PR: Ripping the Collections – Laura

Posted on October 20, 2011

To our eyes, Laura’s collection was easily the best of the Project Runway collections shown this year. Even if you don’t agree, compare her collection to those of the finalists: it’s head and shoulders above each of them. What makes this so interesting to us and something of a damning point against the format of Project Runway, is that her collection looks nothing like anything she did while in the competition, forcing us to wonder if the competition really has any value at all in determining talent.

This was gasp-worthy and totally unexpected. We would have thought that we were going to see nothing but Barbie clothes walking that runway. The use of brass as an accent was a recurring motif in her collection and she sent the most embellished look out first to make her statement. We applaud the unusual-ness of this look but we think in this case, it’s a bit too embellished. A more judicious use of those brass plates – perhaps a bit more scattered throughout the dress instead of completely overwhelming it – would have made more sense to us. Still, as a “Wow” moment, it can’t be beat.

This is a surprisingly chic, modern and understated look, coming from her. We really love the deconstructed feel of that blouse and we love that she knows how to use sheers without making the outfit look like lingerie. The fit on the pants is not great, though. Too loose through the hips and crotch.

Not the most fashion forward of designs, but again, we appreciate how she uses things like sheer and lace. It’s on trend, but it doesn’t overwhelm the look. Really, what makes this look is that amazing cuff. We talked to her briefly at the HP PR reunion party during fashion week and asked her about the jewelry. It’s all her designs. That’s a stunning cuff and a perfect complement to such a simple outfit.

Very pretty and feminine without lapsing into Barbie-ness at all. Instead, it’s quite modern. That’s a gorgeous print and we love the way the skirt was cut. Again, the jewelry is stunning.

We love both these pieces, but we go back and forth as to whether the pattern-mixing works in this case. We really like the pairing of lace with autumnal tones, which is something you don’t see a lot of.

We wish she hadn’t gone for these belly shirts. If this top was just a skosh longer, we’d say this look was perfect. Beautiful and flowy, but modern and earthy at the same time. Love the idea of the metal strap, but it looks like it’s pulling a bit too much. Still, major props for pairing something so heavy with something so light and having it turn out this well.

Gorgeous. Unlike a lot of Anya’s work, she’s showing a real understanding of how to construct flowy garments and making them look interesting without relying on a print to do a lot of the work. Really love the double straps and the gold belt here.

This is the only look we really hated. A lot of that has to do with the print and the shininess of the material. To our eyes, it’s just an ugly print.

Ditto here. We’d like this look a lot more had she chosen a different print. The pants are pulling too much across her hips and we’re not crazy about the proportions here: very high-waisted pants paired with a belly top.

Just stunning. In fact, we’d put this up there with the most gasp-worthy of the PR finale looks. It’s the only look from any of the collections this year that actually made us gasp. The brass embellishments on the bottom are gorgeous and perfectly utilized: not too much; just enough to make the point. A gorgeous, simple black gown made unique by an unusual element.

In our opinion, had she been in the running, this would have and should have been the winning collection. It wasn’t without its slight issues, but it was beautifully and thoughtfully rendered, with just the right amount of that elusive quality the judges call “point of view” paired with that other elusive quality called “fashion forward.” It says something about the arbitrary and highly unrealistic challenges imposed on the designers during the competition that we never even got a hint that she was capable of this sort of thing – or even that she had this sort of earthy/glam aesthetic somewhere inside her. She’s a far better designer than the competition allowed her to be.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Anonymous

    When you originally posted finale collection photos, I thought for sure Laura was the winner. But I ended up being disappointed in her work throughout the show. I assume she does not work well under pressure. I wish she could have stepped it up during the show, because she surely would have come out on top.

  • Laura Goulding

    She would have done much better in a season more heavy on ‘make a pretty dress’ challenges.  They would have allowed her real style and design to come through. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  They had too many challenges with strict points–birds! Rock bands! stilts!–for her to really create something like this.  And a one day challenge is limiting.

  • This really and truly looks nothing like anything she produced on the show. How strange. This sort of reminded me a bit of the last Donna Karan collection from NYFW. Which, I really liked. This is a really nice collection; well styled too.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, that first dress is a direct ripoff of Lizzie Gardiner’s Amex Oscars Dress

    • Anonymous

      I thought the exact same thing!!

    • Anonymous

      Dang you beat me to it! That was my first thought as well.

      When TLo first posted the pics from the finale I thought Laura was a finalist. While not my cup of tea, this collection was the best styled and looked more expensive than all the others.

    • Anonymous

      I see a connect, but I think calling it a direct rip-off might be a bit much.  Also, I have absolutely no idea who that person is and have never seen the dress before this moment.

      And after wikipedia-ing it, Laura and I were ten years old when that dress was worn.

      • Anonymous

        The exact reply I wanted to make. Thank you!

      • I was in high school and I remember it vividly. I didn’t even have to look at the link to know what she was talking about.

        • Anonymous

          I remember it vividly, too, but I wouldn’t call this a rip off. IF Laura’s seen it, then an homage or inspiration.

          I do wish the dress was one row longer, though. At this length the proportions are off.

          • The Amex dress is a laugh- a good visual joke but ultimately unwearable. If Laura’s dress is a rip-off it’s a huge improvement. It seems she’s one of those designers who can’t just throw something together in a hurry.

          • Anonymous

            I agree. (Is that a bari? Hard to tell in the teeny avatar picture.)

    • Anonymous

      I should have read further before posting my comment–I was reminded of that dress too. I’m not sure I’d call it a direct ripoff, though.

    • Anonymous

      Well, if you are going to put it that way then you might as well just say she ripped off Paco Rabanne which is who Lizzie Gardner ripped off..or, more correctly, was inspired by.   I don’t think Laura was thinking of the amex dress when she designed her dress.  It’s not the first dress that comes to mind.   Paco Rabanne is someone she would have studied in fashion history. 

      • Caroline Bracco

          “I defy anyone to design a hat, coat or dress that hasn’t been done
        before…The only new frontier left in fashion is the finding of new
        materials.”  – Paco Rabanne

    • If anything, the Amex Oscar dress ripped off Paco Rabanne.

      • Anonymous

        You beat me to the punch with Paco Rabanne, but I would say both Laura Kathleen and Lizzie Gardiner were “influenced” by Rabanne.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t agree.  The effect of Laura’s is very different–if you’re talking about linking polygons of metal together, then you could say both ripped off Paco Rabanne, but I don’t buy that either.

      Laura linked her metals together differently–the dress shapes differently.  Lizzie’s was basically a simple tunic that dropped from her shoulders.  Laura, somehow overlaid hers on a black dress without pulling the fabric or making it seem disconnected–I assume it’s an overlay.  

      Just because it makes you think of another dress, doesn’t mean it’s a rip-off.  

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure it’s a rip-off in that, while that dress got a lot of publicity, it wasn’t the first time it had been done either.


    • Exactly!

    • Anonymous

      Actually, if Laura did base it on the Amex dress, then I think her version is a perfect example of taking inspiration WITHOUT ripping something off.

    • Caroline Bracco

      I was thinking the same thing, but then, if you continue that line of thought: the credit cards have been replaced with quasi-razor blades, which makes a “sharp” commentary on our economic state. Brilliant.

    • Anonymous

      Which in turn is a direct rip off of Paco Rabanne’s plastic & leather and hammered aluminum dresses from the 60s.

      Fashion is cyclical.

    • Nowhere near it. You guys stay reaching. 

    • Anonymous

      I ‘knew’ I had seen that dress before!  I so hate knockoffs & cheats!

  • Anonymous

    I am flabbergasted by the level of skill and taste in her finale collection. I had no idea. I wonder what La Nina thought of all of this since she was Laura’s fiercest critic while she was on the show.

    •  La Nina is kicking herself

      • Anonymous

        I bet she is! That branch-like necklace alone is fabulous/covetable. 

  • Joe J

    Definitely one of, if not THE best collections this season, I agree.  I like that she used that circular lace in that beautiful top; it’s almost like she’s saying “See?  I can do a lovely circle-themed look, after all!” I do like the cuffs/armlets, but I think Chloe used a bunch that looked similar in her PR collection back in season two.

    Having said that, the first look is definitely eye-catching and gasp-inducing.  And it’s also definitely not for a girl who plans to sit down at any point in an evening out, unless she wants to literally put the “ass” in “brass”.

  • Lila Sadkin

    Finally some pretty clothes! I really like this collection. Early in the season I predicted the finalists would be Viktor, Anya, and Laura, and this proves to me that I was right. Stupid judges and producers for torturing the challenges to force everyone to make awful clothing all season.

    • Anonymous

      While I wasn’t a Laura fan at all, I will concede that this is (mostly) a lovely collection.  Maybe she’ll mature into a good designer with good taste.

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t we all been complaining that there’s been nothing but “make a pretty dress” challenges ever since the show moved to Lifetime?
      Now we’re complaining that there weren’t enough “make a pretty dress challenges” just because one designer doesn’t fare well with unconventional challenges.
      I think Laura has the best collection as well, but back in the early seasons there might have been any number of aufed designers who would’ve made equally fantastic final collections, that we never got to see because only the final three made it to fashion week.  
      The show is what it is and Laura couldn’t compete. In the first five seasons we never would have known what she was capable of because there weren’t any decoy collections.

      • There needs to be a balance, and that’s the problem.  Yes, we all bitched loudly about the overabundance of “make a pretty dress”, but it can’t only be unconventional stuff or we never get to see what the designers can do AS DESIGNERS.  The unconventional stuff is cool and fun, but not at the expense of having no idea what we could expect from the designers going forward after PR.

      •  I recall the season they went to Paris and made gorgeous gowns – that was wonderful.  I’d love to see them allow a 2 day – ” here’s $300+ – now find yourself some inspiration and knock our socks off” challenge when they get to the final 6 or so – this would allow them to really have a bit more freedom to show what they are about and what they are capable of.  I’ve noticed over the years some designers work BETTER when restricted by a challenge – like Josh this season – when restricted by the woman and her hubby to keep it simple he did a decent design, when restricted by only having a couple hours he made the decent orange dress, when given freedom his stuff has been tacky, incoherent and flat out ugly.  Other designers have more difficulty with restrictions and blossom with freedom – like Laura.  So a mix of the two  might allow the top of the crop to shine.

        • Anonymous

          I LOVED that episode. IIRC I really disliked Jeffrey before that episode but the gown he made in Paris was gorgeous — and I think the reason he won that season.
          I’d love to see them do more episodes like that — more money and more time. But I think B/M and Lifetime are too cheap for that. 24 hours and $100 seems to be their upper limit.

          • Alberto Galarce

            But then they  give all the decoys $9,000 each because they can’t seem to get their sceduling right, and God forbid there should be any considerable gap of time between the the last challenge and the finale!

            What if they had made the contestants show in February instead of September…

            1. NO DECOYS, That’s about 5 collections they wouldn’t have had to finance. About $45,000 saved.

            2. More time for finalists to work on their collections. I think the decline in quality of the collections goes hand in hand with the decline in time for finalists to make them. Season 4 finalists got 14 weeks to work on their collections, as opposed to the 5 weeks finalists seem to be getting lately. It showed.

