PR: Kimberlyology

Posted on October 26, 2011

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]

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

      Kimberly is so likable and classy, it has been hard to separate her a as person from her as a designer.  Looking back at her work, I’m surprised to realize that I hated it.  Every last piece of it, even the stilt-walker outfit that gets a lot of praise. I hated the olive color paired with the military look. I think her outfit during the real women’s challenge was one of the worst of the season from any designer. Out of everything, I think her orange coat was the best thing she made. As much as I thought Anya should have gone home this last week for her mini collection, looking at this, it is crazy to me that Kimberly made it this far.

      • Anonymous

        I have to say I agree with you. There’s very little I like here – pretty much the “dress Nina” look and that’s it.

      • Anonymous

        You took the words right out of my mouth!  The only look I liked was the orange coat (sans the “scarf”) – I think it rocks. 

        She’s is, as you said, likable and classy.  Somewhere in the competition – after the Sheepdog challenge maybe? – she just looked real, real tired and spent.  The wind was gone from her sails.

      • Anonymous

        It’s sad too because, aside from being likable, engaging, and down-to-earth, her Urban Girl vision doesn’t really translate into most of these clothes.  African-American women are soooo chic and well put together.  I don’t see that at all in all but one of these outfits.  Seriously unattractive work here and it’s a shame.  I would’ve have liked to have seen more of her home consultation with Tim because the little we did see of it seemed to suggest that at some level he’d kind of given up on her and was reserving his immediate triage skills for, ugh, Josh.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Oh, Kimberly. I wanted to like you so much, based on personality alone but you made it hard. Your output seemed very repetitive and weak in the competition. But still, I like you and wish you the best in the finale.

    • Anonymous

      Her “real woman” look was criticized by the judges for being too booty-licious or something.  But that challenged was very illustrative of how much better her designs look on the demographic she’s designing for vs the narrow model body type she’s stuck with for the competition.  

      I think she nailed her aesthetic and customer base in that challenge.  Answering the question “who is this woman and where is she going.”

      • Anonymous

         Actually, I don’t remember her real woman look getting any mention at all (I thought it was one of the middle ones that just disappear back to the green room to wait and see who is auf and who is in.  Or was there an extended critique I missed? 

        • Anonymous

          huh – I guess you’re right.

        • Anonymous

          on closer inspection, I think it was TLo’s critique of her outfit that stuck with me.  They thought the skirt needed to longer and didn’t like the way it looked form the back, but were very diplomatic in their criticism.  This look is personally not for ME, but I thought it was some of her stronger work for the type of woman she is interested in designing for.  A little more length, as suggested by TLo would make this skirt a bit more expensive looking.

          • http://twitter.com/Karostl Karo W.

             That was T-Lo’s critique. I did think that look was very strong. The fit of the skirt and top works for a demographic. I don’t have the body for it, but my friends who do would work it out!!!

    • Mary McClelland

      The only thing I really loved was her Nina look, which one. I also think that was the only look she seemed confident in. Go figure. I agree – she should trust herself more and then she would have a better output. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

      When is Project Runway All-Stars on?….. Uninterested….

      • Anonymous

        Sometime next year.

    • Anonymous

      I really liked her mini-collection. I can’t wait to see the rest of her stuff at the finale. Honestly, I don’t really care who wins. I just want to see the clothes. 

    • http://twitter.com/thebestjasmine Jasmine

      It’s so interesting to see how many of them had some of their best work in the Nina challenge.  So far in the -ologies, it’s been clear that what both she and Josh did for that challenge was some of their top work, and Viktor’s dress for Nina was also pretty awesome (as was clear when Anya remade it for another challenge).

      • Anonymous

        The more you think about it, the more it would make sense for it to be.  One of the judges came through and telling them exactly what they needed to do to improve it.  Of course, if they had just left everyone on their own to make it, stylist, er, designer would have sent down the badly made mustard jumpsuit, and there’s not enough Jack Daniels to fortify the judges enough to enable them to pretend that didn’t suck, so they had to send Nina in.  Since they couldn’t have Nina saving just pretty princess’s ass, everybody got the benefit of an on-the-spot critique of what exactly the bossy judge wanted, so it would explain why nobody went too kookookachoo that challenge. 

        • Anonymous

          “One of the judges came through…what they needed to do to improve it.”

          Isn’t what they used to let Tim do?  

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we don’t hear much from Tim.  And I think over the years his opinion ha come to mean less and less.  It’s almost as if the judges heard what Tim said was wrong with a designer’s stuff, and would turn around and praise it.  I think Kensley and her absolutely horrible attitude toward him, was the biggest indicator, as save for the hip-hop challenge (which there was no way they could defend), every valid criticism Tim leveled at her was pretty much ignored.  And plus Tim’s way would have been to say something like, “That’s certainly a bold color I wouldn’t have thought of for Nina,” where Nina straight up said “I hate that color.”  I would love to have Papa Tim back, though.  They used to allow him to actually be a mentor.

            • Anonymous

              How right you are.

