By Rya Backer
Ring the chimes! Release the doves! Let us all breathe a collective sigh of ... "meh."
"Project Runway" is at long last over, and — extremely obvious spoiler alert — Leanne won! But if you ask me, the real winner of last night's final challenge was none other than yours truly, as I had the pleasure and the joy of watching the episode in the humble abode of STELLA BARBARELLA ZOTIS. Yes, Ratbones was there too. Oh, and so was legendary rock photographer Mick Rock. Normal.
My trusty co-worker Steven shot the festivities for my posterity and for this very special (FINAL!) edition of Ins and Outs!
Not Winning: The exposure of being on "Project Runway" is way more than enough for most of these designers. Not to speak on Leanne's behalf, but apparently the only thing you really win (apart from the car, the money and the mentorship) when you come out victorious from this show is a bunch of red tape dictating what you can and can't do. Also, Stella told me that once you're kicked off the show, you don't go home! Instead, you go to this other room in the Atlas apartments, and a team of Bravo people take the contestants to places like Great Adventure.
Dogs: That model's dog (you know which one ... ) was too much. Stella has a dog too! His name is Zeus, and she's obsessed with him, with good reason.
Brad: Does he have a last name? Whatever. In any case, "The Rachel Zoe Project" is amazing, and last night, Rachel's well-dressed and well-groomed assistant got some camera time before the runway shows, to remind us that none of us spends enough time coordinating impeccable "looks" for ourselves.
Bangs: I just cut mine recently, and honestly, they're high-maintenance. That's why whenever I see Kenley and her full, unseparated bangs, I have this new respect for her. Then, Stella told me that Kenley cuts her OWN forehead fringe. Nobody deserves to be that talented.
Tim Gunn: Apart from everything else in the world that makes him an "in" (stepping in literally at the last minute to fill in for the oft-hyperstyled Jennifer Lopez?), Tim is immune to sass — especially if said attitude comes from the mouth of a girl I just discussed whose name starts with "Ken" and ends with a "ley."
Joan Kors: Her half-second of airtime last night was moving. While I love my mother just fine, I sometimes do think about what it would've been like to have been reared by the turtlenecked one. Stella loves her too!
Korto's Daughter: Was ADORABLE. However, Stella and I agreed that when it came to her final runway show — and we mean this with love in our hearts — Korto didn't "bring it" enough.
Korto's Derriere: I feel like Stella best describes all of our feelings in the video (watch it).
Picking Battles: Initially, I thought there was something to be said about the similarities in silhouette from Kenley's looks to that of Balenciaga's ... until Stella reminded me about that time Leanne's mimicry of McQueen nearly sent her to Paris.
"Australia": Did I really just sit through that hourlong preview? And did it not provide even the slightest shout-out to the country's finest export, the Bloomin' Onion?
Kenley: I'm not even going to bother delving further into this — not worth it anymore, right? Anyway, Stella actually gets a big kick out of Kenley and explained to us why Kenley is ... Kenley. Also, you know that gorgeous, green top from her collection? Stella tried it on and "loved it!"
Ambition: Korto designed two new looks! In two days! While being the mother to that adorable daughter! Why'd she do that? Seriously, why? (It had something to do with not liking her wedding dress.) In any case, Korto's drive made me feel lazy, and I don't take kindly to being bested by overachievers.
Jennifer Lopez: Glad her foot healed in time for that giant triathlon thing, like, three days later!
Headwear: How many times do I need to say this? Funny hats/headwear should only be worn by people of diaper-wearing ages. (My darling Stella and her leather hats, Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese get free passes.) Kenley, not to single you out again, but your Martian antennae and headdresses were nothing but a hindrance to your (ohmygodthesewordsarecomingoutofmymouth) absolutely stunning collection.
Fans: Between not announcing fan favorite and not hosting a reunion this season, let's just say: Bravo, we fans can take a hint. See you at Lifetime, maybe? Until then, let's rejoice in having our Wednesdays back.