Project Runway: Who's Your Pick to Take the Season 10 Crown? Take Our Poll!

project runway season 10 finaleIt’s hard to make feel-good television when you’ve asked four talented designers to put together 10-piece collections to show at New York Fashion Week, then announce that one of ‘em will be sent to the guillotine right before the big day. It’s all very, “Here’s three wrapped boxes filled with hundred-dollar bills, and one that’s filled with a bomb. Best of luck!”

Fortunately, Project Runway wiggled out of this conundrum with a kumbaya ending to Part 1 of its Season 10 finale, in which Heidi Klum channeled her inner Oprah and essentially shouted, “You’re going to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week! And you’re going to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week! And you’re going to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week! And you’re going to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week!”

Okay, maybe some of those feel-good vibes were muted by Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Heidi kvetching about the presence of hideous wigs, poorly paired separates and a definite lack of color. But seeing how the contestants had five weeks and $9,000 to put into their garments, I didn’t object to the tough critiques.

Tim Gunn’s visits to the designer’s homes — which Melissa pointed out is like a reward in and of itself — felt more rushed and less emotional than in seasons past, though there were a few choice Tim-isms. I especially liked our dapper mentor looking at a table full of confections laid out by Christopher’s parents and exclaiming, “This looks so very caloric!” And of course, there was Tim’s befuddlement over Fabio’s strange combo of draped blouses and (literal) crazypants: “I’m mystified by this pant!”

The designers were asked to present three looks apiece to the judges to help them decide who would be the last pre-finale cut. Here’s my rundown on what we saw, from worst to first:

Fabio: I don’t get the judges’ fascination with “Cosmic Tribalism.” To me, Fabio’s collection looked like a bunch of pastel tie-dye nightgowns paired with middle-school art-class jewelry (think woven straws and finger paints), all of it having sat in a laundry basket for a week. And I’m not being mean, seeing how Fabio himself seemed delighted with the “gentle flopping” of his silhouettes as they came down the catwalk. Nina was right, however, when she insisted the collection wasn’t luxe enough to be deemed a runway success.

Christopher: His overall collection looked intriguing, but as Nina noted during her critique, “I see very little clothes here!” Two pairs of skimpy shorts, a barely-there bustier, and a couple of drape-y things that barely showcased a custom-made print using his mom’s back x-ray? This was practically self-sabotage, though I think Christopher is still a real threat to win it all — especially with his bleach-distressed leather and what looked to be an exquisite gown.

Melissa: I hate-hate-hated Melissa’s black pants, which made it look as if her model was carrying a full, front-loaded diaper. That said, her “obsidian dress” was a sophisticated, structural delight, and that crackled cowhide jacket was a real showstopper. I even liked the exaggerated sleeves, even if Nina got all Red Queen shouting “off with her cuffs!”

Dmitry: The judges seemed overly obsessed with the way Dmitry paired his separates and styled his models, but to me, he was the clear winner. That architectural white dress with the intricate cutouts was innovative and gorgeous, and the jacket with fringed arms was unlike anything we’ve seen in recent Project Runway history. And yes, I saw some Guggenheim in the waistline of those sleek white pants. With shapes this blindingly perfect, who needs color?

Anyhow, that’s my take on the proceedings. Who’s your pick to win Season 10? Take our poll, then sound off (thoughtfully) in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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45 Comments
  1. SK says:

    I thought that the finalists always had more than 5 wks to prepare – yes, no? I am not impressed – YET. They always seem to make improvements and come thru with a better line than when first shown to the PR judges at Parsons.

    • Bobbi says:

      They definitely had more time when it was on Bravo.

    • RT says:

      They used to get 2 or 3 months. I hate this obsession with rushing the designers and not giving them any time since the show moved to Lifetime. They got to fit their models only 3 hours until the runway. The producers are trying to create drama, but it ends up hurting the final product.

  2. Cyn Mackley says:

    I thought Fabio’s handbag and jewelry looked like those old yarn craft kits with the plastic material that you do a needlepoint on. I honestly think I might have gotten that handbag design as a Christmas present in the 1970s, though the colors screamed more early 1980s.

