Last week on Project Runway, the remaining four designers were sent home to prepare for Fashion Week. Emilio and Seth Aaron had already won their slots, but Jay and Mila would have to duke it out for the third spot. They would make ten looks, like the others, and then present their three favorites to the judges. During the months-long preparation, Tim visited each designer at their home.
The week before Fashion Week began, all four designers returned to New York, where Jay and Mila managed to bury the hatchet. There they showed their three looks to the judges, who ruled in Mila’s favor. Jay was sent home.
On the last day before the show, the designers take stock of each other’s collections – which is a nice way of saying they talk trash about them. Mila thinks Seth Aaron’s collection looks like something from Hot Topic. Emilio thinks Mila’s clothes are well-made, but severe and demure. Mila and Seth Aaron both agree that Emilio’s collection looks “older,” and Mila goes so far as to say that it looks appropriate for Harlem … in 1994.
Tim Gunn comes in to make his rounds, and he starts with Seth Aaron, who shows off his favorite pieces, including something made of red wool. When Tim asks Seth Aaron how many looks he has, Seth Aaron answers, “Twenty-four.” Not twenty-four pieces, but twenty-four whole outfits! (Did Seth Aaron sleep at all after Tim’s visit?) He knows he only needed ten, but he hopes he can “move forward” with Tim’s advice. He tells Tim he wanted to create a “clean sophistication.”
Next up is Emilio, who remembers Tim’s critique from last episode’s visit. Tim isn’t impressed with some of the items, and asks of one piece, “Haven’t we seen this look before?” Emilio tells us that Tim’s opinion is not necessarily the same as the judges’ opinion, and he’s more concerned with the judges. He’s got a point, but Tim does know the judges’ tastes, so it’s usually a good idea to listen to him.
Finally, Tim checks in with Mila, who shows him a mohair sweater. Tim reminds her about the judges’ advice to make her line look rougher and more rock-n-roll. She agrees to do so. True to her word, when the designers start casting models, Mila picks rocker types. Emilio wants what he calls “mulitcultural” models, which presumably means he wants a mix of ethnic groups. Seth Aaron simply wants women who give off the “right vibe.”
Similarly, during the make-up consultation, Mila asks for grungy, gritty make-up. Emilio wants an uptown look, while Seth Aaron wants his models to have big, dark eyes courtesy of a lot of dark eye make-up.
The models come in for their fittings. Seth Aaron likes how his red wool dress looks on one woman. He wants the judges to be impressed by his artistic growth. Emilio realizes, to his distress, that designing at home and actually putting a girl into a garment are two different things. Some of his pieces aren’t working as well as he’d hoped they would. (Maybe that’s why Seth Aaron had made twenty-four outfits: If something didn’t work, he could just chuck it and try another piece.) Emilio therefore has to alter a lot of pieces in not much time.
After that, the designers move on to hair consultations. Mila, following the judges’ advice to the letter, asks for a rock-n-roll flavor. Emilio asks for a softer take on the ponytail, while Seth Aaron wants a slick and modern look. Aftwerwards, the designers talk about what winning would mean to them. Emilio believes his defining moment is coming. Seth Aaron talks about the sacrifices his family has made for him, and Mila believes she is restarting her career. (She used to be a costume designer for movies and T.V. shows.)
On the day of the big show, the designers get up at the hideous hour of 2:40. They get dressed and head out to Bryant Park, where they check out the stage. Seth Aaron takes the time to make “runway angels” on the set. They all settle down to the business of preparing their looks and dressing their models for the show. Naturally, there are snags, as some of the models are either late or don’t show up at all. Two hours before the show starts, Mila is just about tearing out her hair because three of her models haven’t arrived yet. Emilio is also missing a model and is loudly demanding a replacement. One half hour before the show starts, Tim comes to their rescue and calls in alternates: two for Mila and one for Emilio. (Mila’s third missing model had apparently turned up in the interim.)
And it’s showtime! Heidi Klum, now no longer pregnant, comes out onto the runway and announces the start of the show. She also introduces the judges, including the guest judge, country singer Faith Hill. Um, why is she the guest judge? I know the show does use celebrities, but I prefer it when said celebs actually have ties to the fashion industry. They should be a designer or a model or at least have a clothing line. They should know something about fashion, beyond what to wear to the Grammys, especially if they’re judging for the finale.