Final Five! Final Five! All right, we get it, quit saying it. But, this is the week that the five are whittled down to the Top Three! Top Three! that will show at Lincoln Center so it is game on … again.
Our designtestants are taken out to the Sweetbriar Nature Center on Long Island where they are told that this challenge—the L’Oreal Make-up, and Nail, Challenge—will be inspired by butterflies. They must create an avant-garde look—experimental and daring and new—with hair and makeup, and nails, by the Wizards of L’Oreal. They have a 30 minute sketch time, and then it’s off to Mood with a suggested budget of $500.00.
Riiiiight. Since it’s the last challenge the designtestants are sure to spend as much as possible, and they did. Dom went kinda reasonable, with a $628 tab, followed by Bradon with $984 spent, and Alexandria with $992; the big spenders were Helen, with a receipt of $1057 and Justin who doubled the suggestion to $1167.
Will the biggest budget win?
Let’s roll …. But first; a monkeywrench, of course. The designtestants must choose one of the looks that sent a previous designer home and then, you guessed it, ‘Make It Work.’ The second look has nothing to do with the first, it’s just more pressure for the designers and more fun for the audience.
Dom picks Jeremy’s matronly flight attendant look, while Alexandria goes for Miranda’s auf-ful plaid. Bradon inexplicably picks Sue’s dress of placemats, while Helen picks BFF Kate’s hideous print monstrosity. Justin, who was Auf’d and then saved by Tim, begins crying as he picks the dress that almost sent him home. Trainwreck or stroke of genius?
Now, let’s rip…..
Bradon gets the Stressed Out edit, which by now a PR aficionado like myself knows means he’ll be going home or will win this week. My money — and my love for his cute behind — make me hope he’s a winner.
He’s creating oodles of noodles [?] of fabric in hopes of recreating the "frantic energy of the silent but energetic butterflies". I know; noodles and butterflies? Even Tim isn’t having it until Bradon shows him some of the noodles in action, and then Tim is all about the pasta — unless it’s Barilla and do not get me started on that again. But Bradon had also created a cool gown in a different fabric that would make up the back part of his dress but must have shelved that idea because he sent down a piece of white sculpted art.
It was decidedly avant-garde and really an attention getter, unless it poked one of your eyes out. I got less butterfly and more porcupine or sea anemone, but I loved it. I am not normally a fan of the mullet dress but this time I think it worked.
Nina thought he created art, and said that “every angle is an interesting angle!" It was editorial and extravagant and exciting and risky and thoughtful and … and … Nina passed out from excitement, a PR first. The Adorable Zac Posen™ went gaga for it, and then added, unnecessarily, that Gaga would wear it. He said he had an emotional reaction to it, which translates into Damn! Why didn’t I make that? Heidi called it a work of art.
Bradon’s second look, the Updated Placemat, was also a hit. He kept the idea of the dress, the lines of the dress, but made a dress and not a table setting like Sue had done. Both The Adorable Zac Posen™ and Heidi called it a chic reworking.
Heidi called his avant-garde look ‘walking art’ while The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was great and brave and, again, Damn! I should’a made this! Nina called it beautiful, and then averted her gaze, which made me think, Is Nina weeping?
Dom is the queen of the prints and bought every luxe print she could get her hands on and then wanted to create a massive, folded ginormous coat over a simple white pantsuit. Luckily Tim reminded her that the judges love her use of prints and then she went print-crazy. I think there must have been three, or five, different prints in her look and it could have gone crazy but it worked.
It was wacky fabulous to me.
Nina loved the exuberance and the colors and the prints and when the jacket was removed, she nearly exploded for the jumpsuit underneath. The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it fantastic and emotional and said he felt welcomed into the “World of Dom.” Heidi loved the volume and all of the crazy prints, while guest judge Emily Rossum was ready to duke it out for the coat.
But then Dom took Jeremy’s grandma-in-the-sky look and made it modern and edgy by reworking the jacket and adding some modern touches to the print. Nina called it impeccable, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it as more intriguing than the original—somewhere Jeremy was throwing a shoe at the TV. Heidi thought it a great improvement from matronly to modern and Emily Rossum was still asking to try on the coat.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ called the avant-garde look wonderful and Heidi gushed again about the fabrics. Emily Rossum finally got her shot at trying on the coat and was surprised that it felt so light yet looked so massive.
Heidi also liked the Make It Work look, while Nina couldn’t believe that Dom was able to use that granny print and make it modern.
She naturally went for the sadness of the butterfly that lives for just seven days and thought about making a sad, black butterfly gown. Her aesthetic is decidedly drab, though drab and dark can be exciting. And there was some excitement in her dress. When Tim saw her look she told him she would finish the edges and he suggested she not, and leave them kind of tattered and loose, which probably helped a lot.
Still, it looked to me like Morticia the Goth Moth. And like I’d seen it before, though when the model spread her wings on the runway it was a cool effect.
Heidi loved the Goth sexiness of the dress while Emily Rossum loved it and loved all the detail. Nina thought it looked less butterfly and more butterfly caught in a spider’s web—now Nina is apparently quoting Sting lyrics from ‘King of Pain’ and I love her for it, even if she didn’t know she was doing it. The Adorable Zac Posen™ didn’t find it avant-garde or magical.