  3. CA says:

    I think it will come down to Christopher and Dimitry. I see them as the strongest of the remaining designers. Though I adored Christopher’s dress (why didn’t he have that as part of the runway last night), I suspect Dimitry is going to win it all. I can live with either one taking the win. I just couldn’t get behind Fabio’s collection and Melissa’s collection was just not intriguing at all. Love the jacket…..hated the pants. Really hated the wigs!

    • justjack says:

      I agree with the reviewer, I did NOT understand the judges’ fascination with Fabio. To me he was clearly the obvious auf candidate, but no… Questioning the taste level here!

  4. Anna says:

    I agree with everything you said about Fabio – his stuff looked hideous!
    I hope all of them improve their collections before the finale, because I thought none of them was quite “there” yet. But they can get there!

  5. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    Dmitry is the CLEAR winner, here. I like all four designers very much both in terms of aesthetic and personality. However, Dmitry has the sophistication, talent and impeccable taste to enter the marketplace and IMMEDIATELY take off.

    It was also blindingly obvious that all four of them would show at Fashion Week. I’m delighted.

  6. MARIAPOMPEO says:

    Fabio’s was so Grandma. I have no idea why everyone liked it? Its so drab, and there was not a single piece which I would personally buy. It is not commercial at all…its pretentious fashion.
    I love Melissa, but unfortunately her collection is not strong enough.
    I too believe it will come down to Christopher (hot gay Michael Buble) and Dmitri, their work is innovative, edgy yet sophisticated.

  7. curly says:

    I hoping for a Christopher or Dmitry win. If Fabio won, I would seriously question the taste of the judges…my Grandma did wear something like this and it was considered a fancy housecoat. If Fabio won it would be like the Gretchen’s Emperor Wears No Clothes win all over again. Except Fabio seems a much nicer person.
    Why would Christopher hold back that dress, unless producers told him he was safe, so they created drama by having him leave it behind.

    • Tess says:

      Chris basically picked the garments that fit his models best because he felt he didn’t have enough time to tailor a lot of pieces (since as he said he had mostly separates) which is why he wound up with two pairs of shorts going down the runway.
      If I’m not mistaken, back when they were on Bravo, the final collection prep time was more like 8-9 weeks and then 2-3 days before the actual show they were back in the workroom and usually got to pick an axed designer to help them put the finishing touches on their collection and often make one last minute additional look. But Bravo used to give more time in general even during regular challenges (2-3 days per challenge vs. Lifetime often giving only a day and a 1/2). If Lifetime would give them more time to put their looks together, they’d get more quality from their designers on this show.
      For a change, I actually like all four of the designers but based on what we’ve seen of the final collections, I think Fabio is only still in it because his collection is more colorful than the others. He’s the least likely to win, imo. I give Melissa an outside chance if the rest of her collection manages to wow them; but I still think it’s most likely between Chris and Dimitry. I liked the pieces Dimitry showed more but based on the judges’ odd comments on dowdy styling (I didn’t get that) and the fact that they’ll probably feel that in context Chris’ collection is more cohesive, I’m thinking they’re going to give it to Chris.

      • RT says:

        I was also baffled by the judges’ comments to Dmitry. There was nothing old or matronly going on there. Tasteful, edgy, and sophisticated is what I saw. Maybe it’s because there were no super short skirts or shorts.

      • Tina says:

        The extra time and former castmate addition is typically done during the final runway showdown between the 3 remaining designers. Typically, in the past, the judges picked two “shoo-ins” to definitely show at Fashion Week. Then they picked two more contestants for a showdown of three garments from their collections. The winner would be the third to show at Fashion Week. Once it was narrowed down to three, THEN the judges brought in former castmates as assistants, gave the designers one last challenge/garment to make, and gave them two or three days to pick/fit models and tweak their collections. This is the first year I have seen the judges require all four designers fight for the three spots. It was weird. I didn’t like it.

        However, the only one who picked the strongest looks from his collection was Fabio…and that isn’t necessarily saying much. I do not get his collection at all. I think the reason he was received well is that his line is SO different from what is typically presented. It was the only one with color, but I just didn’t find it interesting. To be fair–it’s fashion. Not everything shown on a runway makes sense.

