Season 10 is one runway away from being history. How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that we were meeting the 16 designers for the first time. I grew so fond of them all. There was what's-her-name? Someone, don't remember who, left in the middle of the night. And didn't someone get eliminated and come back and go bye-bye again just as fast? Who was that? I know I loved that challenge where…Um…Where they had to do…? Darn, can't remember that either.
Will it ever end? This episode, I mean. Those of us who write blogs about the show are sent commercial-free DVDs of each episode. Usually I appreciate that little perk, but part way through this episode I was missing the diversion a commercial would bring. Sorry! All the previous episodes were, for the most part, fast-paced, intriguing and amusing, and presented some interesting fashion. What happened?
Heidi opens the show on the runway looking sleek and modern in a black top dusted with crystals worn with slim black pants. Please enjoy this look. It is about the only fashion you will see for most of this episode. Mr. Gunn joins her on the runway and is at a loss for words about how proud he is of the four remaining designers. This is exactly when this episode slips into Dullsville. Mr. Gunn and "loss for words" in the same sentence?
Each of the designers are given $9,000 and five weeks (the same as Season 9) to create their collections. The "twist" is that the four designers are not guaranteed a spot at Fashion Week. Don’t worry. Wait and see. Their collections are almost all so humdrum that it would be pointless to eliminate just one.
Mr. Gunn tells the designers to "skedaddle" home and get to work right away. Okay, kiddies, get to "skedaddling.”
The first home visit is with Christopher in Massapequa, NY, a rural "Family Guy" sort of town. Christopher's work space appears to be in his parents’ family room. Cozy and convenient. "Mom, can I get a sandwich and a glass of milk, please?” My only comment is that this may not be the most inspiring environment in which to create a collection destined for New York Fashion Week. Christopher's inspiration comes from an X-ray of his mother’s back taken after reconstruction following a "little car accident.” Christopher says, "I wanted something haunting and alluring at the same time.” Well, you got the haunting part for sure! Now where's the allure? With a print like that I would expect a very edgy and forward collection. Didn't happen. A sweetheart neckline bustier in black leather does not read anything but lack of imagination. I do like his belted black trench coat, though; very sharp. Mr. Gunn flips over Christopher's bleach effect on black leather, but I’m not sure how strong an impact this detail will have on the runway.
Back in Manhattan, we drop in on Fabio, who has the use of a friend’s beautiful and airy loft on lower Fifth Avenue. Nice friends! Fabio's initial direction should please the judges. Finally someone has discovered COLOR! His collection is named "Cosmic Tribalism,” and it’s sort of an Avatar resort look. Mr. Gunn appears to be mystified by a particular pant. I know, it must be shocking to FINALLY see something creative and different after a season like this. Maybe it will grow on him? He suggests an organza pant - that's just not going to happen. Fabio apparently has a direction for this look and it's not organza! Whew! Mr. Gunn continues to sort of nitpick over several pieces, the shoes, details, etc. I always feel a critique should focus on the initial impact of a collection. Leave the fine tuning to the talent! Mr. Gunn exits the critique "baffled and confused.”
After a short trip across the Hudson River to Jersey City, NJ, we meet up with Dmitry. He also has a fabulous space loaned by a well-heeled friend. Yay for rich friends! Dmitry mentions the hardships designers experience by being on “Project Runway.” He has had to resign from his job due to dedicating 10-12 weeks to being on the show. Without any income, Dmitry has also had to give up his apartment. This type of sacrifice is typical of most designers that come on “Project Runway.” There is only one winner who will receive a monetary award and products. My reaction when a designer is "aufed" due to a producer's whim or a judge’s fancy is this: If you are going to play games with the designers, at least give them some financial incentive for being part of your show! On to the critique. Dmitry’s inspiration is "organic architecture.” I see the architectural point of view, but I’m not sure where the “organic” comes in. One thing is evident: He is a master at clean, minimal construction. All his looks are sharp and have a lightness about them. In Mr. Gunn's best critique so far, he asks is there enough newness and surprise in this collection to impress the judges.
