truly loved it! Despite what the judges said, I loved his “Mother Nature” concept.

Abby:  “I loved the concept of your design and your model’s hair. I do not feel like the judges gave you proper time to explain the idea….How did you feel when the judges did not understand or like your concept?”

Ken:  “We have more time to explain our designs [than is shown]. We are actually standing on the runway for an hour or so. Keep in mind everything is edited for TV. I think I was at the bottom for two reasons. One, the construction flattened my model’s chest. I knew that after I had sewn it down, but I didn’t have the time to redo it. Secondly, I should have taken it a little more over the top. They [the judges] respond well to things like that sometimes; however, they pick what they personally like and dislike….”



Okay, so I must save the chit chat for another time and another media outlet ( for one of the most emotional things I have ever watched on reality TV….

When Designer Justin was eliminated…I was so upset…I cried like a little baby…well, like a high school girl whose boyfriend broke up with her the night before prom….Thankfully, super hero Tim Gunn swept in and used his “Tim Gunn Save” on the precious designer Justin. Oh, I am so so SO happy that Tim Gunn rescued Justin from going home. The show would not be the same without his genuinely kind spirit! Tim Gunn explained to Justin that he had such fabulous potential to do amazing things on the show–I concur with this statement.


Abby:  “What was your first thought when Tim Gunn used his ‘Tim Gunn Save’ on designer Justin?”

Ken:  “Everyone on the show knows I LOVE Justin and Jeremy! (They were my roommates [on Project Runway].) I was so happy…it shows the judges pick what they like and don’t. Honestly, my garment and Karen’s garments were worse than his – sometimes I don’t get the judges. Lol”

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company

Is it just me…or should every designer get some sort of special Project Runway Girl Scout patch or at least a box of Thin Mints? Oh, thin mints are so delicious! Those new Girl Scout Cookie Nestle Crunch candy bars do not do justice for the actual cookies. Anyway, each designer deserves a merit badge and a box of cookies for their tremendous effort on Episode 6!


Phew…this was quite the emotional episode. I am so excited to see what Episode 7 of Project Runway Season 12 has in store for us! Is it Thursday yet? Hey, momma, is it Thursday yet?

Y’all be sure to come back next week for yet another fabulous Project Runway recap!

To see more exclusive commentary from Ken Laurence on Episode 7, please visit!

Be sure to like Real Media on Facebook to keep up with the latest article updates! Click here.

Keep up with designer Ken by liking his Facebook page here!

Also, do not forget to TWEET LIVE WITH THE DESIGNER during Episode 7 of Project Runway Season 12 by using the hashtag #DesignerKen. Follow Ken Laurence by clicking here.

For more recaps of Project Runway, check out Ken Laurence’s blog “Behind the Seams” here.

Ken_Abby 1

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 5


Hello, my fabulouses! Do y’all remember those group projects in high school where the teacher “randomly” picked the members?  Yeah, me too…I can remember getting placed on teams that were…not so great. I don’t know about y’all, but I am glad a TV crew was not there filming my facial expressions, comments, and blurts.


Project Runway Season 12 Episode 5 reminded me so much of a “poster board, PowerPoint, in front of your class presentation” project.  Let’s take a look inside the classroom…

Teacher: “Abby, Susie, and Alex are in a group together. You have two class days to complete the assignment.”

Abby: *rolls eyes*

Susie: “Are you going to help me design the PowerPoint from scratch? I have no idea how to work that program on this computer.”

Abby: “Sure, Susie…but you really need to learn how to do it yourself.”

Susie: “Well, I know how to…just not on this computer.”

Alex: “We need to make sure we get this done as quickly as possible because we need A’s–we need A’s!”

Abby: “Okay, we do need A’s, but we also need to make a plan on how we are going to do this–who is going to do what–create a schedule so we manage our time well.”

Alex: “We just need to make this group project fun and get A’s”

Susie: “Yeah, I totally agree!”

*later that day*

Abby: “Susie, have you even started working on the PowerPoint yet?”

Susie: “No, I do not know how to use the PowerPoint program on this computer.”

Abby: *rolls eyes*

Susie: “Stop rolling your eyes at me. That is rude.”

Alex: *whispering to Susie* “Abby is like dealing with a fashionista diva.”

So, what has this cheesy dialogue taught us? That we have all experienced an Episode 5 “group project disaster” at some point in our lives…and if you have never participated in graded group work…consider yourself blessed.


