It's the big finale of "Project Accessory," and though I think I might be one of ten people actually watching the show thus far, I'm sure they're excited about it. Hey, they have a shot at $100,000, which is considerably less after taxes, but it's still a nice car or two or maybe a reason to quit a crappy job. After watching "The X Factor" and its $5 million recording contract, it doesn't seem like much, but hey, these people made accessories out of garbage and stuff they found in an abandoned building, so they're probably very good at stretching.
Time for Molly to do her Heidi imitation. She informs our final three - Brian, Nina and Rich -- that they must each create a collection of nine accessories. But they'll get help from one previously eliminated designer. This is always a tricky process, because it means getting stuck with someone who's resentful and doesn't want to waste their talent on someone else's win, or possibly getting someone who means well but was eliminated for a reason. But pick they must!
Rich picks Diego. Nina picks Kelly. Brian picks James.
In the workroom, Eva informs the designers they have two days and stylist Amanda Ross will be giving them looks for their models.
Time for chatting and sketching. Nina is going for a bohemian tomboy thing. Rich wants to strike a balance between wickedness and elegance. I don't think Diego does wickedness, so this may not work so well. Brian is letting Miami influence him -- and he's doing a swimsuit. That seems like a risk, but we'll see.
Each designer gets $1,000. For Nina, that's crazy money, because she's used to making fabulous stuff out of matchsticks. Diego talks Rich into getting colors and very little black. Rich, get stuff you like! Diego isn't in the finale, you are! Oh, this is not good. Brian seems to be working fairly well with James. He has James working on two pairs of shoes, which is exactly what you want to get James working on. Brian already has an edge, in that he'll have well-made footwear.
As the pairs work, tension mounts. Diego makes a bag, and Rich hates it. Kelly is working at a glacial pace, which makes Nina nervous. James and Brian just work.
Finally, it's Eva time. First, she talks to Nina. She doesn't see enough differentiation in her three looks. Next, we hear from Brian. Eva tells him more is not more, and she'd rather see him do the right pieces instead of a ton of pieces. Brian agrees that he's all over the place. Worse, everything he holds up looks like crap from what I can see. Eva informs Rich that the Diego elements seem very, well, Diego. She tells him he has to get back into the game. I will hand it to Eva, as she nailed it -- Rich's collection is far too Diego. Of course, when Rich starts tinkering with Diego's bag, Diego grumbles. Thank God, Rich ignores him.
Kelly is so grateful that NIna brought her back! Nina is not feeling so grateful, because Kelly is SLOOOOW.
Time for the models to come in. The eBay fashion wall is available for all the designers' fashion needs! Plug, plug, plug! There's also plugging for hair and make-up, which I've gotten so use to tuning out I paid not one whit of attention, really.
Brian is incensed when he discovers that James' shoes are too big for his model. But Brian, you got PUMPS! Who else is getting pumps? No one else in this whole competition could make decent shoes, so calm down and beg for James to forgive you.
Meanwhile, Rich is furious, because Diego is pouting on the sofa. Nina is angry, because Kelly hasn't finished a single bag. Then, Rich is even angrier when he sees Diego helping Kelly. Everyone is stressed out!
Time for the final runway! By some miracle, Kelly finishes the bags. Nina, being a forgiving sort, is grateful.
Molly announces that the runner-up will get a seven-day vacation in Paris. Our judges are Ariel Foxman, Kenneth Cole and jewelry designer to the stars Lorraine Schwartz.
First Look - Daytime - pendant, belt, tote bag
Rich says it's not a face slapper. Still, looks good to me. It is for day. I'm not sure you want to get slapped in the face first thing in the morning.
Second Look - Day to Night - pendant, clutch, belt
This feels more Rich-like. The pendant is pretty fabulous.
Third Look - Evening - cuff, clutch, ring, earrings
I love this look. It's very rock 'n' roll -- which means it's very Rich.
First Look - Daytime - necklace, handbag, sandals
I like this, but the shoes and bag are accessories that look like stuff that's already in stores. The sandals are not exciting, and they're even a little gladiator-esque -- very three years ago. But I love the leather she chose for the bag and the braiding detail.
Second Look - Day to Night - necklace, ring, handbag
I like all of these elements, really. This is more sophisticated (being day to night), but I think it shows off a little more of what Nina can do.
Third Look - Evening - necklace, cuffs, clutch
I don't love the cuffs. They look like they were made out of construction paper. The black bands are horrid.
First Look - Daytime - necklace, tote bag, cuffs
I HATE the resin necklace. It looks like cotton balls on a string and from a distance I'd think she's wearing a lei. The bag is okay, and the brass cuffs don't seem to go with anything else.
Second Look - Day to Night - earrings, bracelet, belt, boots
I really like the slouch boots, and even the leather bracelet works. Those two elements are fabulous. The earrings and belt? Meh.
Third Look - Evening - necklace, clutch, shoes
As much as I like the shoes and the bag, the necklace is a mess. Serious craft project.
Time for judging. Ariel thinks Nina's evening necklace is a signature piece, but he thought her tie necklace needed to be more special. Lorraine thought the bronze bag was fun and young. Kenneth thinks her jewelry is extraordinary and thinks she's been consistent. Molly is obsessed with her shoes. I think they sell them at Zara, Molly. Check it out.
On to Rich. Lorraine loved the evening cuff. Molly loved the pendulum necklace. Ariel thinks the clutch is genius but doesn't love the belt. Kenneth thinks a little bit of Rich has been lost. I actually thought this was a great collection from Rich. As I recall, rock 'n' roll attitude didn't exactly save Nina.
Next, Brian. Ariel loves his bangles, but doesn't love the resin necklace -- it appears to be hatching. He loves his color story. Kenneth loved the shoes but the earrings look like a mistake. Lorraine likes the evening look's necklace. Molly is obsessed with his boots. If Brian wins, I think he owes James half.
Time for the judges to talk. Ariel thought Rich elevated his sense of danger with an element of elegance. Kenneth thought he was trying to be too commercial and lost sight of who he is. On the other hand, Kenneth thought Nina has a consistent point of view. Ariel thought her work was very Nina, but he wasn't surprised by anything. Lorraine thought Brian was all about straps of leather, so there was continuity. Ariel was worried he was too costume-y.
Is the winner Rich? No, he's in third place. I'm actually shocked -- I thought his collection was definitely stronger than Brian's.
So, it's down to Brian and Nina. The winner is... Brian? Really? He made a cotton ball necklace! And a necklace of scrap leather! His shoes were great, yes, but James picked out the snakeskin that everyone loved and he made the shoes. I know Brian had the vision, but I suspect James added quite a bit to the equation.
Brian is so thrilled to have won. Nina is glad that she gets to go to Paris. Brian thinks he deserved to win, even though I have to say, consistently through the season, I've found most of his stuff to be pretty junky (that horn handbag being a notable exception). But hey, I guess there's always a demand for cotton ball necklaces somewhere.
Stay tuned -- I'm supposed to talk to Brian tomorrow.
Do you think Brian deserved to win? Would you buy any of the looks you saw? And do you think Diego sabotaged Rich?