It seems like we just visited the 70s last week, with the Sheepdogs and the rock'n'roll challenge, but apparently we are not yet done with that decade.
The challenge this week is to create a sophisticated 70s-INSPIRED look, not vintage or retro because, well, they did that last week and it was a d-i-saster. The plus this week is that the winning design will be sold on Piperlime.com. So, remember, sophisticated, 70s-inspired fashion that can read well in an online store.
The monkeywrench this week, is that the designers must create a second look, a single piece, no separates, for $50.00.
Two designs. one decade.
Everybody together then? let's rip.....
She is still smarting from being in the bottom last week, and still weeping about designing menswear. Kim, honey, build a bridge and get over it, because, if you ever become a successful designer, you may need to expand your empire with menswear.
Better to learn how now, eh?
But I digress. Kimberly is excited about the challenge because she'll be doing her Mother-Inspired-Seventies-Sexy-Secretary. or something like that. Slutty Mary Tyler Moore? That can't be good.
Kimberly buys some kind of menswear--I know! Really!--looking plaid, to make a pant, because eight weeks ago, Nina happened to mention that Kimberly knows how to make a pant, and since then that's all she does.
Laura calls the plaid fabric JCPenney, and she's right. I wore a little boy's suit in that fabric to Eats er Sunday church when I was seven. That as the last time I was in church and the last time I wore plaid.
But she is so involved in her first look--switching it up from pant and top, to vest and pant jumpsuit--that she cannot be bothered to think of a second look.
And when she does, and she shows it to Tim--a circle blouse with a bare midriff and a mini-skirt--he shudders at all the woman sex. He gets Kimberly to rethink the skirt, and she goes all pencil skirt on it.
With Olivier gone, Kimberly took up the mantle of Time Management Issues, sewing her garment at the last possible second and then hand-sewing it on her model because there was no time for a zipper. This cannot be good.
And, for me, her designs weren't good. the vesty-panty-jumpery thing had a hole in the middle that didn't look like it was meant to be, and the print circle top and pencil skirt was odd. The top too big, the skirt too tight. It looked like an old costume from The Carol Burnett Show, and a Mrs. Wiggins sketch. Google it and see if I'm right.
I am, however, apparently wrong about her outfits, though, because Kimberly is the safe designer. But still, she's rarely good, so if she doesn't wow me, okay, maybe the judges, soon, she'll be tentless.
Laura dresses in retro; she lives in retro; she breathe retro. She is the 70s glam girl, so she has this challenge in the bag, right?
Laura returns from Mood with some black-and-white chevron pattern fabric, and some trippy brightly colored crap, and decides the two should go together to create 70s glam. In fact, Laura is so enamored of her fabric choices and her designs, that she wants to make the dress to fit her, and screw the model.
Anyway, Tim is worried about Laura's prison-stripe-acid-queen-mixed-fabric-maxi dress. And he isn't thrilled with her black and silver chiffon second look either. But the big news is that Nina doesn't much care for Laura's sense of design, and gets all "bristly" when Laura shows her clothes. Nina. Bristly. love it. Of course, Laura thinks Nina is wrong, and that her clothes and her taste level are refined.
As in prison-stripe-acid-queen-mixed-fabric-maxi dress refined. that dress just looked strange; it was like, as Kors often says, the model got dressed in the dark. The second look was refined, and kind of pretty, but the layers of chiffon and sheer fabric, in black and silver, would not read well on a fashion website.
As Laura explains why she did what she did, Guest Judge, Piperlime executive Olivia Palermo gave one of those "Oh, you poor girl smiles" and I knew Laura was in trouble...and not just from Nina. Olivia called out the bad prints, and dubbed the whole thing unoriginal--"You can buy a maxi dress anywhere." Kors called them 'clothes' and not fashion. Heidi liked the second look, but was literally frightened by the mixed fabrics of the first dress. Nina, bristling, called the top a prison outfit and the bottom just weird. And she wasn't happy that the second look wouldn't photograph well for an online sale.
Sidenote: I noticed how old Laura is, for the first time. They listed her age as twenty-six and this whole time I thought she was in her forties. I mean, she's like 26, in Lindsay Lohan years. And, I'm saying it now, Laura won't make fashion week, and probably won't make it next week, unless Bert really messes up or Josh continues going overboard.
As the show starts, he is ridiculing people like Kimberly for whining about the last menswear challenge. He reminds his fellow designers that you shouldn't make excuses about the challenges. I see excuses coming from Josh.
Like the instant he hears the rules of the challenge and he begins whining that he isn't from the 70s so how can he do this. Um, Josh? You just said making clothes is making clothes, so maybe, oh, I dunno, you should.make.clothes.