      • Anonymous

        If the show is just going to be a popularity/bitchiness contest with people who happen to make clothes, “make a pretty dress” would be better, since then at least we’d get to look at some pretty dresses. If the designers continue to be mediocre and the challenges continue to be unconventional, the clothes will continue to be awful. I wouldn’t mind watching a show that’s all about crazy bitchy designers. But if they’re pretending to still be about creative fashion, it sets me up to expect creative fashion and then gives me the clothes from the Sheepdogs challenge, and that’s not cool at all.

        • Anonymous

          You’re probably right. I guess I’m hoping the mediocrity of this season’s designers is an anomaly. I’d like to see us return to the days of good designers dealing with unconventional challenges while minimizing the drama.
          Silly of me, I know…..

  • Anonymous

    It’s so true. It really seems like Laura has the taste and skills that she bragged about. That final look was gorgeous. But it seems Laura sadly is a lousy contestant who does not work well under pressure. Honestly where was the taste level when she went shopping at Mood. 

    Oh well good for her. In instance like (and Kara Janx) there’s a reason for decoy collection

    • So true. Kara’s collection was so much better than what she produced on the show.

    • Anonymous

      As an x-pr contestant I can tell you she does work well under pressure.  She got to the 5th position!  You try keeping your design aesthetic after 4 and a half weeks of sleep deprivation, facing Heidi, Michael, and NINA.  Ha, that is no small feat 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Nina definitely had her second-guessing herself. But, 5th position or not, I support the notion that the whole PR format this season – one-day, poorly-defined challenges (many of them in teams); sleep deprivation; low budgets; excessive workroom drama; favoritism —  led her to produce mediocre work. In a season of stronger contestants, I don’t know if she (or Kimberly or even Josh) would have lasted so long based on the work that we saw from her.

        • I think you need to be a very specific type of person to succeed in that format.  For one thing, you need to function with very little sleep, which a lot of people can’t.  In fact, I’m sure some of them just fall asleep while working at times — I know tons of people who do that. 

      • Anonymous

        Who are you, please, if you don’t mind my asking?

      • Anonymous

        It’s interesting to learn about the timeline… I kind of wish the shows indicated how many actual days in to the competition the contestants are at each juncture.  

  • Amazing collection.  I would never, ever have guessed this was Laura’s.  But I think I disagree with you.  There were plenty of opportunities in the competition challenges for Laura to do something different and show something darker or edgier or just plain less Barbie.  Again and again she sent the same stuff down the runway.  So that says to me she doesn’t work well under that intense pressure.  Which is fine, but not really a fundamental flaw in the Project Runway structure. Some designers respond well and others don’t.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  I think Laura was distracted during the competition.  She could have designed these types of looks but did not for whatever reason.  Maybe she’s just a person who needs a bit of solitude to do her best creative work and the show reflected that.   In any case, that’s not a fault of PR.   

      • Anonymous

        Personally, i felt she was distracted by trying to be this “rich Barbie girl” persona she adopted that was so annoying and really didn’t help her in the end.

    • BerlinerNYC

      It also makes me wonder if she got some design help during her time off. Just how much feedback did she manage to get to turn her messes into this?

    • that’s exactly what i was going to say-other designers were able to work their aesthetic into their work on numerous challenges. i think at this point, we all would recognize a josh, anya or victor look without being told who designed it. and i think their final collections were an extension of what we’ve seen from them on the runway. so, if her final collection bears no direct comparison to her work on the show, i feel that it’s kind of her own fault. that being said, i do love her final collection, much more than anything she did on the show.

      •  I kind of agree. It’s entirely possible, even probable, that she needs time to mull over her work. That’s not something that was easy to do on PR, especially this season. At the same time, was it impossible for her to put her true aesthetic into what she produced on the show?

        I am positively shocked by her collection. I really didn’t think she had it in her.

        • I drew a blouse the other day.  It took 7 attempts over a 5 day timespan to get it “right” — there was something I wanted but wasn’t sure what until I played with it enough. 

          • Yeah, that’s the thing. I know some artists can work fast if they have to, but real inspiration often takes time. I’ve seen my husband spend hours, even days, getting an illustration (or a political cartoon when he was still doing them) right. On the other hand, a fair amount of his cartoonist friends do their best work when they’re 45 minutes from deadline.

            But I still don’t get how we saw none of this kind of aesthetic on the show. Maybe she did just give up.

          • I’ve done both — it depends wildly on the piece.  If it’s something that just came to me out of love, no problem; I may work on the sketch for some time but that’s because I can’t draw. 

            If, as happens often, I’m trying to come up with a 12th way of making work pants interesting (and there aren’t many) for the same client… yeah, that takes MUCH longer. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, wow, wow.  I kept whispering, “Is this the same contestant we saw on TV?”  I’m in agreement with your evaluations, both as to the strengths and the weaknesses.  And there are a lot more strong pieces than clunkers.  Laura, it appears we dinna know ye….

  • Anonymous

    “Tlo said: In our opinion, had she been in the running, this would have and should have been the winning collection.”

    Shoulda woulda coulda… and I agree. Whether it is the producer manipulation or the structure and time constraints of the competition, designed to pull ‘drama’ out of the contestants by keeping them off-balance, any talent or quality is a sidebar to this show. And that is too bad.

    BTW, that black gown is GORGEOUS!


    • Anonymous

      I knew this collection was coming up and I knew it was one of the strongest collections–my favorite gowns were by Bert, but Laura’s was probably the best coherent collection.  

      So I kept waiting to see some glimpse of that ability in the challenges and it never appeared.  Even knowing she turned out a great finale collection, I couldn’t argue with her auf–just felt she should have taken Clinique and Kimberly with her.

      Yeah, she and Bert had the real winning collections and neither’s in the finale.  What a mess.

  • Anonymous

    I also assumed she would have won based on the first posting of her collection. Many of these looks, I would buy… and I am so not “fashion forward.” This is, in my opinion, Victor’s dream line, and I am sadly disappointed that he didn’t get this kind of effort out there for his final collection.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    She is infinitely more talented than the competition allowed made her be.

    • Anonymous

      Hit the nail on the head! Every challenge felt more style-oriented – will Nina like this? must incorporate loreal colors! – that it would become easy for a designer to loose their own voice in trying to please others. But still, it was her choice to do so. I think more than anything, Laura just couldn’t hack the pressure. Seriously, her confessionals were always so screechy and her designs so BLAH. I think we a mental break and all the time, she was able to focus and make a good collection.

      • I think she was not a designer that makes a good contestant — and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The show has seen numerous mediocre designers who won a lot of challenges because they were good at working with limits, and more than one who was the exact opposite. 

        My guess is that she’s someone who just has to go where the inspiration takes her.  And I don’t know that she would have won if she was still in, because I don’t know that she would have presented this collection if she still had to think about what the judges would say.

  • Joyce VG

    Who knew? This collection is fabulous.

  • This collection kills me every time I see it. When you first posted it all I could think was of how the other collections had no chance and from what I’ve heard it stole the show. 

    Oh, and there was definitely a hint of this in the pet store challenge, although it’s easy to overlook especially with the amount of work you both put in each and every week. I couldn’t do it, not this season.

  • A few challenges ago, Laura Kathleen actually posted here on TLo. It was buried because it was so far back, so not sure how many people saw it. I hope she sees this post and the largely positive reaction to her collection. 

    • Anonymous


      • It was on the post titled “Funny Girl”, and it was the  last page of comments.

    • Anonymous

      What did she post on TLo?

  • Anonymous

    first look is very rudy gernreich-mary quant–like the fourth and fifth looks … really like the skirt on the fourth–for me way too much black and gold … always a nice combo but heavy on the eyes

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, I saw this and basically laughed at most of the other collections.  I assumed Laura would be wiping the floor with her competition about halfway through the season.  This collection has to be embarrassing to some of the other finalists and the judges.

  • Wow, impressive, and I agree, except I DO like the shiny brown print a lot.  Except for the tiny black triangle at the crotch…..

    • I am wondering if that is the model’s underwear?  Or an intentional black pantie?  The material is sheer in parts. If you look at the pant, you can see the pantie on the side.

    • If the patterns had been better matched on the gown it would have worked more- I see a seam right down the front of the skirt that distracts me.

      • I like it better that way — it’s clearly intended to be set different, so it works.  I don’t think the pattern always must line up, as long as it’s a design element and not laziness.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone notice that Viktor did something similar in his final collection- mixing the hard metal bits with the sheer fabric?

    Anyway, the collection is for the most part stunning. Take that Nina, for constantly questioning her taste level!

    • Anonymous

      But how could Nina NOT question her taste level, considering Laura’s output during the challenges? Yet another nail in the coffin that is this season.

  • I also assumed Laura would be the winner, but hopefully she’ll do well for herself – I would love love love to have some of those pieces in my wardrobe !
    The last model looks exactly like the actress who was playing Lila, the annoying British chick, in Dexter. We should all be entitled to hate her and steal her dress.

    • Anonymous

      That’s true! Although she does have this really ethereal look that goes quite well with the dress.

  • maybe she’s the opposite of mychael knight (knyght?  i know there’s a ‘y’ in there somewhere…) because he made beautiful clothes throughout the season, then his finale collection was straight hoochie… 

    • Anonymous

      I’m thinking Kara Janx. Of course, Kara’s collection was much better than Laura’s, but Kara was a decoy and also had the absolute best collection.

  • I am glad you are so enthusiastic about Laura’s collection. When you posted the collections, it was easily my favorite–beautiful and tasteful, with just enough spark to look fresh and exciting. I wish the print hadn’t been so shiny, but you can see the thought behind it. I think using a bold print that with the color story was a wise idea, and there’s a brassy element to the shine that wasn’t an accident. In practice, however, it looks to shiny, particularly under those runway lights.

    Just imagine if we’d seen this level of work during the show–and if the judges and producers actually cared about talent, at this point. Laura may have had a chance to shine, rather than being forced into playing “mean girl.” Laura strikes me as a good-hearted woman at heart that, in the wrong company, allows her bitchiness to take over. As the days wore on, I think she got wrapped up in Josh’s drama vortex. Even good people can get caught up in the histrionics that surround that them; we saw it with Bert, too. I wish all the best to Laura. She’s smart and talented, and has en eye for detail that we rarely saw during “The Real World, Brought To You By HP.”

  • “She’s a far better designer than the competition allowed her to be.”
    BINGO. I never would have recognized this as Laura, at least not the Laura we got to know. A couple of those looks recalled the 2nd 70’s look, but rendered much better. Maybe her biggest problem was the time constraints? Which is weird, because she is one contestant who really didn’t complain about that.

    But it’s interesting to see what a seemingly mediocre competitor can do when given free reign. The bizarre challenges and forced teams really stifled her.

    • Sarah Masson

      Maybe she didn’t have issues with constructing a look in one or two days, but I wonder if it was the 30 minutes and limited budget at Mood that really tripped her up (how many times did we hear her say what expensive taste she has).  And once they get fabrics there’s no turning back (oh, wait, unless you are Anya).   

