Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway Recap Episode 314 10/18: The Final Finale.
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The car, the cash, the contract, and the conclusion are all present on the finale of Season 3 of Project Runway. It’s been a great trip, but I’m ready for this to be sewn up. Hardy har har.
There are only one and a half days left until the runway show, and designers are tense. The accusations against Jeffrey just fill up the room like the scent of old cheese and cigarillos Jeffrey’s smoking out on the balcony (the cigarillos, not the cheese). Uli says she wished the whole thing had never happened, but Laura is not apologizing for leveling the accusations. She says Jeffrey’s defended himself by saying that everything looks so professional because he is a professional. Laura spins it in another direction, saying that Jeffrey has a business in place that involves sample and pattern makers, and he is in the best position to have had outside help.
Eventually, as all good reality television tends to include, Jeffrey and Laura have a sort of mini-confrontation. Laura says to Jeffrey that if he just sent out beading and leather work, it’s not going to be an issue as long as he has the receipts for the work. Jeffrey rejoins that sending out work and having receipts is not the issue and Laura has questioned his integrity.
Time passes, and there’s only five hours left in the work day. Well, time seems to have passed. For all we know, they had a 6 hour work day. Tim calls Jeffrey on the cell and says that the receipt for the pleated leather shorts is missing, and asks Jeffrey to get the pleating people to fax him a copy of the receipt. Jeffrey is doubtful this will happen, because it’s like “Sanford and Son” over at the pleaters. (Apparently Bravo couldn’t spring for the broadcast rights, because we are not treated to any Quincy Jones music at this point, but I still have that damn theme song in my head a full day later. And now you will too, ‘cause I’m evil like that.) Jeffrey asks what will happen if they can’t produce the receipt, and Tim punts and says we’ll deal with that if it happens. Jeffrey starts making calls to the pleaters, but looks fairly hopeless that the receipt will turn up. He is worried he won’t get to show at all at Bryant Park on account of this missing receipt.
The next day, that being the final day before the runway show, the designers are back in the workroom, and Jeffrey can’t take it any more. He calls Tim but can only leave a message. Fearing that the shorts will be disqualified, Jeffrey starts making this short denim skirt to replace the shorts in the runway show.
Finally Tim shows up and has everyone gather ‘round. He tells the designers that, as they all know, concerns were raised regarding Jeffrey outsourcing the sewing on some of his pieces. He says that he and the producers investigated the situation thoroughly and are absolutely confident that Jeffrey did the work himself. Jeffrey then breaks down and cries. Again. Uli comforts him, and Tim continues that they all knew Jeffrey did get a little help with the pleating, but there was no receipt so the shorts are out and Jeffrey will have to do something else.
Tim goes further and says that all the receipts were looked at carefully (read: PA with a calculator) and everyone was under budget except Jeff, who was over by $227.95, so he’s going to have to loose something else – his choice – to bring the total back under budget. Tim concludes that he is now confident that there will be an even playing field for the runway competition.
Continuing with the touchy-feely-ness of last week’s finale first part, everybody gets in a group hug and closure is brought to the final bit of manufactured drama on PR3. Jeffrey is happy to be going on Fashion Week, so he’s not even contemplating throwing Laura off the balcony. Uli tells Laura that she won, because she made Jeffrey cry. Laura says she never wanted to make Jeffrey cry in the first place; truly I like Laura, but I kinda think she did, or maybe that’s just me projecting. Once you make a guy cry at his job, you want to do it again and again. (<---- See, I really am eeee-vil.)
Tim channels Young Mr. Grace.
There’s only one hour left to go in the work day, and the designers begin to pack up their stuff to head to Bryant Park in the morning. Michael feels good about the runway show, saying he’s worked hard over the last two months and loves his collection. Uli also feels good and really wants to win. Jeffrey tells us that he lost the wigs to bring him under budget, which is a good thing because they were looking a bit Fem-Bot, and not in a good tear-gas-out-of-boobies way. He also suddenly remembered he had the leather pants that Laura and Michael had issues with, and decided to use them instead of the denim skirt that he started. It’s a shame, ‘cause that denim skirt was actually kind of cute and I hate denim skirts.
