The Challenge: With Dom and Bradon safe, the three remaining designers battle it out for two spots in the finale. Each designer has a budget of nine thousand dollars and six weeks to create an eleven-look collection (including one unconventional look and one late-in-the-game surprise look that I couldn’t really pay attention to once Tim Gunn started calling it “the Tide challenge.”) Alexandria, Helen, and Justin had to show a three-look preview of their collections to the judges to determine which of them would move on to the finale. (And poor Dom and Bradon had to watch that waste-of-time of a runway show when they clearly would rather have had that time to continue working on their own collections.)
ALEXANDRIA VAN BROMSSEN
It’s hard to see the beauty of this look in photos, since the detailing on the textured black garments is basically invisible here. But go watch the episode in HD and you’ll likely be as impressed as I was by the level of care, creativity, and construction that went into each of the thirty pieces Alexandria brought with her. That little half-glove pocket insert thing in the pants looked incredibly cool, and Alexandria seems to be full of unique, fashion-forward little ideas like that.
The judges complained about the lack of color in Alexandria’s collection, but that was at least 50% BS, since they only trot out that complaint when it’s convenient for them. And there are plenty of established designers, especially in New York, who show collections with extremely limited color palettes. I believe an adorable little queen named Christian Siriano made an entirely black-and-white collection, and he’s virtually the only alumni of this show to have the kind of fashion career that the show intended its winners to have. I’m a girl who loves color, but saying a collection lacks color and therefore that makes it a bad collection is total garbage. Also, this suede jacket moved like water when the model walked down the runway. It was beautiful to watch.
The asymmetrical closure on these pants is downright awesome. Don’t get me wrong – on a lady like me who’s five-foot nothing and all boobs and tummy, these pants would be downright disastrous. But there’s a place for them on the runway and in the wardrobes of models for damn sure. And haters can hate but I love that hat.
Thank God the judges put their crackpipes down long enough to recognize that Helen’s collection preview was a hot disaster. It was student work all the way; some people hate on Alexandria because she’s standoffish and pretty cold, but her assessment of Helen was spot-on – she can’t remove herself from her work, and that is the mark of a student, not a designer. Helen proved Alexandria 100% correct with her ill-fitting, poorly-sewn, completely ordinary clothes.
Yes. It’s a nice red. But since you didn’t invent the color red, Helen, stop acting like this is the greatest thing in the history of fashion and admit that beyond the color, there’s virtually nothing here.
From the straightjacket arms to the diaper flap in back, this was poorly conceived and horrifically executed. Good riddance, Helen.
Justin surprised the hell out of me – apparently, when he has more than a few hours and isn’t surrounded by complete nut-jobs, Justin can really and truly design. He showed some spectacular pieces, though it must be said that the wigs are atrocious, incredibly distracting, and don’t fit with his aesthetic. I expected the judges to keep him for the finale just so that they could have their “Thank God you used your save on him, Tim!” line, which of course they got in this episode. I didn’t, however, expect Justin to actually deserve to stay. So kudos to him for proving the Diva wrong. (We all know that’s a rarity.)
The splatter-painted skirt is beautiful and very on-trend, and I’d have given him the win solely for his use of 3-D printing in his collection. It means Justin is truly an innovator, and I respect someone who is actually trying to take fashion into the 21st century instead of just blabbing nonsense about unicorns and sustainability. (Remember that awful creature? God, this season really was full of whackjobs, wasn’t it?)
Justin did what too few Project Runway designers do in their finale collections – he created a show piece. And an unconventional one at that. This red carpet-ready gown is made entirely of test tubes. MINDBLOWING. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually excited to see what else Justin has to offer.
Don’t miss next week’s finale post, dear readers! Follow me on Twitter to enjoy my acerbic wit live during the broadcast, and of course, check the blog soon for recaps of the decoy collections.