This is a pretty clear redux of things Kenley’s done before, but we don’t think it was entirely fair for the judges to ding her for it, since at this point in the game, you can say that about almost everybody’s entries.
We don’t hate it, nor do we have any problem with the rather tenuous connection to Chile (“SPANISH RUFFLES!”). We weren’t seeing much of Jamaica in Mondo’s or Papa New Guinea in Mila’s either. It’s cute, it’s perky, it’s entirely Kenley. Worthy of a win? No, but worthy of the praise it got. It’s eye-catching and has an interesting shape to it. She’s getting tossed soon, though. We can feel it. She’s stubbornly inside her box just a bit too much. It’s one thing to pull something out of your trickbag; it’s another thing to keep pulling similar things out of your trickbag.
The grand irony here is that Jerell did actually try to incorporate some cultural elements into his design, unlike most of the other designers, but the result was an ugly mish-mash that bordered on parody.
The problem here is that Jerell zeroed in on aspect of Indian clothing design at the expense of all others: “embellishment.” It’s a word he used over and over to describe his work. But embellishments have never been a weak point with Jerell’s work. In fact, the most consistent criticism you can make about it is that it’s over-embellished, in almost every case. He’d have been much better off tamping down his own grandiose tendencies and focussing on shape and form first, with embellishment bumped somewhere further down the list. There are some semi-decent ideas here, we suppose. But it sure is hard to find them under the treasure chest of trim and jewelry he piled on the poor girl. Shouldabin Schmauf’d.
[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]