I know I’m getting a little ahead of Project Runway’s TV schedule, but I just couldn’t resist discussing the final collections of the remaining six contestants, especially since photos of the shows are available everywhere, including Bravo. Although Jerell, Joe, Kenley, Suede, Korto and Leanne debuted their collections, I suspect the men were decoys because all three of them lacked design innovation — or had collections that were just plain ugly. If you can’t wait until the season finale, then click ahead, but if spoilers grind your gears, don’t click “CONTINUE READING.”Leanne was the crowd favorite during the New York fashion shows. Out of all the designers, she showed the most innovation in her collection of separates and dresses done in beige, turquoise and white. She continued to use interesting geometric elements, but soft curves and two-toned pleating added movement. I’ve never seen pleats done this way before, and I loved how they swayed as the models sashayed down the runway. Leanne is also one of a few designers that can create a flattering exaggerated hip. But for all her innovation, the collection did become a little monotonous. She had curves on nearly everything: skirts, lapels, over-sized collars, necklines.
Korto was a close second in crowd popularity. Her collection of separates, dresses, and gowns would cover a jet-set fashionista in all her endeavors. She tempered the green and saffron jewel tones with metallic taupe and silvery white. Balloon sleeves adorned a few of the dresses, but most garments were sleeveless, halter, or one-shoulder. The most exciting element was the bold African jewelry, also made by Korto, that accented the dresses. A necklace held together the halter neck of a gorgeous emerald dress that I’m just dying to own.
Kenley’s collection was not fresh or surprising because she recreated several of the dresses that won her favor on Project Runway. As a slap in the face to the judges and Tim, she made yet another dress with exaggerated puffed sleeves. This time the sleeves were smaller but still too stiff to wear regularly. I loved her pattern choices and her ability to mix fabrics, like lining a skirt in a totally different but complementary fabric. Each piece was great on its own, but it didn’t not come together into a cohesive collection.
Jerell took everything that was great about his zodiac-inspired outfit and went haywire. He used too many fabrics and too many elements. One dress had an exposed underskirt, a train, an adorned waist, and a jumbled up collar. Most of his looks were misses, but some could have been hits if he’d just edited.
Joe’s collection was a snooze fest that lacked cohesion. Like Jerell, he used too many fabrics and too many colors. His western and Americana-inspired looks didn’t reveal his identity as a designer; instead, it came off as a poor knock-off of Ralph Lauren. Although designers have been doing season-less leathers for quite sometime, leather bustiers with motorcycle details looked too hot and heavy for spring. His collection proved he doesn’t know what women want and doesn’t know how to inspire them.
Suede’s collection was the worst of all. His color choices of pastel pink, blue, and yellow were way too sweet to be appropriate for real women, and the silver foil accents didn’t help. For one look, he tied a swirly patterned skirt over a plaid slip dress in an attempt to be innovative, but the outfit became a mediocre interpretation of a little girl playing dress-up. Like several of the other designers, Suede’s collection wasn’t coherent. Some items had weaving, some had ruffles, and some even had roping. One of the worst was a pink and navy pinstriped dress with a huge ivory ruffle perched on the shoulder.
After seeing all the collections, I’m pretty sure Leanne will be this season’s winner. But Korto will have a line of customers ready to buy. Kenley should start making custom clothing because she’s a great dressmaker, but she doesn’t know how to curb her creativity to make a cohesive collection. Jerell should become a costume designer. Joe should work under a designer with a clear vision. And Suede should just give up.