Best Party Looks
They Should Have Changed...
Ruth Negga in Valentino and Oscar de la Renta
Red is a tough color to wear on the red carpet because the reds can easily clash, and Ruth's Valentino gown was one of the worst. The mass of red blew out on camera, and the full-coverage of the gown was overwhelming on her small frame. She looked like a Victorian vampire. The Oscar De la Renta, on the other hand, was the perfect note of formal and whimsical. It's a sculptural, unique work of art.
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
Dressing Alicia Vikander can be difficult because of how tiny she is - bodice proportions don't always work for her, and the long waist of the weird Spanish flamenco gown she wore on the red carpet just wasn't flattering. I don't really know if that many lace ruffles would look good on anyone, really, and styled with a high bun and a glitzy diamond necklace, the whole look was just wrong. Her after-party look was elegant, mature, and styled to perfection.
Dakota Johnson in Gucci
I understand the concept of wearing two looks by the same designer, but I don't know how anyone could look at Dakota's first gown and be remotely okay with it. I'm not thrilled with the super-shiny satin in either look, but the red carpet gown looks like she pulled her grandmother's yellowed wedding gown out of the attic. The party look, at the very least, has a breath of skin and, well. Looks like it's from this century.
Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein
I can be lenient toward a tea-length gown at the Oscars, but a dress at the knee simply isn't appropriate, and paired with a weirdo miss-matched shoe, the whole look was off. It would have been a better move to wear the gown on the carpet and the short dress at the party.
Leslie Mann in Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera
I have a hard time believing that Zac Posen designed this yellow Beauty and the Beast monstrosity. It's rumpled and crunched and the draping looks like a bad prom dress. The nude Carolina Herrera is so much more elegant and airy.
Photos from EOnline, Harpers Bazaar, CNN, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and PopSugar.
Best in Black and White
Best in Color
All images from eonline.com, The Indian Express, and usmagazine.com.
Best Blues and Yellows
All photos from eonline, popsugar, and vogue.
This season's finale was not remotely what I expected. All of the designers had work to do after their preview with the judges, and it seemed like anyone would be able to pull something great off and make it work for the win. Some of the designers surprised and impressed me, others were severely disappointing.
Let's jump right into it.
Laurence's collection suffered from Kini Syndrome: that thing where you do fantastic work the entire season and then your collection is completely unlike anything you've made that the judges loved.
I understood her desire to take a departure from black, and I think the neutral color palette was fine, but there wasn't a single piece on the runway that stood out or made me say WOW. Some of her fans have stated that "if 'sparkle' was required in order to win, that should be a stipulation from the judges before the designers make their collections," and I see the point of that, but at the same time you have to understand that NYFW is a SHOW, and everything you make needs to stand out under flashing lights. Laurence just didn't get that.
To no surprise, her best pieces were in leather. I loved the olive color and her stitching work on the back of both her jumpsuit and her short sleeved jacket were DIVINE. I simply wish she had done more to play with this strength, because only two of her pieces featured it.
Laurence's pearl-detailed tops were also a favorite of mine, although photographs hardly do them justice. Her attention to detail, again, was phenomenal, but if you can't see it on camera it won't put you on the map.
I was glad Laurence edited her lederhosen romper to feature more leather. It elevated the overall look and became a very cute, fresh piece. That said, her styling was a little basic and boring. Most of her models had no accessories at all, and with a piece this simple something extra is needed to amp it up.
Unfortunately, I think most of Laurence's separates were throw-away pieces. Her chiffon tops were literally nothing, her pants, while beautifully tailored, were pretty basic and too ready-to-wear for a fashion show. I could buy most of her pieces off the rack tomorrow.
As she got into her white "finding the light" moments, any detail that might have been there got lost in the whiteness of the white. It has been said many times on Project Runway that an all black or all white collection is a bad idea because detail gets lost, and I don't know how long it's going to take for designers to take note.
And then, of course, there was Laurence's finale look. What. On earth. Is this.
Is it a swimsuit? Is it lingerie? Is it supposed to resemble a mermaid? Why is there an ARROW POINTING TO HER WHO-HA??
