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The End

The End


Dresses with lots of crazy zippers on them keep Nina interested. That's the moral of this season's Project Runway finale

I had the chance to go to a big homo gathering to watch the finale, but I opted for pajamas and the company of my friend Aaron, whose Assume Vivid Astro Focus wallet was the subject of so much acclaim in the early recaps of this season's episodes. His boyfriend, Gary, came over too. They have opinions about tonight's final four designers.

Aaron: "I want Jeffrey to lose and start using drugs again."

Gary: "I hope Laura's water breaks on him."

And by opinions about tonight's designers, I mean that they have opinions about Jeffrey. I, however, am not so unkind to my pal Jeffrey Christ, a man I've never met. I don't hate him, I don't believe he's guilty of any wrongdoing, and I think his clothes are consistently the most interesting of the bunch. Michael's nice, but nice isn't entertaining. Uli would make a good drinking buddy, but if she ever designed for me, I fear she'd make caftans. Flowy, Uli caftans. Laura's beading would scratch my delicate skin.

Speaking of Uli, you can tell she feels bad that there's conflict over Jeffrey's suspiciously finished collection. Like Michael, Uli is nice and simply vants to make clothes. Laura, however, is convinced that he's "the athlete on steroids" and something tells me that even if no cheating is uncovered, she'll still smell a rat. Or turtle poop. Something.

Jeffrey says that he's upset that Laura questioned his integrity. She claims that she has done nothing of the sort and that Jeffrey is putting words in her mouth. Maybe pregnancy messes with your brain or something (she's accusing for two, after all) but if you say, "Hey, I think that guy over there with the neck tattoo is cheating," then you have, in fact, questioned that guy with the neck tattoo's integrity, whether you used those exact words or not.

Tim Gunn calls to tell Jeffrey that he's missing some receipts from the pleating business he used to work on the shorts we saw last week--this is all within the rules, by the way--and that Jeffrey needs to get them. Upon taking the call, Jeffrey lights up one of those wacky brown Mores, the preferred cigarette of female DMV employees with three-inch sculptured nails. Jeffrey worries that the lack of one receipt will be his ruin. Laura is shown in the foreground humming away happily.

One day before the show, and Jeffrey starts working on a replacement skirt in case the receipt for the shorts doesn't arrive. Tim Gunn arrives in the work room and asks the designers to "gather round, please." Cut to Jeffrey in bent over-braced leg vomit position.

OK, so here's the part of the show they teased you with last week on the "coming up" commercial. And if you remember that far back, you'll see how skillfully they edited it and recontextualized dialogue to make it seem like something awful happened. In that preview clip, Tim Gunn's words are, "after a very thorough investigation, blah blah," and then a very clipped "unfortunately."

Well that "unfortunately" was taken from a different sentence and dropped in to throw you off, because Tim Gunn doesn't use that word here. Jeffrey is, in fact, off the hook. No wrongdoing could be found. This is when Jeffrey begins crying. Uli hugs him, and that meddling Laura can go back to minding her own beeswax. But the crying was dropped in after the "unfortunately" in the preview clip, making it look like Jeffrey was going the way of Keith Michael. It's all very sneaky, this editing. You can never trust it. But whatever. Hey Laura: ha-ha!

Then Tim Gunn explains that the pleating receipt didn't show up, so he has to lose them. Good thing he started on that skirt. Oh, and another thing, Jeffrey, you're over budget by $227.95. Here, have a beer. Maybe a little heroin? Would that steady your nerves? Tim Gunn actually has to stifle the urge to burst into tears here. That's weird. Anyway, Jeffrey has to lose the skirt and something else worth $227.95. Those weird blond identical wigs are out the door.

On the balcony with Jeffrey, Uli is hanging out, being nurturing. Sort of. Laura sticks her head out the window and Uli cheerfully announces to her, "You von; you made him cry." This is why Uli has adapted so well to the dog-eat-dog competitive nature of the United States. She knows from her East German upbringing that it's not enough to win, you must also bring your vanquished opponent to tears or worse.

Tim Gunn comes back in at the last minute to congratulate them all on going to Bryant Park. And he starts almost crying again. Dude, there's no crying in--oh, wait, strike that, there's lots of crying in fashion. Then they all share a stiff, uncomfortable group hug at Tim Gunn's request. Group hugs are the best. They're the stupidest invention of the late 20th century and a good litmus test for friendship with a person. If they enjoy them in a nonsexual context, then it's absolutely a red flag to look out for.

It's the next day, and the four designers are walking to Bryant Park. They enter the Project Runway tent, and every chair has a gift bag on it. My good friend Dennis Hensley was there, and he said the gift bags were lame. "As I recall," he wrote in an e-mail, "it was a copy of Elle, some L'Oreal cosmetics, a T-shirt, and some weird PR mirror you're supposed to affix to your cell phone." He gives his version of that day on his own blog at, so go check him out because he's rad.

