Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Project Runway, Season 6 - Finale Review

Photo courtesy of MyLifetime.com
My review of last week's Project Runway Season 6 Finale may be a bit late, but we had to wait 8 months for the season to even begin, so it seems slightly appropriate.

Not much of the finale show came as a huge surprise. In fact, I think the biggest surprise might've been guest judge Suzy Menkes' There's Something About Mary-inspired hair style. Seriously...what was that?!

Poor Carol Hannah was still fighting illness while the final 3 designers finished their collections and their "surprise" 13th look (I use quotation marks because if the contestants didn't see a surprise challenge coming, they hadn't done their homework). Christopher was incredibly supportive of Carol Hannah while she was sick, but I'm not sure I would've been too confident in having him responsible for my Bryant Park collection. Maybe he should consider a career in nursing. Meanwhile, Irina went back to bossing around Gordana and Althea somehow found a use for Logan beyond his good looks.

After the make-up consultations, Tim remarked that Althea and Irina had the same make-up design, which I doubt would've escaped the editing room floor had it not been for Sweatergate. It was bad enough Irina thought she invented the over-sized sweater, but the smokey eye, too? No wonder she won, she's a revolutionary!

The morning of the show finally arrived, and the designers headed off to Bryant Park. Poor Tim Gunn - why was no one listening to him? I don't know about you, but I would never ever ever want to be on the receiving end of a Tim Gunn "I'm about to lose it!" meltdown. Though, to be fair, we've had much more dramatic mornings of the final runway show, like when Christian Siriano had a model show up extremely late in Season 4. But, of course, Season 6 didn't seem to do anything better than the other seasons, including delivering drama.

After all the collections went down the runway, it was pretty clear to me that Irina would be declared the victor. Both Althea and Carol Hannah produced incredible garments, but both lacked a cohesive thread, unless you count Althea's mid-2000s thick headbands. I'm not sure what Althea's collection had to do with 1950s sci-fi movies (similar to Jeffrey Sebelia's confusing "Japanese ghost" collection)...it didn't bring the drama and impact the theme promised, and left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. Side note: Big shout out to ANTM Cycle 8 winner Jaslene working the runway! Carol Hannah's collection was the only one to really explore color (finally), and she produced some show-stopping pieces, like the silver inverted tutu and the blue 13th-look gown. I was very surprised she was eliminated before Althea. As I said in my predictions, Carol Hannah was the only one I thought could upset Irina's destined victory.

Irina's winning collection was by no means new. In fact, the hats and armor imagery brought back images of Christian and Jillian's collections from the Season 4 finale. Where Irina succeeded was in producing 13 cohesive, versatile and dramatic looks that truly reflected her story of a woman surviving in the city. Nina may have disliked all that black, but it did not bother me. As someone who loves color on the runway, I was surprised to find myself not missing it during Irina's show. I'm not sure bright colors would've worked as well in the collection, and the different textures she used made up for the lack of color. The t-shirts were an absolute 10, bringing a youthful and casual flavor we haven't seen in a Project Runway finale runway. Despite all the drama around the production of the shirts, they were one of my favorite parts of this finale.

After much deliberation, and much staring at Suzy Menkes' coif, Irina was crowned the winner and I breathed a sigh of relief. Season 6 is over! OVER! Time for bigger and better ventures. Here's looking at you, Season 7. Please bring Project Runway back to glory!
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