    • I think she might be someone who is really susceptible to the influences around her, and she thought about the judges too much. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks.  I thought she hit it out of the park.  I wish her all the best and she joins good company in the PR almost-contenders.

    • Perhaps a future PR All-Stars competitor. Maybe a second time around will bring out the good taste as opposed to the crap she showed us.

  • BerlinerNYC

    Ok, I do like that last one. And the first one would be eye- and paparazzi-catching on the red carpet. But really, no comment at all about the sheer tops? That just reads sluttysluttyslutslut. I know that actual purchasers of said outfits are allowed to wear bras under them, and honestly, I’m not a boobophobe, but I think the same point could have been made with a stylish black bra underneath. Or maybe at 38, I’ve turned into old crotchety guy. Kids, get off my lawn!

    • It appears that at least one sheer top is now required for a runway show. All the top designers are doing it.I just find it distracting.

  • I remember looking at these collections and thinking that Laura would be the winner, even though there was a good deal of stuff that was not to my taste. If Nina had seen any indication of this during the show, she would have fought for Laura tooth and nails, imo.

  • MilaXX

    When I first saw the runway collections, this one and Anthony Ryan were the 2 the stood out for me. Even though I hated the first dress I picked Laura as the winner.  This was somewhat surprising to me as I hated her Barbie/country club audition portfolio and I haven’t liked anything she’s made on the show. LOVE her jewelery.

  • Anonymous

    When you posted these back during Fashion Week, I thought for sure that she was, at the very least, a finalist. I really liked it, and in fact, loved some of the pieces. I also think her styling choices and the jewelry were beautiful and elegant.

    The black gown is stunning and I loved the blouse/skirt combos. I think this collection is much better than Victor’s, the only designer among the remaining ones that I have any interest in seeing win. It’s really too bad that for whatever reasons, she was not able to use her considerable kills to this extent during the rest of the season. I wish her well.

  • What I find so deeply confusing here is that even when she was given the chance in competition to do something that was really her vibe she didn’t go there.  The recent Governor’s Island Challenge episode is a perfect example.  Perhaps it comes down to being someone who does not work well creatively with others around.  I loved the collection with a few exceptions, and was pleasantly surprised that it was Laura of the Barbie Clothes who did the work.

    • I agree.  Although I see the point that the limited scope of some of the challenges could have been a bit stifling, there was still a lot of opportunities for her to at least show a hint of this.  That last black dress is exactly what TLo said it was–STUNNING.  Really one of my favorite PR runway looks ever.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, I will always remember that dress. If I had somewhere appropriate to go and the figure for it, I would TOTALLY buy it from her. It’s an amazing dress. I hope it shows up on the Oscar red carpet. It’s that good.

    • It may be that Governor’s Island wasn’t her thing.  Maybe she didn’t find any real inspiration there.  I know it’s a great place, and I would love to go and explore.  But I get inspired by people, not things.  I mean, I’m obsessed with the sidewalks in Chinatown (I know, it’s weird — but they’re great sidewalks.) but I could never make a dress based on them.

      • Inspiration is such a fickle and evanescent thing.  It comes when it will and vanishes, just as suddenly, seeming to have never existed.  Clearly whatever it was about the experience of doing PR it did serve her very much, by giving her focus and a platform to show her real merit, even if it was as a shadow player.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. I had been a real fan of Bert’s final collection until this point, but this is exceptional. What a pleasure. But I’m sad to hear you say this was head and shoulders above the real finalists. Each year I hope the best collection wins (but almost every year I am disappointed — mostly by Jillian not winning). Good job Laura! I truly disliked her designs most of the season, so this surprise is lovely.

    Well, I’ll just have to hope y’all are wrong and one of the remaining designers comes out with something I think is great and ya’ll think is “meh” — disagreeing with you two doesn’t happen often, but isn’t unheard of.

  • Anonymous

    LOVE the last look. The first look reminds me a little of that AmEx dress that the costume designer for Priscilla Queen of the Desert wore to the Oscars way back when. 

    • Anonymous

      That’s the first thing I thought of too when I first saw it.

  • Anonymous

    Based on the challenges, who knew that Laura would produce a collection such as this?  I haven’t viewed all of the finalists’ collections yet, but this is quite impressive.

  • Anonymous

    Kara Janxed. What a pity too.

  • Anonymous

    I think Laura Kathleen had a very strong finale collection.The looks using the fabric with handwriting on it are my favorite.. She probably could have bet all four of the remaining contestants with this collection. I wonder what the judges thought about this collection, and Olivier’s and Anthony Ryan’s.
    She had worn several jumpsuit or maxi type outfits over the course of the show (which I assume to have been her own designs) so I don’t know whether or not she was influenced  by the Anya factor or if it was cheekiness (if you can’t beat them join them) but Anya is right in the middle of this runway show, wearing the mui-mui that T and Lo don’t like #6.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Well, I will admit that your attention to detail does get me to sit up and notice the merits of this collection. It does not feel very profound, but I do like 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 more after reading your commentary. 1 is too stiff-looking, and I do not get 2, 8, and 9. But the design-gimmick is pretty attractive, I will say. Maybe she could have been on top.

  • Joe J

    I would say Laura is a prime example of the kind of contestant on PR that is hella talented, but chafes under the constraints of the challenges. Some contestants do extremely well when given guidelines and make it to or near the final 3, but who fall short (or fail spectacularly) when left to their own devices in creating their collections (Mychael from season 3, Jerrell from season 5, for example).  And then on the other hand you have Laura, who IMHO joins Kara Janx and Valerie from last season as contestants who floundered as the competition progressed, and then cranked out polished, well-made, fashionable collections that put most of their competitors’ collections in their respective seasons to shame.

  • Anonymous

    I’d agree that this collection is better than anything she produced during the challenges. But if this is the winning collection, I think that pretty much sums up what’s happened to PR.

    The first dress is interesting, but it’s very badly fitted–the bodice is a wrinkled mess. Looks 2 and 3 are fine, but there’s nothing really interesting except the gasp-worthy exposed breasts. (Remember the fits the Duchess had over Wendy Pepper’s one see-through top?)

    I really like the skirt in look 4 and the skir tand top in look 5, and I like them together.  Pairing those two prints raises the level on the overall outfit a bit.

    Not crazy about the white gowns. Kind of boring.

    And then there’s the Laura-Copying-Anya-Copying-Uli look.  Only in a hideous print.

    The black gown is lovely and nicely done.

    But overall, this collection is very hit-and-miss to me.  I’m not gasping.

    • The difference is that now exposed nipples have been all over the runways the last couple seasons — which personally I hate.  It’s lazy on the part of the designer.  The garment DOES NOT function without something else added, so you should add that something else when you show it.

  • Anonymous

    Yep. When the original finale collection photos went up I was POSITIVE she was a finalist & I was surprised that I liked her collection better than the others, though I wasn’t convinced it’d be a winner.

  • Alberto Galarce

    Money given to finalists to work on their collections. $8,000.
    Winning Project Runway. $100,000.
    Upstaging the real finalists in front of fashion industry professionals with a collection that was probably made with a smaller budget. Priceless.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, but are you sure it was made with a smaller budget?

      I never thought about this before now, but do the decoy finalists have a strict budget to adhere to? I’d be interested to know how much Laura Kathleen spent on this collection, especially considering her trouble keeping to the challenge budgets during the taping. I’m sure she would have the means to use her own funds to supplement the decoy allowance if it was allowed.

      • Sam

        See, I wondered that too. She obviously comes from money, and since she’s not within the competition anymore, is she really bound to the same rules as them?
        I mean, she gets the same audience as the winners in fashion week, so she might as well pull out all the stops and really go for it. Even if it was against the rules, what would the do, disqualify her?

        • They could refuse to let her show…

          • Sam

            But that would be a spoiler to the fact she wasn’t in the running anymore.

      • Alberto Galarce

        It seems this year they gave the designers $9,000 to work with, and upon further reading, I do believe the designers are all given the same amount to work with, finalists or not. Remember when designers were given 3 months to work with, instead of 5 weeks?

        The point of the original post still stands… Laura has gained an audience and potential houses who might want to hire her. That is a REAL prize. You can throw all the money and creative suites in the world to a designer, but if that designer doesn’t have the goods or a good standing in the industry, the best use of that money is gonna be to pay off student loans.

  • Well, all I can say is you were there and you are certainly right that none of her challenge looks even suggested any of this. I thought she should have been out weeks ago, for the appalling striped top, and then again the week after. But I also thought she seemed fragile after the first couple of challenges. She had her persona to maintain and she seemed to crumble a bit every time she tried to be sassy and confident. The “I should be a finalist because this is what I’ve always wanted” is a plea for the Make-a-Wish foundation, not a competition.
    That said, these clothes are impressive. Thanks so much for the rundown since we won’t get to see them on the show.

  • Anonymous

    courreges, the first look — and, yeah, most all of these designers are far better than the competition has ever allowed them to be — the shorts thing can die as far as i’m concerned

  • K

    Thank Goodness! I’m so glad you guys like this collection. I personally have always thought Laura had this in her, but I was disappointed with the results during the season. After she was eliminated I went online and looked her collection up and thought it was really beautiful. So disappointed that she was cut before being able to show such a great collection.

    I do agree that sometimes shows like this aren’t a good format for some people. Not everyone works well under these conditions.
    It doesn’t mean they’re untalented.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t get it. Where was this woman during the challenges?

    This collection is gorgeous and it is nothing like anything she did on the show.  It’s as though her entire fashion sensibility were removed and replaced by another one.    I do not agree the competition in some way prevented her from doing this type of work.  Her work on the show was justly criticized; she didn’t show anywhere near this level of taste. 

    Well, whatever caused the 180º turn, I’m happy to see it, and I hope she gets the kudos from the industry that this collection shows she deserves.

  • lovely work. i just hardly see the point in it anymore. yeah, she won’t win, but you have such a small shot of winning anyway. but she got to show her collection. MOST of the cast did! what is the point? isn’t it the glory, the exposure, the thrill of being at fashion week? you’ve just gotta be in the upper 40-50% of the cast now to make it. ugh.

  • Wow. Totally unexpected based on her work in the competition. I love this collection! …..and now I’m sad about this show being so jacked up. 

  • Eclectic Mayhem

    I suspected this was your favourite collection from the day and am right there with you re: the harlequin fabric and the proportions of the second to last look.

    Hats off to Laura – she IS the Kara Janx of this season; the judges must’ve been squirming in discomfort when Josh’s collection came down the runway.  Take that Nina!

  • Amazing what people can do when given enough time, sleep and lack of personalities!

  • Anonymous

    Looking at this collection, it befuddles me why Laura embraced the stodgy old Neiman-Marcus in herself instead of the designer she presents here.  Maybe she had an epiphany heading home.  Instead of looking at her mom’s friends for inspiration, she looked to her own.  GOOD FOR HER!!!!  I haven’t been a Laura fan but I do admire the work she’s done here.  That is the great thing about PR – in my mind, Laura was out but today, seeing this, she’s in. 

