The Project Runway Season 17 finalist Garo Sparo shows his first collection at New York Fashion Week.
Fresh off the final of Project Runway, Garo Sparo showed his first-ever fashion week collection at Klarna’s Style360 hosted by Metropolitan West. It was ten in the morning and fashionable folk and Instagram influencers were in full effect and full looks, including none other than the four of the Real Housewives of New York: Dorinda, Sonja, Ramona, and Luann. Tinsley Mortimer was notably absent from the front row but her mother Dale Mercer sat in her place. I had a standing room ticket but as assistants bustled around announcing the start of the show, I weaseled my way into the front row, directly across from the Housewives and with their cameras behind me aimed their way, documenting every reaction.
As the lights dimmed, mirrored images of a galaxy shone purples and blues and blacks throughout the space. The collection featured a healthy mix of gowns and separates all tied together with Sparo’s signature corset and impeccably rhinestoned sheer gloves of varying lengths. A look inside his Cosmic Mind reveals the vision of a sleek and cinched 1960s take on a glamorous dominatrix alien. Some styling was more successful than others. Most models wore their hair in a beehive with some donning oversized sunglasses and questionable silver earrings in the shape of a sparrow that looked straight off the rack at Forever 21. In general, the top half of the garments were pristinely tailored and adventurous, but the look below the corset was an afterthought and too safe.
The runway was inclusive in terms of models’ sizes, races, ability, age, and gender identity. Amanda Lepore, Miss Cracker of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, Yasmine Petty, and Madeline Stuart walked to cheers and applause, though their looks were more tailored to their personal brand rather than being cohesive to the mood of the collection. Tinsley Mortimer closed the show in a flashy multicolored tutu, asymmetrical silver corset, and crown to applause and screams from the RHONY crowd.
Those of us lucky enough (or famous enough) to be in the front row left the show with a tote bag of gifts on behalf of Klarna and their sponsors, including adorable Foster Grant sunglasses, an Essentia water bottle, Not Your Mother’s hairspray, a neon pink Klarna fanny pack and velvet scrunchie. When the show ended, Real Housewives filming began in full force as the camera crew charged the runway to capture the women congratulating Mortimer and Sparo on their work.