In Knots

What do you mean the designers are real people?

I'm still in knots.

My stomach I mean ... from this week's episode, and it feels great! Wait -- these designers laugh? Wha ... they actually goof around and have fun!?! STOP IT -- THEY CRY!?! Oh, well we knew that one already, but still, we finally got to see the designers interacting with one another, and more importantly, having fun. Granted, it always helps when you pull out embarrassing old photos from past proms: Kit as a conformed brunette, Kevin all jersey'd up, and Christian sporting the most fabulous fierce sparkle unicorn princess vest I've ever seen!

Except for maybe this one:

sparkle_vest_320x240.jpg

 ... maybe next episode.

Well, in case you can't tell, I'm happy to finally see these peeps have a little fun. Yes I know it's a lot of pressure and they're probably aware being that it's the fourth season, that fingers across the world are furiously typing/recapping/critiquing and criticizing every inch of every stitch that they send down the runway, but they must never forget to HAVE FUN!

OK -- enough of this nonsense, let's get into the designs shall we. raterunway_07_220x415.jpg

Victorious Victorya
I applaud the bold color choice, as well as the length, as I feel young girls nowadays are opting for shorter, more modern looking party dresses than the traditional floor length gowns of old. Though it looks like it could use a little magic steam for wrinkles (those young girls LOVE to pose with their hands on their hips don't they) I think it has great movement and a whimsy about it that is perfect for the occasion! I also thought she did a nice job giving a 17 year old what she wanted, while still keeping it modern, because it's a slippery slope when adding rainbow colored crystals to a neckline, but the balance is just right. Oh, and the shoes are perfection. raterunway_02_220x415.jpg

Chris
A risky choice of color as it can make most skin tones appear yellow and sickly, but not with this cutie -- it complements her beautifully! Though the silhouette is more of a stereotypical evening gown, it still feels appropriate for the occasion with enough cover-up and movement to allow for some wild dancing. The texture on the bust also visually balances the sleekness of the rest of the dress, giving her a little more fullness where necessary. However, exactly like the first purple gown he sent down the runway, I don't understand making it ankle length? I feel she really could look long and lean by simply adding three more inches to the hem. raterunway_09_220x415.jpg

Kevin
All of the elements were there to make a "cute, flirty dress," but unfortunately when combined together it simply didn't work. I think the main problem in the design was trying to make a halter top for this specific girl who already has ample cleavage and doesn't need to accent it even more -- it makes them look like funbags. I would've opened up the neckline and brought it to her shoulders, which would've visually balanced her out a bit more instead making her look so va va voom cocktail waitress in Vegas circa 1989. Oh, and the lack of hemming of the hem didn't bother me so much (in a photo at least) but the unevenness practically sent me over the edge. Having a hem that wobbles up and down and up and down just makes the garment look poorly constructed.However, I wish good luck to you Kevin on your next endeavor. You do some great casual wear pieces and I hope to hear from you soon! raterunway_03_220x415.jpg

Jillian
I think there are some very nice elements to this dress: the torso design and the color story, but I just hate the hem. For a girl that is so tall and lean, it makes her appear short and wide, and though her color choices and piecing on the bust look fantastic, I feel overall it comes off a bit nightgown-y. Nevertheless the movement is nice and should keep her dancing all night!

Christian
This design was actually my favorite out of all of them, though the execution is what sent it crashing to its death. The color is phenomenal, as is the overall design concept: the lace work, the pleating, and the fullness. It kept reminding me of a dress and I couldn't remember it until a few hours later, but I see elements of the McQueen dress SJP wore to the MET a few years back, that I believe Christian worked on:

SJP_320x240.jpg

The layering of the exposed tulle, the asymmetry of the shoulders, the overlaying of the black lace. I so wanted him to pull this one out because I think it could've been a "wow" moment, but alas, the stars were not aligned, and we were left with an opinionated client in a heavy-handed dress. raterunway_01_220x415.jpg

Kit
This one I don't exactly get ... mainly the suspender-esqe straps w/buttons. That color blue is gorgeous, and though it's not my personal style, I think the color blocking on the bust is at least interesting and unexpected. I think my first reaction is (having been in this situation) that the client said "Oh, I forgot to tell you, but I need to wear a bra with this dress" so you unfortunately have to put a piece of fabric to hide the straps ... but she's 17, and young, and cute, and as far as I can tell she doesn't need her boobs to be strapped up in a harness for support -- a strapless bra would've worked just fine. raterunway_08_220x415.jpg

Ricky
Overall, I like this, but as The Kors said, the whole thing could've been turned up. The proportions are fantastic on her (as is her hair -- way to go Tresemme!), the fit is nice, and the texture gives it a little interest. I really have nothing else to say that wasn't already said on the runway ... turn it up. raterunway_04_220x415.jpg

Rami
This was one of the first real misses for me with Rami. With bringing such a youthful edge to the last candy challenge, I wish he would've done the same here. His client is adorable, but I again, agree with what was said on the runway -- it's not a bad design, but it was for this challenge. I do, however, applaud him for trying to get away from stereotypical prom looks, but unfortunately he didn't end up in the right place. raterunway_05_220x415.jpg

Sweet P
My favorite part of this dress is the color -- it is so chic, so sophisticated and so clean -- I love it. This design is obviously on the other side of the spectrum of Victorya's, but she completed the traditional look very well: it was sexy where V's was flirty; it was classic while V's was modern,;shiny vs. matte; long vs. short, etc, etc, etc .... It really came down to appropriateness. Great job, though, and congrats to finally making it to the top tier. Keep it up!

