Project Runway Season 9 Finale and yes, it was a DOOZY! The show--and season--ended with another controversial ending and winner (we had barely gotten over the whole Gretchen thang!). There has been much criticism about not only the winner, but the show itself--none more biting than by my Fab friends Tom & Lorenzo and their Recap HERE.
my BLOG at myLifetime.com saying that I am "toe'ing the party line" in terms of Lifetime and the show. I think it's important to state that Lifetime or any of the producers of the show have NEVER tried to edit me or say "Umm, do you really wanna say that?" and I thank them for that and allowing me to voice my humble opinion. You--the fans, the readers, can make arguments for both Josh or Viktor winning, however, I still feel that out of the four collections shown that day at Lincoln Center, Anya's was the best.
Print Queen: Anya Ayoung-Chee and her models, backstage at the Project Runway Season 9 Finale Fashion ShowOh, and BTW: this is just my opinion, and to add: I tend to go for the "Anya" aesthetic": I like prints and easy-breezy Resort-y gowns. That's what I like. You may not. That is the great thing about fashion, it is subjective and we can all have our OWN opinions. I attended the Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week Project Runway Show and I was there to witness it all. Let me just also add that the collections look different on TV than they do in person. When you see the collections live, you get the 3D experience, a sense of flow and a power from (some) of the pieces. On television it often can seem slicker with it's fancy camera angles and close-up shots.
And the First Runner Up Is: Anya Ayoung-Chee and Joshua McKinley, Project Runway Season 9 Finale EpisodeFrom the live show, I thought Joshua's was "questionable" (I would have bet he was a "decoy" and not a Finalist!), Viktor's was good and I loved his prints (but I was apprehensive about the no-lining dresses), but I did remember thinking Anya's Resort Luxe-looking collection was one of the most cohesive. But, I also felt, she's not the Winner, not with all those similar-looking printed caftans! But then if not her...who was??? Well, yes, it was Miss Anya Ayoung-Chee. How was her collection the "Best"??? Let me Review them all: Kimberly Goldson:
It was very Baby Phat-meets-Rachel Roy. Which I love. But is that the next Top American Designer? I didn't think so. These looks are already out there--versions of them--in stores. It doesn't take fashion to well, "another level" per se. A counterpoint that many commentators are making to me is that neither does Anya's; which is a valid point. I guess the difference to me is that Anya's looked Luxe, while Kimberly's looked more suited for the Contemporary Department of a Store. Joshua McKinley:
Frida Giannini-for-Gucci Fall 2011 girl. The reason he didn't win--as opposed to Anya--was the same as for Joshua--he also suffered from what I call the "Two-Headed Woman" syndrome. This was also a collection that did not benefit from the LIVE viewing. In person the collection was not very impacting. It was much more subtle and almost delicate (even with its bondage elements). I think if he was able to have made a 35 look collection it could have been amazing, but with only 10 looks to make an impact, it left the audience wanting more. Anya Ayoung-Chee:
How could she have won? I just don't get it? She only learned how to sew months ago...She never finished her dresses with an opening/closure!... Her collection was the most cohesive. She had ONE GIRL in mind and she stayed true to that vision. You may not like that ONE girl or think it was too narrow in its scope, but to my eyes it was the most cohesive and complete collection that day. Congratulations to all four of the finalists and take it from me, its not always winning that makes you a success!! To Read My myLifetime.com Recap of the Finale Episode, scroll down kids... "From Beauty Queen to Fashion Queen"
"Project Runway" Rewind: Back in September, I flew to the East Coast for two things: to host a "Fashion's Night Out" event in West Virginia (technically "The South" but still East Coast–adjacent) and then to attend the Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week "Project Runway" show. It was two days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and traffic in Manhattan was at a standstill. I barely made it. I watched NINE — yes, NINE — shows (five "decoys" and the four finalists). There was a whole lot of mess (little Bryce, I am talking to you!), but there were some shining moments. I SWORE Laura Kathleen was one of the finalists. Hers was one of the strongest collections. I was wrong. And I thought Joshua's was all over the place and too "kooky" ('80s neon-green "bicycle shorts"?). I would have bet one of my Hermès ties that he was a "decoy" (wrong again!). But one thing stuck out: Those glorious dresses from Anya. I thought, wow, if she made it THIS far, and with barely knowing how to sew … Atta-Gurl!
A Gift of $500 … to Anya! Let's see how it really turned out. As of last week, the Top Four finalists showed the judges three looks that were supposed to be representative of their collections. Anya suffered. Her pieces looked like she had made them in three hours. Under any other circumstances, she would have been OUT. But the judges decided to keep her. "She has come this far …" they argued. Going into the final two days before the Finale Show, she was the underdog. Out of the blue, Monsieur Gunn walks into the workroom and provides them all with a "gift." The conspiracy theorist in me felt it was intended for Anya, as a "GURL, you better 'Make It Work' and redo your damn collection!" She did.
The Susan Lucci Award Goes To … How are the rest of the finalists doing? Viktor inexplicably buys some see-through, stretch cheetah print that has nothing to do with his collection, to add some new looks. As they showed him going through his rack, editing out some of his custom prints, I thought, "Oh dear, he's heading down the wrong path!" Kimberly is making more of those not-so-flattering "booty bump" skirts (NO!), and Miss Joshua is doing his best Soap Opera Digest Award Performance of how he has "NOTHING … to come home to … not even a job!" ...
Click HERE for the rest of my Recap---