Even after Corey's controversial elimination in the last episode of Project Runway
, the final four is just what makes sense. Erin, Laurence, Rik and Roberi will all create a line for Fashion Week to determine who will emerge as the winner. Let's take a look at the beginning of their process in this episode, "Finale Part 1."
Heidi meets the final four on the runway one last time. She tells them they have six weeks and $9,000 to make a 10-look collection. She tells them they're all talented designers -- that's how they got this far -- but it's time to step up their game even more.
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Uncle Tim's Coming to Town
Tim heads to LA first, where he visits Laurence in her fabulous loft. Laurence tells Tim that the story of her collection is basically her life story. When Tim asks her to elaborate, Laurence gets emotional talking about the estrangement from her father when she got pregnant at 16. Laurence is overcome with feelings, but she manages to express that her collection will go from dark to light because there's always that metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.
A big surprise, though, is that Laurence isn't using any black! She's got plenty of her signature shoulders in her pieces, but she's working with neutrals and greens. Tim is quite impressed with what he sees. And when he talks to Laurence's daughter, Victoria, she says she has all the confidence in the world that her mom is going to win this thing.
Rik also lives in LA, so Tim goes to visit him next -- at a bowling alley! Tim claims to not even know how to pick up a bowling ball, but then he throws two strikes. I smell a hustle.
When Rik shows him his clothes for the collection inspired by Sgt. Pepper and optical illusions, Tim has trouble seeing how the looks correspond to one another. He urges Rik to find a common thread to pull everything together. One thing he's impressed with, though, is Rik's use of embroidery. And his aunts helped him embroider it, so it's a lovely family affair.
To the East Coast
Tim heads back east to see Erin in Boston. She just graduated from Mass Art in Boston, and they're letting her use a space to create her collection. The only problem is that she doesn't even have a single garment finished to show Tim. It's a bunch of crazy textiles and art projects splayed all over the place but nothing sewn together.
At first, Tim is quite overwhelmed. But then he says that he trusts in Erin's creativity and he believes that she knows what she needs to do to make it work. His words of encouragement mean a lot to Erin, especially because he didn't always see where she was coming from when she explained her concepts in the work room.
Finally, Tim meets Roberi in New York. He talks a little more about his journey from Caracas. He was a business owner there before he was robbed so many times that he was forced to shut down. Then he sold everything he had to pay for a work visa to New York.
It's an inspiring story, but Tim doesn't find Roberi's collection very inspiring. Besides the fact that it lacks cohesion, Tim thinks the silhouettes are just too basic and there's nothing innovative about it. Ouch. When Roberi insists he's doing "classic with a twist," Tim says that doesn't seem to be the case, that he's more a dress maker in this moment than a fashion designer. Double ouch.
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Back to New York
Everyone's happy to be back in New York and see their fellow designers. Erin says it's hard for her family and friends back home to understand what she's been through, but these people here know exactly what she's going through.
The designers eye each other's collections, and Roberi and Erin are surprised to see how light Laurence's collection is. They think it's brilliant and unexpected. Laurence looks up to Roberi's craftsmanship and no one can believe how much work Erin has left to do.
Tim tells them that they each have to get three looks ready to show the judges. In addition to that, they have to create their own logo to represent themselves and sell their fashion as a brand.
Tim goes over Roberi's looks with him, and he's still concerned because Roberi completely ignored his advice. Roberi thinks his colors and textiles pull the collection together, but Tim assures him that's not the case. But Roberi wants to stick to his idea because it makes him feel good. Good luck with that, Roberi.
Rik shows Tim a lot of the pieces with the embroidery. Laurence thinks that Rik's pieces are well-made, but they seem too busy to her.
When Erin talks to Tim, he's excited to actually see clothes. She wants to show the judges a wide array of her techniques while still being cohesive. Tim says that her clothes always make him smile and he's looking forward to seeing her looks on the runway.
A Peek at the Collections
Heidi isn't there to join them in person, but she's there in spirit as well as on a videocast. Obnoxiously enough. Joining the usuals of Nina Garcia and Zac Posen is former Project Runway
judge and fashion designer Michael Kors. Here's what the judges had to say about each of these mini sample collections.
Zac thinks there are fun pieces he's shown, but he needs to raise the octave. He also needs to make it sexier. Heidi doesn't see the cohesion between the three pieces. She's scared that everyone is going to look different. Michael appreciates his hand with leather and he thinks the glasses are freaky but great. Nina says less is more; the simplest leather dress is his biggest success. She also warns him about the gimmicks looking too childish.
Michael says he likes the attitude of her girl. Nina thinks the flowy dress is the odd man out in the collection because it's way more basic than the other pieces. Zac doesn't like the woven sleeve top, and Heidi doesn't like the length of one of her skirts. Zac says Erin needs to have some twinkle in every look, and Nina says to continue to play to her strengths.
Heidi says this is another problem of cohesion. Michael agrees, saying that it's schizophrenic. They like the two lighter pieces that look like they go together, but the green overall romper doesn't fit with the rest. Nina warns her about the fit of her pants, but she likes how effortlessly cool all of her looks are. Heidi and Zac disagree with Michael; they think the green romper is refreshing and light compared to the severe tailoring of the other two pieces.
Zac likes the interesting balance he has with the earthy fabrics in contrast with the lighter pink fabric. Heidi doesn't think there's any excitement in the collection and it needs to be sexier. Nina says he has the ability to harness some beautiful and unusual dresses so it doesn't need sexing up, but it does need to look lush and beautiful. Nina advises against the casual styling and to make it look expensive.
Heidi sends them on their way to make the changes on their collections. She stresses the important of cohesion and staying true to themselves. Michael says it's not a lot of time, not a lot of pieces, to get your point of view across. So they have a lot of work to do and they have to focus.
The designers are daunted by the amount of work they have to do when they only have a day and a half to make all of these changes. It looks like they'll have to make it work!
What do you think? Who do you think has the best collection so far? Whose collection are you the most excited to see? And who will come out on top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.