It's been a week since the Season 14 Finale of Project Runway, and I haven't thought about much else. The designers all had such different aesthetics and were so talented, but in the end the winner was clear for me.
For one last time, let's recap!
Edmond had one of the bigger "make it work" moments of the designers. The judges told him to make his girl cooler and sexier, and given where he started before his preview for the judges, that meant he had a lot of work to do in two days.
Edmond added some simple, sexy dresses per the judges request. They reminded me of what we were used to seeing him make throughout the whole season, and they were very chic and successful.
Some of my favorite looks of Edmond's were his silky, draped dresses. They were different than what we've seen from him before (somewhat reminiscent of Sean Kelly's dresses from last season's finale) and it was nice to see a softer side of him.
Unfortunately, Edmond kept some of his black and white curly-cue ruffle pieces, and while they aren't bad looks in and of themselves, they felt really out of place among the sleek, sexy dresses.
...and then there was that random blue piece he threw in for no reason whatsoever.
I agreed with the judges: Edmond is talented and has grown a lot as a designer, but his collection wasn't cohesive at all and he needed to narrow his focus on who he is as a designer and what kind of girl he's designing for.
Candice's collection was costume, costume, costume, and the judges wanted her to tone down her collection in a major way. While it was a shame for her to lose some of her hats, her wood sculptural pieces, and her magnificent cage hoop, it was probably for the best in the end.
One of my favorite looks was the cherry blossom dress, which Candice created at the last minute because she loved the fabric and wanted to include a piece featuring it. The judges told her to eliminate the Asian influence, but I wish she had included more of this print. It was a huge strong point.
Candice did have quite a few successful looks. She went back to her roots with her leather corset styles, and because she left out all the bells and whistles, they ended up looking modern and chic.
Some of the pieces I didn't enjoy as much were her separates, and they could have been better with different styling. The red pants or the sheer skirt could have been paired with the red corset top from her preview and would have had more impact. The navy pants could have (and should have) been swapped out for her cherry blossom pants.
And then there was this unfortunate situation. Candice took the stunning 24-hr challenge dress from her collection preview, got rid of everything that made it unique and pretty, and turned it into a deconstructed sack. So disappointing.
I think Candice just didn't have enough time to make her collection what it should have been. She went overboard with the costume pieces and didn't recover well from the judge's critique.
Kelly's collection ended up turning out a lot better than I expected. I still have mixed feelings on her textiles and her 70s inspiration, but under the lights of the runway, her collection had a lot of impact.
Some of my favorite pieces included this geometric sequined fabric. In the workroom it just looked white, but the runway lighting gave it a gunmetal grey pop, and paired with the burgundy leather it really stood out in a way I never expected.
Kelly's dresses were another strong point for me. Her fabric choices were unexpected and a little weird, but they managed to look cool and sporty.
All that said, I reaaaaallllyyy disliked Kelly's more overtly 70s looks. The fabrics that were successful in small doses looked cheap when we were given more of them, and none of the pant/jumpsuit looks flattered her models. I can't see anyone wearing them in real life, and I think she took the Studio 54 inspiration a little too far.
Overall I think Kelly worked better under a guiding hand. When she was given direction for a challenge, she was able to take it and run with it to create some brilliant pieces, but left to her own devices I think she lost her way a bit. However, I could see a lot of street-wear labels wanting her on their team, and I think she'll be successful in the industry. She deserves a lot of credit for how far she's come!
Ashley Nell Tipton
I said I wanted Ashley to take the whole competition after WEEK ONE, and I couldn't be prouder of her collection. I'm not plus sized, but I would definitely wear nearly all of her looks. Her collection was the most cohesive and had the most definitive vision. She also played with separates more than any of the other designers, and I'm whole-heartedly obsessed.
It was smart of Ashley to put the blue bandeau underneath the top in this piece. In comparison to her preview with the judges, it looks like a whole different look! It's now fresh and youthful.
This was one of my favorite dresses in the whole collection. Any woman of any size would and could wear this. The color is stunning and the fringe-y lace is so feminine and beautiful.
Ashley fixed the construction issues in the bustier of this look, and the skirt, while simple, had a lot of movement and great runway impact.
A babydoll dress can be hit or miss, but in this fabric I thought it was really successful. It's a great length to wear as a dress, with leggings and boots, or as a tunic top with jeans. It was one of her most marketable looks.
The judges weren't too thrilled with this romper (particularly with the high waist proportion) but I really liked it. It might work a little better on a slimmer body type, but I think it's a cute concept that could be sold on ModCloth tomorrow. Popping it with the blue shoe was a perfect styling choice.
This look was definitely a risky one and went a little "1950s swimwear meets bridesmaid," but I thought it was kind of genius. If you took of the skirt, you'd have a great plus size swimwear look. If you lined the skirt, you could wear it to any formal event. Having pieces that you can mix and match is brilliant.
This was one of the more wearable looks in Ashley's collection, and while the shorts seem to have a bit of a fit problem, I love the look overall. I would wear every piece in a second.
This was another risky look, and it was most reminiscent of Ashley's pre-Runway work. It's definitely a unique twist on a classic button down, and I liked that she used the fringe lace to tie it in to previous looks in the collection.
I still am in awe that this was Ashley's 24hr challenge piece. It is a fantastic formal look, and I want to see it on Christina Hendricks asap.
While the finale look was not the most wearable, it tied in her gorgeous floral headpieces and was a lovely bookend to the collection.
From winning the first challenge to winning it all, Ashley has a lot to be proud of.
Get it, girl!!!
All photos from www.mylifetime.com