And then, there were three. Thursday’s penultimate episode of Project Runway whittled our pack of designers down to the three that will have a shot at winning the season. They’re not the only three that will show, of course – 10 people actually showed, so making a collection was not a special privilege for the four designers that made it this far. The bloom is off the rose on that one, so to speak.

Speaking of blooms that are no longer on their respective roses, I’m not pleased with how the elimination went this time, but we’ll get to that later, I suppose. First, we have to talk about all the adorable homes to which Tim Gunn went, and also how he managed to find himself on a trampoline in wingtips. If only the entire episode had been so adorable.

The first stop on Tim Gunn’s American Tour 2010 was Vancouver, Washington, home of Seth Aaron, his wife and his two teenage kids. I hadn’t really considered it until now, but Seth Aaron’s designs have been so good for most of the season that I didn’t even consider the fact that he’s straight! And he has procreated! Well isn’t that adorable.

Seth Aaron’s line was what most of us probably expected – impeccably tailored jackets, lots of hardware, a plethora of black. I loved it, but that’s because his aesthetic appeals to my personal style, and it always has. Tim Gunn was not quite so impressed, however, and he was probably right. This is stuff we’ve seen from Seth Aaron before, and in order to win, his collection needs to be a continuation of his aesthetic, not a rehash of what he’s already decided he likes.

Papa Tim told him to start all over, which I thought was probably a bit drastic – the collection could turn the corner with a few statement pieces, possibly with hints of either a more space-aged or more feminine aesthetic. I could see it going either way, and I think that Seth Aaron is talented enough to transform his collection into something more challenging and surprising with a few key tweaks.

To punish Tim for his harsh suggestions, Seth Aaron’s kids hauled him on to a backyard trampoline in his suit, coat and wingtips. He made an attempt to bounce and promptly fell over, which is really the only way that the introduction of Tim Gunn to a trampoline could end. The entire time, I wanted to scream “DON’T HURT TIM GUNN!” at my screen, like I was seeing my kindly grandfather mishandled by some neighborhood kids or something.

Next we went to see Emilio and his two brothers in New York, in what was possibly the least warm-and-fuzzy home visit in Runway history. They just stood around and talked outside for a while, and then Emilio explained his upbringing in the South Bronx during the birth of hip-hop. That was…sort of it.

Tim Gunn didn’t love Emilio’s collection thus far and neither did I – in fact, some of what we saw seemed kind of dumpy and old-looking, which is not what I expected from him. I know that some people aren’t great fans of Emilio, but I’ve enjoyed almost everything that he has designed this season (literal string bikini notwithstanding) and I hoped for and expected more from him, when left to his own devices to create a collection. 1940s is hard to pull off in a modern way, and I question whether or not he’ll be able to do it.

Oh, by the way: now seems like as good a time as any to mention that I have yet to look at the online image collections of our designers. I never do, I want to be surprised. I love a surprise.

After visiting the two sure-thing designers, Tim was off to see Mila in Los Angeles. If you ever wanted to see someone that’s very serious about her aesthetic, she’s your girl – even her dog is black and white. Instead of finding her two-tone existence kind of irritating, I actually came out of the home visit with a little more respect for what she does. If that’s her vision and she’s that committed to it, then by all means, make black and white clothes. Do your thing, girl.

Which is not to say that I liked the clothes that we saw from her – I didn’t. Some of them were interesting to look at, and the combination of patterns on one of her dresses was particularly thought-provoking, but they’re just not the sort of silhouette that I tend to find appealing. I’m not sure that the shapes that she likes are really relevant to current fashion, and as the judges discussed during her mini-runway, there’s a certain predictability to clothes that reference bygone eras.

And then there was a visit to Jay in (if I remember correctly) San Francisco, whose parents were so adorable and supportive that I kind of wanted to hug my TV. His clothes were more forward-thinking than Mila’s, and I found myself really wanting to see the rest of his collection. Sure, a few things were over-thought and over-designed, but I’d rather see a designer try to do too much than too little. His line was more sophisticated and futuristic than I had expected, and I was really looking forward to seeing him compete in Bryant Park.

Except he won’t be competing. Despite Princess Michael Kors’ best efforts, Mila will round out the final three to compete for the show’s grand prize. Kors was on Team Jay, Heidi was on Team Mila (REALLY, Heidi? Really?), and Nina Garcia was the tie-breaker. As soon as it became clear that she would be the one to decide, I knew it would be Mila – she has seemed to be pulling for her all season based on the strength of Mila’s early work, so there we have it.

