So here Leslie and I FINALLY sit, wine and pens in hand ready to watch Part One of the finale. Hannah, rocking a red jumpsuit Heidi Klum would love, tells the designers they will present six looks for the finale. In the “adult” Project Runway we get to see Tim Gunn visit the designers in their hometowns and critique their collections as they are works in progress. Do the Project Runway Jr designers get the sage wisdom of Tim? No. No, they do not. They get five weeks, $4000 and a video camera to send footage of themselves working. Les and I both think this is LAME. Les points out that when they actually have time to work on things it can go either way on the design front. There is a tendency to over design or get stuck. This is why Tim needs to visit!
Chelsea feels very confident. Izzy has figured out that she has $660 for each outfit and I tell Les that I guess Izzy IS good at math, then she confesses she used a calculator to figure that out. Tieler and Hawwaa are making six looks, but only get to show two and the judges will pick the fourth finalist based on these “preview” looks. They keep saying this again and again. Tieler is very ready to get to work. Chris is not trying to win, he is designing six looks he loves and hoping that will impress the judges.
From the home videos, we learn, Tieler has done a lot of work. One of his moms is in the background helping out. She tells him she is proud and tells him jokingly he should be further along in the competition. Izzy looks frazzled in her video. She says she is halfway through, but worried about time and cohesion. Chelsea has only done two looks and asks everyone to pray for her. Hawwaa looks like she has done a LOT of work. Her mom is there to say she is very proud and her little brother is there to tell her the collection is “weird”. God bless little brothers everywhere. Chris is done. Except for three pieces he hasn’t started. I pause the show and ask Leslie if that means three looks? or a three-piece look? She doesn’t answer because she is looking through Saturday Night Live cast members to figure out which one reminds her of Chris. Her husband, Jerel pipes up and says “three piece look”. Les figures out she’s thinking of Bobby Moynihan.
The designers arrive in California where they will be working at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. The winner will receive a scholarship here. Considering tuition is over $30 grand, this is a big deal. Tim does a meet and greet with each designer and their family members. Les wonders why Derek Jeter couldn’t kick in for some plane tickets for Tim to go visit these kids in their hometowns. I just shake my head.
Izzy’s aunt is the one who convinced her to try out for the show. Her mother is an artist and very proud of Izzy’s creativity. Tim asks how they think Izzy is handling being creative in this “pressure cooker” of an environment. We learn that Izzy was in a horrific snowboarding accident and almost died. She now looks at each day as a gift and Leslie and I are extremely impressed by this sage wisdom from a sixteen year old. She then says she is like a giant magic sea turtle that is going to slay everyone. I find myself loving Izzy.
Chris’s mom loves his work and calls it art. Tim agrees. Chris is ready to finish the show. He compares it to a fun ride that “you enjoy, but eventually need to get off so you can go vomit in a corner.” He explains that it took him a few challenges to understand how to make a runway look and hit his stride. He would like to go to design school and focus on textile design. Tim says he can see him as a lifestyle designer. To no one’s surprise and Tim’s dismay, Chelsea started her collection a week ago. Tim asks her parents if she does everything this way. Apparently she does, but they are proud of her anyway. Hawwaa’s father calls her a “leader” in their family. Tim comments on her maturity and her dad tells him how Hawwaa wrote a novel in middle school. Tim says she tells a story through her design now. He asks how she feels about going head to head with Tieler. She says she’s cool with Tieler.
Tieler has brought both his moms. He nearly lost his collection when his workspace was flooded, but his mom Tahmi managed to save everything. He was very influenced by Van Gogh with his collection and as a misunderstood person. He mentions how he was the fat kid who was brutally bullied in his small town and winning this would prove to his nine year old self that he is worth something. Awesome Tieler, you do NOT need to win to validate yourself. You are awesome.
The designers head to the workroom to unpack and check out each other’s work. Izzy says “If anyone is wondering why I’m goth now it’s because this collection killed my soul.” Les asks if Izzy is my new fave. Chris feels bad for Tieler because he thinks Hawwaa’s collection is amazing. Tieler’s is certainly beautiful, but seems more restrained. Hawwaa is nervous and thinks of herself as the underdog. These collections are so completely different it’s hard to judge them against each other. Tim is very worried about this fashion showdown and reminds them only one of them gets to go on to show their entire collection. They know Tim. We know.
Hawwaa’s collection was inspired by the circus. Tim tells her it makes him smile. He pulls out a jacket and says that’s it’s a “boudoir” look. Hawwaa is like, dude, it’s a kids show. He tells her the underneath pieces are throwaways and the outerwear is the story. He advises her to take her favorites, put them on the models then be “critical and objective”.
Tieler explains his Van Gogh influence and explains that his paintings were so vibrant bees would be attracted to his work. There is a LOT of embroidery. It is beautifully done but I feel as though Tieler got a little too cerebral on this one. You know what would have helped? A VISIT FROM TIM. Tim says the collection doesn’t take him to van Gogh and doesn’t think he should emphasize that reference. He tells him to explain it as a “starting point”. He also doesn’t want him to use the first and last looks. Tieler disagrees. TIELER LISTEN TO TIM. Tim uses the words “hippy dippy”. This is not good.
Leslie thinks the reason Tim is so upset is that he didn’t get to mentor the contestants during their time at home. Chelsea sums up what’s going to happen at this judging by asking, “Are we going with fun? Or sophistication? Les and I are worried and postpone the inevitable by talking about refrigerators.
Hannah comes out in an outfit that looks like Hawwaa designed it. This does not bode well for my man Tieler. She reminds them for the 10,000th time that only one of them is going on to the finale at which point I scream at the TV, “WE GET IT!!!!!!” Les notes that I almost popped out an eyeball. She muses that perhaps they will both make it.
Hawwaa’s looks are too much for Leslie and I. Too costumey. The jumpsuit is giving me a headache. Tieler’s look are beautiful, but VERY simple. Leslie then wonders if they are both going to get eliminated and I threaten to hit her with the remote.
Hawwaa explains her inspiration (Clowns freak me out, btw). Aya tells her she did a great job and she wants to see more. She admires her commitment to a bold color story and the fact that she took risks. Kelly loves the jumpsuit but thinks she might need more editing. Hannah is impressed, but thinks it is fun, NOT sophisticated. Christian says it was well thought out, romantic and light (huh?) and her technical ability is much better than what she has shown in the past. He thinks it is layered and rich and not everyone is going to love it, but she really went for it. Hannah says the obvious. Hawwaa should be a costume designer. We agree completely.
Aya asks why Tieler outsourced his embroidery. She notes that it is pretty and conservative and very different then everything else he has shown them. She thinks he can pull off pretty much anything. Kelly agrees it is unexpected. Christian says there are a lot of great elements and it is beautiful and ethereal. He references the Gucci collection that just featured embroidery and tells Tieler this collection has a “vintage” quality to it, but he is confused as these shapes are simple and he thought he would push it more. Hannah loves the bees.
Tieler is eliminated. I am crushed. He bows out gracefully. Hannah is sobbing. Hawwaa thinks she has a shot to take this whole thing. Les asks me if Hawwaa wins after the whole Erin debacle if I am going to quit the show. I have to be honest, this was a hard one to recap. I have higher hopes for next week for the REAL finale.
Do you agree Tim should have visited the designers? Do you agree with the judges? I have to go lie down.