Especially given Laurence's clear ability to display a classy, elevated taste level, this look was unprecedented and disturbing coming from her.
Overall, it was quite clear that Laurence was going to be an easy cut. She had so much potential and she just didn't live up to everyone's expectations.
Rik's collection surprised me the most in the best way possible. Going into the final four, I didn't really think he belonged with the other designers, but he absolutely proved me wrong. His collection was quirky, cool, stylish, and unlike anything we've seen over the years.
I was thrilled that he took the judges' advice to have his models show a little more skin and let them breathe. His collection already had enough going on, and the results were fantastic.
Rik's black and white pieces were really strong. His last-minute black dress with his signature paisley applique was genius, and his printed top, followed by his stunning leather jacket showed incredible range within a color story.
The way Rik transitioned the black and white into his denim pieces was flawless. I adored his printed trench coat and vest, and I WANT THAT BOMBER JACKET MORE THAN ANYTHING.
The yellow leather vest with the printed denim pants was a great transitional look and also showcases the full range of Rik's technical abilities.
It was very wise of Rik to take the judge's advice on the next two looks. Shortening the jumpsuit and adding a cool leather weekender brought it to a completely different level, and adding the paisley logo to the tiny bag made the bag + dress combo look elevated instead of junior.
Rik's finale dress suffered the same issue as Laurence - the white just didn't showcase the detail under the lights. That said, his styling with the glasses and the booties brought a pretty white dress into a punk arena, and it was a great ending to a wonderful show.
After seeing Rik's collection I thought he had it in the bag...until I saw Roberi.
I was so nervous for Roberi after the preview, but he TURNED IT OUT. There were very few looks that I had any complaints about, and he created a unique, creative, lovely collection.
Roberi's first look INSTANTLY had me hooked. He created it in a day and that skirt is, was, and will always be everything to me. I want it. I need it.
I was surprised that Roberi didn't really edit the looks from his preview with the judges following their comments, but in the context of the collection as a whole, they worked fine. The separates look definitely benefited from shortening the skirt, and both looked better with the orange shoes.
I'm very happy that some of the separates look in his preview got utilized in his collection. This utilitarian coat was FABULOUS, and paired with another shiny skirt was a genius decision that I never would have thought of.
A lot of people complained that the purple dress was disconnected from the rest of the collection, but I adored it. It reflected the classic styling he showed throughout the whole season: ageless, timeless, and beautiful.
Roberi's more casual denim looks were just as strong as the rest. The dip-dyed denim pants were phenomenal and I want them immediately; pairing them with another phenomenal quilted top and a cool jewel-toned cardigan seemed disjointed but somehow all worked together. The shape of his denim jacket was gorgeous and I loved that he kept the theme of pairing the utilitarian style with a pretty, shimmery dress.
The feather dress was stunning, and I never would have thought it would make any sense paired under a printed track jacket, but it was SO BEAUTIFUL.
I was also thrilled that Roberi got to showcase his macrame technique again. The dress, while a beautiful fabric, was a little too simple when he showed it to Tim, but with the threaded overlay it was transformed into something completely unique and lovely.
Roberi's finale look was the only real weak point of the collection, which definitely isn't the place you want to have a weak spot. The top is glorious, but the skirt is a bit sad and drab. If he had used his shimmery fabrics to create an explosive ballgown skirt, I would have declared him the winner in a second.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's just a finale skirt that can cost you the win.
You all know that I have been on Team Erin since episode one, and after the judges preview I thought she would turn her collection into something brilliant, but on the whole I just wasn't digging it. She made so many better things throughout the season, and while some of her pieces were good and you could argue she's more of a "visionary," her collection definitely wasn't better than Roberi's.
So let's break this down:
Erin's first look, which should ideally be one of your strongest, was incredibly weak. Pairing an orange top with a tomato red skirt just looks like a mistake - like she was trying to match, but it was too dark in her workroom. Normally I love her applique details, but the plexiglass on the skirt just isn't impressive. The top could have been fine with a different bottom, but this outfit as a whole just doesn't work.
