So as we left from the last episode, the final 4 were waiting to see who got to show at NYFW. I was not surprised the judges allowed all 4 to go! With only 48 hours until the show would begin, there was still a lot to do though. Going to the next morning, the designers awoke to a text from Christian, to meet him at the CFDA. He was there with Sara Kozlowski, Director of Professional Development for the CFDA and Rachna Shah, a partner with top PR firm KCD Worldwide. Each designer would get time with both important women in the world of fashion to look at branding and go thru their collections.
With Victoria, they were seeing some signature work, but questioned her use of the logo, as did the judges and Christian. For Nancy, they felt she should go with an empowerment message for the collection versus her mission statement as a designer of inclusivity. With Geoffrey, they thought he needed to lead with his Purple Heart story and that his collection didn’t need much by way of styling. And finally, for Sergio, they thought he shouldn’t box himself into one idea of a style, to always think younger and fresher. After their CFDA consultations, the designers were off to Mood for a final bit of shopping to finalize their collections. The would have an extra $400 and 45 minutes to shop. Christian also announced the designers would have help from seamstresses on the last day to help make the necessary alterations for their looks. He urged them to not then feel they could only make small changes. Victoria decided to make an entire new look, something less busy. Sergio also decided to work on a new piece. And Nancy was trying to make her collection more light, less dark.
Next up on this very busy day was model castings. It was a pretty seamless process for the designers. After castings the designers would fit half of the models with the other half coming the next day. We saw Nancy was planning to use a stunning prosthetic piece with one of her looks, very Christian Cowan. Sergio saw that he would have to make a lot of alterations on top of creating part of a new look. The designers then met with Grace Lee of Maybelline for makeup consultations. Nancy remembered the judges giving her advice to create fresher beauty looks, not so dated. And for Geoffrey, the goal was to not distract from his looks with the facial studs he wanted to use, at least for the women. He wanted to use them for his male models. For the remainder of this first of 2 days, everyone was knocking out more work. But they all decided to enjoy a little down time with a couple of drinks before bed.
It was the last day of work, the final 12 hours in the workroom, and there was no time to spare! The seamstresses arrived and then the rest of the models for their fittings. Karla Welch returned to give the designers some styling tips for their looks. Nancy didn’t need much by way of accessories because her clothes are that good; she didn’t need gimmicks. For Geoffrey, there was a similar line of thinking. His clothes were larger than life so he needed to think less, not more. Actually most of the designers needed to think edits, including Victoria in that her collection also didn’t need all the bells and whistles. And for Sergio, she was giving some advice to him making a t-shirt to freshen up his collection per the judges’ advice. He reluctantly agreed. Next up were the hair consultations with Justine Marjan of Tresemme. Christian then wanted a final chat, which got the designers nervous, but there was no twist, just some final words of encouragement. He also announced the guest judge would be tennis superstar Serena Williams. It was then the final 2 hours, still a good bit to do for all. Sergio was showing some signs of stress and was making his t-shirt. Geoffrey was also stressing some, in tears, just needing to get everything done.
The morning of this final push to fashion week was very chaotic, as to be expected. The designers went to their fashion week show spot, Spring Studios, new home of many NYFW shows for the past few seasons. Each designer was reflecting back on their growth. Sergio still had to do some alterations. Geoffrey was in a tizzy about finding his facial studs, but couldn’t. Call it fate, but I don’t think the jewelry facial embellishments were needed. And close to the last minute, one of Sergio’s looks had a hole in it, but Sergio quickly repaired. Chaos aside, it was time for the runway show to begin!
This was certainly an exciting finale to say the least! I had my winner of choice, but I will say, each designer at least offered something worth the runway. Victoria was probably my least fave, but I could see a real discussion happening between the other 3 as possible winners. Last season, I felt it was beyond obvious who would win. The level of competition certainly elevated this season, and it was a real competition for who should win. Nancy’s collection, Sustain-Our-Ability would have been my choice to win. It encompassed so much positivity lacking in fashion presently, zero waste, sustainability, and inclusivity, but this collection was still fashion at the highest level. Nancy truly creates wearable art, and makes fashion for all, amazing seeing her wheelchair look, on the runway, for NYFW!
There was a shimmer and shine you couldn’t miss in this collection. She included a stunning faux fur outerwear piece. I felt these were all statement pieces that any woman would want to be in. It was hard to note what the judges felt by way of negative because there wasn’t much shown on that. They mentioned something about not seeing a lot of form fitting pieces, but that was perplexing since she had a few of those pieces in the collection. In fact, my favorite look, seen below, I am still in awe over this look. This was so cool and just really demonstrated the range Nancy can do.
It was actually Geoffrey who won. I don’t hate on this too much. He didn’t do a horrible job. I didn’t find his collection to be my personal taste and found it to be less universal in terms of the range of customer who could wear these types of looks. But Geoffrey did have some really cool, standout looks. I saw the inspiration clearly in this Purple Heart collection, focusing on survival and bravery. I was impressed he was able to reign in all of his ideas and presented a collection that was fairly cohesive.
The opening of his purple bomber look was amazing. I still didn’t like the sleeve dress or all of the looks with just randomly hanging sleeve-like embellishments. His outerwear pieces are probably what won the day for him. His trenched black look was very strong. I thought his menswear was nothing overly inventive and many of his looks felt repetitive. And especially those 2 weird neckline shaped dresses back to back, very similar and not his strongest points. But there were some great details to see throughout the collection, especially the ones with sheer cutouts. My favorite piece from his was this look below, sheer stop beyond stunning and then these ultra chic, very cool, hip pants.
And the final oversized egg cocoon coat look was certainly a show piece that definitely closed the show as strongly as it was opened!
Geoffrey would have been my 2nd choice, outside of Nancy. As much as Sergio really slayed with quite a few truly knockout looks, overall, I wasn’t a fan of his confused messaging and fringe craze throughout this Ocean Anthem collection. I felt such a Western motif vibe from this collection, smashing together with this high-end, more elegant, high fashion feel, and the 2 styles didn’t come together for me. The judges were right to say Sergio is probably the most technically skilled, but this is not who can sew the best competition. The competition is about the design, the voice, and what comes out of that.
I felt Sergio with this collection was just a little too all over the place, too many details, too many ideas, and not all were amazing. His beadwork and more eveningwear looks, I am very much impressed with, but the fringe rest, not so much.
And of course one of Sergio’s best runway moments, proposing backstage, so sweet!
And last but not least to review, again, my least fave collection, Victoria with Revelation. Her looks certainly were culturally inspired, encompassing a very sporty, chic woman. It was a collection based with a soft, nude palette, but with some electric pops of color. I definitely was not a fan of the logos she still decided to use. I ultimately felt the collection was too underwhelming compared to the rest. It wasn’t elevated enough. And some of the details were odd, such as the smock over lace look. The shoulders on certain looks were too exaggerated.
I don’t think the collection was very cohesive, and it didn’t cater to any sort of same level of clientele. I felt overall, the collection tried to be cool, but wasn’t all that cool.
So again, it was Geoffrey for the win. And here is the rundown on what winning entails by way of prizes!
- $250,000 courtesy of BluPrint, and creating a design series
- Feature in Elle Magazine
- $50,000 courtesy of Pilot Pens
- and a mentorship with the CFDA