Since I missed last week due to vacation, I’ll offer this brief recap:
THE REST: Alexander’s was well-made but dull, and I hated the tacked on leather piece. Bradon’s looked like a last-minute staple job, while Dom’s was slinky sexy. Helen picks the worst fabrics ever and then makes something ugly of them, but Jeremy’s poetry dress was beautiful. Karen’s dress … more in a minute, but Kate’s looked like a Dominatrix Hard Boiled Egg Mess. Ken’s dress was inspired by water but why then was it green and red and black? Miranda’s dress was Carmen Miranda.
THE BEST: Alexandria deserved the win, not just because her look was cool and edgy and Glamping-inspires, but because of the look on Ken’s face when she won.
THE WORST: Karen should have gone home for that urine-soaked, tent-shaped, slapped on with a belt muumuu she made and then Tim wouldn’t have had to use his Tim Gun Rescue© on Justin, who at least tried something new.
All caught up? Good, let’s talk shoes.
The designtestants head off to the Hearst Building to find Tim Gunn and Marie Claire's new Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider — who replaced my beloved Brit Joanna Coles — and they announced that this week's challenge was to choose a pair of shoes from the Marie Claire closet and create a look inspired by those shoes.
I was certain the dreaded Velvet Bag© would make an appearance, but the PR decided to go the game-show quiz route, with the designtestants answering questions in order to pick their shoes. Alexandria, who won last week, was immune from the quiz and she picked some hideous Gladiator, knee-padded, thigh-high sandals. Girl is daring, I’ll give her that.
Ken, that horrid little man bitch, whined that since he was self-taught he was at a disadvantage to answer the questions but then he got the first one right. Didn’t hurt that the question was Who does America dislike most this season on the PR? and he said ME!! Then he picks the ankle length version of the shoe Alexandria picked.
Jeremy gets a question about Christian Dior right and gets Julia Roberts Pretty Woman hooker boots, while Karen gets a Parsons question correct and goes for a shoe that is the same color as her blouse. Helen, tattooed Helen, answers a question about Jessica Simpson and picks studded ankle boots, while Kate picks some Dr Seuss looking shoes in orange and yellow.
Bradon guesses right and picks a sleek gold ballet slipper, while Dom picks some neon colored Creepers, emphasis on creep. Justin picks some wildly patterned CFM heels while Alexander gets a simple beige wedge with a red stripe up the back. We listen to Miranda complain about the questions, because no one asks about wallpaper and artillery, her two fave topics but she gets a pair of red patent leather loafers.
And we’re off; to Mood, with a suggested $250 budget and a Plaid War. Both Miranda and Alexander choose red plaid, though his is more subdued — as subdued as a plaid can be — while Miranda’s screams Holiday Card.
So, let’s rip ….
ALEXANDER decided to make a red Tartan plaid pant and I was worried it would come off clownish, but his top was cool and edgy, and the darkness of the plaid toned the whole thing down.
DOM and her Creepers. She went all urban-street—something she says she doesn’t do but has done more than once this season—and created a color-blocked quilted dress that might have been cute and urban had it not been so matronly in the length.
JUSTIN redeemed himself from last week’s glue-gunned lace misfire, with an all-black hot bitch number that played up the wild hooker heels.
KAREN went all matchy-matchy, pairing the lime green and beige shoe with a beige jacket—that was so ill-fitting it made her size zero model look fat—and a lime green side-boobed halter top. It was a Meh all the way around.
KATE took Seussical shoes and paired them with pants with each leg slit to the thigh and a too-tight white top. It was neither here nor there for me. It’s just Kate; the only thing good about it — in a wacky way — were the shoes.
THE BOTTOM THREE
He's like a dog with a bone. He gets an idea in his head and just won’t let go. He wanted to take his thigh-high rocker boots and make a mock Cable-knit sweater using chiffon to create the pattern. And then he paired it with a black tube miniskirt and a gold lame camisole.
I know! Even his accent couldn’t save this look.
Heidi dubbed it Pretty Woman but not pretty at all; it wasn’t modern or current. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it verged on trampy and questioned Jeremy’s technical skills—though last week he raved about them … go figure.