Tim comes in all verclempt, and gathers everyone ‘round in the last “gather ‘round.” He is so overwrought with emotion, he has to stop and compose himself. He’s proud of them all, thinks they’re all winners and tells them they’ve all done very well and should have a great day at Fashion Week. He admonishes them to get some sleep, and then the five of them have a big group hug. Tim’s just so sweet; he really took to this group more demonstrably than seasons past.
4:15 on a Friday Morning.
On the day of the runway show the designers get up at 4:15 a.m. Jeffrey’s had a couple of hours of sleep, but Laura looks like she’s raring to go. But then, we do know she sleeps in her clothes, so she may have gone to bed with her dress and tights on. Laura is glad Jeffrey is in it because she wants to beat him on the runway, not in the accountant’s office. Michael is trying to focus within to find a peaceful calm, and Uli gets super excited by the time they get to the tents.
The Project Runway show tent is pretty much empty at this hour. The chairs are set up and all have Elle swag bags on the seats. The designers walk the runway, which appears to be butcher paper put down with masking tape. Michael is really excited because he says he used to watch fashion shows on television and wish he was there. You can just imagine Michael, traveling the country with his Army family, dutifully tuning into CNN to see Elsa Klensch’s fashion reports from around the world, can’t you?
With two hours until the runway, the models start to arrive and get to hair and makeup. The designers work with the models, putting them in their outfits, making sure the looks are right, and all that stuff you’d imagine goes on behind the scenes at a fashion show. Then, with one hour left, the tent begins to fill up with spectators and we see people we know from this season and other seasons show up in the big tent. This pretty much goes on until Tim tells Laura that there are ten minute until the show starts, and the models need to be ready.
Its time put on makeup. Its time to dress up right. Its time to raise the curtain.
Heidi bounds out on the no-rise runway, and introduces the judges: Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Fern Mallis, the creator of Olympus Fashion Week. Without further chit-chat from Heidi, Jeffrey comes out to introduce his collection. He’s got his girlfriend, son, mother and father in the audience to support him. His son is crying, and he’s really a tad young for the fashion show crowd, but since Bravo is back-peddling so fast from painting Jeffrey as an utter git, we get a lot of shots of the happy Sebelia family. Jeffrey’s collection starts out with a red polka-dotted dress (which looked to me like a table cloth and an apron worn sideways) and then that same red polka-dot fabric was used in several other dresses. Jeffrey did some swim wear, some really skinny jeans, that crazy green and black striped blazer, some more sportswear, and the green zipper dress we saw last week worn by Marilinda. Jeffrey tells us that it’s the most comprehensive collection he can make for what he does.
Next up is Uli, and her mom and dad are there too. There’s some guy sitting with Uli’s parents, but he’s either “some guy” who happened to be sitting next to Uli’s dad, or he’s somehow significant since he was in the shot, but Bravo doesn’t bother to tell us. Uli comes out and says she’s so very thankful for being at Fashion Week and she had a dream to come to FW and she finally made it. Her collection then comes out, which starts out with lots of earth toned and silver toned pieces. She’s got sportswear and dresses, and the latter half of her collection is the louder print dresses made of extremely sheer fabric cut so high you could, in the immortal words of Michael Kors, see what the models had for lunch. The fit is great and the style is very Uli, but she shows a lot of range. Nazri walks out in the final look, which, in my humble opinion, bears a stark resemblance to the Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore a few years back, and then Trey Parker wore better.
