Okay, so we start off with Not-Heidi, Carolyn Murphy, greeting the Final Four! Final Four! and making it quite clear that there will only be Final Three! Final Three! next week.
This week the designers will be tasked with making a "Couture Inspired" outfit--notice it isn't actual couture, because they only have about six hours to work.
But first .... Quelle surprise! The designers will be heading to Paris to shop at Pairs Mood, or something, and visit the Valentino showroom, and see a Valentino show, and sketch. It's quite a day, from the PR Runway, to a Newark runway to a Paris runway to a Seine waterway to a Valentino runway to a Paris Parkway to a Paris runway to a Newark runway to the PR runway. All in a day!
He goes black, and textured and see-through at Paris Mood, but about six hours into his creation he tosses it to the floor and starts again. Is this the end of Anthony Ryan or are the editors just toying with us?
He tell Joanna Coles--who appears again, as if by magic ... I think she might be a witch--that his gut told him to scrap Dress One and start anew. She tells him to listen to his gut, and so he goes to the break room and eats with Joshua. Or something.
"I really think my dress is couture-inspired. It does give you that sense that it came from one of The Houses."
I thought it moved poorly, and the model seemed stiff; and I wasn't thrilled with the Princess Leia Uni-Bun on the model's forehead. But it was sexy without being slutty, and looked like quite a few bucks.
Georgina Chapman thought it looked divine and loved how he was able to hide the lining. Lining? Anthony Ryan asked; I ain't got no stinking lining! Which made Georgina love it all the more. Isaac Mizrahi loved the silhouette and called it sexy, but in a new way, while guest judge and designer Cynthia Rowley loved the negative space of the lace. I know. What?
Carolyn Murphy liked the dress, with its simple elegance but felt it should "breathe more." I know. What?
But the breathable, non-lined, sexy in a new way lace dress gets the win, and, again ....quelle surprise.... Anthony Ryan will be in The Finale.
Emilio, who has a bigger head than anyone I know, pins all his hopes on color. Again. He didn't fly all the way to Paris for black fabric, he says, getting in a dig at Anthony Ryan and Joshua. He wants drama and volume and ball gown and it will be red like say, oh, I dunno, a Valentino red? But then he decides to add some black appliqués until Joanna Coles spots them and rips them from the ground and makes Emilio eat them.
"Watching the dress glide down the runway, it's a very rewarding feeling. I think my dress is the most couture of all."
I thought it boring. Too long. Too high a neckline, too long sleeves. It had no design and was all about the fabric. It was blah, to me, and, so I knew the judges would love it.
Isaac adored it--and leapt from his seat to touch the fabric. He loved the broad shoulder and the long sleeves and the high waistline, but wished it had been a little shorter to show some ankle [How daring!]
But then Georgina agreed with him, though she did add that after last week’s badly made Tweety Bird Mess, this week he executed his deign perfectly. Or, in Georgina-speak, "Puh-fect.
Cynthia Rowley also copped a feel, and then added that she liked the strong simplicity and loved that the dress was all about the fabric, though I wondered if this was Project Runway or Project Fabric.
Carolyn Murphy said she liked it, and it's perfect construction.
Emilio, of course, gets Slot Two at the Finale.
Uli sticks to what Uli does. Long. Flowy. And embellished to within an inch of its life. But even Joanna Coles has some reservation about the front of the dress, which Uli likened to alligator though I instantly thought Crocodile Dun-Don't! Joanna took it a step further and said it was Alligator-meets-gladiator-meets-Sicilian-widow.
Uli also needs a do-over.
And a do-under. The lining of the dress is quite evident, but without it the model would be nekkid and stuff, and, well, nekkid doesn't a Finale Maker make.
"I do like it. I think it's couture-inspired. She's not naked. It looks better than I thought it would."
Oh, Uli, you keep patting yourself on the back like that you'll break an arm. The dress, in my mind, while Totally Uli, had too much going on with Golden Armor, Silky Lace, and Beige Underlining. It was not Uli at her best.
Cynthia Rowley loved all the textures in the dress but hated that you could see the lining. Georgina also hated the lining and wished for a lace short underneath, which would have looked more couture. Carolyn liked the dress but hated the blob-looking exposed zipper in the back.
Isaac said it best when he said it didn't look couture, and that it was more an expensive ready-to-wear.
Naturally, in a Paris fabric store, Joshua slides down the Aisle of Hideous Neon Florals. He wants to play with the use of Black-and-White-and-Color-and-Lace. I want to play with the remote and stop watching this train-wreck of a designer.
Even Joanna takes a look at the floral and slaps Joshua, calling it so not couture. But Joshua knows what Joshua does, which is to take really loud, bad fabrics and make something really loud and bad.
"I love the look. What I really love about it is the clash of these colors and these different elements. I think it looks insanely elegant."
I think Joshua is insane. His aesthetic, even from his season, was a bad use of the wrong fabrics, in the wrong neon-fluorescent colors and the wrong design. This, to me, was grandma's drapes with a lace top.
Isaac says he's mad for the lace and he likes the print, but hates the two of them together. Georgina liked the idea of the clash, but felt the floral print was too small and didn't work with the lace. Cynthia Rowley sniffed and called it ill-fitting.
Carolyn Murphy liked the dress--seriously, she said to every designer, "I like it"--which proves she is Sooo Not-Heidi. She loved it from the back, which isn't really high praise, and hated the skirt.
Who's In, Who's Out
The judges can't decide between Uli and Joshua--or else the taping ended early and they needed some time filled--and so Carolyn Murphy tells Uli and Joshua that they will have one hour top deconstruct their looks and make something new out of them.
It a Catwalk-Off. Or something. But whoever passes this final challenge will make it to the Finale so that whole I-thought-they were-gonna-let-'em-all-go terror has lifted.
The dresses return and, well, I’m shocked to say that I loved Joshua's look. Though he didn't so much deconstruct it as turn it around, cut off the sleeves and make it shorter, it was a much better look that his couture-inspired d-i-saster.
Georgina said this look had a lightness missing from the first look, while Isaac said it was closer to what Joshua wanted to do than the first one. Cynthia Rowley was amazed by the transformation--and again, he turned it around, cut off the sleeves and shortened it--while Carolyn Murphy called it fun.
Uli, on the other hand, made an entirely new dress from the lining, and took the gold and the lace and made a cool little jacket.
Georgina loved the easiness of the dress and wanted the jacket for herself, Isaac called it an entirely new look and said it was fabulous. Carolyn Murphy called it cohesive with the first look.
Cynthia Rowley said, and I quote, "I think it's a hilarious f**k you to all of us" because Uli took the one thing the judges all hated from the original--that lining--and made it the feature of the second look.
And so, for that, and for the fact that Joshua's taste level needs a reboot, Uli gets Spot Three.
I knew it would come down to these three; I knew from EP1. But I am glad because I think it’ll be a good show without anything …. Fingers crossed …. Really hideous coming at us.
What did YOU think?