The end of another PPR season is upon us, which means its time for the finale runway!
Our finale challenge, from the hosts at Just Crafty Enough was to create a single showstopping look or to create a mini collection of as many looks as we so desired. We were encouraged to use leftover fabric from any of our prior challenges for a look if we so wished. We were given a budget of $300 (it’s always 1/10 of what the designers on the show receive) though it seems unlikely any of us would spend that much. We were also given four days to complete our collection, the same as the contestants on the show.
Unlike last season’s finale, it took me no time at all to figure out my inspiration for my final collection. Spring has come very early this year, and along with seasonal allergies and having to run the air conditioner, all the flowers are out in full. And around here (Washington, D.C.) the focus is on one specific kind of flower–the cherry blossoms. If you aren’t familiar, cherry blossoms are a big deal around here–there’s even a cherry blossom festival. So that’s my inspiration. Although I haven’t been to the Tidal Basin yet this year, the trees around my apartment complex are also blooming and it is just beautiful. I took this picture just this morning:
I was very inspired by the colors of the blossoms–the white, the green, and the palest of pinks. I also liked the idea of the petals. They fall to the ground in the most gorgeous way, fluttering down on the lightest breeze. I wanted to do a collection that felt like spring–light, fresh, and airy.
Let the runway begin!
First out we have Gia, my model from last year. She is wearing a pair of tight white leggings, a pale green shell featuring scalloped hem, topped with a pale pink single-breasted coat with scalloped hem featuring white buttons.
I wanted to start the show with something I’ve never done before, a coat. I really love the look of the coat and think the buttons add such a dainty detail to the look. I also tried a new technique for drafting the leggings, and it worked perfectly. The pants fit Gia like a glove. This is the early spring outfit, when the weather is still cool enough to want to wear a jacket.
Next out we have Lys, who is wearing a strapless white cocktail dress featuring a pale pink belt and pink beaded cherry blossoms on the bodice. This garment was the “twist” look, it is made with fabric from previous challenges, specifically the excess fabric from Challenge 8: The Flag Challenge.
This look is quite simple, but I think the beaded flower details keep it from being too boring. This is the party look, showing some skin, but still a bit sophisticated.
Next down the runway is Astrid, wearing a pink sleeveless shell with the scalloped, petal-like hem and beaded neckline and a pale green pencil skirt.
I think the beading at the neckline gives this look something unique, it is almost like a built-in necklace. This look is meant to be the more professional look, something that could be worn to an office and then out for drinks afterward.
Makeda is next on the runway, wearing a long-sleeved scoop-neck shirt featuring pink “cherry blossom” beading and a pair of pale green shorts featuring the petal-like scalloped hem.
I am so happy with how the shirt turned out. The sleeves are inset perfectly, probably my best sleeves to-date. This look was meant to appeal to a younger consumer. The scallop-hem shorts are a trend item, a departure from the more classic look of the prior garments.
Next is Lina, who is wearing a pink strapless cocktail dress featuring a layered skirt meant to represent the petals of the blossoms and a wide white belt to give the eye a rest in that sea of pink.
I love the look of the layers of the skirt. I developed quite the callous trimming so many strips. This look is the “red carpet” look, a dress that is eye-catching and would photograph well.
Finally, May comes down the runway in my final look–a wedding dress. It is a white strapless gown featuring a multi-layered scallop skirt and a pale pink sash.
I think this dress is a nice culmination of the whole collection. It feels fresh and spring-like and features the techniques that define the collection–so many layers. I am really thrilled with how this look turned out.
Now, some pictures of the whole collection–I like to see all the looks together, as I feel they work nicely as a whole.
Don’t you love my risers? Yep, they’re juice glasses.
This picture amuses me greatly. Not every look is perfectly visible, but it’s so fun! I love playing with perspective.
I’m really happy with how my collection came together. Although it probably doesn’t seem like it, I used up a significant portion of my four-day time limit. With a couple of looks featuring separates, I had to draft a lot of pattern pieces, all of which were from done from scratch, except maybe the sleeves, which were based on a pattern piece I drafted previously. I tried to really conceive of this collection as whole; I wanted every look to work with every other look, have repeated techniques and themes in this collection, and make each look fit a different situation or different customer.
The Project Project Runway experience is just the best; the supportive atmosphere amongst the participants cannot be more wonderful. I love this group and all the gorgeous output we, as a whole, come up with. I appreciate and admire every single one of the other designers. There is just something so exhilarating to me about a group of people who all choose to spend their time on a project like this, sharing their hard work and encouraging others to do the same. I am very sad that another season of PPR is now behind me. My designing “muscles” have been greatly stretched, I have learned and taught myself so much, I have shared the experience with such great people. The PPR Flickr group is sure to be on fire today, so make sure to take a look. And hopefully I’ll see everyone again next season!