The Project Runway Season Six Finale - During

>> Monday, February 23, 2009

If you're just tuning in, this is part two of my report on the Project Runway Season Six Finale. You can read part one here. And as a WARNING: SPOLIER IMAGES FOLLOW. If you don't want to see images from the three final runway collections, or if you don't want to know who the finale guest judge is, skip ahead to part three of my coverage - After the Show.

Heidi stepped from behind the scrim looking fantastic (of course) in the full spotlight. (And yes, I took all these pictures from my seat!)

Heidi welcomed us to the finale, apologizing that the show was "in a little bit of a limbo." True dat, Frau Seal. To say that Season Six is in limbo is putting it mildly--an unscientific poll of many Project Runway fans I talked to revealed serious doubts that this season will ever make it to television. Which is a crying shame not for the fans but for the three designers whose anonymous work we were about to see--a sentiment expressed by Heidi before the show, and by Tim Gunn again afterward.

But the Bryant Park show would go on, regardless, and it was time to introduce the judges. Heidi's favorite fashion designer, Micheal Kors...

THE Nina Garcia (who is unbelievably slender and stylish in person)...

And finally, the guest judge for this season's finale...Suzy Menkes. Whose name was met, at least in my local area, with a resounding, "Who?" Wikipedia says that she has been the head fashion reporter and an editor for the International Herald Tribune since 1988, and has written several books, particularly about British Royal style. Her work in fashion has also earned her the Legion d'Honneur in France and a British OBE.

Ms. Menkes certainly is an influential and impressive figure in the fashion profession, and I'm sure she'll be a terrific judge. But I know I speak for many of the people around me when I say I expected a household celebrity name (ala Victoria Beckham) to be sitting in that chair. Each year, with the exception of Season Three's Fern Mallis (who is and was terrific), the finale guest judge has been a fashionable celebrity, and each year that star has been bigger and brighter than the last: Parker Posey, then Debra Messing, then Victoria Beckham, and then, until she backed out at the last moment last year, Jennifer Lopez. (Her last-minute replacement was Tim Gunn himself.) Rumors of other huge stars taking that spot were rampant this year, so to have Ms. Menkes announced as the guest judge was a bit of a head-scratcher. Perhaps indicative of the show's limbo status? Let the debate begin.

In the meantime, let the show begin! Here's the very first look from the very first designer to show. I won't show every look here, as I couldn't possibly snap all of them, and because the professionals at the end of the runway were already doing a far better job. To see all three of the lines in their entireties, head over to Blogging Project Runway, where they have links to professional images.

The judges watched each of the looks, sometimes making notes and sometimes chatting with each other and those sitting around them.

This was the final look--and model--in the first runway show. A possible Project Runway model? For the first few seasons, the designers models from the regular season were often featured as the last models down the runway, although that has changed recently. This model was certainly gorgeous, and to my untrained eye really owned the runway. I can only imagine that if she's a model on the show she's one of the models people fight over.

The first runway show marches out together for a last look and a round of applause.

And the first runway show makes the turn at the end of the runway.

Here's a look from the second collection.

And here's Project Runway vet and Blogging Project Runway model correspondent Amanda Fields, working the runway for the second designer. I heard a number of people favorably compare this line to the work of previous contestants Rami Kashou and Santino Rice.

It certainly got the judges talking.

The second designer's looks parade down the runway.

And make the turn.

The third designer's work certainly stood out, featuring archer-style hats that brought to mind Jillian Lewis's flirtation with ancient military fashion. Much of this line was done in black, so the detail was hard to see from a distance without a good zoom lens. I look forward to seeing it close up on television.

Like the first runway show, this designer incorporated a lot of long-sleeved knit tops.

Including this hoodie. In some ways, this line is reminiscent to me of some of Jay McCarroll's finale runway show. Am I alone in that, or do others see it?

A shorter-sleeved knit top.

This collection caused much discussion among the judges too--and more than a few smiles. But were they laughing with the designer, or at him/her? Time will tell.

And the third and final designer watches the line go down the runway for the last time. It truly is a shame that these talented, creative people had to put so much effort into their lines and couldn't publicly enjoy the support of their friends, family, and fans. I can only imagine they were in the back, watching on monitors, trying to remember to breathe. I can tell them right now, I loved the show, and I was impressed with all three lines. I have my favorite overall line, and my favorite looks, but I think all three proved themselves to be very talented and professional.

And then Tim Gunn came out! Yay! Looking smart as usual, Tim invited Heidi up with him, and expressed many of the same sentiments that I just expressed--that it was a real shame that these talented designers had to show their work in anonymity. He expressed his hope that the show would go on, and that the world would finally get to meet the people behind these fabulous lines.

It was all hugs and kisses after that, and Tim and the judges were whisked away to join the unnamed designers for the final judging at Parson's! The show ended, the lights came up, and everyone made a mad dash to the runway floor to try to hobknob with the stars...

Continue on to part three of my finale coverage: The Project Runway Season Six Finale - After.

Previous posts:

Leanne Marshall's show and Jay McCarroll's movie party
The Project Runway Season Six Finale - Before


Anonymous,  May 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

cool blog!

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