“Project Runway” recap: (10.13) The Final Countdown

It’s the best episode of the season, where the lucky final few suddenly and weirdly become Real People as we get glimpses into their personal lives, or at least the decor they keep on their walls and stuff. We meet Heidi and Tim on the runway with the Final Four, where they tell the designers that only three of them will make it to Fashion Week. The designers weakly pretend shock at this “news.”

I must discuss something here: I love reading the hilarious recaps done by the ladies at Bitch Magazine each week, and in their recap last week they revealed that this final-three-get-to-show-at-Fashion-Week bit is sort of a ruse. The final three are the only ones eligible of winning, but up to the FINAL EIGHT can create collections and show at Fashion Week. Bitch acted like this was common knowledge, but it certainly wasn’t to me! Did all of you know this, too? How do you feel about it?

I feel Not That Great about it. On the one hand, I’m really pumped that people like Sonjia and Elena will get to show at Fashion Week, as they deserve. But it also seems to cheapen the whole experience of the show. Like, what’s the point of this whole showdown? I know getting all the prizes you receive as the winner is most desired — who doesn’t want a new car? — but it definitely lessens the drama a little/a lot.

But alas, moving on, as there is a lot to get to, including Tim dressing in his finest Going to the Country attire to visit Christopher in Massapequa, New York.

It appears that Christopher still lives with his parents in the most stereotypically suburban household ever. While his parents do seem adorable and, as Italians, they shower everyone with pastries — a hard deal to walk away from — you should probably change this situation soon, Chris.

But this first home visit starts positively: Tim is excited by what he sees of Christopher’s collection. His inspiration comes from an X-ray taken of his mom’s back after a car accident, which he makes into a very literal print. And I have to say, I do think it’s sort of cool, particularly because I’m partial to all the sepia tones that fill this print. Tim gives the advice he often gives, to not be afraid to push his limits and up the “wow” factor, but he’s mainly full of encouraging words. Accordingly, they’re able to sit around the living room and have some tea with the fam and the boyfriend in ease.

Look at these precious homos.

Back to New York City to meet Fabio. I’m always slightly disappointed when designers live in New York City, even though it’s the most logical place for them to live. I just look forward to Traveling Tim so much. But I guess I forgive you Fabio, especially since you and your boyfriend are so cute! Fabio is full of nerves before Tim arrives, and Boyfriend gives him a hug to reassure him it’ll all be fine.

When Tim opens the door, he looks around at the completely ridiculous and swank Manhattan apartment he’s in, as equally flabbergasted as I am. I think an apartment like that would run you approximately five hundred gabillion dollars. He asks Fabio if he owns it, to which Fabio thankfully says, “Come on, Tim. Look at me.” Lolz, Fabio. Turns out it’s one of his friend’s father’s, who’s letting him use some of the space to work. Thank goodness for friends, right?

We get to meet Fabio’s mother who is overwhelmingly adorable and Brazilian. Warning: I will want to use the word “adorable” a whole bunch in this episode. Sorry not sorry, families just make me squee. We learn that Fabio hopped back and forth between Brazil and New York City from an early age, which is fascinating. Also, to be ADD, there is a really wonderful article on Rio in this month’s National Geographic and you should read it and who’s already so excited for the next Olympics because I am?!

Time for the important stuff though: the clothes. This is one of the wackiest Tim critiques I’ve ever seen, because when he first looks at Fabio’s pastel watercolor dresses he has laid out for him, he’s “captivated.” Fabio calls his collection “Cosmic Tribalism,” which seems very Fabio. But then as Tim starts seeing some of the further details of the outfits, suddenly he’s dismayed and confused. To the max. He says “to be blunt” a few times. And Fabio, while affected by all of Tim’s critiques as Fabio is a sensitive soul, also wants to stand up for his choices and doesn’t seem very willing to change all those details. Awkward party!

Now, to a hop and a skip away from New York, we head to Jersey City in the Jerz to meet Dmitry. Dmitry is also staying in a swanky apartment of a friend while the friend is in Spain. I apparently need more friends like these. I have also determined that with every single word Dmitry says, I love him more. He is so sincere and focused and Dmitry-ish. Swoon.

As for his collection, which is inspired by architecture, it seems to be full of some signature Dmitry moves, and full of black and white and fringe and sparkles and it seems well thought out. Tim is full of almost entirely good thoughts about it. Even the things he doesn’t like, he says he can see how they would work. It seems solid.

They then head to a patio out back, where they share some cookies and tea. Did Tim send out a memo that he really wanted to be served tea or something?

The fact that after 10 seasons Tim’s jackets still consistently delight is remarkable.

But, strangely, there is no one else at this Cookie and Tea party. No family, no friends. There’s always family and friends at the Home Visit! Dmitry doesn’t seem bothered by it, but it makes me perhaps disproportionately sad. As Dmitry tells his story of coming to America on his own from Belarus when he was 18, it seems that none of his family lives here, so, OK. But didn’t he have that good friend that came to visit him during that one challenge where they brought all the baby pictures and stuff? Is she the one that’s in Spain? You do have more than one friend, right, Dmitry? Can I come and hug you?

Shaking off my Dmitry Feelings, it’s time to head to the West Coast — holla! — to see Melissa in San Fran. She lives in a reasonable-but-nice-looking apartment that seems impeccably organized and sophisticated, very Home of An Artist type of deal. She shows some of her designs to Tim, who seems, again, quite pleased with them. Her collection “could not be more Melissa,” he says. And surprisingly, it does seem like there are a few bursts of color mixed in with the blacks. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of drama in the critique.