The Finale opens with our designtestants still sitting in the backroom, wondering how they’ll take their mismatched collections and turn them into something cohesive and fashionable in about a day.
Luckily, Tim Gunn shows up with a pep talk and an extra $500 for Mood and the chance to add to their pieces or make entirely new looks before The Tents. Then it’s back to the workroom and a scramble, for some, and a slow and steady pace for others. Tim then checks in with each designer to see how they’ll, and yes, I’ll say it, “Make it work.”
Rik says he’ll follow the judges lead and offer up some more skin, while Laurence tries to “chic up” the olive “trash bag” that the judges thought didn’t fit with her collection; Erin uses an embroidery machine to create a new textile that mimics one that her friend had designed for her, as Roberi talks of “confusion” which frightens Tim until Roberi says he’ll keep the confusion in check.
Let's rip ...
Erindecides to rework the long flowy dress that had no place in the rest of her collection; she cuts it in half and sews a blue top onto it, making it look nothing at all like the original piece; she also creates a pink top—out of her newly embroidered fabric—to wear over neon yellow baggy pants. I’m worried, but at least they fit in with her other pieces ... somewhat.
WHAT I SAID
The first look gave me Carmen Miranda while the second piece was casual cruise-wear. Starting with Look 3, we got Erin’s caricature cartoon style, with stiff fabrics in bold colors.
I liked Look 3 the best out of everything, and I found Look 9 a bit clownish; the circus tent top and the baggy saggy yellow pants seemed a joke, especially given that the shoes looked like they were stolen from Minnie Mouse’s closet. Look 4, with the bristly arms didn’t work, and Look 5 was a cartoon dress. Look 6, the reworked granny dress, was chic and simple and didn’t seem to fit in still, while Look 7 looked like she’d stolen one of Roberi’s skirts; Look 8 was simple and clean and pretty and big, and Look 10 was bananas, literally and figuratively, because it seemed to come from nowhere.
All in all, while Erin has some cool ideas, this felt like a mish-mash to me; flowy sheer fabrics and then voluminous neoprene numbers just didn’t seem to gel. Bold, almost painful to the eye, colors, and then pastels. There’s a talent there but it needs to be reigned in a bit.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Zac Posen admires Erin’s “unique sensibility" and the “pop, glam, art school, cut-and-paste” look to the collection, and really liked the banana print; he did feel that some of the separates, the blouses and such, were almost an afterthought and not given the same weight as the showier pieces.
Guest judge, actress, singer, designer—all actresses and singers are now designers, too, you know—Zendaya called the collection fun and kooky, expensive, cohesive—I must have seen a different collection—and chic.
Heidi said Erin had given them a fashion show and some playful, wow moments as well; she was not a huge fan of the banana print, however, but loved that Erin brought color to the runway.
Nina Garcia was not a fan of the Carmen Miranda number either, though she called it “genie out of the bottle,” but she loved Look 2 because it was both feminine and hard; she also applauded Erin’s multitude of idea.
She made a couple of new pieces, like Look 10, the long sheer gown, and worked to retool her romper with more sophisticated straps and a leather belt that she didn’t, for some reason, buckle.
She says her collection was inspired by her own life story, about coming through the darkness and into the light, but I didn’t get that at all; the dark wasn’t as dark as it was, well, murky.
WHAT I SAID
I liked it; I’ve seen it before. Look 1 was a riff on a jumper she made early in the season so it was cool, but not new. Look 2, the “trash bag” still seemed like a late-comer to the party, while Look 3 and Look 7 seemed to be the same outfit in different fabrics. Looks 4, 5, 8, and 9, seemed safe to me, and while I liked the look, the simmering wow of Look 10, it reminded me of those unitard shirts some women used to wear that snapped at the crotch—only Laurence left hers unsnapped.
Laurence makes great clothes but there isn’t anything really special about them ... at least not in the clothes from last night.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Zendaya loved all the leather pieces, and really loved Look 10; she called Laurence’s collection wearable—which really isn’t the highest of praise—and tough.
Zac Posen echoed that sentiment, calling the collection the most wearable of all; it was impeccably made, he said, but lacked pizzazz!
Heidi thought it was all sophisticated and stylish, and loved the edginess of the olive jumpsuit—Look 1—but said, as a whole, it lacked any surprise.
Nina Garcia loved the look of the “paper thin” leather on Look 1, and also loved the brocade jacket—Look 5—and loved how well-tailored the work was, but felt that some pieces—most notably the beige skirt on Look 6—did not feel like Laurence at all; too safe.
Roberi’s collection was based on memory and emotions from his life and that created a very interesting collection. The one thing he seemed to change was that he took the models out of the flat shoes from last week and gave them all red heels; that alone instantly elevated—in every sense of the word—his collection.
