Now that Ken has been sent to Anger Management—and no, I don’t mean the Charlie Sheen show on FX—perhaps thee workroom will see less drama and more design. Fingers crossed.
This week is the HP Textile challenge, where the designtestants will create their own print with which to create a design. This is always a favorite challenge because there is always at least one print that looked good on the HP but sucked donkey d**k in real life. Sorry, that had to be said, and said that way.
Tim introduces the designtestants to Rob Le Bras-Brown, the Senior VP of … echo chamber … HP Worldwide wide wide Marketing to talk about the challenge and explain the ubiquitous twist: the designers will be paired up with a group of innovators who will serve as their muses and inspirations, but not, oh lord thank god, their models.
The innovators include, Nigel Sylvester, a professional BMX rider who teams up with Bradon; Ilana Greenberg, creative Director at graphic magazine GD USA, who inspires Alexandria; Tiago Silva, a delicious looking executive pastry chef who bakes a cake — and that is not a double entendre, sadly — with Alexander; Maria Gonzalez, who created Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that teaches computer science to young women, goes with Kate. Nonprofit co-founder and Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriweather is picked by Justin, while Premal Sha, co-founder of crowdfunding network Kiva is paired with Dom, and finally artist Ryan Keeley is teamed with child of artists Helen.
Like I said, no drama this week, except for Helen’s near constant questioning of what she’s doing, what she should do, what she did, and how much she doesn’t like prints.
Build a bridge and get over it, and then … lets’ rip …
She loved her look; she said it had something to do with whitewashed bricks from a restaurant that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
I say Hurricane Sandy must have sat in the mid-Atlantic for a spell, turned tail, headed back to La Grande Apple and spun into Parson’s and ruined Alexandria’s look.
If there had been a bottom four, this sloppy, WTF looking mothereffer of an outfit would have been there.
Lordy, the weeping and the crying, sounded like me on my wedding night … kidding. I’m gay in South Carolina, I can’t get married!
She hates prints, she hates making decisions, and she is a question machine. And, with the exception of Dom and Kate—who had her own tissues, er, issues, to deal with—all the other designers were like, STFU and sew, bitch.
And sew she did, with a print that she said represented her muse, an abstract artist, but all I got was an Old Navy patriotic retread. I mean, the design was cool; the crop top and the almost-to-the-floor skirt were kind of cool, but the print was not at all representative of an abstract artist.
Heidi liked the print, calling it pat-triotic — loved that accent; and she loved the bare midriff though she called Helen out on the tightness through the model’s Size Zero hips. The Adorable Zac Posen™ liked that it was two pieces and thought it cool. Nina Garcia — Welcome Back Diva, I missed you last week — liked it; she liked the paring of the ecru Mood fabric and the white print fabric, which made the look seem both vintage and modern. Guest judge, fashion designer Peter Som liked that it was Star Spangled Hipster.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ said the ivory — um Zac? If Nina ‘Effing’ Garcia calls it ecru, it ecru-u-u-u-u — and white could have gone horribly wrong but did not. He also remarked that it looked like a 1930s pinup and I had to wonder what in the hell that meant. Nina, again, loved the ecru and white, but announced that the shoulder was her favorite part. Heidi again said she loved the crop top.
Helen is safe.
He almost blew it because he created this bird’s eye view of a cityscape as his print — and everyone thought it looked too plaid — and was planning on a head-to-toe outfit out of it, until Tim stopped him cold with a ‘rethink’ moment.
So, Bradon rethought, and used the print to create a very cool bomber jacket paired with an extremely form-fitting and oh-so-sexy two piece dress underneath. It was a mighty save and I think Bradon owes Tim a Muffin Basket or two. My only complaint is that I thought the dress — not made with the print — was the best part of the whole look.
Heidi called the print modern, and said she could see how it was inspired by a BMX rider racing through the city; she called the simple black dress cool and hot. Peter Som said the dress was sick, and the use of the print on an iconic bomber jacket was great. Nina also loved Bradon’s print, calling the entire look sporty and chic, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ said the entire look was ‘now’.
Heidi said he was a thoughtful designer, and that the look was edgy and cool, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ loved both the print and the fabric used in the dress. Peter Som went all Rainman and kept muttering That dress is sick That dress is sick That dress is sick
Bradon is also safe.
Instantly Dom began saying this was her challenge and, well, that generally means you’re going home, but, as it turns out, this really was her challenge. She decided to pay up the crowdfunding connectivity aspect of her muse by creating intersecting connecting lines, but in abstract forms and bold colors.
It worked. It was kind of Japanese anime looking — as are most of the great things Dom creates — but it was also very earthy and global looking. Oh, and sexy, even though there was almost no skin showing, save for a small v-neck in the back.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was "Runway ready" and said he loved the way the print on the back of the sleeves looked like butterfly wings; if he was a woman, he said he’d wear it, and I think he’d look Pia Z’adorable in it anyway. Nina agreed that this was a challenge made for Dom and she really ran with it. She called it tribal and current and loved the styling on the model. Peter Som said it could have gone costume, but looked more global, while Heidi called it dynamic and fashion-forward.
