They're All Winners
... although Fern does have some words for Reco if he wants to be successful.
Bravotv.com: What were you looking for in this finale fashion show?
I wanted to see several fully realized collections … with a point of view that were beautiful, well-made and marketable, clothes that people would want to buy, own and wear. I wanted to see a spark that says ”I’m here to stay … I have something to add to the fashion industry.” I wanted to see a collection of clothes that would convince me that these designers would in fact be around in a few years, and they wouldn’t just become a name attending parties forever as a former contestant on a reality TV show.
Bravotv.com: What did you think of the four final collections (individually?)
I think they each did an admirable job, some more so than others.
I’m also always interested when they have a chance to speak in front of an audience and explain themselves. Communicating and describing a concept and relaying their passion is a big part of the world they are entering and it is important to communicate clearly, and this time they had to “set the stage” for what we were to see.
I liked Anna’s collection a great deal, as it is very saleable, colorful, wearable and feminine. She referenced Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights painting which was quite ambitious and inspirational, but her clothes did not have much of a connective thread through the collection.
I was pleased however to see how Anna emerged as the season progressed. In the beginning she was quiet and unassuming, never seemed to be in the fray, and she just stayed steady, and got better and better and became more of a person/designer we wanted to know and hear from. Through most of the season, the “girls” were much less interesting personalities than the “boys” … but in the end, I really think the girls rose to the top and for the right reasons; their talent took them there.
Daniella was clearly the youngest and spunkiest of the girls … but she also has something to say, which she always did — both verbally and creatively through her clothes. I was impressed by her introduction to her finale collection which “paid homage to all the strong women in her family”… it was a nice touch. Her collection truly held together as a “collection.”
She hit on several strong fashion points and used her fabrics in an interesting way. She “treated” her leathers, layered her looks, made the shoulders a focal point which held throughout the collection. She is definitely going to be someone we will see again.Reco: while I feel like he has become an audience favorite, both for his outspoken opinionated points of view, along with some remarkable clothes throughout the season, I was not overwhelmed with his finale collection. I thought for sure he would blow the roof off Cipriani because we all know how badly he wanted to win. But I felt he thought he had already won, and the clothes were almost secondary. I do think Reco is a talented designer and I did like several of his looks, especially when he makes tight-fitted, constructed pieces … but he lost me with his Aztec references, and his collection just didn’t hold together or hold up to what I believe he is capable of. He needs to quiet down a little and just work and let the clothes talk!
James-Paul did a very thoughtful and interesting collection. I am also very partial to some of his designs, as I have been a big fan through the years of Eskandar, Yojhi, Comme de Garcon, Yeohlee, and EGG in London. I like his intellectual take and perspective, and clothes that are loose, and cut in clever ways. I would wear many of James-Paul’s looks ... starting with the very first one on the show that won the first challenge.
Using “indigenous” tribes as inspiration — in today’s inter-connected global world — I thought was very clever. I also do like clothes that have a dual purpose. They are however VERY difficult to explain and present on a runway. His clothes need to be in a presentation format, where he explains them all, and shows the way the folds happen and how the wrap becomes a hood or a papoose.
I think James-Paul has a great deal of talent and I know of several designers who would be very smart to hire him.
Bravotv.com: What do you think about Isaac’s comments to Daniella again about being sizist?
I don’t think it’s such a big issue, but I’ve known many young designers who are of a certain size and they never make clothing they could wear.
I also thought that geez if they would just dress themselves they would have a huge market and audience for their work. I truly dislike designers' collections which stop at size 10 or stores that don’t buy them up to 14 or even 16. The average size in America is 14, and that is not fat.
There are many women who are not in the tweens and 20s, and who work and buy great clothes, and do not need to shop in the “big girl” size department. So in general, the industry is “sizist” … not Daniella.Bravotv.com: Two other designers did show that day (as decoys) — what did you think of their collections?
I think they had fun and said, “Hey, let’s go for it. We have nothing to lose” … and so they did. Merlin’s collection was a costume party, and he would do just fine designing for the performing arts.
Johnny’s collection was too many things, and too sporty and casual, and just didn’t give me a message or a position that I could grab onto and remember.
I think he too has real talent, and will be someone I’d like to check in on in a few seasons. He totally grew on me, especially when the light bulb went off and he decided this was a competition worth staying in and even more worth winning.
Bravotv.com: What do you think is next for the eliminated designer?
I hope an ego check is first on the list. Then I hope he really concentrates and focuses on his “specialty” and does that better and better before he tries to be a little bit of everything for everyone. He’s just not quite ready to be a brand yet. I know all the publicity and press is seductive and it takes over, but he needs to decide if he wants to be a designer and be taken seriously by the profession, or he just dismisses the “profession” and thinks he doesn’t need any of us and he knows better. In which case what he needs next is a great deal of luck, and to win the lottery.
Bravotv.com: What would you hope the public thinks about when voting for the winner of The Fashion Show?
I hope they do not make it a Miss or Mr. “Congeniality” contest. It is much too easy to be swayed by the personalities and the back stories, and vote for the person you liked best, but this is a fashion design competition, and the clothes in the end have to be understandable, wearable, and be worthy of media attention, and buyers … and the fashion public. There is great awareness provided to the winner, and a unique platform for their work to be seen and promoted ... to say nothing of a great deal of money. So I think ultimately, there are three choices here, and I truly believe they are all winners, so really you can’t make such a big mistake at this stage.
Good luck to all of them — they all deserve the spotlight they are in!!