I think, and I may be wrong, he only created one entirely new look—Look 5—but he tweaked some others, most notably in shortening the skirt in Look 4 which made it younger and fresher.
WHAT I SAID
I loved his collection; I love how he mixes prints. I love the shimmering fabrics and the matte jackets. Look 1 was a favorite with Look 2 a close second, naturally. Looks 3 and 4 seeemd like the same outfit, worn by the same woman, with Look 4 being when she's younger, and Look 3 when she's more mature. Look 5 was sexy and chic, yet all covered up. The one misstep was Look 6, the denim pants with the fur jacket; it didn’t seem to fit in with the others. Look 10 was the only gown in a sea of casual clothes, but it contained Roberi’s unique sense of fabrics so it was a nice bonus.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Heidi loved it, with her favorite piece being Look 8 and its light skirt, the use of feathers and the cloud print jacket. She said Roberi gave them lots of things but did feel that the gown—Look 10—was too “old lady” and “too somber” to be a part of the show.
Nina Garcia called the collection beautifully handcrafted and alive, with a good mix of fabrics and textures; she loved the iridescence and the matte fabrics, saying they all worked well together; her favorite was Look 6, the denim and fur number. Really, Nina, really?
Zac Posen agreed with Heidi’s favorite look, and called the collection cerebral and gave it a Bravo.
Zendaya likes the heavy coats—she loved all the coats—paired with the lightness of the other fabrics; she was a fan of the coat in Look 7 because of the way the long pockets fell out from the bottom of the coat; she says her favorite look was Look 5 and that was when the collection came together for her.
He called his collection Bandit because he says he was inspired by rebel culture and punk rock. He switched out the Mass Murderer Look from last week by removing the leggings which was a huge improvement; He also bared some more skin andmade an entirely new dress—Look 1—out of patent leather that he was worried Heidi would call tacky.
The cutest part was when he began to cut down some of the embroidered denim pieces and wasworried he would insult his aunts, who made those textiles.
WHAT I SAID
Look 1 was cute but not much else, while Look 2 soared with the elimination of the leggings. Look 3 brought the bared skin, while the denim began to appear in the next pieces; I wasn’t a fan of most of the bigger denim pieces but the bomber jackets worked well. Look 7 seemed totally out of place and, perhaps it’s because the model was giving me Nancy Grace, I was not a fan; Look 8 was the one the judges worked with him on last week, making it shorter and more open, but this week Rik didn’t take it far enough; it still seemed ill-fitting to me. Look 9 was Look 1 in different leather and Look 10, an all white number didn’t seem to be cohesive in any way except perhaps the silhouette.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Heidi called it much improved from last week and said the cohesion was there; she hadn’t always been a fan of the denim but said they worked as a whole in the collection.
Zendaya thought the collection was “supercool" with a hint of clean grunge. Clean grunge? Is that an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp?
Nina Garcia loved Look 1—the last minute look—and called it powerful and chic; she also had been skeptical of the denim but when the collection walked as a whole she started to like it because it made the whole thing seem contemporary.
Zac also loved Look 1 but said the denim needed some sparkle; he wanted “rodeo princess” and some “Dolly” in the denim, but did say the collection was cool and California.
Well,Rik is still adorable, but that doesn’t get you to the winner’s circle on the PR and he was the first Auf’d; he was followed quickly by Laurence, whose collection played it too safe.
That left us with Erin and Roberi; Roberi’s was cool and shiny and chic and colorful, while Erin’s was new and now and playful and edgy.
Erin ... got ... the ... win.
I preferred Roberi’s collection because I loved the mix of fabrics and the shiny, light-filled nature of the pieces. Erin’s, as I said, was too cartoony in some pieces, and too safe on others, but she did put on a show.
I didn’t like how she said her inspiration for her collection was ... herself, and her journey on the PR. She was inspired by herself? Lord, no wonder the coats are so big; they need to contain that ego.
I loved when Roberi told Tim his collection would be “confusion guided by a clear sense of purpose” causing a Tim Gunn Guffaw. I did not love how sad Roberi got when he lost.
But then I did love me some Tim Gunn and his final Gather Round Moment; I love how invested he becomes in the designtestants and how emotional he gets as the end nears.
So, the season; there were some great things and some not so great things. The high point for me was seeing Dexter go home before Cornelius after being such a bitch, followed by Cornelius reverting back to his own bitch nature and going home soon after that.
Rik isstill adorable and sweet and nice ... call me. Laurence is still Laurence and I think, had the judges gotten tired of her shoulders and leather work earlier in the season and told her she needed to push it, that she might have delivered something great at The Tents.
Roberi,I hope, will have a great career because he as the one designer who had a unique, non-comical vision and that could work in fashion.
Erin might find herself a new career making fishing lures ....
Until next time ... what did YOU think?