Well, here we are again, back at the Unconventional Challenge, where the designers are taken to a grocery store, or a hardware store or a flower shop, and told to Make it work! But this time, the work will come from a pet store. And they have free rein, able to use everything from pet food to pet accessories, to bedding to fish tanks, but no fabric! Tim offers the traditional warning about not simply taking a fabric and then making a garment.
Use your effin' imagination, I can hear him say, if I actually believed Tim Gunn would swear.
Bert, whom both David Dust and I are in love with--I mean, at least his younger Bertness when he was, as DD says, hubba hubba--has immunity and he won't play. He doesn't do costume. he doesn't do wacky. He also, apparently, doesn't do Project runway, because if we had twelve weeks of challenges to make pretty clothes, we wouldn't be watching. We want wack-a-doo,. we want odd and crazy and nutty. We want Bert to get in the game and put away the fuddy-duddy attitude. You may not get Auf'd with immunity Bert, but you can win with it, or, at the very least, not have Heidi Klum call you out on the runway for not playing the game.
Laura, who repeats the story--in case we didn't hear her the first fifty times--that she comes from a privileged background, and has been shopping at Nieman Marcus since she was in single digits. I'm guessing she meant single IQ digits because that's all she knows. She wanted to do a sheer dog cone collar dress, and was worried it might be less classy and more assy, and it was, so she scrapped it. And went all safe with cardboard scratch pads. Which landed her right in the middle, or, as I like to think of it: Target. That should kill her.
Viktor spends a lot of time talking as big game about his talent and his design and how he's gonna win, and then he gets a safe. Hey Vik, less talk, more fashion. Though I must give Viktor props for what I felt was the line of the night: This isn't fashion, it's trashion.
Julie, the snowboarding Georgia O'Keeffe-inspired designer chose dog food bags. Woven dog food bags. Stiff dog food bags. And got a pass. It was interesting, but it was neither here nor there.
Bryce went all wee wee pads and giggling school girl, which didn't bode well. He watched as other people used the pads, and died the pads, and turned them into fashion, so he decided to go the other route and just make the pads look like pee pads.
Michael Kors leapt from his chair, climbed the runway and bitchslapped Bryce, all the while screaming, No more napkin dresses EVER!!!! That really happened, but was excised during editing. As were his shouts of, Heidi? Bring me the axe!
Nina thought it looked a little Blue Man Group, with too much texture and too much volume and too much wee wee, while guest judge Stacey Bendet liked the textured top, but she is so over volume--me too!--and thought the fit was bad. Heidi wished he'd manipulated the wee wee pads so they didn't look like wee wee pads sewn haphazardly into a skirt.
In the end, it was nice to have the pads, because Bryce nearly wee wee'd his panties when he was given a save.
Fallene starts off telling us that this is her challenge,m because she's artsy and craftsy. And we know this because she tells us this over and over again. Which, as we now know, means she's gonna suck at this. And she picks some kind of orange aquarium vegetation and then tells us she hates orange. She is headed for D-I-saster.
Heidi said her dress was too simple, with no excitement. it went from boobs to skirt and completely skipped the model's waist. Nina called the color bad, and called the silhouette dated, and said it was bad, and short waisted and bad. I'm thinking Nina didn't like it.
Michael said it was uninteresting and that the model looked like Miss Pumpkin, and Stacey said Fallene should have gone out there. Like home? Out there?
Fallene, kept agreeing with the judges. Yes, the color is bad, and the fit is bad and the silhouette is bad and the execution is bad. Hey Fallene? If you knew it was so bad, um, why'd you do it? To get a save, because that's all you got.
Josh C--our ALLEGED Ho'Mormon--spends most of the episode lamenting his nearly being Auf'd last week, and how he needs to focus on fit. His dress, to begin with, is kind of pretty, but then he scraps some of the interest, like the cat scratch post cummerbund, and it becomes an umbrella turned blouse; a reptile cage fabric skirt and a leash belt. But, hey, it fit!
