Project Runway: Finale, Part 1
October 16, 2014 7:37 PM - Season 13, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The designers head to Rome with Tim for inspiration, get to work on their Fashion Week collections, and give the judges a sneak peek.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Poor Kini. Also the preview made the reunion special look delicious.
posted by donnagirl at 4:16 AM on October 17, 2014

So that was the most uninspiring trip to Italy I've ever seen. They get to stay in a Best Western! Hooray!

I fail to see "Rome" in any one of the collections. I especially laughed when Heidi said that Sean's draped bedsheet with the fringe bloodstain in the back reminded her of a "Grecian goddess." Heidi, did you not get the memo that they all went to Rome?

I loved how blunt Tim was to Char. "So Char, how does it feel to be not quite as good as the other designers?" Then they have to film her having a moment of crisis, but Tim makes it better with bland platitudes and she goes off to continue making hideous clothing. Hooray for the Tim Gunn Save!

Poor Kini. I'd feel worse for him if he didn't think that he had this all wrapped up with a bow before they showed their three looks. I think this was meant to allow Kini to rework his old lady clothes into something, because they had nothing much to say to the other designers except nitpicky tweaks, and I think they'd like to see Kini win.

At this point, I think the win will go to Amanda.
posted by xingcat at 6:06 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would pay a lot to go to Rome, or anywhere, with Tim Gunn. I had major LOLs when the designers went into their Best Western rooms and they were tiny. This is your TV moment, Best Western, maybe upgrade to a suite?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:06 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]

I really liked that coat from Kini and can't wait to see the rest of his collection. Though I agree with the judges that that white top should have gone with a more simple bottom like slim pants or even a pencil skirt. They were more than a little harsh though. Poor Kini.
posted by MsVader at 6:12 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I found it fascinating (i.e. mockable) that the show feels like it needs to help the finalists get inspired for their final collection. That is a hand that should not need to be held.

I thought Kini and the designers over-reacted to his criticism. First of all, a lot of the complaints were about styling. Changing that would make a big difference. Secondly, he doesn't have to remake everything, but should repair/reorganize, substitute smartly. I recognize this is hard to parse when you are tired and worn out and in the heat of the moment, but it actually made me less team Kini.

I do think Kini is and was the frontrunner, and they decided to come down hard on Kini because a) they need more drama, b) Kini is so fast that he can totally create 87 new outfits overnight, so it's not totally impossible, and c) to build up the judges (so when he follows through and wins - as he is expected to do), the stars of the show get expert authority reinforced.

I generally make a point of not watching reunion shows because it's just mining of human pain and foible for fun and ratings, and it makes me viscerally uncomfortable. So I'm glad it's a separate show, and not wrapped into the finale/reveal.

I can't believe Sean thought going 80% fringe wouldn't elicit that kind of reaction. Dude.

I would like to ban shorts from this show. It is not a free pass to high fashion or being cutting edge.

I, too, think Amanda has a good shot at what is being positioned as what would be an underdog win, when in fact she's been strong all season, and has a strong individual design voice.
posted by julen at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Re: collections not being reminiscent of Rome, Amanda was the queen of this. "Oh, I love this sort of deco stuff! And the '60s were totally like that, so I'm going to go for something that looks like '60s and '70s boho LIKE I HAVE DONE FOR EVERYTHING."
posted by Madamina at 7:58 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've given up. I'm now watching Project Runway Canada and Australia on YouTube to wash this fiasco out of my mind.
posted by mimo at 8:04 AM on October 17, 2014

PR Canada and PR Australia are so much better. Just a lot more fun and the people involved don't all seem completely over it.
posted by xingcat at 8:28 AM on October 17, 2014

I second the shorts ban.
posted by MsVader at 9:15 AM on October 17, 2014

Kini, such a skilled seamster, everyone acknowledges it but he keeps wanting to prove it. "I'll show ALL of the technique in ALL of the garmentz!!" His mini-collection wasn't *old* (as in age) so much as fussy, dated, stiff. Very stiff. He thought using denim and neoprene would make it contemporary, and combine it with dazzling technique but it just ended up looking convoluted. That denim coat with the shoulder pleats, SO HEAVY looking, it looked like it weighed a ton.