I was glad Erin kept her original print, but the bikini-style top didn't really fit with the style of the rest of her collection, and the pants were just...nothing. Way too simple for her out-there style.
Erin's third look was one of my favorites. The gold had great runway impact, and the fact that it was hand-painted added a great "Erin" touch. That said, the print was so small I'm not sure her efforts were completely realized.
Erin only made minor adjustments to her separates look from the preview; she shortened the skirt a bit and swapped out the shoes, which improved it dramatically. She left the neoprene dress alone, which was a good choice.
I was glad that Erin was able to salvage more of her original print, and her next flirty dess was the kind of design I would have liked to see more of. Creative prints, flattering solids, and textured details are all a part of Erin's signature, and the "moody designer feelings" bag was super cheeky and cute.
...and then this weirdo look happened. The stiff, shiny fabric didn't have nearly the same effect as Roberi's flowy styles, especially in the midi length, and a matchy-matchy shoe is never a great idea. I like the brown top on its own, but with the rest of the outfit it just doesn't work.
The pink coat look was another one that was definitely an Erin signature, but like some of her coats throughout the season, she could have taken out half the volume and it would have been just as good, if not better.
...and along came this atrocity. Erin made this top in the 24 hours before the show, and I don't know why for the life of me. I get that she felt the need to add another separate, but this is NOT the right one. Does anyone remember Sandaya's American Girl challenge look? Do we not notice the resemblance? It's a ridiculous clown costume, end of story.
Annnnd we end with the banana look. I actually don't mind it as much as some people did; I would definitely wear the jacket with a white tee and jeans. The look reflected a lot of the items she made before the season began and I think it reflects her aesthetic well. I wish she hadn't put it with such a throwaway top underneath, but all in all it was funky and fun.
So who do you choose as a winner? Erin, the season favorite who can create masterful pieces but had a hit-and-miss collection, or Roberi, the underdog of the season who brought forth brilliance in his final show?
Obviously we have no way of knowing what led to the judges' final decision, but it must have come down to this:
If you're judging based the NYFW collection alone, Roberi should have won. He had more interesting pieces and more successful looks overall. If you're judging based on on the body of work throughout the season, Erin had it in the bag, hands down.
However the judges came to their choice, they chose Erin. I've been saying I thought she should win from episode one, and I wish I could be a little more excited about it - Roberi put up quite a strong fight.
But I am happy for Erin, truly. She has an aesthetic the world has never seen, and I'm excited to see what she has in store!
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
At this point in the season, the final challenge has ended. The weeks have gone by, the designers have created their collections, they have consulted with Tim, and they have returned to New York. There is only one stop left on their journey: a preview with the judges so they can revise and adjust their collections in the final few days before Fashion Week.
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.
Her second look needed a little help. The print of the dress was a collaborative design that she created with a friend, and I understand why she loved it and wanted to keep it, but the flowy maxi style simply didn't work in the context of the whole collection. I think if she breaks it up and creates a top to go with a different bottom, or a skirt to go with a solid top, she'll be in better shape.
(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.)
Erin's third look needed some styling help. The judges didn't like her top, but I appreciated the weaving technique in the arms and I think she should keep it. The skirt with the top, however, doesn't quite work. If she shortened the skirt into a mini and added the blue shoes from the first look, it might work better.
Overall, I think Erin's styling needs adjusted. If she swaps out a few tops and bottoms, I think she'll be in good shape.
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 liked the jacket in the second look (though I should mention that my mother hates it with a burning passion because she thinks it looks like her grandmother's couch) but the ill-fitting mint green pants are horrifying, and the jacket without a top underneath is too much of an early 2000s throwback.
I desperately want Laurence to swap out the shorts from her third look to coordinate with jacket in the second look. Overall, her third look was my favorite, and the pearl detail on the shirt was divine. That said, you really can only see the detail up close, and I'm not sure it will have effective runway impact.
I think Laurence is in the same position as Erin in terms of switching up her separates, but her color choices might have blown her chance at winning already.