And make them marketable and don't overdo them, and edit, boy, edit.
And edit what you say on the runway, Tim warns. Josh is good with a story, but reminds Josh that it's the clothes that have to tell the story. And Josh's clothes have a lot to say, most of it unprintable, I'm imagining.
His first look, a hot pink--yes, I said hot pink--and black man's tuxedo shirt and plaid pants didn't so much as say 70s, as they said ugly. The shirt colors were not at all Good-And-Plenty, and the plaid pants seemed like a Road Map to VahJayJay Land, with a side route to Asstown.
His second look was a nice silhouette, but the fabric choice--again--was off-putting. it reminded me of an scene in a 70s movie where Peter Fonda dropped acid and every thing was trippy and brightly colored. Good for a movie, bad for a dress.
Kors calls Josh's designs schizophrenic, and thinks the plaid pants should be outlawed. Josh is too over-the-top, and there is no 70s ease to his designs. Heidi says his first outfit is, wait for it, the Worst Outfit She Has Ever Seen, and it hurts her eyes to look at it; it's too much for one outfit. Josh argues that he doesn't have enough time, and doesn't know the 70w and declares his stuff sellable, and Heidi cuts him off: Your clothes won't sell.
Olivia hated the plaid, the hot pink, the black, the leopard belt and the leopard shoe--remember, this was all in one outfit. He chose all the wrong fabrics and there is no consistency. But Nina, my girl Nina, sums it up by calling his clothes ho-rrendous. Tragic. She likes that he takes risks but reminds him again, that he needs an edit button.
For his designs and his mouth, I think. Back in the waiting room he again complains about not being born in the 70s, and when Viktor calls him out on that, and Kimberly says that, as a designer, he needs to know about fashion from all eras, Josh--oi as I see him now, This Years Kenley--stomps off.
I don't see him at the tents unless he learns to listen and edit and shut up.
He decides that this will be the challenge where he shows us who he is, because, um, he hasn't been doing that the last nine weeks? Huh? What? Huh?
While the others go sophisticated 70s, Anthony Ryan decides to go hippy, Woodstock, weed-smoking 70s, because that's so chic.
And old, apparently, because that's what Tim calls Anthony Ryan's designs during the critique. Tim also shudders at some of the fabrics, and the idea of a mini-skirt. Tim suggests a maxi-dress as Anthony Ryan's second look, and it's a go. Or goner.
His clothes were drab. And he's not often drab, even with his colorblind issues. But the fabrics were drab and the designs were drab. The first looked like a bad Marcia Brady costume knockoff from a secondhand store in a questionable neighborhood.
And the second looked like a printed sheet thrown over a model and tied just under the breasts.
Olivia says his first look is incomplete. The shirt must have sleeves, or No Piperlime for you!. The patterns, and the mixing of said patterns, is awful. His second look she calls a tent. Maybe for smoking weed. At Woodstock?
Nina calls it hippy-dippy, but not in a good way. The layering is off and it doesn't seem expensive, even compared to an $11.50 outfit. She says they look like clothes the Manson Family might wear, and that is never good. I mean, do you wanna be known as clothes for murderers? Kors called them 70s granola. Sister wives. Scary. Heidi wouldn't want to be either one of those girls. His clothes were boring.
And boring gets Auf'd. I'd had high hopes for Anthony Ryan at the beginning, but it seemed like each week his taste level dropped, until, last night, he had no taste whatsoever.
We learn that, as a child, Viktor had a safari jacket--which I assume he wore with a pith helmet, a feather boa and a pink chiffon scarf--so he'll be reviving that look, sans boa, pith and chiffon.
Viktor is a good designer. he gets his stuff done without a lot of complaining and drama. But Viktor is not about to help anyone. He was one of the ones that wouldn't offer any leftover change to Anya at Mood, and wouldn't spare any fabric in the workroom. For Viktor, this is not about helping anyone, this is about winning.
This might also be about karma, Viktor.
Viktor thinks Josh, who stops by to visit every designer as they work, is maybe stealing ideas from him. Like the inverted pleat that Viktor put on his safari jacket, that Josh put on the back of his shirt. i guess Viktor invented the inverted pleat, but failed to get it patented, or somesuch.
Tim likes the safari look, but wants Viktor to take it farther; maybe with a pith helmet, a boa, and some chiffon? No? Okay. Viktor's second look was pants on the sketchpad and a dress on the runway.
Good save. His first look, safari jacket and pant, was very nice, very put together. But I was distracted by the model's hair hanging down the lapel. It seemed to cover up the shirt and the jacket. His second look was a cocktail dress--which Viktor does very well--and looked very pretty and, though it wasn't necessary, it coordinated with his first look.