Guest Judge Kaley Cuoco — a sitcom actress, so she knows fashion, amirite?—said the outfit didn’t match the boots and that there was a lot going on, i.e. chiffon, velvet, gold lame. Nina wondered why he paired rocker boots with a faux sweater because the look is neither rocker or edgy.
Nina said he wasn’t able to design around the shoe and said he was floundering; Heidi mentioned that he’s won, been on the top and been on the bottom and been safe, so he’s all over the place. Guest Judge — and so not Joanna Coles — Anne Fulenwider wondered why he wasted so much time on that sweater.
But he’s safe.
This week he got the phone call home, and the 'I miss you cry', which usually means Sayonara sucker, so we know right away he’ll go Bottom Three.
He decides to use another one of his techniques — remember the faggoting? —bouillonné, which means boiling water, or so he says. What it means is that he puckered up the fabric into a knee-length dress to show off his glittery ballet flats. I thought the flats needed a pant because they didn’t seem dressy enough for a boiled dress.
Luckily Tim reined in the dress idea, and Bradon turned it into a top and, I hoped, a pair of wide legged trousers. But no, for some reason Bradon was hooked on the dress and made a simple circle skirt. The look was 1950s meets France meets the dumpster.
Heidi said it was swing dance and Happy Days and old school; she said a suit would have been better and I shouted Yes! Yes! YESSSSSSSSSS! Then I calmed down. Nina Garcia, who never met a flat she didn’t want to flatten, suggested he should have made a simple brocade T-shirt dress, or an A-line dress and let the embellished shoe be the star. She called his top tortured and overworked. The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it “frumpy dumpy” in both silhouette and fabric; he admitted that the top was well-executed but not flattering, and the whole look needed to be modernized.
Anne simply said it was her least favorite look on the runway, and dubbed the top “grandma’s pillows” — and I agreed because my Grandma had pillows like that!—while Kaley said it was a bad bridesmaid’s dress.
Heidi, The Adorable Zac Posen™, and Anne Fulenwider each called it “terrible” while Kaley said it was too much and Nina again demanded a T-shirt dress.
Bradon, who I love but can admit made the most awful outfit, is safe — possibly because of what he’s done in previous weeks.
She also chose a red Tartan as well because she thought they would pair well with red shoes. I kept thinking, If the shoes are the star, why do something in red? Why not a little bit of red and some other color to make the shoes stand out? But, alas, Miranda couldn’t hear me through the TV.
And had she been able to hear me, she might have heard me shout about the top and jacket she was making that she’s already made once before; the same top and jacket that landed her in the bottom one other time. I will give her credit, though, because the pants were well-made — the plaid lined up at the seams — but that polka dot top and white leather mini coat were tragic.
Heidi doesn’t like it, and doesn’t like that Miranda called it Rocker Girl. [Note to designers: just because you slap an Amy Winehouse Beehive on a model doesn’t magically make your look Rocker Girl, m’kay?] Heidi also said it was a mishmash of eras and The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was 50s and 60s and not good. He called it nerdy, which can be good, but said it wasn’t kooky enough.
Nina was all, Where’s the eggnog? She called it Christmas with the red and green and gold plaid and the shiny red shoes and the six tiny reindeer; or something. She said it was retro and not in a good way. Kaley loved the shoes, but not the look, while Anne said it was definitely not rock’n’roll. She loved the way the pants fit, but hated the top and the jacket.
Nina again said it was obviously a holiday outfit and called Miranda a one-note, and Kaley said she hated it. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said he hadn’t seen anything good from Miranda.
So, even though the Aufing is supposed to be based on this one runway — meaning Bradon or Jeremy could have, and maybe should have, gone home — the fact that Miranda is a One Trick Monkey — thanks Dmitry — she’s Auf’d.
THE TOP THREE
Bitch. Nasty. He’s all about playing “the game” and not realizing if he’d just create something wonderful he might win. Bitch.
His shoe, the child version of Alexandria’s, and a cousin to the shoes Heidi wore at the start of the show — which might have been part of his “game” plan — were unflattering to me. His model, even being a thin girl, seems to have cankles and those shoes did not help.
He was planning a coat dress with big poufy sleeves and a big poufy hem, but Tim talked him out of it; he needs to thank Tim. He turned it around and stripped the sleeves to simple and changed the poof into a peplum. SIDENOTE: I am so happy to be a man just knowing that no designer would ever suggest a peplum for me to wear. I think peplums are just the dumbest thing ever.