        My favorite collection overall was Christopher’s. Loved the print. Loved the bleached leather. Loved the skirt and bustier, but the other two looks were HORRIBLE! Hoping it’s fixed for finale.

  8. I’ve been a Dmitry fan all along, so I was happy to see how well he did last night. I loved his clothes–and I don’t even like fringe! I think Christopher has some interesting items as well and like many of you, I HATED Fabio’s collection. I like him as a person, but those clothes looked like hippie wear from the 80’s. He did use plastic needlework canvas for those purses and jewelry–I couldn’t believe it so I made sure to look closely. Melissa had some good moments, but I still wish Sonjia was there instead of either Melissa or Fabio.

  9. GeoDiva says:

    Anyone but Melissa.

  10. Oh my God I had some serious Gretchen flashbacks last night! As soon as the judges started talking about Fabio’s clothes I was literally gasping “no, please, not again!” I hate every single ill crafted piece that flopped down the runway of his. Granted Fabio is a cuddly teddy bear of a person but holy crap on toast his clothes are HIDEOUS. Melissa’s clothes are commercial in a young edgy way, Dmitry’s are commercial in an expensive couture kind of way and Christopher’s are commercial in a red carpet, Paris Hilton fashionista sort of way. Given the history of project runway it should come down to Dmitry and Christopher unless the judges have a stroke en masse and Fabio wins. Dmitry’s construction, taste level and tailoring leave Christopher in the dust so he would be my pick to win but knowing Project Runway Christopher will probably win because his looks are more innovative.

  11. Ian says:

    To me, Fabio is the best, his collection really speaks to me.

  12. STM says:

    The funny thing for me is that Fabio is the only one making things I might (will) wear, and yet I find it hard to like him as a winner for the show.
    But, today he was the only one who made something new, the rest of the designers just re did stuff they already showed during the show (not counting all the simple useless shorts by Christopher).

  13. I_Have_to_Send_You_to_the_Workroom says:

    Why, why, why this far into Project Runway (Season TEN for goodness sake) do we still have designers “holding back” when preparing for the three-piece elimination runway? Melissa even told Tim as much that this was her strategy… perhaps he commented and it was edited out, but it was obvious to me that she and Christopher got a pass into Fashion Week. Don’t get me wrong, I see the hints of the WOW stuff, but why leave it back in the workroom?

    • Agreed. I also find myself incredulous that there are still designers that ignore Tim’s advice. He told Melissa and Dmitry they needed more color and he told Fabio those pants were bad. He did tell them that this was there only chance to get to Fashion week and to not hold back. They didn’t listen. Why do they ignore him when 90% of the time he is right there with the judges??!

    • Paula says:

      I had the same thoughts about the “holding back.” Have they never watched the show?

  14. Stacy says:

    I agree on Fabio. This is exactly the kind of judging reaction where I think “I don’t get fashion”. He seems like a really sweet guy, but I didn’t ‘get’ what was so great about his collection. Different does not always mean good. I thought it was cheap looking and unflattering, and retro in a bad way. Ugh.

    Dmitry has and continues to be my favorite.

  15. Tim says:

    Fabio looks like he’s making some sort of thrift store collection. Melissa just doesn’t have it. Christopher seems to be sabotaging himself. This is Dmitry’s to lose.

  16. Mara says:

    Everything was so bad, I still can’t believe it. There was nothing you’d ever look at twice. Dmitry ftw, but even he was underwhelming. There was nothing, and i mean NOTHING that was striking, elegant or show stopping. Does even one designer in the top 4 know how to make exciting clothes? This feels like episode 4 where they need to be pushed to do something beautiful and creative. This does not feel like finale talent at all :/
    Instead of keeping all four designers, they should have cut more people from fashion week. “Oh all of you ended up being terrible, therefore…. You all get a free pass!”
    Fabio and Melissa could have been easily cut without much uproar. The worst part is, Im not emotionally invested in anyone that deeply like i have been in past seasons where they have cut really talented and likeable people…. and then they decide to use a free pass on this season?! Lol.

  17. JR says:

    that blue and white tye-dye half shirt of fabio’s? I own it. it’s a sports bra and I bought it at target.

