Friday, November 30, 2012

PR All-St★rs 2, EP 5: Androgynous Avantgarde-itude


We start off with Not Heidi, Carolyn Murphy, going all androgynous on the catwalk with a very low, very low, cut sleeveless tuxedo jacket, and telling the designtestants that this challenge is all about avant-garde androgyny. There was mostly silence from the designtestants, though their eyes looked like deer caught in the headlights. I’m sensing great highs and horrendous lows.
But then Georgia Chapman enters the workroom--I absolutely j'adore Georgina....I have a wee crush on her style and her accent and I'm thinking of being her for Halloween next year--and throws the monkey-wrench at the group. A second look? For a male model? In two days?
ALTHEA
"Our looks need to be sexless."
That was said roughly sixteen minutes into the show and were the first words uttered by Althea last night which leads me to believe she will not be at The Tents.
Her edit all season long has been invisible. We rarely see of her from her, until Joanna Coles comes in, and this time was no exception.
Joanna was worried that Althea's high-colored coats were a little too Eyes Wide Shut religious ritual robes, and Althea enthusiastically said, "Yeah!"
Um, Althea? Those were costumes, dear, and you were told No Costumes!
"I'm very excited by my coat."
Except this wasn’t a coat challenge, and a coat--even one that looks cool and modern--doesn't really say androgyny.
It did, however, say safe.
And invisible.
Again.
JOSHUA
"It's totally fun."
This is Joshua's challenge because he often seems to be dressing androgynously. And I'll give him props for the way he catwalked in Anthony Ryan’s male look; and it looked good on him, But, you just know he walks a pretend catwalk every day in his head, so, well, there's that...
But his taste level, as always, is a little suspect. He wanted to do ass-less chaps on the male model--possibly because it would give him a chance to touch the male model's ass often. But, luckily, cooler heads, a la Anthony Ryan, talked him down from what was sure to be an Auf-ful cliff.
But then he does fur, and tells Joanna Coles he's going trim it down like a pony.
Was that code for something because it made absolutely no sense to me?
"All I can truly think is pure innovation."
Well, I have more thoughts. Like how the female model doesn't look androgynous at all; fur sleeves do not androgyny make. Now, his male model looked hot .... I mean, the clothes looked hot, though it did seem a little robe and sweat pants.
And safe. This really pissed Joshua off because he thinks he should have gone Top Three. Backstage, he went after Ivy for every word she said, but, and kudos to Ivy, she stayed all Zen.
I think Joshua will crash and burn in the coming weeks. I don't see him at the tents at all.
IVY
"To me, androgyny means it can be worn either by a male or a female"
Thanks Ivy for the Project Obvious Award of the evening.
I'm feeling like Ivy might truly have a heart, the way she helped Casanova with his work, and spotted him some change at Mood, and didn't cut a bitch [Joshua] backstage. Maybe the soup kitchen did rub off on her?
Plus, I loved her getting all fun and flirty while measuring the male model's inseam; it might have been the angle, but I thought she copped a feel ... or maybe that's what I would have done.
What I wouldn't have done is make those kind of ill-fitting, no crotch-room, diaper-looking things for the male model. 
"I feel like my two looks really executed the challenge."
Not so much. Ivy. You're still all about the sheer. Take a look back at the first five episodes ... she's all about the sheer. And she's making that jacket again.
But, as she said to Joshua, the judges seem to like it because she's still safe.
For now.
TOP THREE
ULI
"This challenge threw me for a loop, because I usually do all feminine, very flowy, soft dresses."
But I thought you were Nuli, er, New Uli?
But, unlike that other designer who makes only girly clothes, Uli stepped way out of the box and managed to try something new and different. And elaborate. As she said, "Two looks? Two days? Six pieces?"
Still, she managed to infuse a little humor into the show when she explained to Joanna Coles about the ball room in her male model's pants. It reminded me of my favorite Boy George line, when he was asked to model clothes in a Japanese ad; he said the pants felt like a cheap hotel ..... No ballroom.
Love it!
"My models look so fantastic."
I thought they looked cool and very Road Warrior. I think Uli really rose to the challenge and created some great pieces for both models.
