Finale (2)
Project Runway 2: Finale Part 2


Accessorize, baby! The show opens some forty hours before the final Runway show in the Bryant Park tents of the New York Olympus Fashion Week. Our charming Fashionistas walk out of Mood with their purchases all ready to be made into the thirteenth outfit. Dan recaps the challenge for people who have not caught the previous episode. Chloe now hints that she wants some kind of medal by telling the camera that no one can surely understand what the final three Fashionistas went through to get where they are today. Maybe I'd start playing my violin if she hasn't signed up for this show voluntarily to get publicity for her Lot 8 boutique, publicity that she is now happily lapping up to charge her customers more money for her clothes than before. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, let's just say that I'm not too moved by her telling me how stressful the whole ordeal is, blah blah blah. As the Fashionistas walk into the Banana Republic HQ building, Santino tells the camera that they all need to make a "thirteenth look" for their Runway show. Ah yes, I've already known that. Why are the editors putting in so many repetitive confessionals? Santino now recaps which Fashionista picked which Fashionista to work on the thirteenth design. Um, yes, thanks, Santino.

Nick and Dan survey what they have done so far and Nick asks Dan on what kind of adjustments Dan thinks should be done on the design so far. Dan just tells him that he's merely "taking a look". At this point, it seems to me that Diana, Andraé, and Nick are the ones that are working on the actual construction while the final three just mostly sketch, supervise, and order alterations. I guess I can't expect more from Chloe, Santino, and Dan, since they are stressed out in ways that Chloe insists I can't imagine. Dan tells the camera that at Mood, he picked "this beautiful mohair camel" that both he and Nick admire aloud in the Sweatshop. Nick tells the camera that he loves Dan's collection because of he thinks that it's "fabulous, clean, elegant American sportswear". However, he complains that he has to do all the finishing touches on that collection while trying to complete the thirteenth dress in time. So once again, it's all about poor Nick.

As Chloe explains her idea of a "volume look" for her thirteenth design to Diana, she tells the camera that her collection is her "fantasy fashion show", although I'm not sure whether she's saying that she has dreamed of creating a collection like the one she has or the theme of her line is her fantasy. She decides that her collection is missing another gold dress so she'll have one done as the thirteenth design. Diana tells her that they need to make sure that this gold dress won't be too similar to the gold dress Chloe already has in her collection and Chloe goes in a brittle manner, no, no, this gold dress won't be on a six-foot tall model. Diana says to the camera that Chloe has been really distraught about everything after working very hard on her collection, so the challenge to design a thirteenth piece only wears Chloe down further. Chloe tells Diana that she's putting Diana in charge of "knocking out" that thirteenth dress. She tells the camera that she doesn't even want to think about that thirteenth piece. Back at the Sweatshop, she merely tells Diana not to make that dress complicated.

Santino says to the camera that after he's purchased some jersey fabric from Mood, he starts to think a little on what the thirteenth dress is going to look like. Still, he says that he doesn't know "solid" what he's going to make. Andraé is never without advice, of course, and he tells Santino that they should make the dress "work" with the dresses in Santino's collection. Duh, Einstein. Andraé tells the camera that Santino is "so stressed out" and Santino now tells Andraé that Santino is "freaking out". Finally Santino decides to take charge of the designing of the thirteenth dress (surprise) but he tells the camera that he's dragging his feet when it comes to doing that.

Ooh, thirty-three hours left before the final Runway show. It's late and I'm yawning already. Is anything going to happen in this episode? Santino tells the camera that they can work until 1:00 am in the Sweatshop and at this late hour, he has no idea how he will finish his collection. As Nick asks Dan whether he should drop the waist of the dress he's making for Dan a little bit, Dan tells the camera that nobody has time to finish anything. "I'm fucked!" says Dan. Next, Santino says to the camera, "Really!" Heh. At her side of the Sweatshop, Chloe examines the skirt Diana is making and tells Diana that she has made the skirt way too complicated. But she is beyond caring so she just tells Diana to finish the dress by 1:00 am. This scene really drives home to me how Chloe demonstrates that the ridiculously tight deadlines the show give its Fashionistas can hurt the quality of the show. People like Chloe end up making the same tried-and-tested simple designs again and again for each challenge just to beat the clock. Therefore, the final three end up being Fashionistas that knock out safe and very similar designs throughout the season. Back to Chloe, she tells the camera that Diana is "killing" her because Diana is working too slowly for Chloe's liking. So why don't Chloe just take over the construction of the thirteenth dress then, hmm?