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet

History Repeating Itself

Feeling the pressure and sympathizing with the designers.

I feel like last night's episode was the definition of "pressure" -- my stomach is still in knots! Though I have mixed feelings about the designs that the designers sent down the runway, I should mention that I do think the right designers are still here. I know that some think that Kenley should've gone home last week or that Jerell has had more than his chance (remember the Olympic challenge? Eesh...) but I do think that this group all has their own personal points of view and have done a very good job at bringing that to each challenge. I also think that this challenge in particular, though an extremely high-pressure one considering what's at stake, was perfectly positioned on the competition, as designers at this stage of the game really want to be set loose to flex their creativity. That being said, I do think that none of them hit this one out of the park; no doubt they're extremely exhausted having gone through weeks and weeks of emotional, physical, and creative challenges.

Ahhh, does everyone remember past seasons where the "runway deciding challenge" is always the one with the most misses? Season 1 left them all with problems, Season 2 --though I ended up winning the challenge -- I still regret doing so with an admittedly safe dress for Iman. Season 3 and 4 were no different, with no one really sweeping the win with the best work they could produce. I can only speak from personal experience when saying that at this point, you are really scraping your brain for ideas, after weeks and weeks of essentially solitary confinement, continually trying to produce your best work without a friend's encouragement or the comfort of your own studio, knowing that every word or tear that escapes will be judged on national television, and going without needed stimuli such as a colorful magazine, a captivating movie, or even a relaxing walk in the park. I empathize with the designers who no doubt are thinking that every decision they make will determine their future...which it does.

rate_512_jerell.jpg

Jerell
Jerell's work thus far has been relatively consistent, though I noticed about halfway through the competition a bit more of a confident stride in his work. Even when it went wrong, Jerell never shied away from what he loves: unexpected fabric combinations, embellishment, and glitz. For this challenge I think overall that the dress reflects the inspiration with its organic shape and romantic color story; it embodies the physical elements of his picture, but also the feeling of it (which is much harder to do). I agree with the judges that the finishing brings this look down, and with a little more time he could've really finessed the draping and the bodice fit (which he's had issue with before - Saturn challenge). It also bothered me that the model had to hold the fabric back, both on the runway and in the photo, for the dress to stay open ... a few simple stitches would've solved that. That being said, I do think he did a very good job at designing an evening gown that was both modern, yet romantic, as well as one that embraced his personal point of view. Congratulations Jerell!

rate_512_kenley.jpg

Kenley
I feel like Kenley has the mentality of a caged animal that still has a wild, fighting spirit; good intentions but truly a bad method of expressing them. Put her nasty attitude aside, her dress just didn't do it for me. I feel that the "scales" concept was a decent one, albeit completely off the challenge parameters, and if it had completed in a lighter hand with more interesting design details the judges would have probably overlooked that misstep. When Kenley chose that fabric, I too was excited as it really did reflect her inspiration picture - it had a gorgeous ombre color story, an interesting surface texture, and a nice hand. That being said, imagine if Kenley had completely softened the silhouette and design? What a completely different feel the dress would've had! When the fabric is already tough and sexy on its own there's no need to do a design that is so blatantly so (especially when it's strayed so far from her usual style). The dress as is was just too expected and certainly doesn't make me want to see more. Was it a good dress? Not really in my eyes. The model had a great body, which gave the dress life, but the simple design of the top half, and the overly clunky, almost costume-like petals just gave the design a really flat look -- there was just no life to it.

rate_512_korto.jpg

Korto
In all honesty, I don't know why Korto got the s**t end of the stick last night; I don't think this dress looks that bad. Yes the color has some bad connotations to the '80s, and the fabrication does nothing to young it up, but overall I do think it reflects her inspiration and has some very interesting design elements to it. The seaming does amazing things to the models body, and unlike other designers out there (both those who are professional, and those who are on Project Runway) Korto doesn't force the natural curves of a women's body, she embraces them. I really admire how she continually makes clothing that is flattering, interesting, and yet, still "Korto." I think the biggest flaw of this design was the fabric choices. I think that if she had done the dress in something more slinky and sexy, like silk jersey, it would've been more fluid and youthful -- both things that this design could've used. Overall though, good job.

rate_512_leanne.jpg

Leanne
It's a good thing Leanne switched models when she did, because this lavender color looks AMAZING against Tia's skin -- she's got that JLo glow! Though there were the obvious fit issues and that random piece of fabric hanging like a dead fish on the back of the dress, my biggest concern is how blatantly placed all of the pleating detailing is. I feel that with more time Leanne could've really made the pleating a bit softer and subdued, making it a bit more gradual of a transition between the hard and the soft elements of the dress. As is, they simply appear to be "stuck on" which I think cheapens the look a bit, but with a little more variety in size and shape, I think the pleating could've segued into the rest of the dress more fluidly. However overall, I think the shape is great, the movement was sexy and eye-catching and her attention to detail was unparalleled with the other designer's work on this challenge.

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet