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Project Runway Season 11, Episode 13: “Finale Part 1”

The remaining designers get ready for the next challenge. 

The judges – Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and Heidi Klum – eliminated one more designer from the final four, after all of the designers had worked for months on runway collections.

The remaining designers returned home after the 12th challenge:

Daniel Esquivel returned to Austin, Texas;

Michelle Franklin travelled back to Portland, Oregon;

Stanley Hudson went home to West Hollywood, California;

and Patricia Michaels went home to Taos, New Mexico.

Then Tim Gunn visited them all about four months later.

Tim critiqued each designer’s progress, then everyone assembled back in New York for a final runway critique and elimination.

The mini-collections

Each of the final four designers presented three looks from their Fashion Week fall collections.

Daniel’s capsule collection:

Daniel Esquivel's design.

Daniel Esquivel's design.

Daniel Esquivel's design.

Michelle’s capsule collection:

Michelle Franklin's design.

Michelle Franklin's design.

Michelle Franklin's design.

Stanley Hudson’s collection:

Stanley Hudson's design.

Stanley Hudson's design.

Stanley Hudson's design.

And Patricia Michaels’ designs:

Patricia Michael's design.

Patricia Michael's design.

Patricia Michael's design.

Then there were three

In a surprise upset, Stanley was in the bottom two with Daniel.

Michelle had the most positive critique of the final four. Her works were interesting and well made. She needed better hair and makeup and perhaps less “steampunk” accoutrements. Her coat had two saddle bags and a back cross-body bag, while a leather blouse/bib included a compass.

Patricia, true to form, showed what was either a terrible mess, brilliant design, or both at once. Her standout piece was blue mini dress with hand-made paillettes and bouncy blue horsehair headdress.

Stanley disappointed with a elegant, finely finished, mini collection in beautiful materials… that was a complete dud.  The proportions were unflattering and the colors were unexciting. Well, I take that back. The pant suit and blouse were beautiful.

Finally, Daniel just didn’t come up with anything new. His collection focused on stingray and leather, but Zac Posen said the designs were overly familiar. Not fresh, new, or exciting. Daniel had to go home without being able to show at Fashion Week.

What did you think?

I hope I wasn’t the only person confused about what exactly was going to happen in the Finale Part 1? I don’t think even the designers knew for sure if another competitor was going to be eliminated on this episode or not. Why weren’t they clear about it? If they change the rules – like keeping Michelle – I wish they’d let us know what the new rules are!

Are you still excited about seeing Stanley’s work? I completely agreed with the judges this time, and I was disappointed in what I saw of Stanley’s collection. Impeccable taste, in Stanley’s case, does not equate with any sense of fun.

Speaking of gloom, would it hurt Michelle to use some color?

Patricia’s blue dress and headdress was the one outfit that made me smile and that I can imagine remembering from a runway show or magazine editorial. But her pieces weren’t cohesive at all – aside from the use of horsehair. Do you think maybe Patricia can pull it together and win?


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  1. Cherlyn | | #1

    I don't think anyone really used color with the exception of what little forest green in Michelle's and then the blue dress by Patricia! I guess black is a color but, come on, even the designers were told to think fall! I'm not sure how the bluedress fits for fall, but okay!

    I thought Michelle's was the best looking mini-runway collection. I loved the coat! My fav piece by Patricia was the cape. I am not a horse hair person, but I thought that was different. I loved Stanley's beaded dress so why dd he cover it up with that leather jacket. It did nothing in my opinion.

    Daniel deserved to be eliminiated. At first, I though everyone would go foward too! I was a little confused. Daniel really didn't bring anything ne to the runway.

    I don't think Patricia will win. It's between Stanley and Michelle. And it will be Michelle's if the rest of her collection rocks over Stanley's like the three pieces did! He was not prepared for someone that appears to be so polished. I was surprised when he showed up with items not made yet!

  2. Lise_the_hobbit | | #2

    I think this one is Michelle's to lose. Her stuff is edgier than I personally like or would wear, but it is more interesting to consider than Stanley's. She was quite right that Stanley should have arrived totally prepared.

    I agree that Patricia will not win - there is no way Nina will permit that to happen, no matter how much Heidi likes something Patricia makes. It was exceedingly obvious that Nina isn't interested in something other than New York/European centric chic. That cape with the horsehair is beautiful, but Nina won't admit that horsehair is an acceptable material to work with. Nina also made it very clear during the wearable art challenge that she doesn't like wearable art, and that is what Patricia's strength is.

    The other problem with Patricia's stuff is that, overall, her clothing is not generally form-fitting. This is fine if you have a very straight figure, but if you have any natural curves, just about everything she has designed added weight visually, no matter how interesting it was to look at. (The duct tape dress didn't, but then again, she didn't design the bodice which was form-fitting.)

    I agree that she is an incredible textile designer. All of her fellow competitors agree with that.

  3. User avater
    Soli | | #3

    Daniel - lovely, but as they said, nothing there that was new/different,and I wish he'd chosen his red dress. Seemed interesting on the hanger.

    Michelle - too steampunk, too gimicky. Granted it's all for show, but I know few people who want to bother with that many layers for a basic day outfit. Again, nothing new.

    Patricia - loved the blue dress. Can imagine it at a cocktail party or going out to the theater. The hat was obviously pure runway, but if you ever look at British papers during Ascot week, people wear odder hats to the races. The other dress wasn't bad, just not accessorized properly. I could imagine the cape at Coachella worn by one of the Olson twins or Sienna Miller or one of those Boho bright young things. Not a bad look. I don't think she'll win, but at least her stuff is interesting.

    Stanley - disappointing. His fabrics and trims seemed like something from the early 60s, and his silhouettes were more 80s, except for the capri trouser. I think there is definitely a need for designers who cater to those of us who are over 40, but these were on the wrong track. Seems like the younger designers who have taken over at Givenchy, Valentino, and Saint Laurent have forgotten their audience, and Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta won't be around much longer. Would be nice to see someone come up with something fresh and chic for ladies who lunch, because lord knows we wouldn't be caught dead in anything Michelle makes.

  4. Ikebana152 | | #4

    Do all the black clothes mean that the designers are in mourning for the death of fashion?

    One bright, blue, spangled frock, 3 mud green/brown outfits and a whole lot of black..Yawn!

    Sorry to see Daniel, the nice gentleman that he is go, but it was the right decision.

    I agree that Stanley's clothes needed a kick BUT - yes I am on a soapbox - why is it that anything that might look good on a mature body OR on a younger woman who does not want the world to see her underwear as she ascends the stairs not fashionable?

    I agree with Lise, Nina's point of view is so "New York narrow" (and I live in Manhattan) that anything really innovative will be rejected. Just make it short, tight and leather.

    Patricia is a textile goddess and a so so designer. I loved the horsehair cape. I liked the blue headpiece for a bit of runway drama - imagine a row of 12 women coming down the runway like British stallions in a royal celebration.

    I think Michelle will win. The clothes are not my taste, hated the ruffle on the neoprene, but her looks are complete, cohesive, and have the edge that PR seems to want.

    Even if Stanley doesn't win, he will probably make a ton of money, making good clothes for the 98% of us who are under 5'9" and weigh a bit more than 110lbs.

    Didn't love this season...

  5. miranda10 | | #5

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  6. miranda10 | | #6

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