The Challenge: In five days, and with the help of a previously eliminated designer, create a mini-collection with a budget of $3,000. Anthony Ryan tried to choose Joshua, who actually refused, which I found stupid until I learned Joshua had only been eliminated five hours before. He knew he was too burnt out to do his best work for Anthony, and I actually respected that. (You know the judges have been hitting the crack pipe too hard when JOSHUA is the most sane person in the room.) Anyway, Kayne ended up being AR’s assistant, Emilio chose Althea, and Uli chose Casanova, which was a wonderful choice if only because it brought some desperately needed silliness to this sorry excuse for a finale. (Not sorry in terms of the fashion, but sorry in terms of the ending being a total DUH since the season premiered.)
Guest Judges: The fabulous Liv Tyler, and Margherita Missoni, who I basically fell in love with as soon as she started speaking.
ANTHONY RYAN AULD
Anthony Ryan didn’t make a bad collection. He just didn’t make a great collection, and both of his competitors did. Furthermore, this entire colorblocked and cut-out and peplumed collection was entirely unoriginal. We’ve seen looks exactly like this all over the runway and the red carpet – hell, Victoria Beckham has a whole career of making dresses uncannily similar to some of these. Anthony Ryan made sharp, sexy, wearable garments, but it lacked the spark the other collections had: the inspiration and storyline of Emilio’s collection, or the fairytale-like, emotional experience of Uli’s show.
Cute, and I can see a lot of women wearing it, but that’s probably because it’s already for sale in every department store in America.
One of my favorite looks. When he combines the sharp lines with the flirty silhouettes, the results are more polished and interesting than his standard form-fitting dresses.
I like the ombre effect, but I think the color-blocking on the sleeves might have been one design element too many. And all of these looks are starting to blend together in my mind – cohesion is important, but so is using this opportunity to show that you are versatile enough to make lots of different kinds of pieces.
He should have nixed the gray fabric around her neck – it looks like a ratty old t-shirt, and it makes the whole outfit look sloppy. I also think this would be hideously unflattering on literally anyone except this model.
The front looks boring and ill-fitted, but the back is lovely. Or it would be, if that slit weren’t so damn high.
This looked poorly made, and though the black booties were a bad choice throughout the collection, they were a particularly bad choice with the finale look. This was not a show-stopper – his first look was infinitely better than his last.
As for his win – well, what did we expect? Is it worth all the caps lock and cursing and ranting against the producers for yet another worthless season, rigged from the start? I think not, dear readers. Let’s just move on to looking at more pretty things.
Emilio’s collection had the most interesting inspiration: his muse was the working woman, particularly the working black woman, from the plantation to the factor. Inspired by Emilio’s mom, a lifelong factory worker, and Rosie the Riveter, I loved the idea behind this collection. And with the exception of a couple of looks, I thought he executed his ideas in a fresh, thought-provoking, and wearable way. I hope Emilio runs with this inspiration in his own career, because I think it’s a fantastic muse. The above dress was a little ordinary for an opening look, but it packed much more of a punch when the model stomped down the runway like a true diva.
I loved the way he played with menswear fabrics and I love this twist on a man’s work shirt. I found the little bustier over the blouse adorable, and the skirt was simple and classic.
One of my favorite looks of the collection. The way it ties around her waist gives it such a feminine and adorable feel, but the exaggerated shoulders and straight-legged, high-waisted pants bring back that menswear-influenced women-at-work aesthetic. A classic piece that was both true to the inspiration and could look killer on a red carpet.
I love this look, but I think it would have worked better in a much larger collection. In a mini-collection, you expect each look to have some sort of star quality. And while this is adorable and fits right in with his storyline and is incredibly wearable, I don’t think it belongs in a seven-look collection.
I love the use of the men’s shirt but in black, and the bustier again but in the print. The skirt is to die for.
The coat and dress are both gorgeous, though I’m not sure I would have paired them together. But still, Emilio showed a variety of silhouettes and many different types of garments; he showed prints and solids, jeans and jumpsuits, cocktail dresses and bustiers. His collection was very strong, but in my opinion, nobody could hold a candle to the great Uli Herzner.
Uli’s inspiration was a winter wonderland, and what a wonder land it was, dear readers. The moment her show began, the audience was transported to a completely different place, some alien-eskimo haven full of interesting and beautiful garments that I can’t believe were made in under five days. This dress, for example, is flawless, and I’d kill to have it hanging in my closet.
I love the detailing on the bodice and the asymmetrical wrap scarf, but the skirt is only okay.
The blouse is so delicate and beautiful, as is the sweater. But those pants are just fan-freaking-tastic. The combination of the dark metallic silver and ivory really does create that winter wonderland vibe.
Not my style, but gorgeous. It looked expertly made and I think the pants were much more complex and textured than they look in these photos.
Quirky but fun. I could easily see this on a red carpet.
Beyond gorgeous. I love the sheer black stockings paired with everything, but particularly this sweater and skirt. I’d wear this outfit nonstop in winter wonderland, no doubt about it.
Stunning, bear arms and all. It was perfectly Uli – draping and embellishment, but never over the line, never too much. Anthony Ryan and Emilio made collections, but Uli put on a show, from the snowy lighting to every last feather.
Judges’ Top 3: Anthony Ryan, Emilio, Uli
Diva’s Top 3: Uli, Emilio, Anthony Ryan
If you can even believe it, Project Runway is going straight into Season 11 this week. (And went straight into All Stars from Season 10, I might add. This show is now on YEAR-ROUND.) But no matter how bad it gets, I’ll still be bitterly blogging, and I hope you’ll still be reading. Thanks for making this season bearable for me, dear readers!