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Friday, December 23, 2011

Project Accessory Season 1: What Did You Think?

Last night was the season finale of Project Accessory. The Project Runway spinoff put accessory designer to all the classic Runway tests. Overall, I enjoyed the season, but I never got all that invested in it. That could have been because I was still overwhelmed from finishing a season of Project Runway, but I think it had more to do with the fact that it was almost exactly like Project Runway.

The accessory designers had to create runway looks, which never felt quite right. The pieces are better seen up close and I often felt that the challenges required them to over accessorize in order to show all the pieces they needed to show. The challenges could have been zanier too. I don't remember most of them, and except for the week they had to make shoes, the designers didn't seem to be too stretched by the challenged.

Having designers with so many different disciplines was tricky too. Some mostly did shoes or handbags while others only worked with metal. Sure, making them work with new materials was cool, but making models nearly break ankles in poorly made shoes was just painful to watch.

A big part of Project Runway is the judges and Tim Gunn. The judges on Project Accessory were all fine, but they haven't gelled yet. Also, Eva did a good job as a mentor, but she is no Tim Gunn. The main reason Bravo never got any of their Project Runway copies to work was because they couldn't copy the cast. I wish Project Accessory would have switched up the format a little so it would be it's own show.

I did enjoy seeing all that goes into making accessories. I love watching the process and seeing some really creative designs. I also think this batch of designers took a lot more risks than any of the designers we've seen recently on Project Runway.

I do wish Accessory had copied how Runway handled the final shows. In stead of sending the designers away fro a while to make collections, Accessory gave them a couple of days and some help to make a small collection. That wasn't enough time, and I wanted to see what they made by themselves rather than with the help of another designer. I felt the designers got cheated, and we as an audience got cheated out of what could have been even better collections. It felt rushed. Actually, the whole season felt rushed.

Which brings us to the final three accessory designers.
Rich landed in third for losing his vision. He had a really edgy, grungy look. When he picked Diego to help him, he sort of sabotaged himself. Diego didn't like his aethetic so he didn't rough up the designs enough. My favorite pieces were his hammered copper clutch and pendulum necklace (very Edgar Allen Poe). If he had done more like that, he could have been closer to a win.
Nina found herself in second place (which came with a consultation trip to Paris, cool). I thought she didn't a really nice collection. I could see all if it selling very well in stores. If this has been Project Runway, the judges may have picked this less risky, more commercial collection. I love her parallelogram necklace and her bucket bag. I actually want both of them. I wouldn't have minded if Nina won, but I never got attached to anyone this season so I wasn't really cheering for anyone in particular.
Brian won for the most cohesive, risky and interesting collection. He carried his theme of leather straps through all of his looks. His evening look had a cool pink and cream python skin that I wouldn't normally be attracted to but totally worked here. He was smart to have James aid him with his collection because he was able to design and create killer shoes. I love the strappy boots and I love the strappy necklace he made too. Actually, I love most of the pieces, which really surprised me. I think he surprised the judges too, which earned him a well-deserved win.
I like this season, but I hope future season (if there are any) follow their own path instead of clinging to the established Project Runway format. I'd like to see them try new things and give the designers more time to make final collections. Although, I hope Project Runway takes a hint from its little sister and rewards the more daring designers rather than the more commercial ones.

What did you think of the season and the winners? Also, who's excited for Project Runway All Stars?

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