Find out which designers are through to the final in Project Runway New Zealand episode 11

10 December 2018
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Watch Project Runway New Zealand on TVNZ 2 every Monday at 7:30pm from October 1, 2018, or watch it on demand.  

Designers are faced with their most personal challenge yet. And with the final one elimination away, the pressure on themselves to deliver is at an all-time high.

With the top three positions in reach and class favourite Peni now gone, suffice to say the designers’ apartments are going to be quiet, bleak and above all else, intense.

This week’s challenge is put to designers with the view of them making it through to the final. Remaining in the competition is self-taught Judy who’s come into the competition with nil industry experience; seasoned veteran Kerry who has amassed more than 30 collections at Karen Walker; and young guns Benjamin and Jess with two very distinctive aesthetics and confidence to boot.

Read on for this week’s episode recap:

Project Runway New Zealand EP11 – Credit Tom Hollow (9)

The Brief

Create a taster look that epitomises your design aesthetic for Spring/Summer.

During their briefing, the designers are joined by Judge Benny Castles who offers advice. According to Benny, a successful collection is earmarked by three elements: cohesion, personality and execution.


Kerry needs to be wary of incorporating too many ideas and editing it right down. For Judy, it’s proving that her talent goes beyond eveningwear. Jess’s objective is to remain authentic to herself and stay focused. And Benjamin, it’s a matter of pushing the envelope and taking on board the judges’ comments from last week.

During the Challenge

We’re eleven weeks into the show and to date we’ve seen Kerry the designer largely portrayed as a confident person with ~all~ of this experience. However, we’ve not yet really understood too much about Kerry the person. We’ve seen Judy’s struggles, we’ve seen Lenon’s struggles, Peni’s struggles – and let’s not forget Matt’s deep struggles. But never really have we seen what’s behind Kerry’s facade. In this episode, that changes. As he explains what’s inspired his design, we learn that Kerry has endured a great loss: a 10 year relationship which came to an end a year ago and as a result, took much of Kerry down with it.

“At that time not only did I mourn the loss of my love, but I lost myself at the same time.

“With this collection, I want to explain where I’ve been, and how I’ve come through that.”

The solemn moment soon passes as the spotlight turns to Judy. Her ambivalent approach has the designers divided. Will the underdog prevail? Will her lack of self-confidence cost her a spot in the final? Or will she deliver yet another fluke that sees her trump one of the more astute designers?

The models arrive for their fittings and swan around in their half-constructed designs. Gracie loves Benjamin’s (no surprises there), Heidi compares Jess’s design to a burrito (little harsh), Kerry’s model handled the vibrant shade of chartreuse very diplomatically, and Judy’s, well, Judy’s model doesn’t have anything to wear yet.

Benjamin makes a call to his ‘Mom’. We know this because that’s how it was shown on his phone. He spells Mum, Mom. One word: chic. During this call, a softer side to Benjamin is shown, and comments from his Mom that allude to the hard work he’s done to get to where he is – not by having opportunities and endless money at his disposal.

“This is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been because I wanted to do something that is so me.

“I come across as really confident, but it’s an exterior for the work, cause this is what I’m meant to be doing.”


Runway Day

PRAISED BE. Judy has had an epiphany overnight. The perfectionist in her has been what’s paralysed her design momentum, so in wake of this, she’s decided to embrace her leather fabric and put it on the runway raw rough and holey – embracing it imperfections. It’s like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders. So now, with 2 hours until the runway, Judy has to whip up her design and get her model through hair and makeup. No biggy, right?

Heidi tries on Jess’s design once more, and thankfully, the burrito comment is no longer valid, rather she compares the design to a flower… And then a Turkish delight, and then a marshmallow. Does she think she’s being funny or is she just plain hungry?


Judging this week’s collection taster challenge is Fashion Quarterly magazine editor Sally-Ann Mullin, WORLD director and designer Benny Castles, supermodel and host Georgia Fowler, and guest judge founder and designer of Georgia Alice, Georgia Currie.

Scroll for the final runway looks from week 11:

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