In which I score a ticket to the Project Runway Season Six Finale

>> Friday, February 20, 2009

What's this? Alan Gratz and Project Runway Season One winner Jay McCarroll, long-lost brothers? Not exactly, though we have similar tastes in beards and sideburns. No, that's just me, hobnobbing with a star of Project Runway before I go see the Project Runway Season Six Finale at Bryant Park tomorrow.

That's right. Read it and weep, kids. I scored a ticket to the PR6 finale!

Now, whether or not what I see taped will ever be shown on television is another matter. For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the off-the-camera drama, it's been more electric than a Wendy Pepper vs. Santino deathmatch.

The short version: the Weinstein Company, which produces Project Runway, wants to take the show to the Lifetime network. NBC, which owns Bravo, thinks the contract they have with the Weinsteins says they can't do that. The case has gone to court, and the matter still isn't settled.

In the meantime, a sixth season of the show has been filmed. An unknown group of designers has already been selected, and their numbers have been pared down through elimination challenges we've yet to see. Ordinarily, by this time we would have seen those episodes on television, and we would know which of the 16 or so designers were headed for the finale.

But not this year.

This year, to maintain the anonymity of the designers before the show airs, the finalists (and the red herrings, if there are any) will not come out and introduce their finale collections the way finalists have in the past. Instead their lines will be run anonymously. Very odd indeed! But fun for us here at Gratz Industries, where we like to prognosticate. My field work tomorrow will no doubt lead to endless speculation and intrigue.

In the meantime, I had an entire afternoon and evening in New York!

On my walk from the bus station at the Port Authority, I went through Bryant Park:

Fashion Week began a few days ago, so the tents were already up and in use.

From the way I approached Bryant Park, I ended up seeing the back side of the tents before I saw the front. The model entrance was easy to spot, as it had the highest concentration of thin, leggy girls in Manhattan.

When I finally made my way around to the front, I was only able to peek inside from behind the stantions.

A lot of other people were hovering around too, trying to get a peek at some of the celebrities coming and going. Christian Siriano showed his collection in the tents a little later, and Nina Garcia and Tori Spelling were in attendance. Tim Gunn, however, was not. There was some speculation about this, but seeing as those unknown season six contests were very probably right at that moment hard at work on some last minute challenge a few blocks away at Parson's, the assumption was Tim was on the job. He's also jetting out soon after the judging is finished, to get ready to host the red carpet at the Oscars!

After a walk around Midtown and a slice of fabulous New York pizza, I met up with the crew from Blogging Project Runway, who had invitations to a Leanne Marshall fashion show!

There she is, so close I could reach out and touch her! Which I did. By shaking her hand and telling her I was a fan. I know that among the dozens of other people there that night who told her the same thing, that MY effusive praise was the most meaningful to her. I could see it in her eyes.

Leanne puts her models on pedestals. Literaly. Instead of the traditional catwalk, her models stood on platforms along one long wall and posed for the duration of the event. And those poor girls were standing there a LONG time. I suppose it's not bad work if you can get it though--standing around and looking pretty.

Project Runway vet and Blogging Project Runway model correspondent Amanda Fields looked elegant in a beautifully draped gown.

While Leanne's former model Karalynn was a showstopper in a strapless dress.

My favorite of the night was this gray overcoat/dress. It certainly would have felt nice outside in the thirty-five degree winds, but I suspect this poor girl was already sweating it out under those lights in a 300 square foot room filled with fifty guests.

In retrospect, I wish I hadn't used the flash, but live and learn.

I also thought the back of this dress was pretty dynamic. The whole collection was a combination of elegance and whimsy, which I think pretty well sums up a lot of the work we saw Leanne do on the show.

I liked the shoes she picked too. Open-toed, high-heeled lace-ups.

Once the show started, the Project Runway reunion began.

The first former contestant to arrive was Suede, still sporting his blue streak.

Then Emmett McCarthy, who has his own successful boutique in Manhattan.

Then Jack Mackenroth and Kit Pistol arrived! Kit was in from LA, and stopping over on the way to London.

Then Steven Rosengard...

And Jerrell Scott and Stella Zotis, who were interviewed for a fashion program.

And then it was time to shamelessly ask for people to pose with me for pictures! Jack and Kit didn't require much arm-twisting, it turns out. Jack actually recognized me, and remembered the name of my blog! Gasp and clutch the pearls, ya'll. Somebody famous knows I exist. Seriously, Jack and Kit are profoundly kind and awesome people--and talented to boot!

And of course I had to get a picture with Leanne. She was the star of the show! After milling about a bit more we said our thank yous and goodbyes, and we hit the streets in search of a rumored Christian Siriano after-show party. And who should we meet on the sidewalk?

Korto! I whipped out the camera, and she instantly vogued. To say that Korto is photogenic is quite the understatement. Since we were already on our way out we didn't linger, but it was great to see her doing so well.

The Christian Siriano party didn't materialize (it turns out we went to the wrong W Hotel) so we dropped in on Jay McCarroll's party across town. He and the filmmakers behind Eleven Minutes, a documentary about Jay and the work he did to show a collection at Bryant Park, threw the shindig to celebrate its New York premiere tomorrow.

Jay is always ready for his close-up.

And after that, we all went back to our hotels to crash. Special thanks to the Blogging Project Runway crew (above) for getting me in to all the parties. What a night! And I haven't even been to the finale tomorrow! No one is quite sure what to expect, to be frank, which is both a little exciting and a little worrisome. We'll see. I'm taking my camera, and I'll turn in a full report tomorrow.

See you on the runway!


Jackie February 20, 2009 at 2:53 AM  

And it is kinda weird how much you and Jay look alike.

tanita✿davis February 20, 2009 at 5:34 AM  

Oh, MAN, you know whose coat that gray one is? Europe's from Monster Blood Tattoo. How VERY cool.

And apparently you can play stunt double for Jay if you up your 'tude and spike up your hair. If he has a sewing machine accident or something, I mean.

~marie February 20, 2009 at 8:16 AM  

you lucky dog!
say hey to the contestant from the carolinas- i just KNOW she's there, but she cannot say! her mom HAPPENED to fly to NYC yesterday. hhmmmm....

booooo on all the legal crap! i wanna see season six!

The Scarlett February 20, 2009 at 2:28 PM  

Clearly a highlight for Team BPR was meting our fearless prognosticator in the flesh!

And just like Heidi, you look even better in person than you do in pictures.

Great report, can't wait to see the next installment.

Team BPR + Kaitlin

Anonymous,  February 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

Con-Gratz on all the fun and all the greatz pictures!

Unknown February 22, 2009 at 11:16 PM  


OK, you are officially the coolest person I know. Just FYI.

theminx February 23, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

It was great to finally meet the infamous prognosticator of PR. :)

LauraK February 23, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
LauraK February 23, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

This is a great report. You should be a professional writer.

Viagra Pharmacy September 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

My cousin told me that he was in that place and also he told me that the two guys above are couple, I don't really sure about it but it could be disappoint some women.

Viagra February 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM  

This was one of my favorite seasons of Project Runway.

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