OTOH, the judges keep using "shorts" as a code word for youthful, still! relevant! but when it's Char and Emily, tiny shorts just look trashy.

In the end, the judges are looking for a collection that looks effortless. Kini's collection *never* looks effortless. He wants everyone to see how much work went into it.

I think it's between Sean and Amanda. Sean's 3 looks last night were well chosen. I think the judges will be less thrilled when they see the rest of the collection.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:15 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it me or was this the first episode where Amanda was actually nice to the others (except Fäde, who she showed love for before)?

Char looked so refreshed and energized when they all got back to New York, seems she really loved being on the show. As for her collection, I think she needs more time to explore what her vision actually is and to bring it all together. So far it looked more like individual pieces from her own wardrobe, not a thought out collection. I really liked Tim Gunn's description of the flow a collection should have. Sadly, it’s not there for Char.

I think Sean has a fresh and unique point of view – his shirts and skirts are so crisp and well-tailored, wow. But I’m concerned the fringe will be frowned upon by the judges and cost him the win.

Kini’s stuff was just overworked, but the critique was harsh considering it’s just 24 hours till FW.

Amanda’s collection (the pieces we’ve seen so far at least), while nice, is so much more commercial than Sean’s or even Kini’s stuff. I can picture her pieces hanging basically everywhere from Forever 21 to Anthropology (with slight changes to details and quality to hit the right price point of course). Looks like she is going to win after all.
Oh, and I liked her jewelry.
posted by travelwithcats at 11:20 AM on October 17, 2014

Poor Kini. But he was a bit smug before the mini-runway. I thought his clothes, whilst beautifully made, were unexciting. That coat was ... weird. But I loved Kini's family and the sight of Tim trying to hula will stay with me for a long time. I love that man.

And Char used that $800 fabric to make that awful short suit? That turquoise dress was fugly and I liked nothing of hers that I saw either on a model or in the other glimpses of her collection.

Nina will punish Sean for the fringe. Oh yes, do not ignore the Power of the Nina. But the fringe dresses are marginally better than those striped prisoner clothes he was persuaded by Tim to reject.

I really liked Amanda's blue dress and I thought the jewellery was stunning. The other two looks she showed didn't impress me. I think Amanda probably has more of a future as a jewellery designer than a fashion designer. She doesn't seem to have many new ideas for her clothes, she just re-works the same things over and over, which doesn't bode well for longevity in the fashion world (unless you're the House of Chanel).

Also, did anyone else notice at the start of the show when Heidi and Tim were standing on the runway how unflattering Heidi's dress was? I had to do a double take, re-wind, look again, re-wind again - it made her look five months pregnant. But it was just the dress. I could hear Nina saying "What woman would wear that?" Screengrab here.
posted by essexjan at 11:32 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I noticed that about Heidi's dress, too. It wasn't until the side view I realized the dress was just really unfortunate.

I find Sean's clothes generally boring, but I think his fringework is generally his best work. Making a fringe-centric collection was a smart, savvy move to put his best foot forward ... if Nina wasn't judging. It was a conundrum, but he should have gone for more of the white drapy pieces, and an orange non-fringed drapy final piece. Start with white, go to black, toss in some orange, end with full orange. On the other hand, this final show is as much an audition for the fashion world as it is for the faaaaabbbbbbuuuuuuuuluuuuuughs prize package/winner title - and he's not a Chloe (or a Kini, I suspect), who will go and set up a boutique in a non-fashion center city and be successful in that way).

I find Char more likable than ever, but she is in over her head. I wish she had waited 2 years. The show will be still going on zombie-style, and she could have matured as a designer. Theoretically.
posted by julen at 11:56 AM on October 17, 2014

About the jewelry: I think Amanda is incredibly smart to have that jewelry in her finale collection, because it's easy to have on a designer's website and can be priced to sell to a viewer, whereas garments would probably be prohibitively expensive. I've been on a number of PR designers' websites and they seem to have an issue selling things, and jewelry will certainly sell well.
posted by xingcat at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm just not excited for any of the final collections or for this season as a whole, and I used to love this show. I'll have to check out the Canadian and Australian versions to see if they've still got it.
posted by Arbac at 1:40 PM on October 17, 2014

Nina's obsession with youth is starting to bug. It's all she ever talks about. Do people over 22 not wear clothing? I'm tired of her.

