Friday, February 28, 2014

Under The Gunn, Ep 7: Steampunk'd

The designtestants meet up with Tim at a place called Travel Town, and so I first thought this was going to be some kind of cartoon challenge to dress an animated rabbit or something. I was wrong. This challenge is about Steampunk, which might be best described as how Victorian era people thought the future might turn out; it very HG Wells, very cool, very retro futurism.

This could be good; especially since the designtestants have $300 and two days to complete an avant-garde inspired Steampunk look. And, with special guest judge The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ in the house, this is going to be fabulous.

Let’s rip….
Mondo kind of got the invisible edit this week. We saw a little interaction with his team, and we saw him in that Peter Pan Goes To Moscow hat, and we heard him complain about his team being safe, but we didn’t see much more than that.

Still, his whole team is safe.

Her look is very retro-futuristic Victorian, but I didn’t get a lot of Steampunk elements to it. Still, it’s very cool, though more of a nod to her winning Zendaya look from a few weeks back with the use of the plaid.

I thought it very Gothic Victorian, and I loved the exaggerated tails, but the thing on her head reminded me of a Steampunk Bottle Stopper; and I want one.

Sam is annoying and egocentric, and then he sends down the kimono-esque looking hand-painted number. Just because you throw goggles on a model doesn’t make it Steampunk.
Nick pulled back again this week — though there was a moment when he was sketching for Stephanie — but he was worried about Natalia ... a lot, especially with the cranks and the fact that she almost didn't finish.

This week was Good Mentor Nick, maybe next we'll go back to Hands On Bad Mentor Nick.

He nearly fainted at the idea of an avant-garde challenge — “It’s like candy for a baby — but he then goes way over the top. He tells Nick he wants to do a crown, a kind of a Pope hat. Luckily Nick helped him down from that precipice.

He was also pulled back from the edge of Revolution Cliff, after showing Tim and Nick that he had painted, or sewn, the word ‘revolution’ onto the skirt of his dress. They talked him out of that, but then he just flipped it around and left the word on the underside of the gown.

I love it. This is very me.

Sadly, I must agree with Sam: it does look very salon girl. Just because you slap a clock on a belt doesn’t mean its Steampunk. Still, it’s so well-made and really beautiful.

The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ marveled at Oscar’s draping, though she thought the clock was a little much. And she called the hat ‘sweet.’ Zanna Roberts Rassi loved the impeccable craftsmanship, which caused Oscar to explain how the massive skirt comes off to reveal a bubble skirt beneath. And that caused Jen to say there are some things you can’t unsee and she needs to unsee that. And she asked about the ‘revolution’ inside the big skirt, and was pleased that Oscar listened to his mentor and didn’t show it on the outside. That might have made Oscar go Bottom Two.

She loves Steampunk and she has parents who are engineers and she’s a designer so she has this in the bag. And then she wants to put cranks on the dress so the model can hoist it from knew-length to mini. Cranks.On.A.Dress. Sounds like a bad Sam Jackson movie.

But she does it — she actually does it — and it works. I thought it kind of a gimmick, but hey, there was mechanics to the dress so she gets those points.

At this point I’m very happy with it. But when you have an actual mechanism in your dress you’re gonna worry.

I thought the tossing off of the cape at the start of the catwalk was a little too Cher Show for me, but the dress is Steampunk, and the cranks worked so … Good on Natalia for actually finishing an idea.

Rachel Roy called it striking and strong, while Jen loved the use of the lace and the heavy taffeta, along with the hardware and the working cranks. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ called it a great concept.

She doesn’t do avant-garde. She doesn’t do avant-garde? How does a designer not do that? I mean, not all the time, but surely she’s had some kind of training in thinking of fantasy, out-of-the-box fashion at least once?

I’m really excited. I think the silhouette is great. I just hope it’s full enough.

It looks cheap and just not enough. I mean, she was told to go wild, and fantasy and avant-garde and she does this? And the sheer skirt looks like a cheap drape afterthought.

Rachel Roy called it a costume, like out of Disney’s Snow White, though it had no magic and was drab and depressing. Jen Rade called it best: “futuristic geisha meets waitress at the Aladdin Casino.” Then she mentioned something about gold fangs at the neck and a Mister T belt. Ouch. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ thought the lace was a bad idea, though maybe not as bad as the cheesy gold pleather.
Let me say that i love Anya. i love that accent, and I've loved the way she's mentored, mostly, on UTG. But, damned if I don't think she has a little street-fighter in her, especially when it came to Blake and Nicholas; one said he needed her and one didn't listen to her, and both made crap.

I'm thinking it's gonna like another Don't annoy Nina, except it's Don't piss off Anya.

He’s completely lost at Travel Town; he’s heard of Steampunk but has no idea what it means or how to execute it into fashion. Plus, he’s still beating himself up after last week’s near elimination.

In the workroom, he’s still lost, and somewhat defeated, when Tim and Anya visit. But as Anya mentioned that there was no connection between the top half of his look and the bottom, and Tim mentioned separates, suddenly Shan was inspired to create something new.

