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Seth Aaron sews up ‘Project Runway’s’ top prize

Impeccable tailoring and eye-catching, graphic design made Seth Aaron Henderson a cut above the rest on "Project Runway."
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Can you believe it’s time for the finale of “Project Runway”? Even though this has been one of the dullest seasons of “PR” in recent memory, I’m already feeling a little nostalgic.

Remember all the brighty, shiny talents who have been strewn by the side of the runway like so much excess polyester? Anthony? Mya? Jonathan? That crazy Ping chick who didn’t know how to sew? That guy who never said anything and made ugly metal dresses? And… that other guy? And there were some girls, I’m pretty sure.

Okay, maybe I won’t miss this season that much. But I am definitely excited about tonight. Admittedly, for me it’s more about rooting against one designer (Mila) rather than for Seth Aaron or Emilio (hey, they’re both good), but either way, Bryant Park is always exciting.

Before we can start, we have to show the designers taking pot shots at one another. Mila seems to get the most airtime here, because for someone who’s so confident she certainly enjoys running down her castmates. She thinks Seth Aaron is making glamorous Hot Topic. Emilio thinks Mila’s garments are beautifully made but severe and demure. Mila thinks Emilio is very Harlem 1994. Seth Aaron thinks Emilio is so over. Mila thinks she can win. Nooooo!

Tim comes to visit. Seth Aaron tells him he has 24 looks, even though he only needs ten. I wonder if Seth Aaron does speed. It would account for the new hairstyle, which is very goth Ed Grimley. This is not a good thing. Boyfriend needs to step back from the product. Product is not your friend, Seth Aaron, no it is not! Seth Aaron asks Tim for advice on what should walk the runway. Smart, Seth Aaron, very smart.

After helping out Seth Aaron, Tim moves on to Emilio, who never wants anyone’s help because he’s perfect. Tim still doesn’t love Emilio’s stuff. Emilio doesn’t care, because the judges don’t always agree with Tim. Emilio’s always had plenty of ego, but man, when did he become so stubborn?

Tim then goes to Mila and tells her to roughen things up, whatever that means. Maybe he’s suggesting Mila take a pair of sheers to her boring 60s monochrome dresses, because he’s as sick of seeing the same crap from her as we are.

Major DisasterThen, it’s model casting time. Mila wants rocker chicks, Emilio wants multiculti chicks, and Seth Aaron, no idea. Because that segment’s about two seconds long. Then, it’s make-up time. Then, it’s model fitting time. Then, it’s hair time. You know, usually I hate that networks drag out finales (I’m talking to you, Fox, ABC and NBC), but Lifetime and Bravo before it may actually be too far on the other end of the spectrum. I’m guessing there was at least some diva quibbling over the models, but we’ll never know.

Although we haven’t seen anyone’s full line yet, my first impression is that Seth Aaron’s designs are the strongest. I love the color, I love the designs (at least what I’ve seen so far), and my God, anything is better than 90s or 60s retro. Sorry, but it’s just way too soon to bring back the 90s, isn’t it?

Emilio, Seth Aaron and Mila run in the slushy, pee-stained snow of New York, holding hands. How sweet. It’s like a greeting card, except it probably smells bad and if we did an extreme close-up, we’d see a family of rats waddling around a sewer grate. Don’t you love the Big Apple?

Finally, it’s time for Bryant Park — whoo hoo! Except three of Mila’s models haven’t shown up. Emilio is missing a model. Tim fetches alternates. Problem solved. This was played up as a Major Disaster in the show promos. Lifetime, keep this up and I will never watch a Valerie Bertinelli/woman in distress/fat girl makes good TV movie on your network, even if my DVR is broken. Not that I planned to, but still.

First up, Heidi appears to prove that, yes, she can get back into a sample size less than three months after squeezing out a kid. Congratulations, Heidi, you’ve found another reason for me to hate you. Michael, Nina and guest judge Faith Hill are in the house. Um, Faith Hill? The country singer who has ended up on the worst dressed list more than once? Really, no one else was available, like Cher or maybe that piano playing cat on YouTube? Anyway, once Heidi babbles and shows off her gravity-defying figure, it’s time to start.

On the runwaySeth Aaron appears wearing the world’s worst jeans. Apparently, he didn’t want his ugly hair to feel lonely. His inspiration is 1940s military. He is so going to blow this out. Hopefully, no one will hold his bad jeans and hair against him.

Love this red wool dress with leather details. The leggings are definitely runway only, but very cool.

Next, a houndstooth jacket with leather detailing, 3/4 length sleeves and zipper bottom pants. Militaristic and beautifully tailored.

A cinched-waist bag dress. Although it fits what we’ve seen from a fabric perspective, this is definitely “which of these things is not like the others” territory. But the back is gorgeous and it’s a great dress all on its own.

A ‘40s inspired black and white dress is followed by a patent leather number that could be an artfully exploded trash bag. It’s cool, but I think Seth Aaron has reached a little far and wide in his themes here, which the judges could hold against him. But haven’t seen a stinker yet.

A yellow plaid dress/trench is more on target. His retro military idea is a good one — but really, even the stuff that’s off-theme is great.

Love this quilted leather jacket and, even though I suspect the leather/plaid pants would never sell because they made the model’s ass look fat, they’re still spectacular.

A gorgeous patent and polka dot dress is followed by a beautiful woven coat. Seth Aaron is so winning this.

I kinda dig this purple bondage-inspired dress, although it may not look so great on a woman who’s larger than a size 0. If Mila thinks this is glam Hot Topic, she’s on crack.

Next, Mila. Who has to cry, because she worked really hard for this. She also wears unflattering pants, which makes me wonder if the designers had some sort of bet going. She announces her name is Mila, and her inspiration is shadows, and she thanks her mommy and daddy and for a second I think I’m at an elementary school art exhibit.

