“Margarita brought it today!” said “Project Runway” host and judge Heidi Klum about finalist Margarita Alvarez, who delivered a vibrantly colored finale collection inspired by her Puerto Rican upbringing. Fellow judge Nina Garcia added that Alvarez was “very gutsy.” But despite catching everyone’s attention with her uncompromising point of view and delivering one of the best runway moments of the finale, she didn’t win the competition. The judges placed her fourth out of the four finalists before crowning Kentaro Kameyama as the victor. Did you agree with that decision? Watch her entire collection above, and scroll down to vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
“To go with all these prints, mixed with the other print, and then bedazzle it — it’s a lot,” said Klum, but Garcia pointed out that “the audience loved it.” Guest judge Jessica Alba added, “It was fun, it was bright, it was happy.” However, Zac Posen “was not crazy about her jumpsuit. It was like a throwaway look for me,” and he added, “This is not for everybody. This is for a person who loves the tropics” — he says that like it’s a bad thing.
“She certainly had the runway moment of the day,” Posen admitted of the instant when plus-size model Jazzmine Carthon pulled off her sarong and bared her legs in a bold swimsuit. “I think you can really feel when a woman designs for a woman and appreciates curves and bodies. I think that’s really wonderful and refreshing.”
But it wasn’t quite refreshing enough for Alvarez to win. She may have been doomed after the judges’ critiques of her two-look preview in “Finale, Part 1.” They warned her that it skewed too tropical and “Miami.” But Tim Gunn reassured Alvarez that she should commit to the integrity of her aesthetic rather than dilute it to try to appease the judges. That she did, so while she didn’t win season 16, she had some of the runway show’s most winning moments.