PR: Ripping the Collections – Josh

Posted on November 02, 2011

In retrospect, we’re thinking Josh was the Michael Costello of this season. Not because he played the victim one too many times (although Josh could turn to victimhood at the drop of a hat: “You’re getting very aggressive with me!”), but because he got strung along by the judges all season, given praise that was just a little too effusive, had his shortcomings seriously downplayed, and then they dumped his ass and gave the win to someone else. That was Josh’s storyline. To his credit, and in agreement with the judges, we do think Josh is quite talented and has a point of view that pushes the envelope slightly. It’s just that we know Nina and Michael and in prior seasons they never would have missed an opportunity to criticize a designer like Josh, who embodies two of the most dreaded of Project Runway critiques: “taste issues” and “an editing problem.” In keeping with that storyline right up to the last second (and unlike with Michael Costello, more value was found in the ridiculous idea of putting him ahead of Viktor to second place), the judges once again overpraised simple designs and downplayed the more ridiculous of them. In fact Nina made one of THE most ridiculous comments about an article of clothing we’ve ever heard in nine years of the show.


This is his orange bird dress all over again. The only thing he did was remove the much-criticized corsage. The judges should have slammed him for making exactly the same dress.

We don’t care what Nina says, we’re sticking with Tim on this one. That really is quite possibly the ugliest textile we’ve ever seen. To make matters worse, he took an extremely busy print and used it for an extremely overdesigned outfit. It’s kind of stunning how many details he managed to cram into a sleeveless cocktail dress and a vest. If we had to pick the two worst details, it would be the asymmetrical hem and the strings hanging off the back of the vest. But feel free to pick your own. There are dozens of design elements to choose from.

The judges didn’t seem to like this much – and to be fair, it’s a bit too activewear – but we thought it had a simple chicness to it. Don’t love the cut of those pants all that much, but the jacket is great.

Horrible. We’re sorry, but this is hideous, we don’t care how much it excites Nina. Once again, an aggressively ugly print paired with too many elements, from a bright green over-pleated skirt with an asymmetrical hem to a sheer back and even a sheer pocket. The proportions aren’t terribly flattering either.

But this really takes the cake in terms of being unflattering. Those shorts have NO AESTHETIC VALUE. Sorry to be so harsh, but they are almost laughably ugly, kind of vulgar, and insanely overdesigned. And for all their bitching at Viktor for how he paired his pieces, the very idea of pairing THAT top with THOSE shorts should have received a stirring round of righteous fury from the judges. Instead, Nina weakly offered that she “got” the shorts because they were “editorial.” Put your money where your mouth is, girl. Go ahead and put them on the cover of Marie Claire. We’re sure Lea Michelle or Scarlett Johansson will jump at the chance.

Probably one of his better looks. We still maintain that the cut of the pants are not great, but the jacket is truly sharp and interesting, that pink is very much a color of the moment, and the horrific print is downplayed. It has a futuristic chic thing going on. He should explore that in his work more and explore side-laced shorts a bit less.

A perfectly good design, perfectly executed. It’s not exciting – and the judges overpraised it – but it’s a perfect dress.

We’ll give him some credit for attempting to think outside the box here. He’s not doing something that’s never been done, but he’s doing something that’s rarely been attempted in a Project Runway finale collection. This wasn’t our favorite of the plastic looks, but it certainly caught everyone’s attention when it walked out. We could have done without the neoprene bra.

We don’t love the proportions or shape, and we don’t love the idea of black paired with that plastic, but the concept here is sound. When it was merely a gigantic bib, it was horrible. This isn’t a perfect fix, because the back looks shoved in and it looks like she’s still wearing leggings underneath, but the idea of a flowy gown with a plastic halter was an interesting one to pursue. We just don’t think he’s quite there yet.

This is another interesting take on the idea but again, we don’t like the black (and to be fair, that’s only a matter of taste) and we don’t think the proportions and silhouette quite work here.


It seems to us he pulled a slight Santino in that he took whatever minor criticisms he got during the competition and went running in the opposite direction. He was trying his mightiest here to do something edited, forward-thinking, and tasteful. Then we think he looked at some of what he had and worried that it was too boring so he whipped up some crazy shit, like the laced shorts. In the end, it wasn’t a particularly cohesive collection, going from simple draped cocktail dresses to sporty separates to big black futuristic gowns in the space of ten looks. It’s fine to show a range, but we don’t think Josh has the slightest idea who his customer is . It sounds weird, but in a way, it’s like he’s designing womenswear through the eyes of a young, trendy, urban gay guy, who would be likely to have a closet full of cute going-out looks, cute activewear, a couple of trendy, futuristic-looking pieces, and at least one big black thing with a yoke. If Josh wants to design for women, he’s going to have to do a better job of figuring out who the women are that would buy what he’s selling. We think that’s at least part of the reason for over-embellishing his looks. If he got out there and really examined what women want out of their clothing, he’d be a fantastic, energetic designer. Right now, we don’t think he really knows who he’s designing for, so he’s designing for himself without even realizing it.

By the way, we’re going to be on Sirius XM radio’s Derek & Romaine show on OutQ 108 tomorrow night at 7 PM. You bitches better call in (866-305-6887) so we can all bitch about the Project Runway finale together. Like a family of bitches.

[Photo Credit: David M. Russell for]

blog comments powered by Disqus

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