Last night, the final three designers in the contest showed their collections at Bryant Park.
Seth Aaron's collection was first. He said it was inspired by 1940s German and Russian military. One of our readers, Jesse, wrote in an email:
1940s German and Russian military uniforms are what inspired Seth Aaron's collection on PR tonight—seriously? That crisp Nazi color scheme of red, white and black, those sexy long black leather Gestapo coats, the thin models emulating peasants fleeing from the Stalinist purges...sexay! I wanted Seth Aaron to win all season but his inspiration was horrifying and I couldn't *believe* that Heidi (German) and Michael (Jewish) were totally nonchalant about it. Am I the only one who finds this troubling?
You're not the only one. "1940s German military" is an unsettling inspiration. But the silhouettes in this show — strong shoulders, whittled waists — were wonderful, fashion-wise. Whether you can admire the fashion without thinking about the historical references will vary from person to person. Sometimes fashion pulls from sources or eras— colonial, antebellum South, slave bracelets — that aren't necessarily politically correct. Some people can separate the meaning from the design, some people can't.
As for Seth Aaron, his "glamorous Hot Topic" collection was well-received by the judges. They found it sophisticated and innovative, while still being very true to his vision. I liked it for the most part, but the yellow plaid and the purple thing at the end are best ignored. For the record, my mom loved it all.
Mila's collection was inspired by shadows. In other words, black, white and grey. Shocker! Michael Kors said that whenever she used shine, it turned him on. But the judges all felt that while it looked great, it was not surprising.
Personally, I've never been thrilled with Mila's aesthetic. In this final collection, some of the coats were nice, but her shapeless tunics and tops — all the boatnecks — just made my nose involuntarily wrinkle like I was smelling something bad.
Emilio's show was called "Color Me Bad." Groan. The vomitrotious green made another appearance, but I did notice that the graffiti brocade motorcycle jacket he and Tim Gunn argued about did not make the show. The electric blue coat was a standout piece, as was the final look, a shimmery, fluid goddess gown. But the other looks, while wearable, weren't very exciting, or dreamy. His clothes are practical, but they don't get the heart racing.
Michael Kors found the show to be very commercial, flattering and easy to wear, but Nina Garcia missed the femininity that Emilio had produced in dresses earlier in the season.
After seeing all three finalists, what the judges really liked about Seth Aaron is that he put on a "fashion show show show." (Download a "fashion show show show" mp3 here! If the file reaches its download limit, email me.)
So: After things were dragged out as much as possible, Seth Aaron won. It was the right choice, and I wish that the show had ended on this happy note, with Seth Aaron celebrating. Instead, immediately after the finale, Lifetime aired the reunion show.
The reunion show involved everyone insulting everyone, uncomfortable moments and shitty comments. Anthony apologized for the nasty things he'd said about Mila, but in a way, the apology itself was cringe-worthy and I sort of wished he'd hush up.
Then Jay had to say something about Cerri; that he'd never hire a model with "bad teeth and thick legs," and in the end, the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I was just glad it was over. Being a Project Runway fan is a tough job, and I, for one, am ready for a break.