Down to ten designers. This season is going by so quickly!
The challenge is to create a tasteful outfit inspired by a flavor of gelato. Oh yum! I’m partial to Frutti di Bosco, or Fruits of the Forest (basically mixed berry.) When I studied abroad in Rome during college, I lived above a gelato shop. Actually, this gelateria. You’d think living above a gelato shop would result in eating a metric ton of gelato, but for me that wasn’t really the case. Anyway, each designer gets to choose the flavor that will be their inspiration.
Mila: Milk and Sour Cherries
Jerell: Fruits of the forest
Kenley: Passion Fruit
Austin: Vanilla Madagascar
Anthony: Green Tea
Kara: Chocolate with Cayenne Pepper
The guest judge this week is the amazing Diane Von Furstenberg. That is a pretty dang big name to get on the show! On the downside, the designers only have six hours to create their looks. Uggggh. Some of my tiny little Barbie-sized outfits have taken six hours! I have no clue how the contestants are supposed to create anything decent at all in such a miniscule amount of time. This is producer mandated, no doubt about it, and that’s sad. I have been appreciating the caliber of the work and the minimization of the drama on this show; I hate these pressure-cooker situations created just for the sake of getting the contestants frustrated. It’s just crappy for such a high-quality design competition. I know that in theory these things make “good tv,” but you know what I think makes for good tv? Good designs and good output. And in order to achieve those good things, designers need adequate time. I’m not suggesting that the show give the designers weeks to make their work, but asking them to create full outfits in six hours is actually kind of insulting–these are the all-stars, and giving them so little time doesn’t make me excited to watch, it makes me feel exasperated. I just wish they would stop with these manipulative shenanigans and let the designers do what they do–design!
The judges this week are the usuals, Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi, and they are joined by guest judges Diane Von Furstenberg and model Miranda Kerr. Miranda will be wearing the winning design to and incredibly and probably purposefully vague “industry event.”
All images from MyLifetime.com. The website has a lot more pictures, and even has a neat zoom option if you want to see more of these looks.
Mondo (cantaloupe): I think he did a good job translating the cantaloupe to the garment. The colors he chose are very refreshing, like the fruit. I think it is really smart that he went with a caftan, it really captures a sort of “brunch on the beach” feel. I would never, ever pick that pale orange and light lime green to go together, but they look surprisingly lovely in this outfit. This is a cool, breezy resortwear look, and I really like it. It also moves beautifully on the runway.
Anthony (green tea): Not a bad look. I actually really like the flippy little skirt, it adds a lot of movement to the look, which it sorely needed, as the top is so stiff. At first I didn’t quite “get” the top, but I think he was trying to represent the idea of the tea leaf in the shape of the bodice. I don’t think it was entirely successful, as it just looks a bit overworked. The color of the top is maybe a bit too bright for me. When I think of green tea, I think very calming and serene, and this color is a bit too lime green to reflect that feeling for me.
Kenley (passionfruit): The print is nice, but beyond that I’m not really sure how this dress represents passionfruit. There is very little passion to this dress; aside from the print, it is actually quite structured and maybe a little too straight-laced. Don’t get me wrong, minus the pussy bow, this is something I would totally pick up at the store, I just don’t feel like it reflects the challenge all that well–it seems like a dress Kenley knows how to make, so she picked a bright fabric and called it a day.
Rami (kiwi): Oh no. This is not good to me. I’ve liked so much of what Rami has done this season that this is really a disappointment to me. I really do not like the combination of green tones that he picked, from chartreuse to lime to pistachio. The colors do not work at all for me. And the variety of fabrics, the shiny satin for the skirt, the slightly sheer fabric he draped on the bodice, and the polka dot, they just don’t fit together at all for me. I suppose the silhouette is nice, but otherwise, this is not a good look, and not very kiwi beyond the (poor) color choices. That’s a bad miss.
