Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

No More Tears

By laurareineke 10/21/2013 10:30AM GMT

When we left off, it had been whittled down to four finalists after the elimination of Helen. Now, with two days until the finale at Lincoln Center, the final four must edit one look out of their collection and replace it with a new "washable" look, sponsored by Tide Pods. I think I'd be pretty annoyed at that, because it's difficult enough make a cohesive collection with less than 10 looks, but then after all that hard work making these collections at home, having to 86 one of them would be super frustrating. It involves new fabric (i.e. finding something that works in the collection), which would be used in only the one look, unless someone bought their original fabrics at Mood. Not to mention the designer could be omitting a look which potentially took several days or even a week to make, and substituting it with one that must be made in a day or two. Then again I suppose for some people it could be a bonus if they were not happy with one of their looks.

The beautiful and articulate Kerry Washington is the guest judge this week. I don't think I'm alone when I say that usually I find the choice of some of the celebrity judges very annoying. I'd love to see a powerhouse fashion designer a la Donna Karan or Narciso Rodriguez, not another actress. However, Kerry seems to know quite a bit about fashion, definitely had some opinions, and made some valid points. Plus she is just straight up eye candy!

Judging from Bradon's collection, I am not sure I know who his customer is. Where does one wear some of those looks? I'm not into all the gold (particularly the shorts and pants). The Tide washable look is not cohesive with the rest of the collection. Though the prints are pretty and have a painterly quality about them, the addition of the gold, along with the very average proportions, make the looks rather mature, and therefore they don't seem fresh. All I could think of when I saw look one was "Gone With the Wind" skirt with meringue hem! I can't understand what the judges liked about that, and again who wears it. Bradon's muse look was the one I responded to the most, when the camera started panning low.....then it reached the top and there was this giant gold caterpillar thing on one side and it ruined the gown for me. Bradon came in fourth place.

Dom was awarded the win with her print-heavy collection, which I felt was very overpraised. I think she is great at her prints, but the gown looks were questionable for me. The colors of the three solid gowns, in that shiny charmeuse (?), looked cheap and like the silhouettes I've seen department store "occasion dress" areas, and while I like a good clear plastic trench, this was a bit too referential to "Blade Runner" and went a bit costumey. I did love the printed jumpsuit, Tide Pods look, and the unconventional look.

My favorite collection was Alexandria's "Neo Nomadic Punk." Like the female judges, I responded to many of the looks with, "I want that." She really understands what the modern contemporary look is about right now. It looked professional and well made, the fit and proportions were great, and it had a relaxed, luxe vibe. The oddball look, however, was the full skirt with vest. I have a feeling Alexandria is a lot like me in that she doesn't wear many skirts or design them, which is why perhaps it was a head-scratcher. She was very smart to open with her unconventional look to grab the judges' attention, although I didn't feel it fit with the rest of the collection. Apart from that, the collection overall was extremely focused and well styled (though I could've done without the headdresses). I'd always been rooting for Alexandria, even though she had some misses through the competition. I think itʼs because I relate to her aesthetic a lot as a designer, and it's refreshing to see someone whose work is very relevant to what's happening in fashion now. I hope she is able to get her line going, because she makes great clothes.

Justin's sleek, futuristic collection made a very powerful statement with its thoughtful autobiographical story behind it. The 3D-printed accessories were such an innovative, fabulous addition; the collection made me recall the work of Claude Montana or Thierry Mugler in the '80s, but in a good way, softened and brought into this decade. I love how he explained some of the looks representing different pieces of his life and how they related to his hearing. My favorite look was his muse look, which I liked but then LOVED when I saw the cut of the vest and how it cleverly plays into the tank to create the back opening shape. My other favorite was the taupe dress with soundwave print. Look 2 and Look 3 were a bit too similar, though; I felt like there are a few that needed amplifying, or at least more variation. And though I am a big fan of white and monochromatic, dare I say I was wishing for some sort of POP? Maybe it didn't need to be color, but just something with more contrast. When the entire collection walked, it was all white with only a couple of taupe looks, and I felt it needed a little something else. Fortunately he worked out the hair to much improvement, so the styling overall felt more complimentary and cohesive.

What an emotional season, right up to the end! All the designers were teary-eyed in front of the judges, and with good reason. As you know, they have to wake up at 2 a.m. to go to Lincoln Center, on top of the stress of knowing their collections are about to walk the BIG runway and be seen by millions of people, and then be judged to determine who will be the winner. It's a hell of a day. The whole experience is at once surreal and exhilarating. For those of you who don't know, the finalists must say goodbye forever to their collections that day at Lincoln Center. I will never forget that moment after I'd put my blood, sweat, and tears into a collection I was so proud of, only to never touch it again. That's right, it's the property of the show. It's like walking away from a baby after you've just given birth to it! Imagine how Justin felt!

Until next season, bloglings! Thank you for reading and commenting. Who do you feel should have won this season? How are we feeling about the new "All Stars" airing next week? I'm a little dubious. I'm also a little put off that there are three winners competing again; are you?