Looks like we should’ve busted open our piggy banks and taken them to Vegas: Anya Ayoung-Chee, as we’d predicted, did indeed win this season of Project Runway — and while she might not be the most original designer in the world (or even of this bunch), neither did she send anything down the runway that made us cringe at the prospect of her victory. We freely admit, that's a pretty low bar to set for a successful finale, so please join us as we hash out this season’s capper and look ahead to what we hope is salvation in the form of the all-star season. Our Team Mondo shirts are all pressed and ready to go.
Jessica: I can't believe we called it, and I can't believe Joshua was runner-up.
Heather: The whole time I was like, “Wait, if he wins, we don’t have to eat anything other than our words, right? Because I can’t eat my hat. It’s been on the floor of my car.” Honestly, for me, this episode was less about the winner and more about whether I am hallucinating, or the judges are hallucinating. Because the constant Joshua fluffing was surprising to me.
Jessica: I kept thinking, "Maybe his line is better in person," and then I remembered that I saw it in person, and I didn't like it then, either. In September, I believe I said that I didn't even think he was a finalist. I just don't know what the judges are seeing there. Yes, his construction seems good — and God knows, he certainly thinks so — but it's not better than Viktor's, and, also, this isn't Project Sew This Hem In a Timely Fashion.
Heather: For me his collection was less all over the place than Viktor's, but I thought the idea of him being runner-up after sending those crack-sucking bike shorts down the runway was insane. They were like Activewear by Gaga.
Jessica: Yeah, those shorts were horrible. HORRIBLE.
Heather: I do give him credit for going out on a limb with the bright colors and patterns — it was a bold choice — and for knowing when to turn it down, but I don't think any of that adds up to "well-designed" or "attractive."
Jessica: It was bold, and I mean "bold" as a euphemism for "ugly." Sorry, Joshua — feel free to throw a drink in my face should we ever encounter one another at a cocktail party, but I just couldn't get behind it. Speaking of poor Viktor, though, I agree that his line didn't feel particularly cohesive, and Joshua's, at least, was. I did appreciate that Michael Kors called Viktor out on how random his sheer numbers were.
Heather: It felt very much to me like Viktor was making his version of stuff that's out now, and not expressing a vision of what's to come and where he'd like to take things.
Jessica: It says a lot that my notes on Viktor read, "Viktor is competent/good at time management." I've felt all season that he is not very good at coming up with something that feels very new. Which I think is what eventually bit him in the ass. Although I think fans of Uli might argue that Anya is not that original either.
Heather: Neither might fans of Chico's, about either of them. I agree Anya didn't revolutionize the flowy dress. I think the kicker was Kors's point about how she's more of a whole brand — jewelry plus shoes plus sundries, as well as clothes. As if perhaps that kind of reach is more important now.
Jessica: Well, it certainly is for HIM. I do think that you can argue that, of all of them, her vision at least felt the most fully formed. You should see the lifestyle of the person who would wear her clothes. And poor Kimberly, we haven't even mentioned her. She kind of just disintegrated creatively at the end.
Heather: She did. This season feels a bit like we've all been waiting for it to limp to an end, to see whose stuff was least bad. It’s like eating the least stale thing in your fridge.
Jessica: Frankly, speaking of waiting, I couldn't believe how many of them were still complaining about running out of time. “We're running out of TIME” is the only thing that passes for actual story on this show anymore.
Heather: I would agree with that — I suspect it's filler because there was no drama at all. These contestants all actually seemed to listen to each other. It violated the reality show covenant of Thou Shalt Be a Douche to Each Other at Least Once.
Jessica: I don't think they ought to be casting for drama, but it's also a shame when the talent feels lackluster and there are no catfights.
Heather: Right? Either design a kick-ass dress or break some glass. I wonder if part of the issue with some of the collections is the nature of the show means they pay so much attention to individual challenges that they're never actually properly mentored on how to develop their design aesthetic outside those very specific parameters, in a way that pertains to a clothing line, or a thriving business.
Jessica: It's very possible. But I think you could also argue that someone who is good enough to get to the end of this show should have that skill set in his or her back pocket already, at least partially.
Heather: Also, Project Let’s Get Practical Here wouldn’t be a very good show.
Jessica: Speaking of mentors, I can't believe Tim Gunn isn't OVER THIS already. He still seems so invested.
Heather: When he was clutching at Joshua and telling him how beyond beautiful his line was, I was thinking, "Tim is either the biggest-hearted person in the world, or on a lot of Valium right now." I think he just cares about them all too much not to see beauty in what they do. Within reason, obviously. Note he did not say any of that when the Bike Shorts of the Apocalypse were coming down the runway.
Jessica: I’m kind of glad this season is over, as sad as it is to say. The Project Runway brand really needs the all-star season to prop it up a bit, because another cycle like this....
Heather: At least it should settle the debate about whether the talent level was better before. Every season it feels like we're all, "Oh, they're not as good as last season," and I can't tell if that's just us glorifying the olden days or if it's also true.
Jessica: Bring on Mondo and Austin Scarlett, I say.
Heather: I’ve decided the entire all-star thing was engineered to undo the wrong that was done to Mondo. We’ll soon see. After all, even after an exhaustingly inconsistent season, I am looking forward to it. Project Runway, I can’t quit you.
Jessica: We're like fashion crackheads, always going back for one last fix.
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