Isaac loved the safety pin trim on the female model, and called the looks "sick in a good way" and called it "sophisticated androgyny." Guest judge Jason Wu thought the male model's pants might have worked better on the female, while Second Guest Judge Robert Rodrigues loved the downtown vibe of both looks. Not-Heidi loved that both looks, and the separates, could be interchanged male-to-female and back again, which is what androgyny is all about. Georgina Chapman loved the looks but hated the leggings on the female model.
Uli gets a pass this week, but she was much stronger for having stepped up.
ANTHONY RYAN
"It's gotta be avant-garde, too?"
And this makes me worry about him, because he designs very nice clothes but he has a hard time stepping it up; I'm thinking avant-garde is his Kryptonite.
But it wasn't because, when presented with the idea of dressing a male model, he took the dress he'd already begun and turned it into his male look. The only misstep he may have had was when he conferred with Joanna and said he might do the man's pant out of yellow; she was worried he'd look a little waspy--and that doesn't mean he'd look like he was from Connecticut. Luckily for Anthony Ryan he listened to her.
"I really love the men's look."
And I did, too. Were I a few years younger, and definitely not living in Smallville, South Carolina, I would have bought that outfit and worn it until it fell apart. The female outfit seemed a little too feminine to be androgynous--the leggings seemed a wrong choice--but both looks worked well together.
Isaac loves Anthony Ryan: "You're so good every week." Robert Rodrigues said both looks were very wearable, while Georgina loved that Anthony Ryan listened to her--and you'd be a fool not to listen to that Goddess--and stepped it up. Jason Wu thought his looks were well-made and looked expensive.
He might have taken the top spot had his female model been as androgynous as the male.
And again, I would have rocked that one.
Now, add a floral turban and a cigarette in a mile long holder, with a cat in my lap, and it might still work.
EMILIO
"Avant-garde but not costume."
Keep that little morsel in mind.
He decides that an androgynous look for a female would be an outfit made from a man's suit fabric, with wide fins on the outside of it. I was worried; but when his male model was thrown into the mix--and Sidenote: that was one hot male model--he decided to do the two looks the same with just a slight tweak.
Which I think worked to his advantage because even when Joanna Coles critiqued his work she couldn't tell male from female.
"I nailed the look."
Now, to be fair, I loved the looks. I thought he did totally nail the androgynous aspect and the avant-garde part, as well. But I couldn't help but also get a costume feel from it--he is, after all, a Tony nominated costume designer. I kept seeing a revival of Ain’t Misbehaving' in his looks.
Still, Georgina loved his attention to detail, though she worried about the fins making the model look waist-less. And Robert Rodrigues also had a problem telling the male from the female looks, while Jason Wu said his looks were completely androgynous. Not-Heidi couldn't even discuss the outfit because she was getting all tingly in the ladybits by the "painfully gorgeous" male model.
I feel her pain.
Isaac thought the looks had richness, but worried they might be too "heavily reliant on a hat." Whatever that means.
But he deserved the win for being the only one to completely create two androgynous looks.
BOTTOM THREE
CASANOVA
"All leather .... with cut-outs."
Uh-oh. But, I think Casanova has really improved since his season. His looks--while they might miss the direct mark of the challenge--are so well executed; he even has Emilio in shock at how fast and well he works.
But.....leather.....and scorpion cut-outs? I didn't get it, and I didn't get it when he said he wanted them to look like armor. I also didn't get when he put the male model in gold leather pants that were supposed to look like biker leathers. I didn't see it, though, a hot male model in gold leather does sound yummy.
The female model, however; Oy. The pants were all kinds of wrong, and I couldn't help but think she would be better off in an Oscar show musical tribute to a movie that starred The Rock. Too many scorpions.
And too much gold leather had Joanna worried, and Casanova even thought he was missing the mark.
"It doesn't look androgynous at all."
No, it did not. They looked sort of cool, but he totally missed it. Robert Rodrigues just didn't 'get it' and Georgina thought they weren't bad designs, they just weren't the right ones for this challenge. Isaac loved the idea of armor, but thought the male model looked more like an accessory to the female model. Jason Wu said it wasn't androgynous or avant-garde.
It could have signaled the end for Casanova, except that two others had their own awful designs out there last night. 
LAURA 
