Project Runway — The Finale

Many challenges, all the eliminations, and it was finally the time, finally the finale, the final 3! I had seen bits and pieces of each designers’ collection, even throughout this episode, so was eager to see what everyone would present. So with only a few days before the finale, no time to waste, the final 3 designers headed back to their new Brooklyn workroom. They learned they would be showing at Skylight One Hanson. And that there was plenty to do over the next few days — finishing looks, model castings, styling selections, and consultations with both Maybelline & Tresemme. Christian also announced Marni would be back to help the designers with styling their collections.

Each designer would only show 10 looks. So the surprise 11th look from last week, really wasn’t necessary! And for Garo, who now had 17 looks, no extra looks were even needed! Before work on their collections, the designers first had model castings. They were all making deals and swapping like crazy! Afterwards, Christian announced the designers would have the option on the next morning, to go to Mood with a $300 budget. This would still be an important decision for each designer to make because even though extra resources could be bought, it was time to work on collections that was really being spent!

But before that important decision, it was time to finish up this first day with model fittings. Hester decided to remake her new Nina breather look, since she only made the original in 2 hours. Garo was obviously scrapping his Nina look because he had so much else to choose from, and this look was poorly received. Sebastian was also debating showing his new Nina look and also was thinking about going to Mood the next day, but for thread! Christian was not feeling either of those decisions. So as the next day approached, Sebastian did decide to go to Mood and was the only one. Christian seemed less than thrilled! He did get thread, but also some new fabric, which we later see he ended up not using. Not time well spent, but I guess Sebastian just needed to make sure what he already had was all he needed and there were no doubts!

The next part of the day was filled with more model fittings and Christian consultations. Garo saw his fit was off on one of his corset gowns. And with so many options for looks, it was good Marni popped over to help him fine tune his theme, to best select the looks — Punk Rock Meets Elegance. For Sebastian, he really needed to make sure he was not over-working or over-accessorizing his looks. And what worked well for him was having so many separates he could do a good bit of mixing and matching. And finally for Hester, we saw she had a major wig she was using. Good thing Marni was around to help tone down some of her crazy extra details, especially with makeup ideas!

After a long work day, the designers were in for a surprise, a personal request from the finale guest judge to come for a meeting. So with that, they were off to meet the amazingly talented designer Diane von Furstenberg at her Meatpacking location. She was full of wise and sage advice for the designers! And I am sure as great as that moment was, the designers knew there was still lots to do, heading into this final day before the finale. Sebastian was making some major edits and Christian made sure to put in a request for an extra belt! Garo and Christian debated on if he should really scrap the sparkly look he showed last challenge, the only one that every single judge loved! The end of day came super quick, and ended with some lovely parting words from Christian. He spoke of his experiences mentoring, also giving some advice in advance of this huge runway day.

But before heading home, the designers checked out their runway location and were in awe! As amazing as this space was, I don’t know if this new format of Project Runway can beat showing at NYFW with this cool runway spot. We also saw looking back moments for each designer. The day of the runway was finally here though, and only 3 hours to be ready! Luckily, each designer would have helping hands, 3 dressers each. The models were arriving and Sebastian was laying down some ground rules for them, i.e. no sitting, no eating! Christian was worried with Garo as he was still sewing. You could feel the pressure rising for each designer, especially as Christian called for the 30 minute mark. While Garo was snipping away, Sebastian had an unexpected stain to get rid of! And no surprise, Hester was using all her helpers to actually help dress her, always with the drama!

So with this final 3 runway, I would love to say I was vastly impressed. I just felt in previous seasons, there have been stronger finalists in the mix. I could actually see a decision being hard to make. And even though the judges announced it was still a hard choice, I feel the choice was clear as day, and thankfully that was the named winner, Sebastian! He was really the saving grace of this season! This gown look above, such a standout compared to the other 2 designers’ collections, and his collection as a whole just surpassed the other 2 collections by leaps and bounds! His collection was based on reminiscence, looking back at his life in Colombia. And I very much felt he had a clear theme, a clear story, which led to such cohesion, and you could see this inspiration in all of his looks.

