Mixing Old Fashioneds
Project Runway Season 7 Finale Recap: A Serious Lack of Serious Ugly
The end of Season 7 is here and it’s time to crown the winner and await Bluefly to put up some wallet-breaking clothes. I’m in, if y’all are.
Last minute everything.
The final designers, Seth Aaron, Emilio, and Mila, with one day until the final runway show, are in the workroom preparing their collections. Seth Aaron is still sewing something (apparently he wants to set a record for the most finale pieces completed). Mila isn’t impressed with his work, as she calls it “glamorous Hot Topic”. Emilio thinks Mila’s collection is well made but severe and demure. She thinks Emilio’s collection is Harlem circa 1994; Seth Aaron sees Emilio’s collection as old too.
Tim stops by and Seth Aaron shows him several of his 24 complete looks. From Tim’s hometown comments to Seth Aaron, he developed more pieces with a cleaner look. Moving on, Tim chats with Emilio; the old-style red dress is still in the collection. I don’t think Emilio really changed that much from the hometown visit. I do hope he ditched the spray paint jacket because I never need to see that again. Tim then checks out some of Mila’s black and white pieces; she points out that it’s 60s but she’s styling with more edge. Tim is genuinely excited for them and sends them off to model casting.
Is it just me, but is the day before the show a bit late for model choosing? In any event, it goes well—no fights over models—and it’s off for product placement time in hair and makeup. After that bit of business, the models arrive for fitting. Seth Aaron chooses his red dress for his muse model because it shows how much he’s grown. Emilio is having fit problems so he’s mixing up his pieces. Mila depends on hair and makeup to make her work look edgy.
The final day winds down, and soon it is 2:40 a.m. on the day of the final show. They arrive at the empty show space in the cold, dark morning. Seth Aaron makes “snow angels” on the runway, but Emilio doesn’t have time for him. Backstage things get busy fast; Mila is short three models with only two hours left before the show. Emilio is missing one model as well. Tim gets involved with only one hour remaining; they need replacement models fast. Meanwhile, the tent starts filling up with past contestants and anyone else who was invited or plunked down a hefty chunk of change to get a seat.
How in the world did Kors get more orange? A/K/A, why isn’t that tax on tanning beds also for aesthetically displeasing fake tans too?
Thirty minutes out from the show, Tim pulls alternates for Mila (still missing two models) and Emilio (still missing one model). Last minute tweaking goes on while the judges take their seats. Then it’s go-time; Heidi introduces the judges: Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Faith Hill, for whom Heidi doesn’t even bother to make a tacit fashion industry connection.
Seth Aaron shows first; he thanks everyone, especially his family. He says his collection is inspired by German-Russian military styles and his girls are going to kick ass. The pictures of the collections are all over the internet, so I’m not going to even bother describing each look in my usual half-assed way, but I will say his signature look of the red dress with black leather detail is pretty cool, though I (and anyone else under 5’10”) would look dumpy in it. He uses more black and white mix than I thought he would; maybe all those weeks with Mila did something to him. I loved the use of the yellow, black, and red plaid and want the long coatdress. The last look of a crazy purple fabric and black patent leather is really awesome, but you have to have absolutely no ass to wear it.
Mila is up next; her collection was inspired by shadows. She thanks her parents and her boyfriend and the mostly black and white show starts. Though she stuck in her normal color scheme, there isn’t so much color blocking it’s distracting. Where it is—like on the black and dark purple long sleeved short dress—it works. The coat her muse model wore is my favorite piece and I’d love to have it in my closet now. Overall, she shows some really sophisticated sportswear separates and dresses. And after doing some shopping, I strongly believe that is a market seriously underserved.
Emilio—hat and all—is up last. His collection is called “Color Me Bad” and inspired by his mother and sister. He leads off with that old lady sofa green coat and a dress made with his initial print. The retro red dress is still there; it’s not that it’s bad, but it’s exactly what I can pick up for $40 at my vintage clothing store. Or $35 last spring at H&M—hell, I have that in my closet. What he has that the other two designers don’t is a lot of color—bright reds and blues, but that blue feels a bit pinched from Anthony’s signature colors. A bit of the spray paint print comes out as a skirt and that feels okay to me. The last look is a sparkly black and green “showstopper” gown that looks a lot like several of Jay’s dresses from earlier in the season.
