Project Runway: Finale, Part 2
November 6, 2015 12:08 PM - Season 14, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! In what turned out to be less of a finale and more of a one hour and a half promo for Project Runway Junior, the winner of Season 14 is chosen.

The most boring finale ever. I didn't really like anyone's collections. Edmond's ended up being a snoozefest, Candace watered down her looks so much that they ended up dull (and you could tell she was bitter about it), Kelly just glittered everything, and Ashley still can't sew zippers.

The Tom and Lorenzo podcast about the finale is a hoot and also informative.

So...they totally roped me in with the constant whoring of the new show featuring kid designers. Is anyone else planning on watching?

My favorite looks were the two piece aqua outfit from Ashley, and the wood grain dress with matching fanny pack from Candace. Neither contained one original idea but I thought they were well-executed. I also loved Edmond's last two dresses - the giant black one and the giant white one. Just for teh dramz.

I thought Candace's very first look (the red floral dress) was wonderful.
posted by the webmistress (27 comments total)
My main bugbear: Ashley, don't say you're designing for 'real women'. The models the other designers used are also real women, not frigging robots. They're real women who have long narrow skeletons and low body fat. We are all real women, not matter what shape or size we are.

I'm so disappointed Kelly didn't win. I thought her looks were great and so well made compared with the winning collection. I love her enthusiasm and ideas.

Candace's and Edmond's collections were really dull, although I did think Candace's workmanship was excellent and I liked some of her things, the swing coat with all the cut-outs and that final red gown.

Ashley's collection was a hot mess, nothing seemed to fit properly, particularly round crotch areas, and it was badly made. But the judges had already decided she was going to win, no matter what the other three did. Fix, I say, fix!
posted by essexjan at 12:31 PM on November 6, 2015

Oh hell yes....the "real" women thing. Fuck that. All living, breathing women are real. Seriously, fuck that. I hate it. Like saying, "Real women have curves". Fuck that too. Like if you don't have curves you aren't womanly. Did I say fuck that yet? Because fuck that.

I too wanted Kelly to win. I really enjoyed the textiles she created from layering different fabrics together.

I would really love to see them allow more time for the final collections. And also give them several fittings with their models. It gave me the sads to see how some of the clothes fit.
posted by the webmistress at 1:13 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was side-eying the "You are so brave to do this!" they were giving Ashley so hard. The show clearly wanted her to make a plus-sized collection; unless they didn't show us a whole bunch of stuff, it was easy for her to do it than not.

I wish they had given the designers an extra week, and a longer fitting/prep schedule, too. Or a minion to help them make the clothes fit.

I found Edmund's collection incredibly bland and ordinary. Candace was screwed either way. Her first take was more costumy, and while the revamp did make her collection look less tokenistic, it was more ordinary. Neither was a winner.

I preferred Ashley's line over Kelly's (although I wouldn't wear either), but would have been OK either way. They were the only 2 of the final 4 with a unique voice.

I don't think I'm going to watch Project Runway Kids, mostly because I don't want to watch children being reality-tved. It'll just make me mad/sad.
posted by julen at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2015

At one point during Ashley's collection, my husband said, "ugh, that looks like something a 12 year old to wear!" And at first I agreed with him, that it was too young and didn't look good. But then I realized that was why she should win: Ashley designed something for a plus size woman that looked youthful. That alone is amazing, in the fashion world.

I mean, this is the same industry that produces people like Ven!
posted by meese at 5:44 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I loved Ashley's collection. I would have liked to see Kelly win but I'm OK with this.

I think Ashley got a big boost by going right after Candice. Candice's collection was so sad (and tacky like a high end Hot Topic), just sad sad sad. So dark and heavy. And then out comes Ashley's, just an explosion of color and celebration. Cute and happy and bright.
posted by phunniemee at 7:51 PM on November 6, 2015

When one of the people I was watching the show with insisted Ashley was going to win, I disagreed and kept saying, "there is no way Nina is putting that mess (Ashley's collection) in her magazine. (I figured they'd give the win to Kelly.) It seems I was very, very wrong. I'm convinced that it will boil down to sales and readership slipping and Nina sees this as as way to bring in "real women" who have abandoned the magazine as something that never shows them or gives them alternatives they could wear. Mind you I was so wrong about the result it wouldn't surprise me that I'd be wrong about the reason behind the result.

