It’s the day of the show, y’all! After a season full of ups, downs, cutouts, crying, and Kushner references, we’ve finally reached the finale! After a cliffhanger last week left the fate of all four designers hanging in the balance, this week’s episode quickly reveals that everyone will be moving on to New York Fashion Week. As a result, the events of the final hour—largely putting on clothes and then taking them off and sewing them and putting them on again—have the chummy feel of a group of friends coming together to put on “the greatest show of their lives.” Everyone is just so good-natured and nice and very skilled and fashion is basically costume and suddenly I’m back in high school getting ready for the final fall musical of our high school careers. It’s all very dramatic; somewhere Vitamin C is playing and I am giving a tearful speech while wearing a full face of makeup despite the fact that the part does not call for it and the auditorium holds like 300 people.
As has become sort of de rigueur for this season, the episode is largely drama-free, choosing to focus instead on the process of making and editing. It’s really satisfying to watch extremely talented designers fully lean into their skills and their aesthetics. It casts everything in a new light. At one point in the episode, I looked at Sergio’s melting ice caps collection and exclaimed “Oh! I get it now!”, so truly this is an hour of miracles. Miracles and, of course, superlatives!
Most Group Chat Confidential
At the beginning of the final 48 hours before Fashion Week, Christian texts the designers to invite them to meet him at the CFDA. He sends the message to Nancy’s phone, or at least a phone in Nancy’s possession. As she squeals about the message, Victoria clamors to look at the screen, prompting Nancy to clutch the phone closer to herself—the trademark move of anyone who has gotten hot tea or a scalding screenshot in a public setting. I love imagining Nancy refusing to divulge the contents of the text and showing up at CFDA all by herself like “Hi, you rang?”
Most Welcome Reception
The final four have a casting session for their runway models, which involves them sitting at a large table and watching as models walk in the room and out of the room, one-by-one. Of course after every model Victoria shouts “Oh, I need her.” This is very me energy. No I will not be making choices; I need all the options. All of them. Life is a buffet and I brought Tupperware.
One of the delights of this casting process is that the designers are scream “Yes!” at every single model as the model walks in. We all need to put something like this in place in our lives. Can you imagine walking into work to find a quartet of people sitting behind a folding table screaming favorably at you? Better than a raise!
Sergio tells Nancy he’s planning to surprise his partner Kade (an icon! Give them their own show!) with a proposal at Fashion Week. By the by, Proposal at Fashion Week is definitely a romance novel I would read. And Promposal at Fashion Week is a YA novel I need right now. Let’s work on this. Anyway, spoiler alert: Sergio actually does propose (congrats icons!) which is good because when he told Nancy his plan I immediately thought “this is going to be hella awkward if he put all his business out on the airwaves and then didn’t actually get a chance to propose. Like he’s backstage after the show and he reaches into his pocket and a production assistant comes barreling through telling everyone that they have to clear the area because they have a hard out and they can’t go into OT. This is surely a plot point that will complicate matters in Proposal at Fashion Week.
Stylist Karla Welch is back! I just love her so much. She has a new personal styling app called Wishi and I immediately downloaded it despite the fact that I have nothing to do for the foreseeable future. I’m going to be sitting on my house dressed to the nines, y’all!
Victoria makes a sleek, ivory sweater dress in two hours and it’s so gorgeous that Christian gets close to emotional looking at it. I love crying about clothes! I hope that’s a feature on Wishi!
Karla advises Sergio to add a t-shirt to skirt instead of the fringe jacket he’d been planning. Sergio isn’t convinced, but Karla presses. “I’d wear this with a t-shirt,” she says, coaxingly. Sergio replies: “That’s not the planet I live on.” Has there ever been a more perfect or more actually accurate response? I’m totally stealing this for all things. Sallie Mae tells me my student loan payment is due? Oh no, dear, that’s not the planet I live on. Sergio finally relents, however, and responds to Karla like he’s doing her a favor. “I’ll make you a t-shirt, honey,” he says. Obsessed with all of this.
“Screwdriver!” Victoria says out of nowhere. When asked why she says there’s no reason; it’s just a word she’s learning. Oh, my heart!
I honestly lose track of how many times Geoffrey cries this episode. Literally, he is emotional within the first 60 seconds. Love that journey for him. But as they designers grapple with the idea that they’re spending their final night in the workroom, Geoffrey gets overwhelmed. He is sitting at the sewing machine and is crying so hard that he can’t see and it is 10000% a moment from an Academy Awards show clip in which Stanley Tucci plays Geoffrey. I’ve wracked my brain to figure out if crying at a sewing machine is something I’ve actually seen before in film and I can’t think of anything (maybe a dramatic Betsy Ross biopic starring Nicole Kidman?). I might be thinking of Diane Keaton sobbing at the laptop in Something’s Got to Give. Very similar energy here.
Surprisingly, this superlative does not go to Geoffrey, but rather to Nancy’s husband and sons, who are red-faced and weeping as Nancy takes to the final runway to introduce her collection. Who would have thought, when they met on that golf dating site, that they’d end up here?!
In the end, after four really amazing and strikingly different collections, the judges crown Geoffrey the winner! And he doesn’t even cry! Well, he cries a little but mostly he seems just happy and chill. “All the counseling in the world wouldn’t have done what Project Runway has done,” he says, which is an amazing quote. Geoffrey’s journey to emotional health will stay with me for a long time.
But just in case we were feeling cheated on the Geoffrey’s tears plotline, at the very end Geoffrey calls his father, to whom the collection is dedicated, and his stepmon to tell them that he’s won. His father cheers! Geoffrey’s getting teary-eyed, I’m getting teary-eyed, Nicole Kidman as Betsy Ross is getting teary-eyed! Geoffrey’s stepmom Sooz (OBSESSED with this name), speaks for all of us when she shouts “Geoffrey! I’m crying!”