Project Runway: Season 12 Decoy Collections


Back by popular demand: the Diva’s recap of Season 12’s decoy collections! Come see what the designers who didn’t make it to the finale brought to New York Fashion Week.

ALEXANDER POPE
Seventh place

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

My favorite ginger dandy brought his unique drag-couture aesthetic to the runway. Some looks were hits and some, not quite so much, but his point of view was enjoyable to watch and made for a good show. I like the idea of a dress length matching the length of the sleeve, but both needed to be about an inch longer for the proportions to really work. And I am definitely a fan of the swirly collar.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

The print should either completely line up, or be so misaligned as to be obviously off. This in-between situation looks a little bit like an accident. Otherwise, I think this is a cool dress, made spectacular by the hair.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

It’s very Halloweeny for a spring collection, but it is hilarious that the models’ eyebrows match Alexander’s infamous ones. I’ll give him that.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I think this is a good balance of the creepy spiderweb look he was going for – it’s still got a medieval witchy vibe, but in a high fashion rather than costumey way.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

A lovely gown, but that sleeve is so thick, it looks like she’s got her cell phone tucked into it.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Love the feathers on just one of the sleeves. And again, the hair styling is working beautifully here.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I like the idea, but it’s just too unflattering, or poorly constructed, or both. Either way, those lumps on the sides are a problem.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

There’s a market for garbage bag dresses – I’m just not in it.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

This would be infinitely better if her visible underwear wasn’t completely distracting me from that beautiful print.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Go big or go home, baby. I love it.

KATE PANKOKE
Sixth place

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I’ve never been a Kate fan, because I’ve never seen a unique point of view from her. True to form, her collection was very derivative of Stella McCartney and Michael Kors. That’s not to say there weren’t some lovely pieces, like this opening look, which is absolutely red carpet-ready. But I couldn’t find an ounce of originality in this collection, so “pretty” just isn’t enough.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Bradon relied too much on shiny gold fabric in his collection too (though his was a much more pink metallic). I guess the seventies are back, and that explains these pants, but is it just me, or is the model sewn into them?

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

A beautiful little white dress, but I’m not convinced I haven’t seen it before. And this complete lack of styling isn’t doing Kate’s collection any favors.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

An interesting idea, but not quite well-executed enough.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Pretty, but derivative and kind of shapeless.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I just don’t like the way she’s been placing these weird little trims on some of her looks. They’re the only things that distinguish them from very basic garments, but I just think they look randomly applied, and not in an interesting way.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I love the idea of the top of that dress, but it came out looking fairly lopsided.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I think we’ve all seen this dress before.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I love the necklace, but my complaint about her use of those embellishments still stands.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I like that she closed with a bridal gown, and I think this is one of her lovelier pieces, but there’s something too straight-jackety about the way her arms are bound. It’s making me uncomfortable.

JEREMY BRANDRICK
Ninth place

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Oh, Jeremy. The curse of the shiny fabric seems to have impacted you as well. His collection had some very beautiful and very wearable pieces, but it wasn’t nearly youthful enough, and bordered on matronly at times.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Great pieces, all of them, but I can’t help but thinking that splitting them up and pairing them with less fussy items would have made this whole collection so much more modern.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Probably my least favorite look of Jeremy’s collection, because that top just makes me sad.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

It’s a cute jacket, if a Chanel knockoff. But the blouse underneath is terribly constructed, and with all that white, you can barely see how beautiful those pants are.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

It’s a fine enough look, but it’s not memorable and feels kind of like a throwaway.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I just don’t think the woman who’s rocking that bustier (without anything else on top) would also wear those pants.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Love the feathered top; not impressed by the skirt.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I adore this jacket. And the pants are fine, but again, the styling is tending towards the old-fashioned.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

By far my favorite look of the collection. It doesn’t quite fit in with everything else, but I wish he had focused on whatever inspiration led him to this dress, and worked from there.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

No, Jeremy. That neckline is just . . . NO.