Work, work, work, and then woosh, it's time to close shop and head back to the Westin. Dan calls out to the Sweatshop as they leave, "Goodnight, Banana Republic!" He's such a wit, I tell you.

The next morning, with only twenty-four hours left until their Runway show, Chloe makes some adjustments to the clothes she has carefully packed up to take to the tents while telling the camera how "mentally exhausted" she is. Still, she says that she is a businesswoman and therefore she will do what she has to do to keep going. Santino examines himself in the mirror and tells the camera that he's not sure whether he'll send a naked model down instead of finishing his thirteenth design. Of course that won't happen, the naked model thing, and neither would the Maxipad thing, because you know why? Santino is going to demonstrate later that he may act like someone too cool to play by the rules of this show but he's actually the show's biggest syncophant. He tells the camera that he's a designer but he's also "extremely tired", whatever that means. Maybe designers can't be tired in his mind, I suppose. As the two men wait for Chloe to get ready, Santino does his Tim impersonation and goes, "What happened to Chloe? Chloe? Chloe?" and Dan throws his head back and laughs because he's now friends again with Santino. Or something.

Twenty-three hours before the Runway show. The Fashionistas return to the Sweatshop where Dan tells the other two that their objective should be to stay awake for that day. As they and their three Fashionista Sweatshop servants get to work, Santino does his Tim impersonation again, "Do you know how many designers would kill for this opportunity? To make shit and send it down the Runway in front of all of New York and the world?" Nick howls in laughter just as the door opens and Tim walks in, oops. Tim has Collier Strong, that L'Oréal Paris consulting make-up artist last seen in that stupid makeover challenge episode, with him. Collier has the three Fashionistas come with him to the L'Oréal Tech Center where he will supervise the hairstyling and dolling-up of the Fashionistas' models. Dan tells the camera that he wants a "windblown rosy-cheeked look" for Rebecca and when he sees what Collier has done for Rebecca, he says - yes, you guessed right - "I love it!" Chloe tells the camera that her clothes are "strong" so she wants Grace to be "light and pretty". Since Grace weighs all of two pounds when wet, Chloe has the "light" part down. Chloe examines Grace and tells Grace, "I love it." No, Dan's virus has infected Chloe! Santino is more concerned about his models having beautiful "smoky" eyes and tells Collier that he can perhaps only do only one eye of Heather because he has to go back to the Sweatshop as there are so many things more to do. Collier merely laughs. Heather, in the meantime, looks like she has swallowed one sour lemon too many. I wonder why.

Back at the Sweatshop, the three Fashionista Sweatshop workers continue working on their masters' thirteenth dresses. Andraé tells the camera that he is trying to work within Santino's "parameters" and therefore he is working on what he calls "a dress, or some permutation thereof". He is confident about doing a good job. At some eighteen hours before the Runway show, Santino shows up at the door with a "Hi, kids! Mama's home", followed by Dan and Chloe. Santino unnecessarily repeats in his confessional that his collection has a theme - Hollywood, 1940's, et cetera - and adds that Andraé's dress will complement his collection well. To give Santino some credit, he's the only one who sticks to his theme that he presented two episodes ago. Dan didn't have a theme back then while Chloe has clearly abandoned her own version of 1940's Hollywood glamour.

Later that night, twelve hours until the Runway show, Tim shows up as Andraé and Santino are fitting Danyelle in Andraé's dress. He tells them that the dress looks "stunning" on Danyelle and he really likes it. Danyelle gives a really dorky two thumbs up sign while Andraé pretends to wipe away at his brow as Tim praises Santino and Santino pretends to be modest about it. Dan and Nick clearly haven't finished the thirteenth dress so Dan spends some time talking to Tim about how that thirteenth dress "benefits" his collection and how amazing and beautiful it is. He says that the dress invigorates the collection therefore he is so happy right now. He then says, "I love it!" Ugh. Later he holds up that dress and says to the camera, "I love it! I looooove this piece!" Goodness me, what happened to Dan when he was young? Did he eat too many Big Macs or something? He goes on to say that the dress accentuates his collection, holds it together, and represents the element that is missing from his collection, which, when I think of it, really doesn't mean anything. But that's Dan really: he uses a lot of words to say nothing much in particular.

