Sonjia Williams Decoy Collection

Posted on October 08, 2012

Of all the finale collections, Sonjia’s was the most disappointing. We thought she showed great promise during the competition and figured early on that she was going to be a contender, but what walked out was awkward and derivative, which were two words that had never occurred to us to describe her aesthetic up to that point.

Let’s start the show.

The top is pure Roland Mouret. The bottom is every granny-panties-under-lace look that walked a runway in the last 5 years. A very disappointing start – although we did love the use of her signature head scarf.


The top is a big ol’ nothing, and the bottom is unwieldy and unflattering, rendered in a fabric straight out of a Dolce & Gabbana collection.


It was at this point that we figured she was a decoy and not a finalist. This is so half-assed we’re almost embarrassed for her.


This is the first real runway-ready look in the collection. It’s a bit evocative of recent Dolce & Gabbana collections, but not so much that we feel the need to make an issue of it. Love the neckline. Not so sure about the lace hem.


The pants are okay, but the top (broken record, we know) is just plain awkward.


Another runway-ready look that feels more like the Sonjia we were expecting. Had she sent out ten looks on this level, we would have considered it a travesty that she wasn’t a finalist. We don’t love the satin-y skirt, but the look is sleek and dramatic.


There she is. There’s the Sonjia who got the judges’ attention early in the competition. We don’t love the lace (another broken record), but the proportions here are great and that jacket is crazy-cute.


This is okay – although it feels like it belongs with another collection. Those shorts are interesting, but we can’t imaging who would want to wear a pair of pin-tucked leather shorts. ANd the leather lapels look a little half-assed.


She has this tendency to pair totally nondescript items like that top and vest with totally odd items like those upholstery pants. None of these pieces feel like they belong together or came from the same collection.


Interesting shape for the jacket (which looks like it needs a lining), but that dress is a total WTF. In fact, we’re pretty sure we heard a couple people in the tents say “What the fuck?” as it walked out. Looking like you were attacked by cats is so not chic.

We don’t know if she just didn’t feel like putting the work in since she had no shot at the big prize or whether this is really her best work. We lean toward the former explanation because she produced better work during the competition and because roughly half of this collection is pretty good. It’s the other half that has us scratching our heads.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • nancy

    The only piece I really like is the red & blue “mosaic” dress, without the lace. 

    • Cathy S

       I agree. That’s the best piece in the collection. Very cute.

    • I almost wonder if the lace was supposed to be there from the start, or if it was added on when the dress ended up so “the world is your gynecologist” short.

    • EveEve

      This collection is a great example of the whole being less than the sum of the parts.  There were a few runway-worthy pieces scattered amongst a lot of throw-aways.  Had she pared the collection down to those few pieces and worked from them, it would have been a really good show.  Hopefully she will continue to develop her eye, and learn to edit, edit edit…and sketch (seriously, how can she not sketch?!) and keep on going. 

  • hughman

    I think the face of the model in the leather shorts speaks for all of us. 

    • StellaZafella

       I want shorts that look like a dead armadillo!

    • Right?  They didn’t exactly get America’s next top models for this show.

      • Call me Bee

        Yes!  The models this season have been awful.  Dour, sour-pussed and not one really good walker.  My cocker spaniel has more personality.    

      • kimmeister

        The model in the french vanilla colored shorts looks murderous.  She’s probably ticked that they forgot to do her eyebrows.

      • Fordzo

        The redhead is beautiful!  

      • LOL, Gunnar had one of the ANTM models in his show…Nnenna I think her name was. 

    • Susannah Perry

       Yes, this.  That model gives EXCELLENT DrunkFace.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    So much scroll down fug.  Even if it was only a decoy collection, she really should have amped it up.  You never who might be watching, right?

    • cheesebomb

      This is what I can’t help but think. Aren’t you still showing a collection with your name on it at Fashion Week?

      • MilaXX

        With the exception of Elena, I could say that for all the decoy collections.

        • MoHub

           I think Elena used the opportunity to be true to herself without trying to second guess what the judges were looking for, while Sonjia just plain gave up the ghost figuring it didn’t matter any more.

          •  Agreed. That look on her face is just plain awkward, like she knew she didn’t put any effort into it and now she’s kind of embarrassed to be standing there. It’s a shame, really. Although not my favorite she could have had one of the best collections had she tried.

          • MilaXX

            agreed and I think Elena also used it to show she was making attempts to stretch herself by using colors instead of greys and blacks.

          • amian3

            Elena was really smart about this. She may not have won but she is still getting a lot of press. And she is working it as hard as she can, which is the correct response. Giving up is not.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    So much scroll down fug.  Even if it was only a decoy collection, she really should have amped it up.  You never who might be watching, right?

  • EverybodysStarling

    Really love the satin skirt with the top. But there are a few disturbing pieces.

  • Am I the only one that kinda likes that last dress? I feel like it belongs in some sort of sci-fi dystopian future film. (But I guess that isn’t the greatest compliment on its fashionability in the present.)

  • Am I the only one that kinda likes that last dress? I feel like it belongs in some sort of sci-fi dystopian future film. (But I guess that isn’t the greatest compliment on its fashionability in the present.)

