Project Runway: Season Seven
Episode: Intense, In Tents!
April 22, 2010
Previously on Project Runway: Tim went to visit the four final designers. He told Seth Aaron to start over, walked into the black-and-white world of Mila, got into a minor tiff with Jay and major one with Emilio. In the Fashion Face-Off, Jay and Mila competed for the last spot in the finals and Jay was eliminated (and decimated).
It’s the final stretch. And you know what that means! Finally, we don’t have to see the designers stretch first thing in the morning!
The three remaining designers (who will actually compete for the title, as opposed to the seven also-rans preparing their decoy collections in a secret bunker under Bryant Park) enter the sumptuous ruelala.com work room. Mila is gleeful that she finally gets a table all to herself, now that that little prick Jay is gone.
Emilio is also excited, as any crown prince would be on the eve of his ascension to his rightful throne.
And Seth Aaron is just jazzed to be “sizin’ up the comp’.” He will also be “diggin’ the scene,” “rockin’ the house” and “doin’ the hustle.”
As the three unpack their wares, it’s time for Let’s Slam The Other Two!
Up first, Mila!
Seth Aaron’s collection is a “glamorous Hot Topic.”
Mila’s outfits are “very severe and very demure.”
Emilio’s outfits make her think of “a boutique in Harlem … in 1994.”
Seth Aaron, your thoughts?
Emilio’s collection is “definitely older.”
Oh, sorry, Seth Aaron and Emilio. A noble effort, but this Smackdown goes to Mila!
Tim arrives for his catchphrase-around.
He heads to Seth Aaron’s table first. Tim asks how many looks the designer has brought.
“Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred outfits.”
Yes, we know there are a lot of pieces but how many full looks?
“Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred outfits, my dear.”
He’ll have to edit.
Next, is Emilio. The Greatest New American Designer reminds us that his last meet-up with Tim was a wee bit tense. (Imagine Oprah and Kitty Kelley sharing a cab.) Tim tries to fulfill his contractual obligation by advising the man. And Emilio responds by telling us that Tim is full of shit and that he knows what the judges want, seeing as he is the Greatest American Designer Of This Generation.
Over to Mila. Now, since we’ve seen her show him her collection before, this is more an exercise in the designer showing off how she’ll be styling the looks so that they look less Twiggy On Carnaby Street and more Lindsey Lohan Snorts Coke Off The Pavement On Carnaby Street.
With that, Tim plugs the sponsors and sends the designers off for model casting.
Mila looks for “rock and roll girls.” Seth Aaron just wants the right girls.
And Emilio tells us that he wants to represent “the world,” informing us that the world is a multi-cultural place. Why, it’s almost as multi-cultural as New York City!
Now, let’s stop the show cold for a five-minute commercial for Ben Nye™ makeup. … That’s Ben Nye™. For when you need to transform into Mr. Mistoffelees or a sassy 15th Century fop, nothing else will do.
Once that’s over, we head back to the workroom for the who-gives-a-shit emotional reunion of the designers and their “muse” models. It is here when we first get a look at some of the outfits on humans and get our first shock of the night.
We get to see what’s under Seth Aaron’s hat. What made him look like a reasonable, yet aging member of Kajagoogoo before he has now styled as Top Chef fauxhawk on top ... with hair earmuffs.
All the cool kids will be wearing their hair like this now. Make a note of it.
Now, let’s stop the show cold for another five-minute commercial, this one for the Body On Tap™ fine line of hair care products. ... Remember, that’s Body On Tap™, for when you need your hair to be rich, luxurious and redolent of barley and hops.
We come out of our QVC coma to see Emilio telling us that he’s going through with this kabuki theater in advance of his expected beatification for those people who believed in him even before he became aware that he was indeed The Greatest American Designer Of This (Or Any Other) Generation.
Seth Aaron thinks about his family and their sacrifices for him. Mila considers where her career is at this stage. And then they hold hands and skip through the snow back to their elegant digs at the Manhattan Youth Hostel.
The next thing we know, they are arising out of the Manhattan Youth Hostel’s Extraterrestrial Bed™ and we get to see (are made to see?) a half-naked Seth Aaron run to pee.
Emilio brushes the teeth of The Greatest North American Designer Of The Past 100 Years and Mila fulfills her legal obligation to be seen in a circular vanity mirror once per episode.
They bid the Manhattan Youth Hostel adieu and head off to Bryant Park.
They consult their “Morning Of The Runway Show” playbooks for their lines.
Wow! Butterflies! … This is the real deal! I can’t believe we’re here! … I can’t believe we’re making believe that there aren’t seven other designers who didn’t make it who will be walking down this same runway!
The three head off to their three segregated-from-the-other-seven-designers-who-must-not-be-seen-on-camera-here booths to prepare for the final show.
And with only two hours to go, crisis!
Three of Mila’s models haven’t arrived! And one of Emilio’s hasn’t either!
What will they do?!
Oh no! Now there’s only one hour left and Mila is still down two models and Emilio is still missing his one!
Catastrophe! Heart attack! I’ve bitten off what’s left of my nails! What’s going to happen?!
Tim calls for the alternate models.
