Project Runway Season 4 – Finale Pt. 1

Eek!

One more episode left after this…how ever will we survive once the season’s over and done with?

The final challenge, of course, is creating a collection of 12 looks for fashion week under a budget of $8,000 and five months to put it together.

Christian and Jillian, of course, have guaranteed spots in the finale, whereas Rami and Chris will present their three strongest looks to the judges before it is determined who will be moving onto the finale.

The finale four, along with Tim and Heidi, toast their success with a glass of Moet on the rooftop of the Gotham appartment, where the designers have been staying.

We fast forward 3 1/2 months later and Tim goes to check on the designers, stopping in first, to visit with Christian in New York.

“I hope he likes my stuff,” he tells the camera. There’s the briefest of pauses before he adds, “But he will, because it’s fabulous!”

How’s that for confidence? Maybe more of us would achieve greater heights if only we had a fraction of the confidence that Christian has in himself.

Christian lives in a shoebox — seriously. It looks like the size of the supply closet at work. If I was claustrophobic, I’d seriously die if I lived and worked in such a small space.

But, as Tim says, Christian obviously knows how to “make it work.”

I’ve gotta say, I love the in-depth looks into the designers’ backgrounds.

Christian actually started working at a hair salon when he was 13 — no surprise there — and tells us that moving to London to attend design school was the best decision of his life.

He shows off what he’s got so far to Tim and it looks like he’s almost finished with everything. (He is, after all, a fast sewer.)

“Romantic gothic” is Christian’s theme — which isn’t a surprise, either, though some of the outfits have me feeling apprehensive. Like, there were these one pair of pants that sort of looked like the costume that James McAvoy wore in The Chronicles of Narnia when he played the faun, Mr. Tumnus.

Seriously.

“This looks costumey,” Tim says. “It’s just a lot of look. Think about it. You need to bring an editing eye to everything.”

Earlier, Tim tells him, “You need to ask yourself, ‘When do I not need something?’ Does this piece hurt if I add something?”

And this, my friends, is why Tim kicks ass when it comes to being a mentor. He doesn’t tell the designer what to do — he just offers up questions that force the designer to re-examine their designs and decide for themselves whether improvements can be made to a design or if they’re going to stick with where they’re going.

“Work hard, think harder!” Tim advises him.

(Another brilliant piece of advice. Seriously, I think, “Make it work!” and apply it to everything in my life.)

Next up is Jillian, who’s also working on her collection out of New York.

Jillian’s apartment is impressively set up with the various pieces she’s been working on set up on dress forms.

She mentions that she didn’t go back to work for Ralph Lauren after the last challenge and that she’s been working consistently on her designs, using this block of time to really devote herself to her collection.

For the first time, I actually love a lot of the items that I’m seeing…though, a part of me feels like the direction she’s going in is similar to what Christian is doing.

“I feel like your palate is a cloudy day,” Tim tells her. “Think about it.”

Jillian takes this under advisement and then introduces Tim to her family in Long Island. (I really wish that Christian had the opportunity to introduce Tim to his family and friends, too.)

I found the family dinner to be wonderful — Jillian’s father was so cute and sweet…and I got a kick out of Jillian’s mother saying that she went to see a psychic before she got married and that she was told she’d have three kids — one of whom would become famous.

I thought that was really sweet.

Next up was Rami, who was working out of Los Angeles.

Rami’s friends are on hand to meet Tim — lucky people — and we’re filled in on Rami’s past.

He tells us about his mother, who was Miss Jordan in her youth and had a love of fashion. She passed away when he was five years old, which was difficult for him to deal with, but luckily, his father remarried a wonderful woman who was so caring and loving that Rami doesn’t even think of her as his stepmother — she’s simply “mom.”

(I thought that was so beautiful.)

The collection is housed in Rami’s studio, which is impressive.

Rami, like Jillian and Christain, has a dark theme going on. He cites “Joan of Arc” as an impression — a combo of construction and detail.

The first design he shows — OMG — I love the cirmson blouse he unveils.

