PR: Ripping the Collections: Anya

Posted on November 03, 2011

Anya makes fairly pretty clothes in an extremely narrow range. There’s no crime in any of that nor is there any reason to think she’s less likely to have a successful fashion design career as anyone else who ever appeared on (or even won) Project Runway. You never know. There were plenty of pretty, if underwhelming, looks in her collection. But even her best work here is nowhere near design competition-level. Her shapes and techniques are as simple as possible and she repeats the same ones over and over again.


This is a very pretty dress, but our reaction now is exactly the same as the one we voiced to each other in the tent at the time: “The fabric is doing all the work.” It’s relatively shapeless and flowy. It just hangs off her. The fabric is gorgeous but there’s not a lot of technique.

This is kind of pretty. We think it looks heavy and overworked, though, and we don’t like the asymmetrical hem.

It’s pretty much exactly the same bathing suit and coverup she showed last week, except cut slightly more flattering and in a more expected fabric. Not a bad look, though.

For us, this illustrates the fundamental flaw with Anya’s design style. She lets the textile do all the work, so when she chooses an ugly (to us) textile, the shapelessness of her pieces stand out. This is horribly unflattering; making her boobs look small and her hips and legs look huge.

We feel like she was trying to do something here. There are some half-assed design element, although nothing that strays too far from her tendency toward sleevelessness and plunging necklines. Once again, you take away the eye-popping prints, and her work falls apart. The only difference between this collection and the mini-collection the judges hated last week is that she changed the fabrics with the conveniently supplied 500 extra bucks.

Pretty fabric, exactly the same shapelessness and lack of design. Look how badly the print is matched at the seams. With such a simple garment, it’s not too much to expect the seams to match up.


We’re sorry. We can’t.

Not bad. The shape of those shorts is awful, though.

Also not bad. And credit where it’s due, not badly executed.

It’s like she cut a hole in some fabric, pinned and stitched it in a couple places, and called it a dress.

And that’s our issue here. There’s nothing wrong with most of these clothes. It’s just that you could buy them in a million shops on a million boardwalks or resorts or cruise ships the world over. There’s absolutely nothing new here and there’s absolutely nothing that demonstrates a superlative sense of fashion design. As we’ve said before, no, this show isn’t Project Seamstress, but execution has always been a criterion for moving forward in the competition. Plenty of designers have been auf’d or had the final prize taken from them because their execution was poor. The reason for this is not because they were looking for a designer who could sew, but a designer who had a real understanding of how garments are constructed and what they can do on the body. A skill and knowledge base like that naturally implies a broader range for the designer as they evolve and change over time. We care less about the fact that she can’t sew and far more about the fact that she doesn’t seem to know or care about construction or technique. It’s got the whiff of a dilettante all over it. We wish her well, but we did not agree one bit with her win and we stand by our assertion that the producers got carried away this year with behind-the-scenes story crafting. Project Runway should be about the search for the next great fashion designer, not the next enthralling reality TV character.

Don’t forget, we’re going to be on Sirius XM radio’s Derek & Romaine show on OutQ 108 tonight at 7 PM Eastern. You bitches better call in (866-305-6887) and scream and yell at us about all things Project Runway. And what the hell, we’ll open the T LOunge tonight so you can all get drunk while we chat on the radio and then we can all watch the “Behind the Seams” reunion special thingie together.

[Photo Credit: David M. Russell for]

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