Instead of blogging a recap of episode 5…mainly because it reminds me too much of my freshman year in high school…and the movie Mean Girls…and Easy A, I am going to talk about the importance of a budget, the sweetest moment, and the most ridiculous thing I have quiet possibly ever heard.

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Now, let’s talk budget. Tim Gunn explained to the designer teams that they were to create a luxe, high-end mini collection with a suggested GoBank spending budget of $1,500 to buy the materials for this unconventional challenge. If my math serves me correctly…that is $500 for each individual. The designers were to choose two out of the three following shops from which to purchase their items: Second Hand Rose (a vintage wallpaper store), Surprise! Surprise! (a home décor and party store), and Garden of Eden (a specialty food store).

Designers Kate, Jeremy and Karen using GoBank card to purchase some of their materials for episode 5.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Speaking of working with a budget…Ken Laurence has been a very conscientious spender on the first four episodes of Project Runway. I highly admire designer Ken for managing the $4,000 season GoBank budget because in “the real world” there is not an endless cash flow for up-and-coming fashion designers.

After reading the article “What people are saying about Birmingham’s Ken Laurence on Project Runway” by Mary Colurso and checking out the #designerKen tweets on Twitter, I decided that I must contact Ken to get HIS point of view.

Ken_Abby 1

Me: I read the article “What people are saying about Birmingham’s Ken Laurence on Project Runway“…I found some of the statements in the write-up to be a tad bit harsh and overstated–I do not see you as a villain nor Kanye West. How do you feel about the comments made about you in this Project Runway Season 5 recap?

Ken: Honestly, it almost hurt because I TRY so hard to be nice to people and remain humble…but, I’m human! And when I’m frustrated, I voice my opinion. I would be “acting” if I didn’t voice my opinion. It’s reality TV!

Me: You have been so responsible and aware of each challenge’s budget in episodes 1-4…How did you feel with your team members disregard of the budget?

Ken: I was bothered, and I wanted to use our money wisely. We were put on a set budget of $4000.00, and once that money was gone – it was gone! I didn’t want to be standing in the long run with no money left.

Okay–enough about budget! It is time to chat about the sweetest moment…and the most ridiculous moment!


The sweetest moment thus far on Project Runway Season 12–besides designer Brandon proposing to his boyfriend on episode 4, which that was totally amazing…I cried…a lot–Anyway, the sweetest moment on episode 5 was when designer Justin video chatted with his super precious family and began to cry. Justin…I was crying right there with you, buddy! It was such a lovely moment, and I am so glad Lifetime included it. The scene added a tad bit of peace to the overall spicy episode.


The most ridiculous moment I have witnessed on Project Runway Season 12 thus far was when designer Alexandria made a testy comment in response to Project Runway judge Nina Garcia’s (Creative Director at Marie Claire) question.


Nina:  “Did you have a problem dealing with Ken?”

Alexandria:  “…There’s no time for the drama, there’s no time to argue…you just want to pet the cat and make it calm.


After the judges dismissed the designers from the runway to get a closer look, Ken voiced his opinion of this “pet the kitty” comment.

Ken: “…I’m just going to sit here in silence. I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable or feel like they’re walking on glass or like they have to pet the kitty…”

*Pet the cat and make it calm? Really…is that the best you could do, Alexandria? Come on, girl…watch Mean Girls and Easy A to gain some new sly comments.


Okay…it is time to get back to Abby, Susie, and Alex’s group project. Did they get A’s or F’s? You guessed it–epic fail.  Why was this group project an epic fail?  This group project was an epic fail because Susie lacked the skills, Alex wanted an “A”–but did not want to work for it, and Abby was left to save herself and salvage what she could.  At the end of the day, every collaboration project failure can be summed up with a scene from one of my favorite movies ever–Cool Hand Luke. “…What we’ve got here is failure to communicate….”

*School bell rings*

Teacher: “Okay, class is dismissed. See y’all tomorrow.”


Y’all don’t forget to vote for Ken Laurence to be Project Runway Season 12’s Fan Favorite by visiting!

Check out Ken’s blog “Behind the Seams” for a behind the scenes look of a designer’s life!

Also, like Ken Laurence on Facebook to keep up with everything Ken!

I am so excited to see what episode 6 has in store for us…putting fashion designers in the woods…? This should get interesting! Y’all come back next week for more VIP Project Runway chat! :)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn