Project Runway Season 10: The Finale Countdown

It was an underwhelming first half of the season finale last night on Project Runway, but we did get to see one of our favorite things: Tim Gunn home visits!

the designers in the workroom with Tim
This is it! Not really though.

We’ll break those down in a second, but first, the episode stats:

The challenge: The remaining four designers had to choose three pieces from their Fashion Week collections to show the judges to secure their place in the finale. It turned out to be kind of a fake-out though OF COURSE.

The winner: No one!

The auf’d: Also no one!

Guest judge: You guessed it… No one!

Tim and FabioTim and Melissa
I’m on a boat.

Home is where the Gunn is.
I love the “Tim Gunn Visits Your House” episodes! This season more than most though, I was struck by how different each house call was. From Melissa’s jet boat tour to My Tea with Dmitry (Lifetime: Another spinoff idea for you!) the visits varied but the awkwardness remained the same.

Tim and ChristopherTim and Dmitry
My Tea with Dmitry.

Do the producers have a hand in how these visits go? I can just hear their meeting now: “We’re trying to make Christopher more likable, so let’s show him with his friendly family and his doppelgänger of a mother (seriously how alike do those two look?) eating comfort food and being relatable. Now Melissa, she’s kind of hard to read so… Maybe let’s put her on a boat? Keep the audience guessing? Fabio is a dumpster-diving freegan so it’d be great if we could put him a swanky apartment with his elegant mother and equally elegant finger foods. Dmitry is a dour foreigner so let’s show him all alone in Jersey City with a box of cookies and some black tea to match his black, black heart. Sound good?”

As far as the collection critiques went during the home visits, I can only trust that some of the fabrics looked much better in person than they did on screen. To me, it appeared that Fabio made tunics out of pastel bedsheets from the Target dorm collection, and Melissa’s perfecto jacket looked like it was constructed out of tissue paper. And were Dmitry’s blouses less sheer in person? They must’ve been, right? And Christopher’s skeleton print was less creepy? We can only hope.

Assorted thoughts:
If the producers were going to take the easy route and admit that they let everyone show at Fashion Week, why couldn’t they have made that decision one challenge ago so Sonjia could’ve stayed in the running? I STILL WANT HER TO WIN, DAMNIT.

Next week:
To be honest, I’m not loving what we’ve seen of the final collections so far. Maybe Dmitry can amp up the styling and wow us next week? He’s my favorite remaining designer, so I’m pulling for him with or without the sheer blouses. He had to drink his tea alone—he needs this!

- Kelsey

the designers in their hotel
Remember when Melissa made that Austin Powers reference?

Ugh, Christopher. AMIRIGHT?!? We’ve all been annoyed with his forced drama and his awarding himself snaps with every outfit (you MADE that jacket, dummy! Maybe that’s why you like it)! And has he always had a nose ring? I feel like that thing just came out of nowhere! Anyway, with his numerous successes this season, Christopher has moved through this competitive like a boring knife through L’Oreal sponsored butter. His clothing has always been well made, for sure. And some looks HAVE even been deserved winners. But overall, bro is generally pretty uninteresting. You know what Christopher thinks is a refreshing take on fashion? Shredded pleating. That’s why he’s done it at least FOUR TIMES this season! However, this week he might have struck the perfect balance between the two extremes exemplified by the remaining designers.

Looking at the finale collections, there are two camps: Camp Hip and Disheveled (Fabio & Melissa) and Camp Classy and Polished (Dmitry & Christopher). Mind you, these terms describe who the designers *think* they’re dressing. Generally, Fabio and/or Melissa will send down an asymmetrical slouchy shirt/tunic, while Dmitry and/or Christopher believe in the power of a structured dress. However, Christopher’s finale collection is adding a dash of slightly daring edginess to his usual monochromatic gowns. Creepy print? We’ve got it! Lots of leather? You know it! Bleaching that leather? Yeah… okay! While Dmitry brought out fringe-y sleeves, sheer tops, and geometric dresses (oh my!), his collection is pretty lackluster in its styling (and is possibly too much like the Dmitry we’ve seen all season). And even though Melissa and Fabio are shaking things up with ugly wigs and bare midriffs, their collections look anything but pulled together. Could Christopher win this whole thing by being polished and not a total snooze?! I have no idea. Seriously. Anyone could win this. Did you see when the judges kicked off NO ONE? Wouldn’t this episode have been more exciting if Sonjia was still here? OR MY BESTIE, ELENA? No snoozefest with those two!

Assorted thoughts:
All of these All Star promos make me bummed that this season’s crop is missing out on the opportunity. Obviously, we don’t know who is going to pull out the win in the finale, but Dmitry, Sonjia, Christopher, Gunnar, and DUH ELENA would all make excellent picks. Can we just get “All Stars: This is Going to Get Messy” over with so that these other folks can come back already?