Whew! I haven’t been that nervous since that time it looked like Jessica Fletcher wouldn’t be able to solve that murder!
Outside on the runway, the charade continues as we see the (first few) eliminated designers take their seats for the show. Later, when Heidi (Two Consecutive Weeks, Pregnancy Free!) greets the audience, we get tight shots of the other designers' faces, intended to make us think that they’re casually sitting in the audience, too.
We call them Heidi And The Seven Decoys: Grumpy, Frumpy, Preppy, Queeny, Mopey, Piercy and That Other One.
Heidi introduces the judges, Michael and Nina (no time for greetings here) and our special guest judge, noted fashion designer extraordinaire Not Shania Twain.
Let’s start the show!
First up, Seth Aaron of Hairy Earmuffs. He explains that his collection was inspired by 1940s German and Russian military outfits, only without the Potsdam Conference/Stalin overtones.
(Now, seeing as there are ten outfits in each collection, there’s no way I’m describing each one. And, without pictures, who would want that anyway? So, bear with me.)
His collection is typically Seth Aaron, with sharp tailoring, bold black-and-white patterns, leather details and splashes of color. It features both separates and dresses. The outfits are dramatic, young and modern. And the use of reds and a yellow tartan in some looks really give it life. And it all looks very cohesive.
One odd note is an electric purple number with leather accents which seems out of place.
Next is Mila. She does the obligatory interview cry and we see her come out and tell the crowd how her collection was inspired by the music of Pat Benatar. Now sit back and run with the shadows of the night; just take her hand it’ll be all right.
Pat Benatar - Shadows Of The Night
Her collection walks the runway and, since we saw some of it last week, it’s more a matter of seeing how she styled the outfits differently and how she incorporated those almost-black aubergine notes into her otherwise-completely black-and-white collection.
(In Michael Jackson voice): It's Black! It's White! Whoo-hoo!
Michael Jackson - Black Or White
On second look, I really don’t know what to think. She’s really tried very hard to make the retro-looking outfits appear relevant, young and totally L.A.-rock-and-roll-chick. Some outfits actually totally worked this way. Others I wasn’t quite sure about.
Still, overall, I was pretty damn impressed.
Last out is The Greatest Designer The World Has Ever Known, Emilio And His Stocking Cap.
He thanks everyone for having come out to watch his ascension to the right hand of Karl Lagerfeld and tells us that his collection is inspired by his mom and her sisters. It’s called Color Me Badd. (Because he wants to sex you up?)
Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
His collection is nothing if not colorful. The particular colors, however, I question. Particularly his choice of a particular green which reminds me of every textured “avocado” Frigidaire from the ‘70s. The rest are an almost primary red with a bright turquoise blue.
And when one of these pea-green coats opens to reveal a bright red lining, I suddenly get a craving for a martini. … With an olive. And pimento.
His looks are clearly very tailored, but they seem to all lack any element of drama. And then there’s that repeated pattern of his, wherein The Greatest Designer Of This Solar System has painted his name all over everything in a nod to his overarching humility.
“Thith collection thath a lot about who I am ath a dethigner, and ath a perthon, as a artitht. And I’m happy with that.”
Not to mention “as a humanitarian” and “as a leader of the great unwashed.”
Finally, his last look comes out and I’m flummoxed. It’s an elegant, gorgeous, billowy, shimmering green-and-gold evening gown. It’s positively stunning. And it has zero connection to anything else he showed. And here’s where I start to fear that the judges will look to just this one outfit and hand him the title.
Once the show is over, we hear from the random collection of “celebrities” who choose to discuss Emilio, Mila or Seth Aaron’s work over Ben’s, or Amy’s, or Janeane’s, or Jesse’s or Jonathan’s, or Jay’s or That Other Irritant’s.
The highlight of this all is that we learn that Raven-Symoné likes Emilio’s “word” prints. That's so Raven!
We also get to hear from all one of the previous (Lifetime) season’s winners! (For the record, oversized sweater inventor Irina Of The All-Black Finale Collection lusted for Mila’s color-challenged showcase. Shocker.)
And to maintain the illusion, we get to hear from some of the Missing Seven, but they are interviewed backstage. Again, we’re making believe, remember?
After the break, on the judging runway where Heidi, Nina, Michael and Not Shania discuss how great the show was before calling out the designers and the “muse” models.
First under the glare is Seth Aaron. Michael says his collection has the Boom Boom Pow. He adds that, “Them chickens jackin' my style. They try copy my swagger. I'm on that next shit now.”
Black Eyes Peas - Boom Boom Pow
He also enthuses that while the designer presented a very dramatic show with a high fashion look, the outfits, styled differently, would also be very wearable and commends him for this sleight-of-hand.
Emilio makes a face.
Not Shania says she would “totally rock” one of his looks and would “wear that in a heartbeat.”
Nina says it was a “fantastic” and “very editorial” show. But everyone agrees that the purple number was a “miss.”
Then, they turn to Emilio, The Greatest Designer This Side Of The Crab Nebula.
Heidi asks him why he called his collection Color Me Badd. He says it’s because he’s doing it All 4 Love.
