So, the after effects of last week's Ven Diagram of "How not treat a client" are finally put away and it's time to move on.
To OMG & Taylor, aka Lord & Taylor.
This week the designtestants will be creating a tenth look--a cocktail dress or evening dress--in honor of the PR's tenth season, to go on sale at Lord & Taylor with nine looks by nine other PR designers; everyone from Mondo to Chris March, to Bert to Giordana.
I know. Which one was Giordana? But I digress.
So, since it's a rather simple challenge, let's just rip.....
I'm beginning to loathe him. Seriously. For a gay man his Cher impersonation was sorely lacking, so that's number one. Number two is that ridiculous shredding, or feathering, or whatever the @&$% you call it, detail that he wants to trademark as his signature detail. Guess what Christopher? I wore shredded jeans in the 80s, so I already trademarked it; and so did every other mo and diva and pseudo-punk back in the day. You aren't new.
And, again, seriously? Another outrageously large scarf? Stop. Just stop.
He notices right away that there are only two gowns in the PR collection, so he’ll make a gown to "stand out." He tells us it will be "the best gown ever" and then tells us he "sounds like a tool."
Yes. I agree on one point. But then he tells us that this time the shredding will be different. See, the first time he shredded an entire gown, and the second time he shredded a skirt, but this time, oh this time, he's shredding a top.
His dress is boring. A fleshy pink--he called it ballet pink--shredded top, over a simple flowing stretchy silk long skirt. Yawn. And, I think, not very mass-market. Producing that shredding detail is labor intensive, so how can L&T sell it for less than $300. And why would they sell it when there are better dresses out there.
But Heidi likes it. It's beautiful and elegant. Kors likes that it looks like separates, but also that it looks like a t-shirt and a dress. That can't be good. Guest judge, Bonnie Brooks, the president of the oft-mentioned Lord & Taylor, likes that it looks light, but isn't. Huh? And Nina says that while it was a sophisticated gown, it wouldn't work on many people.
Oh, and they all mentioned that the shredding detail was getting old.
We get it. You shred. But then Christopher gets the win and I'm looking at Carlos and thinking WTF just happened.
He's growing on me, both as a designer and a person, though the neck tattoo kinda bothers me. Having been tattooed on numerous occasions, I cannot imagine having someone tattoo my neck.
But his dress is simple and chic and he's one of the few to actually think about how the dress can be mass-produced and still have a decent profit margin because, you know, L&T needs the dough.
I don't know if it's his Freegan diet of lunching from garbage cans, but Fabio remains completely centered and sane, working away with one goal in mind. For all his ink and fluffy hair he isn't about drama and crazy--which is good since those girls are cornering the market on loony.
He works, and makes a simple dress, with an interesting halter back. Basic black, sure, and kinda boring, but it looks like his design. Urban trashcan, and I mean that it a good way. Really, I do.
Heidi likes his dress, and Kors, although not a fan of the asymmetrical hem thinks Fabio has done it well. He is not a fan, however, of the exposed zipper. Bonnie thought a lot of women, especially Lord & Taylor women, would wear a Fabio, while Nina called it a perfect Little Black Dress with a twist; versatile enough for the office and for a party.
His design should have beaten Christopher’s but I imagine his win last week simply kept him Top Three.
I'm beginning to think she's bipolar because one week she's a raging longshoreman with a mouth like, well, mine, and the next week she's weeping uncontrollably. Too bad the soaps are being cut from daytime TVF because she could have had a second career playing crazy in the afternoon.
She doesn’t like the challenge because she doesn't do normal. She isn't commercial, she's avant-garde and haute couture and you can't bring that down to mainstream. Well, tell that to Kors and YSL and Donna Karan and all those other designers that do couture lines but also have commercial clothing as well.
Adapt. Elena. Cry later, adapt now.
She cuts muslin and tells us she has no "f**king idea" what she's doing. She moves her fabric and her scissors and her muslin all around the table; she reminds me of any one of our cats playing with their food like something wonderful will happen if you just kick it around. It doesn't.
And it doesn't get you on top, and Elena never gets on top--though I'm thinking that she's a top in real life. This isn't her thing; she doesn't do simple; she's avant-garde; the judges don't get her.
Yada.Yada.Yada. She says she doesn't dumb down her designs but her constant rants are certainly dumb. Adapt.