This look above, the 2nd shown, was stunning. Sebastian used some bold color choices in his collection, bold orange & emerald green, pairing nicely with some softer hues, such as creme white and nude taupe. Sebastian hasn’t always had a clear story for his work, the easiest described vision, and even a hard time articulating who is woman is. I have an idea on that for him! His woman is luxe, very regal, but with some edge. She adores fashion, but still looking classy. DVF said it best, “extremely refined, but casual.” This is certainly elevated RTW, but with some high-end pieces included. This collection is still super creative, while still being able to be understated and not having to use every bell and whistle to prove such creativity. It is high fashion, but very commercial and of the 3 designers, his would appeal to the most women.

Sebastian created some amazing details throughout his looks. Such as seen above in this flowy goddess gown, the line-patterned bodice, seen in other looks for him, super intricate and stunning. This was his new “Nina” look and it was the right decision to add & keep. The other designers faced problems in what they showed, and also edits. Sebastian didn’t seem to have that problem. Actually, when he originally showed this look above, he paired with one of his belts. I think it looks better without, but that is not to take away from how amazing his leather belts were. Such another standout detail for his look!

And 2 other details worthy of mentioning, the amazing details on his various pants and the hand-woven, laser cut mesh-like work he did, both as seen in this look above. When I see these looks, I see a sexy, strong, confident woman. Sebastian really knocked this collection out of the park. Clearly I can’t say enough positive statements. And honestly, I think the only negative I recall from the judges was that they didn’t like his opening look, the orange skirt look he originally showed last week. My, how awful! I actually disagreed with the judges here because I thought this look showed us more of what to come. It also would spread out 3 of the looks we had already seen. But for those who had not seen this look, it showcased his inspiration, creative details, and his bold color choices.

For Sebastian, I think of the 10 looks, there was only one I didn’t care for. But showcasing 2 more of my faves above & below!

Garo’s collection, even though he said earlier in the episode was sort of punk rock meets elegance, he actually gave inspiration to this being a “Detour Through his Cosmic Mind.” I really felt a huge issue for Garo was creating too much and in that regard, he didn’t know what to select to show. I think if he could have streamlined his focus, his theme, a bit more in the earlier stages of his work, rather than creating so much, he could have created less looks, but stronger, more cohesive ones. He certainly had a few amazing looks, but he also had some misses. There would be certain elements then to given looks I liked, such as his fabric choices, but not then his creative choices aesthetically. This look below perfectly encapsulates when Garo created a masterpiece, such a stunning fabric, gorgeous silhouette, and using his structuring and corset skills well.

And while this look above was a strong opener, he didn’t maintain that momentum. I was actually quite shocked that Garo was the only one who still had so much to do, and he certainly had some technical issues with a few of his looks. He bit off more than he could chew and really should have again, streamlined his focus a bit more, or made better editing choices. And really the judges were not wrong in taking him out of the running for the win, so he came in 3rd. The judges were also right to call him out on not showing the one look they all loved from the week before. Everyone else showed their same 3 looks, so he should have cared less about repetition and more about strength and showing standout looks. The black, sparkling look below, another example of a stunning creation. However, it was just such a shame seeing other less than impressive looks, and honestly, that number was just too high!

I appreciated that Garo did create some more RTW looks, and that every piece wasn’t that of a costume nature or a show piece. But his more basic looks just didn’t stand out and were not memorable. In comparison to Sebastian’s more RTW, commercial pieces, they still had special elements, and I didn’t see those touches in Garo’s pieces. Knowing he did have 17 looks to chose from, I was left confused on some of the choices he made for what to show. But really another issue for me with this collection just came down to not loving some of his design choices. I didn’t care for his spiky or pointy tops on some his looks, such as the one seen below. And really with his corsetry work, I still feel it at times takes away from the elegance of a look, seeing all of that corset work from the back. The looks then read costume, not mass, wearable fashion a large amount of women would choose to wear.

But his finale look was a gorgeous gown, great fabric choice, with some very cool gloves!