I feel really good. I’ve never seen anything like it before, so I hope the judges take that on.

I didn’t get a real Victorian vibe, but with the belts and straps, and cutouts on the shoulders and knees, it did look like a marionette, or a Steampunk robot.

Jen loved the concept, calling it a futuristic warrior, while The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ loved how he seemed to have taken apart the function of clothes and shown how clothes work with cogs and gears. Rachel Roy loved that Shan had gone back to great tailoring.

He also has no idea of Steampunk design, but since there were a bunch of clocks around, he’ll make a circular dress with a clock motif. Only that doesn’t work at all and he stops, and whines about not having Anya around to give him an idea.

Then she does come around and he whines that she’s turned into a drill sergeant because she has two designers who seem to have no creativity at all and no backbone when it comes to their work. He says he wants to design to please Anya and Tim and Anya remind him that he needs to please himself first.

It definitely moves so beautifully and that to me is the saving grace.

It has no retro-futurism at all. Just because you throw gears on it, and make a necklace of watches, doesn’t mean you’ve gone Steampunk.

Zanna loved his inspiration — of a time-traveling timepiece — but said none of that seemed evident in the final look; she also said it seemed a little slapdash — okay that’s my word — for a two day job. Rachel Roy said he could have used more editing and Jen called Blake on the carpet for always complaining about trusting himself.

He starts off by saying that now that he’s been in the bottom twice, he understands what he needs to do; yes, it took two times of being told that his work sucks for him to understand that his work sucks.

Then at Travel Town — that name still conjures up Roger Rabbit to me — he says, “I get very excited about ….. transportation.” I think he gets very excited about very little, actually.

He buys mostly black and copper fabric, but seems to have no real idea what he’s doing until he gets back into the workroom, where he really does nothing. He has nothing to show Tim and Anya and I seriously thought he was gonna get an Anya Beat-down. Especially when she told him he needed to make something so she could help him, and then he went and had a nice leisurely lunch! I swear I saw the actual steam escaping from Anya’s ears.

But he finally gets something done, and badgers Anya about what to do and she says, "Finish it." The he wonders about copper tubing on the collar and you just know he’s going home … and possibly in a body bag if he keeps pissing Anya off.

I feel like it a drastic difference from everyone else and I’m wondering: is that a good or a bad thing?

It’s another tunic. Only this one looks like the Tin Man’s bathrobe dug out of the Lost and Found at the Emerald City Motel 6. It’s that bad.

Zanna liked the menswear approach but said it wasn’t avant-garde enough, though The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ said sometimes avant-garde could be simple if the cut and color works; she liked the color combo, but not the cut. Rachel agreed that avant-garde can be simple if it’s beautiful and well-made and this look was neither of those things.
Mondo’s team is completely safe. Stephanie and Oscar are safe. Shan from Team Anya and Natalia from Team Nick are in the top and Shan gets the wins.

Blake and Nicholas from Team Anya are in the bottom — Nicholas for the third time — and once again the judges tell Anya to pick, A no brain er after the way Nicholas performed in the workroom … and the lunch room. He’s out.
I missed Mondo … except for that hat.

Sam’s a little bitch. He whined that since he painted fabric once now everyone was doing it. Except the only one doing it was Oscar, until Sam decided he’d do it again. Note to Sam: one-note.

Blake’s voice bothers me; it has that Kim Kardastrophe Reality Show Scratchiness to it that’s annoying and lazy.

I loved that after Tim and Nick visited Stephanie and told her she needed to bring more fantasy to her look, and she said she’d ‘make it happen.’ Tim replied, “Around here we say ‘Make it work.’” Snap. I also loved Tim sneaking into the Mentor’s room and saying to Anya, “I just had to report in that Nicholas is having a lovely lunch.”

I did find it kind of low that Anya questioned whether Nicholas really made the clothes in his portfolio since he’d shown nothing like them on UTG. But then, as he said, he spent a week making one coat, so he’s slow, and slower, and slowest, when it comes to work.

I’m glad Shan won, because he always makes really great clothes when he listens to himself. I’m semi-glad Natalia was in the top, though I still think she has trouble with her vision and how to actually follow through.

Oscar is great, but needs to tone down the over-the-top-ness.

Stephanie’s probably next to go home if Blake doesn’t get his act together.

What did YOU think?


the dogs' mother said...

The girls, being 20 somethings, were thrilled with the Steampunk challenge and had very specific and numerous observations about the whole process.

We were intrigued by Mondo's spiked socks. Thought they would have been good on the long ago Post Office uniform challenge. Keep doggies from chewing your ankles.

I think it was a good thing for Nicholas to be auf'ed. He just seemed lost and not enjoying any of it.

Helen Lashbrook said...

None of the outfits were Steampunk; Natalia's wasn't bad and Michelle's was interesting. I just got the impression that NONE of them knew what Steampunk is.

Bob Slatten said...

I agree Helen. i love some Steampunk design and these all missed the mark.