Project Runway: Ripping the Collections – Ivy Higa
One thing we’ve learned in the years writing this blog is that fashion is experiential. Depending upon how, where and when you see it, you can have wildly different impressions of it. This collection was extremely low-key on the runway, to the point of looking a little boring to us. It wasn’t until we started putting the pictures together for this post that we realized just how pretty and stylish some of the looks are. It feels far more like a resort collection than the Spring collections normally shown this time of year. That’s her prerogative, especially since one of her more disastrous attempts during the competition was during the resort challenge. It seems that she was sending a message.
We’ve long said that producing less than impressive designs on Project Runway doesn’t make you a bad designer. It makes you a bad reality show contestant. We think this collection nicely illustrates that point. You may not like her; you may not even like this collection; but it’s tough to deny that this work is eons ahead of what she was doing during the competition.
Let’s start the show.
If we had to describe her aesthetic, we’d say it’s mostly Calvin Klein minimalism with a little bit of Carolina Hererra-style femininity thrown in. This is a very simple, but chic and pretty look with a slightly ethereal quality to it. We love. We like the double brim of the hat, but we feel like the scale is a little wrong. We’d have liked a bigger hat with this look.
It’s a perfectly fine look, but in a sea of minimalism, it would have been nice to see some sort of detail to give this look interest. She managed it in the previous looks but not here.
It’s a cute dress, but there’s something about the proportions up top that are making her look a little broad-shouldered. We like the pop of color in the middle of this pale collection, but she dropped the ball by not working it in somewhere else. She didn’t need another all-yellow look like this, but there should have been some sort of callback to this sudden infusion of color out of nowhere.
This is really cute. Again, we don’t think the hat really works with it, but the outfit has a young, urban vibe that appeals.
Again, there is such a thing as being too minimal. You’ve got ten looks to show so you should make each one count.
We think this dress is kind of adorable, but we’re not convinced it really ties in with the rest of the collection except for the color. Up till now, it’s been mostly about very clean lines and here comes this very ruffled cocktail dress. Still, it’s sweet.
We think this is a stunning gown. Truly. We don’t like the bow sash (of course) but everything else we love; the tiers, the ruffled effect, the graduating color scheme. All very pretty and romantic-looking. The problem? It’s totally out of left field, just like the cocktail dress before it. You could take those two piece and make a little mini-collection out of them but they don’t really feel right paired with the previous eight pieces.
All in all, a mixed bag but we lean heavily toward the positive. Whatever shortcomings we perceived were mostly minor. In the end, she showed a chic, understated, and very pretty collection. Is it fashion-forward? No, not at all. But wearable and covetable? Absolutely. There is most definitely a customer base for these sorts of looks.