Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

After four engaging NYFW runway shows, the season 13 winner is crowned.

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October 24, 2014 at 02:31 AM EDT

At the beginning of the season, Tim Gunn exclaimed “Lucky Season 13!” And for one person, it was very lucky. For the other three finalists, it was… still pretty lucky—they were each able to grow as designers, meet industry leaders, and show a collection at New York Fashion Week. But they probably weren’t thinking that when someone else was announced as “the winner of Project Runway.”

They’re likely thinking less “I’m so lucky to have been here” and more “second place is just the first place loser.” Because, yes, losing sucks—but they all showed collections they should be proud of and just two days before NYFW, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Let’s go back to that time, shall we?

Post-judge’s critique, Kini was quite lost. He’d just been told to rip apart his entire collection and “hit the ground running.” Tim wanted to “talk through” everything they had just heard (a.k.a. create a recap for viewers when we split this into two episodes): Char needs to have more sass and fun with her collection, to make it all things she would rock. Amanda needs to elevate the “ethnic” aspect of her collection and keep it sophisticated. Sean needs to make sure his collection isn’t one-note. And Kini, poor Kini, he’s got to rework his entire collection to make it look not as serious.

And they have a day and a half to do this. But good news: There’s one last Mood trip involved with an extra $300 each. Amanda, the old pro, brought enough fabric for backup and can use the time to work instead. Most designers probably wouldn’t suggest selecting and buying fabric in 30 minutes to use in NYFW in two days. But the designers seem to make good quick selections. Mood trip highlights: Lazy Swatch (obviously) and the cashier saying “No fringe today?” to Sean. Ha.

When they get back to the workroom, they GET TO WORK. The only challenge that had this much stress was probably Korina and Char’s one-hour design-off. And in that head-to-head, Char proved she can pull off a look quickly. She does the same here: She adds a long, sporty dress with a hood—which ends up being one of the better looks of her collection. She also works on sweatshirt that says “FLY,” and she attempts a full skirt with a printed top, but Tim isn’t a fan. She is all over the place with her designs.

“Hurricane Kini” is just the opposite. The trip to Mood gave him back his confidence—he knows what he has to do, and with his speedy sewing skills, he knows he’s up to the task. Given this short amount of time, it’s almost like it’s helped him narrow his focus and find his voice in the collection.

Sean swaps out a fringe dress for an orange silk drape dress. And Amanda twiddles her thumbs and starts to worry about Sean being her biggest competition (as she should).

NEXT: “One last push, and then we give birth to our Fashion Week baby.”

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Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.
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