              Wouldn’t we all love to have Papa Tim back!  And the old PR for that matter.

              Call me an old  curmudgeon who doesn’t want to change, but I just want to go back a few years….I don’t care for the “new and improved” PR.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1006374212 Berna Starling

      I didn`t remember her stuff beeing so… I don`t know, not convincing. I thought I saw better things from her. And I hate do admit it, but I kinda like her entry for the 70`s challenge. With a few tweaks, this outfint would rock. For example with a cute tank under it…

    • vmcdanie

      I stopped watching even earlier than I thought as I don’t recognize almost half of these pieces. However, I see a lot I do like in this collection. I love that orange coat. She definitely repeats shapes though.

      For what it’s worth, she’s one of the most likable, no-nonsense participants. If I were in a position to be hiring for the fashion industry, I’d select her or Viktor. 

    • http://twitter.com/ros_clarke Ros Clarke

      I agree.  I think some of her strongest pieces came early on in the competition.  She did well to hang on in through the final challenges and make it to fashion week.

    • Anonymous

      She’s a sweet girl (and didn’t she look beautiful when Tim came to visit her?  She looked rested and relaxed.)–but looking these over I’ve pinpointed what I don’t like about her aesthetic.  I generally really like her tops…but I really DISlike her bottoms.  Those skirts tend to make the model look dumpy, and they tend to climb.  (plus they tend to be made out of the inside of a lunchbox.)  And her pants LEGS usually look great, but I don’t like the way they generally fit the body.

      • Anonymous

        She did look beautiful during Tim’s visit – and throughout the whole season.  In addition to her being a beautiful woman to start with, there were times when I found myself looking at Kimberly and thinking “I want to wear what YOU are wearing more than what your model is wearing!” 

    • http://fafafab.tumblr.com/ fafafab

      Kimberly was the best person in that show this season, I wish she’d be a fan favorite instead of… well, you-know-who

      • Anonymous

        In any normal year, she probably would have been fan favorite, but this is the year of the tweet-bots.

    • Anna Maria Diamanti

      She is a little all over the place, but I still see her client very clearly–the funky urban bootylicious woman. Funny, for all their praising of Josh’s and other crappy prior contestants’ “point of view” (which is such BS–who cares about POV in a designer with bad taste and mediocre skills?), I think Kimberly’s is much stronger.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think she really has shown a point of view, and I don’t really think she’s got a clear client, unless you can just say big-butted women, and be done with it.   You never got a feel for what KIND of girl she was dressing; the closest was her 1970s secretary redo.  If you look at her stuff from the front, you really wouldn’t know who to attribute it to. 

        I wish I liked her stuff more than I did because if we were electing a Miss Congeniality, she would have pretty much everyone’s vote (although based on what’s hapening on the PR site, that fix is in, too, so maybe not).  But, alas, I’m not overly enthused by the collection with it’s only rare peeks of sunshine in an overcast collection.  (I’m in metaphor mood today). 

        • Anonymous

          Okay, I just looked at the PR site and the fan favorite system must be fixed. I’m sorry, but with as much criticism Anya has received from the audience, I am finding it very hard to believe she and Anthony Ryan were the only two contestants to receive votes. If she wins the entire competition AND fan favorite, that will be my signal to stop watching the show. That’s just ridiculous. 

          • Anonymous

            Apparently some of the Anya fan sites put up by her fellow T&T countrymen (at least they’re the ones taking credit for) have provided instructions on how to bulk tweet.  Considering last night Anthony Ryan was 10 percentage points ahead of her and the voting ends tonight if I recall correctly, it would be pretty much impossible to say that this, too, is not fixed, as on the last day of voting, without cheating themselves there would be no way to put those kind of numbers up on anyone.  I wish I was a hacking genius because at this point I would go in and vote up that Ramon with 20 million votes who got auf’d the first week.  Alas, my computer skills are confined to turning the laptop on. 

            • Anonymous

              I know I shouldn’t care so much about a television show, but that is endlessly frustrating. UGH GO AWAY ANYA. 

            • Anonymous

              Yeah, I mean, the two of them got literally 100 times the votes of Viktor and others. There’s no way that isn’t automated. I wouldn’t award it to anyone. It just seems too unfair.

            • Anonymous

              Yeah, there’s something really wrong with the fan favorite this year.  Granted the results now don’t really count, because anyone who wants to vote “Anybody but Anya” is going to vote for Anthony because he was at least in the running, but prior to this, where was everybody else?  Does nobody else that appeared on the show this season rate as a hometown hero- thereby picking up, for example, Houston’s vote?  Are they all orphans raised by wolve, currently living Ted Kasczinski type in a shack in the woods that they have no friends, family, or coworkers willing to cast votes for them?  For shame, Project Runway. 

          • Anonymous

            TLo posted an example on their FB page. Someone has a twitter account (maybe multiple someones, but this was just an example), twitters random stuff every 10 minutes and ends with the #PRAnya or whatever the damn code is.

