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FASHION: San Diego's Jesus Estrada Shows In New York

Showing in New York.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

Last week in New York City, San Diego native and Project Runway contestant Jesus Estrada, showed his Spring 2011 collection. Estrada offered 25 varied looks. From mini dresses, to suits, shorts and gowns (much of it in red, white, and blue), there was a lot to look at.

Estrada was a contestant during the seventh season of the hit TV show, only to be ejected in the forth episode, for “lack of taste.” The continued critiques on Estrada’s designs were that he never seemed to know when to stop designing, or how to edit. In an effort to push his work over-the-top, the outcome was often all show and no go.

A strong menswear look.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

Estrada’s New York show took place at the Red Bull Space in Soho. It began with a red pants suit and ended with a red gown. In the past, red for spring has been quite popular. This season, however, it’s a departure from most of the bigger designers who showed soft primary colors like yellows, corals, greens, peaches and nudes.

Other than one red knit dress by Bill Blass, red wasn’t a color on the runways. Maybe Estrada’s on to something, maybe not.

Estrada’s mens' looks were all very well tailored and fashion-forward. They were by far his strongest. The Bermuda shorts in bright blues and grays were fresh, but the white harem pants, (which are very big this season with many of the designers), were silly and basically un-wearable.

The women’s collection was not cohesive. The mix of textures seemed to fight one another. Although, he made good use of lace in a striking purple mini-dress, the lace fell flat as a center panel in a camouflage print dress. In a gray strapless dress, Estrada added a purple satin over-the-shoulder frilled band that looked like a Miss America banner.

A strapless yellow-and-black mermaid gown, complete with fish tail made of tulle, should have ended the show. But just when you thought he couldn’t go out any further on the fashion limb, out came a huge, red-cake-topper dress. Sadly, the dress was so long, that the poor model was forced to hike it up just to get down the runway without killing herself.

But the most un-successful aspect of the show were the shoes, which were designed by his brothers. Not only did they distract from the clothes, they were so badly constructed or “crafted,” that much of them fell off and pieces were left on the runway.

Project Runway may be a big help in launching emerging designers. Estrada is obviously talented and has huge potential. It’s debatable whether he was ready for New York Fashion Week; a place where a designer can’t afford not to bring their “A” game.

In an attempt to do a lot, Estrada ultimately did too much. Again.