So with Garo coming in 3rd, Sebastian with the win, that of course leaves Hester in 2nd. Her collection was Cyber Recoco or Y2K Coco. You could easily tell her collection lacked cohesion, likely due to not picking a clear inspiration or theme. I actually loved this cyber concept, but then when she was talking about her collection, she kept talking about punk rock. These are 2 different concepts! And even the judges were throwing around other concepts, Marie Antoinette & Clueless. So all in all, there were just too many ideas floating around. She certainly had some strong, editorial pieces, opening strong (the look seen below), but didn’t maintain any momentum. Her looks were up and down, good and bad. The judges had lots to offer by way of critique, unlike that of Sebastian. So as I stated above, it was laughable the judges had to pretend this decision was hard.

The judges were fans of Hester all season, but she was not the right winner here. In there so called “debate”, they kept speaking of her vibe. But this is a fashion competition. You can still make fashion and set trends like Sebastian, without having to create a crazy persona or vibe as the judges called it. She has some cool looks, but it isn’t worthy of the win, nor this prize package. For Sebastian, Brandon said he could be ready to show tomorrow at NYFW. And in that regard, also ready to work with the press/media, and sell to stores, really create a business for himself. That could not be said of Hester. Diane von Furstenberg was sort of offering her a job to work with her. Yes, while that is a compliment, it also kind of means she isn’t quite ready to do this on her own.

She is creative, but I don’t see how she is moving fashion forward, as the judges said. Plenty of people create these sort of cool, crazy pieces, lots of colors, all of the bells and whistles. I think she wants everyone to love her clothes and for everyone to be able to wear them. But the truth is, she just doesn’t create that type of fashion. Her work doesn’t appeal to the masses and is not made for everyone, but I am sure would cater well to a certain audience. She had some great looks here, one of my faves is pictured below, but her less than impressive looks felt a little sloppy or there were less than tasteful elements, such as this red faux fur she overly used and poorly misused.

So again, to re-state and heck even overstate because this was the right decision, Sebastian rightfully nabbed the win! And here is what he wins —

-$250,000 furnished by the Pilot’s FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pen

-a feature in ELLE

-a capsule collection thru Nineteenth Amendment, which will be sold on

-own featured role in a Bluprint digital series

-$50,000 to put toward their own design studio also courtesy of Bluprint

-Plus, for the first time ever, Project Runway is partnering with one of the most prestigious organizations in fashion, CFDA (The Council of Fashion Designers of America) for a one-on-one mentorship including all the tools and connections to create, grow, and sustain a business in fashion

Who’s Making the Finale!?!

The age old question for any season of Project Runway. Well for this first season of the show, back on original home network Bravo, we finally have that answer and our final 3! But let’s not jump ahead quite yet! How did we get there? So from last week, our final 5 became a final 4 — Garo, Sebastian, Bishme, & Hester. Each designer would have 5 months, and a $10k budget. So at the 2 month mark, Christian was on his way to check in with each designer.

First up, Christian visited Hester in Santa Fe. Hester was going for a y2k recoco, digital tech concept. All in all though, it actually read as just a bunch of ideas. Her collection was very print heavy. The one print I saw was an angel or a broken doll and I did like that one. It seemed that with some time, it paid off in terms of Hester’s quality in her work. I saw some cool looks, but I wasn’t seeing a collection, just a hodge podge of random, crazy looks.

Next up was Sebastian in Ft. Lauderdale. This was like night and day compared to Hester’s visit. Hester clearly can work in chaos and a bit of disruption, but Sebastian’s workspace was super neat, so organized. Because of the mess, I couldn’t see how much Hester truly had done. But it was clear Sebastian had lots accomplished. His idea was stemming from palm trees on ceramics jars. His dad helped him with creating some gorgeous leather belts. Christian was smart to advise him to keep an editing eye and to not overwork his looks. Every trick Sebastian has in his bag, we don’t need to see in each look. I saw cohesion in his creation, but Sebastian still needed to better define his story, how to articulate who his type of woman is, his type of client.

