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Smells Like Team Spirit

"My wife forces me to watch Project Runway. I wish I could leave the room. But I am so into it. I'm weighing in, like, 'Oh, wow, look at that hemline, right? Looks cheap.'"
                                                                                   -Steve Carell

I don't like group projects. Never have, never will. But the puppet masters of Project Runway decided it was time to shake up the solo project format that had carried the show through the past 10 seasons and venture into the rocky, argument-strewn territory of team challenges. Another change this season was the unwelcome departure of Michael Kors, the "other" man in black, who has described his attire as "all black on black on black." Kors's less-than-flattering criticisms (also known as Korsisms) such as "[Elena’s] coat looks like it was sewn with her feet," and "It looks like she's pooping fabric," have been missed. His replacement, Zac Posen, has a proven track record when it comes to fashion design, but lacks the sharp wit of his predecessor. We can all look forward to Michael Kors making an appearance as a guest judge on the season finale part 2 next week.

Despite the team challenges making it difficult to evaluate each designer's true talent, a few contestants and their designs have stood out. One of my favorite challenges was "The Art of Fashion", for which the designers had to create a piece of wearable art and a ready-to-wear companion piece while also incorporating their own textile design into their garments. Michelle (my pick for the overall season 11 winner) and Stanley's looks were inventive and impeccably made, which gave them the highest team score that week.  

Another challenge was "He Said, She Said" where the designers were given the task of making something for the masses to be sold at Lord and Taylor. Michelle won this challenge by creating a modern, chartreuse shift dress (priced at $259.00). Amazingly, it sold out online by 8:45 the morning after the episode aired. "It’s kind of crazy and surreal,” Michelle said. “I’m still in shock and this happened quite a bit ago. Just seeing my dress manufactured and them lined up in here, it’s pretty awesome.”

I just finished making a dress inspired by Michelle's winning look for the Lord and Taylor challenge. The fabrics she chose worked perfectly together, so I purchased an exquisite mazarine blue silk crepe de chine, silk organza, and faux suede for my adaptation of her design.

Part 1 of Project Runway's season finale airs tonight on Lifetime. Let's hope to goodness that Daniel can come up with something different than his oh-so-familiar jacket that we all adore, but have seen him concoct more times than we've seen a black t-shirt on Mr. Kors.