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Wow, that was actually one of the strongest finales I’ve seen from this show. Very competitive – no one fell flat. I thought all three designers did a good job of showing their own aesthetic, and the execution in all three collections was really beautiful. I was really torn – I think I honestly would have been happy had either Korto or Leanne won, and even if the judges had picked Kenley I couldn’t have been really disappointed. Her collection was my least favorite, but she did have some pieces that I loved. I totally loved Korto’s color palette and several of her silhouettes were amazing. Leanne took a concept and applied it in so many different ways, and I thought her work was the most original. I wouldn’t have chosen her colors, but she made them work really well.

I’ll go through each collection in more detail this week, but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised over all. This has been one of my least favorite seasons all along, but they really came through in the finale.


Finale part 1 – better efforts this week. I still think it was a ripoff the way they set up this challenge, but I don’t get to make the rules, so I’m going with it.

  • Jerell: I thought his wedding dress was over the top, but not that bad. A little editing on the top and it would have been very striking. The bridesmaid dress was a throwaway – the execution was a little poor, and the fabric looked cheap to me. I wasn’t very impressed by what I saw of his collection during Tim’s visit – it didn’t seem that cohesive – but I do feel bad that he “won” the last challenge and yet still wasn’t safe this time around.
  • Kenley: her design wasn’t terribly unique, but it was beautifully done and definitely fit her personality and aesthetic. I thought the bridesmaid dress was a touch short, but very cute. She really executed these looks well. I still think she should have gone home for her hip hop outfit, but…
  • Korto: I actually pretty much hated her wedding gown. It looked really muddled – too much going on, and it wasn’t flattering. The bridesmaid dress was cute, but very basic. Based strictly on this challenge, I would have sent her home, but I’m actually excited to see her collection, mostly because I liked her color palette a lot.
  • Leanne: Her design wasn’t totally to my taste, but she did a fabulous job of making something that worked with her collection (what we saw of it anyway), showed her aesthetic and was beautifully executed. I know her color choice fits with her whole collection, but my only complaint about the bridesmaid dress was that the color seemed a little too ordinary, a little TOO bridesmaid-y. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of her collection, too.

Finale next week, woohoo!

The season is winding down. I had pretty high hopes for this challenge, but they weren’t really met.

  • Jerell: his dress was definitely my favorite design, in spite of the construction/fit issues. I liked the style, the combination of colors and texture, and the details. I thought he showed his creativity without going over the top. I also liked that he wasn’t too literal in interpreting his photo.
  • Kenley: I thought the top part of the dress was well executed but boring. The mermaid tail was ugly and costumey. I didn’t care for it.
  • Korto: I like the silhouette, but I think she needed to lose the lace and beads and punch up the colors.
  • Leanne: I didn’t think this dress was as great as the judges seemed to. The details strike me as the kind of thing that can only be pulled off by a super skinny model. The blue fabric in the back was a mistake – she could have done something with it if she had more time, but as it was she’d have been better leaving it off.

All in all, I hope Kenley ends up getting eliminated. I have a lot less curiosity about what she’d show at Bryant Park than any of the others.

Sorry for the delay in posting this. I didn’t get to watch the episode while I was on vacation, and once I had seen it I wasn’t too motivated to post – pretty underwhelming overall. By the way, I’ll try to post some vacation photos tomorrow.

This challenge didn’t produce anything that I could get excited about, and I honestly think Suede got the shaft – there’s no way he should have gone home. Terrible decision.

  • Suede: I actually thought his outfit wasn’t bad. It wasn’t particularly innovative, but it was well-executed and I thought he did a better job of portraying his genre than a couple of other designers.
  • Jerell: I probably would have given him the win, although I wasn’t terribly impressed by anyone this round. I thought he did a good job of nailing a certain type of pop aesthetic, even though I didn’t like the vest.
  • Leanne: I’d say Leanne had the most difficult challenge, because how do you convey an identifiably country look these days without being too costumey? Plus, most country stars these days really have more of a pop aesthetic anyway – the traditional country look has become a cliche. With that considered, I’d say Leanne did a marginally passable job. The skirt wasn’t the best choice, and having both a necktie and a blouse that tied was too much.
  • Kenley: the fact that Kenley didn’t go home for this ridiculous look is a travesty. It wasn’t remotely hip hop, and it wasn’t well-executed – those pants were a disaster.
  • Korto: her look wasn’t bad at all – I liked the treatment on the pants. I just didn’t feel like she did anything new or innovative at all.

