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Project Runway, Episode 11: Grand Finale – And the Winner Is!by Sandy McFarland -- 02/28/2005
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The two-hour special begins with previews of little video blurbs, which reintroduce us to the final three. We see Episode 1 moments of Wendy, the Mom from Virginia, Kara, the costume designer, and Jay the ex-online porn site guy. We get to meet each of the original nine designers previously ousted from the show. One by one, we see Daniel, Mario, Starr, and Vanessa making their exits. Little clips of garbage bag dresses and runway moments remind us of the Project Runway journey to get here. Nora, Alexandra, Kevin, Rob, and our beloved Austin are all intricate parts of the Project Runway experience. I cheered when some left, and was saddened with the demise of others. My applause goes out to all of you! Let the Finale Show begin!
Heidi greets the final three at the Parsons School runway. The designers will receive $8,000 and five months at home to create a twelve-piece collection for Olympus Fashion Week in New York City. Heidi tells them many important people will be sitting in the front row of the show, watching their work. Models Julia, Martinique, Jennie, and Melissa are brought out. The model associated with the winner of Project Runway will receive the fashion spread in Elle Magazine. As Wendy was the winner of the previous challenge, she receives the first button to pick her model. She chooses Melissa, Jay picks Julia, and Kara grabs Jennie. Martinique is out, saying, "It is what it is!" Heidi wishes the designers luck. "See you at the runway!"
Jay says that Project Runway has refueled his love for fashion. He has competed in nine challenges, never winning, but never losing either. "Always the bridesmaid but never the bride." He wants to be the bride at Fashion Week!
Wendy is amazed that despite having no formal fashion design training, she has come this far. Having been almost last during so many challenges, she managed to ace the two most important of them all – the Banana Republic challenge and the Grammy challenge. If she wins Project Runway, her life will change forever.
Kara just wanted to rely on her creativity and talent to get to the final three, and that is just what she did. She didn't rely on tricks or games nor did she stab anyone in the back. Kara is very proud of her four challenge wins, and she is going to put everything she ever learned into her Fashion Week collection.
Ten weeks later, Tim goes on a road trip to visit the designers and check up on their progress with their collections. First stop is Laehman, PA, home of Jay McCarroll. Jay greets Tim sporting hunting gear and a nasty-looking curly wig. "Country people do country things!" After he puts his gun down, Jay gives Tim a tour of his studio, "where the magic happens," his hometown, and his dad's cement septic system business. "Every time you take a poopy, think of us!" He says that because he is the youngest of six, he got all the weird leftover parts to make a human. Tim meets the family, who warmly regards Jay as a trendsetter. Jay wants his designs to be music stereotype collection for hip young kids. Each design will come complete with a headset signifying when the headset is on, you can be what you want to be. Tim hugs Jay farewell. "Git offa my property, Tim!"
The next stop for Tim is Middleburg, VA, to visit the home of Wendy Pepper. Wendy is very excited that Tim is coming by and welcomes him with a hug. She has been so lucky to have the support of her wonderful family! Tim gets a tour of her workrooms and meets Wendy's mom and her daughter Finn. Wendy points out to Tim a large pink painting project that Finn made for the judges! Tim is impressed until Finn corrects Mommy saying, "No, remember I just made it because I had nothing to do and you told me I could paint?" Oops! She got you, Wendy! Tsk! Tsk! Outta the mouths of babes! Wendy just laughs it off and goes on to show Tim various pieces of her collection. After examining a bed jacket-like garment (a "Golden Girl" piece), Tim offers Wendy some design advice and reminds her to just be herself. They tour her hometown, where she is treated like a minor celebrity, which ends with a visit to her Great Grandma's landmark home. Tim feels like he is visiting the set of Dynasty! After he departs, Wendy shares that his visit gave her food for thought and she is grateful for his comments. She's going to change her entire collection and remake the whole thing.
Tim's final visit is to Kara Saun's Los Angeles, CA, home. Kara wants to work with Tim on editing her line. She takes Tim to visit her favorite fabric shop and explains that the flight concept of her collection came to her after seeing The Aviator. Tim admires her collection while advising on her design proportion. Kara shares her secrets to design: "Does the piece look like Kara Saun? Would Tim Gunn call the piece stunning? Would Heidi wear it? Would Nina Garcia put it in Elle? Would Michael Kors think it's sexy?" Their visit also ends with hugs. Kara is going to be working around the clock until she gets to New York.
Fashion Week is here and Wendy is first to arrive at the W Hotel, in NY, where she, Jay, and Kara will be sharing an apartment. The rooms are spectacular! Jay, hiking up his pants, is next to arrive only to be greeted by
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