Her dress is interesting. Baby doll, as Christopher says, with a harness; Lolita dominatrix? That could work I guess. I thought the skirt looked very stiff and bulky, even though I know Elena likes stiff.
She got one of the top scores and began to weep onstage because she thinks the judges don’t get her, and don’t understand her and no one does what she does and....shaddup already.
Heidi says they've liked her designs, but that she needs to think about each individual challenge and how to work her aesthetic into it. Heidi then tells her the dress is marketable--and I'm sure that hurt a lot to Elena--because of the girly, but hard, silhouette. Nine loved the open back with the harness detail, but felt it was lost on the front, while Kors said this was the first time Elena matched her aesthetic to the client. Bonnie muttered something about it looking French with a fun edge, but I think she was just planning on where to go for lunch.
Elena gets Top Three.
Such a contradiction. Pretty blond girl who likes Goth and has tattoos. I mean, she comes off as Barbie and then you see her in action and she's like Rocky Horror Barbie.
But she stays away from black, mainly because all the other designers are going black because cocktail dresses are always in black, except the one they just saw at L&T.
She picks a bronze brocade fabric and it is going to be bad before it gets good.
She has all kinds of trouble with the fabric, and when Tim tells her that it will show every seam and dart and teardrop, Melissa thinks about using another fabric. But she doesn't want to go Back To Black--Sidenote: I miss Amy Winehouse--and all the colored fabrics are too soft for her to create that standup boat neck detail that will set her dress apart.
So, she'll try it on her model, fit it perfectly, and then change the fabric. only she doesn't change the fabric. Instead, she takes the whole dress apart and cuts it again and sews it again, and, well, this cannot be good.
At the last moment she is running from workroom to sewing room trying to piece together what she thinks will be a hot mess. But it isn't. It's very cool, I think, with the fabric standing up in the front. it's very space-age, Judy Jetson at prom, but it's so not Lord & Taylor. I cannot see Buffy McFinkelstein wearing this to a party at the Goldfarbers penthouse.
But she's Top Four? Four? Yes, the judges like four designers best and only a bottom two. Kors liked that she chose a good fabric--the right fabric for the right dress--and loved the neckline. He was not a fan of her asymmetry, and thought it needed a jingle bell at the end. Nina loved the collar and the color, while Bonnie thought it ingenious, if you just cut off that awful hem.
So Last Minute Melissa gets a Last Minute Top Four.
First off. Love that accent. I always love accent on men. Second off. love clothes he design. Sexy chic clothings.
He is a little safe in his designs. They are always sleek and form-fitting and sexy, with some kind of sewing detail. But, they are sleek and sexy, and simple, and, well, doable for under $300 at the L&T.
But, and I hate to but, Dmitry seems to always do a simple chic dress with some kind of interesting sewing detail on it. It's nice, but like Christopher's shreds and Ven's rose, we've seen it before. I want Dmitry to bust out and go all ball gown-y and fabulous and patterns and frilly.
I mean, he does sleek and sexy really well, but can you imagine a sea of sleek and sexy with interesting seams running down the runway in the tents?
After weeks of being on top, or safe, or winning, last week she fell to the Bottom Three and this week that's all she can think about, and, sadly, all she can talk about. I was hoping Christopher would finally master his Cher impression and go all "Moonstruck" on Sonjia: Snap out of it!
She gets off the line that the guys are more girly than the women, but then all the girls have meltdowns and breakdowns while all the guys--and I include Alicia in this group--simply work and get their jobs done. And then they stand at their tables and watch Melissa scramble to make a dress in five minutes, and watch Elena body-slam her mannequin to the ground, and see Sonjia sink to the floor in tears. So, the girly guys get their work done, and the manly girls have issues?
Yeah, I don't get it either. And I don’t get how she could try the dress on her model on Day One, but then Day Two not be able to get the girl in it. I mean she was tugging it down from the top and then tugging it up from the bottom, and then she finally asked Elena to help while she sat quietly in a corner--oh, no, she fell to the floor and just wept.
This is what I felt like doing when I saw it. It looked like a dress from an old Carol Burnett Show sketch. The frilly peplum waist--and again, how do I know from a peplum?--and the unfinished hem, and the just plain nothingness to it. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't a Sonjia.
It was, however, safe.
Yeah, it's over. One-note and mean, and a little too baldingly pompous.
An origami rose.
Again. In a cocktail dress.
I’d like to see Ven be Origami'd out. Fold him, press him, shape him into a tiny airplane, open a window and let fly.