I laughed as Amanda showed photos of lots of architectural details which were not art deco in any way shape or form, and kept referring to them as art deco.
posted by the webmistress at 2:12 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I could not believe Kini sent that awful blue bag down the runway with his beautiful pieces. It was like he thought, "Ladies need bags, right? Take this bag!" Also the eyeshadow on his models was truly insane, like the makeup artist was pranking him and he didn't realize it.

The cynic in me says the producers probably intervened off-screen and forced Kini to make these styling mistakes. There's a moment when the judges are talking when Tim is just looking away as if he is appalled by whatever is going on. As for the clothes, I loved the coat as a finale look. In Kini's position, I might be tempted to cut it in half and turn it into separates. That skirt with the too many pleats all sewn together was poofing out in the wrong ways, though.

If Sean does away with the majority of his fringe, I personally like his looks the best. I even liked his cast-off sad prison clothes, from what I saw of them. And the white blouse? Flawless. (Except for the buttons. I didn't like the buttons. They felt cheap, like the plain white buttons on a shirt you'd get at the Gap in 1997. I'd finish that shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons.)

Amanda's clothes: I hated the knit pattern with the nipple eyes. I thought that the slit made the dress look cheap, because knit doesn't usually look great on the inside, and the dress was unlined, so you ended up seeing the wrong side of the print, which looks unplanned and accidental. I think she's a possible contender for the win, though after this episode I came to a bizarre conclusion:

Char is going to win. I know, I know. It's crazy and makes no sense and we've seen nothing that would lead us to believe she has made anything that looks winning. But with the amount of talking her down that the other designers all did in this episode, and that even Tim did, she almost has to win. If I were a producer on this show, that is how I would frame the winner: everyone under-estimates her right out of the gate, doesn't even bother to look at what she's made, calls her clothes cheap, says her construction is bad. It's all true! This is why Char is going to win, because like with Gretchen in season whatever, what the producers really want is to make the viewers' heads explode.
posted by brina at 4:13 PM on October 17, 2014

I could not believe Kini sent that awful blue bag down the runway with his beautiful pieces.

That bag had ALDO STYLING WALL written all over it, and it truly looked awful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:23 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm now steadily making my way through PR Australia (or Pro-ject Runway 'Stralia, as they seem to say) and have watched Season 4 and am in the midst of Season 1 (no idea why I did it out of order, I blame YouTube). Thank you to those who suggested this. It is a balm for the weary PR viewing soul.

Perhaps after PR USA is done for the season, we could switch to a rewatch of PR 'Stralia or Canada seasons or even do a rewatch of PR USA Season 1?

Loved Kini's white bell sleeved shirt and strongly agree that a minimalist pencil skirt would let it be beautiful architecture as it should be. The coat has good features but was proportionally weird - like a beautiful person with a very short neck.

Felt like Sean's fringe festival was fine - others use themes, and why not let him do something he enjoys and is good at.

Amanda ... not feeling her collection. It looks like it is all riffs on her look from two challenges ago (link to Tom and Lorenzo recap). Really loved that dress but the collection is derivative of it and lacks its grace.

Char ... I kept hoping that with time to actually construct and think about what she's making she'd come up with interesting clothing, but with a whole four weeks, it doesn't look like that happened.

It used to be that contestants had MONTHS to make a collection. I miss that. A lot.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was pretty sure the judges said Kini needed to completely *restyle* his collection, not *remake* it. Why do the designers, including Kini, keep talking about his needing to make a new collection or new garments?
posted by amtho at 6:49 PM on October 18, 2014

Well, they said Kini needs to lose the coat and that the white top needs skinnier bottoms. So assuming he came with 10 looks, he has now 8 full ones and two separates that need complementary pieces.

They also advised Amanda to forget about the long dress, Char to drop the semi see-trough dress (?) and Sean to include some non-fringe pieces to show range.

