Zamora scores first win on rainway
The designers faced an avant garde challenge this week — with a twist. Instead of a normal runway, their designs had to be waterproofed for a rainway, a concept new to most of them.
The first time I saw a rainway was during Yohji Yamamoto's Adidas Y-3 New York Fashion Week show in the fall of 2007, when he made it rain under the yet-to-be-developed High Line.
We were like, "What?" as we waited for staffers with umbrellas to escort us to the bleacher seating.
'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13
Episode 8: The Rainway
Inspired by the idea of rain, Hawaii designer Kini Zamora – back in town following his showing on the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week runway — set about creating an umbrella style skirt.
Once again, his main competitor was Sean Kelly, whose idea was a bit of genius, making use of the water in a way that would transform his garment. He created a very simple white dress, but poured Rit powder dyes into seams so that when water hit, it would start bleeding color.
He knew it was a risk, but one well worth taking. Even so, I thought it was somewhat derivative of the work of Alexander McQueen, who in 1999 had robots spray paint a white dress modeled by Shalom Harlow, who stood on a rotating platform so the pattern circled the dress. Now, THAT, was a remarkable moment.
Sadly, a lot of young designers today seem clueless when told they are referencing other designers because they haven't studied enough fashion history. I think if Kelly knew of McQueen's work, he might have created something other than a simple white dress to appear less like a copycat.
And although Zamora's design was new to the judges, it's been done quite frequently here, particularly by a number of University of Hawaii at Manoa design students intrigued by the folds of origami.
Zamora's finished work, made of Lycra masquerading as glossy PVC fabric, looked something like a fetish-y dominatrix Catwoman meets "Wicked" character.
Amanda Valentine confessed to liking his garment when he said, "There's something creepy about it," before adding, "I like it. I kinda wish he would design like this for every challenge."
Judge Nina Garcia called his work "sublime," and judge Zac Posen praised his "skillful hand" and technique.
In the end, the judges could not decide between Zamora's and Kelly's designs, and both were declared winners. It was a great moment for Kini, watching the episode at Pau Hana Lounge with friends and family, who cheered and toasted his win. Someone remarked, loudly, "He should have won the last four!"
Sadly, Korina Emmerich should have been sent home for her grade-school Halloween project creation, but she had immunity, so Fäde zu Grau was sent home for his sportswear look. It was deemed too simple by the judges.
Check out the video below of Alexander McQueen's "Savage Beauty" show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as video of the spraypainting robots.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.