Friday, March 28, 2014

Under The Gunn Ep 11: There's No 'Real' Life!!

We begin with the designtestants back on the runway; special elimination, I thought? Natalia’s final revenge in a Dynasty Moldavian wedding kind of massacre?  No. We get strippers; bumping and grinding on the catwalk; I was as terrified as Sam, which reminds me of a story:

Years back, Carlos and I were in Key West for Pride, and followed the parade down Duval Street to its end at the pool at the now-closed Atlantic Shores. Carlos was playing in the Flamingo Freedom Band — yes, as the name suggests, it was made up of musicians who are gay — and I was standing on the sidelines listening. I noticed that during a time he wasn’t playing, Carlos took out his camera and snapped a picture of me, and then pointed to my right. I turned, and there was a naked woman, head-to-toe naked woman, at my side. And the expression on my face was the same as the one on Sam’s face last night when the stripper tried to ‘boa’ him.

Now, back to the UTG: So this is the Make A Stripper Look Like A Nun challenge? No, silly, it’s the Benefit Cosmetics Real Woman Challenge, and is introduced by Annie Ford Danielson, whose mother and aunt, founded the company and its first clients were strippers in need of nipple make-up. Luckily, they broadened their appeal or else I think they might have gone out of business. As Tim Gunn so elegantly put it, “Tips for tits.”

Anyway, Annie introduced five real women for whom the designers must create a new look.

Caught up? Or are you still imagining my face as I spied the nekkid lesbian by the pool. Uh huh, that’s what I thought, but let’s rip…..
Nick is down to one designer and if anyone thinks that means Oscar will be out this week, I have a bridge to sell you.

The good news is that since Oscar has such a definite eye on what he wants to do, and since he works so quickly, there is little mentoring for Nick to do.

Oscar’s gal is a petite, and by petite, I mean, teeny-tiny gal who buys most of her clothes in the child’s department and wants something a bit more age appropriate than Garanimals. Oh, and she does pageants so she wants a gown.
Oscar? Gowns? The design Gods must have planned this one. And, as happened with Oscar, he works so quickly that the other designers begin asking him if he’ll make gloves, or a hat, or a cape, or do some extra piping in all the time he has left.
At the critique, nick has no words. I kind of enjoyed that moment. But Sam pipes in with an “aging beauty queen” remark and, well … yeah.

I love the way she look, because she looks proportional. She looks very tall. She looks fabulous.

She looks old. Now, not so old, but I can see this look on a Kristin Chenoweth, for the petite look, but I can also see it being rocked by Helen Mirren. Not a beauty pageant girl.

Zanna asked how old Dani was—she said twenty-three-and she said this was a dress for a forty-five-year old, though Annie Ford Danielson, at 27, said she’d wear it. Rachel loved the design and the elegance and the youthfulness [?] of it. Jen liked it, but wondered if Oscar could bring something younger out in his designs.
Mondo has what I think of as two bets for The Tents in Sam and Asha, but they are both so different that he really needed to push them a bit this week, but kind of held back.

Sam’s client wants a body conscious, colorful dress that can go from day-to-night. Now, I don’t think Sam has done much in the Body Con Realm, so he seems a bit worried., But he does tell her that she’s “gonna get some color.”
At Mood, though, he goes for grays, and by goes, I mean struggles and struggles to pull a bolt of fabric from the shelf until — as he says, “a much stronger” — girl comes to help. Back at the workroom, he attempts another painted fabric technique on a gray textile that Mondo equates to a World War II battlefield nurse’s uniform splattered in blood.
Not a good look, even in WWII.
So, Sam scraps the entire look and goes in another direction, with other fabrics — also gray; I kept wondering if I heard wrong, but I swear both Norah and Sam talked color. Oscar calls it when he says Sam’s look looks "sad."

I’m ecstatic about my look. It’s absolutely fantastic. Norah looks great in it and she’s working it out.

I am not a fan of the sleeves, which just seem too oddly large, and, again, where’s the color? I think some color might have saved this.

