(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
Heading into Thursday night’s “Project Runway” finale, Viktor is probably the favorite to win. Over the course of the past 4-6 episodes, Viktor has increasingly ran away with the competition. He’s been strong, week-in and week-out, and has created some truly stunning pieces.
For the finale, he took his creativity up another couple of notches. Note the dangling bit of glass on the top above, and the … well, the EVERYTHING below. lol
Viktor showed a little bit of everything he could do during the final runway show, and my gut tells me that it will pay off for him. I absolutely love what Kimberly put together, but the momentum is in Viktor’s favor, and this collection speaks for itself.
However, while I don’t think Viktor drops the ball on any one piece in his collection, I will say that the look above and the look below don’t really speak to me or evoke any sort of emotion. I find both of them to be …. meh. And I didn’t find ANY of Kimberly’s looks to be “meh.” #JustSayin
While I do find a couple of Viktor’s looks to be somewhat bland, he does have one huge thing playing in his favor: The Jacket. The jacket shown below was not only a huge hit on Twitter, but also among his fellow finalists as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think my photo does it justice (well, if you enlarge it, it does…), but it truly is an amazing piece of work.
Viktor has the support of the judges, the fans, and the quality work to back him up. His chances of being the winner are strong, and while a large part of me prefers Kimberly, I would have absolutely no complaints – not one – if Viktor wins. Check out a couple more of Viktor’s pieces, a shot of Viktor himself, and join me on Twitter ( @Michael_Aaron) Thursday night as I live tweet the finale. Ciao!
Kimberly went from being one of the least noticeable designers on the show, to one of my favorites. Her improvement as the weeks went on was remarkable, and she’s clearly quite talented. The collection she put together to show at #MBFW, in my opinion, puts her in a strong position to be the first African American individual to win.
Kim, (I wonder if she’s OK with being called that…) became known for being able to design a mean pair of pants. But it was when Kimberly ventured away from the pant, that she really began to shine. Some of her strongest looks in her #MBFW collection are, as I would like to say, pants-less.
I love how the way all of her models are styled. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve seen any of the designers feature any bags – much less one so gigantic. lol I like it though, and it works well with the dress pictured above – which I find to be stunning, and fits the model perfectly.
I also love the diversity I see in Kim’s collection. There’s diversity in wardrobe, and well as style/color. For instance, there’s the elegant and sexy dress 2 photos above in a solid blueish/purple. Then above we have the silver jacket, which I feel is great (although I’m not sure I like it with that … what color is that? Fuschia? lol … with that fuschia dress). Although on its own, I also dig the (fushia?) dress. It appears to be cut very well, and fits the model magnificently. Then, as you’ll see below, she goes in a completely different direction…
… and again, I feel like she largely succeeds. Then below, you’ll see she goes back to her trademark pants, and again meets with success.
The skirt below did not go over well with the judges on the first part of the finale. What did they call it? Bubble butt? I like it though, and she uses it well here.
Overall, I think Kimberly SHOULD stand a very strong chance of winning it all. I think it comes down to her or Viktor. While I’ve absolutely loved Viktor’s work over the course of the past few episodes, for obvious reasons I’d love to see Kimberly become the first African American individual to win. While I’m new to all of this (fashion photography, that is), I’m aware of the difficulties that blacks face breaking into this industry, so it would be truly inspiring to see her go from being virtually unnoticed, to becoming the winner. Come back tomorrow to see photos from Viktor’s collection, and join me Thursday night on Twitter (@Michael_Aaron) while I live-tweet the finale! See you tomorrow!
(CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
Joshua McKinley is one of the more interesting designers on “Project Runway,” and I’m not even referring to his sometimes abrasive personality. He often finds himself in a situation that I find both frustrating and envious. Joshua McKinley is a man that is gifted with what may be TOO MUCH creativity.
Joshua often finds himself at odds with the judges because they feel he went “too far” with his designs. He may take what starts off as a good design, and bedazzle it into an oblivion. He may have the courage to take a chance on something wild that no one else would do, but find that no one likes it but him – and more often than not, his own approval is all that he needs. I respect that, though.
As a photographer – I struggle with calling myself an “artist,” and only recently came to terms with calling myself a “photographer” – I often find myself yearning for more ability in the creativity department. I wish I could come up with creative ideas as easily as someone like Joshua. That’s why it’s kind of a sore spot for me to see him get ragged on for being “too creative.” He has creativity to spare, and my creativity tank is frequently running on fumes. I’m always looking for ways to improve in that category.
