Friday, March 21, 2014

Under The Gunn, Ep 10: Cross Mentoring, Cross Designers

We start out this outside a Francesca’s store, where Tim tells the designtestants that this will be Corporate Sponsor Challenge Week, er, create a three-piece mini collection for the Francesca’s customer. The good news is that, in addition to the $5000 the winning designer receives, their winning looks will be sold at Francesca’s stores, at Francesca’s online, and possibly out of the trunk of Chief Merchandising Officer of Francesca’s Sei Jin Alt’s car.


The designtestants will have one day and $450 to create their looks, but wait. Tim brings out the Project Runway Velvet Bag™ and the designtestants scatter, only to be rounded up by Francesca’s salesgirls and brought back to Tim.

This is a team challenge; but a cross-mentoring team challenge. Uh oh. Oscar’s name gets picked first and he is placed with Shan; then Asha’s name is drawn — cut to her in interview: “I do not want to work with Natalia” — and you know what happened: Asha is teamed with Natalia — cut to her again in interview: “F**k this challenge.”

That leaves Blake and Sam paired together, so … let’s rip …
—AKA Team Totes Adorbs/Mondo Anya
As Blake and Sam tour Francesca’s to see what the Francesca girl buys, Sam decides they should do a Southwestern-Georgia-O’Keefe-Defiant-Feminist collection. It sounds good, but I’m wondering what it all means.

Will there be skulls?

In the workroom Mondo and Anya come by to critique the progress and Mondo dubs the 1st look a housecoat his grandmother wore while making tamales. Good memory, I imagine, but not a good look. He also says he isn’t seeing the Southwestern-Georgia-O’Keefe-Defiant-Feminist vibe. As they show the second look, palazzo pants and a t-shirt jumpsuit, Anya suggests doing separate, something more viable for Francesca’s.

As we wind down to the runway, Anya comes by and finds Blake accessorizing their looks, but saying that Sam doesn’t have time to help because he hasn’t finished his dress; that was a wee bit of throwing someone under the bus. You know, albeit a mini-bus because Blake didn’t say it on the runway.

For the first look, Blake says, “I’m so thrilled that this look came from me. It’s so on trend and marketable.” 

As for the palazzo pants, Blake said, “This look is so fun.”

Sam says of his look — the third look — “When I see my look come down the runway, I see the inspiration, the concept. It looks like something very viable to the Francesca’s customer.”

I liked the print, but wasn’t a fan of the white shorts, though it was a cute fun outfit. 

I liked the palazzo pants and I liked the top — though not necessarily together — but those things on the shoulders just seemed wrong to me — shades of Michelle’s shoulders from last week.

Sam’s look. Hmm. I wasn’t so keen on the dark fabric of the top; it looked heavy while the other looks seemed light, and the asymmetry didn’t help. Plus, was Shan right? Is that another circle skirt?

Still, I give team Totes Adorbs points for cohesion because all three looks seemed part of the same collection.

Zanna Roberts Rassi said their collection made her want to go on vacation. She loved the first look, loved the color and called it fun. And she loved the palazzo pants but not so much the top. Rachel Roy loved the back of the top on the palazzo outfit, but said from the front the girl looked like a rectangle. Jen Rade called it a successful collection, while guest judge, Sei Jin Alt said she loved the print.
—AKA Team All That Drama/Mondo Nick
The two nemeses sit together and sketch and plan, and every time Natalia opens her mouth Asha shuts her down.

“I was thinking—“
Let’s go this way.”
Well, I was thinking—“
“Um, no.”

It won’t go well, and it doesn’t when the two get to Mood and every fabric we see Natalia pull out Asha declines; at the checkout, and over-budget, Asha tosses out all of Natalia’s choices, though Tim sides with Asha and gives Natalia an Isabelle-type smackdown.

Asha then tells us that she’ll be doing most of the work, creating a dashiki, a skirt, a crop top and a jacket — she’ll also make lunch for everyone, handle the lighting for the runway show and drive the crew home after shooting — while Natalia will make harem pants and a dress. That’s fine and all, but if you say you’re making everything and it turns out bad … uh huh.