Color Me Badd - All 4 Love
Not Shania says that she was “Knocked Out,” clearly confusing her late ‘80s/early ‘90s pop stars. (That was Paula Abdul, darlin’. ... You’d think that she would know this.)
Paula Adbul - Knocked Out
Heidi says she loved the Egotastic print on his outfits, pointing out that ESOSA is his name. Not Shania issues a weak “ooooh,” to that news, as in, “Ooooh, that takes some balls.”
Michael says that Emilio’s was the most commercial collection, but the one thing he loved was the least commercial look, that lovely (yet totally out of place) evening gown. Nina says she loved the drama of that dress, but wished there would have been more drama throughout the rest of the collection.
The judges move on to Mila. She explains her concept and Heidi says that she really liked the changes she made to the looks with the hair and makeup which made them seem younger. Michael says that she killed the “girl in the cage doing the frug” and made it look modern. Plus, he adored it whenever she added shine to an outfit.
Or rather it “turned (him) on.”
Ew. … Shades of Vincent Libretti. Not a good thing.
Heidi starts mentioning pieces from the collection she’d like to have. Emilio makes another face.
Not Shania points out another dress she’d “wear in a heartbeat,” a modern short number we saw last time with a black-and-white scarf. For a moment, it seems like she and Heidi would have to fight for that one.
Nina says that when Mila loosens up, she’s capable of “cuter” work, with Michael noting that the designer is “very buttoned up.” Actually, the way he says it indicates he meant to say “very constipated” … but we don’t need that kind of imagery.
“And I think when it loosens up, it helps,” he adds. “I really do think it helps.”
And there’s that imagery we were trying to avoid.
The designers are sent away for the final deliberation.
During the “little chat,” the judges recap what they said before. That Mila’s was great, but not surprising. That Seth Aaron’s collection was more sophisticated than his work has been before.
They were impressed that Seth Aaron put on a Fashion Show.
About Emilio, Not Shania reiterates that she was “knocked out, turn me inside out” over his collection. She was so “knocked out” that she got “knocked out” again before she finished that last sentence.
And here you thought the deep introspection of the lyrics to her “This Kiss” was just a fluke.
Faith Hill - This Kiss
Michael considers Emilio’s name-print crap “priceless” (as in, there is no price I’d pay for that, I’d say). But the judges seem to agree that the collection was extremely commercial and more of a Launch My Line and not enough of The Fashion Show.
Then, Heidi asks everyone what will be their criteria for judging here, the final show or the designers’ work throughout the season.
Here’s where I start to hide all the sharp objects in the room, since I’m pretty sure that the only way they could see their way to handing the title over to Emilio is if they decided to ignore the final collections entirely, just because they’ve had a hard-on for The Greatest Designer In The Entire Galaxy In This Or Any Other Parallel Universe since day one.
Once they’ve made their decision, they bring back the designers.
Heidi recaps each of the three collections’ strengths and weaknesses. Emilio makes a worried face. And …
“Mila … I’m sorry, you’re out.”
Emilio grins, knowing that he’s now surely on his way to being cemented into the firmament of the skies, alongside Cassiopeia and The Charioteer Versace.
Backstage, Mila is consoled by her parents and jailbait boyfriend and is graceful and noble about her bronze medal.
Back on the runway, it’s down to Seth Aaron and Emilio.
“Seth Aaron …. congratulations, you are the winner of Project Runway."
“Emilio, I’m sorry, you’re out.”
You know those slow motion shots of football arenas imploding? Yeah, it’s like that.
“In the words of our wisest contestant, Anthony Williams …”
Oh, shut the fuck up. As if I didn’t hate you enough already.
The shithead goes back to his family where they begin crafting the fiction that he’s the one who really won this thing. (Heck, if Fox News can get people to rewrite history, anything’s possible, right?)
On to happier footage …
Seth Aaron is gleeful. He greets his lovely family who we all hope will soon talk sense into their loved one about that hair.
The winning model comes out to take her bows and Seth Aaron cracks Tim’s back with a bear hug.
The judges congratulate the winning designer.
Michael says, “The show was really spectacular. Bravo.”
Bonus Mini Recap: Unlike last season, we get a reunion show and boy was it fun! Basically it went like this:
Emilio’s still Douche Without Equal. Models still think their drama was entertaining. Mila is gracious and Everybody Loves Anthony proves he can be a catty queen even right at someone who’s apologizing to him.
Ping is still an adorable loon who really wasn’t ready for this in any way. Jesse apparently uses the word “bitch” at everyone. And Jay actually knocks down Emilio in the race for Biggest Asshole This Show Has Ever Seen (in a while, at least) when he lays down the cruelest, most personal put-down right at one of the models who had the audacity to have said his style wasn’t hers.
What. A. Fucker.
I guess Anthony was right, you don’t have to have the crown to be king … of the assholes.
Emilio, you may step down now.
Gentle readers. I’m really exhausted after this season and will be taking a few weeks off before coming back for Top Chef: D.C. It should be fun, so be sure to pop back! And who knows? Maybe there’ll be a surprise before then! Maybe involving a bunch of reality vets. No promises, but there are plans!
See you in the comments!