Project Runway Finale video: Why did Anya win?

Anissa Ford's picture

Why did Anya Chee win Project Runway season 9? What were the judges thinking? And how many fans are really done with the show?

The best explanation why and how Anya Chee won Project Runway Season 9 is that everyone from Heidi Klum to Michael Kors has a bit of a girl crush on Anya. She's pretty, tall, and she's got a fancy vocab interwoven with a really cool British Island accent.

And Anya likes prints.

Project Runway's season finale winner couldn't have been more disappointing for Josh. Josh, love him or leave him, did a great job on the runway. Everything about his show as "cool" in the true sense of the word. Not cool like a tropical breeze in the Bahamas, or Trinidad and Tobago, but cool as in can wear in Manhattan or Kentucky all day everyday.

Many fans expressed disappointment that Viktor (the new Mondo) didn't win. Viktor wasn't in the top two. His sheer fabric, Michael Kors noted, was runway mockery. Whimsically wrapped teens in goth, rock, hard core designs but sheer fabric didn't go over with the judges. Point blank, Viktor's dark side, or his evening looks, really were clothes for juniors with not so conservative parents or parents who don't pay attention.

Kim's collection was the more memorable of the four. Kim's colors were catchy, fresh and new. Even if the patterns weren't totally appealing. Kim is 35, but she comes across on camera a lot younger. On stage as she presented her collection, Kim seemed a bit unsure of herself.

So back to Anya. Why was she there anyway? As far as most watchers are concerned, she shouldn't have been in the finale. She had one design to show the judges and the other two were. Well. Hmm... Really bad.

Anya's runway collection wasn't exactly fun. Anya's collection was more of Anya. So it's a good thing that Anya is so Anya because quite frankly, had she been a mean girl or any other type of runway participant, Anya's collection and her win would be, for lack of better words, hard to swallow. But Anya's so cool. We don't really hate her. We hate that she just learned to sew.

But we love that she passionately put her stuff together at the last minute all season and made it work.

Okay, so back to the serious question. Why did Anya win Project Runway? Words can't really describe it, but the video from Fashion Week does. If we keep in mind that 8 designers showed at Project Runway (remember Bryce, Bert, Laura and Anthony Ryan?) and then pair their work against the four from last night, it's easier to see why Anya won.

Anthony Ryan's bright red and feisty colors matched Kimberly's equally feisty and fun colors. Bert's classic and clean collection made Viktor's work look somewhat week and juvenile.

The only unique perspective on the runway in sandals and espadrilles despite nine similar necklines was Anya's. And Josh's.

Watch for yourself. The 8 final Project Runway contestants at New York Fashion Week this September 2011.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!!!? How did Anya get there at all? She cannot sew actually, she sews like a beginner. All I saw during the finale was the same type of dress, sleeveless V-neck, black&white or parroty colors. If I'd live near the beach in Latin America or Africa, maybe I'd wear it, maybe... or if I'd go on vacation there, I could throw a dress like that in my suitcase. But I live in the city and I just don't know where I'd go in Anya's cloth from the finale show. It looks soooo cheap. I could pay only $8 for the whole Anya's collection and not a penny more! Even Kim showed a better collection, more urban. Joshua didn't seem happy for Anya in the end and I understand him, he or Victor should win, but not Anya , no way !!! Anya took away Joshua's win again like she did when she sewed a dress without a zipper and after winning had to cut that dress to take it off from the model. It was like a horrible joke when I heard how Heidi said congratulations to Anya. I'm pissed off. Like what the hell is going on there !!! Was Anya sleeping with someone there or what? How could she win?!!! Are judges on crack?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sigh. Why, oh why, was Anya not called to the mat on her one-note design??? Sure I'd wear her stuff--who wouldn't? But that's not the point. We all wear sweatpants too and those aren't considered high fashion or innovative. Her sending 12 looks down the runway that looked virtually the same in different pretty prints is no different than someone sending 12 identical sweat suits down the runway in different prints. Their wearability does not denote that the designer is skilled. Big shapeless t-shirts are really wearable too. I found Anya's collection beautiful but I don't think she's a great designer. I mean the judges even pointed out that not everyone is jetting around to warm countries wearing kaftans and the guest judge mentioned that there wasn't anything in the collection she could wear in an urban setting. Are the judges unaware that most women on the planet live in urban settings??? So she designs essentially one item for a woman who barely exists and the judges give her the prize?? Maybe Anya will turn into an amazing designer if she learns to construct a jacket or a pant or a fitted top know anything besides a jumper or a dress. But in the mean time three other designers standing there in the finale were already doing those things and taking risks and pushing their own boundaries, while for 80% of the challenges Anya made the same thing. It was a pretty thing, but it was the same thing over and over. And frankly, given the crap she showed in episode 13, she should not even have been showing at fashion week. If they wanted to judge on innovation I'd say give it to Josh or Kimberley. If they wanted to judge on sheer commercial power, as well as impeccable tailoring and the ability to make the cheapest fabrics on earth look like you paid a million bucks for them, then choose Viktor. But giving it to Anya for producing virtually the same outfit 12 times over is just shameful.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think Victor should have won. While I didn't like Victor's black outfits very much, I thought it was ridiculous for the judges to criticize them saying that they weren't wearable for most women, while congratulating Anya for creating looks that were cut down to the bellybutton. Real-life women would have to wear them with a safety pin. I definitely think she can pick out a pretty piece of fabric, but I'm not sure if her fabric choices are any better than the average home sewer. Her patterns are not unique. Anya's clothes all looked pretty, but I always looked at them and said, "I've seen this before." People have been wearing dresses like these for years. The other three finalists were original in their designs. I think the editing of the show really showed they had a preference for Anya. When did they start giving them $500 to make last-minute looks? When Anya's collection was so very obviously worse than those of the other designers. There was an episode earlier where Anya refused to share materials saying that it was too late in the game for such things. She looked a little snarky. The editors, however, made sure to show that Anya was sharing materials with Kimberly at the finale who lost her kit. This was probably meant to redeem Anya. Anya knew Kimberly wasn't a threat, so she shared. Would she have shared with Victor? Probably not. I keep telling myself it's only a show! Daggon it, though, Victor made his own fabric! I don't think it looked like any of them spent 9K on materials.

