|Final Four (L to R): Viktor, Anya, Joshua & Kimberly|
Lately, I have been a day late and a dollar short in every aspect. I have been floundering to keep myself afloat in the personal and professional abyss of my life with any extra-curricular hobbies – such as television watching –fallen by the wayside.
I am aghast to report that I didn’t watch the season finale of Project Runway Season 9 until just last night – almost an entire week after the reality show concluded.
As I have posted before, I am a huge Heidi Klum fan. He-ey! But, out of all the reality shows that I keep up with and -- despite Klum’s involvement -- I find that Project Runway really inspires me. [See my previous post about Project Runway http://allthingsfashionating.blogspot.com/view/sidebar#!/2011/07/project-runway-brings-fierceness-back.html ]
The competition started with the largest number of contestants ever with 20 designers but, after eight plus weeks, the talent was been whittled down to the top four individuals.
I am constantly amazed at how hard these designers work throughout each episode and I hold them in very high esteem.
So last night was part two of the finale: The remaining four designers Anya Ayoung-Chee, Joshua McKinley, Kimberly Goldson, and Viktor Luna each made a 10 piece collection to show the judges that will eventually be shown at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
After some harsh criticism in part one, Klum and fellow judges – Michael Kors and Nina Garcia – gave each contestant $500 to spend at Mood fabric to revitalize their collections before the runway show at MBFW.
In the workroom, Anya returns to her Caribbean roots and makes three entirely new looks; Kimberly revamps a bubble skirt that was a “hot mess” in part one of the finale; Josh creates a few new looks out of several neon fabrics which seemed a bit over-the-top (to me); and Viktor finds a sheer cheetah print and makes a few transparent gowns.
The show wouldn’t be complete without the workroom guidance of Tim Gunn, the show's fashion consultant who also offers fatherly advice.
[WARNING: Don't read on if you don't want to know who wins!]
The big day arrives this past September and the designers find themselves confronting the runway at Lincoln Center early in the morning on the day of the show. Kimberly starts the show off and her collection of sophisticated urban-girl wear with its contemporary fabric was very wearable; however, the audience’s reaction was entirely lackluster and it translated when the judges voted her out first.
Mexican-born Viktor created a line that representing a beachy girl who meets NYC. Ultimately, Viktor sabotaged himself by creating too many sheer looks for the collection. The judges were impressed with this impeccable tailoring but he was the second one to be voted out. Personally, I thought he was going to be the big winner.
Joshua’s collection reminded me of over-the-top gay men’s clothing. However, the judges voted him “most improved” designer and his looks translated well on his models. I believe this is most likely because they had bodies of 12-year-old boys.
Lastly, Anya -- who pulled it out of her ass for the entire show -- once again prevailed. The young woman from the Caribbean island of Trinidad continued to wow judges and viewers all season with her use of prints and styling techniques. Her looks were continually cohesive – except for one dreadful look -- surprisingly since she had learned to sew only a few months before the show. This certainly hurt her on a few of the challenges.
However, ultimately, the judges voted Anya the winner of Project Runway 2011. It was a much deserved accolade and made me super happy.
Anya took home the $100,000 prize to start her own line.
According to People Magazine, she is setting up a new Internet retail site in time for the holidays and helping Caribbean women to set up micro-finance loans.
I honestly yelled with joy when Anya won because I truly felt that she was the contestant who had the most promise and vision -- despite her lack of skill. It makes me happy to know that the judges also gleamed that from this promising new designer.
The saddest part of it all is that the show is now over until next season.