    • ccinnc

       It’s interesting, but how many women want to showcase their knees? Not me.

      • Aaron Flynn

        I love it. I’ve never seen that treatment of fringe before, and it looks purposeful and well crafted. It shouldn’t be dismissed on the grounds of wearability any more than any other designer’s work. McQueen, Galliano, Chalayan, would any of these designers have had careers if their pieces were picked apart based on your ability to do yoga in them? I think the whole thing that makes runway fashion interesting is that is often challenges the way we present and dress the body -the proportions of it, what we choose to reveal and conceal, complementing its natural form or imposing a foreign shape upon it. Sounds very basic I know, but I think we lose sight of those concepts when we offer “I wouldn’t wear that!” as a valid criticism.

        • ccinnc

           Sheesh, I said it was interesting.

          • lulu74

            Sheesh…Aaron was just agreeing w/you & responding to your post.

          • ccinnc

            Please read it again. Aaron said “it shouldn’t be dismissed on the grounds of wearability” in response to my (personal) comment “how many women want to showcase their knees? Not me.” That’s not “agreeing” with me.

        • khh1138

          I love it too. I haven’t seen it before, and I’m always hoping that happens once during a show.  What if she had pulled out something like this effect in the Avant Garde challenge?

    • Hundzahn

       Agreed. It’s more interesting and unique than most of her other looks in the decoy collection. Though I kind of hated it at first, and my reluctant rooting for Sonjia to show during the finale was based on having an immense distaste for the other competitors who were waved on to fashion week (with the exception of Fabio’s, of course). I liked a lot of her collection in theory, but I think I might have forced myself to like it in order to get over Elena’s decoy.

    • I don’t know that I’d say I “like” it, but I think it’s very interesting. I’d love to see it moving, because in the pictures it creates an interesting shape and looks elegant and spider webby. To me, it’s where she was trying to go with the avant garde challenge but didn’t quite get to: floating fabric in an unexpected way.

      The biggest travesty is clearly the teal satin mini thing with the cropped black top and lace bodysuit. She should have accidentally forgotten that one at home.

  • I like the short gray jacket . . . and I wish the longer jacket with the leather lapels was hanging better since it looks like it has only one lapel.  There are several WTF outfits and not a good showing IMHO for Sonjia.  Too bad.  No, she didn’t have the opportunity to win, but she still got to present a collection.  Frankly, I think I would almost prefer to show a collection without the pressure of winning.  That way I could design exactly what I wanted to show.

    •  But the show still owns everything you own for the show, even in a decoy collection — I can think of a few pieces I wouldn’t want to do because they’d sell really well and I’d want to hold onto controlling interest.

      • khh1138

        Good point…with modifications, that little mosaic dress and a couple of those jackets would sell like hotcakes. 

  • I like the short gray jacket . . . and I wish the longer jacket with the leather lapels was hanging better since it looks like it has only one lapel.  There are several WTF outfits and not a good showing IMHO for Sonjia.  Too bad.  No, she didn’t have the opportunity to win, but she still got to present a collection.  Frankly, I think I would almost prefer to show a collection without the pressure of winning.  That way I could design exactly what I wanted to show.

  • DinaSews

    On one hand, I hope this wasn’t her best effort.  On the other, why would you go half-assed when millions of people will be able to view your work?

    • janierainie

      I was thinking maybe the last pre runway contestant has the least amount of time to do a decoy collection. But that doesn’t explain it really. Others in her spot have really broken through. Like the blonde last season. Sorry can’t remember her name. 

      • CozyCat

        Or maybe she had less time because she had to make a living rather than devoted all her time to the collection.  If you’re a finalist, you obviously find a way to do nothing but work on the collection, and perhaps other people (family) are willing to help you.  But it may be harder to find the time if you’re a decoy.

        I know the decoy collections are still a chance for people to show the industry what they can do.  But I always wonder how these people support themselves while they do the work.

        • kikisayshi

          That makes sense, but you’d think they would still go all out to say, “Too bad for you, bitches. You auf’d me and I’m the shit”. I also wonder if the decoys get the same budget as the finalists. Not that it matters in some cases where the final collections have been wretched. But that might make a difference. Still, the collection as a whole is disjointed and poorly thought out. I do love me some Sonjia though.

          • All the contestants who show at Lincoln Center get the same amount of time and money to complete their collections and none of them have the option of refusing, since they all signed contracts.

          •  But what about the ones who quit?  They obviously don’t show, so how does that work? 

        • MilaXX

           I sometimes think the auf’d designers would have benefited from a visit from Tim. It seems many of them get into their own heads that this is the best thing they have ever done, when want they really need if someone to tell them they need to edit or something is a flat out bad idea. Then again, of course we’ll still get those who say they like it and do what they want anyway.

          • khh1138

            That’s true, I totally forgot about that!  I wish *I* could have a visit from Uncle Tim.  

  • DinaSews

    On one hand, I hope this wasn’t her best effort.  On the other, why would you go half-assed when millions of people will be able to view your work?

  • It just looks like random pieces, not a cohesive collection. 

  • It just looks like random pieces, not a cohesive collection. 