If you’re angry right now like I am, just try and go back to the mental image of Papa Gunn on the trampoline. That will make it all better, at least for a moment.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • tadpolenyc

    amanda, i am with you and i’m pissed! pissed enough not to watch the finale. i like seth aaron, and i hope he wins, but it’s mainly because he’s the most likable out of the three. i wasn’t that impressed by any of the final collections.

    there’s no way mila deserved that third spot. tent silhouettes and more black and white?! we’ve seen everything there is to see from this designer. she’s more lane bryant than bryant park. heidi exerted more influence than she should’ve, and now we have to deal with the lackluster consequences. the minute heidi’s face lit up when she saw mila’s uninspired designs and declared that she’d wear them, i knew jay’s fresher, cooler designs were a goner. i don’t want to watch this show if it’s turning into bad installments of what would frau seal wear.

  • marian t

    darn it i missed the episode, i love project runway, will catch up. (fb)

  • Natalie

    Tim Gunn on the trampoline! *giggles* So. Awesome. (fb)

  • hannah

    i am sooo upset Jay didnt make it to fashion week! i adored his clothes and his family even more!! his parents made me tear up, they were too cute!!

    and i am still kind of in shock about seth aaron being straight too!! for some reason i kept waiting aroundfor him to have a phonecall from his lover, missing him, andgetting ready to see him etc. but wow. his kids and wife are adorable and completelynormal looking, and hes the one with the dk hair and tattoos! i adoredhis black jackets, they were soo impeccably made. and i agree that he def could just add in a few statement pieces an not have to nix the entre collection too.
    i really hope he keeps some of those jackets in his collcton …or gives them to me, whichever works.

  • 19yearslater

    Seth Aaron hinted that he redid his entire collection to be more interesting while retaining its signature Seth Aaronness and they seemed to be avoiding showing his clothes, so I’m super excited to see what he has come up with. Mila’s home visit left me a little creeped out. I loved Jay’s family and liked his clothes but as soon as I saw his vs. Mila’s I knew that she would win. Heidi was kinda smug about her pick continuing, I thought. Emilio’s clothes were on the boring side so I hope that he has spiced things up for next week.

  • tet

    Yes – Jay is from San Francisco -YAYY- and his 3 outfits were way better than Mila’s. Don’t know what Nina was referring to when she said the silver top with shrug and black pants were way too busy… I thought it was stunningly simple and elegant with kick ass rocker vibe – didn’t you just adore those shin guards? Can you compare that to Mila’s tent dress with the punk gloves that the judges liked -but never really went well with the dress?

  • Monique

    Happy Monday! (fb)

  • Claire

    I can’t believe they chose Mila over Jay. That made no sense at all to me. Please, please, please do not let her win the whole thing. (fb)

  • Pat

    I was so sad when Jay was voted out! I loved what he presented during the challenge with Mila. Mila’s looks didn’t excite me like Jay’s…and seeing Jay’s family was the icing on the cake for me…too cute. I hope Seth Aaron or Emilio wins over Mila. (fb)

  • Sofia Nolan

    ugh, gonna have to download it from the Internet, missed this :)

  • maryelle

    let me get this straight, i am a jay fan since day one. however, i did like mila’s three looks. i think the judges picked her based on the mass marketing of her clothes which would appeal to women who are obsessed with the retro style, which is why i think nina and heidi chose mila. but if it was to appeal to the younger generation, jay would have been picked because his looks were not something you necessarily see every day and like michael kors said, there’s no period in time where he can compare jay’s three looks.
    what confuses me is why would they be curious to see more of mila’s collection, which is dated and old, versus jay’s, which was something new and daring?? what other colors did mila say she had in her collection?? shades of gray is not ANOTHER color…. shadows don’t have any other color than black or gray. so i hate to say this but, i’m curious as to what other colors she is referring to.

    overall, i hope seth aaron wins. he has a vision as a designer, and he’s pretty consistent. but to me, he’s like an older version of third season’s winner, jeffrey.

    • Kemji

      Mila had aubergine or eggplant. Still boring and predictable though.

  • Reese

    If Emilio’s head gets any bigger its not going to fit in the tent!
    I really think the judges dropped the ball with picking Mila. Oh, well. I’ll be tuning in on Thursday anyway. Go Seth Aaron! (fb)

  • Tamee

    I’m in mourning over Jay………. :( (fb)

  • Relli

    Amanda I am with you and Princess Tangerine, You can always take away from from a design but its hard to add………….. Jay should have made it. Although I have great respect for Mila and her commitment to living in a black and whole world (would it not have been great if she wold have had two boyfriend to fit her ecstatic). I can honestly say that i am not interested in her designs or seeing more from her. lets be real there is already whole store committed to her look.

