The Challenge: It’s almost time for Fashion Week! With a little help from their formerly-eliminated friends, the designers had to choose three looks from their collections to present to the judges to determine who would actually compete at Fashion Week. (Of course, all four finalists and each of their sewing assistants actually showed full collections, but Lifetime still loves to push the conceit that only three people actually showed at Fashion Week, in spite of the fact that most of us saw the decoy collections months ago.)
MICHELLE LESNIAK FRANKLIN, Winner
Sewing Assistant: Amanda Valentine
I cringed when I heard Michelle talking about chaps, but they turned out more fabulous than I could have imagined. And the sweater is divine, with its wolf-print silhouette and those lovely flowy sleeves. This was my favorite of her three looks, though I think the pants could have been shorter and thus slightly less wrinkled at the bottoms.
This was a little overworked for my tastes. Michelle has a lot of talent, but Nina was right – she needs to edit down some of her looks just a little bit. The oversized collar, the pleating in the puffy halter top, the buttons in the back of the blouse, the backwards belt, the three-layered half-peplum, the asymmetrical hemline, the fabric from the blouse popping out of the bottom of the skirt – that’s a LOT of details in one look. A lot of great details, but there’s definitely a point of diminishing returns when you have that many embellishments.
This coat is fantastic, but it also suffers from being a bit over-designed. I agreed with Nina that while the usability of this coat was interesting, she didn’t need three bags attached to it. I think Michelle’s collection was head and shoulders above the rest, but she could definitely afford to take a step back from her looks and simplify them ever so slightly.
PATRICIA MICHAELS, Top 2
Sewing Assistant: Layana Aguilar
I didn’t hate this dress, but you could barely see it underneath all that terrible styling.
This is a Monet – from far away, the horse hair looks cool – up close, I’m going to once again agree with Nina and say this looked like hair samples tacked on to a jacket.
Clearly, Patricia’s collection has no cohesion whatsoever, and I didn’t see why this dress or that stupid headpiece were even worth a conversation. Yes, she can create textiles; no, she cannot design. I thought we solved that mystery sometime around the second challenge of the season, but alas, this is what suffices to get you into the finale in these late and terrible days of Project Runway.
STANLEY HUDSON, Bottom 2
Sewing Assistant: Richard Hallmarq
Beautifully made, but the judges had a point that it was on the stuffy/matronly side. It’s the matchy-matchiness of it all – all the pieces are actually quite beautiful and wearable, but together, they don’t create an image of the cool, modern woman who would wear those pieces separately.
I can’t decide if I actually don’t like the proportions of this dress, or if it’s off in an interesting way. But although the dress is pretty and well-made, it’s pretty uninspired when you’re trying to prove you’re worthy of New York Fashion Week.
I hate the jacket, but I thought the pieces underneath were beautiful. But I AGAIN agreed with Nina – if he had shown those pieces separately instead of matching them together, they would have had ten times the impact. And it is long past time to retire exposed zippers on Project Runway forever.
DANIEL ESQUIVEL, Eliminated
Sewing Assistant: Samantha Black
Daniel’s mini-collection was incredibly weak. The top is overworked and, while interesting, not actually nice to look at, and the pants are a mess.
How can you do a throwaway look when you’re only showing THREE LOOKS to the judges?!
Boring, and like Zac Posen said, we’ve seen this before. I’m no Patricia fan, and I have no desire to see her full collection, but at least she put some creativity and originality into it. That’s more than I can say for Daniel.
Judges’ Top 2: Michelle and Patricia
Diva’s Top 2: Michelle and Stanley
Judges’ Bottom 2: Stanley and Daniel
Diva’s Bottom 2: Patricia and Daniel