The show begins with everyone getting ready for their big show. Mondo pretends that he's crying about how much Michael wants this, even though he wants it so much too. Sorry, don't believe that at all. He also says that Austin is dressed like Liza Minnelli and you know how I feel about that bullshit. But, you don't know how I feel about Liza Minnelli, which is, frankly, epic and not the right time. Meanwhile, Austin could have said something about how Mondo looked like kd lang.They arrive at Gotham Hall in Manhattan for the big show. Austin gives Mondo a kiss on the head when they are in the beautiful space, because he is a lovely person.
Joanna pays a visit backstage when everyone is scrambling to finish their looks. Austin is working in a way that we can't really see what the problem is. Michael has several fit problems that make him work until the last minute. Mondo seems to be completely finished, which I guess sets him up for the win.
On the runway, Angela introduces the judges, including Tommy Hilfiger and Ken Downing from Neiman Marcus. Austin's collection is first and it includes a pink jodhpur jumpsuit, a couple of really lovely cocktail dresses, a super dramatic couture gown, a catsuit that is SICK and a wedding gown with a black belt. Beautiful.
Mondo is next. His collection is a beautiful mix of funky separates and dresses with esoteric flare. It's all completely unique and perfectly fitted. A long metallic gown in red and black gets HUGE applause. He is clearly happy. Michael comes out and explains his safari idea. He presents a really sexy jumpsuit. Then, a couple of honestly super crazy sexy cocktail dresses. His final look is drape-heavy and just lovely.
After the show, all of the eliminated designers come back and congratulate them. Nina Garcia is there and thinks there was a lot of growth with the designers. The designers meet with the judges separately. They talk to Austin first and seem to like his work. Isaac thinks that it didn't really represent a collection, but still thought he did a good job. Mondo is next. Isaac found his collection the most cohesive. Angela did not like his gown, but the others seemed to dig it. Michael comes out and gets big praise from Georgina. Tommy says that they could be sold immediately. But, there can only be one winner. And... it's Mondo. Austin is a great sport about it. Mondo is completely overwhelmed and vows to respect his art more.
Previously: The designers started making mini-collections with the help of one of the previously eliminated designers. Mondo, Austin and Michael visited Joanna Coles at her office. The final challenge is to create an additional look with their leftover fabric from the season. Go figure, everybody wants to win real bad.
It's the morning of the big show. Austin's hair is in curlers and he tells Michael that he feels like vomiting. It's like a he's a '70s housewife. A really sad one. But who throws really great parties and will one day have a fashion designer son. Austin is Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence. He interviews that he's a rock star and this show is his chance to really show everybody what he's all about. Michael gets help from Mondo putting on his jacket as we hear him interview that he is really happy with his collection and has done everything he can. Mondo interviews that he loves Michael and he deserves to be here and he knows he wants it more than anyone. Then, he gets a little teary-eyed and says that he wants it too. He wants it really badly. Mondo's behavior has confused me this season. He seems fairly processed a lot of the time, but in regards to Austin (and Kenley), he just seemed mean-spirited and kind of crazy a lot of the time. My final verdict is that maybe he went home after his last season, watched the show and didn't find himself as witty or fun/engaging to watch as a lot of the winner sorts of people he has seen. Maybe he's hedging his bets (despite the seriousness of purpose of this runway project) and is bringing a little drama in addition to the talent? That's my guess. And, I think that because shit rolls off of Austin and Kenley like water off a duck's back, they were his "targets." Because all of the candid stuff was so much more relaxed. Not the After the Runway stuff, but I don't even know what that was about. Everyone strained to be difficult on that program.
As Austin is putting on his black sequined jacket, Mondo asks him if Liza Minnelli knows he was going through her wardrobe. Funny, I wonder if 1988 knows that Mondo was going through its topical humor. "May the best designer win," says Austin as they leave the Flatotel. They're all very excited. In the SUV that takes them to the fashion show site, Austin says he's about to have a fashion orgasm. I'm not sure that I don't want to see what that looks like.