Third out is Laura, whose mother, husband, one son, and a girl who may have been her daughter are all present at the show. She jokes with the crowd about making it “big” in fashion, and then her show starts. In a voice over, she says she wants to send a message to American women to remind them to be fabulous, take time for themselves, and life can be made better through fashion. Her collection is all of evening wear and heavy on golds, black lace, feather, fur and beading details, and grey shiny material. The construction looks impeccable, and the judges look impressed. (As an aside, Michael Kors sat there with his big sunglasses on during part of the show, looking stupider than he usually does. You’re not Jack Nicholson, take the shades off!) Her final look modeled by Camilla is a fitted silver gown with intense beading on the top and belted by a golden wide belt.
Finally, Michael comes out. His mom, dad, and “some guy” are there. His “some guy” is different that Uli’s “some guy”, and if I had to guess, I’d say it was his brother. He announces to the crowd that his collection is based on the a “Street Safari” theme about a woman on a hunt for who she is and finds out she’s a sexy, secure, and sophisticated woman. The first half of his collection contains the long white safari dress we saw in his living room back in Atlanta, and then some different iterations on that same theme. The white outfits are invariably accented by gold detailing on the pockets, or the lapels, or in wide belts. Then the color started coming out—a bright green halter dress, an orange print dress, a shiny traffic cone orange dress and a pink hotpants ensemble. Michael, as did Uli and Jeffrey, made a swimsuit, as well. His final look was a print dress with a shiny brown animal-skin-like print worn by Clarissa.
Random People’s Opinions.
After the show, various audience members are polled as to their favorites to win. The singer Brandy (not our illustrious writer Brandy, whom I’ve no doubt would have loved to have been there) says she loves Michael, but loved Uli’s the most. The CEO of WalMart showed up to see what was going on in the fashion world, and I can assure you that if there is a WalMart challenge in S4 I’ll personally find Harvey Weinstein and beat his fat ass. Chloe says she thinks Uli will win. Some lady from L’Oreal thinks Laura’s collection was the best. Back to that WalMart guy (hey, I’m warnin’ you Harv, I know people who know people, ok?!?!) who says he thinks Uli will win based on the runway show, but overall Michael did the best all season. Raymundo (whom they had to remind us was from Season 2) thinks Laura will win, and some woman from LVMH thinks Jeffrey will win. Somehow meriting a third time on my screen, the WalMart CEO is asked by Heidi if he thinks anyone is going to be going into his stores, and he says that its always a possibility. Heidi kind of laughs that off a bit. Finally, Kayne opines that Uli will win. (Seriously, if WalMart is in anyway involved next season, someone’s got to get Henry Winkler on the line, pull the leather jacket out of storage, and wax up the water skis.)
Judgment at Parsons.
Back at Parsons, the judges are lined up along the runway in their big director chairs. Michael Kors thinks the shows were great, Nina liked the different points of view, and Fern comments about how everyone wanted to get into that show. Then the designers come out on the runway. Heidi congratulates them all but points out there can only be one winner. And that winner will get (say it with me) a spread in Elle magazine, a mentorship with INC International Concept Designs, a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster, one year representation by Designers Management Agency, and $100,000 to start their own line from TREsemme. And, of course, the winner’s model will also get that spread in Elle.
They start questioning with Laura. She says she really wanted to do evening wear and make a collection that is romantic, escapist, and luxurious. Heidi comments that it looks expensive, and Michael Kors agrees, saying it looks like $30,000 not $8,000. He asks Laura if she did all the beading—which is quite a bit of beading—and she says she did, but not all at once. (Suddenly I suspect she’s running a sweatshop with those boys! Someone check their fingers for needle pricks!) Kors finds all of the dresses gorgeous, but wonders where the surprise factor is. Nina points out that Laura knew that lack of surprise was the chief complaint the judges had on the show. Laura says she tried to up the volume with all of the feathers, beading, and other details. Fern disagrees with Kors and Nina, saying it is perfectly fine to be focused on these certain looks because people, when buying an expensive gown, want the black dress so that they can wear a lot.
