Season 15, Episode 5 Recap: Mystery Investors

Week 5 brings the Mary Kay challenge, and the first team challenge. The designers will be working in two teams of six for a four piece mini-collection. The budget for Mood depends on the team’s pitch to a group of mystery investors. How cool! In addition, the winning team will EACH receive $5,000. Ugh! Why didn’t they have challenges like this when I was a designer!

The investors end up being Nina, Zac and Heidi. They are just as tough being investors, as they are as judges, with Nina asking the toughest questions… no surprise there! They were especially hard on Team Unity, who was only granted $800 while Team Button Bag was awarded $2,200. This makes it a hard start for Unity, but Button Bag will have much higher expectations from the judges. There’s a price to pay having more of the investors’ money. Truth be told, I’m looking forward to seeing what Unity can do with the limited budget.

After the makeup consultations Tim comes around for critiques. Surprisingly, the Unity collection looks much stronger. They are working together very well and fast. Conversely, Team Button Bag have not completed many garments, and seem to be in a time crunch, but the jacket that Laurence has completed is amazing, so I am not losing faith in them… yet.

The next day the designers get back to work. Looking at Bag of Buttons (I am refusing to call them by their new name), I am really concerned that there is going to be a runway show today. Meanwhile at Unity, everyone says that Cornelius talks a lot of crap about the designers, but I am beginning to think that Nathalia might have him beat. Didn’t they go to school together? That would have been a rough class to be part of, especially for four years of college.

Team Unity:

Cornelius and Rik – I love this look. I think the jacket is really cool with that great print. The dress has a unique silhouette and even though it is all black, it still looks really interesting with the mix of materials.

Mah-Jing – I also really like this look. The top is very chic, but still interesting with the mix of materials. The pants are also very chic. They are a little basic, but I actually see that as a nice sign of restraint, creating some loose pants and not get too crazy.

Nathalia and Roberi – I like the pants in this look. I think they did a good job of mixing up the black and the print. However, the top and jacket just look thrown together. The jacket is nothing interesting, and if you are going to do a black jacket, then you need to make it interesting. The shirt looks like it is made in the wrong material and unfinished.

Alex – I do not understand all of his excitement over this look. It is not a well-fitted dress. The color, nor the design, is that interesting.

Overall this is a nice collection, but nothing that really stands out. I think they relied too much on black and should have brought out some more color from the print. In addition, I did not feel like the finale dress was cohesive with the rest of the collection.

Bag of Buttons (again, refusing to switch the name):

Dexter – The further into the season we get, the more I like Dexter. He is funny, smart (did a great job pitching for his team), and talented, as he showcased in this design. He was running around assisting all the designers and still made this beautifully tailored denim suit, with beautiful embroidered details. Consider me impressed.

Jenni and Brik – This dress definitely does not hold it’s own on the runway. What is even more perplexing is that it took two designers to make it. I like the fur bib detail but, it doesn’t seem cohesive with the rest of the collection, and the fitted dress has very little design elements to it.

Laurence – I am incredibly impressed with the way that she crafted this leather jacket. The detail work is amazing and is tailored perfectly. I do wish that she wouldn’t have paired it with the dated yellow pencil skirt. It dumbs down the look. The jacket would have stood out more with some fitted pants.

Erin – The yellow is very bold, but I actually like this jacket. She did a great job on the embroidery and proportions of the jacket. I also think that she styled it perfectly from the hair and makeup to the basic shoes.

This collection had the nice pop of color but, it was not incredibly cohesive. I would have liked to see more of the embroidery in each look. I also would have liked to see the denim used again. A denim skinny pant would have been more successful then the yellow pencil skirt in Laurence’s look.

House of Button wins and no surprise Dexter is crowned the winner. I couldn’t agree more! Alex, of the losing Team Unity. admirably offers to take the blame for the team and is ultimately sent home. I do think that he deserved to go home, but he left with a lot of respect from his fellow designers, the judges and me.

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