But Ven does get the Spit-Take Award, for uttering this line whilst I was sipping tea--and therefore causing me to spew it around the room:
"This challenge is not just about me....I'm thinking about the customer."
Sage advice, Ven, but a week too late, no?
Sage advice, Ven, but a week too late, no?
And then he Origami's some more. As Gunnar rightly noted, "That's a lot of folding."
And as Sonjia noted, :::eye roll:::
And as Christopher said, "Holiday dress for a thirteen year old."
But as his usual creation--other than last week’s d-I-saster--walks the runway, he says he’ll be Top Three or safe.
Yeah, Top Six. Or actually Seven. Out of nine.
That doesn't bode well.
I'm still a little stunned that a Lesbian is on the PR designing clothes for women that will be sold at Lord & Taylor and not at Lowes & Target.
But then she mentions Chanel and I say, "Lesbian say what?"
And she wants to Chanel, er channel, Chanel, in her dress by doing a dropped waist. She is sure the judges will hate it, but she's a Lesbian and she doesn't care.
And she creates a box pleat on her dress. Well, two, actually, one at the crotch and one at the ass. And when she shows them to Tim, on her mannequin, the interior of the pleat is blue. So, um, the model will be spewing blue from her ladybits and her butt?
It seems like a gamble.
Tim thinks it looks like armor, and Alicia will need that to fend off the Barbs of Kors. He said it looked like a field hockey uniform, and all it needed was a Jason Voorhees hockey mask and the model could hatchet her way through the judging panel. He said if it was sporty, it wasn't sporty enough, and if it was dressy, it was dressy enough. it just wasn't enough. Bonnie thought it looked more office than cocktail though she's never been to my work where office is cocktail; Nina thought it too mature and matronly with the Chanel drop-waist and the little collar. it was Thoroughly Modern Mille, without the modern.
But Alicia was safe, which means.....
Try as I might, every time he speaks it feels like someone is taking a rusted iron back scratcher and running it around on the underside of my skull.
But Gunnar has this one in the bag because he understands the L&T woman; he understands the generational aspect of their client. He can take ideas from two former PR designers and use them to create his own one-of-a-kind--though not so much--look.
He tells us that he loves his fabric "so much it hurts" and he has no idea how prophetic that sounds. But then his head continues to expand as he reminds us that his dress will tie up the "loose ends" of the L&T PR collection.
Loose ends? Was that a dig at Christopher’s shredded feathered dress? No, that came later with a not-so-subtle eye-roll.
Another eye-roll appeared when Tim saw Gunnar trying to put lace and sequins all over his dress and turn it into something Matador. Gunnar wonders why everything he does goes Matador and I think it's less about fashion and more about a certain wet dream he had as a young queerling.
As Dmitry rightly says, "Most of Gunnar's dresses look purrrr-ritty bad."
And it wasn't bad, though I thought it looked like a dress Laure Bennett had designed on a previous PR season. And, apparently, I wasn’t the only one.
Nina called it nice, but expected. She'd seen it before, and Kors said, You have seen it before. it's on sale at Lord & Taylor now! He also dubbed it the dreaded Mother of the Bride. Bonnie thought the lace was old and stupid and stiff--well, she might have just said stiff, those other words are mine. Heidi gave it a Pretty good job.
So Gunnar was Auf'd and the champagne flowed at Casa Bob y Carlos and....
Gunnar gets saved too? Heidi says all the designers met the challenge and yet just moments before they were saying it dress was nothing special. WTF just happened. I uncorked the bubbly for this?
I was pissed. But then I saw the previews for next week and it's a team challenge. Now, knowing that the challenges are planned out before the season even starts shooting, and remembering that in one week we lost the old lady and the Asian guy and someone else, well, they needed to keep everyone last night to make three teams of three for next week.
So, this wasn't about all nine designers doing good work, this was about keeping the teams even for next week.
I feel cheated.
I wanted Gunnar gone. Especially after all his niceness on the runway whole his dress was skewered: Point taken. Thanks for the feedback. I understand. oh really.
And then he walks backstage and is so distraught he cannot even speak, except that he does speak and tells us he has no idea why he was almost Auf'd.
Um, Gunnar? Your dress has been done v=before and better.
I think a muffin basket to the old lady and the Asian guy is in order, because their scampering off the show saved your ass.
But what did YOU think?