Philly designer makes most of 'Runway' win

Posted: April 04, 2008

Talk about squeezing out every last bit of mileage . . .

Project Runway's season one winner (and Philadelphia University instructor) Jay McCarroll stars in the documentary Eleven Minutes, which recounts his experience creating his spring '07 Transport collection.

Project Runway premiered four years ago. The collection debuted almost two years ago. Spring '07 has come and gone.

Give it a rest, already.

Viewers get to see McCarroll stressing over shoes arriving late, making jewelry on a budget, inviting celebrities, and filling goodie bags.

He doesn't, however, talk about why he turned down the $100,000 he was awarded for winning Runway, and relies on funding from the Humane Society. And he glosses over how he botched a potential sale with Philadelphia's Urban Outfitters, part of the reason his clothes weren't available last spring.

We watch McCarroll fumble, curse and fumble again, until the grouping of flouncy silhouettes in rainbow colors hit the runway. (I forgot how much I liked the collection, especially a clear, polka-dot raincoat.) But it's a slow go, whose only saving grace is McCarroll's authenticity, which is why we'll always have a soft spot for him.

Part of the problem is that McCarroll's creative endeavors have been filmed from his Runway designs to his disastrous attempt to design a dress for Runway hostess Heidi Klum to his Eleven Minutes journey.

That's got to be tough. McCarroll needs to design without the lights of the film crew. Maybe then he can make the leap, as he says, from "reality-TV designer to real designer."

Eleven Minutes *1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Michael Selditch. With Jay McCarroll. Distributed by Maximin Vacuum.

Running time: 1 hour, 46 mins.

Parent's guide: No MPAA rating (profanity, crude language)

Playing at: Prince Music Theater tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. and Monday at 5 p.m.

Contact fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington at 215-854-2704 or

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