And Ken’s was dumb, and big and kinda sloppy. The top part of his dress was sexy athlete, the middle part was hotel maid, and the bottom was party girl drunk under a bar. I didn’t see that at all as a Top Three.
Heidi liked it because it was soft and hard, and because of the peplum—oh for the love of Lacroix, Heidi, really? She also liked the reptilian fabric, which is what I think boosted Ken from safe to top. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said he did a good job with a rich fabric but hated the disco ball purse accessory. Nina loved that it was covered up at the top and oh-so-short at the bottom, while Kaye called it cool and cute; cute? Sitcom actress. Anne called it fabulous and killer but wished the dress had been longer and less vah-jay-jay adjacent.
Anne and Kaley both felt up the model, er, the fabric, and loved it. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was sexy secretary in a good textile. Heidi said Good for him and with that Ken was Safe, though he whined that he didn’t win.
Her kinda slutty, kinda tough thigh-high gladiator sandals might have seemed like an odd choice, and hard to design around, but at least they got noticed.
I liked her look — though, again, I hated the sandals and wondered what woman would wear them, anywhere, ever — because while the shoes read gladiator, her look read toga and those two things do go together. It was simple, with some added lace trim and cutouts, so it wasn’t boring.
Heidi thought it the perfect dress fort the shoe, and called it whimsical — in a kinda of Roman warrior kind of whimsy, I guess — and feminine; she liked the soft and hard and sexiness of it. Nina agreed that it was perfect for the shoe, soft and cool and relaxed, and said it was the most editorial look of all. Anne said she loved loved it, and loved the shoes, while Kaley called it bold and confident. Only The Adorable Zac Posen™ wasn’t on-board; he hates gladiator sandals, especially crotch high gladiator sandals, and called her a nightgown girl walking home through Soho; pedestrian, he said, which fits a girl walking the streets, but not a streetwalker.
Heidi loved the lace while The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there wasn’t a lot of construction involved — unlike the girders holding up Ken’s peplum, I’m guessing — while Nina admitted the whole look could have gone wrong, but didn’t.
Alexandria is safe.
I always worry about Helen because I have no idea who she is; she’s got the attitude and the tattoos but her looks, for the most part, are boring and simple and dull; and often poorly made.
Her ankle boots with the studded toes were cool, but her dress, and the capelet, seemed a little nunnish to me; a little bit American Horror story: Asylum, if you will. It was all too simple and too black and too, well, nothing. But, it was well-made, and that counts for the judges who raved about it.
Nina started off by saying she wanted the dress for herself; it was minimal and classy, refined, sophisticated, fashionable. I wondered if Nina was over tired last night. Heidi called it sleek and chic and said she wanted it, too, while Kaley said she’d wear it on any carpet — and I hope she meant Red Carpet and not some carpet in a casting director’s office, if you get my meaning.
Anne called it stunningly simple, and The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was fantastic and chic and sophisticated and fits so well; “simplicity is next to godliness.”
The Adorable Zac Posen™ called the construction perfect, and loved the fabric. Anne agreed that it was good, but very basic, while Heidi liked that it was simple and well made. Nina said it was all about the cape.
I guess it all means that a good cape, over a simple basic, well-made black dress that looked like something from the Sister Act costume department, is a winner.
Helen scores her first solo win.
Bradon better step it up, or he’s not going to The Tents and will instead be meeting his boyfriend at that cabin in Big Bear. And Jeremy needs to listen and learn, and stop being so egotistical in his designs or he’ll, too, be tent-less.
Ken needs to go. The whining, the crying, the bitchiness; it’s like a holiday dinner every day with him. And Helen? I still don’t get how the tattoos jibe with the monastic fashions she creates; it’s all so weird.
Alexandria is really stepping up and I think she might head to Lincoln Center at the end of the season, while Alexander will head to Lincoln Center, too, to see a show. Justin might go to the Tents if he pushes himself, but not as far as he pushed last week, and Dom needs to stop with the urban streetwear because it’s looking like that’s all she knows.
Miranda? Take heart in knowing that you outlasted Timothy. Head back to Wisconsin and rub his unicorn’s nose in it.
Next week Michael Korange is back! I want a Kors-Posen Gay Designer Dish Off!
What did YOU think?