Guest judge, from Benefit Cosmetics, Annie Ford Danielson, doesn’t actually comment on the dress, but makes a Benefit pitch by saying their cosmetics line is about how you feel, and she thinks Norah feels good. [To be fair, Norah did like the look.] Jen Rade liked the nipped in waist, but said it was boardroom to boring. Zanna Roberts Rassi said she would never use that dress in a fashion spread for Marie Claire — which, again to be fair, wasn’t the challenge — and loved the paneling but missed the Wow! She said she’d seen it a hundred times before. Rachel Roy thought it too playful for the boardroom, and not sexy enough for the bar.

Erin has lost fifty pounds and wants a dress to show off her new curves; plus, she has a birthday coming up and wants to celebrate with a new look. Asha says she’ll ‘Beyoncé’ the girl.
At the critique Mondo quashes every idea Asha presents: don’t make it too short or it’ll look cheap … lose the idea of a midriff cutout … less bling … dear god, less bling.
Asha gets lost in it because she cannot think of a way to give the client what she wants without making a look Mondo is sure would be messy.

My model is, like, giving everybody life. She looks absolutely beautiful. This is my favorite runway ever.

I don’t like the fabric; I don’t like the way it bunches up; I loathe the color, but Erin really brought the Beyoncé sashay!

Annie Ford Danielson continued the benefits Cosmetics ad, and didn’t really comment of the clothes. Zanna liked that the client liked the look — which isn’t really a compliment to the designer — and Rachel Roy loved the body hugging look but called out the bad construction. Jen Rade also noted the consistently bad construction from Asha but liked that Asha had some good ideas.
With two designers left, Anya seemed more focused on Shan. As Blake struggled with his look — and his struggles were nothing like what Shan would go through — Anya almost seemed resigned to let him fail.

Brittany is a single mom and wants a date night kind of look; a crop top look that doesn’t really show the skin. M’kay? So, Shan finds a very cool, kind of 60s mod sequin fabric at Mood and wants to do a crop top over high-waist pants so that Brittany gets her look, but doesn’t show skin. That top was absolutely beautiful. As Kelly Osbourne would say on Fashion Police: “Puh-fection.”
Anya loves the top, loves the idea of the whole look, think Shan will win this one but … when the client comes in to try it on, she gets overheated and needs to crouch down. I was waiting for the mad camera dash for the fallen client, but the next time we see Brittany she’s smiling and leaving the room until … she calls later to say she had an allergic reaction to the sequins — and I immediately fear she’ll never play Vegas — and cannot wear that gorgeous top.
Shan starts over. A black top, a plain black top, over black pants. But Anya points out a polka dot fabric that Tim Gunn just loathed, and suggests maybe a dress and suddenly, in the last hour or so, Shan is on to Look Three.

I can’t believe that Brittany actually has on a garment that I constructed in two hours! She actually likes it.

I like it, too, though I did like the kind of tuxedo tails look it had in the workroom, before Shan sewed the two pieces together; plus, it’s a bit sheer.

Zanna called it sexy and fun and modern, if a bit too flimsy; but it did Wow! her and she loved the styling. Jen Rade wished it had been cut lower on the top and that the belt was gone, and felt it wasn’t that flattering. Rachel Roy called it modern, fresh and strong — all go-to words for Roy. Annie Ford Danielson called it unflattering.

Ruzena looks like Blake’s sister, and has the boyish figure to match. She isn’t curvy, and so she wants to look a bit more girly and flirty and fun.
But Blake picks a print and is instantly having trouble cutting it; Tim suggests it’s because he’s making the print do something it doesn’t want to do. Blake keeps twisting and turning it, and struggling with it, and finally creates a handkerchief hemmed dress that looks okay. But then for some reason he decides to fray the edges; I didn’t get it because the print — originally — was gorgeous, and the fraying just made it seem cheap. At the last fitting, he showed the client in the dress with a leather belt around her waist and I thought for a moment he might pull this one off.

I think she is just this beautiful creature. I am just in love with her. She looks so smoking hot in that dress.

It looks like a mudslide down the front, and the loss of the leather belt — and adding a fabric band — makes her waist look larger, boyish, and not at all feminine and flirty.

Jen Rade liked the print, but thought it was pieced together and placed wrong on the dress. Annie Ford Danielson hated the print, but liked the femininity of the look, while Rachel Roy said if you go playful, you need to balance it with sophistication and this look was unbalanced.
Obviously, Nick’s Oscar was safe; I knew it, even though his dress was fabulously crafted, yet too old.