Mondo and Nick come by, and Mondo basically runs the critique because, well, Nick isn’t the greatest mentor. Mondo brings up the fact that they aren’t working together at all — Asha says of one look, “It’s Natalia’s, not mine.” — and Tim goes ballistic because there is no teamwork there.

But when Mondo says he hates there fabrics — calling one particular ugly fabric “scrubs” — Natalia whines that she didn’t get her choice, and Mondo tells her to stop with the excuses and work it out.

I first thought that harsh, but then it hit me, those are the fabrics they have so they have to use them. No excuses.

As show time nears, Asha steps back and says she likes her looks, but calls Natalia’s out for being badly constructed, but then says the judges like badly constructed. And then she goes all ape-shit because she asked Natalia to trim the dashiki and Natalia apparently trimmed the dashiki. Note to Asha: if you think someone sucks, why would you ask them to take a pair of scissors to your look?

As the first look walks, Natalia says of her dress, “I’m really disappointed at how the bust looks.” 

When the second look comes out, Asha says, “The dashiki looks really cute.”

As for the third look, Asha says, “I love the look, and in my world Natalia and I should be on top.”

I like the first look from faraway, but as we move in, it just so poorly made that the ‘like’ I felt soon dissipates.

As for the dashiki, it looks like a Western-themed bed throw tossed over a model and belted. It wasn’t so much Yee Haw, as it was Yee Aw … ful.

I liked the third look; it was fun and sexy and looked like a hot girl on vacation, but it didn’t look anything like anything else they showed.

Burt then none of the looks seemed like they belonged together at all.

Jen Rade said she loves a dashiki, but this one looked like motel curtains worn by a hippie superhero. She called Natalia’s dress the worst construction ever, and wondered why the nipples seemed to be in different spots. Zanna thought the whole collection was too discombobulated and made no sense, while Sei Jin Alt said even the models seem unhappy to be wearing those clothes. Rachel Roy said that as female designers designing for females, if you wouldn’t wear it, don’t show it.
—Aka Team Mismatch But Pulled It Together/Nick Anya
Shan is worried because, while Oscar is always fast and done, he sometimes dresses his clients a little older and a little more, um, Liza, and that could present a problem. At Francesca he steers Oscar to the colorful side of things, but reminds him that a Francesca girl is not Judy Garland’s daughter.

But they band together and actually seem to work it out, even while picking fabric at Mood; I imagine Shan had quite the time dragging Oscar away from the sequins and baubles. But the two of them are practically giddy, laughing and playing in the workroom.

When Nick and Anya visit, Anya suggests ways to switch the looks around to make it more interesting; meanwhile, across the room, Sam, AKA Pissy Little Bitch, calls the Oscar-Shan collection “disjointed diapers and bed sheets.” Oh, but he did.

After the crit, Oscar and Shan rethink who they’re target customer should be, and decide not to start over, but to ‘young it up’ a bit — something Oscar should learn. Smart move.

And as Nick and Anya looked at Oscar and Shan’s dress, calling it a great look, we hear Sam — and sorry, but it was kinda pissy and bitchy — say, it was a dress “every girl already had.” Cue Shan walking into the room, and saying to Sam, “Isn’t that shirt a shirt every girl already has?” 

Now, Sam said he was kidding, but, even when confronted by Shan and Oscar I didn’t hear an apology. Then Oscar calls Sam a kid and Sam responds kid-like with an eye-roll and a head snap, while Shan responds with "What can you expect from someone who always makes circle skirts?”

Oscar says of the first look: “The overall look is so cute, so original, I love it.”

Of the third look, he adds, “It’s so beautiful. She looks sensual. She looks like a goddess.

Overalls? Really? But when the model snapped off the bib part and they became shorts, I thought it was a very cool idea.

As for the second look, the colors were a bit in-your-face, but I loved the jacket Shan made with the cutouts, but hated that it hid that cool vest they showed in the workroom.

Now, the third look … I liked it, but Sam was kinda right, it wasn’t so new — even with the addition of pockets.

There was a hint of cohesion, but the jacket, while cool seemed a wee bit out of place.