Overall, this whole episode was just meh. I really hope the designers can step it up because this season has been a pretty big yawn.

Getting down to the wire and we still have some riffraff to clear out…not a bad challenge, although I thought involving the mothers was kind-of pointless. It seemed like they were just hoping to get extra drama out of that. Whatever – just show me some good designs!

  • Jerell: very nicely done. I liked this look a lot, I thought it was appropriate to her chosen profession and her personal style as well as Jerell’s.
  • Joe: glad to see him go. I just don’t see that he has any imagination at all – I honestly have NO idea what he’d send down the runway at Bryant Park, but neither do I have any curiosity about it. It was a poor choice, poorly executed. Dated and ugly.
  • Kenley: cute. For once I liked the print she chose, but there was nothing about this that wowed me. It was appropriate for her client, but I would have like to see something a little different.
  • Korto: my only real issue with this was that the proportions were off a little – didn’t quite flatter her client’s body. The dress needed to be a little longer, I think. But the jacket was beautifully done.
  • Leanne: a bit of a misstep, but not a total disaster. Again, the proportions (with the jacket on) didn’t suit her client’s body – it made her look short and stocky. The jacket MIGHT have worked on someone else, but it definitely wasn’t Leanne’s best work.
  • Suede: oh, Lord, that jacket was awful. Really dated, totally wrong with the dress, and just ugly. I liked the print of the dress, but didn’t get a good feel for the detail. The sleeves on that jacket were a nightmare.

So, we’re down to five, and no one is totally rocking my world right now. I think both Leanne and Korto are strong, and Jerell could pull off something really cool or totally crash and burn. They are the three I’d most like to see at Bryant Park.

Interesting challenge – a defined inspiration that’s not too kooky. It could have been a real winner, but I was pretty underwhelmed.

  • Blayne: the judges pretty much said it all. Hideous. Bondage meets parade float.
  • Jerell: I liked the skirt and top a lot, but didn’t think it was very avant garde. The jacket looked like an old lady bed jacket.
  • Joe: there were elements of this dress that I liked a lot – I loved the colors and thought the construction on the top was interesting. I liked how it moved down the runway, but in the pictures it sort-of looks like she has fungus growing on her. Still, one of my top choices this week.
  • Korto: I really didn’t care for this look – it had a muumuu aspect to it and was a little too literal in the aquarius interpretation.
  • Leanne: I thought this was pretty cool – inspired by the sign but not overly literal. Leanne definitely used some elements she’s used before, but she made them look different enough to pull off the look.
  • Suede: an I Dream of Jeannie homage – nothing remotely avant garde about this look, and it just had a tackiness about it.
  • Terri: I thought the fur collar was too literal, but I don’t think what she ended up with was any improvement at all. It wasn’t avant garde. The model looked like Pocahontas wearing floaties.
  • Kenley: Oh, Lord, I hated this look. I don’t like the combination of fabrics at all and I hate the proportions. Plus, it was lopsided.

Overall – meh. Could have been worse, I guess, but it should have been a lot better.

I enjoy these more straightforward challenges, because even though the designers are somewhat constrained, you get to see a bit more of what they might come up with on their own, if not limited to kooky materials. Diane Von Furstenberg has a generic enough style that I think you could hit a good look from a lot of different design angles.

  • Blayne: huh. I didn’t think his outfit was appropriate to the character – the jacket might have worked (although it made his model look bulky), but the cropped pants looked clowny to me.
  • Jerell: I didn’t much care for this look, either, and it wasn’t helped by the hat. This outfit just looked a little sloppy and muddy to me – the belt didn’t do enough to tighten up the look.
  • Joe: I hated this look and thought he should have gone home. It was terrible in the back as the judges all noted, but I didn’t like it from the front, either. The shawl was hideous and looked cheap, I didn’t like the mix of pinks, I didn’t like the fit on the top – bad all around.
  • Kenley: I just thought this was boring and I can’t see where all her time went. With a dress that simple, she really should have been able to pull off another piece. I’m surprised she was in the top two. And I wasn’t wild about her print, either.
  • Korto: I thought her look was interesting but not totally succesful – I didn’t think the proportions of the jacket quite worked with the dress, although I still think it was a better look than most of the ones on the runway.
  • Leanne: I would have been really angry if she didn’t win. I loved, loved, loved the dress and I thought the jacket was a nice contrast. I’m glad she listened to Tim and shortened that jacket – it made a huge difference. The gown was really beautiful and also had interesting detail without going overboard. Stunning.
  • Stella: I didn’t think her look was great, but I wouldn’t have sent her home over it. The execution was poor, and I think the cape was a bad choice, but I thought Joe’s outfit was worse.
  • Suede: this outfit looked really thrown together and thoughtless. The dress was not flattering, and the vest was just so wrong. Really bad combination.
  • Terri: the pants had some fit issues from what I could see. I didn’t love her choice of print. The jacket I liked, but I thought the whole look could have been a lot better with some tweaks. Not her best effort.

Well, right now, Leanne and Korto are definitely my front-runners. They are both doing some interesting work and setting themselves apart. Terri has potential but needs to step it up – ditto for Kenley. The guys have been too inconsistent – none of them are wowing me.

So, once again life has intervened and I’m late posting about the show. My sister and her kids are visiting, so I haven’t had much computer time. However, it was really fun to be able to watch the show with my sister rather than have to debrief over the phone the next day. So, on to the clothes…

  • Blayne: I didn’t think he deserved to be in the bottom 3. His concept was good, it was just a bit off in the execution. I didn’t love the skirt part, but it didn’t remind me of a car wash. I would have liked the top if it had actually fit the model.
  • Jerrell: not bad, but the skirt was too tight to be so short. I don’t know what the hell Michael Kors was thinking calling it “wearable” – if you can’t sit down in it, it’s not wearable.
  • Joe: is lucky he had immunity. His dress was ugly and poorly fitted. I didn’t care for it at all.
  • Keith: I just want to know what the hell Keith thought was innovative about this outfit? Boring and poorly executed. I’m not sad to see him go.
  • Kenley: eh. The materials weren’t great for her – the peplum was way too stiff, so the whole thing just looked artificial and difficult to wear. The design wasn’t very exciting either.
  • Korto: fabulous coat. When she said she was going to weave the seatbelts into fabric, I pictured one of those seatbelt totes, which I have always hated. I was expecting a disaster. Korto pulled it off, though – her coat was gorgeous and she made the fabric work for her. I loved it.
  • Leanne: I was rooting for Leanne to get the win, because I thought her use of the materials was by far the most innovative, and she pulled off a really interesting and unusual design. Excellent work – I loved what she did with the seatbelt trim, and I even liked the shape of the dress, which is not something I would usually go for. It just proves how much things can vary between concept and execution.
  • Stella: the design was boring, and the execution was poor. I was surprised to see something so boring from her.
  • Suede: intriguing use of materials on the top of the dress, but in style it was too much of a repeat of past work, and I thought the skirt was tacky – it looked like a cheap cheerleader pom pom.
  • Terri: this outfit wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t innovative. This is actually closer to what I would have expected from Stella.

So, next week, Diane Von Furstenberg – love her stuff, but it could make for a boring challenge. We shall see…

I know this is boring, but I always prefer challenges that have more to do with the kind of fashion you might actually see on the runway. The costumey challenges are fun to watch, but just don’t have that much to do with being a great fashion designer. Still, I was curious to see what the designers came up with when they actually had a mandate to be over-the-top.

