Project Runway Season 14: Swapnil’s NYFW Collection

To say that Swapnil’s collection as the first we have to post in the dummy collection file is a disappointment is an understatement. Swapnil was one of my picks for the final three. In the earlier half of the season, he was quickly gaining steam for “most robbed contestant” every week. Tyra says it best.

tyra-rooting-for-you

But let’s be frank–Project Runway is a bizarre laboratory to work in. It’s not that unusual to see very talented designers flame out, unable to handle the weeks upon weeks of hotel living with multiple roommates, strictly enforced schedules, and difficult work environments. Many reality shows design themselves that way to create maximum meltdown potential in their contestants. It also means that a certain kind of designer who may not be talented, but can handle being an extrovert with no chances to switch off for months is more likely to win.

It’s rare that the show is willing to edit things to allow us to see when a designer is failing to handle to rigid structure of the show. I’m not sure why they chose to do that with Swapnil these past few weeks, with the endless emphasis on his smoke breaks (like the designers in other seasons haven’t smoked!) Perhaps it was to turn the audience against him and portray him as lazy? We can’t know. But we can be sure that his elimination this week over Candice’s comic cosplay piece and Ashley’s choking was more about the fact that he humiliated and insulted the highest ranking crew member put through the wringer last Thursday.

So what is the collection we won’t see on TV? Let’s check it out below.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

If you guessed this was Swapnil’s collection, you weren’t alone. The Indian influences of his culture, from the color, to the embellishments to the styling ensured that this anonymous dummy collection was anything but.

 

 

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

The dress is a little “inexpensive looking” as Nina might say. But the jacket is a stunner.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Here the styling overwhelms the design. The overlay and the necklace and the nosering are all too much for one leather crop top and belted miniskirt to handle.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

The zipped sequins are something. But the cut is something far worse.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

I really love the skirt, but again, there’s about an accessory too many on this outfit.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

I really like the sequined top and crushed chiffon pairing here, but I think the hem line is a touch high, no?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Moving into faux Sari territory, more looks like this one on Project Runway would have done him a world of good.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

This, on the other hand, feels like a frankendress.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

My favorite piece of the collection. Yes, in context, there’s a lot of embellishments. Heck, out of context, it’s still a lot of embellishments. But the soft chiffon with the leather is to die for.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  A model walks the runway at the Project Runway fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 11, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

The top is slightly phoenix-esque, but the overal look is very Swapnil. Let’s hope his time in new York manages to gain him some connections to other big named Indian designers who can take him under their wing and train him in a setting a little more suited to his pace.

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