Tight deadlines foil designer – Metro US

Tight deadlines foil designer

Toronto designer Jeff MacKinnon’s last-minute designs finally ran out of steam and he was sent home from Project Runway Canada last night.

Last night’s challenge gave designers a chance at national exposure by having their dress become the first ever original design to be sold by clothing retailer Winners at select stores across Canada. Designers had to create the perfect spring dress which could be worn both during the day and into the evening.

The judges felt MacKinnon’s simple, white reversible dress wasn’t innovative enough and wouldn’t stand out to customers, making him the sixth designer booted off the show.

MacKinnon, 41, had already survived elimination a few weeks before and frequently seemed to struggle with the short time frame given to create dresses on the show.

“The time constraints were the toughest part of the show. I’m very meticulous and it was difficult for me to just get the job done,” MacKinnon said.

Used to doing painstaking custom work for clients over a period of weeks instead of banging out garments in 48 hours, MacKinnon was often forced to resort to shortcuts to get his dresses finished. Among one of MacKinnon’s desperate moves was using glue to patch fabric strips onto several dresses, something he would never do in normal conditions but he insists he wasn’t the only one cutting corners.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, but we were all doing stuff like that. A lot of people were using glue, a lot of people were using tape,” MacKinnon said.

Stretched to the limit in last night’s challenge, MacKinnon went as far as to draw on apparent hand-stitching with a marker to get his dress in on time. While judges didn’t catch the snafu in the first judging panel, MacKinnon voluntarily admitted during the call-back that he drew the stitching on. The admission didn’t affect the judges outcome since they had already decided to sent him home but MacKinnon felt relieved to come clean regardless.

“I have an enormous amount of integrity and I wanted to walk out of there with my integrity,” MacKinnon said.

In early episodes, MacKinnon did full interior finishing on his dresses but quickly realized time was too tight for perfection. Looking back, MacKinnon thinks he probably should have switched to simpler designs and spent more time “dressing up” the exterior of his dresses to make more of an impact.

Still, he says his experience on the show was a blast that took him out of his comfort zone and let him prove he could be adventurous.

“It was something I never thought in a million years I would do — I’m a very private person, quite shy, and I’m very proud of myself for doing this,” MacKinnon said.

When to watch
• Project Runway Canada airs Tuesday nights on Global.

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