And it’s about damn time. One day to runway. Mila is in and Emilio is smug. Mila sizes up her competition: Seth Aaron has made glamorous Hot Topics and Emilio’s collection is Harlem, 1993. She decides that she can win. Tim comes in and goes first to Seth Aaron. How many looks has he brought. 24. No, not pieces says Tim, looks. 24 says Seth Aaron again. (And is it merely cosmic coinky-dink that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42? The mirror of 24? Miz Shoes thinks not, but then Miz Shoes needs something to think about while she waits for the runway shows and the final proclamation.)
Emilo has not listened to Tim and is showing his teal, red, mustard puce and his brand print ESOSA. Emilio declares that Tim doesn’t always know what the judges like, so he’s not listening to Tim, but hedging his bets on the judges. Mila drags out black on black texture blocked (as opposed to color blocked) sixties drag. Short, wide top in black mohair? Cashmere? Hairy fabric with a wide vertical stripe of black patent leather. Wake Miz Shoes when it’s over.
Model casting, Blow Fly plug. Hotel plug. Hair and make up consults. Mila wants edgy rocker models. Emilio wants multi-cultural models. Mila wants a “gritty dirty” eye instead of her usual “smokey” eye. Miz Shoes thinks that sounds painful. Seth Aaron goes for cobalt blue raccoon eyes. Back in model fittings, Seth Aaron is putting his red wool on his muse hanger. Emilio is editing. Mila drones about how cray-yay-zee it is in the workroom. Blahblahblah designer final thoughts.
Morning of show, Seth Aaron crawls out of bed at quarter to three, and proceeds to give himself the worst Oompa-Loompa hair in the history of the universe, or at least Project Runway. The designers get to the Bryant Park tent and Seth Aaron throws himself down on the runway and makes a snow angel. Miz Shoes adores Seth Aaron, because it is a basic belief in her life that the universe would benefit from a great deal more whimsy. With an hour until the show, Emilio is missing one of his models and stamping his widdle feet and demanding a replacement be brought to him now. Mila is missing three models and is as hair-tearingly panicked as we’ve ever seen her, which is to say that she monotones something or another about needing back up girls.
Heidi gets on the runway and introduces the judges: The orange Michael Kors, the lovely NinaGarcia and the random country music superstar, Faith Hill, who is dressed in some nondescript thing or another and doesn’t look at all like Patsy Cline or June Carter or even Minnie Pearl. Hell, Miz Shoes would have settled for Dolly Parton or Hank Williams because those people dress like country stars are supposed to dress. But she digresses.
Seth Aaron sends out a black, red and white collection inspired, he says, by the German and Russian military uniforms of the 1940s. After a collective gasp and ensuing uncomfortable silence, the entire blogging and fashion-watching world pretends not to have heard that, and/or to give Seth Aaron the benefit of believing that he was just totally clueless as to how that sounded. In the event, the clothing is stunning. He starts with his red wool and black patent dress over patterned tights , then a black and white dress that has a slightly draped boat neck and a full skirt. Next is a dress with spots and tweed and the black striped hose and Miz Shoes’ notes read WOW!!!!1!! A grey trench that is somewhat reminiscent of Korto’s seat belt coat. Hey, look, there’s Nigel Barker.
Mila. Shadows. Black and white. Her family and boyfriend (who’s wearing the fingerless gloves), Black and white stripes, black and white herringbone and striped, dark and medium grey in color blocked stripes. High water pants in white with a black racing stripe. Black, more black, some black and a single piece of aubergine, a purple so dark as to be black. The disco fish scale dress with the patent leather dog collar.
Emilio says that the next 45 minutes are going to change his life and introduces his “Color Me Bad” collection. If by this he means bad color, then Miz Shoes concurs wholeheartedly, although she has to grudgingly say that that first mustard/puce car coat with the ¾ sleeves is great. It’s over a wiggle dress made from his signature print, which he has dip dyed or sprayed into a solid black lower third. Red dress, blue short coat over black tights, low hip length red coat over another signature print dress, this with a chartreuse patent leather hem. Suit. Boring blue knit. More knits and signatures and a final evening dress that is green, glittery and really, really pretty.
D-List celebrities pick their winners: Nigel likes Seth Aaron, Ping is wearing a silver/white wig or hair. Irina (copy cat) loves Mila, of course. Over in the judging area, NinaGarcia decrees that these were the best three final collections in the history of Project Runway and that all of the designers were mature, focused and had a clear point of view. We lead with Seth Aaron and his Unfortunate Inspiration. Michael Kors is impressed by SA’s ability to craft clothes. He finds the stepped up luxury exhilarating, yet still youthful. The collection was filled with clothing people could wear. NinaGarcia loved the black and white parachute dress, and the polka dot and tweed with the striped hose. She, too, declares it a great show. Heidi wanks something about the purple was out of place but admits that the whole show was exciting.
Emilio goes blahblahblahGreatAmericanSportswearblahblahblah in a pathetic shout out to Michael Kors’ métier. Faith Hill claims that his show knocked her out. Like, out of the park or like, under ether, wonders Miz Shoes. Heidi still likes his logo print, but Michael Kors is edited so we only hear him say “priceless” but not the context, which one suspects was less than flattering. Can the word “pretentious” be edited to sound like “priceless”, do you think? Michael says that you could put the whole show on a rack and roll it into the Macy’s buyers and they’d just lap it up. Miz Shoes believes this is called damning with faint praise.
As for Mila, the judges all agree that updating the make up helped a lot. NinaGarcia says that loosening up the look made it cooler. MK got turned on by the play of texture on texture. Heidi loved the stupid tee shirt with random black stripes.
The final caucus: Mila made great leggings. She showed great potential, but did nothing today that was surprising. Seth Aaron was surprising. His work had much more sophistication than he’d shown during the season, even if NinaGarcia found it veering to costume. The judges all agree that his work would even sell on a hanger. NinaGarcia calls him fearless, and Michael admires the fact that he put on a SHOW. Faith Hill found Emilio to be clever. Michael Kors found him to be too rooted in commercialism. Emilio made a LINE, he says, not a COLLECTION. The judges have to decide if they are making their choice based on what they saw that day or the entire body of work.
The designers return to the runway. Seth Aaron amped up his sophistication but maintained a signature style. Emilio had consistent taste and workmanship. Mila finally shook herself out of 1966 all the way to 1969. Way to soften up and make it more modern, Mila. You’re out. Seth Aaron wins! There is much rejoicing, except by bitter, bitter Emilio who cries that if the judges liked his work, why didn’t he win? ESOSA will be a world brand, he declares, and then misquotes Anthony by saying that one doesn’t need the crown to be the king. Seth Aaron tells his children that this just proves that hard work pays off. Seth Aaron picks Tim up in a bear hug. Hugs all around. And for once, the nice guy and the most talented guy are the same guy, and he wins.