Next turning to Michael, he says he found who he was as a designer through the course of Project Runway and was inspired by both a safari (finding that woman’s identity again) and the 1970s. Fern says she could tell at the show that Michael was clearly the fan favorite, but the fashion didn’t stand up to the hype, and she is disappointed. Kors says that Michael turned the volume up too high, and asks what happened. Michael says he wanted to get the point across that he was designing for a strong woman. He also points out that he is young and this is the first time he’s done a collection like this. Nina says that he showed range in styles.
Jeffrey again states that he started out being inspired by Japanese ghost stories and demons. Fern says the green striped zipper dress is adorable. Kors likes the collection because Jeffrey dressed “his girl” at every junction in her daily life—what she’d wear out to the movies, out to a club, to work, and so on. Fern liked everything but the two blue dresses that didn’t really fit the color scheme or the other styles. Heidi brings up the fact that Jeffrey went over budget, and he says that when he sent back the wigs, he came back under budget by about $400.
Finally we get to Uli, who says she wanted to show she can do more than prints. Nina said that the dresses were terrific, would sell well and do well. Heidi comments she’d wear everything in Uli’s collection. Fern says that Uli should stay in Miami because it is good inspiration and resort wear is the hottest segment of the market.
Rock, paper, scissors.
The designers are dismissed and the judges deliberate. They think Uli’s dresses are what every woman would want, and Nina likes the attention to details. Fern thinks Uli is passionate, but Kors thinks her collection was uneven or disjointed.
Heidi finds Jeffrey’s collection innovative, and Kors likes the variety, which came off as exciting rather than schizophrenic. They liked everything but those two blue dresses. Heidi asks for comments about him going over budget, but gets no reaction. Undoubtedly budgets are for bean counters to worry, not fashion designers.
Michael Kors says Laura’s middle name should be “Meticulous” based on the workmanship she put into her gowns. Fern finds the gowns impressive, and Heidi says they are something that would be kept in a closet forever. Nina agrees that the dresses are well-executed but wonders if Laura is much of an innovator.
Finally, Kors says Michael understands a woman’s body, but there was too much going on in his collection. Heidi says it was like he was back to his original portfolio. Fern finds the story of the woman finding herself noble, but isn’t all that hot on the fashions.
And the winner is….
The judges have made their decision, and the designers come back on stage, whilst their families wait anxiously backstage. Heidi says the decision was very tough because they all did a great job.
Heidi first addresses Michael, saying that the judges believe in his future as a designer, but he needs time to mature, and he is out. Michael says in voiceover that it’s been a long trip, he believes in what he does, and he’ll be back.
Next Heidi says to Laura that she created an exquisitely crafted collection but the judges found it too limited, so she is out. Laura says in a single camera interview that she really feels that she achieved what she wanted and is at peace with the judges’ decision.
It’s down to Uli and Jeffrey, and they hug each other like Miss America contestants, but with a much less animatronic gesture and real warmth. Heidi says that Jeffrey’s collection was innovative and showed range. She says Uli pushed herself and made a beautiful collection every woman would want to wear.
After the usual dramatic pause, Heidi congratulates Jeffrey; they loved what he did, he has great style and want to see more from him. Of course, this means Uli is out, and she goes back stage and tells Jeffrey’s posse to get the kid ready to go out. She is really happy for Jeffrey and is content with being in second place.
Jeffrey is freaking out, he’s so thrilled. Marilinda also comes out, since she’s the model winner. Then Jeffrey’s family comes out and is all jubilant, congratulating him, and the judges are beaming away. Fern even sheds tears of joy.
We’re treated to a final interview segment with Jeffrey, as gets all physics-like on us, saying that we’re all a bunch of vibrations and can be anything you want to be, and just not take things so seriously. Umm, yeah, and follow your bliss.
In the final scene, Tim takes Jeffrey to get his shiny new silver Saturn roadster, which, he proclaims, “doesn’t suck.” Which sums up how I feel about this finale. Just a warning to Jeffrey: those Saturns have craptastic batteries so make sure Bravo throws in jumper cables.
Last edited by Brandy; 10-20-2006 at 03:26 AM.
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