Submitted by Rian R. (not verified) on
People who are upset about the outcome of the finale are not aware of the nature of the industry. The fact that Anya projects a likable, relatable, and tangible image is why they chose her as the winner. And there is much to be said for her enduring spirit and being able to pull things together in a crunch. That is very realistic to the industry. I have an AAS in fashion design, but am not a skilled sewer, but the successes I've had are based on my vision, not execution ability. It's very tough to have it all. The industry is beast, and there is no "fair" in fashion.

Submitted by Anya Fan (not verified) on
Loved Anya. She has what it takes to make a brand. Even her name brings about images of class and style. She has that vibe that attacts others to her and her clothes. She's teachable and learns fast. These are qualities that will make her a success. So, its not always the best most talented who make it--its who behind the person and personality too. There is more to getting to the top than just being the best sewer and designer--like any creative field. It's not always the best actress, or artist, or designer who make it. There has to be something about that person that pays into the mix--and I believe Anya has that special quality. Now don't get me wrong, if Josh won, that would have been cool too. No doubt he is talented. But it just wasn't his time. Judging by his work, he will eventually get there. But I have to admit, when Anya won, I was happy and excited for her. Im looking forward to see where this win is going to take her, and I believe it is far.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
this show went down the path of other reality shows, simply insulting viewers intelligence. I was watching this show to see art and creativity, to understand about edgy design and fashion forward and I trusted that Nina and Michael would give professional critique and insight into the fashion world. But I guess everything can be bought by the greenback dollar such the integrity of those two, nina Garcia editor blabla and michael kors winner of blablablabla, the fact they participated in this masquerade just disqualifies them as fashion experts. I could never trust their opinion again just thinking on how they justified the kaftans collection that any person with a good taste could make as a "fashion forward" collection and proclaimed miss populairty as a "promising designer". Is so sad to see people who are supposed to be experts in their field going so low for the sake of money I suppose. And editors of this reality show, stop insulting us, we do understand what is going on and will not believe that a kaftans collections is oh so fashion forward and edgy just bcz nina and michael said so.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Are you a famous designer? Critic? Anything? Unless I'm wrong Nina and Michael are so they can say what they think is and isn't fashionable.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
People, don't you think that something fishy is going on here? For the whole history of Project runway they never gave $500 to make last minute looks. Who would benefit most from it? - Of course Anya! We know how she used to lose her money, her bad time managment, and that she wasn't ready for the runway and said some kind of good-bye words to Tim Gunn when he came to look at her tiny collection. And when did they ever have 4 finalists on Project Runway? - Never! Anya was the 4th last finalist. Why did they gave her that chance ( if to take into consideration how horrible were 2 of 3 looks she showed)? She should be eliminated at once. But.... I agree with lots of comments here. I think Anya knows someone from the fashion world or someone with money. There is no way she could win the contest with the same 10 simple shapeless V-neck dresses that you can buy for $5 in any store in Latin America.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Think back to the season where Laura made that lovely but predictable collection of evening dresses, all beautifully constructed and elegant, with tons of details, for the final runway show. She got tossed out because she didn't surprise the judges, didn't bring anything new to the table in the finale. Suddenly, this season, Anya wins with a rehash of the same one dress she has made for every challenge. What's the deal? Now they've decided they aren't looking for someone with vision? It was also OBVIOUS that the producers were panicking that Anya screwed up her 3 looks so completely. They knew they couldn't give her a win without some help, so THAT's when they decided to hand everyone $500 extra and have another trip to Mood, knowing that was the only way she could win. The whole thing was rigged from the start. No way was that $500 trip in the original plans. Project Runway was once my favorite show. Since moving to Lifetime, it has become a sad, rigged joke. The Gretchen win was so unpopular, they knew they had to make a "likeable" person win this season. Sorry, you didn't fool a lot of us, Lifetime. There are a lot of other shows to watch, and I doubt I'll be back.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Everyone who hates the fact that Anya won is just jealous! Obviously the judges thought she had patentual and they thought she, out of the four of them would be the most successful. Anya has been in the top 3 for almost the whole show and who cares if she can't sew? It's not like she's going to be making all of her clothes herself. The judges made the right desision and I look forward to next season and all of you who think you know what fashion is and isn't are just lying to yourselfs. All of you who are being so critical of her are entitled to have an opinion but that doesn't mean you're right.


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