Three Cheers for the Winner and a Modern-Chic Look for Moms
Each time a "Project Runway" season comes to an end, I’m SO not ready to say goodbye. I’m particularly sorry to see this season of "All Stars" go because of the incredible talent that we saw. It may have been less catty than seasons past, with a few exceptions of course, but that didn’t make it any less interesting!
Any one of the final three designers could have taken the prize based on talent alone. They each have a very distinct voice and more regularly than not, this suburban mama found herself wanting to rip their designs off the models and hide them in my closet!
I mean, what girl doesn’t want to own an Uli dress or two and I definitely could handle rockin’ the gorgeous scarlet gown that Emilio designed for the couture inspired challenge….Although, where I would rock said gown is another story. Clearly, I need more black tie events in my life. Haha!
But the designer whose pieces I consistently coveted the most this season was definitely Anthony Ryan. So, to see him take home the prize was awesome, especially after watching him say that he might have to rethink whether he could keep pursuing his dream.
When I had the chance to speak with Anthony Ryan after his big win he still seemed to be somewhat in shock. I found him to be down to earth, humble and ever so grateful for the opportunities he’d been afforded thanks to Project Runway. When I asked him why he considered walking away from the design path, the Louisiana-based designer said, “I come from a state that isn't known for design. I had to work ten times harder than anyone else to get where I am. I really started to question whether I should be doing this.” Question no longer my dear Anthony Ryan…You most definitely SHOULD be doing this!
After seeing his collection, I would have been seriously surprised if he didn’t win, so I had to ask if he was confident that they were going to call his name as he was standing on the runway waiting for the announcement and he responded, “No. Absolutely not. I really thought Uli’s collection was very strong.” And right he was. It was strong. But that backless black and blue gown that he sent down the runway was nothing short of spectacular. Isaac Mizrahi had it right when he talked about Anthony Ryan’s aesthetic being so artistic. The majority of his designs really did look like wearable art!
And he’s about to have the resources to bring his art to the masses as he won the biggest prize in Project Runway history! In addition to winning $150,000 in prize money, the opportunity to design a capsule collection for Nine West, a position at Marie Clarie, a trip around the world, a technology and office suite space from HP, he’ll also receive a sewing and embroidery studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery and that was the part he was most excited about. “I can’t wait to get my hands on that Brother equipment,” he said. Those are the words of a true designer.
I have no doubt that he will do amazing things with his amazing prize! As a testicular cancer survivor, he seems more emotionally grounded than most and when I asked him if being a cancer survivor helped with the challenges that being on a show like Project Runway presented, he said, “On a stress level, I was able to handle it a little bit better. It really helped me stay cool, calm and collected. That whole ordeal has really helped me be able to channel a lot of negative stuff.” And he’s using that positivity to help others too! Anthony Ryan is currently at work on his charity Roar. According to him, “It will be focused on individuals and what obstacles life has thrown at them and what they've done to overcome them.”
With the kind of focus that Anthony Ryan clearly possesses, I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing much more about his designs and his charity!
As I’m sucker for black and blue, I used Anthony Ryan’s strongest piece, the black and blue backless gown, as inspiration for this week’s look!