  18. Clau says:

    saw all the final collections on NY Fashion week. LOVED ELENA’s decoy collection. You should check it out. If you see the whole collection, CHRISTOPHER is the clear winner. :)

    • D says:

      I have looked at the full collections of only the eliminated designers. That plus the few looks they showed of the finalists in this episode, and I would say I am sorry that Elena did not make the final. I would have given it to her.

      However, I will reserve final judgement until I see all of the finalists’ collections.

  19. Caryn says:

    Part one of the finale was a real disappointment-cosmic tribalism? I remember an earlier season when Michael Knight, a standout prior to fashion week, thought a tribal line would get him the win.

    Sonjia (sp?) would have added something fun and interesting to this finale…I’m sorry she didn’t make the cut.

    I thought this season was focused on making sure the judges could impress guest judges with their designers. When Tim didn’t like what he saw in the workroom for the Rockettes, he conveniently offered the designers more money and another trip to Mood. The designers all seemed pretty spoon fed to me.

    • D says:

      Did you see Sonjia’s decoy collection? Nothing special and really disjointed. You could argue that she would have done a better job if she made the finale, but I doubt it.

  20. MC says:

    christopher was overconfident that he’d get in because of his past performance so he didn’t bother choosing his actual best looks for the last elimination. true enough, he was saved despite having the most underwhelming 3-piece collection. if he didn’t have the worst that day, someone would have been eliminated.

    • D says:

      I don’t know. They have been very partial to Melissa as well. As far as Fabio as concerned, at least he didn’t bore anybody!

  21. Brigitte says:

    I wasn’t a fan of Melissa. I am not sure what her issue is with the neck, but everything she showed in the 3 looks as well as throughout the competition had some weird structured neckline. Talk about a one way monkey. Fabio had me completely confused, So glad that others felt the same. I am rooting for either Chris or Dmitry as well. Thought Dmitry’s “home” visit was sad since there was no one else there. Maybe he did that on purpose to get as much from Tim as possible.

    • Peggy L. says:

      I agree, I felt bad that Dmitry didn’t have family or friends. I hope he takes it all, if his collection is as good as I think it is.

      • D says:

        Well, he has them, it’s just that they either live far away (family) or are of the type that didn’t want to appear on TV.

  22. Lana 1 says:

    My favorite was Dimitry’s and I for one was not crazy about the Xray fabric of Chris’s and I love Chris. I did love that gown of his and didn’t understand why he didn’t show that one instead of one of the shorts. I too was not crazy about Fabio’s clothes and I do like Hippie things but not on the runway, just doesn’t scream designer to me. Melissa has never had me with her weird collars so I am not as big of a fan as some of you are but she is better than Fabio and thats the best I can say, I would have perferred Elena. I didn’t see anything dowdy about Dimitry’s designs and thought Fabio’s designs were the dowdy ones. Oh well I can’t wait to see the full collections on the runway!!.

    • D says:

      I wonder if they were going to be picking different models for the runway show than for the mini-runway show. If so, the models he had were so tiny, that I could see him not wanting to have to take in complex garments and then let them out again for a different model.

  23. Morisot says:

    Haven’t really had strong feelings about Fabio’s work, but I liked his collection pieces in Part 1. I thought the bags and jewelry were cute and different too. It WAS nice to see colors.

  24. Flavia says:

    I’ve been for Dmitry all season long! he is a good taylor, a good designer and u can see he knows women silhouettes and he flatters their figure; and I don’t get how Fabio got this far….

  25. Gabriel says:

    Fabio’s clothes was actually cool. it had a monastic, futuristic yet earthy vibe to it. The colors were genius. The necklaces were amazing. I love that it’s plastic. And I love his identity as a designer. Chris’ was typical. It was sophisticated but I Seen it a million times. But his broken mirror clutches were too awesome. He gets points for amazing craftsmanship and commercial appeal. Melissa was lackluster, but only because she wasn’t refreshing enough. If only she had taken it a step up. Her collection would’ve spoken louder. Dimitri’s was too cool. That dress with floating pieces was epic. The white pants were stellar and the sheer top, too sexy. I love them all though. Personality wise. They seem really close. Compared to other seasons. I’ve grown attached to them. Great entertainment.