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 like the idea of mixing the utilitarian vest with a fancier top/skirt, but the second look wasn't my favorite. I appreciate the quilted top and the vest, but the skirt fabric reminds me of a cheap Barbie outfit, and the proportions are definitely off.
Roberi's third look was by far the most wearable and definitely my favorite, but of course, it was the judge's least favorite so it's probably going to be scrapped. I still want it, though. It's so Anthropologie. I can't. GIVE IT TO ME, ROBERI.
I think Nina is right about Roberi: his strengths lie in unique, effortless, lovely clothes, and his fabric choice was a little too try-hard. If he, like Erin, swaps out some of his tops and bottoms and perhaps adds a few new pieces, I'll be pleased. I'm a little worried for him because he seems very stuck in his current vision, but hopefully with a little more guidance from him he'll be okay.
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.
The leather dress was my favorite, though I wish it were a touch longer for wearability (on me, it would be a top, not a dress.) The judges took issue with the size of the purse, but I thought it was cute and could easily be swapped into a different look if necessary.
I don't think the judges gave Rik remotely enough credit for creating this print. I totally agree that his model could use a little more skin, but beyond that, I liked this look a lot and I appreciate his creativity. He has quite a few pieces with the same print, and I'm excited to see the rest come together in his collection.
The judges were pretty critical of Rik, but I think he'll be fine. If he shows some more skin and makes some alterations, he'll be in great shape.
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!!
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
This was the LAST EPISODE to determine which four designers will show at New York Fashion Week. Surprisingly, it was yet another unconventional challenge, but with a twist:
Create a high-fashion look using unconventional materials from small-town shops in Austin, Texas. As a last-minute addition, create a companion piece using fabric from Mood.
My Favorites (in order from top to bottom):
1. Erin Robertson
Erin took a HUGE risk with her unconventional materials by making a flower treatment with melted guitar picks and DRIED MEALWORMS. Yes, you read that correctly. Mealworms. On a dress. But Erin being Erin, she spray painted them gold and they turned into magic. The shape of the skirt balanced out the top and the open back gave the look a breath of fresh air.
Erin's companion look had the same fun energy as the first, and I could absolutely see them both in a resort collection together. The frayed chiffon edges were super cute, and the overall look was sweet and flirty.
2. Roberi Parra
Roberi's unconventional look doesn't come across well in photographs, but up close it is genius. He knotted each thread of this piece until his hands literally bled, and I would have loved to see how this look would have progressed even further had he had more time to work on it. The skill level is incredible, and his talent clearly shone through.
While Roberi's companion look didn't resemble his unconventional look at all in terms of fabrication, the shapes and the curves were what kept it cohesive, and I adored his pattern mixing. If he does anything like this in his finale collection, I'll be very happy.
3. Laurence Basse
Laurence, of course, was drawn to leather bridles and horse harnesses, but she managed to make them feminine and soft by mixing them with paper and bird seed. It definitely was a departure from her usual tough leather jackets and refreshing to see.
I enjoyed Laurence's conventional look a lot more than the judges. Perhaps it's because I have a special place in my heart for mustard yellow clothing, but I just think it was a really pretty dress with interesting detail. If she had the time to improve the construction, it would have been a really wonderful piece.
4. Rik Villa
Rik's unconventional look was very chic and beautifully made. I didn't fully understand how this look reflected inspiration from Austin, but in general as an unconventional look, it was stylish and impressive.
Rik's companion look was significantly less exciting. The cut was simplistic, and the distressing of the tweed, while a signature of Rik's, looked sloppy in this context and didn't match the sleek nature of the unconventional dress. All in all, though, his design aesthetic is clear and he definitely deserved to go to fashion week.
5. Cornelius Ortiz
Cornelius' look wasn't bad, but at this point in the competition it simply wasn't good enough to make the cut. The paper cut-outs looked like a craft project and weren't fully integrated into his design.
His companion piece was actually quite pretty and something that I definitely would wear, but it doesn't meet the qualifications of the challenge. It isn't elevated enough to be high fashion, and it doesn't coordinate well enough with his unconventional look.
At the end of the day, sending Cornelius home was a good choice. He's only really made one good outfit this entire season, and in comparison to the other four designers, he didn't deserve to go to fashion week.
