Project Runway NZ Week 5 recap + exit interview with Beau Takapu

Project Runway NZ Week 5

The remaining ten Project Runway New Zealand designers arrive at Holden for this week’s challenge. Image by Tom Hollow.

It’s hard to believe that Project Runway New Zealand has been on for a month already, with week five’s episode beginning with the designers reflecting on the previous challenge. Kerry mentions that the competition is getting harder because there were lots of talented people left. Caitlin says she really likes her roommates and is pleased with how things are going. Peni says he can’t wait to see who is next to go home and jokes that it’s taking too long and he wants it to be the final three already.

Host Georgia Fowler welcomes the designers to the runway and compliments Judy on her win and tells her that she has immunity. Georgia tells her to dive in head first and Judy says she’s going to push herself again this week. Beau adds that he hates being in the bottom two but is determined to not be there this week.

Mentor Andreas Mikellis meets them at Holden with veteran designer Tanya Carlson, where she explains that they are creating an avant garde look inspired by the Holden Astra for this week’s challenge. Andrea encourages the designers to be bold and Tanya adds that she can’t wait to see what they come up with. Caitlin notes that she equates avant garde to art and she thinks that she is useless at art.

The designers are given a budget of $300 and two and half days for this challenge. Tanya says that it’s about noticing the design details and shapes of the Holden and pushing themselves. Peni is excited as he loves avant garde. Kerry is also excited and says it’s game on this week and time to go hard.

Jess laments that she hasn’t been in the bottom or the top and wants some feedback, she’s unsure of what to do. Kerry says he won a rural avant garde competition while Judy adds she’s going to keep quiet and shock everyone. Benjamin notes that this challenge will be a great way to see everyone’s creative potential. Caitlin says that she will be out of her comfort zone as far as construction goes and she is feeling stressed about the challenge.

The designers rush to The Fabric Store where Andreas wishes them luck and says they’re going to need it. Benjamin says that he’s concentrating on juxtaposing diferent elements with his design, but tasteful ones, not just ‘shit on shit’ he adds with a smirk.

Project Runway NZ Week 5

Mentor Andreas Mikellis and guest judge Tanya Carlson.

It’s off to the workroom and Caitlin asks Camille where she’s getting her inspiration from? Caitlin is worried that nothing she does is avant-garde and that she’s going to experiment with techniques she hasn’t tried before. Peni picks up that there is a detail on the car that surprised him so he’s going for the element of surprise with his design. He’s unsure how he’s going to make it work though.

Beau is feeling stressed and not sure if being in the bottom two for the past few weeks is making him doubt his vision. Benjamin tries on his own toile and notes that he likes Caitlin because she has taste and they are the only sane ones here. Misty says that avant garde means bring the drama and she’s curious about Judy’s all black design.

It’s day two already in the workroom with another 8 hours of sewing ahead of the designers, Caitlin isn’t looking forward to Andreas’ critique and Beau notes that she is looking stressed. Caitlin says she feels out of her depth and Kerry says she just needs to focus and concentrate. Kerry notes that Benjamin is talented although he doesn’t really like what Benjamin makes. Jess explains that her design is powerful and sleek to Andreas.

He tells Caitlin that her design needs work and she doesn’t take it well, clearly getting upset and leaving the room. She says she’s so tired and that the designers are pushing their bodies and minds to the limit and isn’t sure how she’s going to make a dress today. Peni comforts her adding that it’s a lot of pressure and going to be a long day. Caitlin says she’s not ready to go home and gets stuck into her design. Benjamin encourages her to work and push through it with Caitlin picking up her attitude and once again smiling.

Judy says it’s difficult to come up with entirely new shapes and when Beau explains his design to Andreas, he adds that it’s too similar to last week and that the judges weren’t keen on his previous design. He wants Beau to think about how he can do it differently. Peni explains the surprise in his garment and Andreas says that he’s concerned about the engineering of it with Peni insisting he can make it work.

The models arrive and fittings begin with Peni addng he really likes Judy’s design but not anyone else’s. Benjamin notes that everyone has gone black but that his silver and blue design is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Jess’s model adds that she feels like a Disney villain in the design with Jess pleased with how it’s coming along. Beth notes that Beau’s design is like a fiesta and he adds that he’s going to put on so many ruffles he’s going to be ruffled for the rest of his life. Peni decides to drop the surprise element from his design as he doesn’t have enough time to finish it. Misty is worried that he’s not going to get it finished on time at all.

It’s runway day already and Kerry says that he’s worried for Peni as he didn’t have much finished last night and that ‘no one wants to send a naked model down the runway’. Caitlin is feeling less stressed and is working on getting her dress finished. They have two hours to get their models styled and made up for the runway with Andreas telling them to give the judges the unexpected.

Project Runway NZ Week 5

Host Georgia Fowler and Judge Benny Castles get up close with Jess’ model to check out the details of the design.

The models arrive and the designers being their fittings. Peni adds that he really doesn’t like Caitlin’s design and will be surprised if she makes it through. Georgia welcomes the designers back to the runway and introduces judges Sally Ann Mullin and Benny Castles, along with guest judge Tanya Carlson.