After Sebastian, we were led to Baltimore, to visit Bishme. His studio had a very comfy vibe. He had everything planned out along the walls. His focus would be on the buildings of Baltimore, a mix of the old and of the new. He sees potential in the old, to rebuild, and be better than what it was. It was hard to see any of this because Bishme didn’t have much done, maybe 2 looks. He had all of his fabrics out, seeing some crazy, bold orange color. He has lots of ideas, but the visions had not come to life. Christian helped him figure out next look, what fabric, get going.

And finally, for the last visit, it was to see Garo. Christian thought he would be at Garo’s studio in NY, but instead, he was off to Phoenicia, upstate NY. I guess there is something to be said in just getting out of the city, going remote and really just getting to work. Garo was going for a space, galactic concept. So in his looks, we would be seeing glimmers, textures, and rigid lines. I was seeing some stunning fabric choices! Of course there were corsets! But were these looks dated, too much in that of an era type look? Christian reminded Garo to not go for costumes, but think commercial, a bit more ready to wear.

It was then back to NY, to a new workroom in Brooklyn. Everyone was hugging and then eager to unpack their designs. Each designer’s collection was set at 10 looks. Garo actually did 14, whereas Bishme only had 8. I guess it is smarter to have more, edit down, than be in a scramble to finish. As everyone was unpacking, getting organized, each designer was of course curious to see what the others had created. But before embarking on work, the designers were visited by Karlie & Christian. They announced that before being at the finish line, there would be one more challenge, and Nina would provide those details at the Elle offices.

While at Elle headquarters, the designers received a tour, including the desired fashion closet, aka heaven! Nina was explaining this is where in a given shoot, in a given story, they work to make that story complete. And that is what she would be there to help the designers in doing. The designers would show 3 looks to secure their spot in the finale. Two looks would be ones already completed, and the 3rd look would be a new one created in the next day and a half, an 11th look. Nina would review each designer’s collection and give guidance as to a look that is missing. That is the look each designer would create, and take part in showing as this 3 part mini-collection.

First up in the Nina consultations, Sebastian. Nina was seeing a very rigid, hard collection, so she wanted to see something soft, an eveningwear look. For Garo, she asked to see a tailored suit. Moving on to Bishme, Nina was finding some cool pieces, some standout looks, but she thought the collection needed a more accessible look. Bishme was tasked to create a street inspired outerwear piece. And finally, for Hester, as again we already all knew, her collection was crazy, very print heavy. Nina thought a breather look, something devoid of any print was needed. Hester didn’t seem to be listening though!

So first the designers sketched, and then they were off to Mood with an additional $400 budget. There was lots to do, so everyone was ready to get back to work. The time felt limited to create a whole new look, and make 2 other looks runway ready! Day 2 rolled around, and Bishme was really struggling on creating his look. It was time for model fittings. Christian saw that Sebastian was not going for a gown, and he rethought that decision, scrapping the leggings and just focusing on a gorgeous flowing goddess gown. And for Hester, with this white look she was creating, he thought it read cheap. She was going to change it to red, but decided to try and focus on making what she already created in white better.

It seemed however that some red was going to get on the look regardless! Hester sewed thru her fingernail — YIKES!! She got blood on her garment, so she had to rethink her look. And so while Hester was having an external freakout, Bishme was continuing to have an internal struggle. But all those issues aside, it was time for the morning of the runway! Bishme decided he had to scrap his bomber jacket and make a hoodie dress. And Hester ended up creating an entire red look. In seeing so much of these new 3rd looks, I was ready to see everything being presented! Guest judge for this runway was President & CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb.

Sebastian Grey

I said it last episode, and will say it again, this is Sebastian’s competition to lose. And unless he has 8 other truly hideous looks we haven’t seen, I don’t see how he is losing. With what has been seen so far, Sebastian is significantly outpacing the other designers. Unlike Hester & Garo, I feel Sebastian designs clothes that are far more appealing to more women. They are looks women would want to and actually could wear. Say this in comparison to someone like Hester, who really designs for such a niche market. But outside of just a little more commercial appeal, Sebastian still designs clothes that are high fashion, super chic, items that any major fashionista would want to don.

