Yep, Jeffrey took Bryant Park by storm with a well-thought out and creative collection. His risky fabric choices and inventive finishing methods appealed to the judges, who decided that he should, in fact, become the next great American fashion designer. (America's Next Top Model, anyone?) Now, overall I agree that Jeffrey's collection was fashion-forward; but Jeffrey, the next great American fashion designer? No, for two reasons. First, while Jeffrey possesses the innovation and go-for-it attitude that is so necessary for success in the fashion industry, his style of designing appeals only to a very limited crowd. Which leads us to the second reason, which is: Jeffrey has already found his niche in the design world with that crowd. He founded hugely popular Cosa Nostra in Los Angeles, catering to stars such as Gwen Stefani, Billy Bob Thornton and Red Hot Chili Peppers. In fact, he is already so well rooted in the industry that his line is currently being sold in exclusive stores around the world. So: Is Jeffrey talented? Yes! Is Jeffrey going to be showing at Bryant Park next year? Or ever again? Not likely. Jeffrey, like Chloe of Season 2, is going to go back to his business in his hometown, albeit with greater fame than previously, and continue the course already set. He will experience a spike in sales, along with greater interest in his work, that's true. But winning Project Runway will not change Jeffrey Sebelia's life. Not, at least, to the extent that it would have for Michael Knight, Uli Herzner, or even Laura Bennett! (However, from all appearances, Laura Bennett could pull $100,000.00 "out of her ass" and be up and running in no time flat...)
The final show began with a continuation of the drama begun the previous week: Bravo's Great Inquisition of Jeffrey. To make a long and virtually pointless story short, it is declared that Jeffrey has not cheated and the designers are told that they may all proceed to show at Bryant Park the following day. Jeffrey breaks down into tears of joy, and the rest of the designers sense their impending doom on the runway.
On to the show! Jeffrey showed first, then Laura, Uli, and finally, Michael. (I'm giving you the real-life order of the day, not the Bravo version.) My absolute favorite design of the day was Uli's swimsuit:
That gorgeous, flowing wrap actually detaches from the O-ring on the bikini top! I am SO doing this to one of my swimsuits. Great idea! This one got a round of applause from the audience.
For the sake of giving credit where credit is due, here's Jeffrey's line:
So that's that. I might give my comments on the other designers' collections sometime in the near future; if you want to see them in the meantime, be sure to stop by Bravo's website.
Runners up were Uli in second place, Laura in third place, and Michael unfortunatley in last place.
Can I just say how thrilled I am that the top three out of the final four designers were self-taught? (Michael has a degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising.) This becomes an even bigger deal when you stop to consider that only five out of the original fifteen designers were self-taught. (The other two were Malan, who showed in New York during fashion week, and Keith, who undoubtedly would've been in the final four if he hadn't been booted early.) That gives me so much more confidence when considering whether to audition for a later season of the show! (Yes, friends, that will probably happen at some point, but likely not for Season 4 because of prior commitments. Well, maybe just for kicks...)
Knitting updates soon! I promise. Got some lovely cashemere to show ya...
Till next time,