That said, I hated her collection. It was horribly constructed. Actually it was insultingly constructed. I know these designers are pressed for time but my god, if you can't sew a straight zipper then don't make the zipper visible. Turn it into an invisible zipper to try to hide its wobbliness. Yes, I guess that would take more time and would be less on-trend (I'd be really happy if the visible zipper would die a quick death), but it would look more polished. And I'm sorry but what woman in her right mind--and especially a plus-sized one--would want to wear a zipper in that spot on her chest (on that halter top)? The person I was viewing the episode with came to the conclusion that it was there because Ashley doesn't know how to make a dart.

While I've been known to love some pastels (even though they aren't the best colours for me) I just couldn't get past how sad Ashley's pastels were. They were so dreary. While I don't know a lot about Mexico in the '50s, I'm having a hard time imaging those were the predominant colours.

As for her styles and cuts, well I don't see them really finding a market, but then again, I read on Tom and Lorenzo that she has been selling these things online for a while and has found an audience, so I'm perfectly willing to say that it's just another part of the fashion world that is (and will likely remain) foreign to me.

Out of all of the collections, I really hated hers the most. I would have been much happier if Kelly had won, even though she and I don't have one common element in our aesthetics. I would have liked to have seen Candace's original, not watered down collection, even though I'm no closer to her Goth Queen Vampirella taste than I am to Kelly's. I think Tim should have given the fringe advice he gave to Edmond to Candace as well.

I thought they went way, way overboard in promoting the junior edition. It dragged out the entire episode, and the audience I was watching with wasn't one for fast-forwarding. (If I had been viewing on my own, I would have zapped through all those tedious promos.)
posted by sardonyx at 8:51 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ah, the joys of PR not being shown on tv here - I watched it on my and there are no ads. Surprisingly, unlike Bravo, CW, etc, the streaming content isn't blocked outside the States.
posted by essexjan at 1:12 AM on November 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm, like, inordinately pleased that all of Kelly's fannypacks are sold out within days of the finale. I was looking at her website and none of these were even up last week.
posted by bobobox at 7:19 AM on November 7, 2015

Never mind that, where can I get me some of these pants?!?!?!
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:31 AM on November 7, 2015

I feel like the folks who don't like Ashley's collection and don't see a place for it must not spend much time around teenagers. Especially young Latinas. Her whole collection is a fussier, fancier line in the same vein as the things I see the girls in my neighborhood wearing all summer long. I understand not liking her stuff as a matter of personal taste, but she knows exactly who she's selling to.
posted by phunniemee at 7:32 AM on November 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Cosign, phunniemee.

Frida Kahlo always had a more indigenous slant to her wardrobe, but Ashley's pieces reminded me irrepressibly of her, especially the plum dress. Something about the lace and the colors, and the flower headdresses, of course. And that show-ender!
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:27 AM on November 7, 2015

Ashley's seemed kind of samey, like it was just very minor variations on one thing. If you saw a couple outfits you didn't really need to see any more of them. I didn't like the big skirt because I wouldn't want to feel any bigger.

Kelly's was surprisingly okay. I liked the dress with gold down the front and the Corinthian leather hem-thing. I did like the jumpsuit, slash romper-with-individual-leg-skirts. I think she probably deserved the win over Ashley, but it's fine that she didn't. When Heidi said the fanny pack was chic, I felt dead inside. Full disclosure: I am a Kelly and thus joined in soul bonds with all Kelly's the world over.

Edmond and Candace's collections looked like 90% boring-ass dresses and separates in comparison.

I thought Edmond got screwed a little by the judges and Tim. First they tell him to make it sexier, then when he's trying to work some sexiness into the collection, Tim rolls around and tells him to stop designing, just always be sewing. Edmond got this dead look on his face like, "I'm trying to please you but now I realize I've been suckered into an impossible task." Of course I don't know if the judges knew the collection was honoring his mother when they told him to sex it up. I also wonder what he was thinking when the judges told him to cut back the ruffles, and he knew he had that blue dress in the wings.

