For the Project Runway All Star season finale and runway show, Anthony Ryan Auld created several dresses with straight lines and geometric squares that have been interpreted as “modern art.” Most of Anthony’s dresses looked alike, and not many women on the face of the earth would buy the entire collection. But Project Runway has a strong history of choosing designers who are young and talented with limited resources as its winners. (See Christian Siriano).
And, to Anthony Ryan’s credit, his work was totally modern and his designs were classic. Not that Emilio’s weren’t, and not that Uli’s winter whites weren’t classic either. But Anthony Ryan’s classic looks are classic from the mid 20th century (think Greta Garbo movies) and beyond the 21st. It’s imaginable that his designs, all of them since they all look alike, will be wearable in 2025 and beyond.
Uli Herzner created a Winter White collection and called it Mystic Wonderland. But the feathers, Georgina Chapman said, looked cheap and her collection lacked a wow piece. Casanova helped sew her collection which, imaginably, had lots of sequins and feathers. For her efforts, Uli won third place this season on Project Runway All Stars.
Anthony Ryan said he didn’t believe he had a real shot against Emilio or Uli. Had the designers been sent home to create their collection, it’s suspect whether Anthony Ryan would have fared as well. Anthony Ryan is competitive, but he’s also observant. Every episode almost, Anthony Ryan took a really good look at what others were doing before he got started.
Consequently, Anthony Ryan Auld won almost every challenge during this second season of Project Runway All Stars. In confessionals, Anthony Ryan said that he doubted he’d continue his career in fashion simply because he couldn’t afford too. The other designers, Uli and Emilio don’t have that problem.
When Mondo Guerra first appeared on Project Runway, he won challenge after challenge. But at the final runway show, his collection lost. All Star judges didn’t put Anthony Ryan throw that similar spin cycle. Anthony Ryan’s been a great competitor, a conscientious designer and on film, he’s been a pleasant contestant.
Viewers loved Anthony Ryan right up until the final runway show that many feel he didn't deserve to win. Most viewers were wowed by Uli’s collection and so were the judges. However, a win for Uli would have been a huger loss for Emilio. Simply because Uli and Emilio’s collections were cultural contrasts. A win for either would have been a definitive, and painful loss for the other.
In short, the stars were in Anthony Ryan’s favor. His collection’s theme was innocence touched by chaos. It looked more like a geometric block party, but more than anything, Anthony Ryan’s collection is a collection for every woman.
The same can’t be said for Emilio and Uli’s collection.
photo credit: Lifetime/Project Runway