10.23.2006

And the winner is. . .

Jeffrey!

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:
This show-starter was different, in a Jeffrey kind of way. I'm not a huge fan of the polka dots, but at least the design is interesting.


Oh, the swimsuit. I just...don't get it. Sorry. But, I do like the shape of the bottom! Very retro 50's, so the polka dots work here.


I'm not crazy about the nude gauze over the red & white polka dot shown here, but whatever. To me, this looks more like a nighty than a dress.


Polka dots again! How many looks did he need to do with this print? The show is already 1/3 over and we haven't seen anything other than red, white and nude sheers! I do like the multiple straps over the bare midriff though, and apparently, the white leather jeans were killer!


Loved this half & half halter, but really now. How much would he have to charge for this in a showroom? I'm guessing five hudred at least and likely more, and I just don't see paying that for this dress. Especially since it seems to be made of some kind of cotton.


This one escapes me completely.


More white leather jeans, a quilted leather vest, and a shimmery tank top. Well, it's definitely different! I love the bag, though.


This is pretty, and an interesting combination of fabrics, but don't bend over, girl! I see London, I see France, but I really don't want to see the model's underpants!


I have no idea how this was supposed to fit into the collection as a whole. Who else would put a red and white polka-dotted bathing suit and a navy satin evening gown in the same collection? No one. Then again, maybe that's why the judges liked him so much. . .


Ugh. To quote Catherine Malandrino, "No. No. No. No. No."


Now this, I liked, especially the jacket. (Not, of course, that I would wear it unless I happened to be directing the circus one day...) And is that another pair of white leather jeans I see?


Jeffrey's final (and signature) model, Marilinda, wore a stunning green and silver striped dress. You can't tell from this photo, but Jeffrey decided to use half-zippers as trim for the bodice of this dress! Genius, I say! (But again, not something I personally would wear.)


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,
Sarah

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