Here we go!
Nothing much to say. I only really enjoy the shit-talking anyway.
The designers will be designing for a client who knows a lot about fashion. As we know from the previews, it’s:
They just can’t get guest stars on this show anymore. Not even Hayden Panettiere who was already slumming it on this channel for “The Amanda Knox Story.”
So anyway, the challenge is to design something for Nina that transitions from daywear to evening.
She likes classic with an edge; streamlined, clean, tailored silhouttes, she doesn’t like volume, pleats, loud colors or patterns. The winning look will be featured in a Marie Claire ad and displayed on the top of NY taxi cabs.
At least it’s nice that Nina is consulting with the designers. She keeps reiterating her minimalism, but she seems to be giving real, directed, constructive criticism. Oddly enough, I find I am liking Nina more. Also, where the hell is Olivier? I don’t think I’ve seen him at all even in a background or reaction shot yet this episode.
After the commercial break we got a quick glimpse of him. I was worried he was M.I.A. or something. I shouldn’t have worried though, if something had happened the production team would have been sure to include it because: Drama. So all is well.
The designers head to Mood.
Becky and Anthony are using the same fabric. Whoops. We’ll see if this can work.
Anya picks out a golden yellow fabric for her…jumpsuit. I just don’t really see Ms. Nina in a yellow jumpsuit.
Danielle ends up with kelly green. Yikes!
After everyone picks out their surprisingly unsophisticated fabrics, they head into the workroom.
We learn that grouchy Cecelia is fond of tomboyish Julie. Who’d’a thunk it?
Nina heads into the workroom. All you designers ready for the beatdown?
Danielle: Her work looks too soft. She seems to take it in stride, though
Julie: The collar is too big, she is adding more orange. Still feels confident
Anya: Does she have a Plan B? Nope.
A bunch of other folks get powered through. They must not be making anything that will be in the top or bottom.
Cecelia: What she has is looking a bit sad. Make it work.
Kimberly: Too much blue
Nina also notes that the winning design will be in a Marie Claire spread. All this added Marie Claire prize package stuff makes me think they are desperate for readership like most of print media so they are trying to pull out the big guns and actually snare some of the PR viewership. I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought a Marie Claire magazine, nor did I buy Elle when it was the PR-associated mag, so I have to wonder how successful this type of promotion really is for their bottom line.
Nina heads back out, leaving a trail of surprisingly nonplussed designers behind her. I was hoping for more major freakouts, but I guess it was not to be.
Joshua Ryan Reynolds suggests Anya dye her bright yellow fabric.
Anthony Ryan talks to his fiance on Skype or whatever. Uh oh. Family stuff. That’s often the kiss of death. But he’s done quite well previously, and hasn’t been getting all that much camera time this episode, so maybe they just wanted to show us his cute fiance and talk about New York legalizing gay marriage.
Tim walks in, there are 2 hours left and everyone in is the sewing room. Yikes! Sew faster, sew like the wind!
Cecelia has basically given up. She just seems totally defeated. Oddly enough, she helps Julie. Why!? I mean, I know they’re friends (apparently) but she is totally shooting herself in the foot.
Laura Kathleen’s garment isn’t on her model yet, but she’s helping Anya get her garment fitted. I sense some time manipulation, as it doesn’t seem to be happening at the last minute as implied.
Guest judges are Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire and Kerry Washington
All Images from MyLifetime.com
Joshua: Went with a very tradtional shift dress silhoutte, but played with the super-popular color blocking in gray and coral. I really like this look, the black outlining gives it some interest, the shaping of the color blocking gives it a flattering look, and the coral is totally on-trend. My complaint would be that it maybe isn’t quite creative enough and it doesn’t look terribly expensive; there is something a little bit Macy’s about it. The back has cutouts and a full-length super industrial-looking zipper. I think he was trying to take the quite business-casual front to night in the back, but it just doesn’t totally work for me.
Bert: Bert made a pretty simple black dress. It has a sternum brushing neckline which kind of reminds me off those drape things they sometimes require for high school senior pictures. The overall shape of the dress is incredibly simple and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It just feels like any off-the-rack dress from, well, I know I said it before, but Macy’s. The only thing that takes it out of the department store is the centered front slit, which is kind of trashy.
Olivier: Olivier made another Olivier outfit. Minimal, boring colors, not my bag at all. I’m not sure if it is his fabric choice or what, but everything looks wrinkly and ill-fitting. I think the pants are frankly quite terrible, there is something going on with the crotch when the model walks that gives me pause. Despite the fact that I am not a fan of his aesthetic, I really thought Olivier could construct a killer pair of pants. I guess I was mistaken.
Anthony Ryan: The controversial fabric is pretty awesome. I like the top of this look very much, it is like a sleeveless suit jacket, and I think it is really modern and has an appeal to it. I’m not a huge fan of the skirt, it has volume in weird places, and I think he made a misstep with the color. I think he matched the color to one of the colors in the ombre-effect close-up rather than taking a step back to see if the skirt matched the overall tone of the print, because at a distance, it really doesn’t look like it matches. It’s a nice day look, but the youthful skirt keeps it from transitioning well to eveningwear.
Becky: More of the controversial fabric, and I still like it. Whereas Anthony Ryan had the dark tone at the top; Becky has the dark tone at the bottom, which gives it more of a paint splatter affect, which I’m not sure works in its favor. The detail at the top of the dress is hard to see because the model’s hair is obscuring it, but I think she used bands of a darker tone on the diagonal. Once again, my criticism of Becky is that aside from added frippery (in this case the diagonals) the overall shape of the dress is quite simple and uninspiring. We saw last week that she can make a killer jacket, so I’d like to see more from her wheelhouse than cute little dresses. They show that up close it has tiny bits of yellow piping, but even on my 42” high-def tv, I couldn’t see it until the cameraman zoomed way in. So clearly, she should have added a bit more.