Zanna called the overalls adorable and the jacket gorgeous, while Rachel said she loved those colors, just not together. Sei Jin Alt said the overalls were perfect, the dress was phenomenal and the jacket unbelievable, though she hated the pleats on the back. Jen also was a great fan of the transformative overalls.
Team Sam and Blake are declared safe  and cute  for this week.

Team Asha and Natalia are, of course, in the bottom, and when asked who should go home, Asha says she wants to stay. Natalia, on the other hand, says she should go home. And she does.

That leaves Oscar and Shan on top. When asked who should win Oscar says Shan should win because Shan’s children would be so proud of their dad; Shan is shocked and says he would have liked to share the win with Oscar.

And that’s what happens. Sei Jin Alt says Francesca’s will sell the dress by Oscar and the jacket by Shan, and Tim says that both will get $5,000.
If you thought the picks were random, think again. I knew, after last week when Asha — and everyone else — was hatin’ on Natalia, that they’d be a team; and I knew that Oscar would go with Shan because, while they are both consistently good, they are so different.

I couldn’t help but think that Sam and Blake both have that Kardastrophe Scratch™ to their voices when they speak; it’s not as drastic, but it’s there and I couldn't help but think of Sam as Kim and Blake as Khloe.

Not just because he found this lil ol blog last week and commented, but I’ll give Sam props for staying out of the Natalia bashing, and for actually admitting that she has made progress during the season.

Asha annoyed me when she said she wanted to stay even though the question as who should go. She spent the entire episode dogging Natalia to us, and to the other designers, but to the judges she tries to play it safe. I did not like that.

As we get closer to The Tents — or at least the UTG version of The Tents — I’m seeing Oscar showing and Shan showing, but I cannot decide between Sam and Asha. I still think that the show will include one designer from each mentor, so who will pull this one off? Sam or Asha?

Next week: the dreaded real woman challenge.

What did YOU think?


the dogs' mother said...

What the heck is a 'dashiki'?
"The dashiki is a colorful men's garment widely worn in West Africa that covers the top half of the body."
To us it looked like a beach coverup.

Asha has really stumbled the last couple challenges. She might be next to go.

Oh, boy. The *real* woman challenge. If the designers were smart they've watched some of the back seasons of PR and read some of the commentary. Us real women can get feisty!

the dogs' mother said...

Dropping back in to clickety the email function. Yes, I am that PR/Tim Gunn/LA Swatch obsessed.

sallyneary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

I think both Asha and Natalia should have been eliminated. Natalia because it's time - she may be talented but she isn't equipped for this competition. In this challenge, it was all on Asha and ultimately she was 85% responsible for their failure.

I love that Nick is afraid of Mondo - sums Nick up perfectly. I be Nick is afraid of Anya.

lw said...

On the plus side, I loved Oscar and Shan together. They both benefited from their association. I liked Blake and Sam's collection, except for the very blousey white top, and to be honest, I was having trouble telling the two of them apart until forced to see them together for most of the episode.

I think Asha should have gone home; the dashiki was hideous, the colors of the collection were dissonant, and there was no sense of cohesion. She grabbed all of the responsibility, she chose the fabrics and doled out the assignments, she had no excuse for that collection to have been so awful. Natalia was a real disadvantage, but she should have stood up for herself, this makes me feel that she should have gone home, too. If she can't stand up to another designer, how will she ever make a career?

Mondo and Anya lost my respect last week and this week by not being objective about Michelle, Asha and Natalia; in Mondo's case he was outright cruel.

Does anyone else get the impression that Tim Gunn is working too hard? He seems to be on his last nerve, and this week Asha and Natalia got on it.

lw said...

I meant to say Natalia was "at a" disadvantage. I suspect she may be very talented, but unable to do things under that kind of pressure.

I wish that one of these shows would stop the fake time pressure and be more realistic so that we'd see the best designers, not just the best "quick" designers.

Samuel Donovan said...

Ooooooh, gurl, I read you every week.

Shan and I back and forth about how he only makes jackets and I only make circle skirts; it was generally in good fun.

I treated this show like RuPaul's Drag Race because I feel like PR can get so...politically correct (aka, way too white). But thank you for your compliments this week. I can guarantee, however, that the only Natalia bashing going on, however, were by her own insecurities. I feel bad I didn't pick up on it sooner, but I had myself to worry about.