            • Anonymous

              I don’t know whether it was just false braggado or not, but the Trinis were gleefully bragging about having put their best tech minds to work to game the system.  Apparently there was bulk tweeting and I know the actual PR web site was acting bogged down most of the day.  In some ways, even though I’m done with PR, this does restore the balance.  Apparently even the Trinis know her stuff ain’t all that and that not everyone is duped by the pageant smile, which is why they had to machinate her win.  Had their faith been as blind as the judges were this year, there would have been no need.  IOW, even they know she sux, but whatchgonnado- she’s national familyish.

            • Anonymous

              UGH. So that’s why the results are so lopsided! I’m no statistician, but yeah, there is no (honest) way that 97% of the votes only go to two of the contestants, with everyone else getting 0 or 1. Crap.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      I agree with everything you said TLo. She isn’t confident enough. It was heart wrenching to see her struggle. I like her a lot as a contestant, but I don’t understand her aesthetic. I like the silver dress, and the Nina challenge winner was really great. 

    • Anonymous

      Looking back at these, it seems Kimberly was humming along for the first 8 looks, doing basically her own aesthetic of *urban girl who likes to show off her hoochi-coochi what your mamma gave you*, until she hit the dreadful Sheepdog challenge and it was all downhill from there. Her confidence was shaken, and she created one of the most hideous shirts for a man ever seen (until we saw what Anya came up with). She just fell apart. I like her as a person but I’m not sure how she made it into the end, except, yeah, riiiiiight, we’ve got Anyaology yet to ass-ess.

      Totally not my aesthetic. I did not realize until today that she didn’t make anything I liked. Not hated, just did not like. OK, two things, I like the color of the purple top, not the shape. I like the black, white and blue print fabric and really dislike how badly she designed it.

      Totally agree that she was just trying way too hard to please the ever changing judges and not sticking with her vision of dressing herself and urban women of color.

      • Anonymous

         I don’t think she made it for eight weeks.  I think the HP challenge was the beginning of her descent down into crazy land.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the self-shortening skirt she made for that challenge and I didn’t really get excited over the “real woman” challenge- apparently the judges were a little ‘meh’ about it too, neither loving or hating.  And then she hit the men’s wear challenge, and, like you, don’t think she ever really recovered.  It’s a shame because it really would be nice if we could get a winner again who was pleasant so I was pulling for her, but just don’t think she brought it. 

      • Anonymous

        ” her own aesthetic of *urban girl who likes to show off her hoochi-coochi what your mamma gave you*, ”  How would you attribute that to her aesthetic, when numerous designers on PR have sent items down the run way that were just as short or shorter, even some showing  a$$???  sounds as though you are assigning preconceived notions on who Kimberly is. 

        • Anonymous

          Obviously neither one of us really *knows* who Kimberly is. [Unless you are Kimberly]. I was loosely paraphrasing Tom and Lorenzo. What does what I said, in a silly bit of fun, by the way, about Kimberly’s aesthetic, have anything to do with previous PR designers?

          the hips and butt are often accentuated
          urban black girl aesthetic
          Tom and Lorenzo’s words

          No offense meant to Kimberly or you or anyone else.

    • Anonymous

      Like so many others, I love her for her personality and struggle with what to think of her designs.  I do think she could be very successful marketing to her target audience.  I suspect that, like Laura, she’s a far better designer than came across during the season.  It makes me wonder whether this crop of designers really was that awful, or if the ludicrous challenges and capricious judging helped undermine a lot of them throughout the competition.

      I’m sure she won’t be winning tomorrow, but I do wish her the best and hope she rocks her own business. Will be amusing to check in on Friday and see how it actually went down.

    • Anonymous

      In this season of mediocre designs and worse designers, I like Kimberley just for not being an insipid brat.  And, since the stiltwalker challenge was admittedly the MOST APPALLING IDEA EVER, the fact that Kimberley managed to produce ANYTHING praiseworthy should suggest something good about her. I don’t think she deserves a win – frankly, I don’t think ANY of the designers deserve a Project Runway win – but I do think she’s got solid skills and, far more valuable, a functional and appealing personality.

      • Anonymous

        I read “stiltwalker” as “shitwalker” (it’s been a long day) and thought “finally! someone’s saying it like it really is!” so disappointed that isn’t what you wrote.

    • Anonymous

      “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 compeHer 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.”

      One might also put the flaws down to Kimberly being self-taught when Josh and Viktor are academically trained. Kimberly just didn’t wave the “self-taught” flag the way Anya waved the “only sewing 4 months” banner.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think the competition was kind to Kimberley. I can’t really say that I like much of anything here; most of these pieces (her gown excluded) feel awkward and strained to me. I loved her gown.

      Kimberley definitely wins the prize for most likeable contestant, and I hope she does well. 

    • Anonymous

      I never got all the Kimberly love. Well, actually I did, because Kimberly herself is delightful. But her clothes are ugly, and I think she made it this far on personality alone.

