Friday, January 16, 2015

PR All-St★rs 4 Ep 9: Sleeping with the Fishes or The Episode That Really Pissed.Me.Off.

First off, yes, this episode pissed me off and I'll explain why … later … but first, let’s define avant-garde, shall we?
a·vant-garde; nounnew and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts, or the people introducing them.
Keep that in mind, and let’s start at the beginning … when the designtestants meet up with Alyssa Milano at the Long Island Aquarium with Kevin and PAm, the penguins — I was so hoping they would be the guest judges this week!

The challenge this week is to create an avant-garde look inspired by sea life, and the designtestants are given cameras to snap pictures of their inspiration, a budget of $150 and two glorious days to complete the project.

But, seriously, avant-garde on $150? Well, Alyssa throws them a fish bone when she suggests that if one designer gets into the shark tank and sketches in there, she’ll give everyone an extra $100.

Helen takes this one for the team, and … made up TV drama … gets into the tank to swim with the sharks. Ican't with that, so let's rip ...
SAFE
SONJIA

She was inspired by a Piranha, which I don’t see in her design. I see a ceramic figurine to stick in the bottom of my goldfish bowl; I see a costume for a Broadway show; I see Sonjia being safe.
TOP THREE
MICHELLE 
She chose the Flamboyant cuttlefish for the way it’s voluminous in the back and the tapers off in the front, but she’s gonna switch that up … literally.

Zanna takes one look at it and says it looks like a maternity outfit, or that a family of four could camp in it. I giggle, because I think the only place Zanna has ever camped is the lobby of the Four Seasons while she’s waiting for her room to be readied.

WHAT SHE SAID
It’s really beautiful and feminine and has some strange dramatic things.

WHAT I SAID
It looks like a fabric bag upside down; it looks simple; the only think avant-garde is the lip.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ says she cannot stop looking at it, but doesn’t know if she likes it, or the colors, or the dress, at all. Isaac says he has to stop looking at it because the more he looks, the less he likes it. Alyssa called it contrived, but did like the balance—but then she’s pregnant and would probably wear it—and the color, while guest judge Nicole Sherzinger loved it, loved the peek-a-boo shoulder, but bemoaned the lack of a female form; she also liked what I learned is called the RBF: the "resting bitch face" vibe of the model's off-centered lipstick.

WHAT HAPPENED
Safe.

HELEN
After swimming with the sharks, Helen chose the shark because she likes how their scales are smooth when you rub them in one direction, but jagged and harsh if rubbed the other way. How that translates into what looked like a soft coral to me, I do not know, but it did.

Zanna, like me, though, is worried that, as Helen had done in the couture challenge, she’s thinking ruffles will save the day … or as Zanna called it, another loofah dress. Zanna tells her to edit it down, and find a way to show the woman’s curves in the look.

WHAT SHE SAID
My dress looks flattering and beautiful.

WHAT I SAID
I don’t get shark at all; I get intestines … and I’\m getting sick. It’s like the model has been eviscerated.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges aren’t seeing shark, either, though Isaac called the look amazing from every angle, yet doesn’t care for the small embellishment at the armhole. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ said Helen’s dress told a story — one that I won’t be reading, I assure you — and said there wasn’t one thing she did not like about it. Alyssa liked that it was not so on-the-nose shark, and that she could see Helen’s work and heart in the dress. Nicole Sherzinger said she thought sleek and strong with shark, and that wasn’t what Helen had done, but she thought it was chic and wanted some more of that embellishment.

WHAT HAPPENED
Helen is safe.

DMITRY 
He’s all about the Seahorse because its scales seem to be hooked together and moving when the seahorse moves. He’s going to create a skeletal scale coat, with interlocking geometric pieces that resemble the seahorse and move with the model.

And this is where I get pissed off, because this is the same technique Dmitry used in the finale of his season — when he won — so how is it avant-garde, or new, when he’s already done it? And how is it that, when Fabio mentioned it in his confessional, and the producers show the footage of similar looks from Dmitry in the past, no one, not Zanna or the judges, brings it up?

R-i-g-g-e-d. That’s why. All Zanna said was that Dmitry needed a win, and so, well, ooh spoiler alert, he got one, and I’m pissed off.

WHAT HE SAID
I feel like my vision came to life.

WHAT I SAID
I feel like I have double vision, or déjà vu, because we've seen this exact look from him before! That's it over there>>>>


WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ calls it beautiful, and loved the workmanship, though she wasn’t fond of the wonky closure in the bottom part of the coat — funny how Dmitry couldn't have fixed that since he made a dress he’s made before. Isaac loved it, though it wasn’t avant-garde — because Dmitry has made it before, people — but he loved the length of the coat, while Nicole called it sexy and chic and said she wanted it. Alyssa liked that he came out of his shell—and brought with him a design he’d made before and yet called it avant-garde—but said it was avant-garde in thought process only.

WHAT HAPPENED
Dmitry wins for making something he’s already made before. And I’m still pissed off.
BOTTOM THREE
JAY
He was instantly attracted to the Lion Fish, with the flowing fins, and decided to use vinyl — which he’s never worked with before — and chiffon.

Zanna likes it well enough, but doesn’t really see avant-garde in the look, though Jay assures her it will be there.

WHAT HE SAID
I’m feeling very confident.

