TOPS AND BOTTOMS
I’m gonna keep this short and, kinda, sweet, since I am still heartbroken over the results, even though I saw it coming from half an episode away.
As usual, the teams wake up and the winner crows about setting the standard and the losers wonder if they should even be on the show ... or if the judges are crazy. And then we get the note from Tim to come to a special place to learn of their next challenge.
And so off we go to a Waste Management Site where we find Tim in a neon orange safety vest along with editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire—also in neon—Anne Fulenwider; and they tell the designtestants that this next challenge is both an Unconventional Challenge—making a high fashion look out of recycled goods—and a team challenge.
It’s gonna get ugly ... and by that I mean Shaved Shawn and Claire Hair.
Let’s dish ...
Left to right: Deyonté, Kentaro, Kudzanai, Margarita, Michael
Deyonté’s look was hard and soft, edgy and dangerous, with the slits in the skirt and sleeves; loved it.
Kentaro’s dress is almost a little too cute to be in this collection, though.
Kudzanai also riffed on the slit fabrics, with a see-through overcoat; the side-boob is never good, however.
Margarita’s look was a riff on Kentaro and Michael, without the sweetness of Kentaro and the edge of Michael.
Michael’s look played up the sheer over-piece and the shredded fabric; it had more edge than “pretty girl” and worked best with Deyonté and Kudzanai.
TEAM BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET
1st row: Aaron, Ayana, Batani
2nd row: Brandon, Kenya
From first glance this is the team that was going down; they just seemed to be the least cohesive as designers and that is never good. On the plus side, their team also seemed to be less ego-driven, so that’s a win.
From the start they opted to Cheap Chic, which morphed into Ballin’ on a Budget—ball gowns from trash—and ended up being Girl at a Music Festival.
But there were problems: Kenya doesn’t work with anything other than fabrics, and Ayana, who designs “modest” clothes, found herself stuck with some sheer plastic. And when Tim stopped by it didn’t get better. He didn’t get Ayana’s look, and Kenya couldn’t even explain her dress; Tim did like Brandon’s handpainted checkered fabric, but worried that the recycling pieces were controlling Batani and that Aaron fringy dress was a mess. He pointed out that only Brandon and Kenya had decent ideas and that the looks didn’t look like they came from the same girl’s closet.
Now, with egos as designers, that could have destroyed the team, but Ballin’ decided to listen to Tim, incorporate pieces of all their designs—and Brandon’s fabric—into each piece and actually scored.
WHAT THE DESIGNERS SAID
Aaron: I see the shine. She looks so comfortable.
Ayana: She’s bringing my dress to life.
Batani: It’s so cool. The colors are popping. It looks futuristic.
Brandon: [My print] is the glue to the whole collection.
Kenya: My model looks happy.
WHAT I SAID
Aaron’s look was my least favorite; the top with the shredded bits seemed out of sorts, but I loved his take on Brandon’s print on the sheer shorts. For me, Ayana killed it, because, for a modest look, it’s fierce and amazing; and Batani’s look, alongside Ayana’s, was a perfect match. Brandon’s was good, but seem a little toocloseforcomfort to last week’s look—this week baggy pants and a crop top, last week a baggy skirt and a crop top. And as for Kenya, for someone who was out of her comfort zone, designing with trash, she created a gorgeous pretty girl dress. And Batani really proved herself with this look, a great piece alongside Ayana’s.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Heidi was blown away by each look because they were different, yet cohesive; she loved Batani’s cool look. But she thought Aaron’s top looked like a container for chicken wings. She, and nearly every other judge, called Kenya’s look “faaaaabulous!” Zac Posen felt that Brandon’s print, showing up in each other piece, held everything together, and loved Aaron’s sheer shorts. Guest judge, actress Maggie Q loved the high neckpieces on Ayana’s and Batani’s looks, and called the collection perfect. Anne Fulenwider said Ballin’ did the best job of transforming the recycled “fabrics” into wearable looks, and thought Batani’s look was “fashion,” while Nina Garcia loved the fringe drama of Ayana’s dress, calling it utter elegance and sexy without showing skin. All the judges loved that Ayana used bottle caps as buttons, too.
1st row: Amy, Claire, Samantha
2nd row: Sentell, Shawn
I smelled disaster from the beginning once it was revealed Shaved Shawn and Claire Hair, AKA Evil Chip'n'Dale, would be on the same team. I just don’t think they work well with anyone other than themselves and, well, yeah, I was right.
