NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ten “Project Runway” contestants showed collections anonymously on Friday at New York Fashion Week, part of the reality show’s efforts to keep the three finalists secret until the TV season ends.
Only three of the ten designers at Fashion Week were the true finalists, but the television audience will not know their identities until the show’s seventh season ends this spring.
The winner will be announced in the televised finale, with the decoy collections edited out.
Lifetime Network television viewers have seen only five contestants eliminated so far this season on “Project Runway,” which pits design hopefuls against one another to create imaginative and skilled designs that are critiqued by a panel of judges.
At New York’s Fashion Week, the 10 designers put on runway shows of 10 looks apiece, nearly all of which supported the view of many bloggers and critics that this season has featured some of the series’ most talented designers.
The designers clearly heeded exhortations to keep their collections cohesive, tell a story and espouse a point of view. Tailoring, thoughtfulness and detail were well in evidence.
Contestant Ben cited “The Martian Chronicles” for inspiration, Jonathan called his collection an “experimental study in volume,” Mila was “inspired by shadows” and Amy said she embraced “photographic digital prints and pleating.” Jesse went for crime novel and film noir inspiration, and Seth hewed to a 1940s’ Russian and German military focus.
The show marked the second unusual finale for the hit cable show since its move from the Bravo network to Lifetime. Last year a legal dispute between the networks meant no episodes had been televised before New York Fashion week, so the finalists’ collections also were presented anonymously.
While it was difficult to guess in Friday’s show who the finalists were, the colorful Anthony was clearly a crowd favorite.
The judges were fashion designer Michael Kors, magazine editor Nina Garcia and model Heidi Klum, along with a guest judge, singer Faith Hill.
The “Project Runway” winner receives $100,000, a $50,000 technology package and a spread in Marie Claire magazine, along with bragging rights and enviable publicity. Even runners-up from past seasons have scored coveted Fashion Week runway shows.