The Top Two are Asha and Shan and I was ready to hurl a shoe at the TV if they gave it to Asha for that saggy baggy bulging mess. But they gave it to Shan for his third look of the week; it might have been very simple, but it did look fresh and modern.

Sam and Blake are in the Bottom, and, well, I was gonna hurl that other shoe is Blake wasn’t sent packing. While I wasn’t a big fan of Sam’s dress, I thought Blake’s was just a hot mess … and not in a good way.

Blake’s out.
At the start of the season Blake was wound so tight. His hair slicked back and tighter than a drum, and he was very very serious. But this week, his hair is looser and he seemed a bit more relaxed. Too bad he couldn’t have shown that side to the camera because he certainly seemed a lot less uptight.

I liked this exchange:
Oscar: “My client almost cried.”
Shan: “My client almost fainted.”

So, Asha who continually called out Natalia for bad construction, and how the judges must like that, actually got the exact same feedback this week. Karma is a bitch called Natalia, Asha.
So, Oscar is still there, for Team nick, and Shan is still there for Team Anya. I think next week the Bottom Two will be Sam and Asha so that the finale will present one designer from each mentor. It’s just a guess but, I got that feeling the day the show first aired.

I’m seeing Oscar and Shan at The Tents and, after last week and this week’s messy dresses, I’m thinking Asha might find her way home and Sam will show.

What did YOU think?


the dogs' mother said...

Hoo-chee-mama dancers?!?! We were bog-smacked too.
If you blurred out the lady bits you could post the picture? ;-)
Was so worried for Shan there for a minute. Who knew you could be allergic to sequins?
Agree with your predictions for the finale. Noted they are advertising for contestants for the next PR season.

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Overal Shan had the best looking design but Oscar's, though older, was best. I think the judges liked the whole fix it concept that Shan had to deal with but if you looked at his dress heading off the runway those big black dots did not line up and looked terrible.

Sam has not been the designer he started out as but if he turns up next week I can see him at the tents.

Anonymous said...

I hope Sam is the third designtestant, but I fear it will be Asha.

bravo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I loved your recap because your comments were so spot on. As for Shan's dress, I would have liked to see the dots line up in the back, but he probably didn't have time to do so. I agree with you that the tuxedo tails in the back looked cool (and probably would have solved the problem with the dots not lining up). I'm just impressed that Shan didn't give up when faced with such overwhelming odds. I liked Oscar's dress because it made her appear taller than her petite frame. I think the look would have looked more youthful with better styling, such as younger hair and makeup and different heels. Lastly, how ironic is it that Asha received the same comments that she looked down on Natalie for - that she had good ideas but bad construction. Did the judges just completely ignore the strange bunching up of the dress on the sides because they were won over by the model's enthusiasm? As for the finalists, I think both Oscar and Shan deserve to show in the tents based on personality and talent. I like Sam. Even when he makes negative comments, it's usually about the designs and they're the same thoughts running through my head while watching the show. (For example, in episode 10, I thought Oscar's maxi dress has been so overdone in Project Runway shows but in different colors or prints. I liked it a lot but it completely lacked originality.) But, looking at Sam's design aesthetic, he seems to design for young LA girls/women. In other words, something that seems simple, casual, comfortable. So his designs, although they could be popular commercially, are just too plain and boring for a design show. I can't stand Asha after last week but her outfits do seem to have more design in them - even if they tend to lean towards the ghetto, cheap side. said...

Another great review. Sadly, I still haven't found a contestant to really cheer for.

As much as I love Tim Gunn, PR simply isn't the same without Heidi Klum. And the mentor idea, in my view, is a waste of time. Nick's done nothing but make himself look foolish and the other two, who I used to find likeable, appear to be arrogant twits.

Still, I hope to see Shan, Oscar and Sam make it to the end.

Miss Lisa said...

If someone could make a GIF of Sam's reaction to the burlesque dancer, I would be forever grateful.

None of these looks were big winners, but I figure Shan would have won with his original design anyway, so might as well be Shan. I would be sad if I were allergic to sequins. Not that I wear them--but I just want that option...

I love Oscar. I can't even analyze why. I just do.