    • Anonymous

      Oooh there’s an interesting thought. Maybe the rough experience she had on the show forced her to re-evaluate her approach and choices.This was always in her and maybe, just maybe, she needed a bit of a beatdown to force herself to look for it

  • Anonymous

    Props to Laura – that is a great job, and I agree – the last black piece is a jaw dropper – it’s hard to make a black dress stand out from the billions of other black dresses out there, but this did the trick. I actually love the brass mini at the beginning – it is a heavy looking dress, but I feel that the angular nature of the brass pieces really gives it an interesting, avant garde look.

  • Wow…that is a shame.  This doesn’t look like Laura from the show at all.

  • Anonymous

    “She’s a far better designer than the competition allowed her to be” …. that’s quite an indictment of the show and i couldn’t agree with you more, tlo.  the show has become such a joke.  i absolutely LOVE the last black one….

  • Anonymous

    I was there, that black dress made me gasp for sure.

    • Anonymous

      I was there as well. Not only did the dress move beautifully but when Megan (model) walked the runway you could hear the brass pieces on the bottom of the dress chime. So not only was it a visual experience, but an audible as well.

    • Ah, come on, viceversa21, tell us who you are.

  • Susan Crawford

    Yes, this represents what I can only call a “what if moment”: as in what if PR had a shred of commitment to the original idea of helping designers to actually design and create clothing rather than fulfill cracktastic product placement challenges; as in what if the judges quit acting as if they are auditioning for the midnight show at a comedy club and offered substantive critiques instead of quips and snark; as in what if Bunim/Murray wised up and let St. Tim of Gunn spend much more time mentoring and critiquing, as in the golden, olden days of PR?

    Laura’s work all season was sub-par, and I wrote her off as truly third-rate. But now that I really study this collection, I feel that she DOES have something rather special. And guess what, Nina? I think it is hard to really call her out for her “taste level” on 99% of the looks in this grouping. Laura, I wish you all the best – you have what it takes! And if you market ANY of the jewelry, I will be first in line, because it is just fabulous.

  • Anonymous

    Wow is right. I think it’s uneven, but the strong looks are very strong, and nothing like what I’d have expected. I really thought her entire p.o.v. was frou frou gowns for southern belles (sorry, southern belles) and maybe jackets for perky southern realtors (sorry perky southern realtors). Color me surprised and impressed.

  • Anonymous

    This collection is what Gretchen’s should have been.

    • The geometric embellishment is very referential to Gretchen’s jewelry. I like Laura’s use of it better. 

      • Anonymous

        Yes, I thought so, too. And Laura did use it better. 

    • True THAT.

  • Anonymous

    wow, i am shocked.  who would have thought she was that kind of designer.  i really misjudged her. sorry girl!

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  That is indeed interesting.  A very good point that her output during the show bears no relation to her collection.  Hm, could it be that ridiculously compressed, nothing-but-1-day challenges, combined with emphasis on situations that create hostility and maximum drama, don’t allow a person to do their best work?  Go figure.

    I think allowing half the contestants to show at NYFW has totally undermined the show.  Especially since they tweak the editing to still make it look like no one else showed.  Ridiculous.

  • I thought it was the best collection, too. So was it Laura the designer that you guys pulled aside and told them loved their collection, and then they told you that they got all your jokes? Because at the time I thought it was her.

  • Kate Pearce

    I like the last and the first and the mixed prints in the middle, but some of the construction and fit is still bad, so I’d put it as a solid second to Bert’s from what I’ve seen so far. (but then I’m an old git) 🙂

  • Yuhri Hirata

    What are the rules for the non-finalist collections? Are they given a strict budget to adhere to? Or are they allowed to use their own funds to add to the collection? I wonder because when I saw her collection I thought she had taken full advantage of the finalist budget. If limitation to budget is not the case, it does make me wonder how much of the gorgeous fabrics and brass fittings were a result of good decision-making vs. having the funds to go above and beyond what she’d otherwise be limited to?

    Like most of the other commenters, I thought she was a finalist based on the collection alone. Pish.

    • Anonymous

      historically the decoys are given the same budget as the official finalists. I wonder though if the decoys are required to provided a record of receipts

      • Anonymous

        This time around, I believe the decoys got less money and less time. 6 weeks to do their collections and 6,000 dollars compared to the finalists’ 8 weeks and 8,000 dollars? Not 100% sure though. 

        • Everyone only had five weeks to put together their collections. Of course, the decoys had longer to conceptualize theirs since they were no longer on the show.

    • Anonymous

      Were the fittings actually all brass?  Paco Rabanne used metalized leather.  I’m wondering if Laura did something similar.  Otherwise, you’d have a seriously heavy dress.

  • Anonymous

    This was one of my favorite collections too – maybe even my favorite.  When some of my friends looked at all the collections, though, none of them seemed to remember this one. I love it though.

  • I think Laura started out the season fairly confident, but in the face of the judges’ disparaging comments,
    coupled with their overenthusiasm over Anya’s crap, Laura lost her stride and was trying to please them
    instead of herself.

  • Yeah, I love this collection.  I always have a problem with the first final collection photos — there are so many at once that they just blur together in my mind.  I have a much easier time of it as people are eliminated:) 

    I do, however, disagree on the print.  I like it, and I think it works very well as used.  I liked the first bronze look as well.  I think it would be WAY TOO MUCH… if it were in a store.  Walking the runway, I think it’s perfect as is.  It makes the statement she was looking for, and by going so OTT with the bronze treatment, it bumps up the show and allows for far more minimal pieces later. 

    One thing I’m particularly impressed with is how well she put the show together.  Her order of looks, particularly the opener and closer, was outstanding.  The styling was spot on and flattering on a large range of models.  The jewelry is fantastic — I would buy that cuff in a heartbeat and I’d wear it all summer long. 

    Overall, this is one of the few collections I’ve ever seen from this show that really, truly surprised me.  Not only because it was head and shoulders above her work on the show, with a completely different style, but because even taken on its own, it is a really great show.  I wish we would have seen more of this from her during the season — in fact, I can say that about a lot of the designers this year. 

    Next season, I really hope they go back to challenges that allow the designers to show who they are more.

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear, those were stunning. That first dress is to die.

    I’d love to see PR get back to designers who can really take risks, and are encouraged to do so.  Also, why not start giving the designers more two, or even three day challenges, and set the bar maybe a little higher?  I know many people thought Ping was a total freakish disaster, but she sure as hell was not designing “off-the-rack” or the dreaded “wearable.”  

  • The last one reminds me of a wind chime. In a good way. Very impressive. She’ll do all right. 

  • Anonymous

    Who knows – maybe there’s A Twist! coming on tonight’s episode and she makes it FW after all and Clinque Counter will be out.  I agree that hers was the best, though I came to adore Bert’s collection as well..

  • Anonymous

    Laura was much better in the beginning of the competition, maybe she just choked; some people work better under pressure than others. Clearly, she has much more taste than any of us or Nina, for that matter, knew. Beautifully done and quite commercial at the same time. I am happy for her and note to Laura’s 12 yr old self: you still made it to Bryant Park!

  • Look #5 is my favorite of *any* of the PR final collections. Outstanding. Love the idea of black lace appliqued to the top, the skirt fabric is gorgeous and the color combination of the two is stunning.

    I wish there were judges comments on the also-rans, just for validation. Of course it’s more likely they’d feel compelled to continue the  spouting the bullshit that resulted in Anya and Josh making final four.

    • Anonymous

      You know, I thought that it would be nice to have the judges comments on these collections, as well. But at this point, I don’t trust that the judges know what they’re doing. So I’m content to have this lovely collection speak for itself. 

    •  To me, that outfits looks like her attempt at a successful do-over of the HP clock challenge, with the cogs and the wording on the skirt.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. And that jewelry is way better than Gretchen’s. I’ve been annoyed at all the decoy collections, but with a muddled season like this one, it’s good that the better designers had a chance to show people what they really can do, even if they weren’t in the ridiculously rigged “top 3.”

  • Beautiful, eyecatching, and original.  Also, just interesting enough for the right woman, one who wouldn’t let the dress wear her.

  • This shows that given a reasonable amount of time and funding, designers can do their best work if they have the talent. Given a day and a half and 250 bucks…?  Well, then you have Project Runway.

  • When there were 10 designers left I called her the winner.  Was disappointed last week with her aufing.

  • Carey Cauthen

    Wow. Extend those shirts just a few inches and this collection would be one of the best PR collections ever, not just for this season. I hope Laura gets a lot of exposure and work from this, because she obviously has the goods.

  • Rand Ortega

    What the hell just happened?
    Why is such an amazing collection coming from a crap contestant?
    Well, to Laura & her collection’s credit, she’ll get a great career out of PR.
    While I’ll still feel like I’ve lost several hours of my life watching weeks of her awful designs & shit talk.

  • Anonymous

    Another case of fantastic designer, terrible reality show contestant. Because this is head and shoulders above everything she did on the show, and every other finale collection. I hope this gets her a lot of attention.

  • Wow, I am surprised. Not stunned. But pleasantly surprised that is for sure. The color palette is unique and really lovely. I certainly like some of the looks more than others but I agree that in general, it’s pretty fab. I can see that some of the posts are suggesting that maybe she had help with her collection and that explains the big turn-around. But I disagree. I see Laura in this collection. I also see time to sketch and think things through and spend hours in fabric stores – time to be thoughtful and be an artist. It’s great fun to watch everyone rushing about on the show but it certainly is true that all artists aren’t capable of thinking on their feet and you can’t fault her for that.

    • I really don’t like when people level accusations like “maybe she had help and that’s why it’s so good”.  Is it possible?  Sure.  But unless you have some sort of evidence beyond “better than he/she’s done before”, why not give them them the benefit of the doubt?

      • I agree. It’s offensive.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more Shannon. Something got Laura to the competition and it’s not unreasonable to assume she can produce better clothes when given time and money. Not to mention a full night’s sleep. It certainly is more reasonable to think that than to assume she cheated.

  • Truly, while I don’t dislike the print, it looks more like something Anya would have used.

    • This print actually reminds me of the metallic geometric wallpapers so popular in the mid-’70s. Had one in yellow, brown and silver in my guest bathroom. Sounds awful, but it was quite the statement back then.

  • Anonymous

    I loved several of her pieces and her jewelry is to die for.  It is sad when you have someone you thought had NO shot at getting into the finale showing something so beautiful (when Clinique is going to serve you up a ride to downtown tackyville).  It really does point out the clear flaws in the PR system.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been ruminating about this collection since the post came up, and I now wonder how much gnashing of teeth
    went on behind the scenes by both the judges and producers about Kara-Janx-deja-vu-all-over-again. Then again, outside
    of TLo and the Loyal Legions of Minions, Bitter Kittens and Unborn Fauns, who
    among the general viewing public will know how thoroughly Laura cleaned everyone
    else’s clocks?

    • There are other places for find the decoy collections, so a lot of other people have seen them (though why you’d want to see them alone when you could have TLo analysis with them is beyond me:)  In fact, last season one of Micheal C.’s pieces from his decoy was used on the cover of a story about FW or PR at FW… I don’t remember where, but it was a pretty impressive publication.

      • Anonymous

        If I remember correctly, the story to which you refer was in the New York Times.

        • I think it might have been — I know it was something like the Times, but I only ever saw it in passing…. I hate when I can’t remember inane details!

  • Anonymous

    I thought the first and last looks were gorgeous.  I was not as big a fan of what was in between the first and last looks.  Her prints were atrocious, and the beige was an unflattering color on the models she chose.  I liked the big cuff once but she overused it, and it didn’t pair as well with some of the other outfits.  She did a better job than I thought she would, but I still don’t think she’s all that strong a designer.  

  • Anonymous

    I think her look looks so much more expensive than some of the other designers.  I completely agree.  If she had produced this level of talent in the competition maybe she would have won.

  • impressive, love the colors

    this reminds me of Gretchen’s collection last years, if it had been well made, I mean, the colors are similar, so do the jewelry and the overall aesthetic, but this one is cool, Gretchen’s was ugly

  • seff p

    Her collection was the only reason I was hoping they would keep her.  But really they couldn’t based on what she showed during the competition.  She really showed some subpar work.   All the sheers, however, made me think it wasn’t.

    TLo how did the collection look in video?  I’m disappointed only that I won’t get to see it.  Or perhaps I missed any videos and only saw the pictures.

  • OT but since Gretchen has been mentioned here: her apt is featured over on Design-Sponge’s blog. She’s blonde now.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats to Laura- this will be a good calling card in her career.  From the positive comments thus far, it seems the Blenley image is largely forgotten (or forgiven).

  • Anonymous

    I guess when she stops focusing on what the other designers are doing and doesn’t have anyone to shit talk, she can actually focus and design well.

    • Anonymous

      While that may be part of it, think how many challenges they were stuck doing in teams and with what others have referred to as forced inspiration.  While I understand that for there to be a competition, there have to be imposed challenges, the fact that they worked so hard to make the challenges and twists and even judging work to the advantage of one and to showcase another, meant that nobody was really given the opportunity to design.  Unless she intentionally kept it under wraps so that she could get to this point and then be auf’d and, presumably, out from under any contractual obligations to the PR brand (not sure how that works for the also-rans). 

      • I would guess — and this is just a guess — that the PR contracts are still in effect for anything shown under the PR heading. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised at how much of this I like. Well, I’m actually surprised I like any of it because nothing Laura produced on the show interested me at all.

    I don’t care for the cropped shirts, and the fit on that first blouse is whacked. I like that portait-esque collar, though. That rust patchwork satin fabric looks like she put it through a mangler or something.

    Love the first and last dresses the most. Then those skirt and top separates in the middle.

  • BTW… Lifetime, if anyone there is reading this, instead of that craptastic After the Runway frightfest, I’d much prefer to see comments from the judges on the decoy collections — what did Nina say when she saw this?  Make it an online extra, do a special after the season, whatever.  But that’s what I really want to know. 

    Thank you, that is all.

  • I was not a Laura fan during the show, but this collection is gorgeous. Serves the judges right to end up with lemons after pushing Josh and Anya at us all season, but what a loss for those who don’t look up at the decoy collections online. I wonder if LK got caught up playing the game and couldn’t focus on her designs? This looks incredibly thoughtful, and while referential to greats like Rabanne. I see that and possibly a little of the whimsy of Fortuny or Mdm Gres in some of the *shapes* of the longer flowy pieces. In the end though, this really is her collection, something I didn’t see from her during the show. Congrats to her on producing a lovely collection. And please, LK, sell that jewelry. It’s fantastic!

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  I am in love with that black gown.

  • Anonymous

    I’m disappointed we won’t get to see this collection on TV.

  • That last dress makes my heart ache in the best possible way. Such a shame that she didn’t make it to finals. 

  • Anonymous

    I am amazed by this collection—it is cohesive and beautiful. It doesn’t look like anything she produced while on the show. Where was she keeping all this talent? The jewelery is wonderful–I really like the brass pieces that sort of look like coral. My favorite dress is the black gown with the brass accents at the bottom–the whole thing evoked falling autumn leaves for me. 

  • Anonymous

    The challenges this year were so ridiculous and so unrelated to clothing an actual person would consider wearing that we never saw anyone’s actual taste or style, except for Bert who stubbornly refused to play the game and Anya who apparently can only make beach cover ups.  So what was the point of it all, I wonder.  This really is a beautiful collection. 

  • Anonymous

    This looks nothing like the tasteless barrage of 1970’s Barbie referential junk she put out all season. This is gorgeous.
    I know T + Lo are indecisive on the autumnal and scribe patterned and paired piece, but I love it. It’s actually my favorite look of the collection.

  • Anonymous

    Rarely do I disagree with the Blogging Geniuses of All Time (no sarcasm; I do think this should be your official title, TLo).  I do not like this collection at all.    Even those gorgeous models can’t make the clothes look good without proper fit and IMO the fit is consistently bad.   I loathe the first look and the brass cuff looks more like something Laura would buy at Neiman Marcus if she had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    • “and IMO the fit is consistently bad”
      On the weekly challenges, yes this would be a deal-breaker because they have the same model each week and know her measurements. For the final collection, they construct a collection and then have what? two days? to choose ten models and fit them. Someone like Kors has whole teams of fitters and stitchers to get it right for the runway. So I’m consistently amazed that the clothes fit at all.

  • Anonymous

    I tend to agree with TLo that PR is not the vest venue for determining talent as a designer.  It is a survival of the fittest competition, and really depends more on strategy, as the sleep deprivation and ridiculous time frames to complete a challenge could cause a really talented designer to snap. 

    Laura’s collection is one of my favorites of the final collections.  LUV the first look, and both short skirt/top combos.  I’m impressed with her jewelry designs too, and absolutely LUV that gold cuff. 

    • PR contestants really should try the Uberman sleep schedule beforehand — it’d come in mighty handy…

  • Anonymous

    Well, I liked it alright the first time I saw it, when I went back about a week ago I was surprised how much I didn’t like it. I liked a couple pieces here and there still but nothing that would make me want to look her work up in the future.

  • Wow! O.O I didn’t look at the collection photos you posted during fashion week because I didn’t want spoilers, so I had NO CLUE Laura had this in her. Project Runway is obviously in its death throes, sadly. 

    And while that shiny print isn’t great in the bright lights of the runway, I’d LOVE to wear it in some way in the dappled, low light of a cocktail party. I think it would be stunning!

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I think that print would just glow in the right setting.

  • Anonymous

    Nina hated her from the beginning, so she was doomed. Very unfair, I had picked her as a finalist from day one, I’d love to know what Nina’s problem was.

    • Anonymous

      I wonder if was part of a cross-over story line where Laura’s little sister got chosen for a lead performance in Dance Mom, forcing Nina’s niece onto the bench as an understudy. 

  • Anonymous

    I hope Laura reads these comments. I was surprised by her tears at the end because I thought she must know she was going home. Now I see these and understand how frustrated she must have been by turning out the work she did when she was capable of so much more. These are beautiful, and really do look like fashion, not clothing, and not student work. Laura, keep it up. Even Nina can’t fault your taste here. Oh, and I like the two pieces TLO doesn’t like—like that print very much. 

    • That may have explained some of the bitchiness, too.  Frustration can make you ugly…

  • …wow, I have to agree, this is not a collection I would have expected out of her, based on her work on PR…and yet, it’s everything she said that she stood for, but was never able to back up during the competition. Guess it just shows that a little bit more time can go a much further distance for some people!

  • “She’s a far better designer than the competition allowed her to be.”

    I completely agree. As much as I dislike Laura as a person, her collection blew me away. I really loved it and it’s too bad we didn’t see this type of output during the competition. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I hated this collection when you first posted it, not because it was so bad, but because it was so good. I thought, that girl is definitely in the top three, and since she’s never been one of my favorites, I was irritated.  The print reminded me of Anya, which is never good. The last look was clearly her best. The first, while striking, seemed so confining. I guess she is this season’s Kara Janx. Good luck in your career, Laura. You showed you had the chops with this collection.

  • Ben

    I guess she really was knocked down mentally when Tim told her about Nina’s concern of her taste, so she probably took it to the heart and went all out for revenge. 

    • Anonymous

      She’d have been better off designing this sort of thing on PR, rather than waiting until she was auf’ed.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah this was one of my favorites and I’m very disappointed she didn’t make it into the finals. Viktor’s collection was cool and I have no objection to him as a finalist, Josh is kinda iffy and Anya is just ridiculous, her collection was nowhere near as interesting as this one.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you guys. The first time I looked at the collections, I picked Laura’s as the winner—hating myself for it the whole time. As she said in her BPR post-auffing interview, she felt free in these pieces to show who she really is and not try to please the judges. However, one has to wonder whether, if she’d be truer to herself throughout the competition, the judges would have recognized her real capabilities.

    • Anonymous

      The challenges were not geared to allow her to showcase her capabilities.  Dressing a rocker dude, inspired by the painting of a teenager, something to be worn with tennis shoes, and all the other inane challenges rarely provided her an opportunity to do her thing.  And, really, I can understand why at a certain point she might have quit trying.  Why waste your best work if the judge hates you and the best praise is heaped on the Emperor without regard to his nakedness. 

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree.

  • Christy Cricow

    Theory: there are three different kinds of designers.  Some, like Laura Bennett, have such a focused aesthetic that everything they do in a PR challenge can be seen through that lens. They don’t surprise us much, as a result. Others, like Mr Knight (can’t remember how he spells ‘Michael’!) are problem solvers, and respond beautifully to even the weirdest PR challenges. Their final collections can be total misses, because they no longer have the structure of problem/solution to help focus and inform their work. Finally, there are designers like this year’s Laura, who turn out to be fine designers, but do not respond well as they try to adapt their abilities to sometimes ridiculous challenges that they would never find in the real world. Someone mentioned Kara Janx, and I believe she might fall into this category also.

    From season to season I have wondered how Michael Kors would fare under the stresses and absurdity of the competition.

    It is a intrinsic weakness of the show, and Lifetime has not helped it by phasing out Tim Gunn’s contributions, and seeming to more intrusively affect the judging.

    Hope Laura sees all the congratulations on a lovely collection!

    • Rand Ortega

      “From season to season I have wondered how Michael Kors would fare under the stresses and absurdity of the competition.”

      Wouldn’t that be a great PR miniseries? Project Runway Masters. Like Top Chef Masters, but w/ the Duchess, Marc Jacobs, DVF, Galliano (who’s now his own charity), Betsey Johnson, et al?
      I’d DEFINITELY watch that!

      • Anonymous

        Nina Garcia would be eliminated in the first episode. 

    • There’s a fourth kind: The one who can work within the challenges and still have a true vision outside of them.  They are the rarest, Christian Siriano was one.

  • One has to wonder if all of the producer manipulation of the designers, and the resultant childish interpersonal drama, caused Laura to regress both as a person and a designer.  Once she got away from everyone, she was able to produce much better work, and maybe somewhere in her head, she took in some of the advice that Tim probably gave her, but we never got to see. 

