Project Runway Finale

sean-kelly-project-runway-rainway-dressThis is the first and probably last time I’m going to blog about an episode of Project Runway, but I woke up this morning with some thoughts and I wanted to share them. I got home from my new job at midnight last night. I am discovering there are things I love and hate about working evenings again, one thing I love is that drive home from DTLA along 3rd Street. Quiet in parts and bustling in others, I notice something new, a gorgeous old apartment complex or a street studded with palm trees, on every trip. And anytime LA isn’t stop and start traffic feels like a luxury.

Now let me just say, if you haven’t seen the finale yet, spoiler alert, I am going to talk about the outcome and my take on it. So, if you haven’t seen it yet and are planning to be surprised when you watch it, don’t read any further.

I had not watched Project Runway for a couple of seasons. I loved it for years, but somewhere along the way, I lost interest. When I started watching this season, I only half watched it. I fast-forwarded through most of the work sessions, played on my phone while watching the rest. But at some point this season, I became invested. By the time it was down to the final four, I loved every one of the final four. They were my final four. I even appreciate that this season had a captivating and pretty villain: narcissistic, ungracious Korina.

In my humble opinion, the right person won. Besides being really, really cute, Sean’s fashion week runway show had the best looks, in my humble opinion. (Note to self, please don’t act like you know how to talk about fashion, you don’t.) I did love the story of his collection and I loved the fringe. I couldn’t get over the way these pieces moved on the runway. Beautiful. So when they called his name, I felt like the judges made the right choice.

Now, I think we all knew Char wasn’t going to win, but I have to say, if I could have picked anyone to be in the fourth spot, it would have to be her. And every time, the producers showed Tim Gunn and Char sitting in a park talking, whether in Rome or New York, I’m sorry, it was the best thing about the series. I want to pitch to Lifetime a show called “Tim and Char Sitting on a Park Bench, Just Talking.” I loved the visceral connection Tim had with Char and there was something about that visit to Detroit, meeting her family, seeing what she has overcome, that made us root for her even more. Also, she handled Korina’s nastiness with graciousness (can’t wait for next week’s reunion episode) and I love it when contestants trim down a little between the season and the finale. Char had a great season. And by the way, Char, I loved the turquoise dress and I was glad to see it on the runway.

As I was driving home last night, thinking about the finale ahead. I asked myself if I wanted Kini or Sean to win. I just loved Kini, I feel like he’s the Hawaiian me, except that I can’t sew, fast or slow. Some of my favorite looks all season were from him. Of course, for me, fashion is only part of it. First of all, I’m a sucker for proud parents, especially a proud dad. Every time, the camera fell on Mr. Zamora, you could just see how much he loved and believed in Kini. Seriously, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it. And then last night, after he came in 3rd and his aunt sang the chant to him, and the way his family gathered around him to comfort him, but also express their pride, it was a beautiful moment. Kini, you were my favorite.

I hope that all four of the finalists go on to thriving careers. Vision is only part of it, of course, even though she’s not my favorite of the four, I suspect that Amanda has the most promising future. Her dresses are so wearable and accessible, I could easily see them at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Of course, the final moments of the episode made me emotional. I was happy that Sean won, but it was Amanda that I thought about moments later as I tumbled into bed, trying to turn my brain off after a long evening at work.

Sometimes the person who wants to win the most is not the one who does. Amanda really struggled with admitting just how much she wanted to win and she got to the point where she said, “I just have to admit this. I really, really, really want it!” And she didn’t get it. Her heart broke, not forever, but in that moment, when Heidi told Sean he had won. Then she put on a brave face, and gave Sean a smile and a hug. Then she told her family, she was going to give herself two weeks to cry every day and then she would be okay. (Or something along those lines.) So, Amanda, if you read this, I want to thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to express just how much you want something, even, maybe especially, if you don’t end up getting it.

So, I guess that’s it. I am glad that I got sucked into this season. I think Sean’s rain dress, which now that I think about, was the moment that something hooked it’s claws irrevocably into me, is a good metaphor for the entire season. Even though, I had vague idea of what was going to happen, I still wondered, what will the colors look like? How much will it bleed? What if the pockets of dye don’t burst? But in the end, it was magic and yes, as you hope any art will do, it took my breath away.

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