Unlike most team challenges, the season of teams actually led to designers working together in constructive way rather than just screaming at each other. I liked watching Stanley and Michelle collaborate on the print challenge. I think several of the designers picked up new skills by working with each other. Perhaps the best collaboration was never even a part of the on-screen teams--Michelle using Joe to create her bleeding heart sweater. More on that later.
Our final three were an interesting mix this season. Michelle was an underdog most of the season, always stuck on a losing team. Stanley kept his head down in the early rounds and started to shine as the season moved on--however, he struggled to show a strong, original point of view. Patricia never shied away from risks while drawing strong inspiration from her Native American heritage and mixing it with her vast knowledge of art history and fabric manipulation.
Michelle was an early favorite of mine. I couldn't remember Stanley's name until halfway through the season. And I waffled on Patricia each week thinking she was either truly talented or completely crazy.
The CollectionsStanley was the first eliminated. He created some very pretty clothes, but he had two major downfalls. First, he didn't manage his time well. Several of his pieces were not finished well. It showed and hurt him. Second, he lacked originality. I can think of at least one item that very much reminds me of something else. The "vintage" inspiration was too literal. Yes, some pieces were lovely--but almost all of them were referential. (Click through the slideshow below to see Stanley's complete collection).
Patricia created some amazing textiles. She was also onto something kind of crazy-fabulous with poof headpieces and vibrant colors. I'm very proud of the judges for seeing her unique point of view and allowing her to show it. I'm even more proud that they looked somewhat looked past the fact that her clothes weren't commercial or even all that flattering because she was trying to do something new. Sadly, I think she's still a ways off from realizing the full potential of this vision. The clothes at times looks too homemade or too junior or too inexpensive. The garments didn't always live up to her textiles. She has real talent. She made some lovely things, but this wasn't quite a winning collection. (Click through the slideshow below to see Patricia's complete collection).
Michelle had that winning collection. My favorite won! Her collection can walk itself right into my closet. I loved the heavy materials, the harnesses and vest, the layered skirts, the hi-tech vibe, the arctic outdoorsy-ness. Most of all, I loved that bleeding heart sweater. (Sadly, designers don't own the rights to anything they made on the show so she can't produce it. I hate to say this, but I hope someone knocks it off so I can buy it). Tim actually advised Michelle to delete the sweater, but Heidi and Nina were placing orders for it during judging. I like that Michelle took in Tim's critiques, considered them and only took the ones that really served her vision. I'm so thrilled she won. (Click through the slideshow below to see Michelle's complete collection).
What did you think of the season as a whole, each of the collections and the winner? Do you think Runway should go for another Teams season or was this enough for that experiment? How does this stack up to recent seasons?