A black and white striped 60s dress. Beautifully made, but yawn.

A black coat over a black and white dress. If she hadn’t been making stuff like this all season, I’d be more impressed.

Oh, wow, a purple striped dress! Which looks almost black. With a big necklace. Whole lotta stripes. Mila must have done well in geometry.

Cropped white pants with a black coat. Everything is clearly well made, but it’s not exciting.

A grey, black and white short sleeved top over leggings. Lots of patent, lots of leather.

That same boxy silhouette, this time in what appears to be either fur or mohair. And patent leather. While Seth Aaron was so ambitious he picked a few themes for his collection, Mila just repeated herself, over and over.

Look, another boxy top, this time with fabric strips, which is actually pretty cool. Can’t say the same for the bike shorts.

Mila is sure she can win “PR”, but based on this collection, I have no idea why. A purple cardigan over a black and white top. I am so bored. Oh, look, stripes.

Another purple striped dress with a very high belt.

Oh, and that metallic dress with the patent collar again. Not a showstopper in the bunch. Actually, this felt very Macy’s. Messy hair doesn’t actually make this less demure and matronly, as Emilio pointed out, but it does look better on the runway, I suppose.

Back to the ’90sEmilio’s up! He calls the collection Color Me Bad, which is really, really a bad idea. Because, if it already looks 90s, naming the collection after a cheesy singing group from the 90s is, let’s admit it, a terrible idea. Seriously, I’m still puking over the 80s revival. Can we wait a year or two? Next thing you know, we’ll be bringing back 2005.

A vomit-colored coat over a little dress. Nice coat, gorgeous lining, but too clashy with the dress.

A red wool dress. After seeing Seth Aaron’s red wool dress, this is a snooze. It could be on a sales rack at JC Penney.

A blinding blue coat over black pants. I like the coat, but it’s not enough to wow me.

A red coat with a blue lining over that a one shouldered dress made from that lettered fabric he’s so fond of. It’s just not working for me. I have to say, I’m disappointed in Emilio.

A green jacket/skirt duo is asymmetrical in an interesting way, and I do like the tight blue dress that follows it. But these colors are just cheap looking to me. And yes, very 90s.

A red turtleneck dress I would expect to see at the mall, followed by a black suit and another mall outfit.

Finally, a gorgeous evening gown. I give Emilio props for creating a collection that’s very harmonious and wearable, but personally, I don’t want runway I could pick up at a department store. I want Alexander McQueen and a little crazy imagination, and the closest I saw to that was Seth Aaron.

A big, gooey lovefestThe judges talk. Heidi thought the whole show was amazing. So did Faith Hill. Nina thinks everyone did well and they all also performed well throughout the season. Michael thinks they all had a distinct POV and was blown away by it. Well, isn’t this a big, gooey lovefest. Let’s start judging, people!

The designers are dragged out for their results. The judges start in on Seth Aaron first. Michael says he crafts clothes beautifully, and thought he sent out plenty of kaboom. He loved that Seth Aaron stepped up the luxury but kept things young. He gives him props for having a powerful show filled with dresses that people can still wear. Nina agrees that he grew up but thinks he has a heavy hand sometimes, but thought it was a fantastic show with editorial pieces. No one liked the purple dress, though I still think it was pretty darn cool.

Emilio is next. Faith was knocked out. She loved the coats. I don’t really care what Faith likes. Heidi liked Emilio’s print. Michael thinks the collection was the most commercial, but he loved the gown the most. Nina thought it was a quiet but sophisticated collection, but too many coats.

On to Mila and her stupid shadows. Heidi liked the hair and make-up. Michael thinks she killed the girl in the cage doing the frug, and initially I wonder if she actually killed someone, because it is Mila we’re talking about, but it was just one of Michael’s cute metaphors. He liked the hair and make-up, too. He liked the clothes’ patent leather shine. Heidi wants to wear some of it. Faith would wear the minidress with the scarf. Nina thinks the hair and make-up helped a lot. The judges are talking way too much about the hair and make-up. Maybe because that’s the only thing that’s new in Mila’s collection.

Decision timeSo, the designers are sent backstage to sweat and it’s time for the judges to really hash it out. Michael talks about how great Mila is for about a minute, then finally gets to the truth — it wasn’t surprising. Heidi argues that she wasn’t surprised by Seth Aaron, but Michael points out that Seth Aaron was surprising because he was so much more sophisticated. Still, he argues that Seth Aaron can get overwrought. Nina thinks Seth Aaron is more fearless than the others, which is true.

Faith loves Emilio. I wouldn’t really put a lot of stock in Faith Hill’s opinion, honestly. Michael thinks it’s odd he went quiet instead of wow, and there was no drama or showmanship. Still, his clothes were the easiest to wear. True, but if that’s what they’re looking for, let’s just move out of Bryant Park and put on a show at Sears.

Mila is…out. Yay Ding, dong the monochrome witch is aufed! She’s disappointed, but she knows lots of great opportunities lie ahead for her. Whatever.

Seth Aaron is… the winner! Yay! C’mon, there was no way they were going to give it to Emilio for mall dresses, sorry. Emilio looks severely disappointed, then quotes Anthony about how you don’t have to have the crown to be the king, which I’m sure is his way of being strong but he looks kind of like a serial killer when he says it. Then he goes backstage and cries.

Seth Aaron won despite that Ed Grimley hair! He cries with happiness. Then he lifts Tim and cracks his back, which I guess is better than tossing the poor guy around on a trampoline.

The conclusion of “PR” is, compared to most reality shows, extremely quiet and kind of anticlimactic. But that’s fine, because hey, Seth Aaron won! Wooh! And now I want to see if his clothes are available on Bluefly…