Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway Season Nine Finale Recap
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This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end. Here we are at the last episode of Season 9. You may have noticed there was no recap last week. I considered posting saying “nothing happened of note” but that seemed like a waste of time, much like that episode was. Since they must pick a winner, I’ll do this final recap.
T-Minus Two Days
Morning dawns on the designers after the non-events we slugged through last week. The ladies wonder if the guys are genuinely glad they are both still in the competition; Josh clearly is not, as he wanted to see someone eliminated. They head back to their workspace to put the finishing touches on their Fashion Week collections in the two remaining days before the runway show.
Tim arrives with some tough love. He admits he didn’t agree with the judges on several of their critiques but reassures them that anyone can win. He takes them shopping at Mood with a $500 budget to do whatever they want. Kimberly will remake the awkward bubble skirt in safe black, while Josh is considering re-doing his jumper/gown deal that the judges didn’t really like. Anya is overwhelmed and lacks focus, while Viktor plans on tweaking his gown.
After Mood, they head back to the workroom. Anya plans on making three new looks, while Viktor sews a new gown out of a black sheer fabric. Josh is making some new shorts in a god-awful bright green and Kimberly struggles with sewing her bubble skirt. As Josh keeps making clothes, Viktor wonders aloud if Josh is just adding to his collection for fun and he’s finished, or if he really needs to make new pieces. Josh’s stress sends him to tears, but Anya talks him off the ledge, bringing him to joke that if he’s tired he should take a nap, as he told Becky.
T-Minus One Day
The next day, the designers are back in the workroom and they’re all on edge. Anya has a ton of work to do, but Josh has a clear head after a night’s rest. Viktor only has the final touches to do—buttons, grommets, and the like—which turns out not to be the exact truth. Tim comes to check on the designers. Kimberly is a mess and doesn’t know how she’s going to fix her skirt or what to do with a pink pair of pants. Anya really likes the fabrics but knows it is not the best-sewn collection, almost giving a concession speech. Viktor tells Tim he’s getting rid of a lot of cool pieces. Tim isn’t so sure about Josh’s new pieces, as they don’t keep with the vibe of the three pieces the judges liked.
Josh’s time with Tim has gotten in his head, but he’s going to go with his gut. Kimberly still has some last minute details to complete for each of her garments. Anya is still making more clothes. Viktor is editing his looks to all be cohesive with his new gown. The models come in for fittings, which gives everyone a bit of a boost to see their clothes on people. Everyone works until the last minute of the workday.
Early the next day, at 3:10 a.m., the designers wake up and begin to prepare for their Fashion Week debuts. They arrive at Lincoln Center and walk down the plastic over the white runway. Backstage the chaos begins when Kimberly can’t find her sewing kit, leaving her distraught. Anya loans her what she needs, keeping a cool head and calming Kimberly down. There is last minute finishing and it’s time for the show. Heidi starts the show by introducing Michael, Nina and L’Wren Scott.
First up is Kimberly, who says her collection is inspired by where she came from and her mother. Her styles are made in bright colors, mostly blues and pinks, with other pieces in black. The looks are remarkably saleable, except maybe that disastrous pink bubble skirt, which likely will be her downfall. Josh shows next and he also dedicates his collection to his mother. Loud prints and colors dominate the show; Tim comments that it isn’t trying too hard, but these look like tortured designs, with the rare exception of one little black dress. He’s got a couple of black gowns that look like they were made of the same cheap black fabric out of the box vampire costumes are.
Viktor says his collection was inspired by Mexico and New York. His collection is a mix of stark, black, architectural looks and a print tailored looks. I couldn’t wear a single thing he made in the sheers, but I want the opening dress, just like everyone else. Anya says her collection was inspired by the Caribbean and dedicates the show to her deceased brother. It is a collection of long flowing dresses in prints. Look, I like Anya’s personality and don’t have any quarrel with her on a “character” basis; aside from some snark on Bert and Becky, she’s been helpful, sweet, and has cool ideas. It’s just that this looks like a collection Uli could have done drunk. Just as a refresher, take a look at her Fashion Week collection to compare the sophisticated beach wear with Anya’s collection. Project Runway Finale - Uli - YouTube See that? Sleeves. Actual sleeves on garments, but still beachy. Anya has potential, but this collection show she isn’t really “there” yet.
The designers face the judges one last time. Kimberly wanted to take urban and elevate it. Michael really liked that she listened to the judges but kept her aesthetic. Heidi still has issues with the bubble skirt, but overall liked it. Nina was complimentary, but over all they wanted to see “more”. Josh says he wanted to edit and make a strong collection. Heidi really liked the collection, including the crazy colors and prints. Michael was impressed by Josh’s editing and letting his work show. Nina thinks the entire collection is very editorial and would photograph for a shoot well. Viktor wanted to bring rocker girl to beach girl. Michael likes the printed pieces and tailored pieces but found too much see-through fabric. Heidi thought it was really two separate shows, with the see-through dresses on one side and the print and tailored pieces on another. Nina liked the printed fabrics and clothes and would shoot those as well. Anya says she wanted to have an easy sexy look in her collection. Heidi loves the prints but points out that she had eight looks with the same neckline and there wasn’t as much work to do on her dresses as others. Michael also likes the prints but says that not everyone could wear these dresses. L’Wren liked them, but couldn’t wear anything in the collection in the city. Nina also cautions for more diversity.
Each designer makes their last ditch appeal on why they should be the winner, and the judges set about deliberating. Michael says Kimberly had a lot of great clothes but not a collection. L’Wren says that she has a voice, brings an urban vibe, and has the female perspective. Nina says she’s not there yet, so clearly Kimberly is out. Michael likes Viktor’s clothes but not really one collection. They all want more of the print, less of the sexy see-through, but he could be ready for a line. Anya has a great eye for prints and works well under pressure, but needs to get to a point where she makes something other than a V-neck. Josh’s clothes were interesting, perfectly styled, and has really evolved from the beginning. He’s got a lot of ideas and has learned to edit. They think Anya has a potential for a serious business with accessories and the like and Josh has great tailoring and skill.
The designers return to find out their fate. Heidi says there are no losers here, compliments them all, and then sends Kimberly out, as expected. Viktor is dispatched next, and it’s down to Anya and Josh. And Anya wins. Amazingly, Josh’s head doesn’t explode right there on the runway. He interviews later that Anya’s clothes were beautiful, just not sewn very well. Anya isn’t the worst winner in the history of Project Runway, as she seems very pleasant, nice and genuinely caring, unlike Gretchen. I just don’t get how someone who produced ten looks, albeit draped well, but not that greatly sewn, can be more “ready” than the other three finalists.
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