Kimberly: Well, she moved away from the blue, but I don’t think that was a good thing. The pants look impeccably made, as expected, but holy crap! That top! Can anyone say “taste issues.” I said it during the Road to Runway coverage, but Kimberly likes her shiny. Which can be deployed judiciously and look great, but here it just looks cheap. Like really cheap. Halloween costume cheap. In fact, thinking about it, I think I had a Halloween costume made out of this exact fabric in silver the year I went trick or treating as an alien. I was a weird kid. But nonetheless, aside from the pants, this doesn’t look expensive, and furthermore doesn’t look like something Nina would wear. It’s really too bad about the fabric choice, because I actually think the shape of the top is lovely. In a different fabric, this could have been a winning look, I think.
Cecelia: This is bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. I know she said she thought the gray was a purple in Mood, but that isn’t an excuse. The gray is the prettier of the two fabrics. What the hell was she thinking with that burlap-tone? It is so unbelievably ugly. And the dress, holy crap, this thing is one of the easiest silhouettes, in that I criticize Becky on deploying it week after week. And Cecelia managed to screw it up. Badly. The poor model looks pregnant. And I know Nina just had a baby, but lady probably worked damn hard to get her body fit again, she does not need to look as though she is still with child. Oh the terribleness! I weep.
Anya: Okay, full-disclosure: I am a jumpsuit hater. No, not just hater, despiser. But this? This is actually pretty cute. The slim fit of the garment gives it a sleekness not often seen in jumpsuits. I like the way she used almost a suit-like collar to dress up the top. I am not a big fan of the length, though. I think dyeing the fabric was definitely the way to go, so kudos to Joshua Ryan Reynolds for suggesting it. Still, Anya did rely on the cheater belt from the Piperlime wall, so points deducted for that.
Danielle: Another look that doesn’t seem to stretch Danielle that much from her preferred aesthetic. I just don’t see her challenging herself that much from week to week, which is a disappointment. This looks totally business-casual. The pants look well-made, for a simple black pant. The blouse is well-made, but just way too simple. I think the kelly green is crazy (and not Nina) but it is the only interesting thing going on in this look. Danielle is a great executor of looks, I just am not seeing a ton of creativity going into her work. And nothing about this look says evening. It says “Hi, I’m Mandy, and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I interest you in our neverending basket of onion rings?”
Julie: Hello horse-blanket aesthetic (again.) No sir, I don’t like it. The orange is totally Star Wars X-Wing pilots. I think the other fabrics are muddy and uninteresting. I’m not sure if she knew she was grabbing a boring khaki, but that’s what this is. Why did none of the designers pick a gray with the more sophisticated blue undertones rather than these drab yellowy utilitarian fabrics. The whole thing is just kind of a mess of assymetry, and it doesn’t do anything for me. The unmatching askew belt is a poor addition as well. Julie said she just finished fashion school, and in this outfit it shows. This is total student work; there is nothing sophisticated about it.
Bryce: More blocking, but not bringing anything interesting to the table. The color choices, again, stink. I think the shape of the blocks have some potential, and I like that he went with a sleeve, but the whole thing is just super boring. I also see some sewing issues, in that the hem looks like it puckered, or maybe he glued it? Either way, there is some funny business going on with the hem. And as I just unpaused the DVR, and he points it out.
Laura Kathleen: The green is just a “no” for me. Especially in this shiny American Girl Doll Christmas dress fabric. I actually like the overall shape of the look, and the peekaboo strips along the bottom are a nice touch, though perhaps just doing the bottom one would have been more tasteful. And I think the assymetrical overlap on the bottom of the jacket looks silly and distracts from the silhoutte. And once again the fabric choice ruins it for me. I actually think the color isn’t terribly wrong, but it just isn’t right in this fabric (it might be taffeta?) The stiffness of the fabric, too makes it just look silly. In a more sophisticated fabric, this look could have been much improved. As it is, it’s tacky, tacky, tacky.
Viktor: The dress has some interest with the exaggerated shoulder, although I feel as though I’ve seen this before on major runways a couple of years ago, maybe Balmain or Balenciaga? The silhoutte just feels “done” to me. As has the volume in the skirt. I mean, just a couple of weeks ago for the pet store challenge, Olivier did a skirt treatment very much like this one. Granted, he won that challenge, but doing another take on it so soon after that smells a touch like recreation. That being said, this structured black dress is probably the most “Nina” of the night. So despite my copycatty misgivings, it’ll probably win this week.
My Top 3, in no order (man, tonight was rough):
Joshua (he’s one of my favorites, so sue me)
My bottom 3, in no order (rough, rough I tell you):
The Judges’ Top 3:
Kimberly (really!? With that shiny gold fabric!?)
The Judges’ Bottom 3:
Kimberly wins! (Really!? Really!? I have to assume the top looked better in person? I like Kimberly as a person, but I stand by my assertion the fabric choice was not good)
Viktor is in
Anya is in.
Danielle is in.
That means Julie is out. Too bad, we finally got to see her cute quirky personality this week. Being that I wasn’t a fan of anything she made throughout the show, I can’t say I’m terribly sad to see her go.
Wow. This week was brutal.