Take, for instance, the image above. Individually, I like the pieces. I like the jacket, and I like the fabric used for the dress. But together? It just sort of seems like too much. Or, look again at the image at the top of the page – enlarge it if you have to. Look at the belt. Is that the same style of belt they use on shopping carts at the grocery store? lol Again, another example of him doing something someone else probably wouldn’t do, and that may not go over well with a lot of people. At the same time, you have to respect someone who is willing to do something like that.
I think that, ultimately, Joshua’s inability to tone it down will cost him this competition. It seems that, even when he tries to tone it down, he doesn’t know how. He only knows “extra.” lol He will be alright, though, because there will ALWAYS be a market for people like him because there will always be consumers who thrive for “extra.” I don’t even want to make it sound like there’s something wrong with him. There’s not. I’d much rather have the problem of being too creative, than my current problem of not being creative enough. I definitely respect Joshua, but I suspect he will have to settle for a runner up position on this season’s “Project Runway.”
(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
I make no bones about it. Anya is my favorite. Not only is she beautiful, but I admire her ability to enter into the competition only having sewn for 4 months, and produce such amazing work. Week in and week out, she has sent amazing piece after amazing piece down the runway – sometimes despite various mishaps and misfortune. Remember the outfit she made for $11?
(I dig the belt here.)
So, it goes without saying, as soon as I found out I would be shooting the Project Runway show at #MBFW, I immediately began to look forward to seeing what Anya would send down the runway. While I was not disappointed, I was not floored either.
Anya’s designs often left me in awe on the show, but while everything she sent down the runway at #MBFW was nice, nothing really jumped out to me as stunning. In fact, I’d argue that the best outfit was worn by Anya herself.
Maybe my expectations for Anya were too high, and what she sent down the runway will be good enough for her to win. She also has a great story – having only been sewing for 4 months prior to the competition – and I know that reality TV shows eat up the “good story.” But for me, none of her designs really struck me as fresh or fashion forward. I was expecting to see something jaw-dropping that I’d never seen before – something that women worldwide would clamor for. I didn’t.
There was a cohesiveness in her collection, which I can appreciate. But I wish it could have been cohesively AWESOME. I wish Anya the best of luck, though. No matter what happens, she will still be my favorite because I’m a shallow man and she’s gorgeous. lol
(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
Clearly, Laura is a fan of sheer clothing. lol As you will see later, even Laura herself was sporting some sheer clothing when she introduced her collection at #MBFW. Laura was the first designer to show her collection, and I had no clue what to expect.
The first thing I noticed was that Laura brought more creativity to her collection than I was accustomed to seeing on the show. She did something a little different with the sheer tops, but I don’t want to assume that was her stepping out of her comfort zone. Maybe the Lifetime Channel isn’t a big fan of nipples. lol Very few (if any) of the other Project Runway designers went that route, so it helped Laura stand out.
While Laura did bring some nice pieces to the table, nothing really jumped out at me as stunning. This may be why she left the show at the time she did. She rarely (if ever) sent some trash down the runway, but she also rarely knocked the judges socks off as well.
I did note one thing (just now) that was pretty cool. See the image above? It appears that very same dress is being worn by the model that graces the background of Laura’s Twitter page (@LKathleenDesign). I’m not sure why I find that cool – it’s not like I took the photograph. 🙂 Also, I dig the golden arm bangles she has on each model’s right arm. I don’t know why I have such a thing for right wrist decorations, but alas… it seems that I do. I’m not a big fan of the hair – looks rather unkempt and has a “just got out the bed, lemme throw this in a ponytail and run to the supermarket” kind of look to it. Overall, I feel Laura did well, and that she will find success as a designer, but I didn’t see anything that made me feel as if she should got eliminated too early and that she should be in the running to win.
(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
Bert was one of my least favorite designers on the show. I didn’t particularly care for most of his designs. He had his moments, but for the most part, his designs seemed quite dated. He wasn’t the worst by any means, but he did send some of the most tragic outfits down the runway.
So, when I saw Bert come out to introduce his collection, my expectations were quite low. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
While I’m not a big fan of the pockets on the dress – women with their hands in their pockets just look weird to me – I appreciate the general elegance of his collection. Most of his pieces were quite classy, and definitely more than I was expecting from Bert.
I noted a lack of accessories on Bert’s models. The designs are strong, but maybe some expertly-chosen accessories would have enhanced them even more. Since Bert is an older man, I figure he probably looked at accessories as a crutch and didn’t want to draw attention away from the clothes. A nice necklace wouldn’t have hurt, though.
It’s clear that, had been Bert had the opportunity to stay longer, he possibly could have flourished. Overall, I’m glad I was wrong about his ability to put out a nice product. He had a good showing at #MBFW and I wish him the best of luck in the future.