Sebastian Grey

With what I saw, I loved his color palette. This bolder orange can go wrong, but not in Sebastian’s hands! He does have a clear designer voice, such a great aesthetic. His looks are just such a high quality, so well made. I loved this geometric take, and with this new look Nina tasked him to make, I was in awe. He really has created something special with the stunning leather belts and this chain link mesh items were really cool as well. I believe the judges said it was clear Sebastian and Hester were in the finale. And while that does hold some truth, it was slightly laughable to compare what Hester created, to the far more superior looks from Sebastian.

Sebastian Grey
Hester Sunshine

Hester made the finale, more so than Garo, because she lucked out in actually creating a great, new 3rd look. Her 2nd look was not the best. Even though I still stand by my comments from the last episode, that she was barely making this final 4, I did figure she would still somehow make the final 3. I would still be amazingly shocked if she wins, but she did rise to this challenge in creating this 3rd piece, granted there was some major luck in that. The fur-like skirt was better than the top. And this fur-like material was more successful in this piece than on that jacket. I guess it was a blessing in disguise she bled on her original look because that white look I don’t think would have been as successful!

Hester Sunshine
Hester Sunshine

This first look above, it really gave off such a Clueless vibe. And I did really like this first look. I wish we could have seen more of the print, and so I am hopeful the rest of the collection would show more some of these prints she keeps talking about. And while I do love this first look, this still isn’t something to me that I haven’t seen before. Hester says she wants to dress the world, but her looks are always going to just service a specific type of client; it is not going to appeal to the masses. Another huge issue for Hester is going to be if this collection has any cohesion. I didn’t see that in these 3 looks. And my sneaking suspicion is that her collection is going to be hit or miss for every other look. I will probably like one, think it’s cool, but every other look, I am probably going to be like THANK YOU, NEXT. This is pretty much how I have been all season for Hester, and that doesn’t deserve the win in my book!

Garo Sparo

And so with Hester and Sebastian securing their spots in the final 3, it came down to Garo & Bishme. Garo nabbed that 3rd spot, and really, that was the right decision. Bishme was not ready. Garo was far more prepared, already had all of his looks created, and could just focus on editing and fine-tuning. Whereas Bishme was going to be scrambling to still create 3 looks. And so yes, while Garo’s new look wasn’t a success, his other 2 looks were intriguing enough to leave me wondering what else he had. I also saw some snippets of his other looks throughout the episode and I was curious! This first look, with this stunning, shimmery overlay, I am shocked Nina was not a fan. I was in love with this first look. It had such a goddess-like flow, and really cool with the reveal to create such a different vibe with an asymmetrical dress look.

Garo Sparo

This next sparkly number was such a fun dress, and something a little unexpected from Garo. I didn’t like the shaping of the neckline, but the mixed media portion with the leather was cool. So it was surprising to see these 2 amazing looks, ending with a fairly hideous suit. The color choice was so drab. I do think he had the hardest new look to create in such a short amount of time. But regardless of not accomplishing that, he still made some questionable choices in even beginning here, color, fabric, etc. I still think it was the right call for Garo to move forward over Bishme. I feel is collection is going to have more cohesion and was overall just more runway ready.

Garo Sparo

It was also odd seeing Bishme fail so badly in this final challenge. Both he and Garo did pretty well in these more timed challenges throughout the season, but Bishme’s head was out of the game a bit. With his family issues ongoing, I am sure he wasn’t in the best headspace. And so it was bad just seeing this hoodie dress gone so awry. I don’t get why he ended up just tacking on so much fabric here, with the pink and orange. It all felt very sloppy. I also don’t get this as being outerwear. I don’t know why Bishme put himself in this box, in immediately getting stuck in this bomber jacket idea and then scrambling to even put this hoodie dress together.

Bishme Cromartie
Bishme Cromartie

I liked his other 2 looks, but I don’t think he even picked the best of what he created to show. And thinking back to his original vision for this collection, the architecture of Baltimore, I didn’t see that in these looks. I did really love the top he created on the skirt look. And the all black leather look was very cool as well, but I wasn’t left wanting to see more. The only reason I knew there was more was because we saw some other items throughout the episode. Had I not seen those, I would have no idea where this collection could go, so I just wish Bishme had shown stronger pieces.

