SEASON FINALEWhile watching the season 3 finale of Project Runway, I couldn't help but think of last season's finale. Andrae, Diana and I thought we were flying out to sit in the front row of Fashion Week. It turned out we almost did not get to see the show since most of us were backstage sewing hems! I was wondering if history would repeat itself and season 3 favorites such as Alison, Kayne and Malan would return to help the finalists. Maybe Angela would make her fleurechons yet again or we would experience Vincent getting off one last time on helping one of the Final Four. Admittedly, I was kind of happy they did not.
Tim gave a tearful pep talk to the designers as the day of the show grew near. And when the day finally came, the designers arrived at Bryant Park and you could see the streets of New York City wet with rain. It was as if the gods were cleansing the designers of all the drama of season 3, making for a beautiful and touching finale day. The sleep-deprived Final Four were ready for their close-ups.
Jeffrey's collection was first, showing his Japanese ghosts-and-demons-inspired women. I loved the striped group towards the end, especially the penultimate jacket and the final dress on Marilinda. We were expecting Sunset Boulevard punk-rocker fashions and instead we got sublime, detailed clothes that screamed Paris not Southern California. All the judges agreed that Jeffrey had a winner.
Uli ventured into Roberto Cavalli world, showing sexy dresses and sporty yet chic separates. The chiffon gowns almost floated like air on the runway. Yes, the prints were there, but in a good way. However, as Nina Garcia complained, the collection seemed disjointed.
Laura's final collection was beautiful and looked expensive. It was Oscar de la Renta meets Michael Kors – ladies who lunch and attend the opening of an opera, all in one afternoon. However, it seemed destined for an older clientele and lacked that "wow" factor.
Odds-on favorite Michael concluded this season's runway show, sending down his brigade of urban-safari divas. It was a vision that would give Diddy and Kimora Lee Simmons a run for their designer money. But, as Michael Kors later asked, what happened? Michael's final collection would definitely work for the mistress of a hip-hop mogul in Atlanta, but it still had to pass the jaded eye of a Manhattan fashionista jury.
In the end, it was Jeffrey's confident, perfectly edited collection that won over the judges. It was the ideal wardrobe for a fashion-forward gal. He was conclusively vindicated for all the unnecessary drama and crowned the winner of season 3.
I still can't help but want Jeffrey to apologize for being mean to Angela's mommy and for alienating some of the designers. Yes, one does not go on Project Runway to make friends but I do believe a little kindness can take you far. Nevertheless, as a Southern California designer myself, I am more than happy that an L.A.-based designer took the top honors and earned the respect of an East Coast jury. Congratulations, Jeffrey!
Read Nick's take on Episode Thirteen...
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