Heidi thought he had two great looks, and marveled at how much he can get done, and how well he does it. She wasn't fond of the unsexy pantsuit thing, but when the jacket came off she loved the T-shirt. Kors also thought the jacket with the T-shirt killed the sexy, calling it career matron, while Olivia liked the sexy pant and the T-shirt. Nina called the tailoring beautiful, but thought the suit looked a little conservative.
i thought Viktor would win, because his designs were well put-together, cohesive, and chic, but I think his lack of help with Anya's money crisis whipped up a Karma Kerfuffle that kept him from his third win. Still, I think Viktor makes the tents, and I think his show will be beautiful.
After weeks of being the Old Man Of The Workroom, and Josh's Whipping Boy, the other designers scramble to Bert because he actually lived in the 70s, of all things! He calls himself The History Channel, and I'm thinking the other designers need to subscribe if they wanna lesson. This stuff ain't free, y'all.
His first design, which he dubs the Shelly Hack in a Charlie's comercial look, is really Roller Disco Studio 54 Gal. There is some sheer, and some glitter and quite a bit of sequins and some black hotpants. There is also some chance of being Auf'd because his design looks a little literal.
Tim calls it very seriously, literally vintage, but likes Bert's idea of a simple dress as his second look. I liked the top of the first look; pretty and blowy and sprinkly, like the 70s. But the hotpants were oh-so-short, and the sprinkly wrap on the bottom seemed out of place.
Then his second look was the other end of the spectrum; simple and sleek and chic. Nice, but I thought it too simple.
Heidi liked the shiny disco fabric, and, even though she called them too short, she liked the hotpants. She even liked the simple dress, calling it expensive and chic. Kors liked the top of the first outfit, and liked the two-sided-ness of the second look, and loved that Bert offered up two differing views on 70s fashion.
Nina would buy the first top, and maybe wear it with something else, which I think is good. as much as I adore Nina, a Nina is hotpants must not happen. And she loved the simplicity of the second dress. Olivia loved both looks, and even though Bert didn't win, she opted to sell his simple chic dress online as well.
Anya begins by lamenting her Bottom Three finish last week, and deciding that she needs to pick herself up and focus. There is no room for mistakes. Truer words were never spoken.
And then Anya, Maker-No-Mistakes-Anya, loses her money at Mood, and, according to the PR Rules Handbook, she cannot buy fabric unless her fellow designers have any spare change and want to give it to her. Laura offers up nine cents, and everyone else plays :::crickets::::. But Anthony Ryan has $11.50 left over and happily gives it to Anya, who buys that much fabric and is then told she can use muslin for the rest.
Muslin, according to Anya, is like Corn Flakes. Bland. Thank god Kellogg's will never be in need of a fashion designer--like for Tony the Tiger, who might be tired of animals prints by now--because they won't be asking Anya.
She dyes the muslin, and I'm guessing she does this several times. When she shows it to Anthony Ryan, it looks pink, but she says it's chocolate. I thought Anthony Ryan was the colorblind one.
But, she's thrilled at the idea of a second look and having more than panhandling change to buy fabric. She goes for a wide, wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide-legged jumper in a cool pattern, though she also suffers also from Olivier-itis, running from workroom to sewing room even as Tim calls time.
But her first look, the $11.50 look, I liked. I even liked the color of the top, and the print on the bottom. Her jumper was very 70s, with big, BIG legs, but a very cool pattern. For all her mistakes and drama and time issues, Anya pulled it off. Heidi was impressed by the $11.50 outfit, and loved the jumpsuit with it's sheer sexy back. Kors didn't like the chewed bubblegum color of the dyed muslin, but likes the details and pleating that Anya added to it. Nina calls the designs spirited and expensive--$11.50? Who knew?--and says they would photograph well for an online store.
And all that gives Anya the win; a surprising win, given that some of her work was unfinished and last minute. But Anya plays nice, and Karma rewarded her. Her second look will be sold on Piperlime.
I must confess, that Anya, based on her looks, with her jewelry and her dresses and her hair, seemed like a high-maintenance bitch when we first met her, but she is really very sweet. She has so become my favorite of the season, for both her fashion and her personality. I can see her showing at the tents and being very, very good. I can also see her winning.
I'm predicting Viktor and Anya at the tents. Maybe Kimberly. Maybe Josh.
Not so sorry, Laura.
But, before that happens, we must bid adieu to the Auf'd, very sweet, one-nut-wonder, colorblind Anthony Ryan. he could have been a contendah, but he seemed to have stopped trying. Buh-bye, sweet Anthony Ryan.