Project Runway–Season 3 Finale

It’s the episode we’ve all been waiting for, the Project Runway season 3 finale!

We start out right back in the middle of the Did NeckTat Cheat scandal. Uli wishes it had never happened, and Laura’s unapologetic. She compares it to one athlete on steroids competing against a bunch who aren’t. Jeffrey’s upset not because they thought he sucks at sewing, but that his integrity was questioned. Tim Gunn says he’s missing a receipt from the pleating company, and he better get it faxed over, stat. Jeffrey is all, what if I can’t get it, “it’s like Sanford and Son over there.” He’s stressed. He calls the place. It’s not looking good. He starts making a skirt just in case he can’t use the garment in question. Good thinkin’ NeckTat. I nod my approval in your direction.

Tim asks everyone to gather. He explains the concerns over outsourcing the sewing (like everyone didn’t know) and says that he is confident that Jeffrey made the clothing himself, and that he will be showing his collection. Jeffrey collapses into a pile of tears, and holds onto Uli for dear life. Tim is all, “blink. blink.” The crying continues. I mean I know it was probably stressful, and you were tired, but hey let’s pick it up! You’re already done with your collection, while everyone else is still sewing. It’s not like this has caused a huge inconvenience for you. Take a nap.

Tim explains that since the receipt is still missing, the bubble shorts have to go (thank God, no one really needs to see another bubble anything this season), and also he’s over budget by $200 and some change, so figure out what’s getting returned. Immediately, I’m all, “WIGS!” Uli goes, “Thanks, Laura for starting all this!” Laura says, “I didn’t intend to make Jeffrey cry,” (I really hope she said it that way to mock his reaction re: Angela’s mom on the reunion show) and the drama queen is STILL sniffling out on the balcony. Nap. That’s all I’m sayin. Jeff says he’s okay with Laura and it’s a good thing, because I think his People Who I Made Cry count is way higher than Laura’s 1.

Tim has a last “gather round” and gets all choked up. Everyone’s stoked and nervous. They go to the tents mad early in the morning, they get all excited. Ooh can I have one of those goody bags? Suddenly it’s time! We see shots of Alison, Malan, Angela. Everyone’s family is there. Stevie Nicks Heidi comes out and introduces the judges. Michael Kors is a particularly hideous shade of oompa loompa orange, and is wearing mirrored aviators. Oh Korsey, you kill me. Nina Garcia is there, and the guest judge is Fern Mallis, the creator of Olympus Fashion Week and also A) someone who looks like they eat actual food that works in fashion and B) the one who said her best advice to designers was “Be nice.” I love Fern Mallis.

Time for the show! Jeffrey shows first. He gives a shoutout to his family (it’s his girlfriend’s birthday), and he’s ready to go. I’m gonna stick to really short & sweet commentary on the collections and let the clothes just speak for themselves. All runway photos are courtesy And I definitely recommend that you click here to see huge, gorgeous, high-resolution photos of all the looks!

I loved almost everything about Jeffrey’s collection. Besides the two “blue” looks, I thought it was incredibly light and fun and young.

Love the polka dots. Love the stripes. Love the zippers.

Thought it was very Alice in Wonderlandish at times, and I saw the Japanese influence. Thank god he lost those wigs.

Good job, NeckTat. I’m glad you didn’t cheat. Your music sucked though, seriously your clothes were so fun but the music made me want to put on black eyeliner and slit my wrists. Heavy bassbeat runway music: look into it.

Uli was next. She said PR was the best experience of her life, and basically a dream come true.

I’ve said it before, I love Uli’s clothes, and if I ever get rich and famous, I’m buying one of her pieces in a minute. My only complaints about this collection: 1) the tan and silver together looked a little Star Trek Uniform to me. I was looking for the little logo on the left chest or whatever. 2) why send out all the neutrals together and then all the color together? I thought the idea was BIG LOOK, tame look, BIG LOOK, tame look, or else you lose the big looks if you put them back to back. I think Michael Kors taught me that.

