Yes, let’s just announce the spoiler right from the get-go! With a much-deserved win, the PR Season 13 winner was SEAN KELLY!! With blogging/recapping, it’s all about the discussion, so let’s get to that, and see how this season came to its conclusion.
From last week’s episode, we left off where the designers had previewed 3 pieces from their collections so that the judges could offer some feedback. Amanda needed a little more sophistication. Sean had to show he was more than just the one note of fringe. Kini needed to re-work a lot, youthfulness was the goal to achieve. And finally, Char had to scrap several looks, making sure her collection represented who she was as a designer and was cohesive.
Tim quickly came by to offer the designers the option of returning to Mood with an additional $300 to spend. Amanda was the only one who decided to hang back, having some extra fabrics already at her disposal. She didn’t want to lose any time! With some new fabrics and a rejuvenated focus, each designer was back to work finishing up their collections. Tim also came by again for a little more Tim-time.
He instructed Amanda to stop over-thinking so much. Kini scrapped his trench coat and already had many new youthful pieces to show Tim. And Tim definitely recognized the improvements! Tim & Sean discussed the fringe. He told Sean to take in what the judges said, namely Nina with lessening the number of fringed looks, but he further advised him to ultimately still own it. Tim was a bit confused on the new fabrics Char purchased. He reiterated what the judges had just told her, be who you are, don’t stray.
The guest judge for the finale was Emmy Rossum, a very talented actress from the Showtime hit show Shameless.. She did a wonderful job as the guest judge –lots of thoughtful critiques and words of wisdom. And just as all of the judges were, I too was impressed with the finale presentations. I’ve been reading comments that the finale was a bit lackluster, perhaps lacking in shock or wow moments. I 100% disagree and here’s why!
It can’t be helped that with this season there were 3 top notch designers who each could have easily won. The surprise factor was lacking because there wouldn’t have been much outrage had Kini or Amanda won. As long as the “ABC” (anyone but Char) remained in effect, the end result was going to be a bit predictable. I guess you could say underwhelming. But just because predictability or a general acceptance was on the rise, it doesn’t negate the designers’ outstanding work. Kini, Amanda, and Sean all had different designer POVs and really stuck to those aesthetics. Each did a fine job, and with so much greatness to choose from, it was hard to be so surprised over who won. But I would be much more disappointed had their only been 1 decent final presentation and if the winner had been so clear cut. I think there was a bit of surprise because even with narrowing down to Sean & Amanda, it was still up in the air over who might win. I think what was missing this season was diehard fans over 1 designer and what we saw was acceptance for a few instead.
Another type of comment I’ve come across was about a lack of dramatic flare with the various presentations; the pieces were maybe a bit too RTW. In this case, people have to recognize a runway presentation is only going to include a few showstopping gowns if that is what the designer specializes in, such as Monique Lhuillier or Carolina Herrera. But take attending a show for Rebecca Minkoff, Wildfox, or Desigual, what you are going to see are pieces much like we saw with this finale, looks that are more wearable, RTW. Taking in a presentation, you still have to be mindful of who the designer is. And to me, based off who these designers are, I think the presentations stayed true to that and there were still many highlights. Remember, highlights don’t always come in the packaging of bells & whistles, sometimes it’s in the details or the subtleties.
But getting back to the runway shows at hand, here are my thoughts based on the judges’ placements for this final 4, first up, the winner, Sean!
I’m definitely a fan of this collection and happy for Sean’s big win! He not only stuck to who he was a designer, but he also told a great story in that of the betrayal of Caesar. Each moment was perfectly encapsulated in the various looks, whether it was the betrayal in black or the bloodshed in bright orange. The looks were not over-the-top in dramatic flare or with volume, but rather, it was his understated and detailed work that was truly mesmerizing. From the perfect fit to the great movement, Sean truly did a fantastic job with this collection.
There were so many great pieces, so above and below are just a few of my faves. Yes, many of Sean’s looks worked with fringe, but it wasn’t as it if the fringe effect was the same from piece to piece. He definitely mixed it up with this design technique from fringe all over a floor-length dress to jumpsuits to just a dangling few strands draping down the back. It really created such great movement, very much catching the viewer’s eye as the pieces came down the runway
The draping also created for some lovely, flowing movement. I too loved how regal and sophisticated these looks were. There was such a refined and elegant sophistication. Any woman would want to wear these pieces because of how luxe they looked, very high quality work.
Shout-out: Mary Kay beauty look, nude lip, shimmery silver eye. Still not a fan of the slicked back look, but it wasn’t too distracting!
Whether it was looks in black, white, or the burnt orange, this luxurious quality was maintained throughout. No piece felt lacking in this chic, sophisticated vibe.
A truly fascinating facet of Sean’s fringe detailing was when the fringe was done in 2 colors. The way it moved and mixed was a stunning and eye-catching detail!
The judges felt a look or 2 was not at the same level as the others. But clearly his innovative, fresh take, as well as creativity was enough for the judges to give him the win. They were able to envision his growth and potential. I’m not sure as we heard Zac say that the decision was so “crystal clear” between Sean & Amanda. But either winning would have been well deserved.
Amanda should certainly feel proud of herself for a job well done. She came back for redemption this season, a do-over, a 2nd chance. And while winning would have been the ultimate redemption, 2nd place is still a pretty decent result. To me, Amanda has the most clear design aesthetic and I think she really could have built this big brand she had mentioned upon winning. I really hope she can still make this happen and hopefully not winning will not deter her or keep her too far off track.
Her looks were all boho chic, effortless and easygoing. I think she heeded the judges’ advice. Her looks were not all hippie basic, they were modern and sophisticated for her aesthetic. Her work with color-blocking, use of prints, mixing of texture, such as with leather and suede, were all top-notch. This knit eye-print was probably my least favorite aspect of her collection, but when paired with a vest as seen below, it worked for me. So breaking up the full length knit dress was 100% the right decision!
The judges were not a fan of the look below, but I disagree. It again demonstrated Amanda’s ability to make her aesthetic work with a mix of fabrics and textures. It was the escalated level of the boho vibe the judges were wanting. It was more than just a long flowy maxi.
Amanda was right when she said there was just the right amount of color in her collection. If Sean was able to make use of only some burnt orange, than Amanda’s vibrant pops of bright blue and red are just as sufficient. Both of Amanda’s shades of blue looks were totally to die for. I WANT THEM BOTH NOW! It may not seem as if these looks were that extravagant, but this type of look can easily be dressed up or down. And when dressed up, it would create a wow factor.
Amanda really showed she could work with not only dresses, but just as well with separates. And again, the color blocking, missing of fabrics, specifically the work with leather, I was impressed.
I’m not sure what the pinpointed moment was with the decision between Amanda and Sean. I did feel as if they maybe were more in love with her jewelry perhaps, than her collection. Not that this is a bad thing, but PR is supposed to be about the garments. I thought they saw her more with a clear vision, focused brand, big future, but maybe not quite as fresh or innovative as they saw with Sean’s work. In any event, the judges had a hard decision here, quite tough, but I think they still thought a lot of Amanda’s work, as did I!
Next up, let’s discuss Kini’s practically re-worked collection. I mean for someone who had so much re-working, re-thinking to do over a 10-piece collection, and in less than 2 days to do it all in, this was pretty amazing considering the circumstances. I guess the point that lingered with the judges is they still had to point him somewhat in this direction so this likely counted him out for the win. I think Kini re-made only a few pieces, but the rest was just a matter of re-styling, re-pairing. He may still have a little way to go in the judges’ eyes, but I have 0 doubts he will get there!
Kini definitely gave us some flare with the volume and some more formal looks. Take for example this denim and neoprene mermaid gown below. To make denim feel so luxe, Kini clearly has a talent with this. I’m not the hugest fan of denim, but Kini is doing a great job on making me RE-THINK this opinion!
This flirty feminine frock below was probably my most fave of his pieces. It was super-cute and fun. I could see a ton of girls wanting to rock this look. And the point that will still be of such talk, such attention, is that it’s DENIM! The pleats, the volume, and the perfect execution all lend to the fact that Kini is still a top notch designer, despite his not winning PR.
Emmy pointed out a great note in that Kini did take direction well, both in terms of styling the looks and the beauty look with hair & make-up. He took it and was able to execute what was needed to make the necessary improvements to his collection. The high ponytail may have not worked universally for every look, but the Mary Kay beauty look was great, vast improvement from the way too dark smoky eye from last week!
I think the youthfulness vibe was always underlying with Kini’s pieces, it was just a matter of styling. His newer pieces did really amp that level up a few notches though. I’m still amazed at how great Kini’s quickly made leather shorts were, as seen above, far surpassing the shorts from Char’s graphic print piece, which she had way longer to work on. So all in all, job well done to Kini and I can’t wait to see more from him in the future!
And finally, we have Char to discuss. I still stick with my original notion in that she was not quite ready for her fashion week showing as a finalist. Even had she not made a top 4 finale, she would have still presented. But in terms of the prime-time viewing, compared to her fellow designers, the work, the design, the pieces were just not at the same level.
Take for example a few things we saw during the episode. She had to scrap just as many, if not more looks than Kini. On top of this, she was nowhere near Kini’s level of speedy sewing. Because of this, she ended up keeping a look that still had many fit and execution issues. Even up until pretty close to the start of the runway, she was still sewing, having model fittings, and the like. It just all showed in her final presentation she wasn’t quite ready.
I feel as if the judges knew what kind of designer Char is, but she might not know quite yet. That or she isn’t able to fully execute looks that are encompassed under her design aesthetic. There really was not any cohesion amongst these pieces. I’m not sure why Tim bothered saying there was. To me, everything was scatterbrained, a little all over the place. There were a few good pieces in the midst, but the lack of cohesion and poor execution really kept Char out of the running for the win.
And once again, here is what Sean has in store for him with this big win!
- $100,000 from Red Robin to launch their business and the opportunity to design a fashion accessory for all Red Robin servers
- a complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother International Corporation
- a premiere entertainment center, courtesy of Samsung
- a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine
- a car from Lexus
- from Mary Kay, an entire year’s worth of beauty products for their fashion shows and professional makeup artist services for their debut show
- a shoe and accessory collection from ALDO to help enhance their upcoming runway shows
- Best Western International will also provide the winner travel and hotel accommodations to fashion capitals and inspiring locations around the world
- The winning model will also appear in the winner’s fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine.
UNTIL NEXT SEASON!! CAN’T WAIT! AND AS ALWAYS, I WILL BE BLOGGING ABOUT PRAS!!