    • 19yearslater

      Ha ha ha ha ha! I would have become a converted Mila fan if she really had two boyfriends, one in each color. I wonder if she picked Matthew because he has a similar passion for black and white or if she told him those are the colors he was to wear. . .

  • Kim

    Jay’s work is typical and boring. He’s a good designer, but should be working for a middle of the road house like Jones New York. Mila has far greater possibilities with her references to Courreges, Jean Veron, Pierre Cardin, etc. These iconic designers from the sixties broke out of the convention and gave new shapes and hemlines to the post-war world. Jay’s work, on the other hand, is typical of Hollywood starlets who prefer loud, short, silken (or poly as Jay did) frocks that renders these young girls as nothing more than interchangable. Interchangable is good for JNY, not good for high fashion.

    • tadpolenyc

      i think jones new york wishes it could be that hip.

      if there were greater possibilities, mila certainly didn’t give any indication of such a thing. it’s all well and fine that she’s referential, but i’m more interested in a designer who has his/her point of view rather than retreading past iconic ones.

  • Adrienne Zedella

    i like Mila. Think she’s right on (fb)

  • Adrienne Zedella

    i don’t like it when Tim Gunn blows everyone’s bubble after they’ve been working on their garments for so long. He takes a finished look and tears it apart. He shouldn’t infleck his own personal taste on an artist’s particular viewpoint.
    The designers are trying to please the judges and not Tim. (fb)

  • Barb

    I liked Jay and I especially liked his parents! We could only wish to have parents that were so supportive! And you could tell he (Jay) really appreciated themand everything they did! And he had a vision for his designs. That is why I really hate this show now! Mila’s designs were okay but …What will her next show look like?? more colorblocked black and white? BORING! I will wastch this finale (if it’s one episode) thaen I am DONE! (fb)

  • Shine

    i am excited to see their collection during the final.(fb)

  • Jacqueline

    OMG I was sure that Jay would be part of the final 3. I was so shocked Emilio and Mila was chosen over him. Upset!!!!! (fb)

  • Kayla

    I really like Mila’s clothing style but I can’t say that she will win it all. (fb)

  • abitnerdy

    I miss Jay, he’s insanely talented! :( (fb)

  • Leticia

    I love this post! I live in Brazil and we’re a lot behind on PR! (fb)

  • savannah

    I hope Seth Aaron wins it! (fb)

  • Mai

    I think I’m going to watch this show right now on… lol I am still annoyed of Mila… (fb)

  • Chris

    Jay’s collection was really promising, exciting and fashionable, it is a shame that he lost.
    Mila – her pieces were nice, in particular the dress, but the other 2 pieces lacked the wow effect. Nice is not good enough to be in the finale. And it was indeed too much retro.
    Emilio – I expected much (!) more from him. His collection looked somewhat boring.
    Seth Aaron – I am curious what he will show. I like his style, but he could use a bit more color.

  • JenG

    Did anyone notice the coldness between Tim Gunn and Emilio? He hugged the other two designers at the apartment, but only shock Emilio’s hand. I know that I like Emilio and Seth Aaron so I believe the winner will be between the two of them. And where can I go and look at the designers outfit that where showed at Fashion Week?

  • bisbee

    I’m also disappointed that Jay is out…even though I really like Mila. Love Seth – he grew on me each week, although some of his creations left me cold. On the other hand…some of Emilio’s clothes were spectacular…but after this episode, I just don’t get him. Actually…all throughout the recent shows, his attitude has left me totally cold…it seems that he’s strangely hostile, and I don’t like that.

    We’ll see what happens tomorrow! I also haven’t looked at the collections yet…want to be surprised!

    • bisbee


      Also…I’m all for a competitive attitude…but hostility just doesn’t belong on this show. It really puts a damper on the whole atmosphere.

  • robyn

    I love this show!!! (fb)

  • Brenda Cervantes

    Darn I’ve missed PR since it’s no longer on Bravo! I never know when the seasons start on that its on lifetime. (fb)

  • Joy Park

    I hope Seth wins! (fb)

  • Adrienne Zedella

    Tim Gunn is a snob (fb)

  • faith24

    i stopped watching this show this season- it repeats itself too much (fb)

  • Jocelyn

    I don’t watch Project Runway but I want to win a Linea Pelle sooooo baaaaaad. (fb)