Chloe smiles in faked cheerfulness as she tells Tim that her thirteenth dress, which he can't see at once, is right there on the table... in pieces. Heh. Diana cheerfully holds up a muslin template of what that dress will look like when it's not so in pieces, explaining how the cut will be, and Tim is distracted by the fact that the dress is going to have pockets. Chloe says that it's not hard to make pockets and Diana adds that the model will look most "cute" when the model has her hands in her pocket. Tim seems placated by this. If the ladies have solid plans for pockets in that gold dress, surely they have a plan to put the dress together in time, right? The clock behind Diana shows the time as 9:22 pm, by the way. Chloe stresses out to Tim and the camera that one of her models has never showed up and she has too many things that are not yet seen to. Since I surely don't understand what she is experiencing, I sniff at this whiny and clearly lazy woman who seems allergic to genuine hard work.

At 10:00 pm, Tim calls the final three Fashionistas to gather around him while the assistants can keep working. Tim tells Santino, Dan, and Chloe that they have to think about the Banana Republic accessories (shoes, et cetera) that they intend to incorporate into their show. The three Fashionistas all but fidget, no doubt thinking, "You stop me from working and call me here for... this?" With that gratuitous plug for Banana Republic done with, Tim now says that he will pick out randomly names from his supposedly magical bag to determine who will go first on the Runway show. First is... Dan. Funny, isn't it, how Dan always get to be picked first on this show? Chloe is second, and Santino is third. Tim explains that the Fashionistas can use this Sweatshop until 4:00 am and there's a call at 5:30 am in the tent that the Fashionistas must attend. He hugs the Fashionistas and takes his leave.

11:00 pm. Ten hours until the Runway show, according to the caption. Dan tells the camera that everything has to be organized in an order and he has no order yet. How deep, that. Work, work, work. Dan continues his most interesting confessional where he says that they all have only a few hours more before the Runway show and therefore everyone is so "pumped up" with adrenaline. Chloe's last model finally shows up along with the Fashionistas' other models. It's now time to fit the garments and to do all kinds of last-minute adjustments and preparations on everything - the garments, the models, and more. Santino says that he'll still be working on his collection until the models take the Runway. He tells the camera in a most reassuring manner that he can break down later, when the whole Runway show is over. 3:20 am. Chloe looks frantically at the clock as she stitches up a dress. Chloe tells the camera that she's being very emotional but she's trying to hold everything together. Naturally, nobody can understand her because they don't know what she's going through. "This is extreme!" she says. At five hours before the Runway show - 3:56 am in other words - everyone closes shop and heads for Westin.

Four hours before the Runway show. As Dan gets ready to dress up for the tent, he tells the camera that he has slept for perhaps four hours in the last three days and right now they only have twenty minutes to clean up and do what they have to do to look presentable. As Dan and Chloe talk about Dan's jacket (the one he bought during Tim's visit), Dan tells the camera that to make his first "real" impression on the fashion industry, sleep can wait. Chloe tells Dan that she has plenty of things left to do. She tells the camera that most designers would love to be where they are now, putting on a show at the Olympus Fashion Week. Is that a blatant plug for season three? Finally, all three leave their Westin suite for the tent, talking about how they can never imagine having this day in their lives. As much as I am cynical about many things on this show, I have to say I find myself feeling a little terpidation and excitement for the three as well as they leave in the still dark day for the tent. It's always a little scary as well as heart-pounding to know that one's dream is about to come true and it is also always nice to follow people who are just one step away from realizing a dream of a lifetime.

When they enter the tent in Bryant Park, they look at the Runway and the empty seats with mouths wide open. Sleepiness is, no doubt, forgotten in the excitement of that moment. Santino says that Olympus is the "pinnacle" or "Mount Everest" of American fashion. "Oh man!" he says aloud to himself in that tent. He, Dan, and Chloe all talk to the camera about how exciting, intimidating, crazy, and all about this moment. Santino pretends that his interlaced fingers is a megaphone as he booms to the camera, "Santino is now showing!"

Three hours until D-Day. Or is that R-Day? The models are here and a mad scramble ensues. If you are watching this episode again, see how many times you can spot Kara's models in the background. Hint: they are the ones wearing those adorable knitted hats and caps.