Edmond's white dress looked like a bunch of used tissues, and the big black dress had weird bustle action going on that made it look a costume where she was riding a Newfoundland, but it had started to fall apart. Or maybe she was a Newfie centaur.

Even though I didn't think Candace's collection was very inspired, or very interesting, I thought the judges' criticisms about cohesion were unfair. As if they sort of rejected and ignored her vampy theme so much they only saw what was left, so of course it didn't look cohesive to them. It would be like if they hated the gills and flaps in Leanne Marshall's collection, and ignoring those as valueless, lectured her on how just making her looks different shades of blue didn't make them cohesive.

It was a little weird when Tim went to go get stuff for Ashley and Kelly, spending an unspecified amount of money. Candace and Edmond seemed resigned to their fates by that point.
posted by nom de poop at 9:48 AM on November 7, 2015

I agree both Edmond and Candace were screwed by the judges and ended up with watered-down collections as a result. Candace is not my favorite but I was still sad she didn't get to show all that crazy drama she brought. And spent so much time on. She wanted to win so tried to follow their terrible advice, but I think hers would have been a very impressive show if she'd ignored them.

Agree that Edmond's was just too simple. Several relatively plain black dresses isn't going to win anything. He had a terrific and inspiring journey with Project Runway, and it's so great he made it to fashion week.

Kelly should have won. Self-taught. Made her own really cool prints. Near flawless execution in most of her looks. Just, very interesting. Maybe slightly less wow on the runway, but she at least deserved to have some of her items reviewed close-up and really appreciated. Hopefully this exposure brings her success and a great career.

I feel Ashley is young and inexperienced, and not careful enough about details, and though headed in the right direction, her inferior sewing skills did not deserve this win. I am willing to conceded that the colors and fabric and styles she chose do appeal to people - maybe lots!, but her execution was simply not runway quality. One example - there was a close-up of that bodysuit(?) with the long sheer pink shirt over the top, and the crotch was SO bad. (Last one here.)

(Totally agree Tim's shopping trip was weird! Though it does seem it was offered to everyone. On the other hand, I think two people turned down the opportunity because they thought they would have to spend time away from the workroom.)
posted by Glinn at 10:41 AM on November 7, 2015

Ashley's technical skills are atrocious. Look at the hem on this! And the gappy fit and uneven line of this top. Shocking.
posted by essexjan at 2:12 PM on November 7, 2015

Is that Whitney from ANTM in essexjan's first link?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:36 PM on November 7, 2015

posted by phunniemee at 2:40 PM on November 7, 2015

I liked Ashley's collection because it was new to me. I'm not familiar with her theme, 50s Mexico, and I thought the muted pastels, the floral headpieces, the colored lace all very interesting. Her models were gorgeous and styled perfectly.

She had major fit problems because there was only one day for fittings, which is a joke. They all had fit problems. Candace had a bra top that gave her model bolt-ons it was so small and tight. Kelly had two wonky bodices (her long gowns). Since Ashley has a successful online business already, I am going to say that she has sufficient technical skills. TLo said in their last two podcasts that when you see these runway collections in person, there are a lot of unfinished garments, dangling threads, bits falling off as the models walk which shows how little time they have to finish and fit.

I understand why she was picked to win. When it began, I thought Edmond had the winning story but he's not original enough, then I was hoping it was Swapnil, another good story but Tim took against him. Not that Tim has that much influence over production, his "producer" credit is more of an empty title, looks good but doesn't mean more than "popular with the viewers" and a raise. But he convinced Zac Posen and ultimately the actual producers couldn't acknowledge anyone who didn't treat the show as life or death.

I don't know how far into the filming they start to shape the stories and edit the episodes but I'll bet Kelly surprised them with her late surge and her popular personality. Vis a vis the Mean Girl thing, I noticed that Kelly tended to hang with Candace and Ashley with Edmond, the hotel rooms in CA, eating in the break room in the last ep, the rental Lexuses (Lexi?) and wasn't that a laugh. I thought it was going to be "winner gets a new car" but it was "final four get a lift into Manhattan before dawn."
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:05 PM on November 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think it's just bananas that the designers get to see their models ONE TIME WITHIN A DAY OF THE SHOW and then the judges complain about fit. Come on. I don't sew or anything, but it's pretty clear from watching the mid-season episodes that fit isn't always a quick fix. (Thinking especially of Candace's leather dress that Zac complained about--what could she possibly have done in the time available??)

