Friday, October 14, 2016

PR 15 Ep 5: Designers Drive Bus Over Themselves

I’m all about the omens, especially on an edited for broadcast “reality” show so when we opened Room 310 in the designtestants hotel and found Alex, Cornelius, Roberi, and Rik channeling a new mantra—310 Power—I knew one of these men would be going home at the end. I’m psychic like that, okurrr?

Anyway, after the male bonding scene the designtestants meet Tim Gunn and Mary Kay’s Global Beauty Consultant — is there a pageant for that title? — Luis Casco on the runway to learn that this will be the Mary Kay Challenge … and a team challenge! The teams will have one day to create a four look mini-collection and each designer on the winning team will receive $5,000.

Then another twist; as teams they need to pitch their ideas — and that could be anything — to a group of prospective investors from the firm of Klum, Posen and Garcia. The investors each have $1,000 to invest into each team and can divvy up the cash however they see fit.

As for the teams, Rik — and he is still so adorable — as the winner last week, gets to pick first; he chooses Alex, of course … 310 Power! Tim then whips out the Dreaded Button Bag™ and selects Brik to start the selections for the second team; Brik chooses Tasha, the Rik goes for Roberi, Cornelius, Nathalia and Mah-Jing. Brik’s team then includes Laurence, Erin, Dexter and last pick Jenni.

I was Jenni in high school dodge ball, but I digress so … let’s rip …
As they gather to brainstorm, Dexter seems to step up with all the right questions about their woman and their pitch and so he’s suddenly put in charge … at least for the pitch.

And so he tells the investors, KPG, that their collection will be fun, bright and fashion-forward for the woman in the tech industry — and that seems a little oddly specific to me — with pops of blue and yellow.

KPG seem to love their pitch and between the three investors offer up $2,200 out of a total of $3,000 available for both team … uh oh. In the workroom, though, their first move is to change their name from the boring Team Button Bag to The House of Bouton … seriously.

When The Boutons meet up with Tim he worries that their color palette — the blue is gone, replaced by beige and yellow and, well, maybe it’s dark blue — might not make sense for their tech woman. Instantly, Brik’s pleated skirt is gone, replaced by a beige number, and Erin offers up glitzy embellishments for her Big yellow Coat and for Dexter’s suit.

And they scramble; all that money, all that praise from KPG and they cannot get a grip, scrambling to get clothes on half-nekkid models. I fear this will not end well …

Look #1 — top left — Dexter: It’s strong, it’s beautiful.

Look # 2 — top right — Jenny and Brik, who says: If our team loses we have to say goodbye to someone.

Look # 3 — bottom right — Tasha and Laurence; who says: Our collection is more vibrant.

Look # 4 — bottom left — Erin: We have a stronger collection on the runway.

Look # 1: It’s sleek and sexy but I loathe the cheap tacked on glitz on the cuffs.

Look # 2: First up, bless Brik for being cute but simple and kinda obvious. As for the look, it’s a beige sack with a fur lobster bib.

Look # 3: The jacket is stunning, but Tasha just made a pencil skirt?

Look # 4: The embellishments again look tacky and tacked on to me and I do not love the yellow and the barf beige together.

Heidi loved the vibrancy of the yellow, and called the collection very fashion forward. She also — lord help Heidi — loved all the embellishments. Nina Garcia said all the pieces were versatile, though she called Look # 3 “bumblebee.” She did love Laurence’s jacket, though; she loathed Brik-Jenni dress saying it was too short, and Heidi, who loooves a short dress agreed. The Adorable Zac Posen™ lost some adorability points by also praising the tacky glitzed add-ons, but came back by loathing the all-barf-beige number. Guest judge, actress and recording artist Sabrina Carpenter, liked the risk of the yellow and the suit, though she says most girls her age don’t wear suits, even denim ones.
Rik’s team seems cool, calm, and collected, though when the color-palette is introduced — dark colors only — Mah-Jing is not happy … with the choice and with the fact no one listens to him; I am kind of sensing a Mah-Jing exit at this point, even after Alex steps up to run the pitch, saying he’s done this, this is what he does, it’s in his wheel-house. He says he can sell this idea to KPG … and says they are designing for an educated, entrepreneurial business woman and that their collection will empower her. Not so empowering is the end result, when KPG gives Team unity just $800 of their $3,000 investment bankroll. Ow!

So, in the workroom, remembering that Nina called their looks boring, Unity decides to step up … onto a ledge? Again, Mah-Jing, who tried to get his team to go bold color at Mood, is feeling like Unity might be a four-person team and he’ll be under a bus on the runway.  

During Tim’s critiques he worries that there is no versatility between pieces and no cohesion; he’s also doubting the dark, metallic palette. It’s beginning to look very dark for Unity and I’m not talking color …

Still, Unity works, and works fast, and works well — even Cornelius, who helped by keeping his yap closed — but when Alex tries on his metallic “office” dress on the model, it’s way too tight, and pinching and buckling. But Unity lives up to their name and rallies and helps and the crisis is averted … for now.

Look # 1 — top left — Cornelius and Rik, who says: I feel like we amped it up for the judges.

Look # 2 — top right — Mah-Jing: I think we did a really good job.

Look # 3 — bottom right — Nathalia and Roberi, who says: It’s full of details … full of textures … it’s new.

Look # 4 — bottom left — Alex: I am electrified!

Look # 1: I am not a fan of the print, and the whole design has me curious: is this “office” in a strip club?

