That’s a Wrap, Folks. And the Winner Is…..

Wow! I was really up and down and all over the place tonight about who I thought was going to win. And as it turned out, I should have trusted my initial instinct all along.

I went into tonight’s show just positive that Kini was going to win. I loved what he showed last week, and was in shock that the judges gave him such a hard time and expected him to remake his whole collection. I figured that was just a big set-up to throw us off track from the certainty that Kini would be the winner.

Did anybody really doubt that Kini could remake an entire collection in two days? Well, it wasn’t quite that miraculous, but pretty close. As it turns out, Tim advised him that all he really needed to do was rethink how he put the pieces together and styled them. Kini did choose to make a few new pieces, but he didn’t actually have to remake every garment. That would have been impossible, even for him, surely.

Tim gave Char the best advice when he told her to make every piece look like something she would wear, and to scrap those hideous turquoise and pink looks. “Take them further away. Yuck.” LOL!

Sean didn’t get a terrible critique, and all Tim told him was not to be too one-note, meaning the fringe.

And they were very positive about Amanda’s collection, for the most part, so he told her just to polish it and keep on with what she was doing.

Of course, in this season of endless second chances, all the designers were allowed to go back to Mood and given more money for new fabric so they could create more new looks. Only Amanda chose not to go, because she was happy with what she already had.

Fifteen minutes in and first commercial break, and I’m already wondering why in the hell this show is going to last another hour and fifteen minutes, and how on earth they’re going to fill it. I’m ready to be done.

Char’s planning to make her collection look more sporty. She’s planning to make another skirt out of some ugly fabric, but Tim talks her out of that. He says she needs to re-examine her current pieces to guide her towards what she should do next, but she’s just very hung up on the fact that she has to come up with four new looks to replace what was scrapped, and she can’t sew that fast! She comes up with a hooded dress and a sweatshirt that says “FLY” on the front.

Kini remarks that we don’t see a lot of sweatshirts on the runway, but actually, I think he may be wrong about that. They’ve been pretty big in a lot of designer collections lately. Meanwhile, he has decided to scrap that coat like the judges advised, and is busy ripping it apart.

Sean is making a new dress by draping some bright orange silk into a dress with a cowl in the back. It’s looking gorgeous. Tim says not to give too much weight to Nina’s criticism of the fringe.

Kini gets inspired, whips up some new pieces because HE CAN sew really fast, and is very happy with the new youthfulness of his collection.

Sean and Amanda keep saying that they are each other’s toughest competition, so it looks like they’re counting Kini out. Although, Sean did say at one point that when he first saw Kini’s collection he thought he would win. But that was before the judges’ preview.

Everyone’s working, working, working to put the finishing touches on everything. New hair & makeup consultations, blah, blah, blah. Sprinkled throughout, we’re getting flashbacks of the designers’ road to Fashion Week, a highlight of their past performance and previous wins. What are they going to do about Char? Oh, they show that week one look from her that they liked.

Everyone else is bagging up their looks to take to Lincoln Center and Char is still sewing. She’s not going to finish, and since she needs to have ten looks, she puts the turquoise dress back in. She decides she really loves it, after all and Tim gives up and says to do whatever she wants, but nicely, of course.

Here they come, walking through the dark to Lincoln Center & having the usual starstruck moment in the empty tent. Then all hell breaks loose backstage. Char has models constantly switching clothes. One of Amanda’s models has abandoned her shoes at the last moment. And then….they’re on.

Amanda first. I really, really love her collection. It starts off a bit slow. I’m not wowed by the first few looks. She’s turned that boring maxidress into a tunic top with leather pants. Better. A short dress in that knit with a leather and suede patchwork vest, which looks like it could be cool, but you can barely see it under the model’s hair.

But then the third look….I just die for that piecework leather top, and paired with that necklace…perfection. Ditto for the next short brown and black dress. Then a few more separates and dresses, culminating with the two long maxidresses we saw in the preview. These are actually my least favorite looks of the collection. I adore her separates. The jewelry is exquisite and I must have it. Maybe she should just become a jewelry designer.

I’m assuming that long-haired bearded guy they keep showing looking bored must be the rock star brother, whoever he is. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of him, but Amanda caught a lot of flack from the haters in the beginning of the season, who claimed she was getting preferential treatment because of him. Silly.

