couchsurfing PRC – the final episode

Project Runway Canada

It is the end of an era! My final couchsurfing post. I must say, taking the opportunity to watch Project Runway Canada with so many friends made this television show experience very special. Thank you so much to Susie Love, Anita Clarke, Adrienne Butikofer, Tiffanie Ing, and Janet Hill for sharing spaces on their couches with me all season! You are the best!

Big thanks to the F-List for hosting the terrific finale party last night. I had a lot of fun and I even won a door prize – $150 towards shoes from Zola. I got to watch the show with friends, Tiffanie Ing, Susie Love, Jen Foster, Andrew Sardone and Philip Sparks. After the show I met a new fashion-internet person, Julia Seidl from I hope she comes to brunch in January.

The weather from the storm on Sunday is still mucking things up in Toronto, my streetcar got stuck behind another streetcar that was stuck, and I ended up sloshing through the slush. When I arrived at Tattoo Rock Parlor, I was a bit out of breath. I met Shawn Hewson very briefly and it was a bit awkward. For some reason I did not put the right words together in time! Sorry Shawn – what I meant to say is that I loved the show and I appreciate all the hard work from all the cast and crew.

I am not the only fashion blogger reviewing PRC – check out some other reactions on Toronto Street Fashion, I want – I got, Chick Lit, Torontoist, and Canadian Beauty.

Now for the final PRC redux on Final Fashion… until next season perhaps?

The final show was a rollercoaster.

First, Brian visited the finalists to check up on the progress of their collections, and to get a feel for how they live and work. It has taken a whole season and Brian finally seems comfortable and warm, and I like him. His advice is often spot-on.

Lucian treated us to what has to be the most confident in-process collection presentation I have ever seen on any version of Project Runway. He even had mannequins! He had a set of beautiful sketches, lots of fabrics and luxe techniques to show some final garments already completed, and of course a really lovely home studio. It was apparent that he was not wasting time, and that he loves what he is doing. This segment left me really intrigued to see what Lucian would come up with, and totally impressed with his dedication.

Marie Genevieve had a set of muslins to show and some cute little sketches. I liked her industrial workspace a lot. It is safe to say I have a massive girl crush on MG. I love how she is so unapologetically herself, and how she trusts her instincts. She is an inspiration.

Biddell pretty much gave me a heart attack. He had hardly any sketches and no garments, a few fabric swatches. I felt so stressed out just watching him. I know some people work better under the wire but I do not understand how. He was staying on a friend’s couch and working on a folding table. He had no advantages and was not doing himself any favours. It seemed like hanging out with his friends was more important than fashion design. If I was Brian I would be tempted to slap him.

Then, we got to see the designers get ready for the runway show in Toronto. Lucian and Marie Genevieve are both well-organized and just making final fittings and editing their details to suit their models. Marie Genevieve seems a little less confident in her collection than she was. Biddell is still sewing outfits and making a big show of how stressed out he is. He admits to spending less than half the $8500 he was allocated on his collection. He says he did most of it in the last week. I am intrigued by what the results will be, but I am not impressed by his bluster, even if it does make good television.

Finally, the runway moment this has all been leading up to arrives! I did not see the show in person so this was the first time I have seen the collections. I was impressed by all three collections.

Lucian’s show was soooo Lucian. As always his workmanship is impeccable, his vision is confident and sure, and his looks are fantastic – almost too fantastic. I always have a hard time picturing Lucian’s garments on real women – and the exaggerated, artificial poses his models pulled did not help. The daywear pieces are overpowering, it is difficult to imagine mixing them up in a real outfit or merchandising them in a real store. I wish Lucian had gone all out with a full eveningwear collection, but regardless his collection was totally professional.

Marie Genevieve’s collection was the tightest of the three I think. You could see her ideas carry across the whole collection and it was as they say “cohesive”. It somehow managed to be very MG and also a departure from what we have seen from her before. She definitely took some risks with some of the pieces but also had some pieces that would look terrific hanging in Holt’s. There was a sense that she was restraining herself a little which was unexpected, but perhaps even Marie Genevieve is not immune from the high stakes stress. She even tears up at one point which was incredibly endearing. She is a natural.

Biddell’s collection was amazing considering that he basically pulled it out of his ass. His models really believed in it and worked it. The looks were fun and energetic, if a little bit scattered. The overarching statement was not apparent without Biddell’s explanation, and there was not any sort of unifying force other than the utter Biddell-ness of it all. He certainly did not over-think it, and in this case that was his unlikely advantage.

I was very proud of all three designers – I think they are terrific examples of Canadian talent, and put on a wonderful, world class show. My favourite to win was Marie Genevieve.

The final judging was appropriately the most intense moment of the whole season. Unfortunately Marie Genevieve was not chosen, c’est la PRC. I disagree that her collection was a one-off and not cohesive. Still, at this point the judging could have really gone any way.

Rita Silvan is moved to tears by Lucian’s collection – it seems almost too personal. Lucian was put on the defensive when Iman describes his collection as derivative of Dior.

Biddell trash talked the inspiration of other designers and was snarky towards Rita Silvan. “So what if I smoked some pot and made a green jumpsuit?” Um… so what? Iman asks him if he has the discipline, and Biddell describes himself as a lit fuse.

The discussion turned to who deserved the prize most. The two judges are split and the decision is left to Iman. Biddell’s collection was more audacious, though his attitude is obnoxious and his efforts are unfocused. Lucian’s passion and discipline were more consistent, though perhaps his designs were too consistent. Iman chooses Biddell, and based on those two collections on the runway, without any other consideration, I would agree with her.

We are all going to be watching Biddell very closely now. Will he fly?

Over all, this has to be my favourite television show of all time. Like all things Canadian, it took time to warm up to, and was full of aggravating contradictions and injustices, and yet by the end it had completely won me over. Many people around the world were watching the show and are now turned on Canadian fashion for the first time. What a terrific way to introduce the world to how talented and endearing our designers really are. I hope there is another season!

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6 thoughts on “couchsurfing PRC – the final episode”

  1. geekigirl – considering the weather and the hellish state of public transit, I don’t blame you for being lazy. I was fully committed to couchsurfing every episode so I was going no matter what.

    I can’t wait to hear about your Shawn Hewson moment.

    Jaime – thanks for the comment, PRC fans unite!

  2. Hey Danielle!
    It was great to meet you on Monday night, I love the blog!
    And yes, I am definitely in for brunches in January.
    Im also very jealous (jealous in a good way!) of your gift certificate to Zola.
    I’m excited to see what you pick out!
    Thanks for the link to my site, you are sweet.

  3. It was the best reality show ever. For people who have watched Biddell grow since he was 15 and made his own gigantic pair of overalls to start all of this it is a given that he will continue to fly. His approach has never been conventional fashion marketing so many of us hope he doesn’t get sucked in fully to the big machine. He has been as you say pulling this kind of WOW OUT OF his ass forever. His custom street couture is unmatched and with over 2000 pieces spread all over the world I’d hardly call him lazy. Young and unorganized….to have already had 3 successful shops leaving them by choice to move says a lot.
    Loved this show.

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