To no surprise, I was quite impressed with Erin's collection. It was not quite up to par with the designs she made throughout the season, but still impressive. Most of the looks featured plexiglass ornamentation that she cut and hand-sewed, which gave her designs extra sparkle.
Her first preview look was a darling neoprene dress. It suited her style completely, and I loved that she paired it with the blue strappy flats.
(I do love the clutch. Michael Kors thought it was stupid, but give me a quirky hand-painted clutch and I'm a happy girl.)
Laurence's collection was not remotely what I expected from her. She had very few leather pieces, and her color palette was far softer than anything she's made throughout the season. I understand her desire to take a departure from her usual aesthetic, but she might have strayed too far away from her strengths.
Her first look was fresh and young, but as Michael Kors pointed out, a little too much like lederhosen.
I have very mixed feelings about Roberi's collection. He described his collection as being "personal" and inspired by "confusion," but he was never really able to explain what that meant or how he was translating that into his designs. He was certainly in a better place after his visit from Tim, but I'm not sure how his collection as a whole is going to work out.
His first look was pretty, and I liked the unexpected matte-quilted top with the iridescent skirt. The judges didn't like his styling with the sneakers, but I think it works and keeps the look unexpected and sporty.
I liked Rik's collection a lot more on the rack than I did walking down the runway. He had three distinct points to his collection: black and white pieces, colorful leather pieces, and printed denim pieces. On the rack, he mixed and matched them expertly, but showing them without context to the judges made his collection look wildly incohesive.
The first look, plain and simple, reminded me of a Stormtrooper body suit from Black Milk. I like the print design, I liked the idea of it, but it was just a LOT. The glasses were cool, but in this look it just added to the futuristic vibe, which isn't exactly what he was going for. This is definitely a look that will require some editing.
I think it's fair to say that Laurence is out of the running. Erin has been my longtime favorite, but Roberi also has a special place in my heart and Rik's collection is a major contender. The next few days will be critical to determine who comes out on top!!