Project Runway: The Final Runway
June 14, 2019 9:38 AM - Season 17, Episode 14 - Subscribe

The Finale is here! Three designers have fought for the chance to show their collections to the New York fashion elite and to the world. They will grapple with all aspects of putting together an amazing runway, from model casting to hair and make up to deciding what outfits will give them the best chance for the win. Pressure is at an all time high when they find out the guest judge is legendary designer Diane Von Furstenberg.
posted by kanata (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


No surprises here, but my heart was just full when I saw Bishme say "Papiiiiittttooooooo!!!!!" behind Sebastian when he was announced the winner.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:46 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Hooray, Sebastian! He chose a color palette which is anathema to me, but that's strictly a matter of personal preference, and he was so clearly far ahead of the other two in every way. I only sort of half-watched the later Lifetime seasons, but my vague impression is that it was the best final collection we've seen in years.

Hester's collection was better than I expected of her, but I did have to laugh when she characterized her looks as "badass...punk rock." Honey, your client is a club kid who goes off and sulks in a corner when no one will share their coke with him. That's your aesthetic, you don't have to try to gin up some weird girl-power narrative for it.

Weirdly, as a woman on the border of plus size, I think I might still choose Garo to do an evening gown for me over the other two, even though his was the weakest collection of the three. I'd feel ridiculous in Hester and I'm not sure Sebastian would maximize my assets and minimize my weak points. (But of course Christian over all three.)

Christian grew into the role of mentor over time, becoming more direct and opinionated as the numbers dwindled and he could have more time and rapport with the remaining contestants. Brandon and Karlie were decent judges. Elaine, not so much. She's all about story/persona, which is obviously not irrelevant, but not determinative, and her technical knowledge was clearly lacking. I think I'd enjoy having coffee with her, though.
posted by praemunire at 12:16 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


(It just occurred to me what Hester's work most reminds me of...that Little Bo Peep outfit Austin Scarlett did for that forgettable rocker chick in good old season one.)
posted by praemunire at 12:18 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I can see why Sebastian won (not just a superior collection, but he's the American dream personified), but I really liked Garo's choices of fabric. And the whole OMG the zipper isn't sewn right felt forced. Here's hoping all three of them continue in their careers.
posted by Melismata at 12:43 PM on June 14


Sebastian was so far ahead of everyone the entire season that it felt like a troll that it took him so long to win a challenge and I was afraid that the finale was going to be a troll too - not that I thought Hester and Garo were bad, but everything about Sebastian's just looked *perfect* even though it's not anything I would ever wear.

Also I ended up liking Hester a lot more than I thought I would, but the fact that she thought her collection was any kind of futuristic or cutting edge was delusional. I'm a 38 year old who just graduated from college and not only did it look like it was ripped straight off of the set of Clueless, people have been dressing like that for at least the past few years that I was on campus. The 90s have been back for so long that it's almost over again.
posted by primalux at 1:28 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


First of all, that was an incredible location. They filled it up enough so it seemed like a bona fide FW show.

Sebastian, well done. His collection reminded me of Leanne Marshall's in that it is timeless/classical/sophisticated. In an earlier era, he'd have a shop at Henri Bendel or Bonwit Teller. I love how he reworked his Nina gown from last week.

Hester is the whole package. She seemed to be the only one DvF was excited about. Some final three designers fall apart when they have plenty of time and no restrictions so it's great to see one who has plenty of ideas and just needed time to execute them.

Garo, well his was better than I expected but his love of lurex let him down. The botched zipper was unfortunate but that particular dress has been done SO often, he was going to get dinged for being unoriginal. I did love those gloves on the final gown, they were stunning.

Interesting season, it was overloaded with mediocre designers so instead of the first half of the season sifting through the chum, it went on for three-quarters of the show. Maybe that was due to rushing to get it on the air. Now they managed a successful finale that didn't have to be timed to FW so that pressure is off.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:53 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I actually said, "Oh wow, really?" 

Look, I adore Sebastian and I think he's extremely talented. But I also found his collection very bland. Yes, the techniques were cool. I personally liked the shadow stripe pieces. However, the colors and overall aesthetic are nothing I would ever wear. It felt fussy and blah at the same time. And like, the crochet leather is interesting (even though I don’t like leather.) But I miss more of his beautiful stitching techniques that were barely present. And the thing is, I tend to be an outlier when it comes to these things because my fashion tends to be a bit out there.

And that's why I really adored Hester's runway and really wanted her to win. Those pastel looks were stunning. I would wear so much of that! And in fact I wear things that would almost fit into this collection (glances toward my collection of harnesses and chokers and soft and hard aesthetic.) And I really feel let down that they didn’t go with someone who really DID invent some fantastic stuff that is very NOW and fresh and interesting. I also felt like she really grew into herself and created a unique collection.

