Season 15, Episode 11 Recap: Avant-Garde Meets Unconventional

What?! Only two challenges left?! This seems to happen every year–the end just comes too quick. 

There are six designers left… Hmm, could this be another double elimination challenge?! It is already going to be an exciting one–it is an avant-garde/unconventional materials challenge. Immediately I felt disappointed that Dexter was sent home last week. I believe he would have really done something exciting with the materials and inspiration.  

After grabbing a ton of unconventional materials from the factory, the designers are sent to Mood in programmed Lexus cars.  There is a hilarious exchange between Swatch and Tim, where the dog gets Tim on all fours, looking for something to explain Swatch’s barking. The best part is that the dog trots off with a smile on this face. As Tim stated, he obviously just wanted Tim in that position! LOL Since Swatch stole the show, we didn’t get a chance to see much of what the designers selected at Mood. I have to say I liked Erin’s idea of using a harder material that transforms into a softer material, but I am not as inspired by her bright yellow color selection.  

Back at the workroom the designers are really turning out some interesting things. At this point it seems like anyone’s game. I like the way Rik is playing with texture, but I do think that he could push the design further to truly avant-garde. I have a similar feeling about Roberi’s garment. I think Mah-Jing could have an amazing piece or a total disaster with the weight of the metal that he is sculpting. Erin’s piece and the idea of a paper doll dress excites me. I do agree with a lot of the designers that Laurence is creating something beautiful, but not really pushing the envelope from her typical designs. It seems like Cornelius is in the worst shape. His look is very juvenile, as is his interpretation of avant-garde. I think he is missing the basic element of fashion–people should want to wear it, and it should make the wearer feel good.  

The model fitting does not do much to change my opinions of the designs, with the exception of adding some worry for  Mah-Jing and Erin, and how their designs will actually stay on the model. I also wish Laurence would have added some length to her garment. It is definitely going to be an exciting, unpredictable runway. 

Cornelius – This look definitely was a miss for a variety of reasons.  The only unconventional materials that he used was the cording Adding insult to injury, it was very juvenile in its placement. The rest of the dress was made of regular fabric from Mood.  He did succeed in making the color panels look like they were laid nicely together. His sewing skills did not make up for the lack of elevated design in this challenge.

Mah-Jing – I am not too crazy about this look either. I love the way that he used the metal, but that is about the only think that I liked. The dress shape was very predictable and not avant-garde, the sewing looked a little sloppy, and the fit was not fantastic. The weight of the metal was pulling down on the dress.  I was a little disappointed with this look, but I still think that it had more taste than the dress from Cornelius.  

Rik – I think that Rik did a great job with textures on this challenge. My disappointment lies in the basic silhouette and fit of this dress. If this was just an unconventional challenge I think that he would have hit it out the ballpark. However, I think that he really lacked in the avant-garde aspect of this challenge. That said, it was very well constructed and looked sleek on the runway. I think this will make his safe this round.

Erin – Wow, I was blown away by this look. This is the Erin that I remember earlier in the competition–the one so talented. I love the way that she created a really cool avant-garde piece out of the unconventional materials and that it was inspired by the paper doll dress. I am glad that she still used the embellishments. You really couldn’t see the glue from the runway. (I figured as much, which is why I wonder what the big deal was in the workroom.) Unless another look completely blows me away, I see this as the clear winner.  

Laurence – I love the materials that she used to create a gorgeous pattern on the fabric around the skirt. I do think that she fell into the same place as Rik, with succeeding in the unconventional aspect but not the avant-garde. The shape of the garment is very safe, plus I think she could have gotten much more creative with the silhouette. It does look more like a top then a dress–pants could have helped the look a lot.

Roberi – Wow, wow, wow.  I said that I was going to have to be blown away by another look to top Erin’s look and Roberi comes very close. I could see either winning. I think that Roberi succeeded in making a dress that was very sexy and flattering. He also did a great job of incorporating the metal materials to look like fabric. Well done!

In the end, Erin takes the win. I think that the avant-garde shape was the factor that really gave her the edge. Surprisingly, Cornelius was saved over Mah-Jing. While I was disappointed with the outcome, I loved his attitude and I LOVED his speech to the judgesm even if they looked like they could care less. 

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