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t like the ugly print outfits, or the transparent vest (it just looks sloppy to me) or the two belly shirts.  However, that leaves half the collection that I did like.  Anya and Viktor didn’t annoy me quite as much, but I don’t think they exceeded her high points, either.  That last dress is really a stunner.

    • margaret meyers

      I’m with you on the tranparent, collared shirt.  Too many elements can be read as sloppy: the collar looks lumpy, the gores don’t run straight, the tails each have a mind of their own, and you can see badly finished ends here and there.

  • Please someone explain the details about how ALL the contestants do a collection?  I know only the final 4 are competing, but what happened where they started having everyone do a collection?  Thank you!!!

    • Anonymous

      Not all the contestants.  Just those left standing during the episode that airs just before Fashion Week.  Otherwise, the identities of the finalists would become public too soon.

      • Anonymous

        As opposed to producer/network manipulation, scripting, and individual contestant-abetting challenge twists which let the identities of the finalists become public too soon. 

    • Anonymous

      Apparently the producers don’t understand how a calendar works. So to avoid giving the ending away, that have to make everyone who is on the show at the time of MB fashion week present a collection. Yes, it’s incredibly stupid and it dilutes the prize for the final three.

  • Anonymous

    That long dress with the brass embellishments at the bottom is a stunner. I’m also surprised that this collection came from her.

    • Anonymous

      I actually gasped when I saw this dress. Totally beautiful!

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree.  From the moment you posted the original pictures, this was my favorite by far.  I can tell that she’s going to have a career in fashion.  Just wait and see.

  • Holy crow, I loathed Blenly’s on-show work, but damn if I don’t want that fourth skirt in a big way. Even in stills you can tell it would move beautifully. 

  • Mariah J

    I don’t know, the first one looks like she grabbed a bunch of Gretchen’s ugly jewelry and glued it on a dress.

  • I like the whole collection, even the parts you don’t like — the belly shirts and the brown and orange print. I always liked Laura throughout the competition, she turned out some solid work but seemed to be dismissed by the judges. I would love to see a Project Runway series that is focused on real-world challenges and the designing, creative process rather than the petty drama.

  • I loved this collection. Having seen this in the previews from fashion week, I really wanted to her to make it through, even though I wasn’t impressed by many of her challenge-by-challenge work.

  • Anonymous

    Ooh, look Josh, a circle skirt (I think)–the fourth look that gorgeous print with the black top–and it isn’t a cheerleader costume or a vu— valance (can I say that?). I agree, that one is lovely and I like the patterned top with the lace and the other patterned skirt as well. I agree, over all, this collection is the best of the lot that we have seen so far. So sorry that personality clashes with la Nina put her out.

    • margaret meyers

      That is a very “Nina” look.

  • Anonymous

    I loved that bracelet! I wish she had designed more- it was so beautiful, but I did get sick of seeing it paired with almost every look.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on the last look – perfection. I liked a couple of the other looks. Did not like the Etsy  jewelry.

    But that first look? This from the girl who questioned how Kimberly’s skirt was going to be cleaned? WTF, girl? Does your dress come with a bottle of Brasso?

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if she designed the shoes, too. 

  • Anonymous

    I was amazed at Laura’s collection, having seen nothing of this aesthetic during the season. I agree that perhaps she is one of those contestants who needs more time, more solitude, less drama to produce her best work. I know that I would certainly be like that, but nevermind, because no one is beating on my door to become a contestant on any reality show. lol.

    Love the looks of #4 and #5, very flirty skirt in two fabulous fabrics in the first one, and excellent restrained use of lace on the top in the second one. And I’m a sucker for fabrics with script handwriting. The complete, well-thought out package from styling to clothing in both looks, that is the definition of fashion, right? Beautiful gown to close out the show. I would love to be able to wear any of these three looks. I don’t mind the patterned gown so much, but it is a bit much influenced by Anya. The jewelry and the first dress are dramatic and look well-designed. Also memorable. Nothing recalls Gretchen to me.

    Laura hopefully will go further with her career if she continues to design like this. Good luck to her.

    A case where it was fortunate to have a decoy collection. I don’t know if she would have won, but it is among the best of the season.
    I could be on board with three finalists and three decoys. This would have allowed us to see both Bert and Laura this season.                                         

  • Anonymous

    This collection at least validates all the smack-talking Laura did on the show. It’s like these looks are what she saw in her mind when she said she was designing for an “upscale,” “expensive,” “chic” girl who shops at Bergdorf’s. Whenever she was mid-design her pieces looked like they could turn out as she had imagined, but I agree she just needed more time to mull over and pull it out. Shame she wasn’t able to present this as a finalist.

  • oohsparkley!

    That is a surprisingly great collection from Laura.  I like it all except the printed pants outfit.  I like the print in the dress.  The black gown is gorgeous and seems quite original.

  • Anonymous

    This a wonderful collection and again points to issues with the PR format. I think the ’30 minutes to sketch’ and ’30 minutes in Mood’ format is the issue. If you don’t get an immediate inspiration, there is a 90% chance that you will either not get the right fabrics or will not get enough of the right fabrics. I can take an hour just to pick a pattern when I know what kind of garment I want to sew and as for selecting fabrics it can take a long time to look through all the options.

    • Anonymous

       In what we now refer to as the good ol’ days, how much time did they get to sketch and shop?  I don’t remember it being longer than this group got, but I’m old and forget breakfast by noon.  Not that I really know these things, but can part of the issue be that they’re buying crappy fabrics?  Most of them are buying enough fabric to make 2 and 3 totally different outfits, so obviously if they were to buy one spectacular fabric, I would think that would help the final product a lot, and I would also think it’s easier to run a fantastic fabric through your hands and be inspired than it is a cotton twill. 

      • Hey, there’s nothing wrong with cotton twill!  😀 

        I agree, though, about the bipolar shopping trips.  I also wonder why none of the designers ever seem to have thought ahead.  I know this may not be in the spirit of things, but I’d be thinking up pieces from the audition on that I could pull out for a challenge that it would work for. 

        • Mary McClelland

          I’ve always wondered that too, like oh – this fabric is great and store it in your mind. Knowing this show though they move the fabs around intentionally so the designers don’t become overly reliant or some other nonsense “twist”

          • I like a lot of fairly common fabrics, so I have it easier there — I don’t use a ton of prints unless I happen to see one that grabs me, in no small part because I have no hope of drawing a pattern that isn’t plaid, and plaid is ridiculously time consuming.

            (Though I do know what I’d do for the HP fabric design challenge:)

      • Anonymous

        They got about the same amount of time for sketching, though I swear they’ve had less time at Mood in recent years.

  • margaret meyers

    Of all the Fashion Week shows this one was the most surprising.  In a good way.   
    Viktor’s was surprising in a bad way: some boring garments and some choices that did not work.   
    Josh we knew would have one or two nice things, a bunch of badly-thought-out things, and a couple of hiddy looks. 
    Anya we figured would pull-off a nice enough, but narrow collection (her market is over-served).
    Kimberley had some stand-out pieces, but a lot of her looks were too down-market.

  • This was definitely my favorite of the collections, and I too had her pegged as a possible winner.  I especially like the fifth look with the mixed patterns and lace.  

  • Anonymous

    It’s nice after a season of mediocre crap on TV to see collections like Laura’s and Bert’s.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what Nina had to say about this collection:

    “This really surprised us,” Garcia says of Laura Kathleen. “She broke away from her colorful Hawaiian prints and presented a sophisticated evening collection with architectural hardware.” This urban, modern gown was why “we were blown away with this finale. She listened.””

    • Now, I love Nina, but…

      Seriously, wtf?  NOTHING you said to her all season long (that we saw, anyway) had even the SLIGHTEST resemblance to this.  I’m not thinking listening to you was what did it for her. 

      • Anonymous

        I wondered about that, too.  I’m also kind of confused about the Hawaiian prints (does she have Anya confused with Laura- I guess that’s a problem when you’re reading off a script instead of looking at what’s going down the runway).  You seem to have a good memory for the show- other than that updated 70s challenge where she paired the mitered prison stripes with that print (which I would not call Hawaiian anyway), I don’t really remember Laura being much of a print gal.

        • Anonymous

          Well her casting collection had two or three colorful prints. But considering what Laura sent down during the season it still sounds very weird, certainly if she broke from hawaiian prints it was at the first challenge, not after she was auf’ed

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I’m not entirely sure where the Hawaiian print thing came from… I thought it was supposed to be for Anya but she had very specific comments about her sewing and etc. 

        • Kat Chappell

          Maybe she’s referring to the ’70s challenge print on the skirt? That’s really the only thing I could think of, other than her initial showing.

  • I’m stunned. It’s like there’s another person inside Laura who actually knows how to make fashion.

    I’m not loving the print she used on the dress and the pants towards the bottom, and the pants in the second look need some serious work. But overall, this is an elegant, stylish collection. I like the top/skirt combos a lot, and I think she did a nice job of mixing patterns in the second combo. The white pieces are quite pretty, and that final dress is a killer.

    I don’t know how or why she messed up so badly throughout the show. Based on what she made, she stayed longer than she should have. She’s redeemed herself here, and I hope she does well in the future. Girl has real talent.

    • I really respond well to the print, and I think it was a really good choice in the context of the collection.  It brought in another print, but a very different style of print. 

      • Anonymous

        I liked that print too.  It has a sort of a chic bohemian/hobo/70’s vibe to it.  Maybe a bit shiny, but overall a nice contrast and compliment to the other fabrics she used in the collection.

  • I think this is the first PR collection I’ve seen that I would want to buy pieces from. Some of the others were okay, but there weren’t any stand out outfits I couldn’t find elsewhere. This? Want the cuff, want the patterned skirt, want the dress you hated, want that last black dress. Beautiful work.

  • Anonymous

    speechless.  No idea she had that in her.  love the colors, the brass, the flow of things. wow.

  • Anonymous

    Lovely. The first look is a bit much, but it’s perfect for the runway and compliments the last gown beautifully. The white dress with the gold belt is probably my favorite.

    It seems like Laura and Viktor both gave up a lot of their personal aesthetic in order to produce what they thought the judges would want, and while it seems to have helped Viktor throughout the competition, poor Laura just crashed and burned. I suspect that learning Nina had an issue with her made it even more of a challenge.

  • This collection is fabulous. I am officially obsessed with the final black dress. I don’t even have the words…

  • Anonymous

    This is truly the best work I have ever seen Laura Kathleen do, really, it is a huge step up from her usual work and certainly head & shoulders above her PR work.  There is no reconciling her designs on the show and this collection.  It is as if she had either a MAJOR shift in point of veiw or someone else heavily influenced her design of this collection.  And yes, that one print is fugly.  Michael Drummond (last season, also from St. Louis, close friend and neighbor of LK) had been talking up her collection for while on his FB and to friends.  Nice to see it turn out so well.

  • Anonymous

    when a final collection looks completely different than what was produced on the show, I consider the possibility that someone else actually designed it.  I always thought that about Jeffrey/s collection in pasty years, with the zippers gone wild in his final collection.

