Bravo. Not just a network, but also a kudo to the people who faked me the fuck out. I am stunned.
First, the designers threw themselves into their thirteenth designs. Everyone seemed a vague mixture of confident and desperate.
Then it was runway time. Daniel went first, sweetly thanking his family before the show. His collection was lovely. Rebecca almost fell while wearing his gown, which was a little scary.
Next was Chloe's collection. Pretty stuff. Nobody fell.
Santino's was the final collection. He sweetly pointed out his mother before his show. The girls who walked for him were serious. For a second, I thought they were storm troopers. But they weren't. They were soldiers of fashion.
With Debra Messing as the guest judge, the panel mulled over everyone's faults. Daniel was too young, Santino didnât know where to put boobs, and Chloe wasn't original enough.
In the end, it was COMPLETELY surprising. For real, who was the very last person you thought would win? No matter who you hated or who you loved, Chloe was the last person you expected to win. Right? You and I were wrong. I guess I'm happy, because the least the cosmos can do is give her a Banana Republic mentorship after she spent years in a refugee camp. And we got to see her sisters and mother congratulate her on the runway. It was a lovely scene. You know, I don't expect to see Chloe's stuff in the Met anytime soon, but it's good to see the nice girl win every once in a while. Just don't let it happen too often.
Previously: Santino, Chloe, and Daniel V., after months of preparation on their lines for Fashion Week (as well as a visit to each from Tim Gunn), met back in New York. They chose their models, designed the hair and make-up motifs for their show, worked feverishly to polish their designs -- they just generally worked their asses off. Then just as they light was visible at the end of the tunnel and they started to acknowledge their own fatigue, Heidi and Tim told the designers that they would have to design a thirteenth design for their twelve-piece collection. Everyone was freaked out, though Chloe seemed to be especially devastated. She pulled herself together and managed to find a little humor in the situation. Could it be that someone's favorite emotion is laughter through tears? That's my girl.
The show begins with forty hours remaining before the fashion show. We see them returning from Mood, where they shopped for supplies for the thirteenth design. Everyone seems flattened. I can see why. Imagine -- you've spent months and untold hours planning and creating a fashion line that you hope takes you to the next level of your career. This is after a month or however long it takes them to film the challenges, where you're using an entire different part of your brain, design-wise. A lot of the designers have said in interviews that a designer doesn't usually do his or her own sewing or have the time constraints that the Project Runway challenges use. So, you spent that time stretching your abilities and dealing with personalities and cameras and sleeping in a strange bed (that actually sounds like my first year in New York). You're in the final stretch and focused and doing your best on a lack of sleep. You're already pooped out of your mind when someone tells you that you have to switch gears and use that Project Runway Challenge part of your brain again. Not only are they asking you to use energy that you probably don't have, you run the risk of sending something unfinished down the runway when you've been working so hard to tailor your collection to your exact preferences. That seems like it would really suck.
Santino reminds us that the designers got to choose one of the season's eliminated designers to help with the thirteenth design. Santino chose Andrae, Daniel chose Nick, and Chloe chose Diana. Nick, who is identified in the onscreen graphic as "Eliminated Show #10," says in an interview that he really loves Daniel's collection. He describes it as elegant, classic American sportswear. However, along with the thirteenth design, a lot of finishing touches have to be applied to the collection. We've heard that tune before, as sung by Tim Gunn. I guess I can't see it as clearly when filtered through television, but it sounds like his shit is ready to fall apart. Successful in concept but junky in execution. It doesn't look that bad from home, though.