    • Anonymous

      In some ways, I find Kimberly the most frustrating of all the designers left, because I want to like her so much more than I do.  In so many of her pieces there is something I really like, but it’s often sitting right next to something that looks unfinished or not-quite-right.  For example I love where she was going with her ’70s pants outfit, and then you get to that weird little hole at the belly that looks like it’s a result of the top not fitting properly. 

      I really like the stiltwalker look, though.  I remember now that she and Becky wanted to show off the walker’s shoulder tattoos.  While the resulting outfit might not translate to real life, I think they made something cool and unique to the model they were given.

      Also, I have to say that Kim’s handling of the team from hell during the HP challenge was masterful.  She very smartly, quietly and diplomatically kept herself out of the drama.  It was both a great show of maturity *and* game-playing.

    • Anonymous

      She started out strong and kind of petered out toward  the end. 
      She didn’t really recover after the menswear challenge. I agree with the judges that her two strongest looks were the stilt and the Nina.
      I’m not sure if her customer is the African American Urbanite, or if it her aim to take that aesthetic and translate it for “every woman”, which would be a much broader client base. Of course when you go for a broader client base you can end up with bland. 
      She should look up Bryon Lars. Or maybe he can look her up. They would be a good match.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        yes, yr right.
        she must know who he is cos she has a similar vibe. he’s got some seriously beautiful stuff, however. again, i’m not sure i wouldve had to qualify his vs hers w/ a however if the PR work atmosphere was less destructive. i can see by the high points of her stuff that she has some real ideas going on, definitely in the vein of bryon lars. if she hadnt felt so defeated i bet she wouldve shown better work.

    • Toto Maya

      I really like Kimberly, and I’m surprised that when I see the clothes here I think they’re hideous, for the most part. But I’m not the clientele she’s aiming for.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Now, this is a serious question, motivated only by a sincere lack of knowledge:  how much of a market is there for Kimberly’s work?  I ask because a lot of the designer clothing that is marketed to African-Americans is lower in price point than a lot of white designers.  Is that because there’s less market or is it just the prejudice in the fashion industry for white looks?

      • Anonymous

        There may just be less demand for high end clothes for African Americans. Generally speaking, there are fewer wealthy black families that would spend money on something like that.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

          And of those few wealthy black families, they seem to go for the same stuff marketed to white people as opposed to clothes marketed specifically to African Americans.  Just look up pictures of Vanessa and Angela Simmons, and they’re not wearing Uncle Russell’s Phat Farm. They’re wearing Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli and YSL.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think the market for Kimberly’s work is going to be as big as the other contestants.  She is clearly designing for the “funky, urban, bootylicious woman” mentioned above.  Being a woman in that category, I can appreciate where she’s going with her looks.  But, as evidence the comments here, they do not have mass appeal.  Fashion industry prejudice overall is just too big a topic for this thread…

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think it’s necessarily a matter of prejudice but rather more a matter of money.  I’m sorry, but most of the women who have $500 to plunk down on a skirt want it to fit like buttah, not have creasing and such or need to be radically altered to fit.  The only color they see is green, and if there were money to be made, they would be chasing it.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Yeah, but there’s an element of prejudice in there too, in that it’s assumed that the skirt won’t fit enough women — because frankly, there are a THOUSAND things walking the runways every fashion week in every city that won’t fit or flatter 95% of women.  I can’t believe that there are SO few women with the butt to fill out Kimberly’s skirts, as opposed to the number of women who can and will walk around braless, yet that’s NEVER been considered. 

            And there’s a lot of snobbery in fashion that supersedes even the love of money.  Look at the number of plus size designer clothes on the runway… oh wait, there aren’t any.  Any plus size designer stuff is just scaled up and it rarely is even scaled all that high.  In a country with an obesity rate over 40% among women, there is clearly a market for it.  To use my earlier example, I can go to any city in the country and find you more women who need a plus size than who don’t need/want a bra. 

            • Anonymous

              In that respect, it more or less confirms that it’s not prejudice against a black urban look.  It’s prejudice against anything that isn’t a size 0 30-26-30.  None of them show, or design for that matter, for “real” women.  So it’s somewhat disingenuous to say that they’re prejudiced against Kimberly with the implication that it’s her black urban vibe, when in actuality it’s that they’re against everything that isn’t in their very very very narrow window, excluding anyone with a B cup or greater, anyone greater than a size 6, anyone over the age of 33, anyone shorter than 5’7″, anyone with a short neck, anyone with a thick waist.  Somebody sending down clothes made for the average size 14 woman here in the USA would have been sent home weeks ago. 

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Oh absolutely.  I meant that particular prejudice, in this case, while it is clearly not going to the only one the fashion industry holds dear — they make me crazy, as evidenced by my frequent rants on the subject:)

            • Anonymous

              LOL  Well, then I 100% agree with you.  It would be great to see something that was really done for the real women who buy the woman- they shouldn’t underestimate the bank account of a size 12 femme.  And I’m not talking about those silly vanity collections, either.  I heard whats-her-name/Sookie/Mike & Molly is “designing” a line specifically geared toward the non-Olivier type woman, although I hope it’s better than what she usually appears in, which is more akin to what Bert & Viktor’s stiltwalker wsa wearing that stylish. 

