Well I’m sure by now we all know the answer — Mr. Seth Aaron! I must say, even though he won his season, this came as a surprise to me, more specifically a good surprise. I really thought all season Elena would somehow win. She had the “rising from the ashes” storyline all wrapped up — she didn’t make it her season, she never won a challenge, she was in the bottom some, etc. So yes, color me surprised! But then, last week, as I was planning for upcoming fashion week shows, I was told Korto was just added to a venue I’m attending. I then thought, hmmmm?, maybe she won. So again, for me, really surprised & CONGRATS to Seth Aaron. But how did this all come about?
Alyssa started off the show with MOST of the fun details for this final challenge. Each designer was to present a 6-piece collection inspired by their own heritage — Elena-Eastern Europe/Ukraine, Seth-Europe/Spain, Korto-West Africa/Liberia. The first twist of the show was the designers ONLY had 4 days, ahhhhh! The designers were then told of their amazing venue for the runway presentations — the United Nations headquarters — WOW!
The designers were then off to the headquarters to speak with delegates for their respective countries to learn and gain some inspiration. Sketching then began — Seth was thinking of architectural elements, Elena was focusing on a color story with use of the Ukranian flag, & Korto was thinking back to traditional means of fashion design in Liberia. The designers finished off day 1 by shopping at Mood, planning/organizing, and freaking out a bit over time, well maybe that was just Elena, haha!
Day 2 was centered around Zanna’s visit, her final one, tear, tear! She gave some standard words of wisdom — remember to edit, think of fit, etc. There were more interesting jabs I think though during this montage sequence. Elena was picking at Seth, needing a better editing eye, so laughable! And Seth wondered if Korto would have that jaw dropping moment? The other main part of Zanna’s visit was she brought not only helping words, but actual helpers. However, this would only be for 24 hours! So Chris came back to help Korto, Jeffrey for Seth, and Viktor for Elena.
We then moved onto Day 3 and Alyssa was again there, 1st thing! Of course, she wasn’t empty-handed; she had a twist! Theodora & Callum is an accessories brand that features scarves inspired by international travel. Each designer would have to make a 7th look and the fabric would be the scarves. At least 50% of the look had to come from the scarves. Elena was having another freakout because remember, she hates prints! Luckily we didn’t have to listen to her for too long, THANK YOU Viktor!
It was then time for the helpers to go and for Day 4, the final day, to begin! The models had their fittings, the workroom was looking so messy, and I think we learned that the most universal color for international design was YELLOW! The “morning of” brought the usual routines — last minute alterations, additions, styling, etc. The guest judges were co-anchor for CBS‘ “This Morning”/Editor-at-Large for O Magazine Gayle King and renowned designer Zac Posen. So let’s start with 3rd place — Elena.
For the rankings of these 3 designers, the judges were 100% right. With Elena’s collection, it was all too much of the same thing, a lot of repetition. You might see this in a collection of 20+ pieces, but for only 7 pieces, repetition should be very discrete/minimal. I agreed with Gayle, I think she only designs for a certain woman of which I am not. Her jackets/coats might be well made, but then she makes them in a dull yellow & grey, which are just very hard colors to wear. I was just far more impressed by Korto and Seth and I think the judges debated between the two, probably for quite a bit.
Korto came in 2nd and she should be proud. She had some shining moments. I thought her collection spoke most to her Liberian heritage. The backs of most of her looks were so gorgeous. I thought this type of woman had such an easy breezy vibe. Korto knows who she is as a designer. But I wonder if with this collection and perhaps the reason she came in 2nd, was if it pushed the bounds enough? In a show, you want to see at least 1 “show” piece. But regardless, I look forward to seeing her present in February for NYFW!
Seth’s collection was just amazing, sheer genius! I do not know how he did all of that in only 4 days! It was so modern and really was architecturally inspired, wearable structures! Seth also has a clear vision and client in mind and I like this girl. But I don’t think his type of client is as narrow like with Elenas’. He also has such a great idea for details. So many of his looks had nice touches and ah-ha moments. His collection was also very editorial and would photograph well from all angles!