Project Runway: Finale, Part 1
October 30, 2015 10:09 AM - Season 14, Episode 13 - Subscribe

In a surprise move which surprises exactly zero people, Tim uses his save. He visits the remaining designers in their hometowns, gobbles up all of their food, and criticizes their clothes. The designers return to the studio, where they have to decide which three designs from their collections best exemplify their point of view, to show the judges for the mini runway show.

I'm surprised that I ended up liking Ashley's the most. Even with the fit issues and the wonky zippers. I just like her aesthetic right now, even though I think she goes cheap end with fabric and colors sometimes. She has a questionable taste level but really...all four of them do. I dug the headdresses. If her aesthetic is plus size retro (why do plus size fashions always resort to retro looks though...) channeling Mexico in the 50s, I think the headdresses are a fantastic addition to that. I can see women of any size going nuts for her clothes, with just a bit of refinement. This is hers to win.

Kelly really disappointed me. It was like Ashley handed the "queen of Forever 21" crown over to Kelly and she made a lot of sparkly cheap stuff that is in stores right now. I liked the faux bois fabric and even liked the sequins but....there was no design. Making a fanny pack that already exists, but making it in sequins...sorry, not innovative. And the headphones were channeling Jay Carroll in a big way. And the but someone else on a previous season already did that..the zipper thing. I love Kelly and hope she can rebound. But TWO DAYS.

Candace...meh. Just meh. So overworked and yet also so underwhelming.

Edmond is flailing. When in doubt, just add ruffles!

Edmond: Stiffy McRuffles
Candace: Noir McGotherton
Kelly: Sparkles McGee
Ashley: Lacy McLacerson
posted by the webmistress (23 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Candace's WAS awful! She looked like she was designing for 'the hot young widow crying at her sugar daddy hubby's funeral' crowd. I actually like most of her pieces individually but the way she combines and the way she styles them? So much sadness and severity. There is no joy. None. But as separates, I do like.

This was the worst mini collection runway show yet. Nothing was anything I couldn't already find somewhere. Everything gave me the sads.
posted by the webmistress at 12:38 PM on October 30, 2015

I'm hoping there's more from Ashley, because the lace theme is not really my thing. But what I really came in to say is that the deli that Kelly used to work in, the one she's been talking about all season, is like, less than a mile from my house. I have eaten there many times! Bob's is awesome, and I can't wait to go see if there is really a Tim Gunn sandwich.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 5:53 PM on October 30, 2015

She looked like she was designing for 'the hot young widow crying at her sugar daddy hubby's funeral' crowd.

This is perfect.

Ashley's fit issues are mostly finishing her stuff, which is why she's not panicking - unlike everyone else. Also, if it were a strategy, it'd be super-smart to give the judges something really obvious to pick on; I don't think Ashley is that devious, but ... I don't feel bad for Candace (she was so super-involved with her own genius to see her errors, and that collection feels really fashion school final project) or Edmond (Seriously, you came without 3 looks and still think black and white is something to build a collection around?).

I do feel bad for Kelly because I think her lack of experience hurt her here both in terms of understanding budget and fabric options and in evaluating her own choices. That said, I do think she will emerge from the show with a career in fashion (even if it's "only" regional) and that will be a win for her.

I love Ashley's headdresses, but if she cares about appeasing Nina, I'd turn some into wrist corsages and bouquets. Personally, I'd say "Screw Nina." but not too loudly.
posted by julen at 6:18 PM on October 30, 2015

At this point, I have no idea who is going to win. Everyone's got problems, and everyone's stuff looks kinda... not right.

I have to say, I love Candace's stuff, but this is the super tacky "YES I WANT A HOOP SKIRT OH YES RIGHT NOW GONE GIMME" side of me that I try to keep under wraps.
posted by meese at 7:00 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I hated to see Tim's hands shaking a few times, early in with Edmond & then at Ashley's critique. I hope he's ok.

Our comment with Candace is that she basically took nine thousand dollars & designed herself a new wardrobe. She's crafty & calculating & I've not forgiven her for the mean girls fiasco, but I bet if you ask her she'd admit to being the one playing the game to win it. Unfortunately her collection reflects that: big drama. Also, who takes Tim to the beach?

Going back to loving Tim, I adore that he offered to take selfies. He's reaching Mister Rogers saint status in my book.