              But that’s a different thread, too!!

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              That’s one of the reasons I would be okay with a Kimberly win — she’s design for a different woman than a 6 ft size 0 woman.  I appreciate that about her.  I think she just could use some more time and experience, along with a much bigger budget to allow her to play around with concepts more. 

            • Anonymous

              It made perfect sense what you said in another post about the fabrics.  If you’re not used to having $900 per garment, you may not have any idea what a difference that can make.  It’s a shame she does seem un-winnable this year, because she could truly benefit from the money.  And as long as she makes something for those that are not quite as robust in the buttocks, that would be great, too.

              I can’t figure out why she has virtually no fan favorite votes, though.  She did unravel a little bit toward the end, but even then she was nice and not scheming or even being a little snarky.  Why she’s not up there with Rockin’ One and Princess Laya is beyond me.  

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Because sane, reasonable people don’t use Twitter?  :D  (Twitter and I don’t get along:)

              I know I’d have a real problem with some pieces because I just don’t have customers for them — the women I dress want work clothes, bar clothes, and casual day with kids clothes.  There’s no room for ball gowns — much to my dismay.  If you’ve never worked with the more expensive, high-end fabrics, I could see going with the ones you were used to, simply because you know how they’d perform. 

            • Anonymous

              Applause for this post!

    • Anonymous

      It seems like she fell apart a bit towards the end.  Looking at everything together, I’d say she’s actually lucky to have made it through based on a few of the later challenges.  I think she’s a good designer who didn’t do well with the reality game show pressure.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe ONE model of color would have helped showcase her POV.

    • Anonymous

      The first two rows look quite good.    the next row was not very good -her looks started being more inconsistent

    • Anonymous

      Did she make the comment along the lines that she should win because she is African American – or that it is about time an African American won?    Because I can see the point in the second case, but in the first case ..not so much. 

      The second case basically says to me that the judges need to respect different (cultural, or heck size) views of fashion and I can agree.  the first, well I don’t think that she is the strongest this season.  

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think she said the first, although I think others have.   And it is true, but I’m hoping they don’t give it to her simply because.  Some of the past African-American finalists they’ve had have had outstanding collections that I don’t think even stood out as really targeted to a specific ethnic group.  I seem to recall that Korto and Kira Saun (sorry if I butchered their names) both put out exciting work that would have appealed to black and white woman and with Korto her looks would have worked for women of all sizes- I loved her stuff (unless it’s the fondness that comes with the passage of time- I may need to hop into my way back machine and confirm that).  And Mychael Knight, who I thought was just terrific his season, just fell apart in the runway show; much as I loved him and his personality, I couldn’t see giving him the win. 

        So I’m not sure whose fault it is that African-Americans aren’t winning.  Of course, if Viktor doesn’t win this year, we may be able to add Latinos to the list of people that are already bridesmaids but never a bride. 

        • Anonymous

          Well, judging on the seasons thus far, Kara Saun lost because Jay flat out outdesgined her, Mychael Knight lost because his finale collection went off the rails, Jerell lost because he was distracted by shiny things, Korto lost because they responded more to Leanne – though it was really close and could have gone either way – Emilio lost because his finale collection was awful.

          • Anonymous

            ” Jerell lost because he was distracted by shiny things”

            Thanks for the laugh!  I did love Jerrell, though often thought he dressed himself better than his model.

    • Anonymous

      She had some promising looks, but also a whole lot of fug.  Not sure why she’s going to the finale, but I think that about three out of four of the ones going.

      I think she would have been helped by a different model.  I remember Korto had a relatively full-bodied model which worked well with Korto’s aesthetic.  I think Kimberly with her bold color choices and curve-focused clothing, needed a less-angular and less-pallid model.  Someone a little sexier who was at ease in Kimberley’s clothes and, then, like Laura’s model Camilla, able to give Kimberly some useful feedback.

      I don’t need lots of model drama, but I miss the switching up–it makes a difference for the designers.   I think Camilla helped Laura Bennettget to the finale–and Camilla chose Laura.

    • Anonymous

      Remind me again why she’s a finalist? Oh yea, the rest stank even worse.

    • Stefanos Mantyla

      I am still sticking with that Nina look as my number one throughout this whole season. That was really a shining moment, and I still believe winning that one challenge helped her make it here. Even in the small picture of it here it sticks out. Otherwise, I totally agree with what you have to say. She sure looks like she struggled.

    • Anonymous

      Funny, I actually like more of this than I remembered. The Nina look is great and love the black & red dress, that was the avant-garde challenge, I think? Still, overall rather pedestrian output. Not sure why she’s in the finale.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1314915676 Harvard Bridges

      From what she’s made on the show, Kimberly seems to have quite a bit of range: a gown, pants, shorts, coats, dresses. Even so, her execution faltered a lot through the competition. She showed promise in the beginning, hit a roadblock in the middle, and kept chugging along until the end. I give her props for keeping her chin up, since being on the show can literally suck the life out of you.

