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Ryan on the Runway: PR 19, finale

Maybe this was just for the camera, but it seems like the final four designers genuinely like and support each other. Am I naive? Don't answer that.

The home visits are always fun, right? Christian started with Shatall in Miami. Her collection was inspired by a Mexican goddess of a snake with feathers. She was also inspired by the Art Deco design of Miami. I loved the yellow suit with the woven panels of fabric. Christian was impressed with the technique but hated the pale yellow color. And her husband and her little boy? Precious.

Next: Chasity in Houston. Richard said, “Ugh, I hate Houston.” Thank you for your truth. Her work was interesting but completely unfinished. She seemed to be having a little crisis of confidence. Christian encouraged her to take her wild ideas and make them 100%. We saw her two daughters, her fiancé, her sister, and her mother. I got teary when her older daughter talked about how proud she was of her mother. Oh yes.

Off to Los Angeles and Coral. Christian loved some of the pieces but felt she needed to do more than macramé, he thought the judges would be expecting that and she needed to do something new and different. Her son made a little appearance and of course he was very handsome.

His last visit was Kristina in Queens. She was very methodical and deliberate in her process. She decided what her silhouettes would be, made photos of the twelve outfits, made some digital prints from photos of poppies and celery, and paired the fabrics with the outfits. She made Christian a celery juice and he was not into it. He said, “It tastes exactly how I thought it would taste.”

The four of them came back to New York. Coral said, “This is better than a dream!” They showed off their collections to each other and they were all wonderful and complimentary. The model casting was fun. No fighting, no pulling of hair. Christian looked at the looks on the models. Chasity had a lot of work to do - - beading to finish, hems to make, zippers to put in. What was she doing at home for three months?

Hair and makeup, product placement, yadda yadda. Christian told Kristina she could NOT send exposed boobies out on the runway. He encouraged Shantall to do something to sex it up, her collection was looking too Going to the Office. He asked Coral to be thoughtful about the order of the models. And he got Chasity to think about using an outfit that wasn’t a beaded gown.

Backstage at the show! Always so exciting! Shantall decided a red dress looked better on the model than a grey dress. She didn’t want to eliminate the grey dress, so she decided to wear it herself! Love it!

Christian announced that Elaine Welteroth was unable to be there, so the guest judge was Tommy Hilfiger.


Thank God she made the little bra for that white chiffon dress. The movement of the fabrics was divine. I wasn’t convinced by the hot pink jacket with the orangey red flower in the dress, I thought those colors together were blech. I thought the hot pink gown had too much going on. I loved the white gown with the molded bodice and the giant poppy on the skirt. The final look on the Hoverboard was a dream - - it wasn’t a gimmick, it was elegant and special. Richard asked, “Is this music something?” I didn’t recognize it, but thought it sounded like Stravinsky: The Dance Remix.

The judges: Nina thought show look was theatrical and conceptual. Brandon was not into the Hoverboard. Brandon liked the prints and said she had a good eye for styling. Tommy thought the prints were limiting, that the would not sell. Tommy also said her looks were relevant for today, but would they be relevant tomorrow?


The opening jacket dress was fabulous. The red pantsuit: fabulous. The black knee-length dress was deceptively simple, so beautifully cut, very Balenciaga. The grey suit was sharp. Love that she cut open the sleeves on the red pants outfit. The grey dress on the plus-size model, marvelous. I loved that her collection was so pants-heavy. The black gown with the long coat should have been the final look, incredible. The final black dress, very femme fatale. Her collection had lots of variety and yet was so cohesive.

The judges: She chose my favorite look to present to the judges. Tommy was impressed with the work, he said he didn’t know how she could sew it. Nina: “I was very impressed with the grey suit. Those pants mesmerized me.” She said, “Those clothes had elegance.” Nina said her motifs could be expanded.


The opening look: the skirt was too short and the front was too open. I liked the second look better, it was more tasteful. My favorite look was the beaded sheer jumpsuit with the big ruffled coat. The black gown with the blue ruffle, that was a red carpet look. But the collection on the whole was not as impressive as I wanted it to be. It was all too similar, it didn’t have a lot of impact.

The judges: She chose my favorite look to present to the judges. Brandon said her aesthetic was very HER. Tommy felt the ruffled pants were too heavy but Brandon said he would wear them on Instagram. Nina felt there was too much beads and ruffles.


I loved what SHE had on! Great choice to lead with the male model. Her warrior goddess concept was so interesting: hard and soft, delicate and powerful. I liked the white dress with the red highlights, the way it was pieced together was fascinating. The final look had me in tears! It was so powerfully Mexican but still modern and high fashion. The strongest single look in any of the four collections.

The judges: Brandon pointed out that her peers gave her a standing ovation. He loved that she opened with a man. He said the collection was “laced with soul.” Tommy felt that the tailoring was one idea and the macramé was another idea. Maybe two separate ideas? Tommy loved her mixture of indigenous influences and couture. Tommy asked Nina what she would buy and she mentioned three pieces!

The winner was Shantall! Don’t forget: she got the Siriano Save! She was almost sent home! And her collection was extraordinary. Brava to her.

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