This week opens with thunder, not from Down Under, but from Richard, the petulant schoolgirl, who will not be playing nicely with Layana no matter what. And we watch Stanley—seriously, he’s so adorable—as he fixes his hair, and utters the line that will set the tone for the day: “No drama.”
Yeah, like that’ll happen.
This week is the Lord & Taylor challenge, which fans love because they can actually buy something from the designer—well, I can’t because I won’t shave my legs, so dresses are out.
The designtestants meet Tim at the L&T store on Fifth Avenue, and he gives them ‘The Business’: Team Switch! Uh oh. The judges—i.e. the producers—want to shake things up so Stanley—chic and modern—is teamed with Patricia—cuckoo techniques; Team Mismatch. Daniel—old lady man—gets paired with Michelle—rocker girl; Team Young & Old. And, well, of course, Richard gets teamed with Layana—again!—and Samantha; Team Trainwreck.
Tim and Suzanne Timmins, Sr. VP and Fashion Director of Lord & Taylor, tell the designers that they will each a ready-to-wear looks inspired by the iconic L&T rose, for the Spring 2013 collection. And the winner will have their look manufactured and sold at Lord & Taylor and displayed in a Fifth Avenue window. This could be big, but ….. ‘No drama.’
Right. Let’s rip …..
STANLEY AND PATRICIA—Team Mismatch
And she’s ready to take on Stanley for trying to ‘control’ her because—she thinks—he doesn’t take her seriously as a designer. She feels he’s bossing her around; I feel he’s offering he an opinion. But, then, she’s so passive-aggressive that she just smiles and nods and then goes and does her own thing. Yet isn’t that part of the Team Thing? Helping? Offering critiques and suggestions? Sure, Stanley loathed nearly every idea she put forth, and his constant ‘I don’t like losing’ mutterings didn’t help, but …. He was only trying to save Patricia from going Cuckoo.
And they finally get together, and collaborate; both Tim and Stanley think her Capri pant, with a silk overlay, will be too expensive to produce, and, maybe because it’s Tim, Patricia relents and creates a simple pant.
Tim, though, wonders what’s new about Stanley’s shift dress and suggests a collar or a cowl, but all he gets is a mutter and a scowl; Stanley will do what he wants to do.
Which, I hate to say it, is create a snooze-fest-dress. It looked old; it looked too long; it didn’t look youthful.
Luckily, Patricia’s outfit had the youthful edge. The top was flowy and sexy, with a small slit up the back that moved just right; she gets props for not giving us a cut-out. Plus, the simple pant was perfect with the top. My only complaint? Too matchy-matchy, with the top and the pant and the shoes.
Stanley and Patricia are the Safe Team.
RICHARD, LAYANA AND SAMANTHA—Team Trainwreck
Richard refuses to look at Layana while they sketch, and Layana keeps telling us she doesn’t care that he doesn’t like her, but she keeps saying it and saying it and saying it ….The Energizer Designer of Poor Me.
Now, let’s pause at Richard, at Lord & Taylor, marveling at the idea that this was where he wanted to be: a designer whose clothes would be sold at L&T. And yet he shows up in leopard tights, a tank top, and a ball cap with spikes on it. I think that if Richard had shown up at the store to shop, it would have been like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman; a bitchy shopgirl would have subtly pushed him from the store.
Note to Richard: Boy George is not a fashion inspiration that Lord & Taylor wants. But, enough of Richard’s serious lack of taste; on to the dress.
He made a jersey dress just like the one he did in episode one, but he switched the gray swoop for a pink one, and made it sleeveless and longer.
Heidi, oddly enough, said she would buy his dress, but also called it a no brainer. Nina mentioned that she’d seen it before—episode one—and called it generic. Ow! Guest Judge, Bonnie Brooks, president L&T, said it was beachy in the front, and elegant in the back, but was it day or was it night? Fellow Guest Judge, Rachel Roy—once again usurping the seat reserved for The Adorable Zac Posen™ —said Richard needs to push himself.
In front of a bus? No, that’s Layana’s job. Layana; she’s so talented; she knows so much, she’s such a great designer. At least that’s what she keeps telling us.
But then she sends down this long dress that looked too formal, and too Grandma’s sofa. I didn’t get youthful at all. Nina loved the use of the leather and loved the silhouette, but called the print ‘old lady.’ Bonnie Brooks liked the toughness but that it might be too tough for L&T—like a knife-fight might break out in a ladies changing room. Rachel Roy also liked it—not the print—but wasn’t a fan of the leather waistband in the front. Heidi loved the hard and soft—as she always does—but thought the print ruined the dress.
