Project Runway: Season 10 Decoy Collections

By popular demand of my dear readers, I now present the Season 10 decoy collections!

GUNNAR DEATHERAGE
Eliminated in Episode 9

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

It has to be said: Gunnar went to a borderline offensive place with his “tribal” collection, proving that skinny white southern boys are probably not in the best position to define this particular aesthetic. So I’ll get it out of the way now that I found the makeup and styling to be practically a racial slur, though I’m sure the young and inexperienced Gunnar had no bad intentions. We’ll all get very bored if I write this under every photo, so just know that it applies to his collection as a whole. As for this look: I find the drooping layers in the skirt very unflattering, and I think the proportions are a nightmare.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

It’s a pretty dress, and the woven bodice has some interest it. But in these drab colors and that overly complicated print, it’s hard to get on board, particularly since it’s far too long.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

It looks like student work, and the uneven blue panels on that skirt are hideous. Incredibly unflattering and very poorly sewn, and the bodice isn’t much better.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

If that skirt didn’t look like a burlap sack, I might like it.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

Once again, the construction flaws are just too egregious to ignore. The skirt has no design, so the eye goes straight to that awkward, twisted blouse. If the fit were better, this might have a shot at looking like something.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

Dear Gunnar: women don’t want to wear three-tiered skirts. In fact, we prefer to look as little like fancy cakes as possible. And if you can’t sew the fabric together in even patterns, why even bother trying?

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

The sheer jacket felt incredibly dated, but the dress is more well-made and stylish than any of his previous work. It’s still a low taste level and I still haven’t seen a color palette or print I enjoy from him, but at least I can bear to look at this.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

The skirt has too many design elements at the bottom, but otherwise, it’s fairly chic, if underwhelming and still rendered in these awful fabrics taken straight from the set of The Brady Brunch.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

Once again, I don’t think he should bother trying to make these sheer coats happen, but at least this gown looks like something I could imagine a woman wearing. I can’t say that about literally anything else we’ve seen in this collection. I have no idea who Gunnar’s customer is; maybe his problem is that neither does he.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

This isn’t just student work – this is terrible student work. Sorry, Gunnar, but it looks like you were a decoy for a reason.

VEN BUDHU
Eliminated in Episode 10

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Ven’s collection had one or two lovely, red-carpet-ready looks. The problem was that he repeated them over and over and OVER again. To do that in a ten-look collection is to prove what Ven already proved on this show: he is the very definition of a one-trick pony. If you wanted him gone because you couldn’t imagine his collection as anything but ten of the same things he showed this season, well, he’s proven you right.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Is that a zipper at the top of the slip? If it’s supposed to look like that, I find that pretty trashy, and if not, that’s a pretty fatal flaw. I hate the way the fabric folds across her body like that. This dress has nothing to do with making a woman’s body look good – it’s a canvas for Ven to scribble a rose on. Not to mention, it’s just a cocktail version of his previous look.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Snooze. We’ve seen nicer versions of this dress every season for the last century.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

I actually think the embellishment on those pants is lovely. I don’t think there’s a big market for this outside of fashion editors, but I could absolutely see Nina Garcia working this look.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Same as his first look, just in black. I can’t believe he has so few ideas. It’s almost offensive that he got to present this at New York Fashion Week, even if it didn’t make it to television.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

I’ve seen this dress at every cocktail party I’ve been to for the last six years.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

A) You made this on the show, you loser. B) There is not a woman on EARTH who wants pants that make her hips look like that. Those pockets are a disgrace to fashion.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Lovely, but YOU MADE THIS ON THE SHOW, YOU LOSER!

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Maybe if he loses the slit and adds a train and dyes it red, we won’t notice it’s the same gown he’s sent down the runway four times already!

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

In a word: pathetic.

ELENA SLIVNYAK
Eliminated in Episode 11

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

Elena’s collection made the biggest splash out of all the decoys. It felt like she truly expanded her vision while narrowing her focus and the result was an interesting, innovative collection with an incredibly strong point of view. I found the lipstick sometimes interesting, but often distracting, and although I love the striped leggings, I didn’t think they belonged with every single look. But this dress was a massive success, and it proved that Elena’s skill set isn’t limited to boxy, structured silhouettes. She can make things women want to wear.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

This coat is more along the lines of what I expected from her, though the colors she rendered it in are surprising and beautiful. I do find her coats a little too shapeless, but it’s still a fantastic look.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

It’s not amazing on a runway, but it’s a dress a lot of women would wear in a heartbeat.

