This is it. The finale. This is where we determine who will be the next designer that gets $100,000 and sells an overpriced collection on Piperlime or whatever the prizes are this year. Will they choose the right person or will this be a repeat of last year’s brown diaper fiasco?
Let me go on the record here. Based on what we saw last week, I’m going into this on Team Viktor. I know. I KNOW! I didn’t like him at first. I called him a “troll.” But somewhere between when he rolled his eyes at having to work with kids and being in possession of actual talent, he won me over. It happens. Besides, he has an epic collection of bowties of which the Eleventh Doctor would be supremely jealous.
I also think they should have gotten rid of Anya last week, because yikes. That gold monstrosity. Anyway. Let’s begin.
Shooting the breeze in their swanky penthouse, Joshua is unhappy that their odds of winning are still only 25% instead of 33% like they would be if someone had been eliminated.
Tim comes into the workroom and gives them a pep talk. He disagreed with the judges in all their criticisms. Except Anya. He agreed with them that her evening dress sucked. He also announces that they are going to Mood with $500 to get whatever they want to tweak their collections.
Kimberly plans on making her pink bubble skirt in black, Joshua is reworking his catsuit-dress thing, Viktor wants to redo his evening gown, and Anya doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. No surprise there.
Apparently she plans to make three new looks in one day. By midnight. Should be fun. Joshua is making some tanks and in the process holds up a pair of blue and brown shorts with some patch pockets that made me actually yell out loud they were so ugly.
They’re stressing themselves out in the workroom and Joshua starts crying over a sewing machine because he doesn’t want to fail and doesn’t have a job to fall back on. Anya comforts him and tells him he’s not a quitter. Stress and drama and tension, oh my.
The next day, everyone is rejuvenated but frantic, and sewing like madpeople. They consult at the product placement hair and make-up studios. Viktor says “Oh my Lord of the Rings” at some point, and I decide to work that into daily conversation from now on.
Tim comes in to check on progress. Kimberly doesn’t know what she’s doing with her last few items. Anya has spiced up some pieces, but says she knows it’s not her best work and basically says her goodbyes. Viktor is pulling out a bunch of pieces and has remade his gown. I like his first gown better. Joshua has taken a surfer girl turn and Tim doesn’t like it.
Sidebar: during a commercial break my mother informs me that when she was 17 and made her own prom dress, it was better sewn and more tastefully styled than anything Anya is showing.
Kimberly has lots of details to finish, Anya is still churning out dresses, and Viktor is editing. The models come in for fittings and we catch a glimpse of some green shorts horror of Josh’s that look like they were made by OP in the ’80s. I’ve seen more tasteful items on Halloween in the West Village.
It’s show day. O-M-JEEZUS, right? They are up at 3 a.m. and everyone has a deep story about why they really, really want this. Then there’s a group hug when they get to the runway itself. The usual.
And then the scrambling begins. Kimberly can’t find her kit with everything she needs in it and begins to melt down. But Anya helps by lending her things like tools and thread, which is nice.
Joshua points out that Anya is sewing people into dresses at Fashion Week. I still don’t like him, but he has a point. Step it up, girl. Learn how to use zippers.
The shows begin. First up, Kimberly. Her Brooklyn-inspired collection is set to a smooth techno-y song. She mixes the urban casual pieces in with some fancier ones. There’s a cute as hell blue dress with a zipper down the back. Her palette was questioned last week but it really works here. I still don’t like the pink bubble-butt skirt but it’s better with the jacket here than it was with the backless blouse thing. She managed to pull it off, despite her struggles.
Joshua is next. He opens with a dress that looks a lot like that orange one he did a few challenges back. He worked that ugly print into a dress that was, well, ugly. There are several individual pieces in here that I like, but there is a LOT of fug going on. He took that “modesty tab” off the black dress and it’s nice. He added some draping to the catsuit thing for a big improvement, and follows it with a similarly-styled gown. Maybe too similar to the catsuit.
Viktor comes out immediately following a commercial break for “Twilight: Breaking Wind” or whatever. His first piece is a stunning little dress with squared shoulders and good use of that photographic print that had been on the pants last week. Piece after piece that comes out is superb. He’s added in lots of sheer and black, and done plenty of editing as the judges requested. He’s using his prints smartly, and there’s a cohesion to everything, though I kind of miss the flowy dress he showed last week. He did exactly what Michael suggested and made a simple black outfit to go under that white jacket. Also, please manufacture that white jacket in plus sizes. Thanks.
Finally, it’s Anya. Lots of flowing dresses and patterns. There’s a lot of repetition in the shapes, but absolutely no cohesion to the patterns, except she repeats the brown stripe in a second piece. It’s all very beachy and easy looking, hitting the Caribbean mark. It’s definitely an improvement over what she showed earlier, but it doesn’t read to me as a dazzling collection. But then again, neither did the brown diapers.
It’s impossible to say what the judges will go for. Given the trend of the last couple of weeks, maybe they’ll just split the prize four ways.
They start the critiques. Michael likes that Kimberly listened to their advice but didn’t lose herself. He didn’t love that she had pink under her flowing, sheer striped dress because it killed the smoothness of it. Nina likes her ability to take rich fabrics and make them easy.
Heidi got that Josh’s point of view was a merging of soft and hard, and she actually loved the ugly print and the ’80s OP shorts. Michael enjoyed the schizophrenic nature of it, and thought he edited it well. Nina also liked the green shorts, but more in a photograph than on the runway. They dig his use of unconventional fabrics.
Michael loves Viktor’s prints, plus the tailoring and polish. He doesn’t like all the sheer fabric that he used. The guest judge, L. Wren Scott, didn’t like the sheer dress either; I guess he should have stuck with the first gown he had. Heidi loved the print gown and the mirrored tops, but thought the sheer was sort of cheap. Nina calls the sheer a “missed opportunity.” I’m worried that my boy blew it here.
Heidi likes the vibe of Anya’s collection, but points out that eight of her ten looks have the same neckline. Michael loved her opening piece, but thinks she can push it even more and thinks she needs to work on variety. The guest judge said she needs to think about what people can actually wear. Nina is a big fan of the bathing suit, but wishes the pieces would translate better to an urban atmosphere.
The judges start debating. Going into it now, I have no idea who they are going to pick. There are ups and downs with each designer. I bounce around between, “Oh, they’re definitely going to pick this person,” and, “There’s no way that designer could win.” I just don’t know.
So they bring them back out. Heidi says there are no losers. But, you know, only one can be the winner. So technically there are losers.
Anyway, Kimberly is the first one eliminated. Then Viktor. BOO. So it comes down to Anya and Joshua. The winner is…
So basically, it’s another brown diaper moment. I am no fan of Joshua’s but his collection was more varied and better sewn. Kimberly made impeccable pants. Viktor printed his own fabrics and made that white jacket, for goodness sake. I get that she was good TV, but that’s no reason to actually win.
Needless to say, I am not OK with this decision.