I was so jealous of this challenge today! It was my dream challenge. Honestly, the only way you can really see a designer's potential is to give them a challenge where they have the freedom to create what they wish (i.e. a garment inspired by a painting vs. make something out of trash). I find the most successful outcomes with challenges are the ones that have this freedom, they are always the most interesting and daring.
After seeing Christian's collection at Bryant Park last week I knew he must have beenone of the real finalists. I have full faith in Christian as a designer and know he will do very well. We need a little more Britania in America anyway, so we shall welcome him with open arms. His look today was exceptional compared to those who designed just one piece.
He was completely ripped off by Chris and I thought the judges would lambaste Chris for that, but instead they gave him a second chance (once again) for an in to Bryant Park ...? I saw his collection last week and it reeked of a vaudevillian flophouse compared to Christian, Jillian, and Rami's collections, which were enlightened, modern, and daring. But more importantly, the blouse and separates Christian designed today show such a strong sense of conviction; his handle on volume and sculpting the fabric is, quite frankly, fierce.
Jillian's gold dress was lovely and she has such a knack for nailing the perfect Balenciaga-esque tailored coat. I can easily envision her line in the future as one which celebrates strong lines, masculine/feminine tweaks, and impeccably tailored avant-gardian outerwear. Her Bryant Park collection was stunning -- full of intricately designed knitwear and slouchy yet structured looks.
Poor Sweet P, I shed a tear for her today. It must have taken quite a toll on her senses to come to the realization that she was the only one truly eliminated today. Between me and you, I would so much rather see her show in the tents than certain others. She creates adorable, wearable frocks that rock, and I know she'll find this experience invaluable. She will shine on!
Rami, Rami, Rami was lucky, lucky, lucky today. His Web site shows that not only is he already an established designer, but can make really lovely wearable dresses. Give the prize to someone who has less celebrities already wearing his clothes.