Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn at Bryant Park
So here we go. Are we excited to see this finale, or are we excited to
be one episode closer to the next season, which Nina Garcia has
promised us will be much, much better than this lackluster season?
no matter what, Bryant Park is a very exciting place. And it is
always thrilling to see someone hit their stride and jump head first
into their first career, like each of these three designers did. As the
episode starts, we're in a very familiar Project Runway place– the
pre-Fashion Week work room. The ladies are sick and stressed, trying to
finish their collections including, of course, the dreaded thirteenth
look. Carol Hannah is struggling with the stomach flu, but Chris really stepped up to
support her as her "tailor"… I think he's found his role! Irina, of
course, gets all accuse-y on Althea for, once again, allegedly stealing
her look. This time it's a smokey eye. For Irina to lay claim to
over-sized sweaters and the smokey eye, and claim that Althea is
stealing her ideas, is ridiculous beyond words. And, with a little help
from Tim and some fittings, we are finally to the runway.
Judges Suzy Menkes, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors
we have Althea, who sounds like a child as she introduces her
collection– inspired by sci-fi movies from the '50s and '60s and yet is
forward looking. These looks are pretty good looking, well fitting, and
wearable. Very cool and will work great as separates, but maybe a
little plain. In judging, Nina likes the green dress, which I thought
was a great color but a little shapeless. Althea brings in
extra-long-sleeved, oversized sweaters, and jodphur style pants in
black, white, khaki and silver. Her collection was stuff I would
love to buy at a department store, but maybe the ideas and concepts
were not big enough for the Fashion Week platform.
Next up is Carol Hannah, who has lived through the flu to
deliver. She's wearing a look that could be a part of her collection!
Not sure I like that. Carol Hannah's collection is inspired, as we
know, by Duke University's gothic architecture and fairy tales. It has
absolutely great, innovative shapes, but something about the makeup and hair was a
little reminiscent of the '90s. But hey, maybe since the '80s have been
so big, the '90s are the next big future look. I absolutely adored CH's
first look (Nina loved it, too!), but sadly not all of her big looks
delivered like that first one. I didn't love the little blue riding
hood cape, and I thought some of the pieces just looked tossed in. She
mixed gold, black, teal, eggplant, and chocolate brown in a way that
was not totally successful for me, and let to a group of looks instead
of a line or collection. The judges, (which included Suzy Menkes, of the international Herald Tribune!) mentioned that they though it was
lacking cohesiveness, too. Either after six seasons, I could judge this
show myself, or it has just gotten extremely predictable. I'm gonna
guess the second is probably the case!
Finally, we have Irina, who we know is presenting a nearly
all-black collection of clothes meant to shield a woman from a harsh
urban environment. Irina and Althea's collections look so much alike
with over-long sleeves, over-sized sweaters, and a focus on black, that
it may be an issue for both designers. If they didn't kind of hate each
other, they could work together and be the next Proenza Schouler! I
think we missed a lot of the details of Irina's collection because of
all the black, so I want to say I really liked it, but I can't absolutely state that.
Also, we have already seen the best pieces, like her thirteenth look
and original t-shirts. The hair was distractingly fake, but her
collection also was the one with the most vision. I think she probably
should have left the helmet off the evening gown, but the helmets were rocking as
My final prediction: Even though both Althea and Irina's collections
looked like knock-off Alexander Wang collections from a few seasons ago
that Erin Wasson would probably wear, Carol Hannah probably can't win
here. Her collection was just not collection-y enough. I feel like
Irina has got it in the bag after first viewing, for the impeccable
finishing and completeness of the looks.
Lo and behold, Carol Hannah is indeed "out" first. And she handles it
like the awesome, cool, and down to earth girl that she is. And after
at least three choruses of the dramatic Project Runway music, Irina is
announced as the winner! No shock there. And she finally shows a little
emotion! And her dad cries. And Nina cries. That was pretty awesome.
Our villainous diva character has taken it home again, in the style of
Jeff Sebelia and Christian Siriano. But we like her in the end, because
she made her dad so proud! And while her collection maybe wasn't
groundbreaking, there was definitely a leather jacket or sweater we'd
probably all wear in it. So we are happy to see where she goes and
where we can buy her clothes!
Your last memorable quotes until next season!
This is a make-it-work moment! – Tim to Althea
I don't feel like I'm going to die! – Carol Hannah
That's Althea! – Irina, basically calling Althea a hack.
Can you believe whats going to happen to you? You're going to Bryant Park! – Tim
getting really, really frantic. That is a little unnerving because Tim
is usually the calm in the room. Things must really be in bad shape. – Althea
This is CRAZY! They should all be in their looks by now! – Tim, freaking
Quite honestly, we've seen a lot of the warrior woman. – Michael to Irina
played with the color, she just didn't play with it enough! But she
actually played with it more than anyone else. – Michael and Nina on CH
What I love about Althea is that she has a sense of coolness. – Nina
She had, certainly, the best sense of showmanship. – Michael on Irina
Well unfortunately, let's be honest, you're like okay well half of this, I'm kind of lost. – Michael on Irina
mean, nobody gets to do this. Who gets to do this? It's crazy. It's
like simultaneously the most bizarre and most amazing experience of my
life. – CH
You're line was sleek, modern, cohesive, and it told a
story. And you knew what kind of woman you were designing for, and you
really did articulate that to all of us beautifully. – Heidi
I may not have been "the winner" but I'm still a winner! – Althea
All good things take a lot of work and effort, and that's why they're great, so it was well-worth it. – Irina
Until next year?
Also, don't forget to check out one of our favorite sites dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40