As in, Trinidad & Tobago has finally begun to leave an indentation of itself on the global fashion industry. To call Anya a fashion warrior is most befitting…this entire season of Project Runway has been a battle of epic proportions, from dubious start to glorious finish. Lack of practical experience and technical ability as well as some incredibly vulnerable moments of self-doubt…on camera no less pitted the odds against her, and yet somehow, she triumphed.
What is for you is for you…and this win was clearly meant to be Anya’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not being biased; I have a wide spectrum of critiques of her performance on the show and her final runway colection. I mean, I’m no Nina Garcia by any stretch but I’ve followed Project Runway from its inception, and I have a very strong opinion of what I like and admire within the fashion universe. Anya’s speciality is dresses and pants. Those are her strongest design areas…or maybe her only ones. As many people noted…we haven’t seen a sleeve yet…barring a few cap sleeves as in the dress below (which I loved)
But seriously…who needs sleeves when you have creations like these in your dossier? And are sleeves even that hard to make? I don’t know…I’ve never sewn a thing in my life except for one very unfortunate glove. When you can make this:
from $11.50…then you’re a gosh darn designer, and a good one at that, to pull a win out of your rookunks when you lose all your money running around Mood.
For people like me, who seem destined to live vicariously through the success of others that have been in the game since toddlers…it’s refreshing to see someone relatively new to the industry achieve this level of success.
It shows that tenacity and determination, as well as a natural talent and eye for style (and a strong sense of personal style too) might be exacly what you need to be good, no…great at something like designing. That’s the fabulous thing about designing…all you need is a unique and strong vision and a damn good seamstress (oh and money…to buy cloth).
I’ve got an old sewing machine in a box somewhere in my home…I swear I will dig it out and try my hand at conjuring up some crop tops a la Ayoung Chee. I say that a lot though and it never happens so let’s see if this Project Runway win is what it takes to get me to stop talking about what I want to do and just do it.
Back to my thoughts on Project Runway…humility and expressing a desire to learn can never do you wrong. Anya showed the judges that she was a blank slate in terms of technique, that she was willing to do what was necessary to move forward. I think she showed the most capacity for growth and in an industry that constantly forces you to re-invent yourself…and the cloth wheel, that open-mindedness is invaluable. Her personal sense of style and her unique perspective and inspiration in terms of where she grew up (this beautiful twin republic we call home) already puts her significantly ahead of the challenges she will face. I have the utmost confidence that her personality will get her through the toughest of times.
I cannot fathom the opportunity that will now be afforded to her…and what she is going to do with it. Blessed is the person who can wake up in the morning and do what they love.
Thank you Anya for showing us all what it means to overcome adversity and challenges, and thank you for humbling those of us (myself included) who may have judged you so many moons ago. Thank you for inspiring a whole new (and old) generation of creatives. Thank you for never turning your back on this place and for keeping the accent strong (ha!) and flying the flag high in the darkest of our days.