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