Golden Boy steps up to the plate:
Well, let’s start with the obvious: draping. To our eyes, he can be accused of returning to that well five times out of eleven. That’s a lot, but still not as much as we would have thought. He also returned to that twisted fabric trick we dislike so much five times and turned out skirts with pleating or ruffles four times. It seems clear to us that these are the three design elements that pretty much define him as a designer. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but out of the three finalists, he’s the one most locked into his comfort zone and does the worst when he’s forced out of it by the competition. Witness the menswear, avant garde and wrestling looks to see how he morphs from a talented designer to a near-disastrous one when faced with a hurdle. Although to be fair, the Hershey’s challenge was outside his milieu and he managed to knock that one out of the park.
He seems to have an aversion to prints and when he uses color, it tends to be very muted and understated. He also doesn’t appear to have any time for trim or embellishments. He loves fabric and he loves to make fabric do tricks for him on the dress form. And to his credit, he’s very, very good at those tricks.
Rami’s whole stated design philosophy is to make women look and feel beautiful. That is, of course, a wonderful philosophy for a designer to have. Thing is, it’s kind of…pedestrian. We’d wager that almost all womenswear designers have that as one of, if not the, main goals of their work. To say so is to state the obvious.
When he’s on his game, he can definitely accomplish his main goal by turning out beautiful (if slightly boring) dresses that compliment the female form and make her look beautiful in a classic sense. Our main criticism (and one which is fortified by seeing all these looks side by side) is that his aesthetic looks, well…old to us. Not just old in the old-fashioned sense but old in the “My imaginary client is over 50″ sense. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does have the distinct whiff of “niche” all over it. Christian is exactly the opposite and tends to design almost solely for the under 30 crowd. It remains to be seen which one the judges will respond more favorably to, but it bears repeating that fashion is always about the new thing or the next thing. We’re not so sure that Rami can compete on that level.
[Photos: Barbara Nitke/Bravotv.com]