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    The only looks that impressed me are the same looks that TLo highlighted. The remaining looks are disappointing.  Perhaps Sonjia just didn’t have much energy or heart left when she did this collection.  I wish her well, hope she keeps on designing and creating.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    The only looks that impressed me are the same looks that TLo highlighted. The remaining looks are disappointing.  Perhaps Sonjia just didn’t have much energy or heart left when she did this collection.  I wish her well, hope she keeps on designing and creating.

  • Rin

    the third look needs to be killed with fire. or sent to somewhere off this Earth. 

  • Frank_821

    Yes very sad and schizoid. I think this supports the judges’ notion that she has yet to develop a clear point of view or a signature style. A real pity since she does have talent.

    Good lord girl what happened? This was your chance to get people’s attention

  • disappointing and awkward. i totally agree with you guys.

    dress #4 is super cute, lace fringe and all.
    the pleated leather shorts are borderline vulgar, but i think theyre kinda awesome.

    the rest is between mediocre and ugly.
    i generally dont like the hair, but the redhead model looks completely crazy with that do.

    • I actually really liked the leather shorts.  If the lapels on the jacket would not have been wonky I think it would have been one of her best looks.

      • MilaXX

         I didn’t think they were that bad either.

  • I only like a few things- like the floral dress.
    She started off so great on the show but she just doubted herself so much…she did not live up to her potential.
    Still her candy store look is one of my favorites of the season.

    • PinkLemon

       that floral dress was super cute. she should’ve sent out 12 versions of that.

    • PinkLemon

       that floral dress was super cute. she should’ve sent out 12 versions of that.

  • I only like a few things- like the floral dress.
    She started off so great on the show but she just doubted herself so much…she did not live up to her potential.
    Still her candy store look is one of my favorites of the season.

  • Janet B

    I like one skirt, one jacket and one dress.  

  • Janet B

    I like one skirt, one jacket and one dress.  

  • gabbilevy

    … I really like Sonjia’s shoes…

  • gabbilevy

    … I really like Sonjia’s shoes…

  • hyperionic

    I assumed that she purposely made that jacket with one lapel but now it looks like it just flopped backwards because it’s poorly made. Who knows. 

    • also, it seems like the model should have paid attention to how the lapels were lying.  she looks pretty wrecked.

  • Sing4yursupper

    One big disappointment. She so much better than that collection.

  • mjude

    another reason why they should figure out a better schedule so this doesnt happen when you are not ready. 

  • janierainie

    That 3rd look is ridiculous. The “skirt” thingy looks like it was made at the last minute with cloth napkins. 

    • spititout

      On the third look, maybe she intended to show a peekaboo lace catsuit and was told to cover up the fine china at the last minute.  I would like to hear the story behind that mess/ misfire.  A cloth napkin skirt would have been an improvement over that ridiculous thing.

  • RoxieRider

    She did such cool jackets during the competition I was really hoping she’d do an outerwear collection. She could have made simple dresses and pants and just focused on the vests, jackets, and coats. Or done something that reflected her personal style, which is genuinely interesting–sorta form-fitting 80s urban. I’m bummed–I really liked her work a lot.

    • Winter_White

      Was just about to make the exact same points (but not as well expressed)!  

    • SapphoPoet


    • Oh but those pants she has on here, are not interesting.  They are atrocious. 

  • charlotte

    To quote Liz Lemon: What the what?

  • Anathema_Device

    For me, this is symptomatic of her output during the season: uneven with a few strong pieces and no clear aesthetic. I do like some of the pieces (the same ones you do, T Lo), but overall, this isn’t great.

    • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

      Yes. This.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    The models look as if they are ashamed to be there.

    • they do look sad, don’t they?  something about the makeup is contributing to that, but i’m not sure how.  maybe the lightened brows and lips…

  • dress_up_doll

    I liked so much of her work on PR, but this is a huge disappointment. To me, this collection says that she just didn’t have it in her to come up with a polished, cohesive and professional collection. It almost makes me feel sad for her (especially when I recall that gorgeous, cropped, green asymmetric jacket she created).

  • afabulous50

    Why does everyone feel the need to do shorts?  Women wear pants and skirts and dresses almost all the time.  They very rarely wear shorts – especially to work; and not THAT short!

    • dress_up_doll

      ITA: However, I think that it’s a designer taking a stab at resortwear or showing that they can do luxe garments.

    • kimmeister

      To stay within their fabric budget?

    • hyperionic

      Well maybe women don’t (probably want to hide the cellulite and knee length shorts aren’t hip) but every teenage girl around here is walking around wearing extremely short cut-off denim shorts. So shorts are really in right now. Great way to show off a lot of leg without worrying about flashing your knickers.

      • How many of them are wearing $300 shorts?  Pintucks in leather is not going to be cheap…

    • khh1138

      I wear shorts all the time but I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel. 

  • Rand Ortega

    I think Sonjia’s adorable. I love her style, her exuberance. But for all of her excellent skills, I found her to be 1 of the most unfocused talents ever on PR. It’s so obvious where she’s placing her attention. The only looks that receive her complete focus are the D&G-esque dress & the short set w/ the amazing grey jacket. Fingers crossed she grows & learns that every 1 of her creations deserves 100% of her ability.

  • alyce1213

    Oh my.  There’s nothing at all that I like, not even a little bit.

