This was definitely a Runway to remember and not remotely what anyone expected. Twitter was going insane during the show, and I'm not sure anyone could agree on who they liked best or who they thought should win, but everyone definitely had an opinion and if will definitely be a season to remember.
I was sorry that Margarita was eliminated first because I really loved her collection. The judges were skeptical about her resort-wear aesthetic and just didn't love it in the end, but I firmly believe she has a clientele that and she has the talent to thrive.
Her first few looks featured an abstract tropical fish print, which could have gone crazy really quickly, but the ease of her shapes toned the looks down just enough to still be wearable, and the beadwork is phenomenal.
The looks that I think ended up being Margarita's downfall were the overtly Puerto Rican designs. They looked a little too "West Side Story" salsa dance-ey, and while there is definitely a market for them they didn't exactly fit the vibe of the rest of the collection.
Margarita's striped jumpsuit hit all the right notes for me. The stripe print made the model look like a tall glass of water, and the waist detailing was intricate and flattering. Anthropologie could sell a hundred of these tomorrow.
The red satin pieces were some of my favorites in Margarita's collection. The draping and fabrication was so rich and luxurious, and she kept them within her island aesthetic by pairing them with her wacky print. I'm thrilled that she paired her beaded bomber jacket with a more simply-shaped dress to give it a stand-out moment.
Margarita's model Jasmine owned the entire season with her BOOM BOOM POW skirt reveal. The entire fashion industry has not seen a plus model strut her stuff in a swimsuit with this level of energy, and I lost my mind watching it. It was a fashion moment we'll never forget.
The last two looks were the epitome of how to end a fashion show. Give them color, give them pattern, and give them drama.
Regardless of being eliminated, Margarita can be very proud of what she showed. She made her mark and I think we'll hear a lot more from her.
As I suspected after his preview, Brandon's collection was a whole lot of the same. I feel bad because he was so devastated to be sent home, but in comparison to the other designers he just didn't make par. They are all very Brandon, all very cool, and there is definitely a market for his clothes, but in the context of a fashion show, they fell flat coming out one right after the other. I don't even have commentary on his outfits because none of them stand out for me...so...here they are?
I'm sure Brandon has a great future in fashion ahead of him. After all, he's only 23, and because he made such a mark throughout the season he should have no trouble finding success.
Ayana had the most potential to win going into the finale process, but I was definitely nervous for her after her preview. In the end, I think she pulled off some fantastic work, but she was stuck with several mini-collections that didn't vibe well together for my personal taste.
She started off with several sportswear looks. The white textured fabric was cool, but the silver metallic was clingy in all the wrong places for her models, and they just didn't fit with the luxury details of the rest of her collection.
The next few pieces, which Ayana previewed for the judges, were definitely the most successful. The frayed material and tone-on-tone fabrics were textured, layered, and interesting.
Once this muddy floral became a key player in the collection, I started to get mixed feelings. I liked it in combination with the light textured skirt-over-pants, but then she brought back the shiny silver and it just didn't make sense to me. The ruffles were a little too 70's inspired for my taste and they didn't seem to make sense with the rest of the collection.
Then Ayana came out with these silky, layered looks that reminded me of 1920's Hollywood leisure looks. Don't get me wrong, they were beautiful, and the layers flowed and flipped down the runway like nothing I've ever seen, but they gave me the impression that Ayana didn't really know what girl she was trying to sell to or what story she was trying to tell.
But alas, all was forgiven with this finale look. I mean...holy crap. This is one of the most stunning gowns I've ever seen, not just on Runway, but in my life. The way Ayana manipulated the veil is incredible, and this look will go down in Project Runway history.
In the end, Ayana just wanted to show too much and her collection was unfocused. That said, her talent is unmistakable, and her portrayal of a modest aesthetic in a cool, contemporary way has put her on the map.
After the judges' preview, Kentaro was so sure he was going to lose that he felt free to do whatever he wanted. This definitely worked to his advantage, and it's clear that when he loosens up and steps outside his box, magic happens.
The first few black-and-white looks were intricate and detailed from every angle. I didn't think it was possible to make a white, stiff cotton workable, but somehow the shapes just make sense. The painted details and juxtaposition in fabric lengths were so unique.
The transition in the color story was very well done. The cut-out top was fantastic on its own, but to tease with another black-and-white look from the front while turning it into a blush look from the back was brilliant.
Kentaro got a lot of flak throughout the season for not creating very flattering looks for curvier models, and I admit that this was not my favorite in his collection. I appreciated that it was a more wearable, ballet-inspired piece, but the fit issues in the bodice were definitely noticeable and it wasn't very successful.
I'm willing to forgive the last misstep due to the exquisite beauty in his next lineup of pieces. The blush look he showed in his preview was made even better with some post-preview tailoring and styling edits.
The red pieces (and yes, they are red - the photos make them look orange) showcased Kentaro's draping skills and were feminine but daring looks. They were a perfect balance of simplicity and drama.
His last two pieces were not quite as interesting - I would have preferred the white slip dress to have been placed earlier in the collection, and the finale piece would have packed more punch with a red-fabric underlay instead of the white. That said, they definitely felt like they were part of the collection and had a soft, delicate flow down the runway.
Kentaro was a controversial choice for the win. A lot of people felt that Brandon was robbed given his work throughout the season, and many others thought that Ayana's modest aesthetic deserved to be showcased. Personally, I think Margarita made more leaps and bounds throughout the season and she had the most dramatic collection of the bunch.
Each of the designers had completely different aesthetics, so it was really a toss-up as to who the judges would be drawn to. All in all, I can't be mad that Kentaro won. He has a delightful personality, and due to his age it would be more difficult for him to break into the industry without Project Runway's help. I'm proud of how he made it through the ups and downs of the season and stayed true to his vision to the end.
Photo credits to www.mylifetime.com