Bishme Cromartie

I am very ready to see all of the finale pieces! And as an added bonus, the winning designer of the season also gets to create a capsule collection thru Nineteenth Amendment, which will be sold on Bravo. I clearly know who my winner is, but let’s see if the judges agree!

The Final 5 Become the Final 4

The first season of Project Runway, back on it’s original network Bravo, is getting down to the wire. We are very close to the finale! And thus the final 5 become the final 4. I won’t say for sure that all final 4 designers are showing final collections. But these 4 are nonetheless still in the running for the title and all of the prizes! And what better time than right before the finale, for the designers to really let the judges know who they are as designers.

For most of these final few designers, we have a good sense of their designer POVs and aesthetics. But in this final challenge, they were tasked to really go bigger and bolder in that regard. For this challenge, the designers were asked to create any look they wanted, showcasing who they are as designers, but to also design an experimental art installation to create the setting, the environment, for each look. Over 100 industry insiders would be in attendance, as well as the judges. And with a personal invite from mentor Christian Siriano, rapper Cardi B would also be in attendance.

The designers were choosing their own models this week, with Sebastian choosing first since he won last week. He then chose the next designer who would make their selection, and so on and so forth. You really got to see who was “buddy buddy” & Tessa was not on that list! This would be a 2-day challenge, with a $500 Mood budget. So first up would be sketch time & time with each designer’s creative consultant for their art installation room. Each designer, minus Sebastian, really had clear visions of what they wanted. But all in all, Sebastian was feeling as if he was running low on ideas.

It was then time to head off to Mood! Christian reminded the designers to go for a buzzworthy, memorable, look. Hester decided to go back to a picnic-type look, but supposedly much more aggressive. However, she was frustrated over her color choices. Tessa wanted to focus on design aesthetic “wabi sabi”, showing their is beauty in imperfection, very much going back to the ever-discussed unfinished hems of hers. It was then back to the workroom to complete the first day of this challenge. Garo was focused on his corset work. Bishme was having some self doubt since he is the only self-taught designer in this group. But it was Hester who really went nowhere on the first day, barely getting anything accomplished in this first day.

Day 2 began with a field trip as the designers were off to the CFDA offices. While their, the designers met with Steven Kolb, President & CEO of the CFDA. The CFDA is known for working with and boosting the profiles of emerging designers. This could be such a huge resource for the winner of this season! As important as this was, so was making the final 4, so it was back to work the designers went. Siriano sessions were up next. He cautioned Hester to not repeat silhouettes she has already tried. For Tessa, he urged her to have an editing eye, very similar to his chat with Bishme.

Model fittings were up next. This was going well for all, except Hester. Her top/bodice was off and she had no extra fabric to use. Christian was getting super stressed watching Hester cut away and Bishme only trying on part of his look with his model. The designers were then off to check on their art installation rooms with their models. Most were happy sans Bishme and Sebastian. Bishme wanted his room to look less literal, more abstract. And Sebastian was just very unhappy, only seeing yellow, not seeing his palace creation. Cue in MAJOR BREAKDOWN moment for Sebastian as they headed back to the workroom. He was really wanting to just leave, go home. He took a time-out, chilled out a bit, and came back ready to fight! He is really the best of this bunch, so it would have been a shame to not see him in the finale.

As the morning of the runway approached, everyone still had so much to do. Bishme decided to go with a really cool hair look, using strands of his dress in the model’s hair! But also attaching to his model’s hair was the over-exaggerated back piece as a part of his look. It was not standing up properly, so he had to do something! And Christian was again stressing out, this time over Tessa & Garo, really working down to the wire! This week’s guest judge was Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President of the fashion office and the Director of women’s fashion and store presentation. So she knows fashion and what coordinating installations should look like.


I think all in all, with this final 5, it was fairly predictable in a sense who was making the final 4. As much as I think Tessa did deserve the shot, I found it hard to see that happening, even before seeing the final looks. So I feel the only shock in this episode was that Sebastian didn’t win this final challenge! I get that his room was not perfect, and he had a hard time formulating his story, but this look was clearly the best of the bunch. Yes, I do think the rooms should be factored in, but I felt with Garo’s look, there were some negatives, and so yes, his room bolstered his look. Whereas with Sebastian, yes, the room was not the best, but it didn’t take away from how beyond stunning this look was.