I CANNOT WAIT to see what the final four designers make for their final collections!
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
This might be one of the few challenges in which I 100% agreed with the judges picks for top and bottom, in the same order. It's almost like they listened to me and finally got it right! ;)
Create an avant-garde look with unconventional materials as a fusion challenge inspired by Lexus.
My Top 3:
1. Erin Robertson
Erin's ability to use random materials to create beautiful, feminine things is so incredible, and her floral treatment was no exception. The "paper doll" inspiration was really creative and unique, and it takes a very talented designer to send a topless model down the runway who still looks completely modest. And can we talk about the model's styling? The whole effect was so feminine and dreamy, and she succeeded in creating an avant-garde fantasy. I cannot. I am obsessed. ERIN IS BACK!!!!!
2. Rik Villa
While this wasn't the most avant-garde design in the world, Rik's use of unconventional materials might go down as one of the best in Project Runway history. The way he sculpted the tile sheets on the shoulder and the back was extraordinary, his beading treatment was remarkable, and overall, the wear-ability and structure of his garment was incredible.
3. Roberi Parra
Roberi was inspired by the Lexus for this challenge, and I definitely think Lexus could use this in their advertising. His use of the unconventional materials was very successful, the look was futuristic and avant-garde, and his styling was spot-on.
My Bottom 3:
1. Mah-Jing Wong
Mah-Jing was on the right track with his copper details, but unlike Erin, who took metal pieces and made them into a cohesive, avant-garde piece, Mah-Jing's just looked stuck on to a basic denim dress, and their weight led to fit and construction problems. It wasn't a terrible idea, but it just wasn't good enough at this point in the competition.
2. Cornelius Ortiz
This definitely wasn't the best use of unconventional materials, nor was it all that avant-garde, but it wasn't the worst. I think I was more disappointed with this because after Cornelius' phenomenal dress last week, everything else that isn't as phenomenal looks a thousand times crappier. Plus there's the fact that due to my many years as a babysitter, it reminded me a little too much of the vacuum from Teletubbies. A dark, disturbing Noo Noo.
3. Laurence Basse
If this was a normal unconventional materials challenge this would be fine, but as an avant-garde challenge it missed the mark. It looks exactly like everything else Laurence has ever made, and the proportions are really off. Not the worst of the bunch, but not her best work.
So let's give a shout out to QUEEN ERIN being back on the top!!
And can we give her some mad props for wearing a top that matches her avant-garde design? Killing it.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
THE CHALLENGE: Be inspired by the aerial view of New York City to create an editorial look for a powerful woman. The winning look will be featured in Marie Claire magazine.
My Top 3:
1. Cornelius Ortiz
This is 100% the best thing Cornelius has ever made, and it 100% fit the bill for the challenge. He was inspired by shapes he saw from the aerial view of New York to create the style lines, and this is definitely a powerful look for a powerful woman. I love that this dress is completely ageless, and I think it would be great for an editorial in Marie Claire. I want it and my mom wants it, which is hard to achieve, and his execution and styling was spot on.
2. Rik Villa
This look wasn't perfect, and I agree with the judges that it would have been nicer had the draped fabric continued on the back, but Rik deserves mad props for creating such a beautiful textile, and I could definitely see this photographing beautifully in a Marie Claire spread.
3. Mah-Jing Wong
Like Rik's look, this wasn't perfect by any means. The patterning of the boobs was placed too high, and some of the tweed stretched in weird places. That said, this is probably the most creative dress Mah-Jing has made, the fabrication was interesting, and I appreciate his aesthetic take on what a "powerful woman" should look like.
Honorable Mention: Erin Robertson
This is not my favorite look of Erin's, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the looks she's made the past few weeks. The color story was bright and fun, and the "business-on-top, party-on-bottom" design was creative and chic. It looks like Erin is making a comeback!!
My Bottom 3:
1. Nathalia JMag
There really isn't anything positive to say about this look. Nathalia decided that a "powerful woman" needed to be a futeristic superhero, and the result looked like cheap, poorly made student work. After her inexcusable proportions last week and her poor showing this week, I think it was definitely justified for the judges to send her home.
