This is my last time in the Project Runway recapping saddle, Trulybst will be taking over for season 11 of Project Runway, Heidi-style, and Miss Worded is taking us all to Ru Paul’s Drag Race (we’ve all been advised to dress fabulously for the trip.) I’ll miss you all, but am excited to returning to my perfect role as a Project Runway fan, a tipsy spectator.
Carolyn Murphy (ANH has earned the right to her own name, she won me over with her earnest critiques and utterly delightful fashion sense) meets Uli, Emilio and Anthony Ryan on the runway to tell them about the final challenge, their own mini-collections. The designers can choose how many looks to show, and they must also plan out the entire spectacle, from music to backdrop art. They’re each given $3000 and sent on a final run to Mood, after a brief trip back to the hotel to sketch. (Gosh, what’s the name of that hotel? Oh yeah. Night Hotel. As the designers have told us at least seven times per episode, all season long.)
Next day, in the workroom, Carolyn meets the designers and lets them know they’ll be having some help. No one in the entire world is surprised when the Previously Eliminateds wander in. Each designer can pick one of their defeated enemies to help them pull their collections together in time. Anthony Ryan initially picks Joshua, who looks exhausted, but Joshua declines, citing his obvious fatigue. Anthony Ryan is hurt, but makes the best of things, choosing Kayne instead. Kayne is a great choice, not only can he sew, he appears to be a ray of sunshine, bringing mirth and energy wherever he goes. Emilio picks Althea, who instantly syncs with him. They’re a great team through the whole episode. Uli picks Cassanova, which is initially elating, but Cassanova is a complete jerk to her, and ends up spending most of his helping time sleeping on the couch. Uli compares him to a giant baby, only able to stay active for short bursts of time between meals and naps.
To the Runway!
Emilio’s collection is inspired by his mom, who worked in a factory for thirty years. He calls it “Urban Plantation,” and it’s a tribute to all working-class women, especially working-class Women of Color. It’s bold, dramatic, intersectional, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen on a runway before.
The judges, who include Liv Tyler and Some Dreadful Heiress, enjoy his collection for the most part. Isaac thinks some of the looks skew junior. Some Dreadful Heiress doesn’t like it at all, but is gratefully cut off before she can say something completely ignorant. Several judges call it “political.” I think it’s fantastic, and I wish the judges gave it more love.
Anthony Ryan created a very modern collection, which he intended to teeter on the thin line between art and fashion. I didn’t love the result, but I’m not Anthony Ryan’s woman. I appreciate the quality craftmanship, his obviously clear point of view, and how damn hard the man works, which more than makes up for any quibbles I might have with his style. I do really like his fabric choices.
The judges deceptively look bored during Anthony Ryan’s runway show, because all of them love it, especially his first dress. Isaac wishes his hemlines were more consistent. There are some finishing issues with his final gown, but overall his collection is a hit.
Uli calls her collection “Winter Wonderland,” and draws inspiration from her childhood behind the Iron Curtain, and the freedom she felt after she left when the Berlin Wall came down. It’s very Uli, with sequins, feathers, luscious textures, and soft shades of grey, beige and white. Uli’s woman is half Snow Queen from The Chronicles of Narnia, half hippie, and it’s lovely. Here are her fabrics:
The judges, even Some Dreadful Heiress, make a delighted fuss over Uli’s collection, falsely raising my hopes for an Uli win. (Although, to be honest, Emilio’s collection impressed me a great deal more than Uli’s did. I would have been equally happy with either an Emilio or an Uli win.) Her moddles walked the runway very slowly, with ethereal music playing in the background. It’s very dramatic, and the styling choices she made only added to the effect.
After lengthy deliberation, Anthony Ryan is declared the winner, collecting a bountiful prize package, including a year as an editor for Marie Clare. (ed note~ HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)
While neither of my first choices are the winner, I can’t be upset at an Anthony Ryan win. I hope we see great things from him.
It’s been a pleasure sharing the second round of Project Runway All Stars with you! Come back and keep Trulybst and Miss Worded company when they pick up the P-mag fashion recapping baton.