Obviously I’m leaning towards Christopher. But Dmitry could definitely take it. Or Melissa. Maybe Fabio? Ugh, I DON’T KNOW!

- Annalee

the designers toasting
To being equally boring!

Hard to watch.
If you thought last week’s “Make a dress inspired by a L’Oreal eyeshadow palette inspired by Project Runway” was an example of this show’s transformation into an ouroboros, last night’s runway showing probably had you clutching your head and moaning at the meta-ness of it all. Nina’s reaction to Christopher’s lackluster three-piece preview was to scold him for holding back his “wow” looks for Fashion Week, because after all, what if he didn’t make it? Except that WE ALL KNOW he already “made it,” as did Ven and Sonjia and a bunch of other people who’d been “eliminated,” and ooohhh it’s really getting hard to watch these finales, you guys.

And as long as I’m complaining: Does it seems that as the final-collection budgets get bigger, the time frame shrinks? I mean, $9,000 seems like a generous amount of money, but five weeks for a 10-look collection is downright miserly, especially when compared to the three months afforded designers on the early seasons of the show. I get that shooting schedules and Parsons schedules and Fashion Week schedules are all in play, but if the point is to let the final handful of designers really show what they can do, five weeks—both objectively, and evinced by the clothes we saw last night—just ain’t enough. All the show is doing is transferring the time constraints of the Parsons workroom to their individual homes/homes of generous friends.

Like with Christopher’s collection. I think he had the right idea with creating his own print, and is a savvy enough reality-show contestant to know that exploiting his mother’s car accident while doing so was good for a mess of screen time. But while the pieced-and-pierced leather jacket he showed Tim was killer, the three outfits he elected to show the judges looked so much the same that it was hard to remember that this is the same guy who labored over that bejeweled Manhattan skyline for the Rockettes.

And Fabio’s collection. Look, I love Fabio. The exchange that happened when Tim showed up at his palatial Manhattan digs and was like, “You live here?” and Fabio was like, “Of course not, Tim—look at me” showed that Fabio really doesn’t take himself too seriously. But his “Cosmic Tribalism” looks were like the results of a acid-fueled mass craft-in at Burning Man. Everything looked like it was about to fall apart at the seams. I usually can’t stand when Nina complains that clothes don’t look expensive enough, but in this case it was true—everything in that collection looked like it could be bought for loose change at Brory and Fife’s fire sale.

The best thing I can say about Melissa’s collection is that she appears to have remade almost everything that did well for her in the competition thus far—the cut of that black dress was pretty much identical to that of the blue one that won her the Marie Claire at Work challenge. The glaring oversight here, of course, was that Michael Kors did not scream in horror at the crotch on those black pants. What’s the opposite of a camel toe? (Ed.’s note: It’s a polterwang.) Whatever it is was happening with a vengeance on those pants, and the fact that the judges ignored it can be chalked up either to editing or to the fact that everybody loves Melissa and doesn’t want to make her cry.

Oh, and Dmitry. He made some clubwear. It was fine, I guess.

Next week:
It’s a two-hour season finale, which we all know means there’s going to be a last-minute twist. At least, I hope there’s going to be a last-minute twist, or I’m pretty sure I’ll fall asleep.

- Andi

The Gunn Show: As PR devotees know, this is Tim Gunn’s world and we just live in it. Each week we pick our favorite Gunn moment (tell us yours too!). This week? When Tim delightfully called the dessert spread at Christopher’s house “very caloric.” He’s the master of the observation-turned-burn-turned-compliment. It’s all about the delivery with that guy.

Previously: Avant-garded, Dressing Up Baby

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

An absence of style...

I hate to say this but this years 'group' of top designers has a bad case of FRIGHT. Color? It's a dirty word. Style? Where? I miss Mondo with his irreverant plunges into PLAID and eye-blasting fits of pink and lime green. I'm underwhelmed. Who the heck thinks shorty shorts are high style? And, Fabio's drapey fashion looked like t-shirts gone saggy to me, and in pastel...blech.

There wasn't a single piece I liked. Yeah, Dimitri's white dress was architectural, and exactly the same cut out patterns as his HOT black and print separates earlier in the season. Worse, the fit was bad and it made the model look chunky. What was up with 80s netted shirts? Picture an older woman wearing Why not? Gee, women want to look like they are selling something...right?

For some reason putting together a collection with Project Runway seems to create cowardly designers this season. I think Dimitri has the best chance of pulling off a slick show. I would have said Chris but his sample looked trite. Fabio, I just don't know what he produced. Melissa also seemed very mundane. Maybe one of them has something more hidden. But, none of them seems able to really go after the wow factor. Sad.

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