Heidi again said it was great, and Peter Som loved that it had great thought behind it; The Adorable Zac Posen™ said her talent shone through and he loved her enthusiasm for the challenge, and Nina simply called it beautiful. Dom wins; and she deserved it.
He met Miss America and she talked about her work in Africa with children. Justin was inspired by her love for the children and used the sign language symbol for I love you as his inspiration. When the print arrived, Alexander said it looked kind of alien, and Justin said he saw an x-ray; Alexander said, ‘An X-ray of an alien.’
And it did look kind of X-rayish and macabre, and that worried me; it also worried me that Justin was doing a gown since the last gown he made got him booted, until Tim saved him. Could this be Justin’s rebooting?
Heidi hated the see-through construction where the skirt met the bodice, though she loved the print; she thought it not cool, and, um, yeah, old fart-y. Nina wished he’d made a short dress out of only the print, and said, "From the waist up she looks fabulous and sexy. From the waist down it's just very drab." Peter Som also liked the print but said the bottom half was depressed and could benefit from therapy. Is that a real job because I could rock some dress therapy. The Adorable Zac Posen™ also wished for more print and said the transition from top to bottom was sloppy, like a snake shedding its skin.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it a cheap pageant dress in Miami and again I wondered what the hell he was talking about; I think he’s just throwing things out for a soundbite now. Nina again loved the print but hated the bottom half of the dress. Peter Som said the gray overlay on the bottom looked dirty, like LA smog — not a look most women long for — and Heidi looked at it and said, “I love you … until here.”
Justin, though, is safe.
First off, Alexander wins Line Of The Night with his runway confession: "Even though I'm super gay I've never decorated a cake."
Unfortunately, he doesn’t win anything else. His inspiration — sadly, not the hot Tiago — was the lace chocolate bits at the top of the cake he baked — again, not a double entendre — with Tiago, but the pattern looked like brown quilt to me. And then he made a giant white cross across the front — because his last name is Pope, though I’m guessing he was clutching at his pearls and saying anything to stay safe. It wasn’t good; it wasn’t a cake walk. It fell flat. I’ll stop.
Heidi did not see cake in the print and said it was not sexy; she called the stripes leftover masking tape. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there was no cake at all, but he did like the shape of the dress; he dubbed her a chocolate Cult Leader. Peter Som said it looked like two different recipes that don’t work together; the silhouette was nice but the dress seemed stiff. Nina, on the other hand, liked the brown quiltiness of the print, but she thought the model was too covered up, as though she’d eaten an entire cake.
Heidi: “I see tape. The Adorable Zac Posen™ says it was not a holy experience.
Alexander gets Auf’d.
Her muse was a computer expert, and Kate wanted to create a kind of floral binary code; a flower from far away, and computer code up close. I thought it was a brilliant idea and then Kate went to work creating not one, not two, not three, but perhaps four or more looks in one dress.
Her print, which had the possibility of being very cool didn’t work in large scale. The floral print was lost and it was too light to notice anything else. So, that’s why Kate added coffee filter pleats and squashed boobies and a cowgirl belt. I guess she’d hoped to distract the judges by using everything but he kitchen sink—and that was only because she couldn’t find a wrench and a plumber.
Nina said, “Oh god.” And it went downhill from there. She asked how many pleats were on the dress and when Kate said ‘five’ Nina said it was five too many. And the belt, she asked, ‘Why? WHY?’ Too many elements and none of them work — like that rap song, 99 problems and a bitch’s pleat ain’t one. Peter Som said he couldn’t see the print for the pleats, and noted that it looked like the model fell into a Kleenex box, and that the model’s bust needed to be set free, girl. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there was so much wrong from print to fabrication; it’s sad. Heidi, goddess love her, cut to the chase, “It’s ugly. It really is.”
Heidi asked, ‘What happened? It’s so badly made.’ The Adorable Zac Posen™ again said there was too much going on and for a Print Challenge this look was not at all about the print.
Kate is the Second Aufee.
Who thought her trip to The Tents couldn’t wait
She created a dress
And ‘Oy, what a mess.’
The print and the pleats sealed her fate
Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you!
But I can almost bet Kate will return for a third attempt at The Tents with another episode of PR: All-Stars. Bet on it.
Now it seems quite clear that The Tents will be Bradon — and again, there was a glimpse of his gorgeous dancer’s butt jogging thought the workroom — and Dom. Helen, if she doesn’t continue melting down could make it, while Alexandra, always a Safe Bridesmaid never a Winning Bride, is treading water. Justin, if he stays away from gowns — or really knocks a gown out of the park — could show, too.