    • PinkLemon

       it’s a bewildering collection, that’s for sure. huuuuge disappointment.

  • ccinnc

    I love the gray upholstery pants.

    • Me too. Not with either of the pieces they’re paired with though, but man are they cute!

  • alula_auburn

    1. I feel like it’s weirdly impressive to make a presumably flat-chested runway model’s boobs look so lopsided and wonky.
    10. I’m honestly relieved it was a dress, at least, because the way the model’s legs were crossed seemed like some kind of weird jumpsuit.

    Seriously, it’s all so weird, the fabric choices and the lace and the proportions.  It doesn’t only not look like her, it doesn’t look like anyone.

    That model in the weird leather shorts looks like she’s about to puke or pass out or something.  I used to think the judges kind of whined about styling to fill up the tame or to create faux tension, since a lot of the stuff they mentioned seeed meh to me, especially in light of the lackluster product-placed wall, but this season, sheesh.  I’ve seen five-year-olds with better style sense.

  • patticake1601

    Am wondering if they all know who is “really” going to show at FW when they design their “decoy” collections? Do they design them thinking they have a shot at winning PR or do they know they are a decoy?

    • Qitkat

      If you think about the show, you realize the designers know that when they are auffed, they do know how many designers still remain. Heidi has told them over and over again that three designers show at fashion week. While we as the audience, clearly know that there will be decoys showing, we also know that as far as the show goes, there will be only three collections shown on TV to that audience. It’s a guess on our parts as to when the decoys learn that they will have to make a collection, but I can’t imagine it isn’t perfectly clear that they have no chance of winning. No one starts sewing their collection (decoy or finalists) until after the show has narrowed it down to three (possibly four) remaining designers.

      • patticake1601

        I always assumed (because it’s obvious) that they wouldn’t design decoy or real collection until after the three have been chosen, but that’s why I am now asking. Sonjia’s collection is so meh compared to the others and it would not surprise me one bit if the decoy collections were designed before they knew who the final three are. Maybe I should stop looking for a non existent conspiracy theory….LOL.

        • All of the designers – even the eliminated ones, who are sequestered after elimination – go home at the same time, with the knowledge of who the finalists are and who will be showing decoy collections. They all get the same amount of time and money to design their collections.

        • Qitkat

          It would be fascinating, wouldn’t it, to really know the behind-the-scenes secrets at this show. I suppose someone might guess that they will be a decoy and start planning their collection, but they wouldn’t be able to go further than muslins with it until they received their money. It is a mystery why Sonjia threw away this awesome opportunity. After all, 300+ fashion and celebrity persons will see their collection and might be impressed enough to contact a promising designer. Not to mention, I believe ALL the collections are printed on line and in NYMag.

  • I was so hurt when she was eliminated but now I see that was the best thing. This collection peft much to be desired. I know you were doing a decoy collection but dont make it painfully obvious that it is a decoy collection.

  • SapphoPoet

    I think the best that can be said is that at least she used some colors. I do like the turquoise, even if I’m not sold on the shininess. Agree that there are several good pieces here, buried under a bunch of remnants. It’s almost as if she made two collections and tried to blend them. 

    I think the best collections tell a story, but there’s no narrative arc here, not even sentences–just a bunch of verbs, adverbs, nouns, and prepositions thrown together. 

  • sk8tfan

    who is this creature and what did she do with the real  Sonjia? I love her personal style (except, maybe, the unfortunate lavendar lipstick) and wanted to see more of it. This makes me respect Elena more (not words I ever expected to type) because she used her decoy collection to present a polished, interesting collection that looked potentially marketable and could be used to springboard an actual career, even thought she didn’t win the competition. This? Not so much.

  • I’m not crazy about this collection, but I still love Sonjia! 

  • Awkward proportions all around.
    None of these pieces look as though the belong together in one collection. There are some interesting separates, but overall everything looks disjointed. 

  • I don’t get not putting in your best effort, even if it’s just a decoy collection. You are still showing at fashion week!! 

    I could totally see Blake Lively in those pintucked shorts, btw. Paired with the blazer, shirt optional.

  • The whole collections besides the mosaic dress is half-assed. Why not put fort the effort when you are visible to the public, instead of presenting yourself in this way.  It doesn’t help when I look at half of them and feel like she just ripped off other designers.  

  • Call me Bee

    A split-personality collection with just a handful of bright spots:  The short jacket and boy-shorts, the satin skirt and top, the print dress with the flouncy skirt. 
    The rest are just a mess.  That last outfit is almost laughable. Even thought the jacket is kind of interesing, it’s way overshadowed by that WTF skirt.
    But this just amplifies Sonjia’s trouble from the very beginning:  no strong POV.  There was never one outfit during the whole season–nor in this collection–that when you see it, you say, oh yesh–Sonjia!  Her pieces are all over the place. 
    I was sad to see her go, but I hope she pickes out her strongest looks, and builds her business on those. 
    Or we’re gonna see her on “All On The Line” in a few years.

  • Terrie_S

    This is the work of someone who said  “I have more important things going on.” It’s like something happened that drew all her attention away part way through doing the collection.

  • I like her outfit more than 90% of the outfits on the models.

