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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