2. Dexter Simmons
There are so many things wrong with this look. To start, his jacket was an exact re-creation of his jacket from week 7 that the judges all hated. Second, he spend all his time on the jacket and his dress ended up simply being a single drape of fabric with arm holes. To top it all off, the only interesting design feature was the model's lingerie, which Dexter didn't even make - the model brought it herself. In a design competition, you can't put all your eggs in one jacket (yeah? see what I did there?) and expect it to go well for you.
3. Laurence Basse
I was really shocked that the judges didn't rake Laurence over hot coals for this. Sure, she did some nice leatherwork in the waistband, but a touch of good leatherwork just isn't enough at this point in the competition. The back of this dress is a design feature she's done before, and the bottom is just way too short. As a whole it looks like a really cheap homecoming dress, and Laurence can do so much better.
So in the end, Nathalia went home.
AND DEXTER WENT HOME, TOO.
This was the most deserved double elimination ever, and I couldn't have been more thrilled to see Sassy Pants Diva Dexter go home.
AND, I couldn't be more happy about Cornelius winning the challenge, which as you know, is never, EVER something I thought I would say. This was a much needed redemption after Tim used his Tim Gunn save.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
Create a look for a friend/family member who is creating a "new start" for themselves. The designer and the client will receive $25,000 EACH to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
My Top 3:
1. Roberi Parra
Roberi’s friend was an aspiring graphic designer who wanted a dress to wear at art showings and industry events, and I couldn't think of a dress that's any more perfect for an artist. It’s graphic and modern but also sweet, which is hard to achieve and it was executed brilliantly. I want this dress. I want this dress. I want this dress.
2. Rik Villa
While Roberi's look was my personal favorite, I completely support the judges' choice of Rik as the winner. His mom is returning to school to earn a promotion in management, and this look fits the bill perfectly. It's well proportioned, flattering, professional, and sweet. I love that he incorporated a bit of his heritage with the white stitching, and the fact that Rik is using his prize money from the win to pay back his mom for loaning him money for school and his studio space is totally heart warming.
3. Erin Robertson
Erin was in the bottom for this look, and I agree with the judges on the fact that it was a winter coat with a spring dress, however, as someone from the mid-west who frequently has to wear winter coats on Easter, there's a sense of practicality to that situation that works for me. The construction of the dress could have been improved, but we would sell this style at Anthropologie in a second, and it's still a very special piece.
My Bottom 3:
1. Jenni Riccetti
Jenni definitely deserved to go home. She purchased maroon fabric that would have made her pants look more sophisticated, but even that wouldn't have saved her look overall. It simply wasn't appropriate for a preschool director in any capacity, and she missed the mark of the challenge.
2. Nathalia JMag
Nathalia's look was well intentioned, and the idea of a coat for travel was a good idea for her "client," but the proportions swallowed her and the whole thing was poorly made. If she doesn't turn it around next week, she's going home for sure.
3. Mah-Jing Wong
The judges put this look in the top, and I can't fault Mah-Jing for creating a look that embodied exactly what his mom wanted. She's starting a record label and wanted a powerful look that made her feel like a warrior. That's definitely what Mah-Jing created, but I just can't get behind it as a look. Her legs looked like toothpicks coming out from the coat and it looked like a costume to me.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com
We all know how the last team challenge went, and given how poorly most of the designers have been doing lately, I was ready for this team challenge to be another disaster. Much to my surprise and delight, this episode ended up being one of my favorites!
In 3 teams of 3, create a 3-piece collection inspired by one of Sally Beauty's new fall color concepts: New Neutrals, Tones of Blue, or Red Violet.
As an added twist to this challenge, the collections were shown to the public, and the winner of the public vote earned a 20% boost to their final judges' scores.
Team Tones of Blue
This team won the judges final vote, and I can completely understand why. Thier fabric choice and cohesive aesthetic earned the top spot, and it was well deserved!