  • TSkot

    Does anyone know if the decoys are given the same cash as the actual finalists?  I would suspect they don’t get a visit from Tim, but can anyone confirm that?

    • No visit from Tim Gunn, but they get the same amount of money. 

      • Glammie

        I think a visit from Tim Gunn in Tootie’s case would resulted in a radically different collection–at least no cat-shredded knees.

  • demidaemon

    To me, and I think the judges realized this implicitly, Sonjia’s problems come from her designing style. She said on PR, more than once, that she designs organically and just kind of goes with the flow. Under challenge restrictions, this style of designing will allow someone to flourish because you are always responding to particular guidleines and designing around them. You don’t need to think about your POV; you’ll just make work that fits the challenge. On the other hand, you never really develop a POV other than “I like what Imade this time.” You aren’t really thinking about putting forward a personal aesthetic; you’re just designing what you like. I think Sonjia could have a good career designing for clients–commisioned pieces with specific guidelines. If this represents what she could do as a collection based, marketable designer, I fear what her line would look like, especially when it is based on mock-ups and sketches less than self-created work.

    • Glammie

      Yep, remember when she said she didn’t draw her designs and Chris told her she needed to start.  I think she’s actualy the more talented of the two of them, but Chris aced the challenges.

    •  I disagree — I think she could have a great career with a little more time.  It takes time to develop a style especially for those of us who are sketch-impaired.  If you can’t draw, it makes it much harder to get all the ideas down and see what will work together.  She may just need to more time to get to that point, or she may need to learn to sketch or find someone to help her with that (I do the world’s worst sketches but between my sketches, which are closer to a pattern than a fully realized sketch, and my verbose description, my husband manages to get it close enough for me to edit with:)

  • Qitkat

    I barely even recognize Sonjia herself here, much less her aesthetic. What are you doing honey, wearing Hammer pants?
    One head-wrap. What the hell was that about?
    Lace, lace everywhere. Makes no sense. Not used at all well.
    #3 This is just embarrassing. Really really embarrassing.
    #4 dress. Extremely cute. Just as TLo says, the ONE almost runway ready look, ditch the lace, make the skirt a bit longer.
    #5 top. Needs to be a tiny bit longer in front. But the pants are boring and too high waisted.
    Pair #5 top with #6 skirt. Adjust the proportions. How could she not have put these two fabrics together?  Stunning.
    #7 jacket. Pair it with #9 pants, so as to have a suit look and give it a kick ass colored top, such as the deep purple in #3.
    Final look. Aren’t the first and last looks down the runway supposed to be the show-stoppers? This is dreary and weird at the same time. 

    SIGH. This collection is a disappointment. Clearly no mentoring. How did the darling dress even make it into this collection? It’s almost an anomaly. Why didn’t she pay closer attention to this fabric and make a cohesive collection inspired by this design? I can see that the large print and the sorta stripey print echo similar colors. Truthfully, beige, tan, cream, pale yellow, brown, greige don’t belong anywhere near this collection. She ought to have stayed with black, teal, deep grey. Possibly a black navy, red, silver or off-white. NO LACE. Ever. She is not a lace kind of designer. As is clearly shown here. 

    This ‘collection’ seems to indicate that she was very confused as to her aesthetic. I wonder if she said anything on the runway that indicated her inspiration. Only those who were in the tents like TLo would know. GUYS??? Because there is nothing here to guess at. Perhaps if she can find a job at an established designer and get some serious focused learning training under her belt, (ala Jillian Lewis at Ralph Lauren), then she can try again on her own.

    • kimmeister

      The #5 pants are so high waisted, they’re on the model’s RIBS and make her look thick!

  • Clueless_Jock

    I just don’t get lace leggings. They make women’s legs look hairy.

  • elemspbee

    But she looks cute herself. great pants. the hair was looking light and pixie.

  • I disagree that the also-rans are just going through the motions. They’re given a whack of money and an opportunity to show what they can do. Granted it won’t be on national tv but at this point, PR has the same amount of credibility as America’s Next Top Model. Nobody is going to tap the winner on the shoulder and say, hey Stefano Pilati isn’t working out, come be our CD. They will get some buzz from whomever is in the audience (press?) but this collection is basically a portfolio for their next job. Or to show their private clients. So it behooves them to design the hell out of it.

    Now Sonjia… sigh. I like all her jackets. I like her black lace catsuit with the purple top (yeah, drop that napkin skirt). I like the turq satin skirt and the floral dress including the lace on the hem (but I would’ve changed it to *heavier* lace). She doesn’t show much focus here… but then I wonder how much direction Tim could give since he’s only visiting for what? half a day? I don’t really see how he can influence the finalists when much of their work is half-completed by that point. Except for that certain finalist who started over from scratch after his visit. 

    • mhleta

      What’s “a whack of money”? Do you know how much they’re given compared to what the finalists get?

    • SapphoPoet

      TLo says upthread that the decoys don’t get a Tim Gunn visit. 

    • Most of them design more looks than they use, I can almost guarantee it (if not, I fear for their sanity).  And when you’ve been churning out a look a day, doing one every 3 days is intense but not impossible — especially because things like Sonjia’s leather shorts, you are allowed to send out (or you used to be, because they were fine with Jeffery sending out some of his leather pieces).  It’s really no different than what they get on the show. 

