Project Runway: The Runners-Up
Hit it, oh disappointed ones!
Stanley shocked the shit out of us. We might have predicted that his collection would skew dowdy and mature, but we never would have guessed that he’d be the flighty, scatterbrained, unprepared one. We’re going to say it: We got progressively more annoyed last night, as more than a half-dozen people, including the other two finalists, got to work helping him just finish the collection he was there to show and had five months to put together. “If he wins this,” we thought, “It’ll be Project Runway rewarding bad management, unprofessionalism, and relying on others to complete a task.”
Anyway, this was not a bad look. It was probably one of the more youthful looks in the collection – and that’s really saying something, since a 50-year-old could wear this with no problem. Hell, a 70-year-old could.
Oh, what are we saying? There are no youthful looks in Stanley’s collection. There are also no looks that evoke the urban working girl he claimed as his muse. When all he could say about her is that she works in the city and likes to shop, it became obvious that Stanley, unlike Patricia and Michelle, had absolutely no idea who he was designing for.
And we’re sorry if you were expecting analysis or breakdowns of his collection, but most of it really doesn’t warrant it. It’s all a combination of vintage looks and department store looks. Not a truly interesting look in the lot, as far as we’re concerned.
These were his two best pieces and, quite stupidly, he ignored Nina’s excellent suggestion that he break them up in the collection.
We thought this was awful.
A little pretty.
Interesting that textile design played such a part in this finale. The judges loved Michelle’s sweaters and Patricia’s various techniques, which only made Stanley’s (again, quite stupid) “I just paid some Russian ladies to embroider for me” response a huge mark against him.
This only looks good because of the model. This will only look good on dark-skinned size twos under 35.
An 80-year-old would put that back on a rack for being “too old lady.”
The worst look of the lot. It’s such an obvious Marchesa ripoff and the comparison only serves to make this dress all the worse, since it’s so drab and poorly made. Additionally, it’s totally out of left field, having nothing to do with the rest of the looks.
We were one hundred percent behind Nina in the debate last night regarding Patricia. And we think her long stretches of pursed-lip silence were merely a case of her refraining from reading off the script the other judges were. Because there’s no way in hell Michael Kors or Zac Posen ever thought these clothes were a good match for a Marie Claire editorial or a Lord & Taylor rack. NO. WAY.
Now, we absolutely agree with the arguments Kors, Posen and Klum (attorneys at law) made regarding the freshness of her vision and the high value of her skills and craft. She is absolutely an artisan and there is absolutely a market for what she’s doing. But every judge on that panel with the possible exception of Heidi knew good and damn well there was nothing but a very tiny niche market for these clothes and that they would never get much play in the worlds of department stores and fashion magazines. And despite what anyone involved with Project Runway may say, it revolves entirely around the worlds of department stores and fashion magazines, with a little bit of red carpet thrown in.
The Number One reason as to why she’s a textile designer and not a fashion designer? Shape. The Number Two reason? Technique.
Her fabrics and the way she has manipulated them are quite beautiful in most cases. However, her shapes are either simplistic, non-existent, or flattering to practically nobody. There is little to no thought put into how to shape the garment and what the shape of the garment will be.
Addtionally, she uses very little technique in the making of her garments, reserving all of her technique for the making of her textiles. The result is exactly what you get here; a lot of shapeless or simplistic garments rendered in really beautiful fabrics, none of which look stylish in a current sense, many of which look quite dated in a “that store that sells incense and crystals at the mall” sense.
And that’s our main issue with her attempt here. Aside from the shape or technique issues, we just don’t love the way she interpreted her heritage and culture into something that looks like a Halloween hippy costume in half the looks and Chico’s in another quarter of them. A little less Rhiannon and a lot more Taos is what her work needs.
There’s a reason why the judges liked these last two looks the most. It’s because the one with the horsehair referenced her culture more purely and in a new(ish) way. And the second one was the only piece in her collection that looked remotely modern. She’s very, very talented. In some ways, one of the most talented contestants the show’s ever had. But this collection demonstrates fine textile-making skills; not fine fashion design ones.
[Photo Credit: Getty]