MAR
2008
06

Project Runway 4, Grand Final Finale!

Manolo says, this was perhaps the most anti-climatic Project Runway grand final finale ever. Indeed, as soon the Manolo heard that Victoria “Posh but Ridiculous Spice” Beckham was going to be the celebrity judge the Manolo assumed that Christian would be the winner.

Victoria Beckham’s own peculiar tastes run so much to the spectacularly unwearable that only Christian could satisfy her increasingly outrageous and idiosyncratic ideas about fashion. Indeed, Christian designs clothes that could only be worn by Victoria Beckham, very tall 14-year-old Slavic girls, and himself. No one else could possibly fit into those super-skinny pants.

Please note that the Manolo is not objecting to the choice of Christian as the winner. He fully deserved to win. He is the most talented of all the designers, he has the undeniable sense of drama and style, and he produces beautiful and striking clothes. All the Manolo is saying is that the choice of Christian was both predictable and out of character for the judges, who have in the past tended to reward wearability and accessibility.

Christian, for all of his youth and bravado, produces clothes that would not be out of place on European runways, or in the streets of Milan or Paris. Not everything worked for the Manolo (the hat and ruffled neck piece, for the example, could only appeal to someone as silly as Posh Spice), but overall it was masterful.

By the comparison, Rami, the gracious, elegant, and mature man, produced the gracious, elegant, and mature collection, one which was only hindered by his choice of colors. (The Manolo must now note that the critical comments of Nina and Michael Kors have never been more exactly on target. Virtually everything they said, the Manolo agreed with.) Rami’s great strength is that he is excessively and finely attuned to shape and form. He knows what looks beautiful, as surely as Christian knows what looks dramatic.

As for Jillian, it is easy to see the influences of Ralph Lauren on her collection. She produces handsome and interesting clothes in the American idiom. Unfortunately, her native insecurity and indecision causes her to go beyond what is required, and to edit her clothing in ways that are detrimental. She has the brilliant ideas, but too often goes back to add something unnecessary, or change something that diminishes her original vision. She needs to develop the confidence to stay with her good ideas, which, as her knitwear proved, can be very good indeed.

So, in the end, it was Christian who was the clear and undeniable winner. Now, one waits to see if he has the ability to go beyond this specific Christian Siriano look. What comes next, Christian?

MAR
2008
06

Vanitas Vanitatum, Omnia Vanitas

Manolo says, while searching for the photos of Sylvester Stallone, the Manolo came across this picture of Sly and Arnold…

getting ready for their new action/comedy buddy picture, Crazy Eyes and Puffy.