“These other pieces are looking so hammered and nailed,” Tim says, picking up one coat that looks as heavy as chain mail.

“This is a heavy duty effin’ coat,” he says. “I want you to pull it back a bit.”

Rami says he’ll consider some of Tim’s advice and then goes on to say that he’s not crazy about the whole Rami vs. Chris battle for the final spot.

“But whatever’s meant to happen will happen,” he says.

I can’t help but wonder if that’s just something we all say to make the pain of not getting our way sting a whole lot less.

Chris is back in New York, working.

Oh God — Chris always cracks me up.

He tells the camera that it was great seeing Tim again after all this time, because seeing Tim on TV would make him swoon, “Aw, I miss Tim!”

Chris, like Rami, has a great space.

“Beauty with a quirk,” is the theme that Chris is working with.

There’s this one jacket with human hair.

“My gag reflex is kicking in. You’re using human hair?” Tim says, pressing a hand to this throat and covering his mouth.

He has this great analogy that he uses about entering the monkeyhouse at the zoo — when you first walk in, you think, “Oh my God, it stinks” and then after 20 minutes, you think, “It’s not so bad” and then a little while later, you don’t even notice it at all. But anybody else walking in fresh will shrink back in disgust.

You have been living in the monkeyhouse,” he tells Chris.

OMG — I love Tim Gunn.

Chris takes it under advisement, but he says he still wants to use some hair in his pieces.

He later takes Tim to meet one of his friends — a guy named Larry who has built up everything inside his apartment.

“It’s a Baroque-Rococco nightmare,” Chris says.

He’s right. But I love it.

I mean, holy shit…there’s just so much to see.

His friends — his New York family — are a delight. When Tim asks what they think of watching Chris on the show, one of them says, “I’ll be honest. I only watch the show for you and Heidi.”

Chris tells Tim about how, the other day, he was walking down the street and a guy came up to him and flipped open his badge and said, “Excuse me, sir, you’re under arrest — for being the best designer on Project Runway.”

I thought that was hilarious.

When the designers are brought back together, I can’t help but thrill a little over their underlying bitchiness and cattiness towards each other.

Chris tells Christian that people don’t believe him when he says that Christian isn’t nearly as annoying as he seems on TV.

“Don’t worry, people say the same thing about you,” Christian replies, seemingly unpreturbed.

The next day, they go back to Parson’s and there’s only three workspaces set up.

I feel bad for Rami and Chris, ’cause they both look like they’re about to barf.

Each get to choose an assistant — i.e. either Christian or Jillian — because they’ll be scrapped for time.

Rami immediately says Jillian, and former Team Feroc members are brought back together.

Again — I know I’ve said this a million times in my other posts, but I love Christian and everything he says.

I was laughing my ass off when he said to the camera about Chris’ designs, “When he asked me, ‘Do you want to brush the dress?’ I was like, Unnh-kay.”

Ultimately, I think the sheer grossness of using hair on his outfits was what sunk Chris in the end.

Don’t get me wrong…the outfits were pretty good, but I think any reference to the use of human hair should be avoided.

“I have to say, ‘It’s a little creepy’, as you say,” Michael Kors tells him. “But you’ve thought outside the box.”

He thinks the girls are overly designed and says one model looks like she’s in a “velvet condom.”

But the judges are wowed by the uniqueness of Chris’ designs.

To be fair, though, I think Rami had the superior collection. Just take a look at the models beside him in this picture:

“I appreciate the fact that you listened,” Nina tells him, when he notes how tailored his looks seem, but says that she worries about the volume of his coat.

The judges, however, are surprised by how dark both Rami and Chris’ inspirations are.

What I like about the judges is that when they’re discussing the designs, they really seem to know what they’re talking about when they’re critiquing the outfits. (Which can’t be said about all of the judges on all of the Project Runway incarnations.)

And in the end, the judges ultimately seem to really care about furthering the growth of the designers.

In the end…Chris is out and Rami is in.

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~ by justj on March 2, 2008.

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