Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Project Runway Canada - Iman's Wor(l)d, The Final Measure

Listen to Iman - Ep. 110
Finale - Ep. 111

In the final two episodes of the already finished Project Runway Canada (um, that seemed fast), Iman gets her say!

The final four, Stephen, MG, Lucian and Biddell are fighting for the last 3 slots in the Project Runway Canada finale at Toronto Fashion Week (yeah, I know it doesn't have the same ring to New York or London Fashion Week but we do our best) and the challenge is to dress fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker... oh wait, wrong edition... to dress fashion icon (and conveniently, the host of the show, so thus, she's available), Iman.

It's a basic challenge but a great one. Iman needs a dress for the finale at Toronto Fashion Week, so let the final four fight it out. Each designer gets 5 minutes with Iman and Biddell starts asking Iman questions like, "have you bungee jumped?" and "If you lost an arm in an accident and could replace it with anything, what would you choose?", Iman: Silence. Biddell: "You can choose another arm." Iman: "Another arm."

Stephen is like a giddy schoolgirl meeting their favorite boyband, while Lucian is at a loss for questions because really, he already has his own thoughts I'm sure about what HE thinks she should be wearing.

Biddell and Lucian continue their war, this time at the fabric store where Brian Bailey aids Biddell in taking Lucian's fabric that wasn't really Lucian's to begin with. Stephen does more of his modern simplicity, or his term "minimalistic". MG goes to black sophistication.

Lucian's design for Iman:

Biddell's design for Iman:

MG's design for Iman:

Stephen's design for Iman:
One dress is picked by Iman as the winner, with the dress she definitely wants to wear at Toronto Fashion Week, 2 others are in the final 3 (and in the finale), and one person just doesn't measure up... I'll continue after the jump just in case you don't know the spoilers already.

Judge Shawn loves Biddell's dress (which is my favorite by far), but there's a respect for Lucian's that would probably work better at an event like Toronto Fashion Week and look better in photos, and Iman chooses that dress as the winner. The judges respect Stephen's ideas, but his execution is poor, while MG tries for sophistication but ends up looking like an old marm, but the regular judges defends MG as a girl with quirky vision while they think they've seen enough of Stephen's, and in the end, the lovable underdog Stephen doesn't measure up for the Project Runway Canada finale, and MG moves on with Lucian and Biddell.

So MG, Lucian and Biddell move onto the final, return home to work on their final collection. When they return days before the final fashion show, Lucian's collection shows the sweat he endured during the three months. Meanwhile, Biddell is only about half done with 4 days to finish off what seems like half his pieces.

But we can talk all we want, it's the final collection at Toronto's Fashion Week that really counts. Lucian is something to respect and appreciate but seems more like something you see on Fashion Television from a Paris Haute Couture runway, something that seems more artful than actually wearable.

Montrealer MG always reminded me of the artsy folks I knew from my days in Montreal as an architecture student so its funny that she draws inspiration from the architecture world, and her collection, reminds me of just that, for better or for worse. I feel like she had an interesting idea but was still experimenting, but for the finale, it was not a good time to waiver.

Biddell, meanwhile, continues his style, and never waivers from his own vision, a little rock against the establishment, but it never stretches too far to be ugly or unwearable. It's not shocking, and that's probably a good thing.

Here's Biddell's final collection, "inspired by" Saturday Morning Cartoons. The good ones from years gone by, not the crap now (as he so rightly puts it):

Lucian's final collection:

MG's final collection, inspired by architecture, particularly a Zaha Hadid exhibition:
As always, the discussion at the end amongst the judges, this time with no guest judge, just Rita, Shawn and Iman making the final decision, is by far the most interesting. Shawn (again, like me, for a second week in a row), loves Biddell's collection the best. Everyone feels MG's is good but loses the MG sense, falling into the abyss of her inspiration that seems to counter against her regular style. Meanwhile, Rita LOVES Lucian's collection. She loves it so much she cries over it. Seriously. It's hard to picture Nina Garcia ever crying over anything but it kind of makes Rita a bit more endearing. So with Shawn voting for Biddell and Rita voting for Lucian, (and MG out of the final race), it falls onto Iman to pick the winner...

and Iman chooses Biddell, because she loves his vision and thinks he's fashion foward. Biddell's highlight are always incredible and while Rita faults him for his misses, Shawn still brings up that his misses are usually stil better than average. Biddell, still poking Lucian at his rivalry, does seem shocked and amused by his win, and while his win is a bit reminicent of Canada choosing it's own Jay McCarroll, like the show itself, Project Runway Canada's Biddell seems a little calmer and self effacing, bold but less brash. Plus, I actually thought Jay's final collection was a bit too wacky while Biddell seemed to play the game a bit better just keeping it within the edge of marketability.

So, Biddell is the first winner of Project Runway Canada, and if I could be a little nationalistic, I thought we had three great final three designers, and though MG's collection disappointed me a bit, more because I think she got overwhelmed with her artistic choices, and Lucian's is more to be admired than loved, it was a pretty damn good season, and while it didn't give us as much reality show dramatics, it stuck to the fashion creation core that I love about the show, in any edition in the world.

Here are my recaps so far for Project Runway Canada:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episodes 4 and 5
Episode 6
Episode 7 (Includes Project Runway Ep. 401 recap)
Episode 8 (Includes Project Runway Ep. 402 recap)
Episode 9
Episodes 10 and 11 (Season Finale)

Watch Project Runway Canada online:
Episodes 1 and 2
Episodes 3 and 4
Episode 5
Episodes 6 and 7
Episodes 8 and 9
Episodes 10 and 11 (Season Finale)


Anonymous said...

Great show! Thanks for posting so we in the U.S. can see it! I was a little worried how I would like this sibling of the original PR (especially with Iman's brand of "tough Love" that Heidi Klum does not come close to dishing out and a Designer instead of an educator as mentor) but it all worked and the finale was spectacular. Lucien collection was romantic, emotional and beautiful with it's bleeding watercolor palette but the crochet and the styling (hats) made it seem a little old. MG's was architectural and intellectual but also a little cold and distant. Bedell rocked it out! It was fresh, original and a bit audacious. I have never seen hoods placed so organically in to clothing...usually they seem so superflouous. He really did create stong, sexy super hero's that any woman would want to emulate even if just in attitude.

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