      My favorite pieces that she has made include her pet store challenge look, the Nina Garcia look, the bird-gown and that glorious orange coat (minus the scarf).

      Anyways, I really want her to win. She was the best contestant to watch on the show (in my opinion) and my heart really went out to her during last week’s episode. I find her collection to be chic, strong, and relevant to her asthetic.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve always liked Kimberly (Team Red Lobster!).  While I don’t think she has had the easiest time in the competition, I’m easily rank her output over Josh’s and Anya’s for the competition.  I think that with more time, these looks could have been completed into something stronger.  The 70′s pantsuit is a fabulous idea ruined by poor execution.  The orange coat is not a bad design.  While there really are some clunkers (Sheepdogs, 70′s first look), each of the other pieces feels like it has something of her in it that’s not standard.

      Someone mentioned whether there was a market for her looks and I think there is.  Her clothes (aesthetically) would size up better than Viktor’s because it generally takes into account that everyone isn’t a perfect hourglass shape.  Her use of structure (whether on bottom or top) would help balance out ladies with a more pear shape, or flatter a girl who is looking to show off her bottom or bosoms.  Think of these looks for girls who want to go out to a dance club and own the night, but don’t want to be seen in a discount store.  With someone to help focus her fabric selection and ample time, I could see her selling tons of clothes.   

      As far as winning as African-American, I think that most of the African-American finalists (Kara Saun, Korto, & Emilio) have actually done strong collections that were beaten out by stronger collections. I think Kimberly’s is the best of the season 9 collections (which are admittedly weak).  I would not be upset if she won.   

    • John Manson

      I’m really happy that she made it to the end because she’s brilliant, and I like the direction her collection is going in, but so few of these pieces are strong that it’s a bit upsetting.

    • Anonymous

      This is somewhat off topic, so excuse me, but I don’t tweet (I’m too old and just end up twooting).  Supposedly, when Anya suddenly went off the charts in votes, Project Runway put out a tweet saying that there was no cheating going on.  Did anybody see such a tweet or is just that the Project Runway blogs have become the property of the T&T set (they moved in a couple days ago and even though I turned off the TV and the lights and hid the good liquor, they still won’t leave). 

      And does it strike anybody else as sad, or else maybe the biggest indicator of what a horrible season this has bee, that Project Runway would be put in the positon, if true, of having to say there was no cheating?  In ANOTHER PROJECT RUNWAY FIRST, they have to get out ahead of it and declare that it’s on the up and up, despite the fact that the popularity contest, which somehow had been between only two people anyway, after weeks of being a 55 to 46 vote, suddenly totally flip-flopped overnight, and Anthony Ryan is getting lost in a T&T haboob.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Honestly, I could see that — it’s not cheating for people to vote for her.  And I could see her countrymen voting as much as possible once she made the finals because they’re excited for her.  I mean, maybe she just didn’t get much press about it for the first several weeks, but since she’s now in the finals she’s getting more attention and more votes. 

        And everyone tweeting about how much they hate her counts as votes for her as well.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with you in a general level, but considering there have been web sites dedicated specifically to Anya on how to bulk tweet their votes, I’m a little skeptical.  It may not be cheating, but it’s against the spirit of the thing.  How can she really be the most popular if it’s the same 100 people sending in 5,000 votes? 

          I don’t remember who got most popular last year, but has there been a year that had this many cheating accusations, rigged, hand-picked, etc. floating around?  I mentioned before that I might just be forgetting it all, but I can’t remember it being this bad, even last year with the Gretchen-Mondo fiasco. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

            last year there wasnt much talk of cheating cos it didnt seem like duplicity was what was pushing gretchen along. whether you liked her work or not [not], & even if the judging seemed insane [yes] it did seem like the actual judges were doing the judging. it certainly didnt feel like the whole contest was rigged even before production began.

      • Anonymous

        I just wanted to applaud you on the use of “haboob.”

        • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

          me too.
          i had to look it up, btw, & i just loved the photos.

    • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

      The pants she made in the stiltwalker challenge are badass.  The look she made for Nina is really sharp. Looking at her avant-garde piece, I realize I kind of love it. Looks #9 and #10 (the 70′s challenge?) both have potential. But, ooph, did she stumble a lot. I hated that she had so much trouble presenting her POV, and that she never recovered from her meltdown late in the season. She seems like an exceptional woman, and I think there’s an underlying self-possession that she lost sight of on this stupid, stupid show. There’s a lot of stuff here I don’t like, but I hope she pulls herself together, stays focused, and builds herself a successful business.

    • MilaXX

      Kimberly has been very likable throughout the whole competition. I see the moments of self doubt you speak of. I hope she finds her voice because I would love to see her urban girl aesthetic make from someone who hasn’t come from the music biz.