The designers had about 4 weeks after their return from Italy to work on their 10 piece collections, it' not like they have 25 pieces already on hand and can easily pick something different for FW.
posted by travelwithcats at 7:11 PM on October 18, 2014

I'm pretty sure Kini came with more than 10 looks. Didn't Sean ask him about it?

But no matter how many extra pieces he brought, what are the odds that he'll have a basic pencil skirt or a pair of cigarette pants on hand?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:04 PM on October 18, 2014

That would be really interesting to know. Are any restrictions placed on the designers regarding the clothes they can bring back (all the racks look so uniform prior to unveiling)?

Anyway, even if a designer had additional looks, when the judges drop hints that sound more like directions it would be rather foolish to disregard those (if one knows this show and wants to win).
posted by travelwithcats at 2:20 AM on October 19, 2014

Folks, check out this FPP: On Sewing as a Universal Language
Monsieur Caution collected many (youtube) links to international versions of sewing/fashion related competition shows.
posted by travelwithcats at 2:33 AM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Kini's clothes are so tortured. But how the hell does he do it??? I can't wrap my head around how he makes garments so quickly. And they are so chock full of details, and the fabric is so beaten into submission. So many pleats and darts and folds and fripperies. For someone like me who is a minimalist at heart, his designs are so overworked that it's painful to see. But his speed is blowing my mind.

And his collection this week was dreadfully sad. It was so morose. All of the words Nina used every week to describe Emily's clothes, basically.

That skirt he showed, the one with the pleats and the strip of leather around the lower stomach area, is probably the most unflattering thing a woman could ever wear. It even made the model's stomach look poochy, imagine what it would do to a mere mortal, or a woman who's had kids. Pretty much any woman other than Nina's ideal would look like utter crap in it. Terrible.

I am so tempted to peek at the final collections, I can't even stand it.
posted by the webmistress at 7:41 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is Sean's whole "Fall of Caesar" story something other designers have done?
posted by drezdn at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2014

I actually really like Kini's pleated skirt! It looked cool. If he just threw together a t shirt to go with it and a pair of black pants to go with that shirt, I think he'd be able to please Nina.

I really think Char might be the most innovative and interesting designer. But she just doesn't have the experience the others do. It makes me sad.
posted by meese at 4:16 PM on October 19, 2014

I laughed as Amanda showed photos of lots of architectural details which were not art deco in any way shape or form, and kept referring to them as art deco.

I'm surprised she didn't call them "punk rock"...

though I kind of hope she wins at this point??!
posted by en forme de poire at 11:05 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised she didn't call them "punk rock"...

This is the funniest thing. I love how everything with Amanda is like 60s-70s hippie but also totally punk rock. Poor dear, probably thinks Maroon 5 is punk rock and that's what's formed her basis for using it as an adjective ever since.
posted by phunniemee at 9:32 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sean and the fringe. Get another trick you silly pony.

Kini and his tormented fabrics. Look, horsehair!

Char, all of her taste is in her mouth. She picked the UGLIEST fabric in Italy and then made...a romper. Oh dear.

Amanda. I keep forgetting she exists.

I'm not wrong am I? We have no more talented designers in the US?

Okay, let's bring this shorts thing to a vote now.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:52 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Haha. And the thing about the fringe is....didn't Sean basically cop the fringe from Amanda? I may not be remembering this correctly I recall her winning two challenges in which her garment was dripping with fringe, and then Sean started doing it? And really went overboard. Is that what happened? It's all pretty much a blur to me now. A blur with fringe on it.

I vote no shorts ;)
posted by the webmistress at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't remember Sean latching on to fringe until Char left it on her outfit, while Tim talked Sean into taking his off. Char got praised for the fringe and Sean's fringe-less American Girl outfit was trashed by the judges.
posted by drezdn at 5:01 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Perhaps you've seen this before, I just came across a glimpse into Tim Gunns life via the It Gets Better campaign.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:30 PM on October 20, 2014

I thought it was nice that the final four genuinely seemed to like each other. It cut down on the silly drama hardcore, so we got plenty of time to look at the clothes. More of this, please.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:33 AM on October 21, 2014

I missed this episode (was having a much better time at a film festival). I think there's some potentially big news buried at the end of Tom & Lorenzo's recap, though:
You guys, we say this without anger, but we’re done with Project Runway after this season finishes. It’s deadly dull, we don’t care who wins the season because none of them had impressive collections or interesting personalities, and the Lifetime years have turned it into a combination of soap opera and infomercial. Mostly the latter.

