Previously: We had a disappointing street style challenge that should have ended in Char’s elimination, but didn’t.
The Challenge: Tim takes the finalists on a whirlwind trip to Rome, which would be a lot more fun if they weren’t also forced to use Rome as their inspiration. Not that Rome doesn’t have plenty to be inspired by, but I thought the whole point of the Fashion Week collections was that the designers FINALLY got to choose their own inspiration. The “working under arbitrarily-imposed design/style restrictions” thing is supposed to be for the challenges, not the final collections. But I digress. Anyway, Tim visits everyone in their hometowns as per usual (with bonus making-weird-noises-while-learning-to-hula), and the designers reconvene in NYC for a last-minute three-look preview with the judges. And by “preview,” I of course mean “the ability for the judges to influence the designers heavily enough so that whomever they have already cast as the winner actually ends up winning.” (See also: the season of Anya.)
Amanda’s was my favorite of the four mini-collections, but I won’t pretend that’s much of an achievement. The standards for being the best are just about as low as they’ve ever been on this show. This looked alright on television, but it doesn’t photograph particularly well. And I think the colorblocking over the tummy is pretty unflattering.
Better, but not by much. I’ll admit it, I very much like this textile, but she didn’t use it to its full potential. I like the plunging neckline, but the strangely wide center-slit looks terrible. It’s got a street-style chicness to it that I appreciate, but overall, it’s only okay.
I liked the movement involved in this one, and that it felt very “Amanda” without seeming like a total rehash of something she’s already done. (But we’ll get to Sean in a bit.) The jewelry that she designed is exceptionally cool and will probably be the reason they give her the win. Which is disappointing, because her clothes shouldn’t need to be literally covered in accessories in order to make a statement, but I can’t expect much more from Project Runway anymore. Anyway, kudos to Amanda, and thumbs down to Project Runway, because the only thing more disappointing than Amanda being the clear favorite from the beginning is that she ended up being my favorite too. Not because she’s that good, but because there are no other options available.
I didn’t hate this. It’s not for me, but I could see the cool young pop star who would wear this on the red carpet. But the styling is all off – I just don’t think the girl who wears this also wears professional, slicked-back buns, at least not WITH this outfit. If anything, she wears her professional, slicked-back bun to the office job that she definitely doesn’t have, and then lets her hair down to party in this romper.
Terrible. Atrocious. Disturbing that she believed even for a second that this Steve Urkel pencil skirt was New York Fashion Week-ready.
This was probably my favorite piece that we saw during the episode. If Char’s entire collection could be as sporty-chic, laid-back, and fabulous as this, she could easily win this whole thing. Sadly, Char’s biggest problem is that she’s wildly inconsistent. Her three looks had virtually no cohesion, and I don’t expect that her full collection will have much more of it. This awesome, funky shrug-dress-thing represents the best of Char’s aesthetic – but the styling is still out of touch, and I have no faith that anything else in her collection will match this level of excellence.
Kini’s mini-collection was by far the worst of the group. He proved once and for all that his skills are all speed and no design. That white top might be salvageable, but literally every other piece in his three looks have no place on a runway. I have never understood his obsession with denim, or why he thinks he’s the first person in the history of the world to try and make denim be high-fashion. He’s not, and he’s not particularly good at that, either. He tried so hard to turn up the volume, but only turned up the average age of his client by about sixty years. And the styling is so dated, it’s almost funny. Burnt-to-a-crisp stick-straight hair and sky-high black eyeshadow? I had no idea it was the late 90s again!
The top is half tee shirt, half shoddy Chanel knock-off. The rest of the look isn’t worth discussing.
Overworked, unoriginal, and not anywhere near as impressive as Kini seemed to think it was. It was marginally better than his other two looks, but it’s just so painfully stuffy. Even if you’re shooting for an Upper East Side clientele, this is fussier than Elaine Stritch. As a baby. With Ebola.
The future Mr. Democracy Diva pointed out that the back of this dress looks like an abstract tampon, and I can’t un-see that. And probably never will.
We get it. You like fringe. The judges were right to call him out for overdosing on fringe – I mean, it’s their fault he used so much of it in the first place, since they always complimented his use of it and considered it his “signature,” – but I’m glad they took a firm stance on it. It shouldn’t have had to be explained to Sean that putting fringe on everything isn’t a great idea, but at least the judges bothered to do that much.
The only decent look of his collection, and it still wasn’t that great. It’s just his Creative Arts Emmys dress, paired with a white top. It looks high fashion enough, there’s just only so much of his two-layered, two-colored fringe that he somehow thinks is ombre that I can take.
Next time: It’s FINALLY time to end this shit-show of a season in S13 E14 – Finale Part 2.