    • Anonymous

      But wasn’t he a huge zipper fetishist on the show and even after? He used a bunch of them in his All Star Challenge collection as well. 

    • Anonymous

      I loved Jeffrey Sebelia…. I would have worn any of his outfits, made during the season and from his finale collection.  I think he was very talented.

    • Anonymous

      no.  when a final collection looks really great like this, you have to think it has more to do with the fact that the designer can sleep, eat healthy food what he/she wants, listen to music, doesn’t have bitchiness and drama surrounding him/her, is not mic’d 14 hours a day, and can work at a reasonable pace is his/her own environment.  it makes a *huge* difference.

      • Anonymous

        And it helps if it doesn’t have to derive it’s inspiration from a spark plug or be made out of Christmas tree needles. 

        • Or that it CAN be inspired by a spark plug if that’s what trips you… 🙂  The “be inspired by _____” always gets me.  If they said, “make a design based off this,” I could handle that.  But inspiration can’t be commanded!

          And I know that’s purely a semantic issue, but I’m like that…

    • Zippers as a decorative element are very much in line with Jeffery’s style, and he used them multiple times in that way on the show during the challenges. 

      As for the possibility that someone else EVER has a hand in a collection like that… why think the worst of someone when you have no evidence AT ALL that they deserve it?  Maybe it was rest, maybe it was the lack of pressure, maybe it was luck, maybe it was divine inspiration.  Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the finest books of all time… and nothing else.  Sometimes lightening strikes.  Why assume there must be evil afoot?

    • jeffrey designs band outfits for a friend of my crazyspouse. he definitely designs his own stuff.

      i think laura designed her own stuff too. i’m charitable that way. but that the reason she came across so badly on the program is all due to those despicable people in post-production is, in a word {okay, two, for emphasis} Not True.

  • Anonymous

    See, I really like some of these (that gown is magical, and I love the wavy/ruffly skirt too)–and I’ve hated almost EVERY garment she’s put out during the show.  These are NOTHING like her show output (except for that fugly print LMAO).  It really makes me wonder where this part of her aesthetic was during the show, and where Shiny Barbie-Compatible went during this collection.

  • I’m still so impressed by her use of the bronze hardware.  It’s not easy to make the fabric lay nicely with heavy embellishments.

  • Anonymous

    When I saw all the collections during Fashion Week, Laura’s was the clear winner to me.  I don’t like the shiny satin print at all but most everything else is terrific.  I hope she gets some great opportunities as a result of this. 

    I think some of her early work on the show was pretty interesting and definitely gives a sense of what she was able to do here.  I’m thinking in particular of the pet store challenge.  Her look wasn’t in the top three but I thought it should have been.  And there’s a real similarity, in sensibility and style, to some of these looks.  I think the quality of her work deteriorated as the competition went on.  

  • Anonymous

    Totally just speculating here, but Laura certainly came across as the type who was always the prettiest, always the most popular, always the most successful, always the center of attention; and then suddenly in the workroom, she was competing for attention against some huge drama (and beauty!) queens.   Maybe that shook her up.  Whatever the case may be, her collection is absolutely beautiful and it’s a shame she wasn’t a finalist.

  • Anonymous

    Re: the first dress–I just have to ask, “I mean How do you wash it? With a wash cloth?”  Snarky, snarky lolz.

  • Anonymous

    Mostly nice collection, nice styling, feminine and modern. It’s so interesting that we saw nothing like this while she was on the show, which I know you’ve already pointed out. Just goes to show how bad PR is when you get not even a hint at what a designer’s abilities and design aesthetic really are. I want that cuff.

  • Anonymous

    I thought this post was a joke. Really? I think these clothes are dreadful.

    • Anonymous

      I liked four out of ten, and two of those were what I’ll call Bert gowns. But I do agree that nothing she did on the show suggests that she was capable of anything this good. She stepped up. Good for her.

    • You are clearly in the minority on this one. Most of us admire this collection greatly.

      • Anonymous

        That’s ok. I’m not really too concerned; I’m no longer a buyer (although I was successful at it) and stand by my opinion. What I do agree with is TLO’s overall assessment: the caliber of design this year has been lower than in previous years. I sincerely hope that next season is better. And I’m really looking forward to their PR All-Stars, which should be fun. Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    It’s too bad I hated her so much.  But there were some beautiful things she made.  Also some really really weird things. 

  • Anonymous

    The first dress looks almost exactly like the dress made from American Express Cards that a costume designer wore to the Oscars several years ago…..But I do like this collection better than anything else she has done. The models look great, Love the hair and makeup. Like the cuff as well. In a pitiful season, this collection is above average.

    • It doesn’t really:

      The angles Laura used, the variation in the brass designs, and the way the top and hem were done are all much different and more flattering than the dress you’re referring to which was basically a tube of Amex cards stitched together and hung from her shoulders by chains.

    • I thought of that dress too.  That was Lizzy Gardiner.  She’d designed the costumes for ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.  I like this one better, actually.  More flow.  But that designer did all right.  She won her Oscar.  Hopefully Laura tastes some of that kind of success. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with much of what you said – this is an amazing, cohesive collection.  That first dress is a stunner!  It’s the sort of look you would pray was made during the competition so that Tim could come in near the end of the day and announce, “All right, everyone.  We have a twist to add.  This first look is your show-stopping runway look.  You will be constructing a second look which could sell in stores!  You will have a budget of ….”  And in my make-believe world, her second look was the gown with the brass pieces on the bottom.  Oh, how she would have won that challenge!
    Still, I have to wonder two things:
    1) Perhaps this collection would not have blossomed from her, had she not gone through the Project Runway experience.  I think she was really challenged to step out of her comfort zone, and I’m not sure she would have had that conversion on her own.
    2) Although I love the first dress, I keep wondering, “How the heck would you sit in that, much less ride in a car to an event in it?”  And it sort of reminds me of the dress a number of years back which was constructed out of credit cards, heh.
    Anyway, she did a great job!

    • Anonymous

      I hate to say it, but this season I don’t think it would have mattered what she sent down the runway, she would have lost.  Another stylist, er, designer, could have sent down a model wrapped in a six yards of badly dyed muslin because they were mugged (for the FIRST TIME IN PROJECT RUNWAY HISTORY!) on the way back to Parson’s from Mood, and the judges, one of whom was quite clear in her distaste for Laura from the git’go, would have praised the stylist, er, designer for evoking the whimsy of an India sari in the way the muslin was draped while Laura would have had her taste, judgment, and parentage called into question once again.  It would not surprise me to find out that around about week #3, when this came so totally clear to Laura, is probably when she just threw in the towel; after all, why waste it when you can figuratively flip them the bird later with a collection that drops jaw while the ‘powers that be’ are stuck with Ulye-lite. 

      • Mary McClelland

        hehe… are you a jaded employee of Bunim-Murray? And I mean that will all snark and praise. This was a fantastic comment!

        • Anonymous

          LOL  Thank you (I think).  But I’m just another jaded audience member with an imagination nurtured by childhood memories of grassy knolls, a childhood surrounded by pretty mean girls, and currently fueled by an abundance of coffee with oodles of sugar. 

          • Now I feel compelled to ask: are you referring to THE grassy knoll? 

          • Anonymous

            LOL  Yes, THE/THAT grassy knoll- although I probably shouldn’t admit to being that, um, mature.

  • John Manson

    As surprisingly strong as this collection is in comparison to her work on the show, I took the time to check out her website a little while ago (after I originally saw this collection when you first posted it) and her collections are even more firmly in this vein of high-end and modern but with a touch of whimsy. 

  • Did you get a load of the back of that jumpsuit with the double straps? I’d love to have been able to see a close-up of that. Amazing.

    This collection is exquisite. Can’t comment on how it compares to the show since I didn’t watch this season, as promised after last year’s Gretchen debacle.

    And it looks like I was right not to. Once again the best designer will not have won. Go figure.

    OH! And the shoes were also fierce!

    • Anonymous

      I hadn’t even noticed the back of the jumpsuit!  It’s a nice added touch.  The whole collection is really beautiful.  I want some of those pieces.

  • Lisa

    Now see, why couldn’t she have had more of this kind of vision during the season?  I know, I know, they have almost no time and a lot of restrictions, etc., but really.  This is like nothing she’s ever done – it’s really great.

  • Wow, I loved this whole collection — even the bad print outfits had zazz and style. And I’m not much of a jewelry person, but I loved those cuffs to pieces.

  • I cant believe the hyperbole over the last outfit. It looks like one of Kors’s goddess gowns with gold belt that he did several years ago, but with some metal plates on the bottom.

    It is an ok collex with some wow pieces but pretty damning with faint praise if u consider it the best collex this yr.

  • Anonymous

    Did Laura say if she was selling her jewelry collection?  I think that cuff needs to be on my wrist.

  • This was a beautiful collection, and I agree that nothing in her work on the show hinted at this level of taste or ability.

    I do wish she’d maybe used more models of color. I know, I know, the world of fashion in general needs to be better about this, and Laura is hardly alone in this. Still, this really struck me here, perhaps because I think some of these looks would have been stunning on someone with deeper skin tones (think that beautiful jewel-toned show closer from Kara Janx — a beautiful pairing of the right gown and the right model).

  • elzatelzabelz

    The two black dresses/gown are amazing. Much more than anything she did in competition. I wish she would have stayed in the competition (partially because I really just can NOT stand Anya).

  • I want that cuff!

  • Mary McClelland

    When I saw this way back when I assumed she was a finalist and the winner.  Instead we got Joshi Poo and Anya to contend with. It shoul dhave been her, Bert, and Viktor based on the finals. I can’t believe prissypants Laura who talked so much smack actually had the AMAZING chops to back it up! Seriously – this looks like a real fashion week collection and I could see many a celebs sporting these looks. I want to buy some of them myself. The only thing that made me go “ew” was that shiny patterned pant with the celedon belly shirt. I didn’t mind the print on the dress – particularly b/c the construction was immaculate, but on the pant. Was totally wretched.

  • The first and last look really take my breath away.  Why didn’t we see any of this during the show?  She’d have blown them all away.  And the jewelry!  Wow.  I hope she plans on establishing her own line like Korto did.  She should market them as red carpet statement pieces.  Talk about standing out.  I’m curious – did she rate a standing ovation?  She deserved one for that last look alone.

    • Anonymous


  • Anna Maria Diamanti

    Agree with TLo about the first look, dislike the second (it just looks sloppy to me), eight and ninth looks, meh about the sixth look, f-ing love the rest. As weak as this season was, a Laura, Bert and Viktor finale would have at least been respectable and a tough call. This will be the season marred by not one but 2 decoys besting finalists, and the one decent finalist getting completely shafted.

  • As much as I loathe crop tops, it’s very on-trend for Spring 2012. Who knew she had this in her?

  • I love this collection – it’s gorgeous.  The judges must have been kicking themselves that she wasn’t in the final four – whether it;s your style or not, it at least looks professional and beautifully made.  Compare please to Josh’s hideous green shorts and purple people eater toga in fashion week. Or Kimberly’s giant bubble ass hot pink shiny skirt.  seriously, the judges must have been embarrassed.

