The challenge: 7 weeks to create a 10 piece collection with $9,000. Not too hard, right?
Apparently, wrong. Most of the designers had some major struggles pulling their pieces together, which seems a little inexcusable by season 14 of the show. Have they never seen Project Runway before, and do they not understand what the judges might expect of them?!? Silly.
When the designers got back to New York, Tim threw an extra 24-hr challenge at them to create a new, additional piece for their collection. This new look and 2 of their other looks were to be shown as a mini-collection to the judges for their feedback.
Ashley Nell Tipton
It was a given that Ashley was going to create a plus-size collection, and I was thrilled that the show provided Ashley with plus-sized models to use (I thought they might have expected her to find her own, so it was a nice gesture.) Ashley's collection went back to her Mexican roots and was inspired by Mexico City in the 1950s. I was a little surprised that her pieces were pastel and floral given that this showed at fall fashion week, but it was still really beautiful. Her floral headpieces are some of the most gorgeous things I've seen in the show's history, and while the judges weren't as excited about them, I hope she uses them on all her models.
Candice's collection was inspired by the Met's "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit, which may have been her biggest problem. I have been creatively inspired by art exhibits before, too, but Asian-inspired collections are extremely common in the fashion world and the judges were not having it. She was compared to Alexander McQueen and Juo Pei and it was declared her collection was completely unoriginal. Ouch.
Edmond was on the struggle bus the entire episode, which really surprised me. My theory is that he does his best work under the guidance of someone giving him direction, and when he was on his own he lost his way. He said his collection was supposed to be sexy and glamourous in a light, airy way, but that wasn't the product he cranked out. A lot of it was extremely stuffy, and the only thing tying his looks together was the color scheme and WAY too many ruffles. It's the Kini syndrome: he made beautiful, classic, sexy looks through the whole competition and went home and became fussy and frilly.
If that weren't unfortunate enough, he didn't even have all of his pieces made before getting back to New York. He has a lot of work to do and I don't know if he can pull it off.
Kelly was very confident in her collection, but I think she's in trouble. She was inspired by 1970s Studio 54, and chose to merge that style with modern street wear. That idea wasn't bad in and of itself, but 70s inspiration can go tacky-disco super fast, and when Kelly was left to her own devices without the guidance of Tim, Tacky Town is where she went.
Overall, all the designers have a lot of work to do in a few days before fashion week. Ashley needs to fix her construction and refine all her pieces. Candice needs to completely re-style her collection and probably needs to add some pieces. Edmond needs to make an entire collection and sexify his aesthetic. Kelly needs help mixing and matching her pieces and could benefit with a more luxe fabric addition.
I have a feeling the season finale is going to be a train wreck. CANNOT WAIT!
All photos from www.mylifetime.com