With Mila in, and Jay out, the three designers ready for Fashion Week. Papa Gunn lends them some advice, though it's the day before Bryant Park, so good luck making any changes at this point, right? Things are as icy as ever between him and Emilio, and that's whose collection he still seems the least impressed with. We get the usual clips of the other designers sizing up each other's collections in the workroom. And they all basically think theirs is the best. Not that they're biased or anything. They choose their models, then do hair and makeup tryouts, then go to bed. It's basically a big-ol' product-placement show: Westin! Garnier! L'Oreal! Next morning, they wake up all nervous and jittery and head to Bryant Park.
Once there, Mila loses three models (I like to think they didn't show up out of protest of Mila's personality and style), and Emilio loses one. Seth Aaron, always nice, somehow doesn't lose any. Coincidence? I think not. Once they're all settled in, and we get an introduction from Heidi and a quick look at our judges: Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Faith Hill (?), the fashion show begins. Seth Aaron's first, and he introduces his collection as inspired by 1940s German and Russian military. It's a pretty interesting collection of coats and dresses and pants, with a very definite color scheme and style, each piece tying neatly into the one before it. It's pretty Seth Aaron, but without all the hardcore black, leather, and zippers. So, a toned-down Seth Aaron, with all the craft as always. Then comes out the final outfit, which is hideous and butt-huggingly awful. Ugh. Faith Hill noticeably winces.
Next up is Mila, who was inspired by shadows. And it's clear, too, because everything, everything, everything is black and white. It's still a lot of geometric shapes and different textiles and patterns cut together interestingly. Just like always. And, honestly? I didn't hate it when I saw it but it's hard for me to even recall much of it now. That's how memorable it (and everything about Mila) will be. Finally, Emilio, who says his collection is called "Color Me Bad," inspired by the '90s pop group. Er, I mean, his mom and her sisters. He adds a "La Quiero Mucho" to his mother in the audience, and my cold heart softens toward him a bit. His collection is a lot of colored coats. It's like watching a rainbow. Of coats. Then the final piece is this beautiful shiny brown gown that is stunning and wonderful and very Emilio. But totally out of place in this non-Emilio parade of colorful coats. We get shots of all the auf'ed designers, but they don't show us any of the fake fashion collections. Which is nice, actually, because ... who cares? (Though I am sort of curious if they all did introductions to their fake fashions, or not.)
Brief commentary from various audience fashion "experts," including fashion magazinistas, designers and ... Raven-Symone. Then the judges talk to the designers, telling them they all did good, blah, blah, blah. They hated Seth Aaron's purple outfit, thought Emilio's collection didn't fit well together, and thought Mila did much better. But the "much better" compliment is never the one that goes to the winner, so after intense deliberations, she's the first one out. Then, Heidi says, "Seth Aaron..." and pauses for an entire eternity. "...Congratulations. You are the winner." He jumps up and down and cries. Emilio very obviously and annoyingly sulks, but is composed in his interview later, and quotes Anthony Williams, "the wisest person on Project Runway," winning me over a little bit more. Seth Aaron's family comes out, and it's weird because ... another straight man just won Project Runway. Two out of seven seasons is more than a stereotyper like me would think. Dude, don't they already have everything? And fashion too? So not fair. -- DeAnn Welker
Previously: Mila, Jay, Emilio and Seth Aaron made it to Fashion Week. While visiting the designers at their homes, Tim gave some tough advice. He suggested that Seth Aaron reconceptualize his entire collection and he hinted that Emilio might be wasting his time with his work. Mila and Jay had to compete for the final spot in the Bryant Park show. Mila won the showdown, but the judges told her that her styling for her show needed to be young and modern.
We've made it to the end! OK, let's do a little pre-mortem. How do we feel about this season? I feel like things really picked up as the season progressed. Maybe it's just reality show fatigue, but I found the typical introduction of "personalities" in the first few episodes to be fairly boring. Seth Aaron is actually a far more complex person than the West Coast Stray Cat idiot that they presented. Other than his mention of his daughter's alarming obsession with handbags from a very young age, we didn't hear much about his family until a few episodes ago. Now, at the time, I commended Seth Aaron for not blubbering about his family all of the time and I'm still thankful for that (note to Jay: being a crybaby doesn't make you less of an asshole -- MORE on that later), but Seth Aaron is so much LOOK that it would have been nice to have a better idea of where he was coming from. I had a hard time rooting for him because he looks like such a tool. Drop by the Learning Annex for my standing-room only lecture course, Judging A Book By Its Cover 101.
I feel like they did a fairly good job presenting Mila. In fact, she seems like the most successful arc of the season. Even though her work never strayed from her narrow vision, we got to see some of the doubts and general thought processes of this person enshrouded in this fairly severe and icy exterior. It did a lot to soften her and they only made her cry once. I was completely WRONG about Jonathan. He was my personal favorite. I loved his work and thought he was really funny, and his friendship with Amy was the most satisfying such connection of the season. My least favorite relationship would be the trumped up hate between Mila and Jay. It felt like a cheap production ploy. It was too easy. Mila was older than most of the designers and stern, and, other than Maya, I doubt anyone really got off on talking to Mila. And, Jay was the bitchiest. So, of course they didn't love each other, but there was no evidence of an arch rivalry for the ages brewing in the workroom. Until they told us there was.