I just wish I could get really excited or really angry or really anything about the finale. Instead, I'm left feeling that no one really won. In fact, not much seemed to have happened last night.
Rather than being forced to create a new look (like a wedding dress or something), the designers were give $500 to go to Mood and buy anything they needed to spruce up their collections. I've always hated the last minute assignment because it ruins great collections or helps collections that don't deserve help. I liked this because it allowed them to actually respond to the judges critiques from last week. Conspiracy theorists will say this was the producers' way of making it possible for Anya to win. I believe the producers had no idea how to fill the 90 minute block of time so they threw money at the problem, but it worked out OK.
Now for the collections... (click to view larger images)
Kimberly was the first designer eliminated. I expect that. I never really saw her winning. I see her opening a boutique in an urban area and selling a lot of cool clothes. Her collection was what Nina usually calls "clothes" instead of "fashion." They were fun clothes. I liked the angles, the vivid colors and the woman's amazing ability to make pants. In fact, Kimberly just needs to sell pants. She'll make a fortune. I know her pink bubble skirt was her favorite concept, but sometimes artists just need to kill their babies. This particular baby was just too ugly to go on living. She would have earned major points from the judges for taking it out the collection. I like her beige looks, and I wish the vivid colors of the collection would have slowly transitioned into more muted, sophisticated looks. She could have told a story with the move from street to professional and taken us on a journey I think she is currently experiencing herself. Overall, good work, but not good enough.
I believe the judges did everything in their power to find flaws in Viktor's work. His collection was far from perfect, and the sheer pieces weren't his best work. However, he did a lot better than they gave him credit for. They kept saying that he made two separate collections--one with print and one without. And they are bonkers because the same could be said of Joshua--one with with solid neons and one with prints, plastic and neoprene--and Anya--one with sad gold-tone dresses and one with vibrant black and white looks. Viktor's collection showed the most innovation, range, craftsmanship, editing, thought and overall design ability. The more I look at his collection, the more I think he should have won. Yes, some of his sheer pieces were unwearable, but wearability isn't the main focus of Project Runway. He used sheer a lot better than many of the designers we reviewed during fashion week. Also, he used prints better than the other designers. He didn't simple make something out of a print fabric, he made the prints work for his designs. I think most of the judges critiques were only said because they had another winner in mind.
Joshua wins the award for most improved this season--both as a designer and a person. I came to actually like him by the end. He created a bright collection with a lot of interesting ideas. I still don't think his ideas are polished enough, but he's really getting better. I liked how he used the plastic stained glass. I liked the little black dress in neoprene. His collection has a lot going for him. I see his neon, trashion vibe working well for the party kids and pop stars of the world. I just hope he keeps going in a good direction.
Anya won. I had expected Anya to win for several weeks, but her collection was so bad last week I didn't even think she deserved a spot at fashion week. I agree with the judges that Anya has a solid point of view and that her collection was cohesive, but it was also repetitive. She made a bunch of maxi dresses with a deep-v neckline. No sleeves, no jackets, no bras. Anya showed no range. Her sewing skills are fine enough, but she admits to not being able to make a jacket. Her pants are fine, but no where near the level of the other designers. Her clothing moved beautifully and looks very pretty. However, she didn't use prints as well as Viktor. Her new fabrics didn't really mesh with her existing ones. If I were a buyer, I would purchase a few things, but the whole collection would be redundant in a store. I don't care if Nina is envisioning Anya bedding and Anya bangles. This is Project Runway, not America's Next Top Brand. What did you think of the finale? Who should have won?
Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke, Mylifetime.com