Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 14 (Finale)

And so we have arrived at the end of this long, strange, and overall unfashionable season of Project Runway. Though I hold this show near and dear, I have to get two grievances off my chest before we begin.

First, the episode began with the final four attempting to completely revamp their collections in one day, in response to the judges’ critiques of their mini-collections. I cannot believe the show didn’t give the designers more time. Why not have the judges critique the designers a week or two before Fashion Week and give them time to make meaningful changes? Show, you’re losing me here.

The second thing that lost me? Last week, the judges were quite harsh on all four designers’ preview collections. This week, however, they loved everything – their comments were overwhelmingly positive. There’s no way the designers improved their collections that much in just a day, so the complete shift in reaction from the judges just felt fake and forced. And, it only underscored how completely pointless last week’s outing was. Show, please fix this.

Okay, time for me to quit complaining about the direction the show has taken and start complaining about the designs that walked down the runway at Fashion Week. Here’s how I would rank the designers, from best to worst.

Fabio’s Collection:

  • Overall: I loved the colorful fabrics Fabio chose; particularly compared to the other three collections, his felt like a welcome breath of fresh air. I also thought his collection was the most innovative; it didn’t look like things I had seen before. Fabio was the biggest revelation of the finale for me. I never would have thought I’d rank him above Dmitry but…I have to give Fabio the edge.
  • Favorite Pieces: The blue shorts and over-sized sleeveless cardigan (the only pair of shorts from anyone’s collection that I liked), the white cropped pants and blousy top (I know nobody could wear this in the real world, but it looks cool and modern), and the pink flowy top and grey pants/skirt (were they pants? Were they a skirt? Who knows, and that’s part of Fabio’s genius).

Dmitry’s Collection:

  • Overall: Dmitry’s collection was polished and refined. I liked the touches of yellow here and there, and everything was perfectly tailored. There were a few random lapses in taste, however – I hated the sheer tops. They simply weren’t classy enough for Dmitry’s collection.
  • Favorite Pieces: The white jacket with winged sleeves and geometric cutouts on the front, the yellow dress with glimmered, beaded shoulder pads, and the dress with chevron print and black fringe (loved how unique this was).

Melissa’s Collection:

  • Overall: This was pretty standard Melissa: big collars, lots of leather, lots of black. Props to her for having a distinct aesthetic, but…it’s not an aesthetic I particularly love. Also, her models were clearly having problems walking in a few of her dresses – so points off for that.
  • Favorite Pieces: The coat with the crazy big collar (the collar was standard Melissa, but I loved the fit of this coat and the collar added just the right amount of edginess to the look), the black dress with blue belt, and the black dress with the white back (this was super simple, but the white back added just the right amount of surprise to the look).

Christopher’s Collection:

  • Overall: The color palette Christopher used was very drab and dull – I hated it. There were also far too many pairs of shorts; seriously, you come to Fashion Week and show shorts? I didn’t see anything particularly special about this collection – Christopher was, by far, the biggest disappointment.
  • Favorite Pieces: The blue pleated coat with printed purple pants (the piece of Christopher’s I most loved), the ombre gown (that was definitely a wow piece, although the fabric didn’t match up in the back and that really bothered me), and the asymmetrical shift dress (which I didn’t like very much, but it was the only other look of Christopher’s that I found acceptable).

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “Chris, he has no direction. He doesn’t know what to do and what to make. I think…he lost it.” (Dmitry, delivering an accurate assessment. Christopher was a train wreck this episode).
  • “Blood orange? She’s so pretentious. Shut up, it’s f–king red.” (Christopher on Melissa, completing his transformation into a bitter, evil jerk).
  • “You sent the girl down the runway in a dress that no one could walk in. I literally wanted to nail her shoes to a skateboard and have someone pull her.” (Michael on Melissa’s dress, which was, indeed, insanely tight around the ankles).
  • “To take these Jordan almond pastel colors…I was like, oh God, is he really going to go there?” (Michael on Fabio’s collection. I was trying to figure out how to describe Fabio’s color palette and, of course, Michael found the perfect way).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Christopher needs to keep that ego in check; after the judges critiqued his mini-collection, he seemed appalled that the judges had dared criticize him: “I’ve been a front runner this whole competition…the judges are making it seem like they’re doing me a favor by moving me forward.” Oh, honey. Your collection was heinous. The judges did do you a favor.
  • In addition to that, Christopher was just a raging jerk throughout the entire episode. From mocking Melissa to being rude to Tim to generally being a huge downer, I totally lost any love I had for him.
  • I am SO SICK (all-caps most definitely warranted) of the time wasted in the L’Oreal Styling Room each episode. This is deathly boring. Can’t the show find a way to work L’Oreal into the episode without wasting so much time every single week?
  • This week’s guest judge? Jennifer Hudson. She looked absolutely fierce in her bright teal pantsuit. Her critiques, however? Not so fierce. She’s very soft-spoken, and I don’t think PR bitchiness is really her metier.

The Result: The judges’ decision came down to Dmitry vs. Fabio, and I agreed with the judges there – those two were clearly the standouts. While I liked Fabio’s final collection slightly better, Dmitry’s overall work throughout the season was stronger – so I was happy the judges gave him the win (although watching Fabio cry at the end kind of broke my heart). Nonetheless, it was good to see my favorite dour Belorussian come out on top.

(Judges, contestants, and runway photos via Lifetime; Michael Kors’s face of brilliance via Entertainment Weekly)

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