PR: Ripping the Collections – Viktor

Posted on November 01, 2011

We’ve made no secret of the fact that we thought Viktor should have won this season because his collection was easily the strongest of the four finalists. In the tent, at the time, we weren’t quite as sure. We immediately saw it for the strong collection it was, but we thought there were too many weak points and he was too self-consciously checking current trends off a list. Looking over it now, those criticisms remain in our minds, but we’re as committed as ever to the idea that he was head and shoulders above the other finalists.


A great opening look. No complaints here except to point this out as an example of trend checklisting. You’ve got the structured shoulders, the back of the dress radically different from the front, and the graphic, intricate print.

We love that skirt, but that top is clearly an afterthought. An “I’ll put something sheer here” move. Sure, the unflattering cups in the bust tie the look together, but we think that skirt would have popped with a very simple blouse in stark white or a vivid solid color.

His use of sheers was mostly a mistake, but this top is fantastic and makes the outfit. Leather hotpants aren’t exciting anymore, but a mirrored sheer top takes them somewhere modern.

Fantastic print; adorable dress. He’s not reinventing the wheel here, as far as silhouette or shapes go, but it’s chic and current and highly wearable.

Another huge mistake of a sheer blouse, but those striped shorts are really cute.

Coming right out of left field. The lace, the body-conscious silhouette, even the bondage-style leather accents – all of it is wrong for this collection. It’s not a bad design. It just doesn’t belong here.

Even bigger mistake. We suppose this ties the two dresses together, but tonally, they’re all wrong and this one isn’t very interesting to look at, although the straps are nice.

Love this gown. Love the interesting use of straps (again) and grommets. Hard-edged and pretty, which is what he was going for throughout this collection.

That mirrored top is once again fabulous, although we didn’t need to see it a second time in the collection. We like the tuxedo jacket, especially with the striped lining, but we don’t like the way the tails are hitting her butt. The pants are stylish and eye-catching, but we don’t love that print in a pant.Basically, this is Viktor’s collection writ small: a lot of great ideas, some weak ones, and some really bad pairing. All three of these items would have been better paired with other items.

Oh, Viktor. You should have never listened to those judges. They told you to pair that killer jacket with a simple tank top and black pants and you know what happened? The whole look went generic. We liked the jacket so much better with the wrinkled little dress you originally had. Even if you had to get rid of the dress, the jacket would have looked so much better paired with those striped shorts up there and the tuxedo jacket would have worked better here.

He got tripped up by that pre-judging session. The judges clearly liked his pieces best, but they needed to throw some sort of criticism at him so they basically nit-picked him. He choked by whipping up a bunch of pointless sheer pieces and then re-arranging the pairings just a bit too much. He definitely has a weakness in the styling area, but his designs are top-notch. Unfortunately, Project Runway is now far more about style (and personal stories) than it is about design.

[Photo Credit: David M. Russell for]

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