E: Stereotypical colors? Fuhgeddabout it. Color? Forget about that, too. We’ve got white, black, grey, brown, grey, mossy brown, and oh, more black. Garnier invites the designers to explore the four elements: earth, water, air and fire. And like I said, no one went where I thought they’d go.
Since Jay won the last challenge, he gets to choose his own element (air); everyone else has to pick a card. Right off the bat, I’m worried about the people who have fire. There are so many pitfalls here – all you have to do is remember back to the “innovative” zodiac challenge, and . You can see the judges getting really mad at garments which are too literal. Boy was I wrong! Well, mostly.
The Top Three:
It surprises me, but I’m so pleased Jonathan won. He took the color palette of white and peach from Cerri’s skin (“pale understands pale”) and wraps her up in a joyous cloud of laughter. It’s really very pretty without being poofy and silly and costumey. Most impressive; he layered the white over the peach, and created his own textile with beautiful little cutaways. Very cool.
It’s lovely to see Maya near the win again. I think she’s so great. It seems clear, actually, that the judges liked her short grey rippling water dress the best, but thought it was too derivative of Nini Ricci to merit the win. That’s interesting. I don’t think it’s intentionally referential. Maya was an art student; I could be wrong, but I feel like perhaps she’s just not up on other designers and did what felt natural to her, which just happened to be similar to Ricci’s. I loved the cowl back, and I thought Lorena looked fantastic, but I’m fascinated that no one thought “blue” for water.
Another air look rounded out the top three – Seth Aaron‘s black leather coat with airy spikes and a folded train over a black skirt, representing the night sky over Manhattan. (He suggested there were supposed to be stars, but I didn’t really see them, did you?) Valeria’s hair got teased and windswept. I didn’t like the jacket’s train, but the judges did. They’re blown away by his tailoring, and they like that he has a clear point of view.
The Middle Three:
Jay Nicolas, I think you were lucky to have immunity. His concept was a tornado, and he had Brittany’s leg and hair all wrapped up in ribbons like a, well, tornado over a beehive. Bleh. He made a baby doll dress in brown, black and white with a short front and flowy asymmetrical train (some might call it a mullet cut). The leg wrapping and hair wrapping and asymmetrical chunks of skirt killed me. Blech.
Fire might make some people think of warmth; not so Anthony, who thinks of his pastor’s house being set on fire. He creates a black column dress for Kristina, with a softly folded bodice fronted in color blocks of black and gray. It looks like a column of smoke, I’ll give him that.
Earth is Emilio‘s metier, and he produces a nicely draped bodice for a full skirted cocktail dress, in an olivey/mossy brown green. He has Monique pull her hair back into a sleek bun. I don’t like what that does to her face, personally.
The Bottom Three:
An uncomfortable Mila lands in the bottom. She drew earth, and made a wide leg pant, wool turtleneck, and a thick tweed sleeveless jacket with an asymmetrical hem and leather patches on the waist. Her inspiration point was minerals, and I can see that in the fabrications, but the judges are wondering if she can do anything other than color block (no) and if she’s a one trick pony, only capable of working well with high contrast fabrics. Uh-oh. She’s safe, but this doesn’t bode well for a trip to Bryant Park. The judges think you could buy all these boring pieces at a mall. Dum dum dum!
This kills me! Amy put Holly’s brassiere in a brazier! She’s got these ridiculous hair extensions; the idea is that Holly’s hair is the flame in the bowl. But the bowl doesn’t stand up, and the hair looks about as fake and ridiculous as you’d guess, and it’s piled up over her cleavage, and it’s just a bad, bad scene. As Michael said, she was too in love with her concept to adjust at the point when it should have been obvious it wasn’t working. I can’t believe she escaped this time, I really can’t. Did I mention it was black? And that we didn’t get a reason for that?
Ben, on the other hand, goes down in flames for being too literal and also not a good enough tailor. He decides to make a pants suit – even though he’s never done one before (always the wrong idea, dudes!) to make Allison look like a shark. The hair and make up is great, and you could see where he was going with the fabrics, but the jacket is too short and ill fitting, and then there are the pants. Oh, my, the pants. He puts seaming all over the crotch, as if it were a pair of tighty whities embedded in the pants. Michael calls them jock strap pants. (I’d agree, except he did the same thing in the back.) I don’t know if this is a bigger disaster than Amy’s, but oh, it is not good. The killing stroke for Nina? He’s put little shark tooth buttons on the jacket cuffs.
So Ben is out. Well, it’s not like he’s spent a lot of time at the top, although the judges seem shocked by his lapse in taste because they all like him. Not enough, it seems.
Next week: seek inspiration in NYC – IN PAIRS. Oh, dear. You know, we haven’t had a challenge this season that involved working in groups larger than two. That disappoints me. The designers are freaked the heck out. Who else thinks it’d be great to see a challenge go more than one day? I think the little girl/Mommy challenge has been the only two day one all season.
Models of the Runway:
Per usual, not much happened on the show. Jonathan breaks down in his congratulatory moment with the models because he’s so sad about Ben going home. Lorena is once more praised to the heavens, and the other models are starting to feel like chopped liver. Monique took Holly to see her agency, as Holly explores her living options for after the show. Cerri doesn’t think Jonathan will pick her again, but the power of pale prevails, and he eschews the vaunted Lorena to Cerri’s complete shock. Emilio once again changes it up (the models are starting to hate him for this), and takes Brandise from a very annoyed Mila, who then steals Kristina from Anthony. And then Anthony gets to chose between Allison and Monique, and despite having worked with Allison before, he picks Monique (whose newly straightened hair has suddenly become an asset).
This is an interesting development. Since Alexis went home, there’s no villain. And now that sunshine girls Kasey and Allison are gone there’s no beaming positive energy either. So what will happen to the interaction now? I’m sorry to see her go; she brought a lovely, generous presence to the show. (Not to mention that cool song she was singing in the first episode! I’m still jonesing for a recording of that. Anyone? If anyone out there knows who wrote the song and if there’s a recording of it available, please share!) Will it stay as genial as its been, without either a common enemy to unite against or a cheerleader to bind them all together? Hmmmmm. I think most of them are mature enough that it won’t be too much of a drama. Lifetime can wish, though. And I guess we’ll see!