Team Christian

Why Christian Siriano should have won.


I always wonder what are they going to come up with next, and this week I was surely surprised. After all of the Eco-friendly, earth-conscious, organic fabric fashion shows and events I've been attending this Fashion Week, Spandex hit me like Vanilla Ice. I've been to Spandex House in the garment district and -- my god -- it's an adolescent living in the early 90s' dream. Fabric you'd tap dance in ... or wrestle in.

Once again I think Christian had the best ensemble, and I stress "ensemble." Team Fierce made chaps, leggings, a bustier and a jacket ... and he also had the wits to finish his sketch. He has continually shown not only conceptual and finely-structured garments, but he has projected a very precise and keenly tailored vision all season. His ensemble stood out even more so because of his fabric choices. They looked expensive (in Nina's accent) and didn't look like they came out of spandex hell (sorry Sweet P).  raterunway_06_410_220x415.jpg

The shape of the hood on his jacket, I believe, is what made Chris take home the gold -- it was lovely. The straps of the bustier were sultry and well-made as well, but I feel as if you would see his on the mannequin next to Christian's as "the toned down" version .... raterunway_01_410_220x415.jpg

Jillian's work and craftsmanship has really grown on me and I thought her piece today resembled most closely an actual wrestler's outfit. It could have an Everlast label on it. Sponsorship? raterunway_03_410_220x415.jpg

I am glad Ricky had a positive outlook on the outcome of today's challenge, as you wont survive in the fashion industry without a sense of conviction and love for your work. He will shine on. Buen trabajo amor.

I find it hard to really gain a solid understanding of what a designer is capable of when he or she is given challenges that are out of their normal design realm. In some challenges, one may be lucky enough to fall into their niche, while at the same time, others struggle because of the unchartered design territory they must blindly walk into. However, we can clearly see when someone has a strong personal style as it will shine through regardless of varying challenges, and that is how I detect a really great designer. I see this in Christian and I saw it in Victorya, and brilliantly Victorya had the wits to have a show this Fashion Week. I also see this talent in Jillian and Rami, and my old pal Jeffrey has it too.

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The Final Showdown

Bryant Park was a frantic frenzy backstage but most kept cool.

After weeks of vigorous drawing, designing and sewing, the final three designers arrived at the last challenge. The pressure was on for Leanne, Korto, and Kenley as they geared up to show their collections at Bryant Park for New York Fashion Week!

As the TRESemmé Styling Team entered the fashion tents, we were filled with excitement and anticipation to see what the designers put together. Since each contestant had 10 models each, backstage was buzzing! Kenley was frantic because some of her models were missing and didn't even show up until the last minute. Leanne was the complete opposite - she stayed calm and collected and even had all her models ready to go way before runway time. Korto looked nervous but was ecstatic to be at Bryant Park. She told us it was something she had been dreaming about her whole life. After we gathered the 30 models, we split them up by designer so that the TRESemmé Styling Team could start transforming the girls. Korto's collection reflected her African heritage and culture. To complement the loud prints and bold colors, we decided to give Korto's models an up-do to accentuate the embellished detailing on the neckline of the garments. First, I started by taking a zig-zag section from ear to ear across the crown. I worked in TRESemme Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Crème to help create a sleek base. Then, we tied two separate ponytails to the right side of the head within the top and bottom sections. To add volume to the ponytail, we created waves using a 1″ curling iron, and then teased the hair. After, we lightly brushed the surface for a smooth exterior and neatly twisted and pinned the hair into a doughnut-shaped bun.

For Leanne's collection, she found inspiration by the lake near her home in Portland, Oregon. Each piece in her line had some sort of ripple or wave effect to it in different shades of blue and cream. We wanted to create a hairstyle that had a similar wave-like effect. Leanne envisioned the hair to look natural, organic and earthy. I began by generously spraying TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer throughout the models' hair. After blow-drying, I gave her models a deep left side part and tied back the front pieces of their hair into a ponytail. I pulled the remaining hair and the ponytail into one low pony and curled it to create soft waves.Kenley designed an assortment of colorful knee-length dresses that she hand painted herself! She wanted the hair to be classic and sophisticated, so we decided to give her models Marcel waves. To get this look, I created a low left side part from above the eye to the crown, then sectioned the hair from the crown to behind the right ear and clipped it aside. Next, I put the remaining hair into a side bun to the right side of the head. After, we released the top section of the hair from the clip and misted the hair with TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer before blow-drying for a smooth finish. Then, we finished by applying TRESemme Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray to the front pieces and used a 1" curling iron to create face framing Marcel waves. Finally, we loosely pinned the remaining length of the hair into a bun.

Even though all the collections looked amazing on the runway, there can only be one winner of Project Runway. Tim Gunn, who surprised everyone as the guest judge, thought Leanne's line was uniquely structured and versatile. Heidi said her cohesive collection floated down the runway. The judges all agreed her designs were flawless and Leanne was crowned winner!

It has been such a memorable experience seeing Leanne grow into the designer she is today, and I'm sure we can expect many more beautiful collections from her. I can't wait to see what type of ripple effect this designer will make in the fashion industry!

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