Mila (milk and sour cherries): Pretty darn cool. I know I so often slam Mila for her predictable designs, but this is actually a very nice look. It is still very much in her aesthetic with the color blocking, but I love that she went out of her comfort zone with the color palette. I’m also not sure how many things we’ve seen her make utilizing more drape-y fabrics or sheers, so this is a fairly big departure. I think the fabric choice was very smart, as the fabrics have almost a creamy feel to them, which makes a lot of sense for a gelato-based challenge. I wish the sleeves were finessed a bit more, but overall a nice look.
Jerell (fruits of the forest): Urgh. I don’t think I’ve liked a single thing Jerell has made, and tonight is no exception. Even Joe felt outraged at this look. In complete truth, he got up from behind the computer, stood by the tv, pointing and shrugging with a confused/disgusted/outraged look on his face that he described as half “no me gusta” and half “no entiendo.” and “I’ve seen much better work at cosplay conventions.” Yes, Project Runway night is fun at our house. So, to get to the nitty-gritty, this is not a good look. Jerell seems obsessed with cutting up the body into weird shapes with his odd seaming choices. The fabrics he picked look ugly and cheap. The neckline is overworked and not well executed, and the skirt is way too short in the front. I’m really ready for him to go home.
Kara (chocolate with cayenne pepper): Well…the model does look kind of ice cream-like. As Kara herself said, the proportions of this look aren’t quite right. There’s something about where the bodice and the skirt come together that is not flattering or attractive. I think Kara had the start of a good idea in her garment, but failed to achieve it. I think she spent most of her time working on the skirt (which is admittedly kind of cute and moves nicely on the runway) and no time working on the ugly bodice. The other problem is that the dress doesn’t really reflect the inspiration all that well.
Michael (grapefruit): Nightgown. Didn’t Gordana go home last week for a nightgown dress? This is a soap opera “come to my boudoir” nightgown dress. Once again, as with Gordana’s last week, it’s all in the color. I just don’t think one can make a floaty or flowy dress out of that pale pink and not have it read sleepwear. Had Michael used a brighter pink, or a pale orange, this could have been a lovely, albeit humongous dress. But as it is, it feels like a robe. Furthermore, I don’t see all that much of the idea of grapefruit in here. Grapefruit is a bit tart and sour, with a surprising sweetness, and I don’t see very much of those aspects in this garment.
April (blueberry): Well, I guess it’s blue. I’m just not responding very much to the dress one way or another. It’s just kind of there to me. It’s very short, so I guess there’s that. And I don’t really like the bodice, the shape reminds me of Batman’s little ear thingies on his cowl. Is it blueberry? Well, it’s blue, but beyond that, I’m not really sure how else it relates to the flavor (although I’m not sure I could do much better conceptualizing a blueberry.) Basically, I find this dress terribly boring, and that’s about all I can say about it. Oh, and when the model turns, she seems to be mere centimeters away from showing her booty. So boring AND short. Hoo-ee.
Austin (Madagascar vanilla): Pretty. It has a creamy feel to it, which is nice. I think working with the idea of vanilla is quite hard. I mean, vanilla has a lot of connotations of blandness, so I think he did a fairly good job of avoiding that. It also is quite limiting when it comes to palette; he pretty much had to stick to white. It’s a nice enough look, maybe a bit boring and a bit “wedding on the beach” bridal, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t love the rouching on the bodice, it feels a bit clichéd to me, but I do think the way he incorporated the strap and the texture he created into the rest of the dress is fairly interesting. It’s a fine enough dress, and it matches his vanilla “flavor” pretty well.
My Top 3 Looks:
My Bottom 3 Looks:
The Judges’ Top 3 Looks:
The Judges’ Bottom 3 Looks:
Mila is safe.
Michael and Mondo are the top two.
And the winner is…Michael. Yep, he is definitely “the chosen one” this season.
So Mondo is safe. In my opinion, he should have won. But then again, I want him to win the whole season, so your mileage may vary.
Anthony is safe.
April and Kara are the bottom two.
That means April is out. Whaaaa? I mean, I really like Kara, but I’m really shocked by this elimination. I didn’t love April’s look, but I do not think it was the worst by a longshot. But as she herself said in her exit interview, she’s only 22; she still has many good years ahead of her to do well in the business. Best of luck to her in her future endeavors.