Heading to the finale, this was just the best and it’s sad that once again, Sebastian was unfairly not handed the win! I think his room would have been better thinking like a museum, versus a palace concept, and this was a sculpture, his looks are such works of art. Or, if he left the room as is, an if he could have incorporated a little color somehow in this look, would have been better. But again, what a stunning look! And going back and just seeing all his amazing looks in final judgment, that should have somehow factored into the equation here as well! It’s just like Brandon said, he doesn’t need a concept, he would put on his looks and just go out, be ready, and be such a standout!

So clearly I wanted a Sebastian win, and I still feel as if this is his competition to lose. But for this final challenge, Garo was named the winner. I didn’t hate his look, but there were some negatives here. I don’t like the knit he used. This look read upscale and using a knit really downplayed the regal quality it should have been giving off. The corset was gorgeous, but I don’t think Garo should win this competition based off his corsetry skills!

The bodice into the neckline was gorgeous! But the sleeves he added were not elegant, really again, stripped away from how great this look should have been. His major greatness here came from how amazing his room was. And I will give him that, this interactive, robotic dressing room was beyond cool! Elaine really made the case for this win, and I guess she somehow got Karlie on board. He should definitely be in the finale, but still not on board with this final win!

I feel as if I am still on the fence about Bishme. This picture above even has me rethinking it. Something about the fabric up close, doesn’t read as great on TV, but does in this photo. I felt he was going bigger and bolder, but it was still maybe a bit too much. I think he should have either focused solely on a crazy back embellishment, or an exaggerated peplum on the front. This look definitely photographs well, but had some fit issues as you took a closer look. I think this is still Sebastian’s competition to lose, but if Bishme can really fine tune and edit, he does stand a chance.

His room was not my most fave, but it was not too bad. I loved the concept of Baltimore and the roses growing from concrete, but I think he stripped away too much from the literal concept and maybe went too abstract.

And even in predicting it would be Tessa who was out, I also figured the bottom 2 was going to be Hester & Tessa as Hester really has been super inconsistent. This look was just such a hot mess. It is not big or bold, just her same old, same old. And it wasn’t constructed very well. I just kept thinking she spent $500 on this?? This was in no way impressive, especially the top.

Her baroque forest concept was great, but the look wasn’t! Hester was put into the finale to add some color, both literally and figuratively. Yes, her looks are fun, cute, very niche. But lots of people do this and do this better. She is theatrical and very silly with her looks, but when they read costume and are not done well, the luster is lost. She had some super low moments here, whereas with Tessa, she had some highs and then safe moments. And yes, Hester had wins, but I would still adamantly disagree that her wins were deserved, especially the bathing suit and the space looking suit! I don’t know if Tessa could have pulled off a win, but I would be beyond shocked if Hester does. It would take a miracle, so I hope she at least provides some good drama, aka color, in these final episodes!

Tessa I really thought did so much better on this challenge, both the look and the room. This ceramics studio was one of the best, probably 2nd or tied with 2nd to Hester. It was so fitting and still very interactive with the potter’s wheel and the model actually working with clay and allowing that to be on the look. It was just such a super cool concept. There is a lot to be drawn into here with, both with the look and the room.

I love this color palette of her look, so bold and still very Tessa and her minimalist style. And no hem issues here apparently, but to be honest, I never noticed them before. Because other than that, whether it was wabi sabi or not, the rest of the work on her looks always felt impeccable. I thought she really gave this such a great final push here, and far surpassed what Hester created. And one of the judges talked about who is buying this in a store? Do they really think Hester’s looks are going to be sold in this mass market, wide spread appeal? Both women have clear aesthetics, clear designer POVs. But I can see more women wearing Tessa looks than Hester.

But what’s done is done. I am eager to see what these final 4 will do with 5 months to create and a $10k budget! That is a lot of time and a lot of money, so the looks better convey that!