Mila Hermanovski Blog

A Wow Moment Without the “Wow” (Part 2)

By Tracy_Goldenberg 10/19/2012 12:00PM GMT

When we left off last week, all four designers had been asked to submit three looks from their collections, which would be judged and which would determine the three designers who would actually show at Fashion Week. Except...a very anti-climactic Finale Part 1 ended with no one being eliminated. I'm not quite sure why this decision was made, but it certainly waters things down. In my opinion, Christopher should have been eliminated. Part of the challenge is indeed figuring out which three looks will “wow” the judges and pique their interest enough to want to see the entire collection, and he failed at this. I think he chose the three looks that were the least interesting (or, as I call them, “filler” looks).

Now that Christopher has made it through, all we hear from him is attitude and lack of focus. He almost seems to have given up, yet he is completely sassy, making fun of Nina's critique of him and coming across very ungrateful. Christopher, this is not very becoming. He doesn't understand how “nothing fits” (whose fault is that?), doesn't understand why he received the critique he did, and makes fun of his fellow designers' work. Mind you, some constructive criticism is fine, but let's lose the attitude! I found it all to be quite off-putting.

Fabio, Melissa and Dmitry, on the other hand, handle the judges' critiques thoughtfully, and do whatever they can to work on the elements that they were told have room for improvement. Fabio is trying to make his collection a bit more “luxe,” Melissa is adding color (“blood orange” leather, to be exact, which Chris thought sounded pretentious or something; for the record, I would also describe that shade of red as “blood orange”—so there!), and Dmitry is trying to improve his styling by attempting to make his Ivana Trump looks more youthful and hip. To help the designers out, they are given one last shopping trip to Mood. I believe this is the first time this has happened. You know....all this would be unnecessary if they had just had more time to make the collections. After Season 7 (mine), the time to build a collection has diminished significantly. I feel the work suffers because of it.

CHRISTOPHER: So Christopher wasn't given a whole lot of advice in terms of changing his collection; he had selected three rather boring looks (nice, but boring), so the judges were fixated on that for the most part. In the end, I thought his collection was quite nice in person (I saw the finale show live). In fact, knowing he was a bit of a “judges' pet,” I thought he stood a good chance at winning at the time when I saw it live. The collection was sharp and fit well, and his styling was good. But there was nothing that really made it a WOW. The gown at the end seemed gratuitous and not cohesive, even though we've seen him use that technique before. It just didn't fit this collection. He thought he'd nailed it, but also came across as a little kid throwing a tantrum because not everything was going his way. Christopher has a bright future as a designer, but needs to mature a bit more.

MELISSA: Melissa definitely listened to the judges and made major improvements. She drastically improved her models' hair and makeup, for one thing. The white leather jacket also was drastically improved by removing the oversized pirate cuffs and showing it zipped. Her choice to add the blood orange leather dress was very smart and added some zing. However, the collection overall lacked “wow.” Some of the proportions were off and looked pedestrian. Nina stated what I was already thinking, that while a lot of women would likely wear her designs, there is nothing “fresh” and innovative about them. They look derivative of Rick Owens and Helmut Lang; she could have more of a signature. All that said, Melissa's collection looks like it could be rolled right into Barneys New York or a hip-girl boutique in any major city. I personally love her modern style and know she has a great future.

DMITRY: It's funny, I see Dmitry's hand in every look in his collection, but somehow there is a slight lack of cohesiveness. I personally feel there was too much going on; it desperately needed editing. Yet there were looks that have been seen before. However, his collection had more “wow” than others. I don't know that I would select any of those pieces for myself, but I see how there is a market for some of them. It felt very European to me, and expensive in the fabrication, except for the last gown, which looked cheap. The ballroom dancer in Dmitry was evidenced in that gown and also the jacket with fringed sleeves. I still don't get why the judges were so cuckoo over that. All I could think of was the first time I'd seen a male Latin-ballroom costume when I worked on “Dancing With the Stars”! While I loved the silver leaf in the hair (contrary to Tim), I was not a fan of the monobrow happening makeup-wise. The judges selected Dmitry as the Season 10 winner, likely trumping Fabio for his “showmanship,” consistency and well-made collection. Dmitry is a great designer and a great guy, and I wish him the best. Congratulations, Dmitry!

FABIO: As others have said, and as the consensus seemed to be in the tent that day, Fabio's collection was a breath of fresh air. There is something about Fabio that has had me rooting for him from early on, even though his designs were lackluster earlier in the competition. He really stepped it up, and in the finale listened to the judges' advice and made his arty, thoughtful collection a bit more luxe. It delivered a message and a story, unlike the others. It was rounded, innovative and downright mesmerizing when seen in person. I love his color palette. I am not a pastel girl, and it made me want to wear pastels! While his looks are less commercial and not for everyone, there is no doubt that this is the most cohesive and innovative collection. Not every successful fashion designer appeals to everyone; the great thing about fashion is that it IS subjective. It would have been nice to see the producers and judges reward the designer with the most creativity and not the one who is most commercially appealing. However, I understand why, in ProjectRunwayLand, Dmitry was awarded the win and not Fabio. It was wonderful to see Fabio evolve as a designer while on the show, and he is a lovely person. I would think this experience will only inspire him to push forward with his career as a fashion designer. Good luck, Fabio!