Laurence's look was a little funky in the proportions, but it won me over with a cool, relaxed vibe that couldn't be overlooked. The "Chanel-in-Front, Tuxedo-in-Back" jacket was so unusual and yet completely wearable, and any girl could leave the house in this look feeling confident.
This look is one of the best things Rik has made on the show so far. I thought his dress was a little too basic, and Tim Gunn expressed the same concern, but in the end, with the coat and with proper styling, it became easy and effortless. I’m not a plaid girl in the least, but the style lines of this coat make it very desireable.
ROBERI’S LOOK WAS MY ABOSULTE FAVORITE. It might be one of my favorite Project Runway looks ever, and I want every piece in my closet right now. It had a little touch of punk, but in a subtle, classic way that could allow for many women of any age to appreciate each piece. He TOTALLY deserved the challenge win!
Team New Neutrals
This team earned the public vote, which surprised me because the public perception of browns and neutrals isn't usually very positive, but their chic sportswear styling ended up being their saving grace! I appreciated that the team mixed and matched their pieces to create an aesthetic that merged their styles.
Jenni's popcorn sweater with Nathalia's pants were a great combination. The wide-leg pants give the vibe of a work look, but the sweater allows it to be a little more casual to take it out of the office as well. The "popcorn" detail on the sweater shoulders were genius, and added great textural details.
Nathalia's coat paired with Mah-Jing's dress was brilliant. What other wise could have read as a boring, potato-sack dress was transformed into a luxurious, expensive looking outfit. The touch of denim at the waist and neckline was a great way to break up the neutral tones.
While I personally would never wear Jenni's leggings because my booty would make a cry for help (and honestly, they aren't that flattering on the model either,) I appreciate the cut out knees and the seam lines to add some interest, and adding the bomber jacket gave the look a cool, "after school" feeling.
Team Red Violet
This team had all the advantages in the world, and they didn't use any of them. "Red Violet" meant they could have incorporated pinks and purples, and their collection could have been a glorious jewel-toned moment. In addition, red is an action color, which makes the public far more likely to vote for them. Instead, Dexter decided their collection needed to be "punk," and their battle was fought and lost at Mood with their fabric choice.
I've been no fan of Cornelius, but I really felt sorry for him. He had to help finish Dexter and Erin's looks, and as a result, his own work suffered. His jacket isn't bad, but the closure in the front looks like a strip of duct tape from afar, and his pleated skirt (which I don't entirely blame him for, since Erin designed it,) was poorly made due to his time constraints. Overall, it's just too red-on-red-on-red to be successful.
Dexter's look wasn't the worst, but no woman would ever wear it due to the bra issue in the front, and for a design competition it really wasn't that difficult to make. If this was all he was going to contribute, he should have been more of a help to his team, and the fact that his design aesthetic was responsible for the other looks makes it even less excusable.
Erin’s coat saved this collection, and Cornelius was on track with breaking up his suit and putting his skirt with Erin’s look. I was a little pissed that the coat was basically all Erin made, but it was the most successful look overall.
Team Red Violet’s critique was a train wreck, but an expected train wreck. Dexter made a trillion excuses as to why they had a disadvantage, Dexter and Erin blamed Cornelius for everything, and Cornelius took the heat for not standing up to his team members. Even though Dexter was responsible for the collection aesthetic and Erin made a lot of the design decisions, Cornelius was sent home.
Tim used his Tim Gunn save. ON CORNELIUS.
I have given Cornelius a lot of crap this season, and that crap has been well deserved in my opinion, but I agree with Tim. In this case, on this week, he did not deserve to go home. Tim stood up to the judges and told them Dexter and Erin were the "mean girls" on the team and tried to explain that Cornelius didn't have a lot to do with the end results, but they didn't listen to him. In the end, Tim uses his save when he completely disagrees with the judges' vote, and I agree that the judges sent the wrong person home.
Cornelius is going to have a lot to prove. Honestly, I haven't loved a single thing he's made this entire season, and I worry that another (more talented) designer might not get the opportunity they deserve because Tim wasted his save. Only time will tell.
All I know is that looking at these sassy pants, nothing good is going to come from next week.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com