    • Anonymous

      Looking at all her work here makes me realize I liked Kimberly better than I liked her work. The Nina outfit is the real standout. I like the concept of the orange coat, but it was poorly realized. The last silver dress was very nice, but should have been made of a drapier/less stiff fabric.

      Still like her work better than Josh’s though.

    • Anonymous

      I think Kimberly has a POV in her head that is not at all translating into the clothing she is producing. I’m not seeing that urban girl edgy aesthetic she talks about, I just see a lot of dull clothing. I suspect she also needs to learn a little bit more about fabrics and how they drape and move on the human body. I think a lot of her fabric choices may be working against her. I wanted to like her work because she was absolutely the most likeable of all the contestants. But I just couldn’t get on board. She definitely can sew; I think she just needs alot more seasoning and focus. She’s not ready.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Yeah… some of those designs would have been vastly improved by better fabric choices.  I wonder how much of that is a result of being self-taught and on a budget.  I know there are things of mine that would be better served by silks, but that’s not always an option.

        • Anonymous

          That might be true of things she produces at home, but on the show, she has the same budget for textiles as everyone else. And I don’t think she used it wisely.

          • Anonymous

            Speaking from my own point of view, it’s possible she thought this may not be the time to learn how to work with a specific fabric.  Drop your budget on a few yards of whatever and learn to use the fabric on what you send down the runway?  There was only one person getting graded on a curve, and I suspect Kimberly’s cry of “It’s the FIRST TIME I USED SILK!!!” would have been met with Nina’s icy glare and the sound of crickets, followed quickly by Mo, Larry and Shemp mocking puckered seams, unfinished hems, or not cutting on the bias. 

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZVZWZAQLXCM3JKKASGYN3EMBRQ Edith Piaf

              Just popped into Laura’s blog. What did you do? I step away for a couple of days and a giant fufurah has erupted. Sorry I missed it, would have enjoyed throwing a little more gasoline on that fire. I thought Trinis were laid back. They are so easily inflamed.

            • Anonymous

              Haha!!  I am not responsible.  They’re all victims of spontaneous combustion.  I’ve only had a couple posts, one because they straight-up lied about something, and the other I think was telling someone else not to bother because it was pointless.  And then they really overran the place.  LOL  Is there anyone non-Trini still posting?  When last I looked, it had been a couple hours of Anya’s pre-coronation celebration so I unsubscribed to the threads. 

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              What a bunch of wackos!  I have defended both Anya and the show on MANY occasions, but comments like those are why TLo stepped in weeks ago to tell people to do so without being a jackass about it. 

              I particularly loved the “You guys don’t like her because she’s not American.”  Huh, that’s odd, I’m pretty sure Josh was born in the US and he’s gotten just as much hate. 
              Besides, most people who are going to dislike her nationality are probably going to dislike Kimberly because of her color.  It just doesn’t make any sense.

            • Anonymous

              I know.  It was okay over there until the Trinis showed up and just went kinda crazy with the name-calling and the nonsensical responses, no matter what the post was-  And you’re right about the group that would dislike Anya for not being an American would dislike Kimberly, too.  But the fact of the matter is that Anya is an American citizen.  I don’t know how much time she has spent here, but citizen she is (LOL  Anchor baby!!)  The first day they showed up, I tried to actually converse, the second day I tried to talk around them, and then I just quit.  I’m sure Lifetime is thrilled that all their blog-posters have fled; advertising wise, I’m not sure how much the T&T crowd spend on any of the stateside stores especially since we’re entering sleeve season for most of them.  Thank god, another few days (she’ll win tomorrow and then they’ll cackle for a few days) and then the world will settle back on its normal axis and the uber-partisans will go back to whatever it is they do in T&T.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZVZWZAQLXCM3JKKASGYN3EMBRQ Edith Piaf

              It actually looks like no one is posting on PR anymore. I didn’t try because I didn’t want the kneejerk defenders to pull a groin muscle or something.  The gist of it all is “support Anya because she is Trini”! Who cares if she has talent? They must be a lot of fun during soccer season.

            • Anonymous

              I think this had something to do with Fan Favorite which Anya was losing for the last few weeks and suddenly T&T voted up a crapstorm and she’s 70,000 votes ahead with the win of the $10,000. Guess she really is going to get to donate it to that teen entrepreneur fund. She got all the cash prizes so far this season! Though I don’t know if she’ll win the big one…

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            That’s not what I meant.  If she is self-taught and has ALWAYS had to work on a limited budget, she’s not experienced with more expensive fabrics and isn’t familiar with what they can do.  So she continued grabbing what she knew.

    • Anonymous

      I like Kimberly a whole lot better than I like Anya and Josh, both work and personality, but I thought she came across as whiney and sad much of the time.  She has absolutely no chance of winning.  I think the judges included her in the final four to create some drama and expected to send her home last week.  But when Anya came in with that pile of dreck that she called her collection they were forced to include Kimberly so they could spend another week admiring Anya’s few pitiful skills.  I think there is a huge market for Kimberly’s work and she will do well.

    • Anonymous

      Most of these outfits make the models look chunky (or voluptuous, depending on your POV).

