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If a blog falls in the forest, and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Sorry I’ve been so remiss about posting. We’re going through a major software implementation at work and it is sucking up a lot of my mental energy, so when I get home my brain is mush and I can’t summon the energy to write a coherent thought. I will try to be better, I promise! Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a quote I like (it was on the cover of the March issue of Fast Company):

Innovation is super fragile. It’s very easy to kill. We need a stubborn, rebellious attitude. – Google CIO Douglas Merrill

Jillian had some of my favorite pieces in the finale. I liked her collection a lot, but there were some definite misses. I didn’t think her collection was as cohesive or successful as Christian’s when viewed as a whole, but if her entire collection had been as strong as her strongest pieces, she probably would have won.

Jillian-knit jacket with gold pants This was the first look of Jillian’s that I really liked. I love the knit jacket; it has a good amount of interesting detail without being overdone. I like the pairing with the camel/gold trousers. And I have to give Jillian props for her styling again – I really loved what she did with the hats in this collection.Jillian-gold dress HATED IT. First, it looks like lingerie, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it also reminds me of something Ricky would design. Jillian, I expect better from you. It’s also reminiscent of the dress she made to go under the black jacket in the museum challenge, but far less successful. In the museum challenge, the gold lame was balanced and offset by the jacket. With nothing to tone it down, this dress just looks tacky. And I really hate the bust detail.Jillian-olive blazer and print skirt What the hell was she thinking on those sleeves? It’s such a home-sewn look. The point at the top of the sleeve is weirdly spacey, and the combination of oversleeve and fabric just scream “bridesmaid” so the overall effect is scifi bridesmaid. So, so, so awful. And yet without that detail, the look is very ordinary and I don’t see any design sensibility at all.Jillian-striped sweater and skirt I LOVED this look – one of Jillian’s best. Wearable, stylish, different without being too over-the-top. It’s funny to me that Tim Gunn was concerned by this look, because I really thought it was so strong. I even like the hat on the model that I didn’t like on Jillian – it works with this outfit and since it completely covers the model’s hair it’s not so overwhelming. But the star is really the sweater.Jillian-gray ruffled coat Okay, Jillian clearly loves the ruffled coat look and has made it her metier (see photos below). I loved the version she did when she worked with Victorya, and I’m not unhappy about seeing a shorter version of the style, but I’m not sure this interpretation adds much: it’s got the scifi sleeve caps and armor-holes in the arms, but both of those additions would best be left out. All in all, I’d rather have seen something totally new.jilliancoat3.jpgjilliancoat1.jpgjilliancoat2.jpgJillian-gray sweater, black pantsThis is another look I really liked. The sweater is fantastic and wearable. Jillian had several pieces that could go ready-to-wear with no translation, and this is one of them.Jillian-armor look I really disliked this. Way too literal an interpretation of the armor idea.Jillian-short black & silver dress This didn’t work for me, either. The styling on the top seemed dated, and the skirt was just wrong – I didn’t like the way it moved, and it seemed like it would just always be in the way. Plus, it doesn’t connect to any of the other designs.Jillian-blue dress This was another look I really liked. I love the color and the draping around the neckline and sleeves is just gorgeous. I like this short version and think it could also work as a long gown. Lovely.Jillian-silver gown Meh. More succesful than the short, gold version. But I don’t love it. Still looks like a Ricky design to me.
Jillian-coat Not a bad coat, but not one of my favorite pieces. Without the knit headpiece and the hat, it looks a little ordinary.
Jillian-skirt & scarf This isn’t a bad look, but again, kind-of basic. I think Jillian was showing her skills more as a stylist than a designer with this look.

As opposed to Rami, who should really focus on gowns, Jillian’s calling is sportswear and outerwear. I would really love to see her do a collection of knits – I know I’d buy them!

I’m discussing Rami’s collection first because it was my least favorite of the three finalists. To keep that in perspective, I still think this was a really strong finale, and Rami did some beautiful work. I just don’t think his collection measured up to Jillian’s or Christian’s overall.

Rami-blue dressI don’t like the panel on the skirt – it’s not flattering. The dress is so fitted around the waist and hips and then gets full down below and it just draws too much attention to hips and the crotch area.

Rami-green suitWhen I saw this coming down the runway, I thought “matronly.” That color might work for something else, but it makes this suit look “mother of the bride.” I didn’t even notice the basketweave detail on the back of the jacket until the judges pointed it out after the runway show.

rami3.jpgI still really like this one. I think it was the most successful of Rami’s more casual pieces.

Rami-red pants,blouse, vestShe looks like a linebacker. The cut of the vest and the extra volume in the arms and shoulders make this tiny little model look really wide – imagine this look on a woman who weighs more than 90 pounds. Yikes!

Rami-raspberry dressThis was a little more successful than the blue dress, but without the paneling at the waist more attention is drawn to the shoulders, and I think those proportions are a little odd. Her shoulders look padded.

Rami-black blouse, red skirtI think this outfit could have benefited from different fabric choices. I don’t care much for this combination. The skirt seems a little over-constructed, but not as much as some of his other pieces. I think I might have really liked the blouse in another fabric.

Rami-red blouse, black pantsI actually really like the blouse, but I think the pants are very unflattering. With the tight waist and tight legs, there is too much volume at the hips. Again, if you can make a 90 pound model look wide, you’re in trouble.

Rami-olive pants suitThis one just didn’t work for me. I like the detail and drape around the neck and bust, but the fitted waist and pants were just wrong. This struck me as a good candidate for Rami to show his draping skill – if he had used the neck and bust detailing in a gown, it might have been lovely.

Rami-basketweave gownThis is a gorgeous gown. I think it would have been better in another color. The olive is too drab for such a striking design. But I have no other complaints about this one. Beautifully conceived and executed.

Rami-gold gownThe whole time this dress was on the screen, all I could think of was “what is going on down near her knee?” I don’t know what he did to the gown to get that funny little pooch of fabric, but it completely ruined the line of this dress for me. Otherwise the dress is fine, but not my favorite. The fabric combined with the style make it a little too reminiscent of an Oscar statuette.

Rami-antique lace gownI LOVED this gown. Gorgeous, unusual, stunning. This is the kind of thing I want to see on the red carpet at the Oscars – really beautiful dresses that are a little different and not at all boring. This look is very French. Fabulous.

Rami-black gownI still think this dress is gorgeous, in spite of the hip detailing. What I’ve noticed from both of the last two episodes is that I really don’t notice the hip detail when the model is walking. Anyway, the construction on this gown is amazing and I think it’s very, very beautiful.

I think Rami’s gowns are his strength. I felt that he tried to take the judges’ criticisms seriously and move away from draping in his final collection, but I think he over-corrected in his separates and the construction was a bit too heavy. And wasn’t it interesting that he didn’t show the blue coat from his 3-look competition with Chris? He also didn’t show the gold coat that he showed during Tim’s visit. Apparently he had enough pieces made up that he could edit out the ones that didn’t get a good response.

Surprised? Me neither. I was pretty well convinced that Christian would pull off the win (although both Rami and Jillian had it in them to pull off an upset). Overall it was a strong finale. All 3 designers had looks I loved – I have to agree with the judges that Jillian had some fantastic knits. Rami’s gowns were beautiful. Christian’s collection was just SO Christian, and really cohesive. Anyway, I have to work early in the morning, so I’ll save my outfit-by-outfit analysis for the weekend. But I will say that the finale was much more satisfying than I thought it might be mid-way through the season.

This man is way too healthy and well-adjusted for reality TV.

[via Project Rungay]