Runway Ties

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Well folks, up in Canada, for god knows why, we have Project Runway on delay. Meaning, if you want to watch it on the TV and not your computer, you must wait for about 2-3 weeks after the show has aired in the US of A. As a loyal Entertainment Weekly subscriber and general entertainment world explorer, this presents plenty of challenges. How does one avoid the news? Anytime I saw the words Project Runway I basically shut my eyes.

The good news is, maybe people have been bored with the last two seasons as I’ve managed to avoid finding out the winner and have been all tense and surprised with the finale. In fact I’ve heard a lot of negative things about season 6 that just wrapped up – to be fair, the show was mired by the whole network shenanigans going on and the tension of ‘this is happening now’ was lost. But also…I agree that Season 6 left something to be desired.

The challenges felt a bit flat (hi, thanks for stealing Project Runway Canada’s bride dress challenge), there was a lack of drama or personality for that matter in the work room, and the final collections failed to really wow me.

I mean last season, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Leanne but I appreciated the architecture of her clothing – it was clearly innovative, stylish, and new, and I was okay with her winning (despite the two-tone colour palette).

Before that we had PR wunderkind Christian Siriano. Although I was underwhelmed by the sparseness of his final collection, I got the buzz and the hype the show managed to create around him and he’s certainly done decently for himself since then. I was actually a fan of S3’s Jeffrey Sebelia, although his career hasn’t really gone anywhere (costume designer for Bratz?) notable since then. Ditto to S2’s Chloe Dao – Daniel Vosovic probably should have won that and paved the way for future boy wonders like Christian. And S1’s Jay McCarroll was a bit of a dark horse for the win in my opinion.

Regardless, there was nothing that made me particularly stand for any three of our top three in this year’s show. None of them had a particularly awe-inspiring outfit (I’m thinking of S3 Jeff’s stunning couture dress for example) throughout the competition, and while all 3 were consistently good and it was nice to see the blonde pretty girl actually do well for once, it still failed to excite my fashion senses when all was said and done.

Carol Hannah’s final collection was a little OTT in the satin department – I get that her clothing was supposed to represent fantasy but I felt like she was designing prom dresses more than fashion. Althea’s was definitely the most wearable and I see a great future for her designing for a hip commercial house like Club Monaco, but it was mostly nice, slightly special stylized versions of stuff I could go out and buy any day of the week. As for Irina’s, the all black thing was unappealing to me, and reminiscent of Christian Siriano’s S4 collection. Lame.

Here’s the big clue that most designers seem to pick up on though. The collections that win are typically the collections that use a cohesive element to tie them together. In particular, thinking of Irina’s helmets and Jay’s S1 headphones – the hat is the key! Even S3 Jeffrey was planning to use blonde wigs until he had to scrap them from his budget at the 11th hour. Leanne’s two-tone colour palette and Christian’s nearly all-black looks also cinched them the win. Chloe basically used four or five fabrics in every single piece, but I was a tad surprised she walked away with the win when you stack her collection up against the very tied together elements of the other winners. So future PR designers, take heed – be interesting, be daring, and find a gimmick to tie your collection together! Note: this is not always 100% successful. Korto’s paper fans from last season and Uli’s shark tooth closures failed to net the two ladies the win, but put them both in top contention for it at least. It’s the easiest way to claim cohesion should the judges get uppity!

Till next time,

Britt's On


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