INSPIRATIONS: The inspirations were as varied as the personalities of the cast of characters. They ranged from Anthony Williams' ode to joy in a down economy, retro military uniforms for Jesse LeNoir and black and white photography for Texan Amy Sarabi. There were Eastern block spy girls from Seth Aaron Henderson and futuristic space-age frocks by Ben Chmura. And then there was Jay Nicolas Sario, who said his collection spoke for itself.
TOP LOOKS: With more than 100 designs going down the catwalk editing down to just a select few is a challenge, but
we were especially smitten with Anthony Williams embellished leggings and a purple mini, which reminded me a bit of the turquoise dress he designed for Heidi Klum to wear in the April issue of Marie Claire.
ACCESSORIES: Seth Aaron Henderson had pom-pom style fur balls affixed to the heads of his models. The designer's contingent of models sported oversized gloves and thick black belts. Jesse Lenoir accented his military looks with backpacks and retro green caps that reminded us of the folded freebies you can grab for the kids at Krispy Kreme. Janeane Marie Ceccanti popped her neutral sportswear looks with bright clutches.
WHO WAS THERE: Heidi Klum, who served as master of ceremonies, along with regular judges Michael Kors; Nina Garcia; and guest judge singer/actress Faith Hill. Also: Former PR contestants Laura Bennett and Christopher Straub; "America's Next Top Model" judge Nigel Barker; and Beth Ostrosky,
WHAT WE THOUGHT: The question of who were the real three finalists was a distraction in this super-sized show. Even Hill was quoted post show saying that she would have to rely on her notes to judge the winning collections and could not remember specific looks and designers without them.
Audience sleuths may have gotten some clues in the way the individual designers greeted the audience and interacted with their models, who are part of a related reality competition linked to their contestants success. The designers who shouted out to friends, partners, and family (Sario, Williams and Sarabi) and did joyful walks down the runway with their models (Sarabi and Williams) may have tipped the audience off to their finalist hands. Or maybe not!