      • Anonymous

        But I think that’s a big part of what Michael touched on in judging in the last episode. She herself has admitted, I believe, she’s dressing an urban, likely African-American woman and playing with proportions like a bigger butt. She’s not going for a super skinny supermodel ideal, she’s going for a woman with a very different desired proportion – a bit bigger, especially in the lower body.

        • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

          & more & more, this is becoming a universal aesthetic. or at least part of one. it hasnt gotten there yet, but for the first time in about fifty years, it’s on its way.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            If you look at the individual pieces, there’s a lot that can be worn by someone who isn’t necessarily Kimberly’s girl, but likes the piece.  For instance, I have NO interesting in displaying my butt, as it is by far my least favorite body part.  But the striped top from last week, I would completely wear with a skinny jean.  The cocktail dress is something I’d consider — though I’d have to see it on me to decide. 

            She’s selling a look to the urban AA girl, but the pieces could have a much broader appeal, which was one of the things that I think really came up with her styling — she was making it harder for someone like me (not all that urban and glowing in the dark) to see themselves in it. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      her best stuff is very good.
      her worst stuff isnt that bad.
      almost all of her stuff is of a piece; if range is what yr looking for, it isnt there.
      otoh, & possibly most importantly: the atmosphere in that workroom was so noxious, so nasty, that i doubt anyone who didnt enjoy the vicious spirit inherent in some competition & specifically encouraged in this one would be able to do his or her best work.
      then again, some of the people who knowingly & meanly participated couldnt do their best work either [ie: laura].

      if PR is to continue, i wish they would pull all the poison out of their program. otoh, i am absolutely certain they are absolutely certain that this is a main factor in why people watch so i am absolutely certain, redux, that they wont.

    • http://profiles.google.com/rosatcollege Ros Clarke

      The more I look at this, the more I think the rock band challenge was the turning point for Kimberly.  She did so badly – and she knew she did – that it totally broke her confidence.  After that was when she really started second-guessing everything she did and came up with much weaker looks as a result.

      • Anonymous

        I think you hit it – Kimberly’s troubles, I think, almost always came when she second-guessed herself.  I don’t think she had any real issues with time management when it came to construction, but she’d go in circles for a while during the planning process. Spending even a little bit too much time in your own head can easily send you into a tailspin on this show;  you’ve got to get your idea crystallized and GO GO GO.

    • Anonymous

      Kimberly has talent but she needs to refine her targeted client.  I’m not sure who she is designing for.  She says it’s the urban black girl but that is too broad to really have meaning.  Sort of like saying one is designing for suburban white women.  Who is this girl?  Is she into trends?  Does she rock a natural?  Is she young?  Mature?  Professional?  How does this girl use clothes to express herself?  What is she trying to express?  I think if she can really define her girl, she could be on to something.  Right now, it feels too disjointed.  

      • Anonymous

        I never thought of urban black girl as being too broad, but you are totally right. Thanks for opening my suburban white girl eyes a little more!

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Kim’s designs are more for a body type than as an urban aesthetic and that’s why her argument and depth of concept get shallow. She likes a curvy on the hips/bottom/thighs silhouette (bust, not so much). Warm skin tones that get enhanced by vivid color. If her real woman model was put in all of these looks, they get a lot more interesting. She did push out of the box on her 2 successful challenges – Nina’s top, which connected the limited but present style worldviews of the 2 women and the cream formal dress, born out of hardship, but showed that she can turn a corner & do something different with her aesthetic.
        You are totally correct – she needs to sit down and define this client. She champions her, but I don’t think she knows her that well.

    • Anonymous

      I like her work. I’m surprised that the judges pegged her as a “pants” girl from just two pairs of slacks at the beginning.  While her aesthetic isn’t necessarily mine, I like her voice when she lets it speak. And she’s so sweet and non-drama oriented. 

    • Anonymous

      Rats.  I haven’t had a chance to come take a look for a few days and now Anyaology is gone.  Will it come back?

      Wishing Kimberly the best of luck in her career.  I hope she lands in a design job where she can pursue her vision.

    • Anonymous

      If this was a personality contest, my vote would be for Kim. But since it (supposedly) a fashion contest, I hope Viktor wins. But I won’t be mad if Kimberly does.

    • Michael Telles

      Out of all the finalist, I enjoy the color story that Kimberly presented with her clothes. It’s not as in your face as Josh’s clothes, but paired with the metallic clothing, it is more interesting to look at.

    • Anonymous

      I liked, or at least saw something hugely likable in, 6 of the 15 looks here, but simply hated 5, with the rest registering as mediocre or well-intentioned misses.  For this cast, that’s not bad – but I agree with the assessment that she suffered from a scattershot response to the judges & to stress so that there isn’t the cohesion that she might show if doing her best/most representative work.

      ETA: Like almost everyone else I liked her personality as shown on t.v., and I hope she benefits from the PR exposure.

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      I’m rooting for her. Viktor or Kimberly and I will be satisfied.