The group opted for cruise-wear, in shades of sea glass and blue, and each one began designing something except for Shawn; she was distressed at having to design for a “curvy” girl, having to create something girly, being in the bottom last week, and for not being able to do anything unless her ego is stroked, and only Claire could do that.
So we got the cries from Shawn; and the bitching from Shawn; and the dishing from Shawn ... she hated Samantha’s braided look, saying it’s done every year and is nothing new and no one likes it and so there!
Sentell said he had this ... uh oh. Sentell got the phone call home ... uh oh. Sentell got the crying jag with his husband ... uh oh. This is not good. It was also not good when Tim came by because Shawn had nothing, Sentell’s looked unfinished, Amy’s was disjointed and Claire is Claire.
WHAT THE DESIGNERS SAID
Amy: It’s attractive and stylish.
Claire: She is captivating.
Samantha: She looks like she’s wearing real clothes.
Sentell: I’m feeling confident and safe.
Shawn: It fits her well.
WHAT I SAID
While Amy’s poncho-thingy was cool—though maybe too short—I did like the plastic skirt and the colors; Claire’s look didn’t seem to fit and seemed kinda thrown together and safe, while Samantha’s top—yes, the braided top—was cool, though the skirt seemed off. Sentell ... Sentell; it looks like a garbage bag cut into a dress. But Shawn’s look was decidedly mismatched with anything else, though, as we saw in the workroom, every other member of her team made her look, designed her look and sewed her look together.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Heidi said some pieces were good and some still looked like “garbage”—Sentell? Heidi thought you made yours in ten minutes. She really had no comment on Claire, though she said there were no fabrics, but she loved Samantha’s braided top. Maggie Q agreed, saying the braided top should have been the running theme throughout the collection. Zac said Sentell’s was not transformed and looked like a leprechaun went dumpster diving, while Anne Fulenwider agreed, saying Sentell’s look is why people don’t want sustainable fashion. Nina called the whole mess short-sighted, and when Heidi asked who had trouble, Shawn piped up about working with a curvy girl, and Maggie Q whispered to Anne: “The girl looks normal” and Anne replied, “I think she’s skinnier than me.” Heidi didn’t like Shawn’s, though she thought the halter was well-made—and Sentell did that—and Samantha noted that she actually designed Shawn’s look. When Claire tries to stand up for Shawn, she again plays the “curvy girl” card and Maggie Q isn’t playing:
“She’s not curvy, Change your perspective if you want to design for American women.”
And Shawn and Claire then say that they only design for celebrities and pop stars, though, as we know, they have only, according to them, designed one look for Katy Perry who never came back for anything else. I loathe the twins.
It was clear Ballin' would win, but who would take the prize? For me it was Batani or Ayana and I think the fierceness of a long gown, and covered up model, turned the judges to Ayana.
As for the loser, it came down to Tsunami’s Shaved Shawn and Sentell, and, as I said, I saw it coming and I was not happy, Sentell was sent home. He was just so adorable ... and adorably gay.
I loved Tim’s face when the first team told him they were calling themselves Ballin’ on a Budget ... “Ballin’?” He said, “On a budget.”
I agreed with the winner, but not the loser; even though Sentell’s was garbage, he proved that he could make something the judges liked because he made Shawn’s top, while Samantha and Amy designed and helped with the skirt; don’t forget we all saw Shawn in the workroom telling her team what she needed them to do for her.
Still Shaved Shawn is safe and we got another Ugly Cry from Claire, who seems a bit unstable if this is how she acts when her sister is in the Bottom. When, yes, when Shawn goes home, I hope they paramedics on hand to deal with Claire’s breakdown.
This also made me loathe the twins more, as they discussed the recycling company:
Shawn: I call it acrid.
Claire: I call it noxious.
Shawn: Noxious? I like that ...
Shawn: Perhaps almost ...
Claire: ... repugnant.
I should call them Acrid and Noxious; they are Chip’n’Dale Roadkill.
And I loathed Claire for saying to Shawn, as she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed: “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” What bastards? Who?
But the Line of the Night goes to Amy who watched as Claire and Shawn floundered:
“We have to be all hands on deck and we have two people overboard.”
Snap. Too bad they tossed life preservers, eh? Indeed.
And why do all the designtestants freak out over the Unconventional Challenge when they know it’s coming? It’s a Fan Favorite, fer cryin’ out loud.
What did YOU think?
PS Next week’s recap will be late as we’ll be in Charleston for a while. Check on the following Monday ...