  • Blayne: I really didn’t like this look, but I think Blayne did a good job of choosing a client who could deal with his aesthetic. The wings were just sad, and without the wings the dress was just a cheap-looking sequined number.
  • Daniel: I wasn’t sad to see him go. It wasn’t the worst thing he’s made on this show, but talk about missing the boat on the challenge again. Yeesh! Boring dress, terrible choice of fabric. Bye, bye, whiner!
  • Jerell: I think he really missed the boat on what his client asked for. If the dress was shorter, it might have worked for another drag queen, but his model specifically stated that she was about classic glamour and not gimicky. Most of this look didn’t work for me, particularly the color combination.
  • Joe: I don’t think I would have given him the win, but he pretty much nailed the challenge and gave his client what she wanted. I thought it was just the right level of over-the-topness.
  • Keith: I get the Tina Turner influence, but this look was just sort-of boring. I think if you’re creating a stage look it needs to be more of a show-stopper. There just wasn’t enough definition in the shape.
  • Kenley: This was a perfectly appropriate drag look, and fit the style of her model, but was honestly a little boring. Plus, what the hell was going on with the zipper in the back? It looked to me like she sewed the zipper on the outside of the dress by mistake.
  • Korto: I would have given Korto the win. Great costume, perfect for her model, creative touches – she’s another one who really nailed the challenge.
  • Leanne: I felt bad for Stella when Leanne chose Sharon Needles as her model. I don’t think her Jetson’s-style outfit was a good choice for that persona, and if she and Stella had swapped they both would have had more success. There was definitely drama in the outfit, but it was a little busy. I didn’t get enough of a look to see for sure, but it looked to me like there may have been some fit issues as well.
  • Stella: again, not the best style choice for her model. I felt like she ignored what her model wanted and made what she wanted to make. It wasn’t a terrible outfit, but I don’t think it was a success, either. Probably would have been much better on Sharon.
  • Suede: how much can you do with that green palette? I didn’t care for this look, but it actually turned out better than I expected. I agreed with Hedda about the gloves, though – they did have a godzilla look to them.
  • Terri: I was intrigued by her design, but ultimately I didn’t feel it was totally successful – there was so much going on that the overall look was a little muddy to me. I like the attempt, though, and I think she did the best job of taking the drag queen challenge in a more fashionable direction.

I was honestly surprised not to see more really wacky stuff in this challenge. I would have loved to see some of the ingenuity that Chris March showed in his portfolio from last season – I know the time constraints had something to do with that, but I still think more could have been done.

Team challenges are never my favorite. I know they do it because it creates more drama and tension in the workroom, but I’d always rather see more designs. Oh well. I haven’t seen Lipstick Jungle, so I’m basing my sense of appropriateness on what little I saw of the dossier.

  • Blayne and Leanne: This wasn’t a terrible look, it was just wrong for the challenge. It doesn’t work for the office and it certainly doesn’t work for evening, even in LA. Way too casual. And I thought the vest was weird and pointless.
  • Kelli and Daniel: so wrong. I think Kelli has more range than say, Stella, but she still needs to be careful in applying her own taste to the challenges. This look was just tacky – not at all appropriate for what we saw of the character. It was definitely the biggest miss this week, so I think Kelli deserved to go home. P.S. Daniel, stop whining.
  • Jerrell and Stella: I thought this look really worked for day or night in an LA setting – might not work everywhere, but it would work in LA. This is the kind of thing I’d like to see more of from Stella, if she can really nail a challenge and still incorporate some of her own style and taste. She and Jerrell were a surprisingly effective match. Jerrell did a nice job of reining in some of his wilder tendencies. With the fabric choices it’s not something I’d wear personally, but I liked the style and thought it was appropriate to the challenge.
  • Korto and Joe: the dress wasn’t fitted properly – it looked like it was shifting around a lot on the model. I didn’t mind the color of the jacket, despite Tim’s sweet potato comment, but I thought the sleeves would be hard for a professional woman to pull off.
  • Keith and Kenley: I liked this design, even though I don’t think it works as office wear. There was visual interest in the skirt without it being too bulky. I don’t really think the sleeve variation added anything, either, except some awkward business at the end of the runway.
  • Terri and Suede: this outfit wasn’t terrible, but it’s not what I picture for Brooke Shields. The pants are too skinny, and I’m not wild about the print on the top. Again, it’s really not office wear, but it could make the day to night transition in LA.

And next week, another gimicky challenge!