It’s been a great season! But sadly, we are coming to a close on this standout season. We have our final 3, and as we learned at the end of the previous episode, the final 3 designers now had to create a 7-piece collection, again, making their mark in fashion history.
We started off with Day 3 of the 5-day challenge. The designers were excited to have some helpers over the next few final days. Helen was back to help Fabio, Candice for Anthony, and Amanda for Stanley. Plans were immediately made, figuring out what needed to be done and who was doing what. And of course, planning for the newly needed 7th look.
As the episode progressed, we got to see flashbacks and the journeys of the final 3. Stanley came in 3rd during his season. But with the not freshest ideas, he was not the winner. He has done far better on this season. Anthony didn’t make it far on either of his previous seasons and was left wondering had he learned enough for “third times a charm.” But he clearly has surpassed expectations. And finally with Fabio, he was recalling being cut right before the finale in his all-stars season. But again, such a different story with him on this go round.
Getting back to Day 3 of the work, Anne was also there for a visit. For Fabio, she focused on his color story, stating the need to infuse color. With Stanley, she questioned where was the standout piece(s), the drama. The colors were all so muted. And finally, with Anthony, she started off fully impressed. But as Anthony talked about painting, prints, ostrich feathers, etc., she worried about edits. All in all, she told 2 designers they need to amp up and one to reign it in some.
By the end of Day 3, Fabio and Stanley were looking good on time, lots completed. Day 4 started off with the additional trip to Mood. Each designer was allocated an additional $250 for their budget. Model fittings had to be done. And we also saw Anthony scrapping lots of completed work. While he was tossing, the other 2 were making lists on final details. Anthony was clearly having time management issues, but Fabio and Stanley were able to take some time to themselves, have a nice quick dinner!
(Stanley — Shoutout for Umberto BH on the gorgeous ponytail here!)
It was soon enough the final day. Stanley had 1 look to do and some final finishings, hems, zippers, etc. Anthony was finally beginning his painting work, very Pollock-esque. Glad he scrapped the feathers too! The helpers left with 1 hour to complete the day. But luckily for them, as time wound down, they were able to enjoy a celebration with cake and champagne!
(Anthony — Love the Intermix heels here!)
The guest judges for the final runway were actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and designer Zac Posen. And with so much to see and discuss, the final critiques were done individually.
I could not have been more pleased with Anthony being named as this season’s winner. I usually critique/recap winners first, but I will start with my least fave first, Fabio.
Fabio focused on the concept of time, merging the past, present and future. I loved his music — accordions! I still missed the bird top with his signature look, but I thought the yellow mixed in nicely with the creme and navy blue color palette. But with lots of oversized bottoms and long short looks, Fabio lost me. The judges raved over the jumpsuit, but I didn’t care for it. This was very RTW, but the drama was missing for a final runway. I also didn’t like the oversized sleeves. Too much repetition of silhouettes in that regard. The weaving on the white skirt was a pretty cool part of this collection. And the final printed look was a great ending, but more amp was needed throughout. I felt underwhelmed. I love that Fabio has a clear vision for his girl, but if you don’t fit that mold/aesthetic, this work is a hard sell.
Moving onto Stanley, a valiant effort, but I was not a fan from start to finish. His take was on a bold, modern, yet classic American woman. His vision read thru, but his collection read very heavy for me. On top of heavy fabrics, he made use of hard embellishments. I loved the embellishments, but not the fabric choices. The button look, the 1st look, I mean that was sublime. But starting off so strong, I never got back to that climactic point. The 2nd look, the mod mini-dress, it was super cute, but I agreed with the judges that it didn’t fit the best with the rest. The red look the judges loved, but I was not a huge fan. The nude/tan look would have been great if not in a suede fabric. And back to his final black and white look, still not my fave. I didn’t think his collection was super cohesive either. There were some great details, but I didn’t see everything come together. Zac was right in noting a regal quality to his work, very sharp. Stanley probably made the best overall quality of work, but even the judges seemed focus on only a few pieces.
But congrats again to the winner, Anthony, very well-deserved. I think he had the clearest vision, able to articulate well each time, if Audrey Hepburn had lived long enough to become Rihanna. I didn’t love the bodice on the 1st look, but loved the paint work. The polka dots on the 2nd look were super cute and chic. The 2-piece pants look was utterly amazing. The overlay piece, it was okay, very reminiscent of Kentaro. Probably a tie on my 2 least faves with that look and the next one in the black dress. I mean it was a great black dress, but I am thinking he knocked out something like this for the sake of time. The judges loved it. I thought the jumpsuit was a great way to use the print he chose more than once. And obviously seeing it in the final gown, that was just the best way to end his standout collection.
Anthony’s collection was maybe the least cohesive in some ways, I didn’t get the jump from the black/white pieces to that of the print. But I actually didn’t care. He showcased some amazing work here and I think he created the most pieces that the most women would want to wear. Fabio to the most extent, but even Stanley somewhat too, they have more limited client bases. Anthony designs for all! I get where the judges came from in questioning some of his fabric choices. And this print was definitely a hit or miss. Luckily most of the judges fount it to be a hit. But with his collection, there was just so much to discuss, so much to rave about. The eye could gravitate all over the place.
The judges had a hard time in deliberations. But the right decision was made. I felt like Isaac was saying if you want to show nod to the past, you would go with Stanley, for the future, it’s Fabio, but for the now it’s Anthony. In fashion, no one is looking backwards. And really, Fabio’s work is not that futuristic. I see work like his style all the time. HAPPY FOR THE WIN FOR ANTHONY!