Ultimately I want Ashley to find enough success that some of her clothes make it to production so that I can wear it. Can we kickstart that or something?
posted by librarianamy at 7:01 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I though Candace had some great pieces but the styling and overall looks are so severe. Not fun at all.

Kelly designed some great stuff, the ones she showed the judges seemed the weakest.

Edmond's stuff was boring to me. Not inspired. Ashley's too - Mexico City in the 1959's should be a great inspiration - cosmopolitan and not so conservative.

In general there is a lot of very conservative stuff on the show this season. I want something that surprises me and there has been very little.
posted by mai at 8:49 PM on October 30, 2015

I just want to say that beginning bit where Tim had to pretend he was sad about Edmond leaving was *so* uncomfortable to watch. Surprises zero people is right.

I love Kelly and hope she wins, but I did not like the wood grain fabric or the beige fabric and the way she paired those two with other fabrics. Ashley's seem a mess/not very well made, and I don't like the lace and I really don't like pastels. Edmond has lost his way. Candace stayed true to form but meh. Agree it was a terrible idea to drag Tim Gunn to a windy beach. Dang.
posted by Glinn at 9:40 PM on October 30, 2015

Yeah, Candice's was pretty récherché, a real late-90s Matrix-Japanophile-bondage moment. Ashley's was cute but the three she showed were super repetitive (seriously, two out of three skirt lengths were the same, and three out of three tops had the same proportions). Edmond's cupcake dress was on point but the other two were shruggo, and who the hell even knows what else he brought because of this whole international man of mystery schtick. I think Kelly's is rad as fuck, wood grain and all, but I didn't love that look that she subbed in at the last second - I think it's a little literal on the 70s inspiration and the spangly top is kinda just there (I think it'll look a lot better with the fanny packs on all of them). Still, I think she's actually in better shape than it sounded from the critique because the rest of her collection is actually really fun, and because the judges told her to turn it up and she already has great accessories.

The home visits were cute, though, particularly Kelly's. And how correct was that Polaroid of Edmond's parents?? So correct!!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:33 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wonder if it's maybe a smart move to present a slightly dulled down version to the judges, at least if you can guess which way their critiques could go. The judges really love it when they can say "wow, they really listened to our critique" in their final judging. The designers obviously don't have time to redo a whole lot (in most cases), so if you can get a critique telling you to go in a direction you will by necessity have to go in, you're in great shape.

I didn't like Candace's mini runway. But, I've felt like that way before, while the judges loved it. Like her look in the Finding Neverland challenge, which she won with, but to me read Sexy Gothic Pirate Halloween costume.

Edmond's to me felt fairly close to what I was expecting from him, except the severe one with the ruffles. But I was so surprised that he turned up in NY saying he still had to construct three of his ten looks. I mean... he's auditioned for every season, so I hope he's been watching as well and he must have known that they'd throw some new challenge at them. I was generally a bit surprised that none of the designers mentioned having extra/spare pieces/looks with them.

Ashley disappointed me a bit with her very limited color palette, and no use of prints at all. The judges mentioned that as well, and while I agree I thought it was an unhelpful critique. By now she has the looks she has, it's not like she has time to completely remake her collection with more colors and prints.

And then Kelly. I thought her mini collection wasn't great, but have some hopes for the big one. I still hopes she wins, because I think she would gain the most from it. I think winning would give her some money to allow her to study and work hard just on fashion. I think her lack of experience and schooling does hinder her. I don't think you need to go to design school to be a good designer, but I think with any craft you want to be aware of the styles and techniques which are used and have been used by the masters of that craft.
posted by bjrn at 4:03 AM on October 31, 2015

First of all, designers, STOP pretending you're shocked that you have to make a new look in a day to go with your mini-collection. It's happened for the last few years!

I thought Ashley's collection emphasised her limitations. She only knows how to make two outfits - a box-pleated skirt and a crop top. And she doesn't know how to do those very well. The fit and construction of her clothes is shocking for someone at this stage of the competition. Her choice of colours is awful. And when Tim visited her he told her he was concerned about her collection, and that she needed to bring in some jewel tones to counteract the pale shades. Ashley then said in her TH that Tim had loved everything she was doing and told her she didn't need to change anything!