Photo: tomandlorenzo.com

I loved the hard-and-soft contrast in this beautiful blouse, and I think the eggshell pants were a terrific pairing.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

This is the look when the lipstick and the striped stockings become a little too much for me, which is a shame, because I think this outfit is one of her best.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Another fantastic top. And it’s hard to find someone whose separates are as chic and wearable as their dresses.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Terrific.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

The turtleneck is a bit much, but I am obsessed with the color of those pants. I want a hundred thousand accessories in that color.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Probably my least favorite look of the collection. Her previous soft blouse in these same colors was much, much nicer – it was better executed and more wearable. But it was a rare misstep in an otherwise truly impressive show.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

A fantastic closing look. The skirt is phenomenal, but that jacket is a fucking statement piece, and it’ll be what I remember Elena for when I look back at this season. I am just in love with the way that collar falls and the perfectly executed color-blocking. I was never gung-ho about Elena this season, though I did note her skills weren’t really meant for the constraints of Project Runway, but she proved that given a little time and money, she can really make something memorable.

SONJIA WILLIAMS
Eliminated in Episode 12

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Sonjia’s collection had a few high notes, but was mostly not particularly memorable. I love Sonjia, but I’ll be very happy if I never see another lace skirt over granny panties/shorts/bodysuits again.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

It’s not particularly creative, but it’s got a modern Betsey Johnson vibe I’m sort of enjoying. I can’t come down on whether or not I like that print, though.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Awful. Contrary to what Sonjia has done here, you cannot staple a dinner napkin to the front of a pair of leggings and call it a peplum skirt. This is so terribly executed, it’s a little painful to look at.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

I don’t think that uneven neckline will look good on anyone, but save for that construction issue, I think it’s a cute enough dress. Still pretty standard, though.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

The top is interesting and innovative, but although the pants are fairly well-made, I think they’re a whole lot of nothing.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

A cute, predictable cocktail dress with some execution issues. Come on, Sonjia – I really thought you were more creative than this.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Cool jacket, great shorts. No idea why she paired them together, but at least the individual pieces are nice.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Probably my favorite look of her collection, because those leather shorts are killer and the matching lapel on the blazer is to die for. The blouse underneath is a total throwaway, but this cowgirl twist on a tuxedo jacket is a really interesting and stylish look.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Every piece is just sort of okay. It’s all underwhelming, and she hasn’t showed any good instincts in how she pairs her pieces together. Which is strange, because I kind of thought the best thing about Sonjia was her styling. Perhaps I’m conflating her personal style with the way she styles her models, because she always tends to look cooler and more modern than they do.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

If this is your “showstopper,” you need to take a long, hard look at your collection and figure out where and when you went wrong. Because I’m sorry, dear Sonjia, but this is no showstopper.


© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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Comments

  1. I’ll agree with everything you said. Gunnar proved that falling in love with someone should not be used as a design esthetic. He had a couple of long skirts I thought were interesting: the three-tiered one, with the long narrow skirt at the bottom? I looked at those and thought: 1910, hobble skirt. I actually kind of like the silhouette, because I have a thing for Edwardian fashion, but for today, no, I don’t think he has the capability to bring back the hobble skirt.

    Ven had some pretty pieces, but they’re repetitive. None of them look as good as that one piece he showed when he was interviewed for PR. He probably worked on that piece for several weeks getting it right- not enough time to do that kind of work on the collection. I wonder if he’ll ever get another idea? Glorious rose pink and deep crimson fabrics, though.

    Elena- I think she’s working in a 1960s vive. That sort of crisp-edged, curved color blocking made me say “2001 A Space Odyssey!” Some very nice pieces and yeah, that lipstick- I think she was going for an edgy styling and said, “I know! Yellow lipstick!” without actually considering how it would work- or wouldn’t work, I should say.

    And Sonjia- One throwaway piece I loved. Second to the last, the black lace-sleeved T shirt. Lovely. With the right pair of pants, I would love to have that shirt.

  2. I totally agree about Elena, I want every single piece in her collection, except for that one ‘less-successful’ blouse. When I saw the collections online last month I thought she must be a finalist, but alas, it was wishful thinking to hope that a collection like this would be competing for the prize. Kudos to her for not making a throwaway collection just because she was a decoy, like so many of the others did. (ahem, Ven!)

    • Amen! I can’t understand why the decoys so often seem to give up entirely. Your runway show might not be televised, but there were still a thousand people in the tents watching the show during New York fucking Fashion Week! I still blame the producers for giving them so little time to create the collections, but with the exception of Elena, the decoys were very underwhelming. Thanks for commenting!

      • Yes! Why would they not do their best? Why would they not have designs worked out? If you even remotely think you’re going to have to do a decoy collection, start working on it! Design it! Polish your designs! Think about the styling! You’re not getting the money but the publicity in the fashion community is gold! That makes me crazy every year.

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