Project Runway Season Finale Recap: We Have A Winner!

Previously: Literally nothing changed! All four designers were selected to show at Fashion Week, and Viktor Luna, Joshua McKinley, Kimberly Goldson and Anya Ayoung-Chee had two days to pull their collections together.

This Week: Post runway, Tim Gunn basically apologizes to the designers for their harsh critiques, as many of the things the judges hated were things that he loved. He also has a gift for each of them — they get to go shopping at Mood with a $500 budget. They can use this money however they see fit.

After Mood and back in the workroom, we get a better look at each designer’s collection. Tim also comes in to consult. He advises Kimberly not to gild the lily. Joshua shows him a pair of neon green bicycle shorts with a lace-up detail in the front. Horrifying. Tim calls them “peculiar,” and suggests that perhaps Joshua’s mini-collection misrepresented his larger collection to the judges. Harsh! Joshua breaks down in the sewing room because he feels unprepared and stressed for the show in two days. Anya comforts him, which is sort of more than he deserves. He pulls it together the next morning, though, and the designers all seem very focused on their last day of preparation.

On the big day, Heidi Klum introduces the four designers wearing a spectacular black sparkly jumpsuit. All the old contestants are in the audience. Nina Garcia is in the front row with Michael Kors, who is wearing his traditional runway sunglasses. Designer L’Wren Scott is the guest judge.

Kimberly is up first, wearing an awesome purple one-shoulder dress, and she tears up when she sees her sister and friends in the audience. Her show is great — her styling is more understated, and her whole Brooklyn girl vibe seems more effortless. My favorite looks were an awesome green lamé minidress, and a sheer ivory blouse with ivory pants. She seems proud of herself, as she should be. Tim holds her hand backstage. Aww!

Joshua is next, and dedicates his collection to his mom. His show opens with a gorgeous purple dress, one clearly modeled after his orange dress from the bird challenge earlier in the season. But… it’s all downhill from there. The green shorts are the stuff of nightmares. Everyone in the audience seems terribly confused, but perhaps I’m projecting. He has two long black dresses with plastic detailing that are okay, but that was it for me.

Viktor is wearing a vest in the same print as his collection, which he paired with black shorts. He looks so cute but also a little dumb. The dress he opens with is adorable — it’s cut and sewn so well. L’Wren Scott seems very impressed. Tim also cuddles him backstage. His printed pieces are so beautiful. He seems totally relaxed as he leaves the runway arm in arm with his last model. I wouldn’t be mad if he won.

Anya’s first dress is fabulous. She heeded the judges’ advice to project relaxed Caribbean glamour in her collection, and it’s a lot of dresses and jumpers with all the models in sandals. True, nearly every piece is a flow-y dress — but that’s Anya’s jam! And who can fault her for it, when it all looks so good? She also leaves the runway hugging her model.

After the show, the contestants must gather again at the studio for their critiques. The judges congratulate Kimberly on incorporating their advice, without losing her point of view. Heidi loved same blouse and pants that I did. Nina anoints Josh “most improved.” Heidi liked the shorts that I loathed. They all loved Viktor’s prints, and agreed that his tailoring was superb. “Who doesn’t want to be that girl?”, Heidi says of Anya’s collection, though they note that she didn’t do as much tailoring and shaping as the other designers. In deliberation, it seems pretty clear to me that they want to crown Anya the winner, on the strength of her branding and taste, but they worry that she took the easy road.

When everyone is brought back out, Kimberly is eliminated first. She’s honored and humbled, and grateful and totally classy. She’s awesome, basically, and gets to go hug her family. Viktor is out next and seems fine with it. It’s down to Josh and Anya. Please don’t let it be Josh. Anya wins! Holy smokes! I’m happy about it, but I bet a looooot of other people are not. Wow, who would have thought?

So, that’s that! Luckily we have “Project Runway: All Stars” to keep us company next year!

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