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Ryan on the Runway: PRAS 6, episode 13

Welcome to our nation’s capital! I loved that Stanley said that they’re dressed in their suits, looking like a boy band. I would totally buy their album. Anyone know where I can buy an album?

The challenge: to design a six-piece collection inspired by the Smithsonian and “making their mark on fashion history." Alyssa dropped the bomb that this was the finale, there would be no elimination from four to three. You might guess how I feel about that - - the series started with three designers in the finale and they only expanded it to four when they felt like they had to. It’s been happening more and more over the last few years, and I feel like it’s a cop out. But in this case I guess I appreciated that they said that up front, rather than pretending they were eliminating someone and then wimping out by not doing it. [More about this later.]

They did their model casting on the roof. There was no fighting, no squabbling, and we all know that’s not the way it went down, right? Their Mood trip was at the Mood WAREHOUSE. Can you even imagine?

Thank you, Stanley, for your shout-out to the timeless Willi Smith. I was a fan of Smith back in the day and still wear the Willi Smith grey rayon trench coat that was handed down from my brother Patrick. I also have a summer shirt handed down from my brother Howard. Hm, come to think of it, I’ve had a number of Smith garments over the years, and yet I’ve never bought any of them myself! Sadly, that ship has sailed - - he died in 1987 and his label folded in 1990.

Oh but wait! Alyssa announced that they were now going to be creating one look to be presented to the judges, and the judges would choose a final three. Thank you.

A propos of nothing, I just came up with a great idea for a challenge twist: the designers are given the theme, they go to Mood or wherever and buy their fabrics, they get back to the workroom and POOF! They’re told to move to one table to the right, and they have to use another designer’s fabric. Great, right?

Anne Fulenwider has a DIVINE haircut! It’s free and easy in the front but sharp and precise along the back. I’m sure it costs her plenty, and that money is well spent. Her critique, as usual, rode the line between tough and encouraging. She’s very good, I like her a lot.

Runway show:

The first guest judge was burlesque artist Dita von Teese, who I adore. Hm, I should make an effort to see her in performance someday. The other guest judge was Zanna Roberts Rassi, Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor, whose hair was pink! Forget that Dior says black and rust!

Stanley: Crisp, elegant, yet surprising, my favorite look of the four. The judges were crazy for it, but why did no one mention the unfinished hems? Why is that not a problem?

Ken: Not wild for it, it seems a little unresolved. The judges had all kinds of issues with it.

Fabio: Bravo for doing something different! I thought it was cute. Isaac said he was looking for more “gauche caviar.” Love that expression, but WTF does it mean? Isaac encouraged him to take his personal styling (what he chooses to wear) and incorporate that in his clothes for women.

Anthony: Lovely, but does it make you want to see more? The judges were conflicted over the velvet-faced neoprene, and they called out the wonky waist.

Alyssa brought the designers to another part of the building, where they were each given a sewing machine, a steamer, an ironing board, a barrel full of fabric scraps discarded by eliminated designers earlier that season, a model standing there in her underwear, and an hour to create a new look. My question is this: why do they need to do this? Didn’t they already do enough, by creating the looks that had just been critiqued? So were they being critiqued and eliminated on this new look, or the look they had made before? But my next question: why do I ask these questions that have no answers?

I love that they showed clips of the discarded fabrics in their original contexts.

Runway, Part Two:

Anthony: The judges liked it more than I did. Zanni was right, it would have been better as a midi.

Stanley: Love it, the idea was so strong and so beautifully executed.

Ken: So well made, but I was with Isaac, it was a little too tightly wound.

Fabio: So effortless, and again, I was with Isaac, the shorts would be cuter if they were a little shorter.

Thank you to Isaac and Georgina for setting the rules on the judging - - the elimination would be based on both looks.

The final trio was Stanley, Fabio, and Anthony, and Ken was sent home.

Next week: they're going to bring back eliminated designers to serve as assistants. Oh Lord, that smells like drama.

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