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Project Runway Does Bryant Park

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I went to the Project Runway finalists’ Fashion Week show at Bryant Park Friday morning. I wasn’t originally planning on blogging much, because I figured there wasn’t much I could blog without spoiling things. Bravo, evidently, has a different policy on spoilers, as it immediately issued a press release, which spilled the beans that I thought were better left unspilled. Said bean, some notes, and some really bad photography, after the jump:

All five finalists showed collections at Bryant Park! That’s right: Sweet P, Chris, Jillian, Rami and Christian all sent a dozen or so outfits down the runway. Now, I guess it’s not too spoil-y to reveal that, since–as Bravo has done in the past–this probably means that one or two contestants who did not actually make the finals were compelled to do collections anyway and throw us all off the scent.

The show, inside the football-field-like big tent, was like some kind of Bravo family reunion: besides eliminated Runway contestants from this season and past stars (Jay! AWN-drey!), the throngs included Top Chef alums and Queer Eye’s Ted Allen, as well as Harvey Weinstein (the show’s studio daddy), Heidi and the judges and special guest judge Victoria Beckham. Outside the park, contestants’ families introduced themselves; Christian’s mom cozied up for a picture with ejected competitor Stephen. I am probably in dozens of Project Runway family photos now.

And the collections? I had my favorites, but I’m not the guy whose fashion judgments you want to hear. Sweet P and Chris were clearly the sentimental favorites in the crowd–they burst into wild applause once they saw Chris’ plus-sized silhouette through the scrim–but their actual designs didn’t go over big. Christian’s did: as you might have guessed, there was a lot of black and a lot of texture, feathers and million-layered ruffles. (“Oooh, everybody looks fierce,” Christian said. Way to embrace becoming a human catchphrase, Christian!) I personally dug Jillian’s collection, which–lacking the proper terminology–had a kind of military-historical vibe to it, with lots of headwear that resembled centurion helmets and chainmail hoods. The crowd, however, seemed to prefer Rami’s, which left little impression on me.

I didn’t bring a camera, thinking it would be taken at the door, but I was wrong; a guy sitting next to me was brazenly getting the whole thing on video. Well, next year. In the meantime, I proudly carry on the Justin Fox tradition of bad cellphone photography:

A Bryant Park fountain is filled with bags of swag from Lord & Taylor.

An extremely blurry Runway aluma Laura Bennett.

The runway is patrolled by severe young women with headsets and radios.