NEW YORK — Fashion Week and TV came together Friday (Sept. 9) at Lincoln Center for “Project Runway’s” finale, with nine designers presenting their collections, ranging from the elegant to the strange.
Though no one theme ruled the runway, the event featured an abundance of flowing clothes; some accessorized with blue wrists and gladiator cuff bracelets. Metallic dresses and shorts remain popular as do completely sheer tops. Apparently, for now, bras and camisoles are out.
“We have been very tough on them, especially me, so I have learned,” host and “Project Runway” judge Heidi Klum — stunning in a backless, black sequined halter and pants — says of this season’s assortment of contestants.
Up first was Laura Kathleen. Like many of the designers, she mentions how seeing her creations on the catwalk is a lifelong ambition.
“I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was 13,” Kathleen says, explaining that her collection is for “everyday women.”
Perhaps for everyday women who lunch and shop for much of their day, but most women have more practical needs, not reflected in these clothes. Still, Kathleen’s clothes are compelling as she mixes metallic hues and fabrics, contrasting the inflexibility of the metal with soft fabrics as many of models wore gold bracelets that covered the forearm.
“I’m not quite sure how this happened,” says audience favorite Bert Keeter as he introduced his collection.
Each designer presents 10 outfits, and Keeter’s are arguably the most sophisticated. His clothes are beautifully cut, unadorned and the sort of dresses a woman invests in and expects to love for seasons.
When Bryce Black walked on stage, and cameras clicked, he momentarily froze. “I found something more terrifying than Heidi Klum,” he says.
His outfits favor leather, toggle-like closures and shorts. Often the models look lost in them. Black put a long deep ruffle on a few pieces and the folds of the ruffle looked like ammo holders.
Incidentally, despite the the occasional outcry that models are dangerously skinny, they have become even thinner. And, no matter how beautiful someone is, slathering their arms with turquoise eye shadow does not enhance anything except the profits of makeup removal pads.
All of Anthony Ryan’s models wore bangs and blunt bobs.
“We all know by this point that I am color blind,” he says. “This collection is about freedom of expression. Fashion is fun and it’s who we want to be.”
No one could ever accuse Ryan of being a slave to the constraints of matching different patterns and fabrics. Though Ryan may be having a blast, his clothes did the models no favors, and if the clothes don’t compliment a young, beautiful, tall and very thin model, it’s a legitimate question as to who would look good in them.
On the other hand, Viktor Luna’s designs looked fabulous. He used a periwinkle fabric with a black silhouette on it and it was exquisite on a strapless, above-the-knee dress and on a gown. He also showed a black lacy number with a leather harness that screamed Fredericks’ of Hollywood.
Kimberly Goldson featured more color than the other designers, including deep purple pants, matched with a blouse that seemed to float on the model. She takes a lot of risks, and a teal metallic skirt and blouse work while a raspberry satin dress with a giant pouf in the back to make for a bubble butt, would do well on pretty much no one.
Olivier Green’s clothes didn’t stand out much — more metallic pants, more sheer tops with nothing under them- – but he went for such a strange look for the models it must be noted. They all had their hair swept into a pouf and wore Bert of “Sesame Street” meets Frida Kahlo eyebrows.
Anya Ayoung-Chee gave her collection a Caribbean feel, with steel drums in the music and flowing, easy clothes including a bathing suit.
Finally, Joshua McKinley’s collection was the most fashion forward with a plastic vest on a dress that had so much going on, including a green bra, that his clothes may only appeal to those yet to drink legally.
The season finale of “Project Runway” airs Thursday, Oct. 27, on Lifetime.