Char’s turn. What can I say? I don’t think anything in this collection goes together. I kind of see why she decided she liked that turquoise dress…the way it’s pleated is kind of cool…but then she turns around. Oh. Never mind. Tim was right, yuck. I also don’t appreciate how she massacred that Italian fabric.

The single only thing she has that I like is that last-minute jersey maxidress with the hood. Now that is chic. Every piece should have been more like that. Don’t care for the black & white pants with the skimpy little bra top. HATE that white foofy thing, that Nina later calls a wad of Kleenex –yes! The FLY sweatshirt could have been cool, but it’s paired with a pencil skirt and when she turns around it’s got some godawful huge floppy ruffle running all across the back, so no.

We get a few shots of Korina in the audience, so somehow they’ve convinced her to come. She restrains herself and doesn’t actually hold her nose or throw anything during Char’s show. But I just know she’s thinking that she can’t believe this load of crap is on the runway instead of her, because I know I am.

A few more nothing looks, and then that long vest with the tail and pants, which I had thought I kind of liked before, but now I don’t. I didn’t realize it was white, and in that shiny fabric…..ewh.  Not in a show, not on the go. Not in a box or under rocks. Not with a ham or smeared in jam. I do not like this, Sam I am.

Here comes Kini. He should have re-thought those cropped pants. First look is okay, but dang, that model looks pissed OFF! Love, love, love the second look. I’m still crazy for that stiff white top with the big sleeves, and now paired with the leather shorts he just made, it is way better.

Like the shredded denim skirt of the third look, top is nothing special. Just the opposite for the fourth. The next few looks are….okay. I’m surprised at how un-wowed I am this time around. I do think his styling is so much better and there’s nothing wrong with these pieces, but I just don’t feel as impressed as I thought I did when I first saw them. I do adore that last-minute strapless denim dress with the big ruffle all around the top. It’s amazing how the right ruffle can make or break a look. Take notes, Char. This is how to use ruffles without looking cheap.

Everyone else loves the pleated denim dress that comes next. And he has turned the coat into a great big impressive finale dress, which is great, except that I don’t really like it. The gigantic shoulders with the huge train…it’s just a bit too much all together.

Last, but obviously not least, we have Sean. Before he starts, I’m thinking Amanda is definitely on top. But let’s see what he has to show. The first couple of looks don’t do it for me. Why is everybody so obsessed with shiny white fabric? Not my thing at all. Then there’s that black jumpsuit with the fringe. A black & white fringed look, a black fringed dress, that drapey white dress with the orange tail.

Here comes that fabulous orange and white fringed skirt. Hmm…didn’t I see that white top that buttons on top and then leaves the tummy exposed in Kini’s collection, too? How did they both end up with the same look? Odd.

An orange and white fringed dress similar to the previous black and white one. Damn, that fringe is just so so gorgeous when it moves. And orange is my favorite color, so this is really starting to win me over. I don’t even mind the shiny fabric in orange. That draped silk dress is incredible. Breathtaking. And then he follows it with the sensational, show-stopping orange fringed gown. O.M.G. I have never seen anything more beautiful.

So now I’m really torn between Sean and Amanda. Hers was more easy to wear, and pieces I actually would wear in real life. His was definitely what anybody would want to wear in their wildest dreams.

A bunch of nobodies in the audience all pick different favorites, but Ann Fulenwider, who actually knows her stuff, picks Sean, so that’s telling.

Time for judges’ critiques. They are joined by Emmy Rossum (or as Heidi calls her, Amy Rossum), who I have to admit, has very intelligent things to say.

Char gets told she needs to push the creativity a little further. They liked some pieces, but not others. Emmy says it was exciting to see a Tim Gunn save make it to Fashion Week. So just as we thought, that explains how this came down. Nina says she’s trying too hard. So they’ve finally come to their senses and this is obviously the end of the Char show.

Nina calls Amanda’s looks effortless and says she’s ready to move on to the next level. Zac loves the jewelry and says it was the most original collection on the runway. Heidi agrees, and she loves the maxidresses.

Nina does not look impressed by Sean’s Caesar story, but she says it was probably the most editorial collection. For some reason she liked that shiny white look, but she says she thinks he can do better. Heidi says it was a bit hit and miss. Emmy liked the story and Zac said it was a great show. He said Sean’s the full package, but he wants to see what he can do more.