And poor Garo. I like him but his collection wasn’t cohesive. I actually like the glitter lurex stuff, but then there’s a lot of overdone clothing that doesn’t fit and doesn’t have a run-through of sparkle or space. I’m so upset about Kate’s final dress. Even if it was finished PERFECTLY it’s still a boring and strangely proportioned dress. It’s a shimmer beige. BEIGE! Yawn.

I guess this is par for the course for me because I tend to always disagree with the finale choice. But this one made me pretty sad. Not that I don’t think Sebastian deserves it as a person, but because I liked Hester’s collection so much more. I already was following her on social media, and I hope she’s able to create stuff, and to create stuff at somewhat accessable price points.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:38 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I have to admit that this season ended up losing me. I ended up following the last 4-5 episodes just on Tom & Lorenzo and only kept posting cause I started it. I do love the new format and surprisingly find Christian a breath of much needed air. I enjoyed the lack of drama (for an American reality show that's a refreshing experience) and the focus more on the making of clothes but I felt like the judging was off and that most of the contestants were really flat. I didn't see anything that I thought was the "future of fashion". A lot of clothes I liked but nothing that seemed really different or exciting. I think this show suffered from too many mediocre designers so it felt like a slog. The judging was too much influenced by "branding".

I'm wondering if indeed reality tv is passing me by as both this and Drag Race this season seemed to be more about Instragram looks than effort. I'm not sure if that makes sense. More that the look is now more important than the talent behind it.

A lot of these designers seem to be beginners and I guess if it didn't have the PR name attached to it I probably would have liked it more. If it stated out front that they've switched the show to be about how to get a mentorship or how to start forming your own fashion business then I wouldn't have these expectations that all these people should be on the level of NY fashion week.

Anyway, I'm happy Sebestain won as he was robbed so many times during the season of wins and Hester did grow on me in that she understood when something she made was a total failure (that rooster outfit). I'm sure everyone when they have more time is a good designer but I hope if it continues they weed their contestants a little bit better. Reality tv where people make things and there's no drama at all is my jam.
posted by kanata at 7:21 AM on June 15


Yay, Sebastian! I hope Diane von Furstenberg really gives Hester a job, though, as she said she would during the judging. They were both great collections.
posted by pangolin party at 10:26 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Also Hester posted to her Instagram stories that she is working on making her collection available this fall. In sizes XS-5X though some items will only be custom order. I highly appreciate being more size inclusive.

ETA: She also said DVF is someone she would love to work with but nothing about working together at the moment and she is focusing on her brand right now.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:41 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Sebastian's collection was head and shoulders above Hester's and Garo's. The craftmanship of the woven dresses was sublime. But putting two coffee-coloured satin pant suits one after the other ... I thought that might undo him. Thankfully not.

I, too, warmed to Hester as the season progressed. I also liked her pastel looks very much. The one with the knee-high socks I could see Lena Dunham wearing. but I didn't like the red/black print or anything made out of it.

Garo had some lovely clothes in his collection, but he should definitely have included the paillot dress. On the other hand, the dress Christian really didn't think he should include was stunning on that model and worked well with the collection.

I was really quite moved by Ice Queen Nina's speech at the end about the importance of immigrants and how Sebastian embodied the American dream, going from a house cleaner to winning PR. I know that's not the reason why he won, but it was a strong message to TPTB.

Overall, an excellent series, although I disagree with Tom and Lorenzo in one respect - I do love a bit of drama and conflict between the designers. That could be amped up a little next season.
posted by essexjan at 3:35 PM on June 15


I'm really glad that Sebastian won, even if his final collection didn't live up to my expectations. I know it's just a personal opinion, and I know it's a big trend, but I really hate shear see-through that doesn't accommodate undergarments. Actually praemunire and I agree on so much about this finale. I should just pretty much say "ditto" to it and have that stand as my comment.

I know Garo's collection wasn't innovative and he made some really poor decisions (especially about reworking that dress), but a lot of what he did appealed to me, and like praemunire, I'd be tempted to get him to make me something (out of the three finalists).

Unlike the judges, I hated Hester's blue and white print, but actually really appreciated her red and black plaid (or whatever we're calling it). The thing that bugged me the most during her runway (and I don't know if this is her choice or the show's producers') but if you're going to say rococo is the driving influence of the collection, don't play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as your theme music as it's not bloody rococo, I don't care how much you synthesize it.

Like everybody else, with all the fawning the judges were doing over Hester, I was sure they were going to give her the win. I'm glad I was wrong.

I've been saying from the start that I thought Christian was doing a good job, but he was a standout in this episode. Next season, I want to see even more Christian, and even more guidance and direction for the designers.
posted by sardonyx at 8:29 PM on June 15


I gotta say, I absolutely HATED the venue for the runway show. Yes, it was a beautiful space, but the clothes were lost in the surroundings. Too much to look at.

Christian really was the stand-out this season. I loved him when he was a contestant, and I love him more now. I hope they'll give us more of him next season.
posted by MsVader at 3:37 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


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