Benjamin’s design is first up on the runway and he loves his design which is on a different model this week. Peni is up next and he is nervous as the garment didn’t move as he wanted it to. Kerry is happy with everything about his look and notes that his model is killing it. Misty isn’t happy with her design but glad that her model brought the fierceness to the runway. Beth is pleased with her design that is different to anything that she’s done before. Caitlin notes that she is feeling a lot better now that her garment is on the runway. Camille loves the sculptural elements of her design while Jess thinks that her look is sophisticated but wonders if she has done enough. Judy is really happy with her design that is inspired by the interior curves of the Holden Astra. Beau loved his ruffled ensemble which he calls a Mexican fiesta.

Georgia congratulates the designers on their efforts and Benjamin, Peni, Caitlin, Jess, Judy and Beau are called to step forward on the runway with the highest and lowest scored designs. Beth, Kerry, Misty and Camille are safe and leave the runway. The models return to the runway and Benjamin tells the judges that he wanted to play with proportions and textures and the judges are impressed by his design. Tanya adds that it is very modern and Yohji Yamamoto like. Peni says that his is meant to be feminine and masculine with Benny saying that he isn’t sure about it and that it didn’t move well.

Caitlin explains that her design is inspired by how she felt while driving and says that although she wasn’t quite happy with it she’s pleased she got it finished. Tanya asks Jess why she cut her ‘sexy assassin’ dress short adding that length was a great decision. Sally-Ann adds that Judy’s dress looks so expensive and Benny says that it’s elegant and sexy. Beau explains that his design was inspired by the softness of the Astra with Benny adding that he likes the top half of the dress but not the bottom half which he thinks is messy.

Andreas returns with the models and the judges enthuse about Benjamin’s design and how it’s definitely avant garde. Benny says that Peni’s design looks like an unsexy bondage outfit and the judges think that it looks unfinished. Georgia says that Caitlin’s previous designs were consistent but this design falls flat and Sally-Ann says that she doesn’t get Holden Astra from this look. Tanya adds that she loves Jess’s design and Benny jokes that ‘I would let her kill me’.

Benjamin’s model Dante starts crying as she is overheating is her outfit with Georgia taking her aside to take off the outfit so she can cool down. Judy’s design is next with Georgia nearly falling off her stool with excitement. Tanya is impressed with the cutting of the design noting that the the outfit is perfect and sharp. Benny says that Peni’s look is a hot mess but Sally-Ann is less harsh, with Georgia adding that the necklace isn’t necessary. Benny removes the necklace which the judges agree improves the outfit.

Georgia announces that Judy is the winner of this week’s challenge and she says that it feels ‘surreal and that she doesn’t count on winning she just does her best every week.’ Jess is also in the top group which is rounded out by Benjamin’s design that Georgia notes could be fresh off the runway.

Peni is told that his look wasn’t his best work but he is still in the competition which leaves Caitlin and Beau in the bottom two. Georgia tells Caitlin that avant garde clearly wasn’t her strong point but she is safe. Beau is told his outfit was kind of a mess and that he is out this week. Beau says he still feels good and that he loved his dress. He adds that the experience has been amazing and that he’s made new friends and enjoyed the challenge.

Designer Beau Takapu (centre) was the fifth contestant eliminated on Project Runway New Zealand. Image by Tom Hollow.

We caught up with Beau 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?
Exciting, challenging, thrilling, successful, and of course, drama.

What was your favourite outfit that you designed on the show and why?
I wouldn’t say that I had a specific favourite outfit that I designed, they were all such different points of inspiration and execution. If I had to pick one that I enjoyed creating, it would have to have been my streetwear challenge design. I don’t normally create streetwear. For me, it was an exciting challenge to be able to construct and debut.

Which challenge did you find the hardest and why?
Every challenge on the show had its hardships. As you do have to create a beautiful garment within the brief and time allocation which never got easier!

Is there anything you would do differently if you could do the show again?
Any creative person has room for improvement, no matter what. You should always be looking at whatever you’ve created each time and figuring out how to improve it, or top it next.

Which other designer/s did you bond with on the show?
Who did I bond with? More like who DIDN’T I bond with. They are all such an amazing mix of people that I now love to the max. They all carry different aspects from their own paths of life, and for me to not expect them as they are would be my own worry-doing. We all bonded, and I was so fortunate being able to share this experience with them.

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
The all-time favourite moment in filming has to be when we walk as a group into the workroom, ready to face the next challenge that awaits for us. Those struts of us showed that determination and drive we all had for the next day – plus it looked pretty cool on screen.

What is your advice for anyone who wants to be on Project Runway New Zealand in future?
My advice for future Project Runway stars is to be yourself. Clearly, individuality is the key for success in this industry more than any other. Your emotions, personality and perseverance all have to be a part in how you design.

What’s next for you?
Every designer has the dream to have a brand of their own to show case their workings to the public. I have my plan sorted to make this dream come to life, but you may need to stay tuned as I execute the steps perfectly. However at the current moment I am ongoing to my new opportunity as a store manager for WORLD’s next new store location… more details in more good time…We all love a bit of planned mystery. Right?

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.