Project Runway contestant Gunnar Deatherage was eliminated from the Lifetime show on Thursday night's episode, which turned out to be an emotional one for the designer.
The HP and Intel challenge called for the designers to create their own print for the material they would use to make their outfit.
Deatherage, a 22-year-old from Louisville, Ky., created a black-and-white print featuring a mix of hands and birds meshed together that were meant to represent his struggles with bullying while in school. He originally made a riding jacket from the print, but after hearing Tim Gunn's critique, Deatherage reworked the jacket, which he paired with a black skirt.
On the runway, judge Michael Kors said the message behind the print was "great" but the pattern itself looked "like a sheet of bird postage stamps." The outfit made the model "look like a suburban twirler," Kors added. "She's missing a baton and hat."
Guest judge and Project Runway: All Stars winner Mondo Guerra (who recaps the show for The Hollywood Reporter) said the print looked "chaotic."
Of the outfit, he added: "It's just very busy, and it's boxy. I think it reads a little 'junior.' It looks crafty."
For his part, Deatherage says he realized while being judged on the runway that it was just his time to go.
"I was very much over it," he says. "I think at that point, the competition was wearing me down. ... The only point I needed to prove was to myself. What was going to happen was going to happen, and it was out of my hands at that point."
Still, he doesn't think his outfit was the worst one in the episode. Asked if Ven Budhu -- who also landed in the bottom two -- should have gone home instead of him, Deatherage says, "I definitely think his was worse than mine. How many fan flowers can you have on a dress?" he adds of Budhu's signature design.
Deatherage -- who previously was in the running for season nine but didn't make the final cut -- adds that he enjoyed the experience, though he wishes he had taken more risks with his designs.
"I feel like I got exactly what I wanted out of this show," he says. "Going into it, it was about winning, and then a couple of challenges in, I started to see what it was really about. I think that it was more about the closure from last time I was on the show and proving to myself that I do know what I'm doing."
He also is proud that he was able to address his past being bullied while on Project Runway.
"It was hell growing up and going through school," he says. "How many times am I going to get to say something on behalf of people who have been bullied, on national television?"
Deatherage adds that there's "no hard feelings" toward fellow designer Christopher Palu, with whom he feuded on the show. The two were seen making up in Thursday's episode, though they aren't in touch right now. He adds that he's rooting for Dmitry Sholokhov and Fabio Costa, his roommates while on the show, to win.
Next up, Deatherage -- whose dream celebrity client would be Florence Welch -- is looking toward the magazine industry, aiming to "explore the realm of creative direction and photo shoots."