     I mostly saw Laura as middle of the pack throughout the season – occasional pieces I loved, a few I hated and a few that were just “meh” – I agree with Tom & Lorenzo that something about the structure of the challenges must really be off.  Bravo to her for a great collection at fashion week.

  • For those who asked for Laura Kathleen’s posts on the thread, it can be seen on this thread:

    I copied and pasted it here if the link doesn’t get you to the post itself:
    “Thank you for those who are showing love. If you notice from footage I never once slam Nina or attack her. I have respect for her. Fashion is subjective. It will not appeal to everyone. I work very hard at my craft and respect those that do as well. For all those that think I’m so mean to all the contestants, then why am I friends with them all? If I was such a horrible person, I wouldn’t take away friendships. Speaking to the Bert situation, we are great friends, he has loads of talent. Remember editing next time you watch an episode.
    Also, I never attack anyones character. Fashion is an industry where work is critiqued. When asked, I always give an honest opinion.Thanks to those that are positive!
    Laura Kathleen”

  • not wishing to provoke my foolish proto-stalker i will only say that i am the first person who called this. regardless of what anybody needs to believe, i said over & over that laura put together one of the best, if not the best, final collection & that she should have been kept over this person or that person that they kept, instead, for drama.

  • Anonymous

    If Laura ever puts out a jewellery collection I’ll be all over it. Well, drooling all over it, anyway. I probably won’t be able to afford it.

  • Anonymous

    That last look was stunning!  Red carpet worthy for sure.

  • “Upper class background” girl was full of surprises. She was SO robbed.

  • Paula Haymon

    Sometimes I wish they would have simply stopped the silly competitions and just shown the collections of the remaining designers. Clearly, there are no questions of taste, here. I am so over Anya’s jumpsuits and Kimberly’s bubble skirts. I found Josh mirroring my thoughts and my facial expressions. My answer to  “it’s not project seamstress”, IMHO, a truly great designer at least understands the construction of a garment, so that changes in the fit can be communicated to the seamstresses in the shop. Halston knew how to sew. Chanel knew how to sew. If they want it to be a nonsewing competition, then give each designer a workroom.

  • Anonymous

    man I disagree. Her proportions are wifty and much of it looks like bed clothes. I do not care for this at all except for the skirt combos. Which are nice but not noteworthy. i abhor the diagonal cut brass embellishments.

  • BethAnn Dranguet

    I spy Shannon Pallay from Season 1 of Bravo’s Make Me A Supermodel in the beautiful flowy dress with the unfortunate belly view. Glad to see she is still working. I wonder where walking in the Project Runway finale show ranks for models during NYFW. I would guess fairly high even though not a major designer since it comes with national TV exposure.

  • Coco Cornejo

    Me thinks Laura has a future designing jewelry. 

  • Victoria Sharoyan

    I also had Laura pegged as the clear winner after you posted the collections. So disappointed in her elimination. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I’m late to this conversation but was wondering if anyone knows what Laura said was her inspiration for the collection?  The colors look Autumnal but it seems deeper than just that. Beautiful collection!

  • This collection STILL makes me think of an upscale version of Gretchen’s.  ESPECIALLY now that I know she made the jewelry.  I like the flouncy skirt, the lace overlay blouse, and the last dress.  That’s pretty much it.  The double-strapped gown reminds me too much of a Chloe dress from a few years ago and everything else disappears, including the first, brass-plated dress.  

    Relative to the rest of the collections and the tacky, uninspired garbage we’ve seen this entire season, these clothes do seem miraculous, but relative to collections in other seasons?  It doesn’t live up to my expectations.  

  • Really TLo, was it really necessary to take a dig at Anya on Laura’s ripping.  Ok, we Anya fans get that you don’t like her and think she has no business her.  But could you not give Laura her moment, alone.

    • Some of you “Anya fans” are getting utterly ridiculous in your need to defend her against any criticism whatsoever. It’s perfectly acceptable to compare the work of one designer against another. In fact, THAT’S THE ENTIRE POINT OF PROJECT RUNWAY.

      And you will not be able to find one serious comment written by us this entire season that supports your fantasy that we don’t like Anya personally.

      • Actually, this Anya fan does not mind her being criticized on her designs,  However the the consistent tone of the critique is she can’t sew, she doesn’t belong there.  Anya, to my knowledge, has never said she is the best.  Has never complained when she has been criticized.  Did not claim to deserve any of her wins.  She has in fact, been rather humble and amazed by where she is.  And she doesn’t get any credit for that.  And calling her manipulative, which you did, set a tone that continues to resonate through out your blog. 

        P.S.  I’m a big fan of you both also.  Watch PR more to read what you have to say.  Read you regularly to see what you have to say about other designers.  So this is not a “I hate you because you don’t like my team” response. 

        • Also, you could have said, unlike Joshua, this is how to make a circle skirt look interesting, chic and modern, without resulting to tacking a lot of bling and ridiculosity to it.  Or you could have said, if Bert had added this styling to his equally simple but elegant pieces, then maybe his outcome would have been different.  You could have mentioned several other designers along with Anya when comparing Laura’s work.  Which by the way, I agree, I thought her collection except for that shiny pattern stuff, was beautiful.

          • In other words, you just don’t like hearing anything bad said about her here unless we say equally bad things about every other designer or unless we “give her credit” for not claiming she “deserved” any of her wins.

            Honey, we’re glad you like coming here, but these complaints of yours are pure nonsense.

          • Ok.  To each his own.

  • I’ve read a lot in comments on various posts about how Laura’s final (or rather, decoy, after her elimination) collection was the best and I have to agree at this point. I thought much of this was gasp worthy.  I would  not have guessed it from what went on this season at all.  Which is unfortunate.  Sigh.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree with your review of Laura’s work. That black dress with the brass trim at the bottom made me gasp, too.
    What a disappointment that the stupid pet-store, track-meet, and incessant team challenges prevented talent like this from coming to the surface.

  • I dislike a lot of the shapes here, and loathe the cropped tops and that deconstructed blouse. There’s potential, but I think the poor showing overall in this year’s finale is making this collection look better than it actually is. This is better than anything she showed during the competition, yes, but I’m not as impressed by it as everyone else.

    I do like a lot of the jewlery, though.

  • Anonymous

    That last black gown was better than every piece we saw last night, this includes Viktor’s jacket. Love pretty much everything here. I thought when these photos came out that she was a sure finalist. I would like to know what the judges were thinking when they saw this collection on the runway, knowing it was ineligible for the win. Note to Nina: Want editorial clothes? Put down the Josh kool-aid and open your eyes, these are them!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I love how Nina always annihilated Laura because of her “taste level” yet is effusive in her praise of Josh, Kimberly and that chick who’s bound to become the biggest porn mogul this country has ever seen. 

      • Anonymous

        Nina liked Josh’s green shoelace side tie-up shorts, and said they’d look great in a magazine, that’s more than enough to make anyone take what she says regarding taste with a great grain of salt

  • Anonymous

    Love the jumpers, black gown and prints but I didn’t have the same reaction overall.  I like it and it is indeed head and shoulders above anything SHE produced during PR but I am more blown away that it comes from her than I am at the collection itself.   

    As an aside, how do the producers ensure that designers don’t get “help” during the time leading up to BP?  

  • Excuse me…that first dress must have weighed 20 lbs and u could not even sit in it without getting a stab in the butt! The long gown? Pretty to look at but again heavy to wear and probably a bit noisy….clink, clang, klink! I do love the organza print skirt and blouse…good job LK!

    • Not so sure about the heaviness issue – there are all kinds of lightweight metals she could have used (titanium or aluminum come to mind) which could be given the gold color – this didn’t have to be brass. It could have been plastic, too.

      The getting poked issue? Yeah – this is a standing-up only kind of dress.

  • Laura and Burt should have been in the TOP of the top four! Shame on judges and producers!

  • Anonymous

    Here is a link to a short clip on youtube of Laura’s show. I hope the world gets to see more footage of her show because it was a wonderful experience. I feel honored to have been in the audience.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! You can see that the “shiny” fabric actually moves beautifully and has some sheer panels in it, which you can’t see in the still photos.

  • Lattis

    Very very very late to this party, but in case you are reading thru all these comments, Laura, this was a great collection. The jewelry is beautiful to behold. The necklace in the fourth look reminds me of a flight of swallows. It is joyful! When T & Lo originally posted the final collections, I also thought you must be the winner. I wish you all the best. 

  • Arcy Silver

    I was a little disappointed when Laura got eliminated. Ever since I saw TLO post the runway collections, I really thought Laura would be a finalist, though I’m doubtful due to her lack of challenge wins. Even if she didn’t win, this overwhelming praise over an eliminated contestant’s runway collection is a great prize as well. 

  • The genius in the 4th look is that she seems to have put the horsehair braid on the outside of the skirt, rather than on the inside, which not only gives her a clean look on the underside, it also adds interest at the hem. Smart move. I also love the necklace – reminds me of coral. Very cool and organic – something I wouldn’t have expected from her.

    Love the lace on the 5th look – would have like to see it used in one or two other pieces. I’m on the fence about the pattern mix, too. But it mostly works.

    The last dress is fantastic, though I don’t know if I like the gold belt with the dress. And, speaking as a short woman, that slit would be too much for me. But I like this dress better than the first one, although the first one is stunning. 

    As a whole, I think this is a great collection (I agree about the print dress and pants). So why is it that Laura couldn’t produce this kind of work during the competition? Does she just not work well under pressure? Did she feel like she had nothing to lose, since she wasn’t a finalist? Because nothing she made for any of the challenges came close to the caliber of work she shows here. Maybe during the stiltwalker challenge she approached this level, but how much of that was Anthony Ryan’s idea? Make me wonder…..

  • Anonymous

    Her collection was my favorite back when you first showed pictures of all of them.  Just gorgeous.  And the fabrics are beautiful.  I was sure she was in the finale at that time and that she should have won with this collection.

  • Anonymous

    Well hell.  Completely unexpected.  I actually love.  I adore being surprised!!  Go Laura!

  • Simply amazing. Definitely one of the best PR collections, out of the seasons I have seen.

  • Wow. Yeah, you’re right, she should have won it all. The first and last ones are just stunning. So disheartening.

  • Anonymous

    Is it on the table for y’all to interview her at all? I think she’s really interesting as a contestant because when I saw this collection I thought “well, she deserves to win and certainly she’ll be in the finale but how the hell is she going to get there from the looks that she has been showing.” I would like to know from her perspective what her experience on the show was like. 

  • M M

    Just now allowing myself to look at all the decoy collections, after seeing the finalist present in the final episode. 

    Thanks TLo for your wonderful commentary. Very nicely articulated! You help make the failing PR enjoyable to keep up with.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you guys.  You make me see the whole competition differently and more thoroughly.  I only know that I did not think this entire group was on the same level as previous groups have been.  There was little to get excited about during the whole season.   If they can’t find better designers, this show is going to fade away.  I, at least, care little for the “personalities”.  I watch for the fascination of seeing talented people make clever and beautiful clothes from little.  This season, they seemed to make little from little.