Dan is having problems getting organised while Chloe wonders where Diana is. As Dan asks his models whether they sew, he tells the camera that there are "obviously" a few things left to be done and he finds it scary to try and get everything together without Nick around to help him. At two and a half hour before D-Day, sleepy-looking Nick, Andraé, and Diana show up along with Tim. Tim sees Dan's models seated on the floor sewing buttons onto dresses and asks Dan why he is making his models sew. Dan says that there are things to be done still. "If it has to happen, it has to happen!" he tells Tim. Tim tells Dan that he is just surprised that Dan has still so much left to do when he had already a few months to do all those things like sewing buttons on those dresses. Dan says that he's just as surprised. If Tim says that he's surprised that Dan is a moron, I wonder whether Dan will say that he agrees with Tim as well.

Two hours until D-Day. Chloe goes to check on the models' hair and make-up and realizes that she doesn't like what is being done to her models. She says that she doesn't want to bitch about things but this is her big day and she wants everything to be perfect. As she tells the make-up artists what she wants them to do, she tells the camera that the lack of sleep is turning her into a diva. She's not a diva! She's either a very patient person or someone who knows how to be very patient when the cameras are rolling. Either way, she's not a diva.

One hour left. Nick tells the camera that he and Dan are putting last-minute alterations. He says that he wants everything to be perfect because he wants Dan to win. He sounds so sincere for a moment there, I'm tempted to reach for my hankie, I tell you.

Thirty minutes left. The Fashionistas of this season, the family members of the final three, members of the press, and their hangers-on are entering the tent. Chloe tells the camera that make-up and all still have to be done. She checks her models and learns that the models look and feel better thanks to her timely intervention. Phew, disaster averted, at least until the models put on her outfits. Dan finds two handbags missing and looks for it in vain. Tim helpfully tells him that things happen for a reason. These two should go to Red Lobster together and bore the seafood to death with their empty rhetorics one of these days. As Dan runs around looking for those bags, someone asks him whether anyone is looking for his bags. Dan, ever so modest, tells this person, "A thousand people should be, but I don't know if anyone is." Yes, a thousand people should be looking for his bags... on a search-and-destroy mission.

Fifteen minutes until the Runway show. The guests are seated and Santino runs up to Tarah and makes some last-minute tailoring on the dress she is wearing. Oh, look, there's a woman in the audience. It's Santino's mother, Catherine Rice! Santino handily mentions that he has never seen her in four years because he can't afford to fly home. After all, he has to use all that money in renting pads in LA, filling them up with coffee table books, personal eccentric items of clothing, novelty bedsheets and tablecloths... He says that his mother lets him be who he is and he loves her for that. It is so easy to imagine that he's actually saying that he loves his mother for just letting him be. Now that Santino is on TV, his mother is willing to mend the distance between them, saying to the camera, "I just want to kiss him and hug him and tell him what a great job he's doing and how proud I am of him and I'm getting verklempt!" I'd bet she is.

Five minutes. Oh look, there's Jay. He hates Heidi, he has a TV show where he bitches about Heidi being a twat and all, and he's still here like a good little dog to sit among the audience. How sweet of him. There's Austin, talking to some reporter. The show must be thinking that if they shove him on TV often enough, people would think of him as the third-place winner instead of Wendy Pepper. Dan finally locates his purses and tells the camera about how excited he is to be on Fashion Week. Chloe says that she will be okay with whatever outcome because she's just so happy to be here.

Ding-ding, ground zero, the time is now. It's Runway show time, people. Heidi comes out on stage and squawks, "Hello!" She welcomes everyone and thanks them for coming. After reciting the canned speech her assistant has written for her for this show about loving all Fashionistas, she introduces the guest judge of today, the star of Will And Grace Debra Messing. Can we say pointless pandering to the gay audience of this show? What does Debra Messing have to do with fashion? At this point putting either one of the Hilton sisters will make more sense because at least Paris and Nikki have something to do with fashion. Nina and the Mighty Ogre will also be judging, of course. Heidi says that the Mighty Ogre is her favorite designer and twirls around to show off her dress which is made by that orange pumpkin of a man. Heidi then announces that the show has begun and takes her seat with the three judges.