Heidi called him out for using the fabric of an umbrella to make a fabric top. She called it normal, which, in the Unconventional Challenge is the height of insult. At least until my girl Nina spoke. After heaving a big sigh, a really big sigh, Nina says, "It's not terrible.....it's okay." Michael wished Josh had thought outside the box....hey, maybe he should'a used a box! and Stacey thought it looked like a college girl's bar dress. Too safe.
Or not safe enough because Joshy C, or Ho'Mormon, was Auf'd, and the promise of a ho-mo-bro-mance with the other Josh is over.
Josh M, our ex-gay-male-porn star, with the tres gay voice and the Gay Cliche Sayings Handbook. He is soooo gonna rock this challenge, after all, he grew up in the theater. Which is to say that he was probably homeless and slept through a series of dollar matinees. He likes costumes and drama and making things more and more and MORE!!!!
In fact, he was so full of the crazy, that he spent all morning gluing dog toys on shoes, and only has a skirt to show Tim, and to try on his model. He does have a couple of chew toys stapled to a mannequin, and it took security to keep his model from running out of Parsons.
He finds himself so out of time, that he grabs a piece of muslin and starts gluing aquarium rocks too it, in the hopes of not sending down a topless model. and it is that last act of desperation that saves him.
Nina loves the use of color, and the design he created at the last minute with rocks and glue; she also loved the circle skirt. it was fun and hip, but she thinks Josh went too far with accessorizing and styling. And Heidi agreed; she loved the modern take on the dress, but the styling was horrid. She literally had to be restrained from scrubbing the model's face, and taking an ice-pick to Josh's perfectly manicured hair.
Stacey called it vampy and fun, while Kors loved the drama--we know Kors loves drama. But he also felt the extras took away from the dress. There's over the top, but then there's over the top, down the street, across the bridge, up the highway and out to sea.
Less is more, Josh. Remember that.
Anthony Ryan looked where everyone was headed in the pet store, and went in the opposite direction, They anted leashes and aquarium plants, he went for the bird seed. He wanted to create a bird seed beaded dress--a bird seeded dress--and was along about creating a design from the seeds and using no textiles whatsoever.
He, like most of the other designers, was too ambitious in his design, and ended up scrapping the original dress, which was bird seeds and aquarium weeds.....hmm, Seeds'n'Weeds. I see a new fashion line....but I digress.
His dress, I thought, was the best, because of his use of the unconventional. And the judges seemed to agree. Heidi liked the modern take on the silhouette, but thought it was too short, while Stacey loved the glimmer of the seeds and the drama around the neckline. Michael could only mumble the word chic, while phoning his assistant and ordering him to the pet store. Nina dubbed it beautiful and dramatic, but also too short.
In fact, a battle raged between Nina and Heidi over who should win, and I thought, Well, it'll go Heidi because it's her show. But I forgot about Nina's past, on the streets of the Bronx, when she was an undefeated member of Fight Club, because......
Olivier got the win.
Though he doesn't like pets, except for the rabbits he had that died. [Note to Olivier: you probably just ruined your chance of being a Dustbunny favorite. You're not better than Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.] And he keeps talking in that odd little English-Italian voice when he tells us that he's from Columbus, Ohio!
Knock off the accent, Columbus. And quit saying I went to university. Seriously.
But he grabs a dog bed, or couch, as they call them in Columbus, Ohio, and some scraps of wood chips or newspaper to line rabbit cages. He worries about the dog bed top, but Tim assures him that the rabbit cage liner skirt will show his unconventionality.
Nina loved the texture and the drama, though i thought the top didn't fit so well. Michael loved the ombre look of the rabbit cage lining skirt, though he detested the rabbit bed lining glued to the models eyebrows. In fact, that trick was so dangerous the model was almost sent to hospital. See, Olivier, it's to the hospital.
The eyebrows reminded me of the time Lucy Ricardo got stuck in a meat freezer. But i guess they didn't show that episode at university. In Milan.
Heidi called it sophisticated, but I thought the color palette was drab. Beige and beige, with a hint of brown. Stacey called it fab, which at least rhymes with drab.
And with that, and a few bruises and cuts ion Heidi that won't ever show--because Nina is that good at fighting--Olivier gets the win.