Well, OK, I said this wasn’t primarily a PR blog, but now comes the exception time – I just had to comment on the finale!

I was actually shocked when they announced the winner, because as much as I usually love Chloe’s designs her collection was my least favorite. The seaming and fit were amazing, the construction was beautiful, and some of the gowns were jaw-dropping in the innovation of the way they were put together – I would love to know how she attached a point of fabric to an edge, like on Grace’s dress. But the shininess and the puffed sleeves and the colors… it just really said “bridesmaid 1989” to me. Apparently the shiny fabric was a silk/wool blend, but it looked like a cheap poly satin on the screen. I liked the more structured gowns and the long chiffon print, but the rest was just…. eh. Taken cumulatively, though, I understand Chloe’s victory, especially given how last year’s winner kind of flaked on them…

Daniel’s collection: I actually saw fitting problems here more than in Santino’s collection on the first look. He kept having this strange flopping around the bust – M points out that in the short navy dress in particular, when Rebecca tried it on for Tim it fit but on the runway it flopped – I wonder if Daniel didn’t fit all his stuff for Rebecca, who is considerably more curvy than most models. However, I thought that the collection was sophisticated and elegant (especially considering his age and experience level) and some pieces – the 13th look, the white coat dress, the two evening dresses (although I wasn’t wild for the patch) were gorgeous. But the judges did have a point about it lacking cohesion – and a lot of those separates, though pretty, weren’t anything you couldn’t buy at Talbot’s.

Santino. I must say, I thought that judging purely from the collection, Santino was robbed. It pains me to say it because I really don’t like him – I’m not one of those people who is drawn to arrogant artistes. His constant assholery really drove me nuts, and there were at least two challenges where I thought he should have been out and wasn’t (the lingerie challenge and the makeover challenge.) However. I thought his collection was absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous combinations of flowing and structured pieces. Beautiful and unified color palette. Unusual pieces but none of the whickety whack that he usually puts all over everything – no butts covered with feathers, no tons of giant sequins, no bobbles. My favorites – the red leather and silk evening gown, the sunburst-pleated chiffon that Heather wore, the two peach/champagne gowns, and the crazy leather Elizabethan doublet piece, which came across as very Sir Walter Raleigh to me. I would have put it with something softer and more flowing than the skirt he paired it with, though.

Bottom line? Chloe will kick ass as the winner. She’ll put the prizes to excellent use. And with her quality and professionalism and lovely design, she’ll make beautiful clothes.

Daniel should take Michael Kors up on his offer, intern with an established designer, get the experience and seasoning he needs, and fulfill his enormous potential.

Santino was robbed, much as I dislike him. But I have a feeling he’ll come out of it all right.