Love the shell and bone embellishments, love that necklace.

When homegirl ripped off her skirt to reveal a bathing suit, there was an audible GASP at the party. That was seriously hot, Uli. Hi Amanda! Quit lightening your hair.

I loved the color of this dress, but was not diggin the little coral pieces hanging off it. I know that coral jewelry is hot right now but those looked like those little chili pepper string lights I had up in my room when I was 15. Nice job though, Ulls. I’m proud of you.

Laura’s next. She said her goal was to get big in the fashion world, and what do you know, she’s BIG (I was afraid there would be a birthing right on the runway) and she’s in the fashion world.

We got amazing evening looks from Laura. There was a lot of black and nude, as expected. How stunning was that model with the long red hair?! Girlfriend needs a Snickers bar, but I’m saying. She is gorgeous.

I loved that belted tan dress. On the runway it looked like leather covered in sequins. Seriously hot. I would wear all of these if I was leggy and seven feet tall.

Why the little white pasties, model? You could have at least gotten flesh-colored ones!

And there is MY dress. No really, I’m claiming it. The belt is my favorite color, and that gray! Perfection! Laura, when you do color you HIT IT RIGHT ON. What happened to that gorgeous red dress I was admiring at your house? I think if you’d done more color and a little more play with volume, you could have blasted everyone else out of the water, seriously.

Last was Michael. He says something about a sexy, sensual RAAAWRRR woman finding herself on the streets. I mean it was a lot of STREET (corner) in this collection, if you know what I’m saying.

Oh look there’s Fatty McMinnieMouse lookin hot in the only thing I’d wear from his collection (if it was like a foot longer). Um, I’ll sum up Michaels collection: gold lame’ (when is this ever a good idea? Answer: NEVER), lace up, lots of cleavage (or there would be if there were actual boobs inside the garments), loud animal print, sequin bling. Oof.

See, some of these garments might have been okay, like that orange thing, but I HATE the belts. They look SO cheap, and that color brown is all, “Fake leather! I’m fake leather! I’m about to crack and start peeling off the white fuzzy interfacing I’m attached to!”

Aaaaah! The bathing suits. Although Andrae’s model from last season is lookin good. That gold thing, ugh, get it away. And he worked on that hideous bag forever. Honey you might as well have picked up something else from the TJ Maxx sale rack, cause it would have been cuter. Ugh, I hate this stuff. Michael, I weep.

And the worst look by far, with ol busted Clarissa and the ugliest handbag ever. No one wants to carry that thing, trust me. Michael, I’m so sad.

Sigh. Okay. We go backstage and see everyone hugging and interviewing. The big stars at the show are Brandy? And the CEO of Wal-Mart? WHAT??? Surely there were cool people there, get the mic out of his face. Heidi Klum, get away from him! Oh good, finally we’re on to the judging. They bring out the models.

Laura goes first. She says her collection was “romantic, escapist and luxurious.” I’m nodding. Heidi says for $8,000 this was spectacular. MK chimes in, “For $30,000 this would be spectacular!” He asks about the beading. Yep, she did it all herself, and paced herself on it. Hey, y’all look at my dress. See how it glows? Anyway, you knew what Nina was going to say. Where’s the surprise factor? Fern Mallis tells her that it’s fine to be focused if your work is this extraordinary. I agree. Go Laura!

Michael says he was trying to show who he was as a designer. Y’all, peep that hideous handbag I mentioned earlier. Ugh. Fern says that she could tell he was definitely the crowd favorite, and she wished his collection had stood up to that, cause it didn’t. MK says the volume was turned way way up on this. Michael says, it’s Bryant Park and I wanted to come on strong and serious. NG says it’s a fine line between strong and sleazy (okay not really but she said the fine line part). Michael says he did what he could do. He looks upset.

