So near, yet so farBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Season 7 of “Project Runway” was an especially empathetic viewing experience for local TV fans, because it featured a Filipino-American finalist, Jay Sario, who almost romped off with the fashion-design tilt’s top plum.
Sario started out like a house on fire, handily winning some rounds and challenges, and serving notice that he would be a force to contend with in the remaining rounds.
True enough, he continued doing well in other challenges, revealing his versatility and thus impressing the competition’s jurors all the more.
They praised him for being able to combine artistry with popular appeal—and his technical expertise was described as superior and impressive.
For our part, as we watched Sario continuing to make a good impression, we noted that he was a very focused and meticulous worker, taking no short cuts in coming up with his visionary and yet wearable creations.
On the debit side, we observed that all of the plaudits he was getting were starting to go to his head, and he began coming up with some smug “quote-unquotes” that caused a number of the other contestants to elaborately arch their eyebrows!
True enough, by the time the tilt was down to its final four finalists, Sario wasn’t the most popular kid on the fashion block.
Still, he did make it to the “final-finals”—but, just barely: He was a “temporary” also-ran at No. 3 and 4, and he was tasked to come back with a fuller collection to compete for the coveted final third slot with his similarly promising arch-rival.
Well, to make a short story even shorter, it was his rival who was eventually tapped to go into the final-finals, where the three surviving designers each showed a 12-piece mini-collection.
“Our” bet was crushed that he failed to really make it in the tilt, but our guess is that he can still have a great career as a fashion designer. As for his rival (Mila Hermanovski), she was the first of the final-finalists to be dropped, and the top winner was a truly masterful designer (Seth Aaron Henderson) whose creations wowed both jurors and fashion mavens alike.
(Project Runway Season 7 mentioned in this column ran from January to April 2010. Replays were shown recently on ETC.—Ed)
Stars’ fave designer
At the other end of our composite story, a couple of days after the “Project Runway” finale was aired, we caught a TV feature on what Hollywood stars might decide to wear to the Oscar rites.
It featured three top designers who were supposed to be popular with celebrities—and one of them was “our” Monique Lhullier!
Yes, Monique has really made it on the international fashion scene, and she hinted that some of her gowns would be gracing the Oscars’ red carpet. Nothing new there, because past Oscar rites have been made more glamorous by her creations.
What’s the point to this piece about two Fil-Am fashion designers, one a favorite of the stars, and the other a failed “reject”?
That Monique herself didn’t have an easy time when she was starting out, so Jay shouldn’t lose heart and keep designing, hoping and knowing that his time to shine may be just around the corner—of the Oscars’ glittering and shimmering red carpet, perhaps, as early as next year!
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