Samantha! WTF happened? I know! It started when she told us that she’s a longtime L&T shopper and that she knows just what they want, and would definitely be ion the top this week. Yeah, not so much. What she made bordered on cheap road-show, third-rate Icecapades dress; in ugly, limp fabric. With—oh for the love of Halston—a heart-shaped cut-out in the back that looked more like an apple than a heart.
Samantha; you set yourself up, and then you just threw it all away. I loathed everything about this dress; her sketch was red and black, but her dress was pink and peach and black. And blue. Blue!?!
Heidi hated it. She got the idea of the rose, but all she saw was a wilted flower. And, like me, she hated the colors, the ruffles, the length; she said the ‘heart’ sent her over the edge. Then she called it the ‘J’ word: junior. Ack!
Rachel Roy, however, liked it for its youthfulness, and loved all the elements, calling it adorable and unique. Note to producers: have Roy get her eyes checked before asking her back. But then Nina ….Nina-Freaking-Garcia …. Agrees with Rachel, but then called it risky and not right for L&T. Bonnie Bell said it was fun, and cute, and loved the petals.
And they all called it Auf’d.
DANIEL AND MICHELLE—Team Young and OldIt was all about the Pink. Daniel wanted to shake things up and he thought Pink would do it. Michelle got a Pink Migraine. I’m with Michelle, especially on the Barbie’s 16th Birthday Pink comment.
But then, poor Michelle. She has to work with coming-apart-at-the-seams Daniel, first, by saying the hateful, ‘I’m just not a pink girl’ which sent Daniel flying. And then, when Tim stops by, he says the jacket looks too Joan Collins, and Daniel thinks that’s a compliment? I can see where this is headed. Michelle says she cannot see a young, hip girl coming into L&T with a wad of money, who wants to buy bubblegum shorts and a matching jacket.
What Daniel hears her say is: You have to design a look for a 21-year-old girl. And he goes into a tizzy, repeating it over and over, while Michelle says she never said that—because she didn’t. I so wanted to be at Daniel’s house last night while he watched that show back and realized he is cray-cray.
But, still, he changes his jacket ::::sob:::: to a dress, but he’s still going to do His Shoulders, whatever that means. [Even on the runway he talks about his shoulder detail and Nina throw s him a bone by saying she likes it, too.] Daniel, in his best Dorothy Michael’s Tootsie voice—tells us he wants to make "Happy clothes for happy people" and that he lost his happiness a few weeks ago, and just got it back, in Pink, I’m guessing, and will not let Michelle bring him down. Off a ledge.
His look is old; another matronly dress, this time in hot pink, for Barbie’s Hot Flashes. Bonnie Bell liked the color, and the shoulders—seriously, did they all think he might kill himself if they hated the shoulders?—while Nina agreed, though she found the dress too conservative. Heidi doesn’t want to buy this dress because she’s seen it before, in every woman’s closet! Ow. Rachel Roy echoed that, saying Daniel has no Point-Of-View, and really needs to come up with something new, perhaps without sleeves?
Luckily, Daniel had Michelle’s dress, the clear winner, to save him.
Now, she’d instantly thought of rainwear when told of the challenge—though with the weather we’re having this spring, snow-gear would have been better. She wanted a rain vest—because the arms don’t get wet? Huh?—over a young, springy chartreuse dress. Tim, though, rightly thought the vest, in grey, was too much of a downer, and suggested Michelle work on the prettier dress. She balked, at first, but when she finally had the dress done, if she’d thrown that vets over it, she would have been under the bus, and then on the bus, going home.
But her cute, very Spring, dress was the clear winner.
Heidi wanted to break into L&T when the dress came out so she could buy it first.
She called it sophisticated and young and fun and the one dress that was not a literal rose dress. Rachel and Nina both agreed that it was a perfect dress because it could really be worn by any woman—although an older gal might want to have a longer version. Did I just say ‘gal’? Am I my dad? Anyway … Bonnie Bell also wanted to buy the dress, and I think she’d get it before Heidi because she has an ‘in’ at L&T.
Michelle gets the Win.
I’m sad that Samantha went home because I liked her, and liked most of her designs, but this week, that ‘thing’ was a hot, ugly mess and deserved an Auf’ing as much as Michelle deserved the win.
I sense a lot more drama because the one designer who stayed out of the drama was sent home this week.
I’m still seeing Stanley and Michelle at The Tents. I’d like not to see Richard because I think we’d see a bunch of black dresses with a color-blocked swoop; seriously, look back at his designs that he is solely responsible for and they are all very similar.
I’d like to see Patricia, just because crazy can be good, and wacky can be fun.
I’d loathe seeing Layana because, well, I don’t like her. Simple. And Daniel? Well, is the fashion show was held in 1979, he’d be a shoe-in.
Next week: Create your own textile! And tears!
What did YOU think?