What's brave from Ashely is not that she showed a plus size collection (it's true, the show obviously welcomed it), but that she designed this youthful, exuberant plus size collection that was fun, was sexy, wasn't afraid of transparency, wasn't afraid of showing skin. I thought that her models were amazing, and did a much better job on the whole than some of the skinny models.

As far as the whole "real women" thing, it's coming from a place where most of the fashion world (from high fashion, right on down to many mall shops) acts like women above a size 8/10/12 just don't exist. So you know what, I'm on board with "real women." I don't think it's about calling skinny women not-real by comparison, I think it's about saying "fuck you, we exist, we are women!" to the industry forces that make it impossible for us to go out and buy a damn pair of pants.
posted by snorkmaiden at 5:38 PM on November 7, 2015

Also, I would not normally have thought of watching Project Runway Junior, but those kids were so fabulous and cute! I may give it a spin.
posted by snorkmaiden at 5:39 PM on November 7, 2015

Here's a fascinating 'Where are they now?' article. I'd forgotten about some of these designers. And I can't imagine what market Althea has for a 'resort collection' in Dayton, OH!
posted by essexjan at 2:28 AM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I liked Ashley's collection and am delighted she won, I thought Kelly was going to take it and I would have been happy with either of them. When I saw Ashley's first look with the hem falling down I thought there was no way they'd choose her to win-- I mean, that wasn't a fit issue due to not enough time to fit the models!

Wow, Swapnil's decoy collection is easily superior to the four actual finalists. I really don't understand what his deal was, why Tim was so against him and he got such a negative, terrible edit on the show.

I was much more troubled by Candace's vauge "asian" inspiration than Ashley's "real women" comments. I thought that was super problematic. Ashley would have been more appropriate to say something like "there's a huge market of women who wear larger sizes who I can offer something new to!" but we all know what she meant.

You guys. Gabourey Sidibe has worn Ashley's clothes. That's the big time. Kudos to Ashley! Congratulations to her!
posted by palegirl at 8:51 AM on November 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

I liked Ashley's work well enough, but I don't know that I would've given it to her over Kelly. I'm fine with the win, but what I'm still stuck on is the runway show. Can we talk about the first model's walk? It was a lovely outfit, but I was so distracted by the bob-and-weave movement she was executing.

Tim felt designers this season didn't live up to their potential

Tim Gunn is long overdue for a comeuppance as his America's Sweetheart reputation is increasingly at odds with his shitty, snitty attitude toward the designers.
posted by psoas at 10:42 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tim Gunn is long overdue for a comeuppance as his America's Sweetheart reputation is increasingly at odds with his shitty, snitty attitude toward the designers.

Tim has always, always been super vocal with his opinions about the show and the people involved in it. It's one of the things I really like about him: he is kind, and caring, and compassionate, and perfectly willing to do the hard emotional labor of being a good mentor and colleague, but while also being honest and direct. I wish I knew how to be like that.

It may be you and I are interpreting his comments differently. I read Tim as frustrating and disappointed because he didn't feel like the energy he was putting into the contestants was being given back--he cared to see the contestants succeed, but he was left with the sense that they weren't doing the amount they should to try to succeed. It sounds like you interpreted him as saying something crueler than that.
posted by meese at 10:47 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tim Gunn is long overdue for a comeuppance as his America's Sweetheart reputation is increasingly at odds with his shitty, snitty attitude toward the designers.

The way he handled Swapnil really tarnished my view of him. Supposedly, his behavior was bad "Under the Gunn" too, but I haven't seen that.
posted by drezdn at 10:53 AM on November 9, 2015

It sounds like you interpreted him as saying something crueler than that.

Look, as early as Season 2 he referred to one of the models as "an elongated marshmallow with Gumby legs" while gossiping with one designer about another designer on-camera. He can be funny and helpful and wise, but he's also had kind of a nasty streak all along.
posted by psoas at 3:29 PM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was so distracted by the bob-and-weave movement she was executing.

It's been theorized that these were primarily print models who do not walk runways.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:05 PM on November 12, 2015

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