Melissa greets Mr. Gunn in her San Francisco apartment. This overly sweet reunion makes me yearn for another sponsored commercial break. Yuk! Melissa has apparently not heeded any of the numerous past critiques concerning her fixation on black and its variations, grey and taupes. She shows a "summer" long black dress, to be worn under a heavy crackled cowhide long-sleeved high-necked jacket (like we’ve seen from her sooo many times before). Sure doesn't say summer to me! There appears to be a red garment on the racks. I hope it's part of the collection. Mr. Gunn is impressed. He sees an aura about her. Maybe it's her almost Satanic color scheme! Has she bewitched him? And here’s another painful family moment on a noisy boat ride in San Francisco Bay! Where's that commercial?
Finally, we are back in New York. After a shriek, hug-and-kiss reunion fest with all four designers in their hotel suite, the designers toast to what tomorrow will bring! The next day at their new workroom in 1407 Broadway, the designers unpack their collections. The "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" time arrives. I can see Melissa's fascination with Fabio's looks. Yes, dear, this is what color looks like. Imagine the possibilities! Christopher catches what Mr. Gunn did not: The repetitiveness of Melissa’s shapes, especially the black and white jacket, which has spawned a clone in crinkled pigskin. I’m not really sure what Dmitry mumbled while looking at Christopher's looks, but it sounded a lot like slutty. MEOW! He is next to be scrutinized by his fellow designers. Apparently seeing all of the other designers work has shaken some of the confidence in their own collections. Honey, you’re not in San Fran or Massapequa anymore!
Mr. Gunn enters and announces that they will be presenting three looks each to the judges to decide who moves forward. He suggests they each pick their best looks. Makes sense to me. They are given until 11 p.m…to do what? Aren't the collections completely done at this point? Except for hems and a few details, they should have all been completed at home. Dmitry's looks complete, but as for the others I'm not so sure. Oh well.
The next day, Melissa can't believe there is only one day to pick the three looks to show the judges. Maybe she would like a week? Christopher has no clue which looks to show. Is this drama for drama’s sake or is he for real? Apparently Dmitry did indeed say “slutty” in reference to Christopher's collection. He is totally underwhelmed by all of Christopher’s looks and feels Christopher’s collection “doesn't really flow". Mr. Gunn enters. Fabio is critiqued first. After a few comments or questions from Mr. Gunn, who still seems to have a hard time getting Fabio's vibe, Fabio just exclaims with a great sigh "Well Tim, that's life.” I love his confidence and commitment to stand behind his collection. My hat is off to him for that.
Mr. Gunn continues to love Christopher's bleached black leather. What's that all about? Christopher still has no idea which three looks he is showing. YAWN! Melissa is torn between which of those FRIGGING jackets to show. How about NONE? She is holding off on letting the world see her gown. God forbid we see anything new.
Dmitry is next. I'm on board with two of his looks. I love the white dress with illusion seaming. The sheer black top with the white pants is definitely pushing, it but I see his point in merchandising it this way. The one-shouldered dress, I'm afraid, falls into an Ivana Trump moment of the 1980's. A definite niet! I have to hand it to him for his great attitude. He is very focused and calm, and is able to maintain his charming sense of humor through the whole process. I love it when he says he has "gooze bumps!”
Mr. Gunn reiterates that the designers should show their best pieces and not hold back. Do they listen? Nooooo!
RUNWAY DAY ARRIVES. Thank you. Jesus! Three hours left and the nerves of a few (Christopher and Melissa) are just a bit fried. The models arrive. Christopher and Dmitry appear to have fitting problems. Hair and makeup are done, the clock ticks, and voila: They are ready to WOW the judges. Or are they?
Heidi starts the runway show with her famous quote. "One day you’re in, the next day you’re out!" Let’s see who could possibly not be out in a line up like this.
Dmitry's white dress is first. It looks sharp, clean and modern, but not that young. If he shortened it just a tad that would do the trick. Next is his pant and top. Two nice pieces, but put together? Last is his fringe jacket, sheer top and black satin skirt. Again, all nice pieces, but not together.
Snoozefest arrives with Christopher's trio of dull and repetitive looks. Really? You are showing Nina Garcia two looks comprised of basically the same black shorts? I remember in Season 9, Josh C. was almost voted off for showing a pair of shorts. And that was in the FIRST EPISODE, not one step from Fashion Week! Christopher may not win the fashion show, but he's definitely in line for the Lamest Edit award. Listening to him justify his choices, you begin to think he is somewhat delusional or something. (Shades of the long-departed Ven).
