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Any night I’m at home, between the hours of 10pm and 2am, I will watch any- any– reality show. Whether it’s “hard hitting” (Deadliest Catch, Locked Up Abroad), trashy (Daisy Of Love, Tool Academy), downright sad/boring (Groomer Has It season 2, even season 1 spinoff Beverly Hills Groomer) or fashion-related (Make Me A Supermodel, Project Runway)? AS YOU CAN TELL, I’ve seen it. It’s probably playing in the background right now.

Tonight I watched the finale of The Fashion Show, Bravo’s Project Runway doppelganger. I can’t say I’ve been glued to the season, but thanks to my trusty DVR I’ve gotten the gist. One of the most painful moments of the show was when designer Johnny R. blatantly ripped off the green leopard Lanvin that Maggie Gyllenhaal wore to the Golden Globes; watching the judges call out his carbon copy was cringe city.

Thusly, I was surprised on tonight’s finale by the glowing praise James Paul received for the over-shoe stockings in his final collection (Below).

James Paul, The Fashion Show (Bravo)James Paul, The Fashion Show (Bravo)

If you’re like me, you didn’t even need these pics (Below) to remember the stocking-meets-boot-or-vice-versa from Balenciaga S/S 2009. It isn’t like James Paul’s entire collection referenced Ghesquiere’s, but I still thought it odd that nobody brought up the comparison while applauding him for such an original idea.

Balenciaga S/S '09Balenciaga S/S '09

Personally, I thought James Paul was the most overrated contestant on the show. His first dress endeared him to me immediately and I thought I had a favorite going; he ended up trying the hardest to tell the audience how organic the design process was to him, though I felt his influences often showed directly in the clothes.

Who else caught this finale? Do you agree with me about James Paul, or am I blaspheming the next fashion visionary of our time?


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