Jeffrey is next. He talks about his Japanese inspiration. FM calls it adorable and loves the detailing. MK says he dressed the girl for every juncture in her life, a party, the movies, work, etc. They talk about the two odd pieces out (Jeffrey, just don’t ever try to do evening. You’re not a silk charmeuse guy.) and say he should stick to his strengths. Heidi mentions him going over budget by $200 and asks what he got rid of. He says the wigs and now he’s under budget by $400. He spent $600 on wigs? BAD wigs? Ew.

Uli says she wanted to show a broader variety of what she was capable of. NG says her clothes are terrific, they will sell, they’re what women will like and buy. She’s saying all this in a way that makes me wait for the big BUT… but it never comes. They cut to Heidi who wants every outfit. MK says there should be more of a connective thread from the color to the neutrals, he doesn’t see the story. These fashion people and their stupid stories.

The designers leave and it’s time to talk about them behind their backs. Uli makes clothes women want, she knows how to do details and she’s passionate. Jeffrey is innovative, fun and shows variety without being all over the place. Except for that one gown which was obviously straight from a Japanese ghost story nightmare. Laura’s middle name is meticulous, everything is impressive and if you buy one of her pieces, it’ll be in your closet forever. But is she a creative innovator? Meh? Michael’s taste level is questionable, the quest to find his identity was noble, but they hate what he found haha.

During commercials, the survey results for “Who should win Project Runway” are in and 42% of Americans are trashy! They want Michael! Oh, and what’s with showing Barbie commercials during PR now? Are little kids REALLY watching this? Because I got sick of that one commercial. Also the new Barbie Girl head branding is icky.

We’re back on the runway with the designers. Heidi addresses Michael: we believe in your future, but you need time to mature. You’re out.

Laura: you created an exquisite collection, but it’s too limited, you’re out.

Jeffrey: you’re innovative, cohesive and you showed your range. Uli: you pushed yourself and made a beautiful collection that every woman wants to wear.

And the winner is… Jeffrey!

Uli heads backstage and says, “get the kid ready!” which just about made me cry. I mean that was really gracious of her. She says things happen for a reason, 2nd place is perfect for her and she will survive in fashion. Go Ulls!

Jeffrey says he effing did it. Congrats to him and to Marilinda also (who demonstrates why they don’t let the models talk — “I’m a winner toooo!”). Jeff’s girlfriend and baby come onstage. And his family. Awww it’s nice.

And Tim Gunn presents him with the Saturn Sky Roadster! Hot! In a very scripted moment, Tim says, “Bravo” and the little Bravo logo comes out of his mouth. Haha cheeeeese. Jeffrey closes it out with, “This doesn’t suck at all.” Well said, NeckTat, and congratulations to you.

Thanks so much for reading my stupid recaps and I’ll see you guys for Season 4!


  1. says

    so sad. the last recap : (

    I think it was a really great finale show. And of course, you know that I was stoked for Jeffrey’s win.

    Though, I felt the show ended a little abruptly. Oh well. I’m already counting down for season 4.

  2. says

    wooo! good recap. I was absolutely flabbergasted when jeffrey won. I love Uli — but I also loved Jeffreys style from the beginning. What a good season!!

    How long till season 4 anyways?? :)

  3. shannon says

    Stupid recaps? I started watching PR because of your recaps!

    I’m upset that Laura didn’t win, but I knew she wouldn’t. I just think her stuff was hands down better than anyone else’s. Maybe I have boring taste.

    I was so disappointed in Michael’s collection. He did so much good this season and then…hookerwear. Ugh.

  4. says

    amber, i’ve loved reading your ‘stupid’ recaps. we don’t have cable, so i’ve followed season three with your recaps and project rungay. now to wait until season 3 comes out on dvd, watch each episode and re-read your recaps. :)

  5. scott says

    I was hoping Michael would win. But I agree with your accessment. So now that it’s over what next? Are you going to start write ups on the new Lost episode?

