All bets are on Laurence Basse to win Project Runway Season 15, and not just because of her awe-inspiring ability to turn out an edgy leather jacket; she's the season's most consistent designer, not to mention, the most level-headed. She's also one of the most inspiring, although she and Roberi Parra could easily compete for this distinction. Tonight, we got to see her talent, her work ethic and her positive attitude all wrapped up into one heartwarming segment of the show. If we hadn't already been rooting for her before, we certainly would be now!
Tim Gunn visited all of the finalists this week, and he started his journey with the front-runner. She explained her basic concept for her collection — how she's going from dark to light in hopes of reflecting the trajectory of her life. Then, upon Gunn's request, she gave a more detailed rendition of her story. The short version is as follows: Basse had her daughter when she was just 16, and this caused a lot of drama with her dad. After a very difficult conversation about her pregnancy, she and her dad stopped speaking.
When her dad died, Basse internalized a great deal of guilt. The only thing that got her through all this was her effort to "find beauty in everything." Based on her collection thus far, she's managed to achieve this ambitious goal. The message of her collection is that there's always light at the end of the tunnel. Hence, the collection transitions from dark to light.
The craziest thing about Basse's meeting with Gunn was not even her story (as heart-wrenching as that was), but rather, a confession about her collection: It contains no black outfits! Black is Basse's signature color, so to see a collection that bravely departs from this is surprising. It's also a very smart move on Basse's part, because if there's one thing the judges can criticize, it's her penchant for black leather jackets.
The judges weren't quite as impressed as Gunn (who raved over the dark to light concept). They thought that, as with the other contestants, she lacked cohesion. Basse knows how to make the most of constructive criticism, so we're convinced that she'll return with a cohesive and impactful collection.
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