Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Project Runway Blog

When "Good" Is Enough

By Tracy_Goldenberg 10/14/2011 05:01AM GMT

I’m the type of person who rises to the occasion when the finish line is in sight: finish strong or go home. With Fashion Week one challenge (and three looks) away, the designers FINALLY have the payoff for little sleep, close quarters and crazy challenges on the horizon, so why do I feel like everyone phoned this challenge in with just good work and not great work?

Anya, Laura Kathleen, Kimberly, Joshua and Viktor create three looks inspired by Governors Island, varying from sculpture to architecture, with the help of some blasts from the past: auf’d designers.

Becky would be my choice, based on her sewing skills alone, no matter how well I worked with someone in the gigbillionty team challenges of the past. The key to this challenge, and really the door to Fashion Week, was finding the best sewer/seamstress/patternmaker to help execute three cohesive looks to show the judges “I belong here.”

Kimberly’s three looks had something going for them in a big way: They were her point of view. You know a Kimberly look when you see it, and that has never been a question this whole season. She knows herself and she knows the woman she’s dressing. Whether or not that woman would be wearing all three of these looks, I don’t know, but it was enough to get her through. I was surprised she struggled so much with the jacket, considering she chose Becky to assist her.

Anya’s sculpture-inspired looks actually looked better on TV than in photo form. Being able to see them in motion on a body was the most appealing thing about them. They’re not flashy clothing; they’re thinking clothing. A smart woman who wants to look effortless, yet put some serious thought into her wardrobe, wears those clothes. As Michael mentioned, it’s good to see her varying from her vacation/resortwear and into another direction by this point. However, the velvet ropes to Fashion Week were lifted here in part thanks to Bert’s construction skills. He mitigated the snafus that plagued her in the previous challenge by helping her execute the looks she was envisioning. And, truly, their aesthetics are not dissimilar. They both love clean, simple silhouettes that have a big impact. But, Anya can out-style him any day, which is why she is as strong a competitor as she is.

Viktor made three totally fine looks, and as the judges mentioned, they would be on every shopper’s receipt if sold to the masses. But was this the “wow” moment we all know he’s capable of? No. He has proven to be so consistent this season and obviously knows his way around a sewing machine. We were missing the magic from the recipe, and that’s what he’s so good at. I hope to see that come back in his final collection — and some of those leather jackets and tailored moments he’s known for ... if only for my own selfish, closet-filling reasons.

Joshua’s white cocktail dress was the only look I appreciated from his mini-collection. And, really, when the finish line is that close, why send a look you’re admittedly not happy with down the runway? That “Peggy Sue Got Married” baton twirling dress had no business walking down the runway with the white cocktail stunner. Those two ladies would never sit at the same lunch table. His third look was way too Statue of Liberty for me, and the fabric choice was all wrong. But Joshua will ultimately get through because the man knows how to put on a show.

Laura Kathleen’s three looks had the opposite effect of Anya’s for me — they looked better in photos. Maybe I was sucked in by all of the mesmerizing circles, but it certainly made a loud statement. I think if she had more time to play out how she would create these pieces, we’d have a different final four.