The Best Project Runway Final Collections That Didn’t Make It on TV

When it comes to Project Runway, there’s so much fans don’t get to see. During each season’s finale, three to four designers present collections to the judges, but what viewers don’t know is that there are additional decoy collections presented at New York Fashion Week. Over the course of 12 seasons, as the show has grown in popularity, more and more designers present collections on the runway to throw off fans and media trying to predict that season’s finalists. In the most recent seasons, at least nine or 10 designers have walked the runway. While most collections were not deserving of being in the finale, there were some standouts. We scoured the past 12 seasons of unseen clothes — season 13 presented nine collections but it’s unclear which will make it to the finale — to bring round up the best runways not seen on TV.

(Just a note of taste: these are the best of the worst. If you don’t like them just imagine how bad the other ones were. Still, there are some fan-favorites here and all collections are worth a peak.)

In order of season appearance:

Austin Scarlett, Season 1

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

  • Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 – Austin Scarlett for “Project Runway” – Runway

    (Photo by Carlo Buscemi/WireImage)

After quickly becoming a favorite, producers were practically forced to let Austin show at New York Fashion Week during season one’s finale competition. Unfortunately the designer didn’t seem to have the same amount of time to perfect a collection as the other three finalists, but his work still surpasses many of the other contestants in later seasons.

What would Michael Kors say? She looks like Marie Antoinette rolled out of bed and had nothing on but her quilt.

Joe Faris, Season 5

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Before you say, who again? Joe was the 41-year-old designer who made it to episode 10 before being sent home for a dismal transformation of a recent college grad looking for a job. Allowed to show at Fashion Week, Joe presented a collection that had an all-American, rustic Ralph Lauren appeal. It was a bit on the nose but well executed.

What would Nina Garcia say? I appreciate you delivered separates but where’s the excitement?

Amy Sarabi, Season 7

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As the show continued to grow in popularity and the show’s production schedule increased, more designers walked during Fashion Week in attempt to through off fans and journalists alike. Eliminated in episode nine, Amy was among five designers that were eliminated but still showed collections. Amy delivered a modern mix of florals that was far more interesting that most of her competitors.

What would Michael Kors say? A knee-high floral burqa? What woman wants to show off her legs but hide her face?

Jay Nicolas Sario, Season 7

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Jay made it up to the finale before being eliminated just days before the final runway. Between him and Mila Hermanovski, the judges said he delivered a less compelling collection based on three pieces. His final delivery at the show was a mix of modern, fierce clothes for a fashion forward woman.

What would Heidi Klum say? There’s not enough sex appeal.

April Johnston, Season 8

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Tasked to design a look inspired by an iconic location in New York City, April was sent packing just before the finale when she couldn’t adequately capture the Brooklyn Bridge in her design. During that season’s final runway presentation, a total of 10 designers showed collections with April delivering one of the more cohesive presentations.

What would Michael Kors say? The headbands make the girls looks like they forgot what time it was and ran out of the house with the towel still wrapped around their heads.

Ivy Higa, Season 8

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Even thought Ivy was sent packing during episode nine, she managed to make it into the Top 10 and show her collection. Her whole look may have been a little too resort wear, but some of the pieces are similar to what Beyoncé donned in her video for “Countdown.”

What would Nina Garcia say? There’s a collection, but it belongs in the Caribbean.

Anthony Ryan Auld, Season 9

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Anthony Ryan was easily a fan-favorite for his Aaron Paul-esque looks and sassy attitude. Sadly, he burned out quickly after landing in the top three in each of the first three episodes. When it came to his final collection, it was heavy on color and patterns but interesting to watch if nothing else.

What would Michael Kors say? She looks like a hipster flight attendant.

Laura Kathleen, Season 9

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A favorite of season nine, Laura was booted just before the final elimination. (Ultimately, the judges let the final four contestants show leaving Laura in the cold at fifth place.) When it came to her collection, she more or less delivered a line of clothes that she would wear. Yet, she did create one dress that would have put most unconventional challenges to shame.

What would Michael Kors say? The pattern looks like she attempted to color block her outfit with six different lattes from Starbucks.

Helen Castillo, Season 12

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When it came to Helen, it was all about the tears and crying her way to the finish. As exhausting as she was, she actually delivered some standout designs throughout the season. But it wasn’t enough to get her through to the finale. Being that it’s Project Runway, she and seven other designers showed at fashion week. (Ken opted out because he didn’t finish in time.)

What would Nina Garcia say? It was cohesive but very one-note.

Kate Pankoke, Season 12

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After getting eliminated in season 11, Kate was given a reprieve when she was allowed to return to the competition in season 12. She made good use of it by consistently landing in the top three. Her collection probably wasn’t the best as a whole unit, but Kate delivered a number of well-executed dresses.

What would Zac Posen say? We get it, you know how to design a flawless cocktail dress.

[Photos: Getty]