Dan comes out to loud screams that have nothing to do with his fashion designs and after blabbing about how pleased, excited, et cetera he is, steps back and lets his models do the talking. The first model wears that ugly white blazer with blackish-bluish floral print that Dan showed Tim in the previous episode. It comes with a blue ankle-length skirt and still looks like something even Wendy Pepper will be embarrassed to take credit for. The next design is a similarly shoulder-padded blue dress. I like the next design, a white coat that looks like it's made from fur when seen from a distance - I like the big buttons and the full collar especially. The next dress is... I don't know, a hideous blouse and tight white pants that make the model look like she's a few months pregnant. She's carrying Dan's handbag which makes her look even more like a dowdy pregnant lady down at the mall doing some window shopping on a lazy day. Rachel shows up wearing the blue dress that Tim slammed in the previous episode and it still doesn't look any better - it's dull and uninteresting.

And this trend of being boring goes on and on until everything becomes a bad JC Penney catalogue before my eyes. The only thing different from this catalogue of boring designs is the thirteenth outfit, a short brownish camel-hair dress that is more of Nick's work than Dan's. Even Dan's That One Outfit, the one Rebecca wore when Dan showed it off to Tim in the previous episode, is dull. It has this weird big patch in the chest that resembles a shield hanging from a castle wall and a ridiculously long skirt that Rebecca trips upon the Runway, oops. And when Rebecca trips, the whole bodice actually shakes loosely, revealing how badly-fitted this dress is on Rebecca. On the whole, Dan has made himself a laughing punchline here. After bagging on Kara for creating JC Penney designs, after mocking Santino for not being able to sew, Dan here has spent months apparently wasting his time to come up with hugely boring and ill-fitting designs that look like they've been forcefully dragged out of some black hole in the basement of a JC Penney HQ. There is nothing close to being couture, even pretentiously so, in this collection. It's as if Dan has just slavishly copied some designs from a JC Penney catalogue and add some weird patches, shoulder pads, and other distracting ornamentation to claim these designs as his own.

Now Chloe gets her turn on the Runway where she apparently has not heard what people say about protesting too much when she again tells everyone that she is passionate about winning. She then compares her collection to her baby that is conceived via immaculate collection. Must be a Texan thing, that. And... here come her models. Ow. Ow. To be fair, if you look at other Runway shows at about the same time as this episode is aired, you'll notice that many designers are also coming up with the same dated retro-1980's prom-dress style in their lines. It looks like the whole Molly Ringwald Pretty In Pink look is in. Personally, Chloe should have substituted her jazzy music track with some cheesy New Romantics track because her line is simultaneously cheesy, cringe-inducing, and fascinating. The first dress is pure kitsch: the model looks like she's wearing a collapsed tent that is ten times bigger than her. The rest of her collection are pretty much the familiar babydoll dresses with cuts and all that are recognizably hers. What is very evident though is that Chloe has used the same four or five kinds of fabrics in all her designs. She doesn't even bother to hide that fact by at least making sure that no two successive models wear dresses that are made from the same fabric! This collection is fascinating because I find myself wondering what the heck she is thinking when she uses fabrics and colors so lazily like that. How did she spend her $8,000, since she doesn't seem to purchase much with that? "Just give me twenty rolls each of that and that and that, you'll give me a huge discount for mass purchases, right?" Maybe she spent $6,000 in renovating her boutique. I do like Chloe's thirteenth design which is actually more Diana Eng than Chloe, but it's too much of a replica of Santino's babydoll dress that he created in the first episode.

"Surprise!" says Santino as he comes out onto the Runway. "Whether you love to hate me or hate to love me, I'm not just good TV - I'm a great designer!" He then calls to his mother and says, "I love you, Mom! My Mom's the shit!" Which explains why he flushed her out of his life for four years, I suppose, only to reconcile today for public relation purposes. He says that he has composed and performed the music for his own show, imagine that. Maybe renting a studio and musical instruments still come in cheaper than airfare for a trip to see his mother.

