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Arts and Entertainment

Project Runway Season 3: Finale Part II

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The moment of anticipation has finally arrived! (Albeit amongst much more controversy than previous installments of Project Runway.) This season was more than peppered with its share of intensely dramatic moments—what, with Keith Michael’s disqualification, the bitter tension between Angela and her whiny mother and Detroit Neck, and the reinstatement of Vincent and Angela at the last minute for a challenge. But the final four have blazed through to Bryant Park will brilliance and talent. Who rocked his or her way to the top of it all?

Jeffrey Rock Star with a Rocky Past Detroit Neck Tattoo Wearing Sebelia.

Despite strong competition from obvious fan favourite Michael Knight (whom 42% of voters wanted to win) who provided consistently intelligent and stunning designs throughout the season, Uli who broke out of her patterned monotony, and Laura whose sophistication has been a constant factor in her glamourous concoctions.

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However, to my utter dismay Laura and Michael’s collections were disappointing. Laura’s collection was eveningwear—gowns and cocktail dresses. However, her lacy refined looks, though tailored beautifully, owing to her meticulousness and attention to detail, fell short of impressive. Where’s the wow factor in constantly seeing the same thing? Her collection was tame, the type of thing you’d see at the opera or ballet, not at a riotous party after the Oscars or something Mizz Fashionable Lohan would wear.

Michael, who had been my favourite contender for the Fashion Gold throughout the competition was a let down with a capital L. I think he failed to really grasp the high street fashion taste level of Fashion Week. His taste over the last 14 episodes has been unfalteringly stunning except for the disaster of the ruching scallop detail of his couture gown. Unfortunately, his 1970’s safari of self-discovery theme was a bit skanky, too street, too Rave, too Forever 21 rather than Barney’s or Rodeo Drive. More Sunset Strip than Carnaby Street.

In the words of my friend Tess, here’s a little advice to Michael: more Kanye meets Ralph Lauren, and less Urban Safari meets Vegas. I say this as I shake my head in disappointment, like a parent or a girlfriend whose loved one has missed the winning basket by 5 yards.

Uli’s collection was probably the new crowd favourite. Whispers of her name for the win were whisping through the tent at Bryant Park. Her shimmery knits and buckle details were mixed with her graphic genius in colours that tantalized the eye and shapes that had women leaning on the edge of their chairs. However, the colours and the muted metallics were not well related to each other. The beautiful collection lacked cohesion.

In the end, it was Jeffrey’s collection that was fresh, innovative, young, wearable and on high fashion without being pretentious. Early on, it was feared that Jeffrey was going to be another Santino with torn hems, shredding, and the bad attitude. He had a bit of each of these things, but he has proven that he knows the contours and nuances of a woman’s body and can incorporate that into the look of a modern, urban, strong willed woman with an eye for the eccentric and daring. I would wear all of his clothes, if I weren’t so short. His emerald and stark white striped prints paired with graphic leather and deconstructed or asymmetrical hems—right on the mark. The only one that missed it was a gown he created in the same style of some of Uli’s gowns in the season. It was the only one that didn’t seem to fit his overall theme. And yet, I would still wear it.

Despite being accused of cheating and over budget, he was inculpable. Laura, his accuser, once the playing field was leveled, was happy to compete with him evenly.

Jeffrey’s tears proved his innocence. It was not a bit funny, actually—seeing this punk cry.

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In the end his tears and stresses were rewarded. I think part of me was rooting for this man with the word Detroit emblazoned across his neck. Maybe it was the bitch in me that wanted him to see it through to the win. And maybe it’s the Detroit punk in me that wants to see his clothes on a rack in my favourite boutiques. Or maybe it’s that he really is a truly talented designer.

I vote D) all of the above.

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PS. We WILL see Michael Knight in the future.

photos via Bravo TV.com