Look # 2: Yeah, it’s well-made, but does a napkin-hemmed vest say “office” or does it say, “Oops, I spilled my soup”?

Look # 3: The Print! The Coat! The shirt! What three things don’t go together?

Look # 4: Apparently this woman is the hostess at a bar on a space station?

Heidi was amazed at what $800 could do, though she wasn’t so amazed by the clothes themselves. Some pieces were good and some, well … Alex? She did love Mah-Jing’s vest because she’s a messy eater — or so I’ve been told — but feels most of the collection is dark and over-designed. She did also like both Rik’s dress and Cornelius’ jacket. She also felt Alex’s silver dress was poorly made, especially in the rippled back area. Sabrina loved the metallics but hated all the dark colors.  …? The Adorable Zac Posen™ says Alex’s metallic dress needed to fit perfectly to work, and it doesn’t; he also said the collection lacked impact and the easiest way to accomplish that would have been color. He also called Nathalia’s jacket fresh, but was no fan of the oddly deconstructed blouse Roberi made. Nina said a few words, one being “God!” and the other being “Ugh.” She said the collection was not empowering and that it wasn’t office, but nighttime. She called Roberi’s top a Fred Flintstone mess.
When asked who should win, the House of Bouton got all kinds of lovey-dovey, naming everyone who wasn’t named Tasha, Brik, or Jenni. Dexter, Erin, and Laurence are all the Tops but, because of his pitch, and his choices in make-up and styling, Dexter gets the Top Spot.

As for Team Unity … I was ready for each and every one of them to drive the bus over Mah-Jing since he was no one’s roommate and no one’s best friend. Cornelius cried that he would go home; Roberi asked to be sent home; Nathalia asked to go; Alex said he should go because his look was the worst and he made the failed pitch to KPG.

Alex might have been better served keeping quite because, well, he’s Auf’d.

I have never, in all my years as a PR Snarker, seen designers throw themselves under the bus. I never thought it possible, I mean, the logistics prove that, but each one of them, well, except Cutie Rik who said Alex’s name first, walked out onto 7th Avenue and threw themselves into traffic.

Now, to be fair, Alex’s voice scratched my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard, but I loved his parting story about meeting Tim during his Season 4 first audition and how Tim he wasn’t ready; Alex took that advice and went back to school for his Associates, Bachelors, and Graduate degrees.

I love that Tim got recognized for being such a sweetheart and, for a moment, I thought he was gonna use the save … but then he looked at Alex and said, “Clean up the workroom,” and Alex was gone.

I also loved when Nina demanded that both teams do a rethink of their drab names, though the House of Bouton was pretentious and dumb, and Team unity seemed like a parade at Pride.

And I was sure Mah-Jing would go because he was the odd designer out … not a roommate and not a best friend. But, he lucked out by being one of the few on Team Unity to get a good read from the judges.

Line of the Night, got to Cornelius, who, while at Mood, hearing Mah-Jing suggest bold colors, runs to Alex and says:
“’What’s-his-name’ doesn’t like our print!”
Now, it’s clear Erin will be at The Tents, and Rik is moving up. Laurence, too. But then there’s also Dexter? Will we have a four-person finale? And, if so, what about Roberi, who is good even if he missed the mark this week—I’m still loving his Blacklight Look.

And while Brik is so cute, his man bun might be leaving soon. Cornelius? I hope so, because last week he was a bitch and this week he’s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Pick a personality, hon. Jenni? That laugh alone should get you booted … I kid … kinda. Tasha? Yeah, she made a pencil skirt this week, so don’t get too settled girl.

Nathalia? I always forget she’s there … and that’s not good … plus, on a shallow level, I am so over the magenta and blue hair color on anyone. Mah-Jing had a good week, but one good week doesn’t get you to The Tents.

What did YOU think?


Anonymous said...

Okay, Bob sweetheart, you've got me so spoiled that I can't even watch a recording partially without turning it off and waiting for your recappage! You may punctuate that sentence any way you want. I think I will skip this particular episode all together. It all just looks so boooorrrrrrinnnnggg (insert JoAnn Worley sound effect). Does anyone else remember from years ago a plastic trollish doll, sold at gas stations, with plastic hair that snapped on and off? Dexter has appropriated that look. Faux Beatles.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm not watching this program but I predict that my boy Man-Bun Brik will go all the way! Take that however you want.

the dogs' mother said...

Still don't like Erin's looks!

The awarding of money... not sure about that. I guess it is more real world unless you are a celeb.

The Bus got a workout!

Thanks, as always, for a great recap :-)

jawhite21 said...

I agree that the embellishments were tacky. I would have bouton in the bottom just for that. Also, why were they calling that ugly beige fabric "mauve" the entire time? That wasn't mauve.

Helen Lashbrook said...

So when does he Strumpet join the action for a revamp of his ties and shirts; after the 8th?

AlexandriaVic said...


I look forward to your critique every week. You and Project Runway go hand in hand. Thanks for your hard work for the team. I am inquisitive on how you get the pictures from the TV into your column. I just love modern technology.

Am I missing something? Team Unity was designing for an "entrepreneurial business women-"i.e work environment. The designs do not read business. I recall Nina mentioning them showing up for an interview and she said something along the lines of where are they going. Drinks.

Thank for again.

Great column.

House of Button-I will stick with the first incarnation-was ok.

Bob Slatten said...

I get the runway photos from the Project Runway site: