Well poodles, now comes the time when we look at the finalists' output for the competition so far to see if we can draw any conclusions about them. Completists that we are, we'll also be looking at the decoy designers, but for now, let's focus on the candidates for the win. First up: Jillian.
At first glance, it's tough to find a through line here. Jillian doesn't work in a narrow aesthetic. Of the 3 finalists, we think she has the widest range, although she clearly excels at sportswear. Her work is always meticulous (with the exception of the denim coat) and almost always perfectly fitted (weight loss and prom dresses, we're casting knowing glances in your direction). She has a fondness for full skirts and pants and a real affinity for jackets and coats. So much so, that she could make a career solely out of the latter.
She obviously doesn't reach for the prints all that often except to add small visual points of interest to certain looks, like the pink tartan ruffle on the avant garde coat or the eye-catching print in the menswear challenge. She prefers to add her own detailing to bump up visual interest, rather than relying on patterns or even textures to do the work. In fact, we think it's her eye for detail that makes her work. Whether it's the equestrian and military touches she returns to again and again, or the poofy almost bubble skirt on the tangerine dress or the gold piping on the art inspiration jacket or the almost-but-not-quite detail in the bust on the prom dress, Jillian takes an almost architectural approach to building her looks.
She also has a certain...we guess "wit" would be the word, in her designs, as in the jockette look of the Diva challenge or the rodeo Twizzler dress, or the racing stripes on the weight loss dress, or even the aforementioned pink tartan. She almost always has something going on in each look that makes us go "Hunh. That's an interesting take."
She has the Nina-required "point of view" and even demonstrates a certain level of innovation, but like her personality on the show, it's quiet and requires a second look, which sets her apart from her more put-it-all-out-there competitors.
[Photos: Barbara Nitke/Bravotv.com]