Commercial break. Who is your favorite designer? That's the text-vote question of the week. Of course, Michael is going to win that one. And here comes a Heidi it is...ha-ha!... and there it goes. They're coming to an end, these Heidi laughs, so I'm very glad to have an MP3 of it in my iTunes now. It's number 1 on my "most played" list because now, if I'm at my laptop and someone in the house says something stupid or evil, I just click on it for Heidi commentary.

We're back. Models are being L'Orealed and TRESemmed. PR discards are filing in for the show. There's Alison. There's Malan. There's that chick who designed hoodies for everyone. There are some feathers; they must be Laura's. There's Angela. There's Jeffrey doing a kind of gay little dance in slow motion, making pouty lips and shimmying shoulders. And finally there's Heidi, Kors, Nina, and Laura's husband, Albert Einstein. Chloe, Season 2 winner, is sitting next to Nina. There's the guest judge, Fern Somebody, creator of Olympus Fashion Week. I like that name, Fern. And holy crap, there's Daniel V sitting next to that gross Elizabeth Hasslebeck from The View. Glad they're such good buddies. Hey, Daniel, ask Bethy if she thinks you're going to hell when you die. I bet her answer really cracks you up. There's Robert Gay Arms.

And here come clothes clothes clothes. I could spend the next three hours trying to describe every outfit from every collection that comes down the runway, but fuck it. That shit's online and you can just go look at it. Oh, shit, there's Vincent. And Harvey Weinstein about to crush poor Michael Kors' mother, Karl Lagerfeld. He's seriously spilling over into her chair. I like Jeffrey's collection a lot. Except for one Uli-powered dress, it's really inventive.

Uli's collection is pattern-y, flowy, and Uli-ish. With some bone belt buckles; those are nice. There's Kayne and I assume Kayne's boyfriend. There's Brandy, the biggest celebrity they could get to be on camera. Here comes Nazri in the best dress, of course, because she's the best model.

Laura's collection is Laura-ish in the way that Uli's was Uli-ish; sophisticated cocktail dresses. It's pretty pretty pretty. If I saw a woman wearing anything from this collection, I'd think she was rich and on her way to a gala fund-raising event with the Basses. But whatever. One of the long black gowns has feathers on the shoulders, like something Brigitte Neilsen would have worn in Rocky 4.

And here comes Michael's chance to drop the ball. And he does. It's the Pootie Tang collection. Wanda Sykes could put on a blue wig and stand on the street corner, dancing, wearing any of these outfits. Tiger stripes and shiny gold bikinis and hot pink and orange short shorts. The shit is insane. Put 'em on the glass.

Show over. Judges chat and bring out the designers for the final cut.

They slam Laura for not surprising them.

They slam Michael for making everything look like it should be on sale at the same store where you get those XXXL bedazzled Tupac T-shirts. My words, not theirs.

They ask Jeffrey about his story. He starts talking about his Japanese ghost-story thing, which no one gets. He does, though, and kind of sells it. They slam him for not staying in budget and for the two blue dresses that didn't connect with the rest of the ghost story.

They slam Uli for being disjointed, hating that she only does resort wear, and also praising her for it. It's like when you punch someone in the face and say, "But I love you, you know that, right?"

More judges chat. Who to choose? Who? Who? Well, before we get to Jeffrey's win, we have to cut the others. Michael goes first. ("We believe in your future as a designer, but you need time to mature.") Then Laura. ("You created and exquisitely crafted collection, but it was too limited for us.")

Down to Uli and Jeffrey. Uli hugs Jeffrey. They tell him that his "collection was innovative, cohesive, and it really showed your range." They tell Uli that she "pushed herself. You made a beautiful collection that every woman would want to wear."

"Congratulatons, Jeffrey," says Heidi, "You are the winner of Project Runway." The soundtrack strums a happy little acoustic guitar. And that's it. I have to say that I wish this announcement came with more fanfare. On American Idol there are thousands of screaming people, gospel choirs, people on stilts being shot out cannons fired by monkeys. They know how to put on show at Fox. Cheap-ass Bravo.

I pause the TiVo to call my husband, who's out of town. I need his reaction because he's a Jeffrey hater. "He's a former junkie," says my man. "He had the best story. And a baby. If Uli hadn't waited until the Berlin wall came down to escape to Miami, like if her family had hot-air-ballooned themselves out of Germany, she'd have had a better shot."

When Uli goes backstage to tell everyone that she came in second, she says something that sounds like "Get the kitten ready." Is she going to eat it? Is that a German thing? Meanwhile Jeffrey hugs his family, his son, Tim Gunn, the new Saturn, and that $100,000 check to help start his own...oh, he already has his own line? And a big workspace with employees and everything? And Cher owns one of his pieces that she just put up on Ebay for who knows what reason? Well, good, now he can use that money to upgrade his company's dental plan. Or maybe just have his toddler inked before the kid starts pre-school. Baby's first tattoo.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Dave White