Project Runway Season 11: Finale Part 2! It’s Over Bitches… Drops The Mike. [Runway Rundown]

Well, it’s over… We finally reached the end of the season, dear readers. I know many of you abandoned this season long ago when we all started to realize this whole teams business was a big mistake. For those of you that stuck with it like I have (read: had to) you can go clean up all those wine bottles and throw out those caffeine pills you were taking to stay awake. Let’s all take one last stroll through this season’s finale shall we?

As always, there are spoilers ahead, so be warned (if you actually care)…
project-runway-season-11-finale-winnerSo here we are with our final three designers, Michelle, Stanley and Patricia. I must say at this point that these  actually were the designers that had the most to offer from the group we started with, so I’m happy to see them all in the finale. After last week’s 3-look sneak peak, I think the judges got it right with who deserved to be here. What do you guys think? Any other designers along the way you think should have made it to the final three but were cut short?
After a tense critique where everyone had some glaring issues in their collections, our designers were loaded up by the judges with things they needed to work on. Luckily Tim informed them they were being given $500 more to spend at MOOD and a half hour to go through their looks to figure out how to spend it wisely before heading to shop. A few designers were focussed on adding to their existing garments and altering, while Patricia had some big plans to add entire pieces to her collection.
After the shopping trip we got a quick glance back at last year’s winner Dmitry Sholokhov. While I liked Dmitry’s work and thought his attention to the line of a woman’s body was impeccable, I found his work fairly boring. The dress he made for Heidi in this little visit video however was wonderfully tailored and I loved the print. Apparently, he is showing at Moscow Fashion Week and has his eyes set on an international retail empire and I think if he can swing it more power to him. His looks are all very modern and wearable, I can see him doing well in the retail market.
After some workroom time, Tim made a visit to see how everyone’s collections were progressing. Here’s his breakdown of where they stood:
Michelle: Strong Collection, ditch the compass. (My thoughts: Wow, girl, you sure are stubborn…)
Stanley: “All I get is you went to a vintage shop.” Push back from this vintage aspect a bit, modernize it. (My thoughts: Wow, girl, you sure are stubborn…)
pr11-patricia-ep14-episode2Patricia: Clean up your disorganized mess and work on cohesion! (My thoughts: Wow, girl, you sure are messy…)
At this point in the check in, it was still Michelle’s game to lose. Stanley’s work seemed to be exactly what he had already shown us before with a bunch of pieces still in parts. Patricia seemed to be shooting in the dark, especially since she couldn’t even find all of her designs under the piles of fabric and stacks of bags. I was starting to wonder if perhaps Michelle would be the only one with a completed collection by the time the runway show happened.
Sidebar: While I adore Michelle’s designs and actually think she and I would get along just great hanging out in the real world, she made a comment that stopped me in my tracks… “I’m just amazed how underprepared the other 2 designers in this room are.”
My first reaction: What a bitch?! But then it sank in, she was totally right. She wasn’t saying it to their face, just venting her thoughts to her helper Amanda, and frankly the statement completely rang true.
The other two designers’ garments looked thrown together out of desperation and lacked any other purpose than to fill some space. They didn’t bring their A game to every piece and didn’t do their homework before getting to this point. Their focus should have been to make damn sure they had thought it through from every angle and put their money into making a solid and strong collection. When people show up to Fashion Week and are still cutting fabric, and patterning multiple pieces, you can almost hear the grim reaper knocking on the door of Parsons asking “Have you seen this bitch?”
pr11-stanley-ep14-episode7After some more work room fittings, the designers got a pleasant surprise, FAMILY! Each designer had family members show up for a quick visit and boost of confidence.
I still can’t get over how much Michelle’s man looks so much like her brother… just weirdly uncanny! Hugs and smiles all around the family was kicked to the curb and Tim walked in for his final pep talk.
“I’m so proud of you.” he said choking back some fake tears for effect, and frankly a few real ones from relief. “I’ve never faced a season with such incredible qualities of character…” Notice he didn’t say anything about design. Ouch. Group hug. (Inside Tim’s head: Jesus, let’s get this shit over with so I can go cash my check.)
pr11-ep14-episode10Update backstage as they prepped their collections… Stanley was so far behind, the assistants were sewing girls into their clothes. Tim said he had never seen anything like it in all 11 seasons of the show. I think if I were Stanley I’d have to go change my underpants at that point.