  • leftcoastpickle

    She could have used some Tim Gunn.

  • Talk about sample sale! That stuff is all over the place. Poor Sonjia. She fulfilled the statement by the judges that she has no point of view. Who is her client? A semi-rebellious heiress who was raised in India and has a predilection for upcycling vintage upholstery and lace? Almost none of these clothes make sense to wear anywhere, at any time, except for the floral (which doesn’t match any other thing) and the skirt/top (which looks good standing, but would be hard to sit in) and are somewhat overly fussy in odd ways despite the obvious attempt at an overall simple style. I mean, knee shreds, lace pants, lace bra top, incredibly unflattering narrow wiggle skirt with froofery atop, eensy-weensy folded hip belt, and pintucked leather shorts? C’mon, Sonjia! You shoulda spent some time stepping back and LOOKING at what you were making, and thinking about how it would come together.

  • Bozhi

    I like her jackets, vests and that one dress.   As soon as I saw the final collections, I was sure she was not a finalist.  I think she likes doing fall/winter designs.  I don’t think she really likes to do spring/summer.

  • i can’t believe that you, our fearless fashion leaders, find those cream pants (look 5) acceptable.  to me they are hideous!  they make the models ass look big as a barn and with that cheap looking trim around the top, yech.  the whole collection looks like she made a bunch of separate pieces, rounded up some old pieces she had laying around, and then tried to make them into outfits.  it almost feels like she was depressed putting it together.  and in her walk down the runway, she looks a little embarrassed.

  • yybb

    “Fashion Week” is the big prize! Just not the biggest prize.
    It does not have monetary value. First exposure is very important.

    Few pieces were cute. But last dress is in “my eyes, my eyes” territory.

  • mhleta

    I do NOT understand why anyone would phone it in with that kind of an audience. It’s still an audition. If she had put out a stellar show no one would care whether or not she won PR. I was heartbroken when I saw this in your earlier post because I knew not only that she hadn’t won, but that she had lost her creative mojo. Other than those two promising pieces you pointed it, this is really disappointing. Do they not give them much money or how does this work for the decoy people?

    • mhleta

      Ah, never mind. I see your answer below. They’re given the same $$ as the finalists. Well then, seriously Sonjia. WTF??

  • ojosazules

    Seeing this eases the pain of the missing fabric.

  • nannypoo

    She is just so cute in that last picture but, yuk, this is a bad collection. I want her to be successful.

  • This collection has “quit” written all over it.  What a wasted opportunity by someone who could have really knocked it out of the park.  Too bad.

  • The aptly described “crazy cute” jacket is just that: quite fabulous as is the entire outfit. That’s about it really. 

  • ballerinawithagun

    Unbelievable. She still had the opportunity to show her work at Fashion Week! How could she show this??? Where are her fabulous jackets? 

  • Glammie

    I was so disappointed with this collection–though I liked many of the exact same pieces you guys did–the little floral dress, the grey top aqua paper-bag waist skirt and the black jacket over the WTF dress.

    I really, really liked Sonjia’s work during the competition–so much so that I thought she was a natural for the finale.  It was only the knowledge of how bad the collection was that made her getting auf’d kind of okay. 

    Hate the idea that she gave up and turned out a shredded knee dress, though–even without being up for the final prize, this is still a big opportunity.  I’m inclined to think that she’s really talented, but not mature as a designer and, because she wasn’t getting feedback, didn’t know how to edit her work.

    Good luck with the separates and jackets, Tootie.  You made me love headscarves on the right girl.

  • Megan Patterson

    I think the competition just totally tapped her out. I hope so anyway. 

  • dickylarue

    I was actually happy she was auf’d as I never once thought she had a style. You saw again and again how she winged it in the workroom and was just buying fabric without really knowing what she was going to do. She won the baby challenge with the help of a Mom who gave her some input. I think she’s more of a tailor than a designer and should work under a top designer for awhile before trying to sell her own stuff. I really thought she was going to get pushed through to the finale and was happy that she didn’t make the cut. I don’t love Fabio’s clothes, but I can imagine what Fabio’s clothes look like. He has a look. 

  • MilaXX

    Sadly I can’t disagree with any of what you said. That teal green-y skirt with the gray top is great. If the skirt was rendered in anything but satin I would wear that look in a heartbeat. Otherwise this was 50% okay and 50% fug for me.

  • what I don’t understand is that even though they don’t have a shot at the big PR prize, they DO have the opportunity to show at Fashion Week.  So why do a half-assed presentation????  You still have the opportunity of people in the fashion world seeing your work.

  • SewingSiren

    I love the turquoise satin peg skirt with the silver shell, I also like both shorts and jacket outfits (leather and lacewithcream) . But most suprisingly I like the shredded knee lace dress. I can’t say why I just like it, I would have liked to seen it without the jacket. It kind of has a decayed flapper quality that appeals to me.

  • Girl gave up – she didn’t even put an effort into her own outfit. 

    • Bozhi

      I hate her pants, but her top is nice.

  • Disappointingly awkward. I wish Sonjia had used this opportunity as more of a stepping stone to making a name in the industry, even if she had already been disqualified for making a name on TV.

