Thoughts on the Project Runway finale

I suppose it should go without saying that, if you're a fan of Project Runway but haven't yet seen the final episode, then you should skip this post since it will be rife with spoilers.

How relieved am I that Emilio lost? (OK, fine. All things considered, not that relieved. It's only a TV show, after all.) That was one ugly, dowdy collection. No matter how many times they tried to describe it as "commercial" (or whatever term they use for "something one expects plebeians to buy" in the fashion world) and contrasted it with his more attractive work during the season, those clothes were boring and plainly unattractive. His color palette was awful (seriously? pea green?), and the dresses themselves would be too dull for Talbots (no offense meant to Talbots), much less New York Fashion Week. Given all the ego Emilio oozed from the get-go, I was expecting something much better. Which is to say, "good." On the other hand, given that he sent the most god-awful thing we saw this season down the runway, he never should have made it to the final three in the first place.

And, while they tried to set Mila up to be this season's goat, I liked her collection much better. I didn't love it, but I didn't think it was terrible, either. She does color-blocking and retro-chic relatively well, and she also seems like a perfectly nice person. (More on that later.) I would have booted Emilio before her, but I suppose nobody honestly thought she would win, so it made for better TV to heighten the drama by making it between Emilio and Seth Aaron.

Of the final three, the only one whose collection was at all interesting was Seth Aaron. I'm a bit skeptical that he'll end up being a particularly successful designer, but at least he had a distinct point of view. I suspect he'll appeal to the same demographic that goes for Betsey Johnson. He may not end up being the next Christian Soriano, but at least he'll probably do better that the past two seasons' winners (who we've already forgotten).

I've no idea why they thought Faith Hill would be a good guest judge. As far as I know, she's not known as a style icon. (Country fans, correct me if I'm wrong.) She seemed nice enough (though Carrie Underwood might disagree), but she didn't have much to say. (Saying less would have worked better for the surprisingly-idiotic Lauren Hutton earlier this season.) She mainly just nodded, which is neither incisive commentary nor compelling television.

The last wee little bit I'd like to discuss came in the half-hour "special" they ran during the Models of the Runway spot. (Did anyone watch that show this season? We watched last season, and it was a total snooze-fest. Did I miss anything?) It's pretty rare that you get to witness someone saying something so flagrantly horrible that it sucks all the air out of the room. (Or maybe it's not all that rare any longer. I don't watch much TV.) So, you've got to hand it to Jay Sario. His appalling, nasty comment to one of the models (who had dared to comment negatively but not personally about his aesthetic) about her teeth and legs was so unbelievably petty that it provoked shock and horror from everyone else in the room (and an admonishment from Nina). Congratulations, Jay! You've gone from "cute if a bit overly emotional little gay guy" to "nasty, bitchy queen" in one fell swoop. That's your last impression for our popular judgement, and I hope you enjoy your obscurity.

So, that's it for this season, which was better than the last one but still kind of blah. Let's hope they make it work better next time.

Update: A fantastic recap of the reunion show is here.

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