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'Project Runway' show sees feathers, plastic, more unconventional materials

Designer Zac Posen attends the "Project Runway" fashion

Designer Zac Posen attends the "Project Runway" fashion show during Fashion Week in Manhattan. (Sept. 6, 2013) Credit: AP

Leave it to the "Project Runway" judges to keep things interesting even in the show's 12th year, this time with a special challenge -- create one look out of an unconventional material.

Alexander Pope started the runway show at New York Fashion Week with a bang -- dresses with wings, sleeves full of feathers and the grand finale: a model covered in fabric who swiftly unwrapped herself at the end of the runway to reveal a giant, Medusa-like headpiece.

Kerry Washington had the honor of guest judging beside Heidi Klum (drenched in gold), Zac Posen and Nina Garcia, but actress Alyssa Milano, sitting front row, wasn't jealous.

"I'm so glad I don't have to judge!" she said, though she did tell Newsday Pope was her favorite.

When asked what unlikely material she would have worked with, Milano, who was dressed in a unique Marissa Webb vest herself, said it would be "baby blankets."

It's hard to say what designer Helen Castillo used for her out-there creation, though it looked like it could have been made out of Legos (or something plastic and equally as bumpy). The rest of her collection, while decidedly high fashion, was much more wearable, with ultracool, asymmetrical silhouettes and downtown touches such as ripped knees on a printed peplum pantsuit.

Justin LeBlanc had some construction issues but made a mark with cool three-dimensional collars, shoulder pads and belts, and Dom Streater seamlessly mixed old and new with futuristic prints and retro shapes in a purple and silver color scheme.

Brayden McDonald gave us a burst of spring with his floral collection, inspired by Crocus flowers -- the first sign of warmer months to come in his frigid hometown in upstate New York. Alexandria von Bromssen chose to channel the season's birds with feather Mohawks and hats.

Kate Pankoke got her second chance this season after fans voted to bring her back from season 11, and though an ethereal white gown with appliqués on the arms and gold lame pants were pretty, she didn't stand out.

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