    Take Elena for example. Chic collection with a strong point of view. She’s obviously brought attention to herself. Recently, Lady Gaga has worn one of her dresses.

    She’s movin’ up in the world.

  • Trisha26

    So much of her collection hinges on the wrong fabric choice, and that indicates this was the best she could do; maybe she was defeated, maybe this was the limit of her talent, but it clearly wasn’t worthy of the title. I like the lace-hem dress (something wrong with the neckline?), the teal-skirt look, and the silver cropped jacket. Her “signature head scarf” bothered me no end every time it showed up on camera; celebrating/embracing your heritage or adopting an affectation is one thing, but that scarf sent out a “working class” vibe that I don’t think she intended.

    • l_c_ann

      I wondered at the head scarf, then we had a glimpse of her hair w/o scarf (I think it was two episodes ago).Her blue hair wasn’t looking good and I expect the head scarves were her planning in advance for how to handle hair that might take several hours a night to make good, when she chose to sleep instead.

      I could be totally wrong, as I’ve never had blue hair and I know that black hair has texture issues (it’s so fine) that are different from ‘white’ hair.

  • This just looks like she didn’t even try.  Not loving the fabrics or the resulting clothes.  Poor Sonjia – I really liked her so much during the season!

    • Candigirl1968

      Agreed.  I don’t know if her heart wasn’t in it or what, but this really is a bust.

  • lucasuk82

    I’m curious – do important people in fashion come to these shows?  I feel like a good decoy collection could be just as important (see, Janx, Kara) in terms of visibility to the correct people.

    • Bozhi

      I think they do, and even if they don’t, you get incredible exposure.  Elena’s design was worn by Lady Gaga recently.

  • Sonjia herself always looks a 1,000% better than anything she ever sends down a runway and I’d so love to wear what she wears – Sonjia’s personal look is aspirational and this is her problem, she needs to figure out how to translate her personal style into something millions of women can wear.  It’s been done before – Coco Chanel did it, Donna Karan did it, Viv Westwood did it, Isabel Toledo did it.  She can do it too; she just needs to mature.

  • rainwood1

    Looking at Sonjia’s decoy collection makes me want to quote Mr. Bennet from ”Pride and Prejudice’:

    “No lace. No lace, Mrs. Bennet, I beg you!” 

  • Judy_S

    I kind of like the last look, or I would if it capped a collection that made sense of it. Otherwise, yeah.
    I really felt for Sonjia the past few weeks–she seemed very stressed. It seems as if she put some work into a few of the looks and just did the rest in a night or two. Odd and sad.

  • guest2visits

    This is the most random collection of looks yet. And Sonjia has such great technical skills and such a poetic way with fabric;
    her RW presentation was such a waste of talent.   A cohesive line doesn’t mean just a color scheme.  I just need to say wtf.
    Because I get the impression thats exactly what Sonjia said about creating her decoy. Multiple lace-tights?  Cheapy lace accents,
    a deconstructed lace tablecloth tucked into your shoes? Scraps of leftover satin fashioned into what – nothing of any use to anyone.
    It looks like even the pants she’s wearing are borrowed from Fabio. Clearly she had other things to do.  
    Sounds like I’m disappointed. YES. Because look at that gorgeous blue skirt outfit, and the little grey jacket, the dress (although
    I’m not crazy about the print), the precise construction of her shorts and pants, the beautiful flip tulip-skirt (so reminiscent of her
    head scarves). And then my head just explodes.  
    Both Sonjia and Dimitry’s RW collections seemed to share the same results; a few great looking pieces among mostly bizzare and
    random looks made by very skilled talents.  (imo).

  • quiltrx

    I really, really like that print dress.  A lot of the rest looks very half-assed, except the cute little jacket.

  • I don’t personally like the stringy dress, but could so see some people going for it. The kind of people who wear those ripped to shreds jeans and t-shirts look.

  • Maybe she was distracted when she started and then when she got to designing she didn’t have enought time to refine anything? Poor baby, but I love that scarf in the first look and wonder how I can do that… Are u listening Sonjia?

  • My guess is that she just couldn’t get her head into it — she didn’t seem like one to half-ass a chance to show.  Which I can understand, because I’d have a hard time getting around the idea of letting someone else own my work after they cut me loose too. 

    Though I’d totally wear the leather pintuck shorts — ’cause they are awesomely impractical.

  • ccm800

    I dunno I think this was as collaborative as a season has ever been – so maybe she was benefiting from the creative input around her…and sometimes a competition or a better artist can elevate the performances of those around them. Think of how many actors put in the best performances of their careers opposite Meryl or Tilda. 

  • The show really needs to go back to the beginning.  Give the designers (decoy as well) more money and more time.  What we’re getting now is frankly embarrassing to everyone involved.  None of the final collections kicked ass – with Sonjia’s one of the overall worst I’ve ever seen.  She’s done herself a real disservice here.  I actually saw that poofy skirt of hers on a collection review site as an example of some of the worst fashion week had to offer (don’t remember who or where – I just remember that God-awful skirt).  And that’s what she’ll be remembered for.  Not the clever clothes she designed during the season.  Makes me sad.

