This is the season that Project Runway has taken hold of Fashion Week and, like any tenacious reality show star, won't let go. Tim Gunn is now a bona fide celebrity, and is all over the tents. Nina Garcia was always all over the tents, but now the paparazzi and fans constantly lining the steps to Bryant Park go crazy for her (Today she was sporting the clunky shoes we love to hate). Last season's runner-up Daniel Vosovic is taking his superskinny self to as many shows as he can take in, and original winner Jay McCarroll is finally showing his debut collection on Friday. Daniel Franco got the opportunity to be eliminated in both seasons 1 and 2, and now he has staged his first New York show, at the Metropolitan Pavilion (site of the Scanty debacle). It was a reunion of sorts for contestants from both past and current seasons.
More after the jump
Even though it was Franco's show, Tim Gunn is the star, and at this show he was a minor deity. Nobody posed for more pictures with fans than Gunn, even though the audience included this years castoffs Angela Keslar and Malan Breton (who had his own show earlier in the day), and last years castmembers Emmett McCarthy and winner Chloe Dao. Gunn is such a star here that even though the lights went down to begin the show, his Photo ops continued. Heidi Klum was not there. Neither was Nina Garcia. She was probably at Luca Luca, or one of a number of other concurrent presentations, actually performing her day job.
Once we were finally ready to begin, Franco had to come out on the runway to give a speech thanking his sponsor, Nikon, and the audience, and inappropriately invoking September 11th and generally reminding us how annoying he could be. Shut up and show us some clothes already. What went down the runway was not so different from what we saw from Daniel on the show, meaning it owed a heavy debt to Thierry Mugler. One could crib from worse, however, and it's so much easier to be "inspired" by someone who is currently out of business. A very pretty apricot halter party dress elicited applause from the audience, and it showed a departure from the predictably body-hugging silhouettes that had preceded it. Softly ruched and less fitted, it and a few other pieces like it were much more original looking than the rest of the collection, and Franco would be smart to follow that direction if he can tear himself away from the spotlight. Each model was required to hold and pose with a camera on each runway turn, which gave this show another level of unfortunate cheesy gloss., but was typical of the kind of things going on at this StyleLounge venue. What this show demonstrated was that unlike the cleverly contrived tasks on Project Runway, the real test of a designer is whether he or she can actually make things people want to wear. Daniel Franco is not without talent, and clearly has skill. If he could just keep his mouth shut...
Music: David Bowie "Absolute Beginners", Guitar rock.
Swag: Are you kidding? There wasn't even a run of show sheet. Oh, wait, that rfree ringtone card was back.
Celebrities: Please see above. Reality stars only