  6. says

    I agree with everything you said. I was so embarrassed for Michael! And in the end, I was pleased with Jeffrey’s win.

    One thing: I was confused this episode about the who-sewed-Jeffrey’s-stuff issue. If it’s perfectly legal to hire out leather work, why were all the other designers flipping out over the pair of leather pants? Yeah, yeah, receipts, but it didn’t sound like that was what the other designers meant.

  7. says

    I really loved Laura’s, Uli’s and Jeffrey’s collections. I knew it was the kiss of death for Laura when Heidi said you’d have the dresses in your closet forever. Hey, gorgeous evening wear is not a bad thing, PR! I really liked Jeff’s stuff much better on the runway than in the stills. That zippy, stripey number and the other stripey dress are gorgeous. And Uli’s bathing suit moment: faboo. I hope Michael takes Tim’s advice and finds a designing mentor. He has such talent and promise if he can back away from the “sexy, sultry.” Thanks for the recaps, Amber!

  8. says

    Kristin -
    The designers are allowed to contract work out as long as they pay for it (Jay got knitting done for the first season, Santino got pleating done, etc). The issue was that Laura thought Jeffrey had work done that he wasn’t showing receipts for (the topstitching on those leather jeans, etc). Something like that would have cost him hundreds of dollars. That was her complaint.

    I don’t really know how the producers determined that was his work, but I guess they did, so it was a nonissue after that.

  9. Laurah says

    Did you read Tim’s podcast? He made a really interesting point about Michael. Basically, he said that M is really talented, but super young and inexperienced, and still at the stage where talking about his designs with a mentor helps him make those great leaps we all came to love. Tim thinks that a mentorship with an established designer would help take M to the next level.

  10. says

    I am so going to miss your recaps. You and the PRGayBoys are my favs. Quick, pick another show and start getting snarky. I’d suggest TopChef but jeez … all I want to do when I watch it is EAT EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE.

  11. says

    I love Project Runway, and I love your recaps almost as much. I was with you on Team Laura (where can I buy the little shorts & shrunken tuxedo jacket? and the thighs you need to wear the outfit?) but I’m fine with the way things turned out. This was a really strong final four and the best final round PR has had so far, I think.

  12. sarahrae says

    i noticed the white pasties too…. totally bugged me then. would have been much better in flesh!

  13. says

    great recap, Amber! I am totally linking to it on my blog because you win for putting up the best quality pictures of the runway!

  14. Amy says

    At first, I too, was like “$600 on WIGS?! HOW!”. Then I realized that 12 models times $50 each sounds about right.

    Also, as much as I despise Jeffrey’s personality, his collection was by far the best and I’m quite impressed with it. Stellar.

  15. JC says

    Just aying I loved the recaps too…you should find another show to do these on HA!

    Anyway, I’m thrilled to death Tatman won! And Tim’s right about Michael…the guy needs a mentor to edit him down to reasonableness. That final collection was like Wonder Woman goes to Skankville.

  16. Stevie says

    I can’t believe the season is already over. Why did it seem to go so slow…yet so fast?

    Besides Jeffrey’s hideous choice in runway music, did anyone else notice that Uli’s runway music sounded like the soundtrack to the Sims? I think the only reason I noticed is because I was playing the Sims right before PR came on. I’m a dork.

    I still feel sad that Michael failed to launch. I agree that he could use a strong mentor.

  17. says

    In the aftermath, I’m glad Michael didn’t win. He isn’t under contract or pressure like Jay was, because I don’t think he could handle it (without producing another collection like the one we’ve seen already). So Bravo for Jeffrey! A more established, visioned designer.

    So glad I found your recaps this season! I’ll stick around, because your blog is totally addicting.

  18. Karen S says

    I would like to know the artists and the titles of Jeffrey’s, Uli’s and Laura’s runway music for the finale. Anybody out there know?