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Season 12, Episode 14: And the Winner Is...
Well, folks, this is it. After a season full of wild cards including Timothy, Sandro, and Ken, we made it to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week finale with four talented, relatively well-adjusted and drama-free designers. Alexandria, Bradon, Dom and Justin have turned in good work this season, and they seem like very nice people all around. Snaps for them.
The group heads to Mood with $250 each to spend on washable fabrics for the Tide-sponsored part of the final runway challenge. The workroom is relatively chilled out, too, with the usual last-minute running around but no major meltdowns or arguments. Tim does a final round of critiques and makes sure to give Bradon and Dom a little extra attention, because while those two got the perk of not worrying about securing a spot for NYFW last week, they also missed out on a valuable feedback session from the judges. We see Justin and Alexandria sweating a bit about that feedback: Justin quickly eliminates the wigs Heidi railed on, and Alexandria struggles to get rid of (or at least minimize) the parts of her collection that Nina hated.
There are a few bumps backstage at Fashion Week. It turns out one of Justin's models broke her ankle, so he has to rush to refit a garment for a new body. Poor Bradon is on edge when his models eat breakfast and drink coffee around his looks, and then he turns out he was right to worry when one of his models spills coffee on his blue charmeuse gown.
Our guest judge is the fabulous Kerry Washington!
Bradon | full collection | unconventional look | washable look
Bradon's work is inspired by the first sign of spring. It's a mix of metallics, florals, and bright blues, with lots of silks and other shiny fabrics. Zac: "Your hand is expressive and abstract, which is a great thing to have as an artist." He and Heidi disagree about the use of metallics in the opening look. Nina says that she's admired Bradon's laser focus throughout the season but that she felt she didn't see that focus in his final collection. "When I see this collection, it's disjointed. We've got too many things going on."
Final assessment: A strong, meticulously constructed collection lacking in cohesion. Bradon's auf'd.
Justin | full collection | unconventional look | washable look
Justin's collection builds off a palette of white, greys and black, inspired by the transition he went through as an 18-year-old learning to hear with a cochlear implant for the first time. Zac likes that the shapes are easy and feminine, and Nina agreed that the variety was good, though she also says she would've liked to see two more looks that had a real "wow" factor. The whole panel is impressed by his use of 3D printing for his accessories.
Final assessment: Justin's best work all season, but he needs more time to grow. Justin's auf'd.
Alexandria | full collection | unconventional look | washable look
This collection earns applause at the outset with Alexandria's eye-catching unconventional look, then moves into more of the neutral-colored separates she hinted at last week. Lots of shorts, relaxed-fit pants, loose tops and boho accessories. Heidi loves it, no surprise. Zac thinks the looks reflect Alexandria's own strength and power. Nina appreciates the effortless editorial spirit of the collection and Kerry's happy with how nicely everything could be assembled and reassembled to mix and match.
Final assessment: A collection full of cool and wearable clothes, but ultimately not powerful enough to warrant a win. Alexandria is our runner-up.
Dom | full collection | unconventional look | washable look
Titled "Retro Redux," Dom's work is focused on bright prints she designed herself in blues, purples, and whites, with embellished plastic details and structured jackets. Kerry is impressed by the modern, tribal, architectural quality of her prints. Zac nitpicks the bathing suit look and Nina thinks the collection would've been better served by the purple gown walking first, but the panel is very pleased overall.
Final assessment: Zac says with a smile, "She's a very sophisticated lady. I don't think she knows how sophisticated she is yet." Based off her masterful work with print and her spunky, modern point of view, Dom is crowned the winner of "Project Runway" Season 12.
So Dom's our winner! Alexandria handles the loss gracefully ("I'm happy [Dom] won. She's a good person. I sincerely mean that.") and Dom handles the win adorably, laughing and crying with her boyfriend and family and accepting lots of praise from the judges.
So what do you think? Was Dom your first choice? If not, whose collection and work throughout the season better warranted the win? Let me know in the comments!