I could admire the work that had gone into Candace's collection, but I didn't like any of it. Far too costumey and early 90s for my taste. I've been trying to remember who Candace reminded me of, and then it came to me.

Edmond is also someone whose limitations are obvious now he's having to put together a collection. His clothes would sell in a department store, but they're so dull and uninspiring. Exactly the kind of thing you'd see in Filene's Basement or Loehmann's (double RIP!), a season out of date.

I really liked Kelly's collection. I wouldn't wear any of it, it's not my style at all, but I thought it was fun and interesting. I wish she'd put one of those mesh outfits on the runway to test the reaction. But then if it'd been destroyed by the judges, it would leave her in the position of having too much to recover, as the mesh look seems to be a big part of her collection. So probably the better move was to leave it as a surprise in a like-it-or-lump-it way.

I really, really hope Kelly wins. She's the most naturally talented of the final four. This hasn't been a stand-out season, but if Kelly doesn't win, there's no justice.
posted by essexjan at 7:18 AM on October 31, 2015

Oh god, Edmond is so great at tailoring and then he brings out what ostensibly looks like a Barbie mini-collection, and that long frilly glitter sock dress didn't even look finished at the bottom. WTF.

Kelly's aesthetic reminds me very much of Patricia Field's actual designs (not her SATC styling), which is to say, get rid of the "nude pantyhose" trim and I'll buy it.

Candace got called out for more or less copying other designers, and I'm glad. She can do better than just ripping off the standard goth couture look and lining it with a flowered print.

I really do like most of what Ashley's doing, but prints would've taken those looks to another level. Add a white or matching bandeau/liner under those lace crop tops and a printed skirt and she would've killed it, no question.

I'd love to see her do a gorgeous, over-the-top colored wedding gown look with a huge bouquet instead of a headdress now, based on the judges' feedback. And I actually LOVE those headdresses, but Nina is right -- the audience should be talking about her clothes after the show, not the accessories. Unfortunately her bed's already made with these looks, so to speak, so I'm excited to see the responses to their final shows next week.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2015

I just don't get anything about Ashley's looks. I'm a plus size lady and damn, I don't want anyone seeing my underwear, my bra, or my midsection.
posted by bq at 3:07 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm also a plus size woman, and I don't want to wear a skirt so tight I can't walk right.
posted by meese at 3:58 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is the point in the competition when I ask myself: who of the earlier contestants do I wish were in the the final four?

Every year there are people on the show who seem to have great ideas but just can't deal with the format of the show - these are the ones who I want to see the most.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:48 AM on November 1, 2015

I don't know anything about Ashley's inspiration, 1950s Mexico, but it sounded great and I also loved the headpieces. I disagreed with Nina's advice to use them sparingly because I think that they tie the collection together. The pastel colors though (sigh). Over at TLo there are a couple posters who have bought clothes from her online shop, and have bought those crop tops so a) they do sell and b) they are not new. She's been selling online for about five years.

Candace, again so much black and leather which is difficult to see the details and she still thinks that using red is thinking outside the box. That chilly beach scene was bizarre.

Kelly's 70s theme, I liked her energy but I didn't like her choice of fabrics. The beige mesh/ wood grain print paired with silver sparkly fabric? Also sequined fanny packs have been available for the past 20 years in Thai markets, just waiting to come back into style.

Edmond, zzzzzzz. What I thought was odd, was that everyone except Ashley got very critical reviews (at the last minute when they don't have time to make major changes). I thought Ashley would really get dinged for bad fit (bra top) and poor sewing (the zippers) but the judges were fairly lenient. At the time I thought she was out of the running so they were just being "nice" as in "not discouraging" to a prone-to-tears also-ran but everyone else seems to think she is the front runner.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:14 AM on November 1, 2015

There is something to be said about consciousness-raising, because when Candace said that she was inspired by an "Asian, kinda Chinese, Japanese, thing," I just cringed, and checked out right there.


I liked Ashley's and Kelly's collections. I don't know that I would wear all of those things, they weren't all to my taste, but I definitely think that they were all Fashion-Week-type ideas. I think one of them will win.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:09 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I too saw the TLo comments from people who actually owned some of Ashley's clothes and faved one or two of them. I was fascinated by the difference in how (what I perceived as) older commenters were saying no plus size women would wear Ashley's designs because tight skirts and crop tops, and the younger (?) people Yeah. We do. And we love it.
posted by the webmistress at 8:46 AM on November 1, 2015

Omg I'm old.
posted by bq at 10:53 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I live in a Mexican neighborhood and this summer there were tons of plus size teenage girls walking around wearing crop tops with either wildly patterned leggings or skater skirts. It's a thing.