It’s time for us to walk away.
Project Runway is what made T-Lo famous. Certainly to everyone I know personally who watches the show, T-Lo and their recaps are deeply linked to the experience. Tom and Lorenzo dropping the show seems to me like the ONE thing that might get the producers to sit up and take notice that the show is broken and needs help.
posted by dnash at 8:53 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

If I were a producer, the two quickest fixes I'd take would be shortening the show to an hour (less need to pad out the show with drama) and give the designers more time on each challenge.
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2014

I've watched every episode of every season of Project Runway and have watched seasons of Project Runway from other countries, too. I watch a lot of Project Runway. I had never heard of Tom and Lorenzo prior to these fanfare threads. Maybe I'm a glaring exception?
posted by phunniemee at 9:16 AM on October 21, 2014

If I were a producer, the two quickest fixes I'd take would be shortening the show to an hour (less need to pad out the show with drama) and give the designers more time on each challenge.

Bring back Michael Kors, get rid of Zach Posen and Zach Posen's terrible fucking hair and terrible fucking I-think-I'm-just-as-cute-as-Michael-Kors bitchicisms, and explain to Nina Garcia that she's almost 50 and therefore living proof that people over age 22 exist.
posted by phunniemee at 9:20 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Does anyone know why Michael Kors left? Did he choose to leave, or was he kicked off?

I miss Michael Kors. :-(
posted by meese at 9:53 AM on October 21, 2014

Bring back Michael Kors, get rid of Zach Posen and Zach Posen's terrible fucking hair and terrible fucking I-think-I'm-just-as-cute-as-Michael-Kors bitchicisms, and explain to Nina Garcia that she's almost 50 and therefore living proof that people over age 22 exist.

posted by MsVader at 12:18 PM on October 21, 2014

I've been thinking for *years* that I would love, love, love to see what the designers would do with a reasonable amount of time, and _also_ with a "form follows function" mentality. A more clear set of goals for each challenge would probably help immensely!

Is it runway show as art exhibit? Fine!

Is it clothes for women to actually wear to work? Then examine the actual, physical experiences of that -- make something that looks good with flats, that has pockets for whatever devices the customer is using, that can be machine washed -- make the goal more specific, and then the ideas will flow. There are plenty of examples of this kind of thing working in the past.

Is it clothes for restaurant staff, corporate administrators, real-estate agents, teachers? Doing some kind of functionality analysis for the project, before jumping in and designing, could be *hugely* interesting for everyone, and give really fascinating results.
posted by amtho at 2:03 PM on October 23, 2014

Is it clothes for restaurant staff, corporate administrators, real-estate agents, teachers? Doing some kind of functionality analysis for the project, before jumping in and designing, could be *hugely* interesting for everyone, and give really fascinating results.

You know, I think they did this on an early season (maybe season 1?) with USPS. They actually woke up at dawn, walked a postal route with a mail carrier, and talked to them about what they liked, didn't like, needed, etc in their uniforms. They actually had some pretty decent results if I remember correctly.
posted by phunniemee at 2:08 PM on October 23, 2014

Gotta google before I post.
posted by phunniemee at 2:09 PM on October 23, 2014

The usps episode was one of the best. I don't know why they've not done more of that.
posted by meese at 4:50 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not as much money in it as the Samsung® Smart Refrigerator in a Lexus® you drive to Red Robin® to talk to the American Girl® CEO about an official Project Runway® on Lifetime® "Unconventional Challenge" sponsored by Resource Natural Spring Water®. Probably.
posted by phunniemee at 5:48 AM on October 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

sciencegeek, I think a rewatch of a Project Runway Canada or Australia season is a great idea!
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:43 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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