HELEN CASTILLO
Fifth place

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

A fantastic opening look, but Helen’s collection was overall fairly hit-or-miss. Not coincidentally, most of the hits were in this red color that, as Helen herself said, “speaks for itself.” Well, I’m not one for letting the color do all the work, but that’s why this was such a great opening look – the design is fabulous and interesting, AND the color kicks ass.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I think this dress makes anyone who wears it look like she’s drowning in a small, dirty lake.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

It’s fine, but I think less is more when it comes to that print. And though she fancies herself a corset expert, Helen’s bodices are sometimes a little wonky-looking. (In fairness, that could be the camera angle.)

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Fun, weird, and bright. I don’t know what it’s made of or how the hell it’s staying on her, but I liked this unconventional look.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

It’s a fine little black dress, but I can’t get excited about it.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Lord, do I hate those slits. I actually think the straight-jacket top is kind of cool, but not with that skirt.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

Wearable and cute, but a dress I’ve seen a thousand times before.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

That peplum/high-waisted pant combination makes her model look pregnant. It’s a shame, because I think these pants are the best use of this print thus far, and the slits at the knees are kind of cool. But I can’t get over how unflattering this is. If this is what it looks like on a runway model, God help the rest of us.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I’m firm in my disdain for those slits, dear readers. And this feels like more of a beach cover-up than an actual dress.

Photo: BloggingProjectRunway

I’m hoping I got these pictures out of order and this isn’t actually her finale look, because this is not nearly show-stopping enough to, well, stop a show.

Oh, and Ken was supposed to present a decoy collection, but he allegedly dropped out the morning of the show because he didn’t feel his looks were ready. Not sure why or if that’s even true, but it’s fun fodder for discussion in the comments. Tell me all your beloved and hated decoy looks, dear readers!


© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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2 responses to Project Runway: Season 12 Decoy Collections

  1. I’ve read through this again, with the taste of the Reunion Show still in my mouth… and thinking, “Tim Gunn said this was the most talented group EVER!” No, Tim, I love you, I think you can be inspired in your approach to designers showing that you are a true educator, but no, Tim, this was NOT the most talented group ever. Chris March would have kicked their asses. Heck, SANTINO would have kicked their asses. Even KENLEY had a more distinct POV and could sew like a dream, despite her unfortunate habit of attacking her fiance with cats.

    None of these really speak to me, and yanno, I actually like seeing you young folk having fun and doing what you want. I want these designers to be talented and wonderful and create brilliant lines. I’d give them credit, but they just didn’t have it in them.

    Things I am tired of seeing on Project Runway: the high-low hemline. The all-black dress with black embellishments. The train. The cape. Cap sleeves. Weentsy little micro-minis. Nina casting her eyes to heaven at the appalling look presented to her. Heidi saying, “It’s a little sexy… I would wear this.” Yes, Heidi, we know you’re divorced. Not to worry, you’ll find someone else.

    Thank you so much for posting this as otherwise I would not have seen it, and I always enjoy your commentary. Enjoyed the bloodbath of the reunion special, and the opening of the All-Star show, but I think it’s cheating to bring back winners. Okay, Jeffrey won and his business went downhill. Seth Aaron won and his business went downhill. Irina claimed her business is doing well (then why aren’t you working at it right now, Irina?) but she didn’t name names. They’ve had their win. Stand back and let Korto have a shot at it.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I think Tim Gunn is contractually obligated to say “This is the most talented group of designers yet!” every single season. And it hasn’t been true for AGES.

      I did not watch the reunion special – I think my exact words to my boyfriend were, “You could not pay me to watch the sociopaths of this season scream at each other one last time.”

      I’m sick of a lot of the same things you are – I can’t even believe they’re still making the little black dresses with all-black embellishments; they’ve got to know by now that those never show up well on TV. And Heidi – yes, we’re aware that if it’s short and shiny, you’ll wear it. We’ve met you. But I will never get tired of Nina rolling her eyes at the worst looks.

      As I said in my All Stars recap, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s BS to bring back winners. I understand that they might not have had the success that they hoped winning PR would bring them, but how is it fair to the rest of the designers that winners get a second chance at the big prize?

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