It’s over! I’m shedding a tear as I write this recap. This is the first season (and I’ve watched them all religiously) that I didn’t have a strong favorite—or least favorite for that matter. Josh is an egomaniac, but a loveable one; Viktor is hilarious; Kimberly is fierce; and Anya has ‘IT’. As the finale began it really was anyone’s game. Everyone had a lot of revamping to do after last week’s critique and, shockingly, there was no twist! In fact, Tim arrived in the workroom to present the designers with “a tremendous gift”—$500 to spend at Mood on whatever they needed to put the finishing touches on their collections.
Josh went a little bananas, returning from Mood with a lot of lime green yardage which he promptly turned into bike shorts. Anya bought tons of black and white, graphic prints and got to work creating three (yes three!) new looks for the runway. Kimberly and Viktor pragmatically kept their last minute touches fairly basic.
And now the collections:
Our guest judge is statuesque designer L’Wren Scott, seated front row with Nina, Heidi, and Michael (in shades).
Kimberly, wearing to-die-for silver platforms, showed first. She definitely listened to last week’s critique and toned down her styling without sacrificing the urban flavor. Michael and L’Wren praised her exuberance, glamour, and kick-ass attitude. Nina loved her ability to take rich structured fabric and make it look “very modern and very easy”
Next came Josh who we glimpse backstage preparing for his close-up, Mr. DeMille! I am not sold on the lime green lace-up bike shorts or the ’80s neon touches but the judges admired his gutsiness and unique vision. He remade the flowy gown/skintight jumpsuit from last week beautifully, and combined textures and fabrics in really interesting, innovative ways. Michael was especially wowed by his ability to make neoprene and plastic look wearable. Heidi liked the way he merged soft and hard and Nina pronounced him “most improved” for styling. L’Wren Scott was impressed with his use of materials and loved that his collection told a story.
Viktor’s Mexico meets NYC collection started off with a bang in the form of a gorgeous, dress with a fabulous printed bodice and architectural, angular shoulders. I loved that many of his pieces highlighted a nipped in waist. Unfortunately, his collection was a bit divided—half fabulous prints and great tailoring, half ultra-sheer black chiffon. While the judges absolutely loved Viktor’s prints, his silhouettes, and his polished tailoring, none of them were thrilled by his chiffon pieces.
Finally, Anya who is the reigning queen of ‘making it work,’ presented her Tobago-inspired pieces complete with the three new looks she’d whipped up in two days. Heidi loved the vibe. Everyone loved the divine prints. Michael felt that the collection was “a bit of a v-neck fest” and a tad one-note but it was cohesive and wearable. L’Wren and Nina both wished the clothes translated a bit more for an urban consumer. It was unanimous that Anya has a great eye, she’s smart, she works well under pressure, and has a well-defined, marketable brand.
And the winner is…Anya!
But they’re really all winners aren’t they? I’m a little disappointed that Viktor didn’t take home the prize because (like the judges) I loved about half of his looks—I was also rooting for Kimberly…and Anya…and even Josh. Which just means that this was a great season! Next week we go Behind the Seams With Tim Gunn for the backstage dirt on Season 9 from our favorite fashion mentor. Then we’ll have to see if we can get into Project Accessory…