Blah blah final challenge blah.
Blah blah stressed designers blah claws out blah.
Blah humiliating blah.
Fabulous blah blah.
Blah greatest designer in the history of Project Runway blah.
Seriously, now. What the hell kind of drugs were being passed around that crew last night? What Manchurian Candidate-style torture techniques did they use on the designers, who spent the entire first hour casting the side-eye at her only to have all of them stand on the runway and praise her like she just invented fabric?
Having said all that, and with the full knowledge that the commentariat is about to rise up en masse and call for our beheadings…
There’s no way this collection could have done anything but get her to Fashion Week. It was the best collection up on that runway.
It is also, quite clearly, heavily influenced by Bert; not just in the sewing, which is perfectly understandable and acceptable, but in the drape and aesthetic. You compare these looks to everything she did previously, as well as the finale collection she presented, and it’s not only head and shoulders above it all in execution, it’s also much more classically chic and very much in that Halston-y mode that Bert became known for. In fact, these pieces look like they came right out of Bert’s own finale collection.
Is that cheating? No. She did exactly what the rules and restrictions of the competition allowed her to do. She played the game and she played it well. But either things were edited out of that judging session or they were all struck blind by their love for her, because we can’t imagine that the judges didn’t see the heavy Bert influence here. It was the elephant in the room and no one wanted to say it out loud, it seems.
To be fair, it’s not like you can’t see Anya anywhere in these pieces. That neckline strikes us as very her and the more complicated draping is more her than Bert. This was the weakest of the three looks. As the judges said, it was very bed-sheet-y.
But this was gorgeous, it has to be said.
Loved the color choices and loved the strap and grommet. This was, to our eyes, the most Anya of the pieces. Had this been purely Bert, he would have wrapped something around her neck and not made such flowy pants. Plus the asymmetry throughout this mini-collection was a very Anya thing to do.
But this was pure Bert all the way. Except for maybe the hem.
We don’t want to overstate things here. Anya didn’t cheat. You could argue that she didn’t even do anything “wrong.” A designer takes input into consideration and normally doesn’t sew her own wares. By both real-world considerations as well as the imposed restrictions in the bottle of Project Runway, she was exactly right to do what she did.
But it still strikes as exceedingly odd that none of the judges noticed the rather stark difference between these three looks and everything else she ever did in the competition. Then again, Heidi came right out and admitted her favoritism.
What made Laura’s collection so weak was how she realized her inspiration. She saw circles, bought a circle fabric, and pretty much called it a day. That’s like being inspired by the sky, buying a print fabric that looks like the sky, and making three sky dresses. There’s just not a lot of depth being displayed.
Would Laura have been our choice to send home? Maybe. This collection was pretty awful, after all. But there were 2 other collections that were easily as bad, if not worse.
Had this been perfectly executed, we could call it a striking gown, but only because of the fabric she bought. There’s little that’s interesting about the shape or any of the techniques she used. She just made a strapless white gown and then made another gown to go on top of it to provide interest.We like the back and the sleeves, but overall, it’s a too-complicated mess.
To our eyes, this jacket was a much better use of the fabric. It had some small amount of interest in the shape, the hem and the collar. The skirt, on the other hand, was utterly forgettable.
And the less said about this, the better. Just disastrous.
She choked; no two ways about it. She’d been on the bottom far too often and she knew the judges had serious issues with her work. The pressure got to her and she wound up with a bunch of half-assed looks. The only reason she got singled out for the auf, as far as we can tell, is because she had so consistently disappointed the judges. Josh showed quite the collection of crap last night and so did Kimberly, but they gave the judges reason to believe they were better than what they showed. Laura failed to do that. Simple as that.
We honestly can’t argue with the decisions on either of these collections. Anya showed something chic and interesting and Laura showed something awkward and not well thought out. Taken on their own, these decisions made sense.