And especially with it being Dia de los Muertos all up in here right now, I can also confirm that the floral headgear and lace is also a thing.

Ashley's collection feels right to me. This batch of stuff isn't to my personal taste but it seems to fit well with what she's trying to do.

I love Kelly's everything. Would I wear any of it? No. Am I glad it exists? Yes.

Is this the first episode we've seen Edmond without his goofy hat? He needs to stop wearing that goofy hat. That man is fine as hell.
posted by phunniemee at 1:06 PM on November 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nina's burn on Candace's look ("It's what people who aren't in fashion think fashion shows look like.") was brutal. I would be a little pile of ash after criticism like that.

I had to stop the DVR to laugh when Kelly revealed that her big idea for fashion week was fanny packs. Next up, Kelly makes it to the Top Chef finale, and serves Tom, Gail, and Padma a plate of fish sticks. Her collection was absurd, with like prints made out of basic photoshop textures. Is this vaporwave? I'm so old. Those girls looked like they were wearing bump maps. It was so awful. The way the model stopped on the end of the runway and stood there forever made me think she was saying, "Look, Project Runway, look what you have become. Look at what you have done to yourselves, and me."

But Kelly's collection is probably the best? Is this the allure of garbage? I don't know what to think anymore. I feel like there's more originality in her collection than anyone else's, but is that just further damning the competition? If she'd actually made her own waist-belt-pouch-pack-harness things, that would have been a lot better. She could embrace the whole crappy computer paint program look. Please buy my beveled scarves.

Still it feels like she's the only one of them who is trying or pushing themselves. I did like Edmond's white dress with the bow, mainly because it was hard to see what was going on with it so it was interesting.
posted by nom de poop at 9:33 PM on November 1, 2015

Unfortunately, I think Kelly's collection (which I loved during Tim's visit) looked better on the hangers than on the models. Was this a fit issue? Did the details not transfer to the runway? I hope she was holding back on her awesome pieces which she will reveal in the finale pt 2. I would buy, and would wear, a wood grain dress.

I, too, have been to Kelly's deli ("Wait, that makes it sound like I own a deli! I make frickin' sandwiches").

I've noted this before and her collection confirms it, Ashley has a very tumblr aesthetic that a lot of young women want - the flower crowns, the pastels, the lace. The "rock the crop" for girls of all sizes. This doesn't make it bad - this means her whole schtick makes sense and has a place in the world.

Candace is so oblivious about her cringeworthy stuff that I'm embarrassed for her. I had a little dry heave of shame when she said "Asian inspired"

Edmond is definitely only there because the producers pushed him there. Absolutely nothing to say about his clothing.
posted by bobobox at 11:17 AM on November 3, 2015

There are a number of different things going on with Edmond, I think. But here's a big one, I think:

He's not that experienced. This has happened so many times over Project Runway's past: you have a designer who is really, really good because they can do interesting things and are good at construction, so they make it to the finale. But they're also really, really young or inexperienced, and they just don't know how to get their ideas into a fleshed-out runway collection. They need mentorship and guidance far greater than what Tim can provide in a single visit halfway through, because they just haven't before had the opportunity to develop a vision before. So, they flounder.

This seems to happen to men more than women. Maybe what designers like Edmond are suffering from is a lack of experience thinking about the concrete particulars of the women whom they want to wear their clothes. These designers who suffer in this way tend to focus a lot on sexy or beautiful clothes. On the runway, that gets repeated a lot, "I'm making women beautiful!" or "I make sexy clothes!" or the like. When a designer is stuck describing their vision in terms of beauty or sexiness, I take that to mean the designer hasn't had an opportunity to really grasp the central theme of their collection.

So, all this to say: I think Edmond is a good designer, but he just needs mentoring and experience and time. He needs to find his voice. Unfortunately, it looks like he hasn't had the opportunity to do that in time for this runway.
posted by meese at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2015

I love Edmond! He's so cheery and excited about everything.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:43 PM on November 6, 2015

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