This is it, Runway fans. Last week’s couture challenge sent Joshua packing, so Emilio, Anthony Ryan, and Uli were left to duke it out in the All Stars finale this week.

The challenge was to create a mini collection and plan a runway show around it, all in four days. Let’s just skip right to the important part (although Joshua refusing to be Anthony Ryan’s assistant and Casanova crashing out on the couch instead of helping Uli were both pretty good moments):

Emilio: Urban Plantation
The story here was strong. I loved the white shirt under the bustier, the unstructured jacket with the last dress, and even the bright red pantsuit, but the 80s graphic print put this collection into a-little-too-loud-for-my-taste territory.

Anthony Ryan: A Fine Line
Though I expected more from Anthony Ryan – this was supposed to be a collection, yet there were no separates – I liked the colorblock theme. The opening look (the one Isaac called the best dress he’s ever seen on the show) didn’t appeal to me personally, but I adored the silver-and-yellow dress for showcasing one of my very favorite color combos.

Uli: Mystical Winter
Ivory and white have worked for Uli, so I’m not surprised she went with winter for her finale collection. The detailing was incredible, but the faux fur looked inexpensive. The styling was very “snow queen,” with a hint of masculinity. The best look for me? The long vest and graphic silver pants.

Overall, I only liked the winning designer’s collection – but loved his or her body of work from the show, which made it okay. Were you all for the winner, or did another designer steal your heart (only to have the judges break it)?

That’s all for now. Join me next week for the premiere of Project Runway: Teams, as we welcome back Heidi, Tim, and the gang (minus Michael). Until then – auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

Who was your favorite All Star this season? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala

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January 18, 2013

Bonjour, fellow Project Runway fans! Last week, the designers crafted custom dresses for lady veterans. This week, they took an haute little side trip to France.

That’s right. This episode started with the designers packing their bags for a less-than-24-hour hop across the pond to tour the House of Valentino, learn about couture, and shop at Janssens & Janssens for fabric to create their own couture-inspired looks.

Cue the collective jaw-drop.

With 3,000 euros and one hour to shop, Emilio said it best: “To have a great budget to buy beautiful fabric really elevates this challenge to the level of couture.” And Joshua – in a French shop brimming with gorgeous material – picked the tackiest floral fabric possible. “This is like Joshua and the Amazing Technicolor Couture Challenge,” he said. Okay. Let’s see how well that works out.

Back in the States, Joanna cautioned Emilio against going appliqué-crazy and Anthony Ryan about running out of time, worried about Uli’s dress coming across as “gladiator alligator meets Sicilian widow,” and tried to be polite about Joshua’s choice of fabric.

The runway was a mix of hits and misses. Joshua’s lace-and-floral combination was risky (as couture should be) – but quite possibly the ugliest thing I’ve seen yet. And while the judges liked Emilio’s gown, it could have been fitted better (and I wish he had kept some of the appliqué we saw in the workroom, despite Joanna’s warnings).

Anthony Ryan’s look was a touch funereal, but it certainly met the conditions of the challenge in a way that Uli’s dress did not. Despite its strength, her construction was problematic in the lining and back – and one challenge from the finale is not the time for such issues.

Rather than announcing a final verdict, the judges sent Anthony Ryan and Emilio through to the finale and held Joshua and Uli back for a tiebreaker challenge: deconstruct their gowns and create a new look, all in one hour.

Who was your pick to win the Hunger Games–style face-off between Uli and Joshua? Were you satisfied with the judges’ decision?

Join me next week to watch the Final Three in action. For now, au revoir.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

Did the right person go home? Sound off in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala

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January 11, 2013