When we saw where Laura was heading, we were underwhelmed. Granted, “wow the judges” is about as articulate a design challenge as “make something pretty,” but we were afraid that “doing what I do, better than I’ve ever done it,” while plucky, probably wasn’t what the judges wanted to see.
On the one hand, we were right; on the other hand, so was Laura. She didn’t win it, but it seemed that she made a conscious choice to produce something that she knew would get her to OFW and lo and behold, it did. Her mama didn’t raise no fool.
As for the dress, it’s beautiful and probably one of the most perfectly executed garments in all 3 seasons of the show. While we agreed somewhat with the judges that Laura needs to widen her point of view slightly, we also think they overstated the point.
For one, up to now, Laura has not had any professional experience in fashion, which means she’s never produced a collection. That she is focussed on a particular aesthetic right now doesn’t necessarily mean that she only has one point of view.
Second, we started thinking about it and realized she’s not as repetitive as some (including us) have been saying. Look at what she’s produced during the competition:
For all the talk from the Duchess of never wanting to see another one from her again, she only ever produced two garments with what could be called “plunging” necklines. Looking at her garments all together like this, it’s interesting how much it looks like a collection. She has a concise point of view and there are certain design elements she returns to again and again (lace, beading, “exuberant” collars), but she doesn’t make the same dress over and over and she doesn’t design only for herself.
As a point of comparison, look at Uli’s competition work:
There ‘s a hell of a lot more similarity of form going on there. Ironically, even though this grouping is far more repetitive, it somehow looks less like a collection than Laura’s does. We don’t mean to be ragging on Uli. She also has a strong point of view that she executes masterfully, so it’s practically inevitable that she and Laura get compared so often.
It struck us that part of the reason the “narrow” placard gets hung on Laura’s neck has as much to do with what she wore during the competition as it did with what she produced for the competition.
That’s a consequence of having a strong point of view and the force of personality to consistently and fabulously express it, which our girl has in spades. Right Laura?