Emmy loved Kini’s strapless “coffee filter” dress too, and says he’s clearly gifted. Heidi is again loving some pieces and not others. Nina likes how he made the denim so sophisticated. They’re amazed by how he turned it around, but think his taste is sometimes questionable. Zac agrees with me that the finale dress is just too much. Says it goes a little drag queen, and again, Nina tells him he tries too hard.

They all give their heartfelt pleas for why they’d like to stay. They must rehearse and memorize these ahead of time, surely. It would suck to have to go last, though. What if somebody else says what you wanted to say? Amanda gives the smartest pitch, by sucking up to Nina with how much she wants to be in Marie Claire.

At this point, I’m thinking, holy shit, Amanda’s actually going to be the winner after all. I never would have predicted that, but it does make sense, since she was the original comeback kid. And she’s really the only one who got a fully complimentary critique. I don’t think they said anything bad about her collection. The others got some good and bad points. She really should have worn a better dress. What’s up with that big ugly sack when you’re going to Fashion Week, girl?

When the judges discuss amongst themselves, everything takes yet another twist. They dismiss Char, of course. They have a lot of praise for Kini, but then they think he needs more time to fine-tune his editing and be more spontaneous. So it’s pretty clear he’s out, too. They say great things about Amanda, so I’m sure she has it in the bag at this point. Heidi says one collection was perfect from beginning to end, and that has to be hers, right?

But then they start lavishing the compliments on Sean, much more so than they did to his face. They like his risks and wow moments. Nina brings up that watercolor in the rain dress, which ought not to even have anything to do with tonight’s decision. Zac says he’d rather have the wow moments. Overall, I think Sean can thank Emmy Rossum for sealing the deal, because when she puts it to them that who do they really want for their winner — a woman who wants to build a brand or someone who does more high art and something different? Zac says it’s crystal clear now, but which does he mean?

It’s go time. Char gets the brush-off, but she’s happy because she’s just thrilled that she made it to Fashion Week. She should be. Truly a miracle for her. Kini gets a long drawn out pause which makes us all wonder…..but then dismissed. After all this, I feel a little bad for him. I know he really wanted to win. So it’s down to Amanda and Sean after all. And it’s…..

Sean! Of course. I predicted this way back about halfway through the season when he started winning all those challenges and they made such a big deal of getting him into the press for that Emmy dress. I knew it all along. Should never have started second-guessing myself. Congratulations, Sean Kelly. You really do deserve it. Just that moment at the end with those three orange gowns all on the runway…it was magic. He is the most innovative of the bunch.

I feel bad for Amanda. She really thought this was her time. And she really made a fabulous collection. Heidi says they’ve never had a race this close. I don’t think this will stop her from building her brand, though. And I really, really want to buy her jewelry, so I sure do hope she markets that.

Well, that’s a wrap for the season, folks. Will you tune in next week for the All Stars show? I will, but I’m not super-excited about it and don’t know if I’ll be able to work up enough interest to write about it. We’ll see.

And did you stay on for the kids’ Threads show? I’m not sure what to make of that, but I’ve recorded it to watch tomorrow. It looks like it could be a bit hokey, but then again, knowing kids, they’ll likely bring the drama & be way more entertaining about it, so could be fun.

As we congratulate Sean and say good-bye to the season, only one burning question remains….

Will they be able to get Korina to come back for the next All Stars show? If they do, it’ll only be because they’ve guaranteed her the win. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the reunion next week. Looks like she comes back in full bitch mode, cries and then stomps off the set again. Whee!

Lots of love to everyone who’s faithfully or sporadically read my Project Runway and other posts. It’s been a horrendously busy week with too many deadlines and too little sleep, so I’ve been neglecting the blogging this week, but I’ll try to get back into the swing of it soon. XOXO


6 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap, Folks. And the Winner Is…..

  1. I’m one of those who wanted Kini’s pleated black dress! It’s hard to disagree with Sean as the winner, but I just found this season very lackluster and the extremely weird judging didn’t help either. The only save was the discovery of your blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so sweet of you to say, Joan! Thanks so much for being a loyal reader and spreading the word. I also found the season lacking & the judging crazy, but I haven’t been truly excited about the show for quite a while. I can’t imagine how the judges & Tim kept a straight face during all the times they kept saying this was the best season & the most talented pool of designers ever. Give me a break!


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