With the show over, it’s time to face the judges one last time. The judges were impressed with the consistency and work put into the collections. The models come out and the looks on their muse models are: Seth Aaron’s red dress; Emilio’s old lady sofa green coat and initial print dress; and Mila’s fabulous coat/coatdress. They start by questioning Seth Aaron; his 1940’s German/Russian military collection was designed to show his style, but more sophisticated. Michael sees the stepped-up luxury but still stayed young. He says Seth Aaron’s clothes bring a wow factor but still could be worn by an average person, which is an impressive thing to accomplish. Nina loves that he has many ideas and is very editorial, but has a heavy hand still on some looks. The judges are only a bit dubious on the purple dress that went down last.
Emilio says he wanted to create a collection inspired by great American sportswear with changes to color and proportion. The “color me bad” thing was to amp up the classic looks with color. Faith loves the coats; she likes the muse model’s coat—which, in all honesty would be pretty awesome if it weren’t that old color. Heidi, for some reason, loves the initial print. I still side with Tim on this; Emilio is not well-known enough to be branding stuff in his initials. Michael sees Emilio’s collection the most commercial, but loved the long gown the most, which is the least commercial. There was some weird juxtaposition the jump from daytime sportswear to the gown, but the collection is saleable. Nina thinks the collection was a little heavy on suiting, especially when he does feminine so well. Emilio points out he didn’t do much of the sportswear during the show, so he wanted to prove he could do that as well.
Mila was inspired by shadows creating layers and illusions. Heidi likes the changes Mila made, especially with the makeup and hair. Michael agrees—she definitely made the collection look modern with her styling and loved the use of shiny black fabric. Faith likes a lot of the looks, but doesn’t really say anything substantive. Nina comments that once Mila loosened up, her fashion sense really came forward in a positive way.
The designers are sent off to sweat it out while the judges deliberate. The judges really seem to like all three collections and are impressed by the sophistication. No one throws it out there, but I’m going to—maybe the age of the designers has something to do with it. They’re all past design school age by several years and have made lives in clothing for a while, even if it’s only costume designing or small-scale production. Anyway, Michael appreciates a couple of Mila’s looks for producing modern, soft looks. He loves the leggings, likes her use of mixed textiles, but doesn’t see that much that he wouldn’t predict.
Heidi wasn’t surprised by Seth Aaron’s collection, but Michael sees an added level of sophistication. His last look borders on costume, but he does knock it out of the park when he does sophistication. Seth Aaron, in the judges’ opinion, knew he was putting on a show and he did it well. Nina finds Seth Aaron to have more guts than anyone else, and that fearlessness is needed.
Faith was really impressed with Emilio and loved his final gown. Michael thinks Emilio went more quiet and commercial for the final show. Nina thinks he was thinking more business. Michael misses the drama and showed a line not a collection. Heidi questions the basis of the judging: on business, on creativity, on who has the most to say, on just the show today or all season? Emilio has an analytical eye, but not a big show. His clothes were the easiest to wear and the most marketable.
After a really tough decision, the designers come out to learn their fate. Heidi says Seth Aaron kept his style and made it more sophisticated; he has to watch being too costumey, but he put on a great show. Emilio’s taste and craftsmanship impressed them; they wished that they could have seen more showstoppers like the gown. Mila showed she could take the 60s look and put a modern styling on it. They liked her collection but wished she’d surprised them a bit more.
Heidi eliminates Mila first; Mila realizes that she can still be a fashion designer and thinks opportunities lie ahead for her. Heidi says both Seth Aaron and Emilio both deserve the top honor, but only one can win. And that one is Seth Aaron! Woo-hoo! Emilio is crestfallen, but gives Seth Aaron a hug anyway. Heidi sends Emilio out; he quotes Anthony—“You don’t have to have the crown to be the king”—and is determined to create a brand, despite crying like a child in the back room with his mommy. Seth Aaron’s family comes out to the runway, and he’s crying now too. Okay, I’ll give them all a break; they’ve been up forever at this point and would probably cry if the toilet paper roll ran out. Seth Aaron’s model and Tim both come out to celebrate. He’s ready to start a large fashion line and I’m ready to whip out the credit card if it gets me one of his coats.
Re: Project Runway Season 7 Finale Recap: A Serious Lack of Serious Ugly
awesome recap. I'll be behind you in line for a coat! Hmm .. I wonder if he has that long coat at his house? We both live in Vancouver. Hee hee hee.
Re: Project Runway Season 7 Finale Recap: A Serious Lack of Serious Ugly
I was so happy to see Seth Aaron win. Great recap!
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