As for Santino's line, now that is my biggest disappointment of the whole season. On one hand, I find myself utterly in love with pretty much all the dresses in that collection, which is saying a lot considering how I have been bagging on his designs in my recaps throughout the season. Santino does one thing that Dan doesn't and Chloe couldn't do: he uses really beautiful fabrics and the color combinations he favors are superb. No two dresses look similar (unlike Chloe's) and each dress has its unique style and characteristic. The fabrics flow beautifully. But - and here's a big but indeed - the collection is also very safe and very unlike what the show hypes Santino to be capable of. The judges and the show keep telling me that Santino is a genius, which is why they supposedly kept him in week after week when he was clearly the worst in quite a number of episodes. And what do I get in the end? The big bad boy Santino creating pretty, pretty dresses that are totally devoid of any statement, point of view, or even a middle finger. The show pretends that Santino is... I don't know, Robert Cary-Williams or someone else with a edge, only to have Santino reveal that he really wants to be Christian Dior only to come off as a Ben de Lisi wannabe instead. Still, I love this collection second best (my favorite is Kara's decoy line which can be seen at the official website). Heck, even Santino's models walk so much better than the other two Fashionistas'. Heather deserves a medal for the way she sells Santino's That One Dress - she makes what is pretty much a variation of Santino's Austin-Scarlett wannabe dress come off like it's solid gold. Santino tells the camera at the end of the show that he has toned down his impulses to make beautiful things. Without any irony at all, he says that he doesn't want to be what anyone wants him to be - oh dear, I think I swallowed my tongue there, cough - he just wants to make beautiful dresses. And that's the sad truth: the bad boy, at the end of the day and deep in his heart, longs to be the tall, overprivileged, and inoffensive blond white fashion designer that makes pretty dresses that everyone loves.

The Fashionistas, Jay, and Kara Saun all weigh in as if I should really care for what they think after the Runway show. Everyone is happy, yay.

Now it's back to the Runway at Parsons where the judges weigh on the three Fashionistas' collections. After Heidi "Look, ma, no obvious voiceovers today!" Klum has congratulated the Fashionistas when they stand before the judges on the Runway, the models wearing each Fashionista's That One Dress come out to join them on the Runway.

The Q&A begins with guest judge Debra Messing asking Dan for the "story" behind his collection. I think this show gives her a script to follow when comes to questioning the Fashionistas. Oh, am I cynical or what? Here, Dan gives his most pompous and laughable speech yet: he says that he wants to combine Japanese sleekness with an everyday thing... the war. Yes, the war. Dan says that he has "seen" the war - dude, has he been in the frontlines or what? - and he "sees" the war "everyday and everywhere" so he wants to merge those two elements using silhouettes. Are you with me, people? War (death, brutality, suffering) + sleekness = pretty, pretty brown dress. A part of me starts laughing in horrified amazement at how... I don't know how to describe Dan's utter flippancy and shocking naivete, really. How can this man bring up the war as some everyday occurrence like it's some mosquito bite and compare it to his ill-fitting dress with an overlong skirt and still think he's wiser than everybody? Still, Dan gets a beautiful smackdown when the Mighty Ogre says that he can't see anything about the military in Dan's dress and he really wants to rip off that ugly battleshield-like patch on Rebecca's bosom. "Really?" says Dan in a really insolent tone as the Mighty Ogre goes on about that patch. Heidi says that the patch hides the dress by distracting people from the dress. "But it kept you looking, didn't it?" Dan tells her. Oh yes, he's definitely a modest one there. Can't take criticisms at all, that one. I have a laugh when the judges rave about the thirteenth dress which is actually Nick's work instead of Dan's own work. The bottom line, they don't find anything Asian or military-like in Dan's collection.

The judges use a lot of words to say that Santino's collection is safe. While I agree that it's safe, I wonder, really. Didn't Nina, Heidi, and the Mighty Ogre tell him to tone things down throughout the season? So why are they calling him on doing what they told him to do? Santino ends up saying that he has never seen his clothes on actual models before the Runway, which leads Heidi to say that none of the boobs were where they were supposed to be on the Runway. She's only noticing that now? Welcome to reality, Heidi, twelve episodes too late! Nina however says that Santino does belong to fashion and he should never doubt himself. She doesn't say that he shouldn't listen to them but she really should.

Nina and the Mighty Ogre have some issues about Chloe's theme being, simply, "eveningwear that Chloe loves" (according to Chloe) and Nina doesn't like the shrugs Chloe used as a common theme in all her designs. There's one point for Chloe though when she tells Nina that the shrugs can be removed. Heidi asks Chloe who Chloe designs for. Chloe says that she designs for all ages, from fifteen to thirtysomething, and at the end of the day, she intends to sell the dresses she designs. She says that this explains why the dresses in her collection have mature as well as trendy elements. She calls herself a "designer/marketer". Yes, but is that a philosophy to hold on to when creating a collection for the Olympus Fashion Week? Good grief, someone please tell Chloe that she's supposed to impress people with her innovation, not sell clothes, on Fashion Week! The bottom line, the judges seem to be either ambivalent or even indifferent to Chloe's collection.