(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
With the final contestants determined for the Project Runway finale, I figured it’s about time I start cranking out photos from the Project Runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. There are 4 contestants left on the show, but the remaining 9 designers that were still on Project Runway when #MBFW took place all showed their individual collections during the runway show.
The show opened with Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, and Nina Garcia coming out and posing for photos for the media, as you see above. Afterward, Michael and Nina took their seats, and Heidi started the show.
Before I start showing photos from Project Runway contestant, Anthony Ryan, let me first give a little bit of background. When I first became interested in photography, I read book after book, and website after website. Once I started shooting, I realized there was only so much that one could learn from books. You have to get out there and shoot.
My second realization was that I could be a better photographer if I understood modeling better. So in order to supplement the shooting I was already doing, I decided to start watching America’s Next Top Model – much to the chagrin of my male friends. lol While ANTM at this point seems to primarily be little more than an over-the-top reality show, I’ve still learned a great deal from it in regard to what I as a photographer should expect from a model. I’ve also learned what I should WANT as a photographer, and from the model. Most importantly, I learned a lot about fashion photography.
As I shot fashion shows around Detroit, I started to really enjoy fashion photography. I started researching fashion photographers, reading fashion magazines, and attending/shooting more and more shows. Once I realized that fashion photography seemed to really be striking a chord with me, I became concerned. I knew nothing of fashion. Nothing. So, just as I did when I realized I didn’t know enough about modeling, I decided to (in addition to my customary reading) pick up a fashion-related reality show. So, that is how I began watching Project Runway.
I respect creativity a great deal. I feel it is the aspect of photography in which I am the weakest. This is unfortunate, seeing as how (in my opinion), it’s probably the most important aspect. This is why I respect the designers on Project Runway so much. Yes, week in and week out, some of the designers have sent out their models wearing the clothing equivalent of a flaming bag of shit. However, each and every one of them is an extremely creative individual. I respect their ability to find inspiration, and create a design from scratch -especially when someone else is telling them what their design has to revolve around. I respect them, even when their final product is bad.
Back to the show. The Project Runway show was my first show of #MBFW. As you may recall from a previous post, there were “issues” getting to New York in time, and I missed my entire first day. I heard that the Project Runway show was one of the hardest to get into, and even though I had confirmation, I still struggled to get in. For some reason, I wasn’t on the list. Thankfully, I had my invite and the phone number to the PR rep, and she was of the utmost assistance and was able to get me in. Unfortunately, I did get in late, and was forced to shoot from the side of the risers (as would be the norm for the duration of #MBFW for me).
Seeing as how this was my first show, I was in something of a panic. I didn’t know what to expect. At all. The Project Runway show certainly was not a blueprint for what to expect during the week. It was a long show, with 9 designers, each speaking before their portion of the show began. I basically had to learn on the fly. I had to figure out my camera settings, get an idea for how the show(s) would progress, and generally just work around the fact that everything that took place was new to me – all while trying to make sure I got good shots. (Forgive me if this is poorly written. It’s 12:30 am, and I’ve been up since 3 am. I’m really tired, but I want to knock this post out before I go to sleep.)
I said all that in order to say this: My thoughts on what I saw during the show, greatly differ from my thoughts now. There were a million different things going on, and I wasn’t really able to pay attention to the actual runway show. Now that I’ve spent all these hours working on these images, my thoughts on what I saw from the individual designers has changed as well.
I’ve finished working on 6 of the 9 sets of images, and so far, Anthony Ryan’s are my favorite. It seems clear to me that he was cut from the show too early. Although, I can’t say definitively that I would have kept him over any of the remaining 4 because, right now, the remaining 4 are my top 4. Additionally, I have yet to view my photos from 3 of the remaining 4 designers. So I may end up liking all 3 of those collections more than Anthony Ryan’s. Nevertheless, I find this to be a strong collection from head to toe.
All of the designs are fresh. You won’t see anyone walking around wearing these clothes right now. Anthony Ryan’s designs remind me of my approach to photographing fashion. Fashion is fresh. It’s ever-changing. It’s progressive and cutting-edge. When done right, there is nothing “typical” about it. That is how I like to shoot it – with a fresh and different perspective. I want to show fashion in a way that people are not accustoming to seeing it, and a lot of Anthony Ryan’s designs look very new to me. Of course, I’m new to fashion as well, but that’s why it’s so awesome that art is subjective. I can like it, you can hate it, and your opinion will remain meaningless to me. 🙂
I also love how the models were styled. From their hair, to their makeup, to their accessories, right down to the blue paint on their right wrists (which I absolutely love!) … I think Anthony Ryan totally killed it. The entire collection screams originality, and I as I love to say, I fux with that. I fux with originality and creativity. That’s all for now. Check back with me DAILY over the course of the next few days for images from the other designers. Ciao!