"Nothing about my aesthetic is androgynous."
In the words of the immortal Dmitry: Then you are a one-trick monkey and should pack your pinking shears and go.
All episode long all we got was that she's a girly girl and designs fabulous clothes for women and to her men should wear Italian suits and ....
Shaddup already. You have one aesthetic and that really won't get you anywhere. Sheesh. Even Uli managed to bring it to this challenge and yet Laura was just out of sorts, saying she can't do anything she doesn't "feel". She also doesn’t "feel" Ivy and Casanova helping each other because this is a competition ... or maybe Laura doesn't know how friendship works.
I think she'd best prepare to "feel" her way home.
Joanna Coles pointed out to Laura that her lapels don't match on her outfit--maybe her aesthetic is the mis-match--and then Joanna got off the second bets line of the night because it's "exactly the kind of thing Georgina Chapman will swoop in on like a crow to a carcass."
"It's really well-made and it fits."
Wow. High praise for your own work, no?
The female model's look, looked female; I guess to Laura, tight pants with cut-out says androgyny? Or maybe a male model with cut-outs on his shirt, baring his nipple, says avant-garde. What woman, other than maybe a nursing mother, would want to wear that man’s shirt?
Isaac said it all when he gave Laura the Sad Eye and said, "This was really hard for you, wasn't it?' Jason Wu thought she had too many ideas, all of them bad? Carolyn Murphy couldn't stop looking at the gold buttons and the cut-outs, and said it was too much. Robert Rodrigues called it over the top while Georgina summed it all up with "She missed it."
This was hard for Laura, but hard for me, too, because I had to look at it. And we'll have to look--and listen to--more of Laura next week because she didn’t get the Aufing she deserved.
KAYNE
"I'm thinking of everyone that's really androgynous, like Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, and David Bowie."
I'm thinking this is gonna be a hot mess. I'm thinking he's gonna throw a bunch of stuff at his female model, and, well, he threw himself at his male model, until he man declared that he liked girls.
he ended up with a herringbone duo, with the female model wearing a leather clown collar--thanks to Laura for that line--and his make model wearing booty shorts. Thankfully Kayne changed his mind about having the male model wear heels down the runway.
"I'm absolutely pumped."
Going home can do that to you .... only he didn't know he was going home when he said it. I didn't get androgyny from either look; I just got female from both. And not really the kind of female that any woman I know would want to wear. The herringbone loafers are the man wear as awful as the leather flirty collar on the female; and that stupid scarf on the man? Was he supposed to an androgynous Sean Connery in a 60s Bond film?
Isaac thought the yellow shirt—which had been a smiley face until Joanna Coles beat some sense into Kayne—cheapened the outfit, while Carolyn Murphy wanted the woman to take her shirt off; and here I thought Emilio’s male model made her hot. Isaac said it was atrocious, and it must have been because he made it clear that this was the first time this season he was calling a look atrocious.
 Georgina simply wanted an Edit.
And Kayne was edited out of the show.
MY TAKE
Kayne needed to go. As Isaac said, he's good at sewing, but his design style is all over the place. Next week I'm hoping Laura bites it, followed by ......
I see Emilio at The Tents and I think he’d have a good show; a lot of costume looks, maybe, but interesting. I also see Anthony Ryan at The Tents because he’s bringing it this year.
But who else?
Josh? No. He’s too wack-a-doo.
Ivy? An entire collection of sheers? If I wanted that, I’d head to the drapery department at JCP.
Laura? Dear.God.No.
Casanova? Maybe. He’s really stopped with the Grandma Whore looks he used to do.
Uli? Maybe. She stepped it up last night, too, and if she promises to bring something beside flirty flowy and soft, well, I’d watch her.
What did YOU think?

3 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

You know, you're right, Althea has been pretty much ignored all along.

We were pretty sure Emilio would win. And glad that his clothes weren't all black. Getting tired of just vague ideas of what all the all black clothes actually look like.

We'll miss Kayne but OMG!

I think you have it right for the tents.

R.J. said...

I'm on a quick break from work but in short Uli should have won and Laura should have headed back to Neiman Marcus.

Tivo Mom said...

Going with Uli, Emilio and AR in the tents. Everyone else is either hit or miss. I loved Kayne on his season. This one not so much...