Lifetime

Go Big And/Or Go Home

Project Runway's bloated finale finally crowns a winner.

I wouldn't have picked that winner for Project Runway Season 14 -- but I don't hate it. It's pretty close, for me, and while I suspect the production may have felt obligated to give the win to the plus-size designer if they possibly could, this felt earned. I just liked Kelly's better. She needs to open an online store like yesterday so I can buy that top.

Ashley is finally allowed to cry while celebrating her win, but what looks made me cry? Not Zac Posen's! Hee. The finale from best to worst:

Kelly

There's still an issue here with the cheap look of the fabric, but that's easily fixed -- if she wants to fix it.

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In a way, it goes into that whole club-trash look that's part of her design vibe. Her collection has an energy and confidence the others don't; I adore the glittery headphones and still want to own that green sequin-fronted top; the flyaway-leg jumpsuit is really fun and looks expensive.

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I get the reluctance to give a fashion-design win to sportswear/separates, I guess, but the argument against that (to wit: Versace) is fairly compelling as well.

Posen faces

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Talking-heads style

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Ashley

I wonder how the color story reads in person, because I have a really difficult time getting past the unflattering Necco combos she's rolling out here.

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And that this shmatte got praised is baffling to me.

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Everything else is pretty great. I dig the idea, I dig the pricey-looking lace, I dig the shapes -- and how much range there is to them. She didn't feel constrained to make the models look "smaller"; she just made chic stuff, and it tells a story, and Zac's particular mention of her palette leads me to believe it looked way different on the runway.

Good for her; good for the industry; good for me personally (a couple of those models had my exact body, which...is a size 10 and not technically "plus," but at least I know EXACTLY how those pieces would look on me).

Tim Gunn

Acted like an engaged mentor for the first time in a while, telling Candice the thing she loves most will hold her back and suggesting Kelly mix up her separates and rethink them that way.

The judging

Did right by the designers, more or less. Carrie Underwood made a good point about having stood in the designers' shoes, to an extent, as an American Idol winner, but beyond that, she didn't contribute a ton. She really is starting to look like Reese Witherspoon, though.

Season-long hat tip to Nina, who dialed the try-hard phrasings and nastiness WAY down in S14 and made much better points too.

Edmond

I can't stand this blob.

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The satin looks flimsy and floppy and the tiers hit in the wrong place. The rest of the collection is fine, but lands basic -- not in that bitchy way, just in a kind of Zara/Express way. I love black-and-white stuff a lot, but it's getting sort of tired (the first thing is...how you know the second thing, heh), and the high-low white gown with the figured belt almost works...

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...but the ermine-tails effect is odd.

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I like Edmond personally; he can cut clothes well; I haven't seen a point of view, really.

Candice

I really felt for her; she can only be who she is, after all. Unfortunately, Nina's sighed "derivative" is what Candice is; the new dress is sweet, but the silhouette is expected, and the leather/red-and-black combination felt '99 dominatrix to me. She should have played up the twisted-Victorian looks more

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instead of the leather looks whose fit struck me as uncommitted and hesitant.

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The styling doesn't work for me either; leaving their hair down feels like an attempt to provide contrast with the drama of the clothes, but it's a failure.

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The judges really got in her head, I think; she should have stuck with the wood and just done what she wanted, since they'd basically told her she wouldn't win -- just go nuts, fuck it. But she doubted herself. Her stuff isn't my thing but I respected her ability to conjure up a world, even if I don't want to visit it.

The filler

Look, we all know Runway isn't the competitive-reality titan of old, but the Lexus ad in the workroom foolishness is pathetic even for the Lifetime iteration. Two HOURS this shit dragged on. Find sponsors that don't demand to intrude into the episodes themselves, because it makes the brand less valuable.

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