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Project Runway Season 12: Episode 13, “Finale: Part 1”

Alexandria von Bromssen's design.

In last week’s episode, Tim Gunn made his traditional home visits to the five remaining Project Runway finalists:

Dom Streater, Bradon McDonald, Justin LeBlanc, Alexandria von Bromssen, and Helen Castillo.

Tim’s visits came after the designers had had a few weeks to prepare collections for New York Fashion Week. The sad aspect was that out of the five finalists, only four would actually show their collections. There was one final runway show and elimination left in the Project Runway studio.

Dom and Bradon had guaranteed runway shows. There were two slots still available, for Alexandria, Justin, and Helen to compete for. Each of the competing designers chose three looks to represent his or her collection. The looks were assessed by the judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and special guest judge actress Emmy Rossum.

The big question: Who was going home?!

Alexandria’s designs

Alexandria was inspired to create a Neo Nomadic Punk collection. She used white, taupe and black. 

Alexandria von Bromssen's design 

Alexandria's design

Alexandria von Bromssen's design

Helen’s designs

Helen was inspired by “clairvoyance.” I didn’t really get it, and I don’t think the judges did either. The print (see the third design) was derived from a giant photograph of her boyfriend’s eye.

 Helen Castillo's design

Helen Castillo's design

Helen Castillo's design

Justin’s designs

Justin’s theme was the most interesting. His clothing, he said, tracked his journey from complete deafness into hearing with a cochlear implant. The first look mimics the peace without sound. The second look represents the chaos he heard at first. The third look, his unconventional materials look, is covered with small plastic test tubes. It represents his developing relationship with and understanding of sound. It will never be as pristine and peaceful as the first look, but its complexity is beautiful.

Justin LeBlanc's design

Justin LeBlanc's design

Justin LeBlanc's design

The loser was… 

Helen went home with a few tears, but overall a great attitude. She won quite a few challenges this season, and the judges’ consensus seemed to be that she just lacked experience and the confidence and vision that comes with more of it. Best of luck to Helen – and to the four designers still in the competition!

What did you think?

Care to make any guesses as to the outcome of the Finale: Part 2?

The guest judge will be actress Kerry Washington, star of Scandal on ABC.

I wish I could have seen more of Dom’s and Bradon’s collections, but since they had guaranteed runway shows, I know this episode had to focus on the still-competing designers. 

And… I know we haven’t quite finished this season of Project Runway, but are you excited about Project Runway All Stars Season 3? It begins October 24 on Lifetime!


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  1. User avater
    Soli | | #1

    I think the judges made the right choice. Helen does some interesting work, but she always needed input from the other designers to refine her ideas and bring her own best out. Clairvoyance implies clear seeing and there was a clear disjoint between her concept and the finished garments.

    Alexandria's work was interesting, even if her palette was neutral. Loved the home visit including the sewing camp visit from Tim. That must have been so exciting for those kids. I like her pieces; I think they work for someone who doesn't want to look like every other woman walking down the street.

    I was really impressed with what Justin did. The accessories made with the 3-D printers were unique. I especially liked the first and third looks. The rattle of the plastic test tubes gave a whole different dimension to the kinetic quality we generally see in clothing. I am curious to see how the ensembles look when he restyles them.

    It's kind of hard to say who the top two will be. I had been expecting Helen to be in the top three, but seeing the issues she had with self editing and execution, it's not surprising she's not there. Bradon and Dom have both made some beautiful pieces for the competition. I'm kind of curious to see the full catwalk show, but I don't really have anyone in the competition that I'm personally invested in seeing win.

  2. sews4fun | | #2

    I too was surprised to see Helen go home but agreed with the judges. I personally would like to see Justin win. Braden has had some nice things but from what I did see of his collection, it had some really matronly overtones.
    Dom has cute things but I see similar items in stores like Target and Walmart, I am not a big fan of prints, in fact, I don't own a single print in my wardrobe. They are okay, but they can add pounds and years if not done perfectly.
    I think Justin has some good ideas, he's not a vetern in the fashion industry but then again, neither was Anja and look how far she went.
    Alexandria did have an interesting collection even if the colors were drab. I am not a huge fan of the whole gender neutral sensibility she has but I did like that leather top. I think it's pretty clear she is also Heidi Klums favorite and that will put her at least in second place if she doesn't win.
    Anyway, I hope Justin wins, Alexandria will be second simply because she has Heidi in her corner, Dom third and Braden fourth. But, my predictions have been way off before so, I guess I'll find out Thursday.

  3. Ikebana152 | | #3

    Helen's work was poorly executed, a problem she has had before. The eye print fabric was muddy and out of sync with a very defined, almost classic Balenciaga silhouette. More important, Helen is not ready for the pressure of the high fashion runway world.

    I liked the execution of Alexandria's work; her passion finally, really evident with the children. But , it's been done and done, Leather, cool, funky, clothes that will sell well in a high end boutique. But Heidi is in her corner.

    Justin's gown was stiking, but a sort of knock off of the Alexander McQueen gown made of laboratory slides. The 3d printed pieces were interesting , but over used. He has execution issues. I am not a fan of the " save" and don't think he should have made it this far.

    Dom and Braden have been pretty comsistent, Her avante garde look spectacular, his skill and ability to deliver for the task at hand remarkable. Braden , i think is most ready in terms of an overall package for the "real world"

    but PR is not about that, which is why so few of the past winners have not really made a bigger name for themselves.

    So it's a toss up.

  4. User avater
    Soli | | #4

    Sarral, I'm not a fan of McQueen, so I don't pay much attention to the collections from that house, but interesting you mention a dress made of slides. When I was a university student, one of my classmates made a corset-like bodice out of her diabetes test strips. She drilled holes on two ends, then connected everything with jump rings. It was a project that took months, but before it was completed, she got an offer from the pharmaceutical company to buy it from her as an art piece, and I've heard it's now on display at their headquarters. Guess you never know where inspiration will strike or what materials can be considered art.

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