I am going to try to keep this brief since the first part of the finale always bores me. Nobody gets voted off the island and basically we watch Tim Gunn travel to parts unknown (like Detroit) to visit the remaining designers. Yawn.
The final 4: Char, Kini, Sean, and Amanda are informed by Tim and Heidi they will each have a budget of $9000 and five weeks to complete a ten-look collection to be shown at New York Fashion Week. However, in a Project Runway first, they are all whisked off to Rome to find inspiration for their collections…and their love of good food I hope. They pack their (sponsored product placement) Tumi luggage and jet off to stay at the 4 star Hassler Hotel. Just kidding, they stay at, er what? (sponsored product placement) Best Western. Who even knew there was a Best Western in Rome and I for one can not think of more design inspiration!
With Tim as their tour guide the designers get a walking tour of the city and then a chance to blow their materials allotment at an Italian high-end fabric store. Only Amanda and Char purchase anything. The other two don’t want to blow their money yet.
Now back on US soil, Tim is off to visit each designer. He visits Kini in Hawaii to peak at his “Park Avenue Princess in Rome” collection. So far so good. Then it’s off to Detroit to visit Char where Tim is less impressed. His pet project is putting together a collection with no cohesion. Next Tim heads to Nashville to visit Amanda and then it’s back to Brooklyn to visit Sean who has lived there a hot minute and doesn’t even know where to find a good bagel yet. Against Tim’s warning, Sean is going to proceed with fringe. Quelle surprise!
Fast forward and we are now back in NYC and just days from New York Fashion Week. As each unwraps his or her collection (checks out the competition) and conducts hair and makeup consultations, Tim then shocks the designers. They have 2 hours to present the judges a three-look preview of their collection. Say what? Now this finally gets interesting. Instead of having to create a last-minute 11th look (which is expected) they will get valuable feedback from the judges. Right now! The 3 real judges, no guest judge (thank God) and no elimination.
I am going to lump the looks and feedback for each designer together to save time.
Amanda: Personally I find her collection one of the stronger ones, mostly because of her jewelry. The judges agree. She tells them she found inspiration in Rome’s ancient buildings covered in bright posters and graffiti. Nina says the jewelry makes her clothes look more expensive, so she should add more. Nina also advises (warns) Amanda to not fall into the boho style trap she tends to favor. In other words, grow up!
Sean: The story behind Sean’s collection is intriguing (Caesar’s betrayal), but not enough to distract Nina from the fringe. There is fringe on every one of his looks! However, it is the strongest collection. Like Helmut Lang meets Alexander Wang. When Nina says “how much fringe is there?” Sean sheepishly answers “Enough.” If he ditches some of the fringe he’s a solid contender. The judges agree.
Char: “My girl is hot, fly and fresh,” says Char about her collection. However, the judges beg to differ. Heidi calls out the obvious to everyone (but Char) the lack of cohesion. Nina hates her second look which is a one-shoulder dress with a transparent top half and tells her to ditch it. The judges rightly tell Char to bring her bright energy to her clothes.
Kini: “I’m all about detail and construction,” says Kini. Yet, when you see a look of horror on Zac’s face as he watches his preview, you know he has missed the mark. Yes, the construction is impeccable, but not fashionable to anyone under the age of 70. Heidi cuts to the chase and flat out says, “I think you’re much better than this.” The clothes are too matronly and his styling and makeup…just wrong. Kini is shocked, but so are the viewers and judges who can’t believe he is so off the mark. Back in the designer’s lounge, Kini comes undone. Speedy Gonzalez knows he had better pull an all-nighter and a bunny out of his hat to fix this mess.
“Now I’m freaking out! We’re going to Rome!” – Char
“I thought I was going to have to go to the library in downtown Nashville for inspiration.” – Amanda
“Makes me sweat… spending all this money.” – Amanda
“Ohhhh! That will be my morning exercise routine!” – Tim
“This looks like she was attached by a bunch of birds.” – Tim
“We’re looking like Muppets!” -Tim
“Your a whirling dervish.” – Tim
“It’s what every designer dreads… when Tim pauses in silence.” – Sean
“I’m a fan of the fringe.” – Heidi
“Is your entire collection fringe?” – Nina
“It looks like an Ace Bandage… Lose it. I hate this look.” – Nina
“I don’t want it to be like Sporty Spice, Sexy Spice and Hoochie Spice. ” – Zac
“Right now this looks very ‘old lady’ You will have to restyle it completely!” – Heidi
“You’ve gone really old lady.” – Nina
“She’s not cool, she’s not sexy, and she’s not edgy.” – Zac
“You need a little cool.” -Nina
“I have no time, I have no fabric…What am I going to do?” – Kini
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– Lauren Dimet Waters
Project Runway Photos: Lifetime