Heidi now asks the Fashionistas to tell her what traits they have that the other two Fashionistas don't that will make them more deserving to be called the next great fashion designer (bwahahahahaha, oh puh-leese). Santino says that he has an eye for beautiful things and he is confident. Dan rolls up his eyes here because he's the good guy here, not Santino, so everyone should be in love with him instead of Santino. Santino also says that he has the ability to say things that he wants to say, things that may come off as offensive or strange. Okay, here I roll up my eyes. Santino adds that his designs today can be "forever". Chloe touts herself as a business person and if she wins, "this" will be a real business for her. Dan brings up the fact that he has a "point of view" that the American public will relate to. Oh please. The American public buy his "point of view" every day at Sears, Banana Republic, and JC Penney. He thinks he's creating something spectacular when his designs all come straight from a nondescript catalogue. He also says that he is young and willing to learn. He's willing to learn as long as everyone loves him like he loves himself, of course.

Heidi temporarily banishes the Fashionistas so that the judges can talk among themselves. With this being the finale, the Mighty Ogre starts acting as if he knows what is inside the Fashionistas' soul even when he barely spends time with the Fashionistas. The Mighty Ogre doesn't like Santino's collection but he is sure that Santino has the guts and strength to succeed in the fashion industry, being that he has overcome adversity with Chariots Of Fire playing in the background. He thinks that Santino tried to show them what he can do but without the gee-gaws and ruffles, all he can see is ill-fitting clothes. The judges then try to outdo each other in claiming how they are the one to notice how everything Santino does is "from the soul" and how "passionate" he is. Each of them is trying to make himself or herself sound so enlightened and wise about Santino, it's hilarious.

As for Chloe's collection, the judges agree that she's professional and polished. Debra thinks that Chloe's clothes are "mesmerizing". It must be those same shades of bright pink that Chloe reused many times in her collection. Nina doesn't think that the collection is versatile and the Mighty Ogre thinks that Chloe could use some improvements in planning her Runway shows. Could it be that Chloe's lamentable showmanship is because she doesn't want to win? She says in post-show interviews that she wants to remain in Texas and run Lot 8, making it clear that this show is just a publicity vehicle for her, after all. She probably doesn't really want to win regardless of how often she insists otherwise in public. Debra and Heidi love how Chloe sew her clothes. Ah yes, Chloe is a good pattern-maker, at the end of the day, heh. The Mighty Ogre says that Chloe is good at making her clothes fit the model. Yes, Chloe is a wunderkind in pattern-making and sewing. But can she be innovative?

As for Dan, the judges decide that he's too young and inexperienced, even if he's willing to learn. It will be nice if they realize this before they start making him the winner in so many previous challenges. It's not like his designs back then were in any way different from the boring designs he has in his collection, after all.

While the judges try to decide who is the winner, Santino is clearly out of the running. Nina goes crazy and says that she loves all the designs and she can't bear to choose a winner. I think she shares the same prescription with a certain Paula Abdul. After the judges have come to a decision, Heidi calls the Fashionistas back on stage. Santino is quickly cut because the judges can't see "enough" of him in his collection. Dang, he should have just overload his clothes with feathers and tell the judges to go straight to hell. Santino tells the camera as he leaves the Runway that it sucks to lose but hey, he's not a loser, he's a winner. Right, and I'm his mother. So it's down to Chloe and Dan and the winner is... da-da-dum, Chloe! The Mighty Ogre however tells Dan to give him a call if Dan wants some help in getting a job at some fashion house. Chloe is happy, Grace is happy, Dan pretends that he's happy, and Chloe is really, really happy, probably genuinely so, when Tim hands her the key to the Saturn Roadster that she has won. She then runs home to make her store bigger so that she can charge people more money for her clothes. Maybe she'll even call up Banana Republic for those phone numbers of the sweatshops in China.

And with that, this season is done for. Chloe gets her publicity and business surge, Dan gets to be the emperor with no clothes for a day, Nick gets to be a popular stereotype, and Santino gets the most mileage out of this show, publicity-wise, by acting like a jackass in and out, through and through. The producers get a rating surge and plenty of money, a great boost to rig the show into even more of a popularity contest fiasco in the next season. That leaves me wondering what I have gotten out of following the whole wretched season of this show. Ugh, I feel so used.


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