Photo: Barbara Nitke/Bravo
Most people I know went into last night's Project Runway finale with a fairly strong sense of "eh." The season has been lackluster at best, annoying at worst. (Though it did produce one other funny moment as we watched last night's debate and my girlfriend pointed out that Obama was laughing at McCain "like Kenley laughs at the judges." Not quite a catchphrase for all eternity, but something to be known for all the same...)
Here are our style blogger Seth's takes on the actual designs in question:
> Leanne: Clearly the most cohesive collection, it showed not only her skill with construction, but also her ingenuity with in sustainable fabrics -- which can oftentimes come across as drab and boring. Though it may have looked slightly repetitive at times, it was still remarkable clean and sophisticated.
> Korto: It was my least favorite of the collections, if only because I just don't respond to tribal and African influence in clothing. But she nevertheless showed a flare with fabrics and colors, even if they weren't my favorite choices. While it had more direction than say, Kenley, it also offered some welcomed tweaks and surprises on otherwise classic garments.
> Kenley: It lacked that extra garment or two that would have solidified her designs and, I think, pushed her to the winner's circle. Fun, fresh and flirty, they were the pieces that once re-imagined in a ready-to-wear collection would have been eye-catching and beautiful in their edginess. And maybe her designs were reminiscent of other designers, but fashion inspires fashion, and her feathered wedding dress was nevertheless gorgeous.
For whatever our poppy opinions are worth, Noah and I preferred Korto's designs (though admire Leanne's talent). The show itself was a bit awkward, with Jennifer Lopez's snub -- but watching proud papa Tim Gunn come forward and into the judge's chair was a good last-minute fix.
What I really missed was the emotional punch of last season's finale, when after months of seeing Christian as either bitchy or quippy or scarily focused on nothing but his work, his win made him burst into surprised tears, revealing a vulnerability and humanity we hadn't yet seen. It was about as good as reality TV gets. Leanne's a good designer, and I wish her well -- but I don't really care that much what she does next. If Christian had won a camera crew instead of a Saturn, I'd still be watching every week to see what he came up with. Guess I'll just go read our Q&A with him again and wait for the box set of his season (out November 4) to keep me company -- especially because we have no idea how long it'll take to get another, newer dose.
-- SHANA NAOMI KROCHMAL