Kimberly, please step forward so we can judge you.
Our first impression upon viewing these looks all together is that this is a designer who struggled quite a bit during the competition. So much of it has the feel of “I’m trying to give the judges what they want” rather than “I’m making a firm statement about myself as a designer.” Not that it’s all over the place; in fact, you can find through-lines in all the pieces. She clearly likes metallics; she likes architectural techniques like folding and draping, especially in the skirts; she’s not afraid of bold colors, she likes to play around with proportion, and she’s far more likely to make separates than she is gowns. The waist is always high and the hips and butt are often accentuated. Her finishing is mostly very good, although not as impeccable as Josh and Viktor, which we attribute at least partially to her letting her emotions get away from her a couple of times in the competition. There’s not a strong sense of confidence in her work here. She second-guessed herself too often in the competition and the overall results feel a little repetitive, like she pulled some standards out of her trick back one time too many. It was a lot of architectural skirts with simple tops or simple skirts with architectural tops, over and over. And for all the praise she received about her stiltwalker pants, the rest of her pants look pretty problematic to us. Her pants entries weren’t quite as good as we remembered. You can see hints of the urban black girl aesthetic she’s proudly trumpeting for her finale collection, but we think she didn’t press that point quite enough during the competition. If that’s her point of view, she should have been firmer about it right from the get-go. We think the judges would have responded much better to a declarative “I’m dressing myself and the women I know” rather than “I’m trying to make you guys happy.” Still, there’s a certain level of chic-ness here and if you squint, you can see the customer base she’s shooting for. Maybe not as easily as you can see the woman in Viktor’s clothes, but certainly better than Josh’s and not quite as narrow as Anya’s.
[Photo/Sketch Credit: mylifetime.com]