  • I have to say, I don’t think her collection is overwhelmingly awful, but really inconsistent, just like her work on Project Runway. I would say only 2 of the looks were real clunkers- it would be great if she had another wow item instead- and the rest just needed a bit of re-working. Though her fabric choices remain awful.

    #1 – I thought this was pretty nice, well-made and polished, though maybe could use another element or something. But if it’s derivative of someone else’s work that’s obviously a negative.

    #2 – I’m clearly in the minority, but I thought this was interesting. I thought the pairing was clever, though I wish the skirt maybe had a Sonjia-style drape instead like she did a few times in the competition.

    #3 – This is clearly the worst look in the entire collection and just needs to be scrapped completely. Maybe another look with pants would fit better here.

    #4 – Cute, one the best looks in her collection.

    #5 – Even though objectively I knew #3 was probably worse, I really hated this look. I don’t know if it’s the materials, or the colours, or what, but it just bugs me. Another rework.

    #6 – Great. She should have maybe tried to create more looks around this sort of fold design.

    #7 – Best look in the collection.

    #8 – I actually liked this. It was a shame one of the lapels weren’t showing.

    #9 – Lose the vest, and it works. Though then you might need to add some interest onto the top somehow.

    #10 – I think if you cut off the bottom, and just had the fringey/shredded bits hanging, it would actually work. The jacket could be a bit more firmly constructed to contrast hard and soft with the dress.

  • The interesting neckline is a bit of a nod to Dimitry’s latest though, I find.

  • Carlos Abreu

    i love the last look… actually that ripped dress is amazing and suits perfectly with the jacket…
    all the other looks are unoriginal…
    that dress is like ripped jeans from the 90’s is so raw and delicate at the same time… love it… and a lot of cool fashionistas would wear that in a h beat…

  • Melvis Velour

    Unlike Elena who totally capitalized on her opportunity to show her best work, Sonjia totally blew it.  The only thing that I liked out of the whole collection was that head wrap in the first look.  The rest of it was, to sort of quote Charles Nelson Riley to Gene Rayburn “…I love it when you design…that was mediocre”

  • MoHub

    I definitely got the impression that she had the wind knocked out of her sails when she was eliminated. I’d guess the better pieces were already designed and just needed to be made, and the rest were “get it done and get it over with” filler.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Yeah, after the pictures of her collection surfaced, I figured that Sonjia was the designated Big Talent that was cut before the finals. I agree with the TLo assessment, but I have to add that the headwrap is straight out of stylist June Ambrose’s bag of tricks. It might be new to PR and SOnjia claimed it, but it’s now standard urban street style.

  • The colour story is pretty fab (with the exception of that brown leather). Lace needs to go away for 5 years.

  • That last thing was a dress???  I guess it should have been obvious, but ever since you posted the pics, I’d been under the assumption those were just really dramatic legs to a jumpsuit…I feel slow.

    • ChristinaRi

      That’s what i thought too.

      That it’s a dress makes it more awful.   I feel badly for Sonjia.  She’s better than this.

  • SewingSiren

    THanks for posting the link. The Gaga dress is phenomenal (as is the entire collection).

  • Zippypie

    Decoy or not, you’re showing at FASHION WEEK!  If this is Sonjia’s best, she really needs to take a step back and reconsider what she is doing.

  • rorschach1992

    I really hope it was the fact that maybe her heart wasn’t in this at this point after being eliminated. I recall her great looks like her Blue gummy sharks candy dress, her draped gray dress, her Hunter green jacket and her print look, and none of this comes even close to the level of those. 

    I do like the 4th, 6th, and 7th looks, and even those shorts on the 8th look, they’re on the level I was expecting from her. The 3rd look is unforgivable. I know she’s better than this, so I really hope she wasn’t feeling it this time, and that this isn’t the best she can do.

  • dharmabum8

    Very uneven and unfocused, just like her work on the show. I think she’d make a great stylist, but not really impressed with her design work.

  • Carlos Abreu

    at some point youngsters start wearing ripped jeans in the 90’s, that was a fashion statement even before the “what chic has to do with it” had appeared… that’s why i love the last look… cause it really reminds me a transition from denim to a delicate fabric… a la Marques’Almeida the hit trend in Opening Cerimony these days…

  • I respond to some of the architectural elements, such as the tall-window-like configuration of the front of the jacket in the concluding look or the angular neckline in look # 3, but this collection, in the aggregate, suffers from inconsistency and contrivance. That shredded lace dress looks as if it has slept in a cat’s gullet. I’ve no idea what look # 3 is supposed to be–tablecloth tucked into lace? Even well conceived looks such as look # 7 appear very overworked (The cut of the jacket? Great. The overlapping? Great. The shorts? Great. All the swirls at the sides of the shorts? NOT great. It is NOT a purpose-fitting detail. Neither is the leather-brown back of that jacket. Neither is the grid-like seaming of the shorts. Edit, Sonjia. Does a design detail advance the look as a whole or is merely decorative? If yes, keep it. If not, scrap it.

  • Truly_Outrageous

    She has great style and has done some good work. Im hoping it was the former too. I like most of her outwear pieces here. Its one of her strengths. I kinda wish she did more outwear pieces for this collection.