Project Runway Season 11 Finale

The Teams season has come to an end. I was expecting to hate this season. I actually anticipated the blogging part being pretty easy because I would just be able to rant about how awful it was each week. However, the season surprised me with some interesting fashion, judges willing to make some risky decisions, fairly strong designers and some really great teamwork.

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 Collections
Stanley 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?


I was surprised at how much I liked this season too. I feel like there was less of a pit between underdogs and the heroes. There was a chance for everyone to be on the chopping block from week to week. Look at how Stanley was on top most of the time and barely made it to fashion week. I was sad to see Daniel go but someone had to .
Rachel said…
This season was good! Shockingly little drama for the format!

Stanley's was nice but kind of boring.

Patricia had some cool things, mostly pretty fabric and sequins. I liked some of it, but a lot of it looked cheap or like it came off the $10 rack at a hippie store. I do love her creativity!

Michelle!! How I love thee! The bleeding heart sweater was actually not my favorite when compared with some of her other amaaaaazing pieces. I'm thinking Hunger Games chic. I'm thrilled that she won- it was certainly well deserved.

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