This is it, Project Runway fans! Last week, while we chatted with designer Alexander, Tim visited the contestants in their hometowns. The judges couldn’t decide who should go to Fashion Week – and Helen was ultimately sent packing for presenting a three-piece mini collection that wasn’t show-worthy.

This week, the Final Four showed their full collections, with two additional challenges: one look needed to feature unconventional materials, and another (sponsored by Tide) was to be made from laundry-safe fabrics.

Dom: She designed her own prints for the retro-futuristic collection, and the dress made from a window screen and door hinges and this jacket both blew me away. While the bathing suit was an odd surprise, she paired it with a gorgeous cape cover-up. She could have lost the plastic peplum on her sapphire dress, but overall, this was the best show of the four.

Bradon: This collection was “expressive and abstract” but “disjointed,” per Zac and Nina. I’m half in, half out on his opening piece, a metallic ball gown skirt with an unexciting floral print. The metallics went a touch disco, but he did make pants perfect for spring. There were some misses, like the oddly anatomical shorts and the Tide Challenge dress, which looked out of place.

Justin: Through his show, Justin told the story of hearing for the first time, complete with a dress representing sound waves. Some of the garments lost their shape against the white catwalk, but his 3-D-printed accessories were so totally fresh and cool. And that feathery closing number? Showstopping.

Alexandria: While the judges loved the strength and vulnerability (“that a lot of women feel,” added Zac), Alexandria’s collection was wearable but boring. Guest judge Kerry Washington loved the mix-and-matchable separates, though the pants all looked ridiculous. Heidi called the collection “young,” “hip,” and “now,” but I wouldn’t have worn 90% of it.

Did the judges get it right? (I vote yes, considering by 10:25PM I was begging the TV gods with my eyes squeezed shut.) And will you be tuning in to the upcoming third installment of Project Runway All Stars? If so, be sure to tweet us at @ruelala and tell us what you think.

Thanks for joining me. Auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

Did you miss an episode? Catch up or refresh your memory with our previous Project Runway recaps.

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October 18, 2013

Welcome back, Project Runway fans! The last time we spoke, five designers traveled across Europe for inspiration for high-end fashion looks. These past two weeks, we’ve been engrossed in the finale – first in the narrowing down of the Final Four to Three, and then in seeing the final collections walk the runway.

After working on their collections at home for four months, the designers each picked three pieces to show. Two of the season’s best looks (in my opinion) – Michelle’s layers and black chaps and Patricia’s horsehair cape with leather pants – helped the ladies secure their spots. Stanley’s skill with luxe, ornate fabrics earned him the last seat, leaving out Daniel, whose capsule collection was sadly made up of well-designed but boring choices.

With the judges’ advice (primarily for Stanley to add interest and youth, Michelle to edit, and Patricia to bring cohesion and maturity), the Final Three returned to the workroom to prep for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Everyone was stressed, but Stanley especially – he still had unfinished garments as he walked into Lincoln Center. Between an army of sewing assistants and a (very) patient stage manager, he pulled it together, but it was ugly there for a bit.

Stanley: “Urban Opulence” had some standout pieces, like the gold belted coatdress and white-and-gold dress, but ultimately his collection still felt dated and his quick-fix hemlines were too shoddy for Fashion Week.

Patricia: Inspired by trees, this collection showcased her creativity and Native American heritage. She created a beautiful fabric, and the judges appreciated her leather hole-punch pants. The pink dress she opened with was also really lovely. I still noticed a lack of cohesion, though, and while the judges liked her headpieces, I found them to be a little over the top.

Michelle: This lone wolf–inspired collection exemplified the casual/tough attitude I’ve come to love about her. It was diverse, yet told a complete story through quilted fabrics and pleated dresses. Those chiffon scarf-ties took it a little too far, and her closing gown was quite heavy – even to Michael Kors (can he come back next season? Please?), who said it was like a “cardboard box walking.” Overall, though, she was my favorite.

The judges had a hard time narrowing it down, and I was happy with their final choice. What did you think – did the right person win? Until Season 12, auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

How did you like Project Runway: Teams? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala. And if you missed an episode, check out our Project Runway recaps to date.

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April 26, 2013