WHAT I SAID
I don’t get the top of the ‘coat’ because it looks like that’s where the model’s head should be but it’s behind it. I also think, as she turns around, that it’s too literal an interpretation of Lion Fish.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Alyssa liked the vinyl piece but wasn’t a fan of the dress fabric, while The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ felt the opposite; she liked the dress but felt the vinyl piece looked a little David Bowie, and that the make-up seemed a little glam rock to her; she called it disjointed. Isaac, though, loved the way the chiffon moved against the hardness of the vinyl, but also felt the two pieces didn’t really go together, and wondered if it really was avant-garde.

WHAT HAPPENED
He's safe, though.

FABIO 
He chose the Red Bubble Anemone, and then made a pink suit … a pink backwards suit. He was struck by the asexuality of the anemone, and since he does mostly gender neutral looks, he decided to run with that idea.

Zanna liked it, somewhat, but said he was losing the anemone because he was too busy focusing on the asexuality. And the pink.

WHAT HE SAID
I love the colors and the concept.

WHAT I SAID
It’s a pretty suit — and reminds me a little of the backwards suit Celine Dion wore to the Oscars several years ago — but I’m not getting red anemone at all.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Alyssa loved the pants, loved the pink — though she thought Fabio is too much of a pink fabric designer … which he says is why he’s a sissy — and she liked the reverse concept, but she hated the actual fabric. Isaac liked the color and the silhouette, but wasn’t wowed by it. The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ said it wasn’t a strong look, and that the proportions were off — and said Fabio’s outfit looked more avant-garde than the model’s look; she called it a big mistake. Nicole liked the strong shape and the minimalist design, but also liked his own outfit more.

WHAT HAPPENED
Fabio is safe because the judges have liked him all season and probably the producers want him at the finale.

JUSTIN
This was a rough week for Justin. Though he picked the Yellow Scroll Coral, and picked his fabrics, in the workroom he was struggling because his ideas and his textiles weren’t working together. Luckily, Helen had some extra fabric and offered it up to him and he ran with it … into a wall.

Zanna worried that Justin’s look was too quiet and that he needed to push it, and he thought a big sleeve would accomplish that. oh, If I had a nickel for every time I thought a big sleeve would be my salvation … but I digress.

WHAT HE SAID
I’m happy with the outcome; it’s a walking piece of art.

WHAT I SAID
I liked it better from the back than the front, because the top half is prettier in back; the front feels like it has a giant hole in it.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ likes Justin’s color palette but feels it’s less avant-garde and more luncheon dress; she hated the fringed peplum and its raggedy finishing. Isaac agreed, but said the silhouette was off, the waist was too low, and he hated the shoulders; he called the whole look “upsetting” and carwash strips and Party City. Alyssa agreed about the waist, and when Justin hiked it up about an inch or so, there was a marked improvement in the look — though that’s not saying too much. Nicole liked all the ideas, but didn’t think they worked.

WHAT HAPPENED
It was all too much and yet not enough, so Justin’s out. Sad to see him go because he's the sweetest designer ever, but he hasn't been on his game this season.
MY TAKE
I never knew Alyssa was the inspiration for Ariel in Disney's animated The Little Mermaid. How did I not know that?

All the drama over Helen getting into the shark tank was so planned and fake and annoying. She’s in a tank! In a wet suit! In a cage! With another diver! Stop already with the made-up drama. I have actually been scuba diving in the ocean off the coast of Maui and have actually touched … petted … a Tiger Shark so this was all just nonsense to me.

Dmitry made the same look he’s already made and gets high praise for it. Yes, I am still pissed off about it, and I am pissed off that he thinks he deserves to win, and that he thinks this was the “most important challenge." If it was the most important, DMITRY, why not do something new?

Damn, I need to let that go.

Fabio was shocked he was safe, but here's how I see it: while neither he nor Justin were truly avant-garde, at least Fabio's was well-made, and that's what saved him.

Line of the night? Isaac, after Jay said he worried about doing too much:
“Don’t listen to us. Seriously! We’re all just a bunch of bitches.”
So, here’s how I see this happened: next week, Jay or Michelle or Helen go home, and the week after, another one of them bites it; then, we either have a Fourgy Finale, with Dmitry, Fabio, Sonjia and The leftover, or the last one goes home and it's a Threesome in the end because it seems quite clear the producers want Dmitry, Fabio and Sonjia in the finale.

I mean, Dmitry won with a retread, Fabio is safe with a look that does not meet the challenge at all, and Sonjia made a show costume. But Michelle, Helen  and Jay, who actually made some interesting, though maybe not fully avant-garde, looks, were not winners.

What did YOU think?



4 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

The penguins were the best part!
Sad to see Justin go.
The shark tank... dear gawd.

Susan said...

I liked Sonjia's more than you. When I saw it walk down the runway I thought that would be the winner. Helen's was awful; a shift dress with tons of drab ruffles; that's avant-garde? Justin should not have been sent home. His design had more style than Helen's.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Susan. I thought Sonjia's was kinda purty. I know nothing about avant-garde, only from what I've seen in the past, it translates into butt ugly. I know nothing about fashion but I figure if the judges say something is not avant-garde then it really shouldn't when an avant-garde competition. Pissed is an understatement! I thought Justin's was ugly enough to win :)
Deedles

Mark in DE said...

In my opinion, none of the looks were avant garde. I'm surprised they didn't make all of the designers go back and make something else, like they did that time on the regular PR when Heidi hated every designer's look. Very disappointing. And I totally agree with you that Dmitry should have been called out for repeating a look he's done several times before.