Michael Kors was finally back this week for the final episode as our Guest Judge. (Fingers crossed he returns next season, because Zac Posen just drives me up the wall whenever he opens that huge mouth of his.) Quick note: Heidi decided to wear something she stole from Left Eye Lopez’s closet before she died, while everyone else actually dressed up for the occasion. Now, on to the runway! While I’m not going to discuss every piece by the designers this week, I’m going to give an over-all impression of how I think it went.
pr11-ep14-episode20Michelle was up first with her collection and I think she nailed it. Her “Lone Female Wolf” inspiration was a brilliant through-line for a group of clothes that were at once accessible, quirky, and flirty as much as they were expensive and stylish looking.
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Her modern sleek looks showed a powerful femininity and many were a well-tailored soft armor that just made me wish I could wear them. Honestly, if she ever did a men’s collection (though hopefully got some assistance in creating the garments) I would whip out my credit card and be first in line to try her stuff on!
I never thought I would say this, but Portland has a forward thinking, stylish designer on their hands. This is the first time someone has been on this show from there that didn’t get me grinding my teeth and wanting them to go home. This girl has a strong point of view and she is good at adapting the ideas behind vintage and costumey fashion into something wearable and hip. I’m pulling for you, Michelle.
Patricia, aka: “Waterlilly” was next up on the runway. She informed us that her collection was dedicated to trees. Seriously…
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While expecting a circus parade, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Patricia’s collection. I like seeing a kooky artist type make it into the finale, as we get more of a show than normal when they pull out their odd takes on fashion and challenge us to look at something that very well could be considered wearable art.
pr11-rr-patricia-L3-fpr11-ep14-episode28I liked the soft flowy nature of her looks and found much of it surprisingly modern, but I had to agree with the judges that in moments it faded into a bunch of hippie, art teacher, yoga looks with some modern art dresses thrown in for good measure.
Zac Posen used a great new term this week in regards to her work that I will now treasure: Fashiontainment. If I got nothing else from him this season I got that.
Patricia listened and cut her ugly jewels out and managed to find some more cohesion, so in the end I thought it was a nice solid collection (I even liked the Blue “Tina Turner” Smurf look), but not a win in my book.
Stanley went last–not sure if that was luck of the draw or necessity, but he certainly needed the time. His “Urban Opulence” collection started off with a black pants suit look. Yawn…
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The rest of the collection was a blur of heavily vintage-inspired pieces on a bunch of bored looking models resulting in a flash of shiny tubes and trash bags. His collection looked like it had been created by someone who was commissioned by Forever 21 to do a Mad Men inspired collection for them, only somewhere it got off track and ended up looking like it was intended for Lane Bryant.
pr11-rr-stanley-L10-fpr11-rr-stanley-L7-fBest Crit: Michael Kors on the “Appetite Suppressant Ring.” Oh I love that crazy orange man’s critiques!
In the end, Stanley came in third, but I think he saw it coming. As has become his fashion, he blamed it on the teams aspect and “other people” instead of realizing he is the only one to blame here.
Micromanagers don’t do well in these speedy challenges on this show, and if he learned to give up the reins a little and utilize the people working with and for him, he might be better at managing his time. Sorry buddy, you are talented, but your third place finish is all on your shoulders. I’m sure you will make some beautiful stuff after this, hell you even made some knock out looks throughout this season, but for a final collection you really needed to show us more of yourself.
Patricia came in second, and with a very humble heart she took it gracefully. Great job Patricia! I’m amazed you made it this far frankly, and a secret part of me really wanted to see you turn it out and take the crown here, but you just couldn’t quite pull it all together tight enough for a win. I really grew to appreciate your aesthetic and am truly excited to see you do your own textile line hopefully, if not make some very funky fashions for the people of the Southwest. While I can’t see your work being purchased on a very wide scale due to it’s lack of broad appeal, your voice is strong and I really like your point of view when it comes to color, fabric, texture, and bold statements. I will keep an eye out for you.
pr11-ep14-episode33Michelle, of course, was our winner this season. Congrats Michelle! It was a well deserved win for her and I really mean it, if she does a Men’s collection, I get first dibs!
Next week you can tune in and watch the designers tear each other apart once last time with the reunion special! This is my last Runway Rundown for this season though, so you are on your own regarding the fun tidbits that are about to come to light.
Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments, I always love some juicy dishing about PR. I’ll be playing a drinking game next week while watching and maybe you can join me, do a shot every time someone says one of the following: “That was all editing.” “I never said that.” “That was totally out of context.” I bet I’ll be shit faced in the first 10 minutes.
Until next season ya’ll!