Her redo of Miranda’s plaid madness got mixed reviews, Heidi thought it a punk costume, though she loved the pants. Emily Rossum wasn’t a fan of the styling but Nina found it smart and cool, and loved the vest. The Adorable Zac Posen™ thought it looked like a costume for one of Avril Lavigne’s back-up dancers.
Heidi loved the first look, Nina wanted to knock it off the wall with a broom—or at least that’s how we roll at Casa Bob y Carlos with the spider webs. Still, she said it was a “very Alexandria” look. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said that up close you could see it wasn’t well-made. As for the Plaidness, Nina again loved it, and Heidi again called it a costume and Emily Rossum liked the vest.
He liked the ‘outsider’ butterfly because as a deaf gay man he always felt like an outsider; on the runway, though, he says he went for the albino butterfly because he felt like a deaf gay albino? I dunno what he was thinking, but I do know that I loved his look, from the dark cocoon to the sculptural white dress beneath.
Nina says it's the best work she's seen from him all season, though she pointed out some sloppiness in the details—but hey, it was a two day challenge with an extra look thrown in at them on the second day! Heidi loved the dramatic cocoon and the dress beneath while The Adorable Zac Posen™ was also impressed.
With his second look, transforming his own Auf-putting garment, Heidi thought he took it from hideous to sophisticated. The Adorable Zac Posen™ thought it the most improved ‘Make It Work’ look on the runway while Emily Rossum loved that he took on his own look and really changed it up.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ is impressed by detail, AKA the "penne velvet cording" on the jacket, though he and Heidi both agree that Nina was right about some of the sloppy details. As for the second look, both Heidi and Emily loved it, and The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it a brave choice to tackle his own failure. Nina said it was very pretty—not the highest praise, especially with a little Nina Side-Eye.
While we had Sandro’s shouting meltdowns and Ken’s shrieking madness, we’ve also put up with Crying Helen. Helen cried every week, especially when Tim sees her work and questions it. I don’t know if she’s just a crier or if she needs a good long nap, but I get tired of the sobbing at every Tim critique; mostly because his words generally set her on a better path and save her ass.
Like this week when she was making a monarch butterfly-inspired dress with a black cape cocoon that covered the entire model except her face and then she would snatch it off and reveal the orange dress beneath. It was like The Unveiling of the Greta Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or something., So, thankfully she ditched the cocoon and then began focusing on the orange dress, and shredding the fabric and hoping it would flutter down the runway.
I called it Simply Shredded. Heidi said it looked like a sewing marathon and that the technique could make a model look fat, but this worked. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was okay but looked like a grated carrot, while Nina trotted out the Pumpkin comment Emily Rossum could only mutter that she hated the color.
For her second look—the reworking of Kate — Helen made a very simple skirt — simple and tight and curvy — and a white crop top. Pretty, well-made, but oh-so-simple. Heidi was not impressed but The Adorable Zac Posen™ said he liked the clean lines and how modern it looked. Nina loved it; edited down and chic, she said; modern and polished she said. Emily Rossum called it elegant.
Heidi said she liked the orange color and Nina threw a pen at her; I might be lying about that but I got the vision in my head and couldn’t let it go. Nina said it was a look she’d seen before and The Adorable Zac Posen™ admitted that it was very well-made. Then he gushed about the seaming detail—he’s mad about seams—on her second look, and said Helen really knew how to make a dress fit a woman’s body.
INS AND OUTS
Now, the designtestants get to tell us why they should show at Fashion Week and, surprise, they all say it’s because this is their dream and they worked so hard to get there. Then, they tell the judges who they would want to show with them.
Justin wants a three-way with Bradon and Dom, who wants to do it with Justin and Helen, who wants to show with Dom and Bradon, who is down with Justin and Dom.
Not one of them picks Alexandria — and I felt bad for her — but she bucked up and said she should show with Dom and Justin.
Who’s in? Who’s out? What’s going to happen? We’ll find out next week ….
Kidding! Bradon, naturally wins with his work of art, and then Dom gets a shot with her mad prints.
Alexandria and Helen and Justin? Well, they’ll each create a collection — quelle surprise — and then the judges will determine which one, one[?] , will also show. All that happens next week on the pre-finale finale.
Bradon hit that bitch out of the park. Avant-garde and beyond. I loved that this last runway show was actually a good one when, in most seasons, the last catwalk is kind of a misstep.
Loving that Dom is showing. I loved that coat, and love that she goes wild with print and color. Her collection will be a color riot.
But who else do I want? Well, I have a soft spot for Justin, partially because he’s adorable and partially because he’s really creative, though he sometimes goes crazy. I like Helen, too, save for the crying jags, but I don’t find her wok all that exciting and new. Alexandria? Drab and dark, but I happen to like drab and dark, and especially the edginess she brings.
I can’t decide. I think I’d be happiest with Justin, but would love Alexandria to go, and, well, Helen would be fun, and a good ad for Kleenex.
What did YOU think?