Fabio's color palatte hits the runway. Pale blue, pink and violet are refreshing after all the black and white. The silhouettes are organic and new. The only piece I did not feel was the side-zippered skirt. A person will either love this collection or hate it, and I love it. His accessories enhance the tribal vibes in a non-cliche way.
Melissa's black-and-white pieces, while more impressive than Christopher's, are just more of what we have seen from her before. Her umpteenth version of her now-famous jacket is nice, but I'm beginning to wonder if there’s anything else. Her other repeat is an almost line-for-line copy of her "condom dress.” Ms. Garcia does NOT look amused.
Fabio does well with his critique, as he should. He is really the only designer that did anything new or experimental. Heidi is impressed. MK feels Fabio’s colors work well, and likes his Ying and Yang vibe, along with the "demented shoes.” Nina is also pleased. She loves it but wants his looks to appear more luxurious. She feels making it more polished along with better editing are his keys to success.
Dmitry also fares well. Nina feels his collection looks glamorous and expensive. The white dress is a hit. She sees a few styling issues. MK also sees the styling holding it back: The collection needs to read fresher and younger. The biggest complaint is the bra blouse under the fringe jacket. Separate, they work. Together, no way! Less is more. Keep it simple!
Christopher explains that he took his inspiration for what is supposed to be a Spring collection from his mother's broken bones, metal screws and X-rays. I'm not exactly feeling Easter Sunday in this description. Actually, all we’re seeing are two pairs of very basic black shorts, one bustier, and some other "stuff.” Not much design at all. Heidi feels the print is a tad creepy, and says she was hoping for some WOW pieces. Nina wants to make sure Christopher has what it takes for a runway show. He assures them he does…he just didn't want show them just yet?
Melissa is in the same boat. Heidi says there wasn't a doubt in her mind about who designed these three looks. I guess not, since we have seen them from her so many times before. Melissa was also saving her surprise looks for later. MK and Heidi imply there may not be a later. Nina asks if it’s ALL black and white. Almost! I am amazed none of the judges rip her a new one for repeating two of her previous designs, especially that jacket, which she has done over and over all season.
Nina sort of lets it fly for all the designers to hear. This is the LAST STOP before fashion week. Five weeks’ worth of work and this is the best they have to show? Not good. Maybe it's not too late to cancel the episode? We can blame it on an outbreak of influenza amongst the designers or something!
The judges are clearly appalled at all the excuses from Christopher and Melissa. Dmitry's styling and combinations are dragged across the coals. Luckily, his pieces stand on their own. Styling is his big issue.
Fabio flies through, pastels and all. Christopher passes even though his designs couldn't have been less interesting. Thank God for his mom’s X-ray.
I am beginning to see where the producers are taking us when the judges start talking about Melissa's vibe and this and that…blah, blah blah. It’s pretty clear that she and the other three designers are all going to show at Fashion Week. No one is eliminated! Let’s just hope that the “secret" designs that we haven’t yet been privy to will tip the scales in some of the designers’ favors! I doubt it, but time will tell.
We are down to the final elimination prior to Fashion Week. I am PRAYING for a challenge that allows the designers to exhibit who they really are as true fashion designers. The last few challenges have blurred any cohesive vision they may have wished to present to the judges. Dance hall costumes and baby clothes don't quite do it.
Heidi greets the designers on the runway wearing never mind, I'm not going there. She reminisces about this season. From 16 designer hopefuls to these remaining five is quite an accomplishment.
I get excited for the designers when Heidi says she is sending them to a “far, far, far away place." Wow, are they going to Europe or some exotic land? Sorry. The designers are loaded into mini vans and driven about 40 miles to meet Mr. Gunn on the sprawling grounds of Oheka Castle (and by the way, we NEVER get to see a glimpse of its interior). Dmitry should have brought his garden gnome along from the last challenge. It would have lent a whimsical note to this somewhat uptight landscape.
We meet Billy B. from L'Oreal Paris who introduces us to their new makeup line, Electric Fantasie. There are four makeup groups for four "leading ladies." They are the Enchanted Queen, the Seductive Temptress, the Wise Mystic and the Artsy Muse. Aren’t we short a lady?
Mr. Gunn announces that each designer will be given one leading lady to serve as his or her muse for this, the long-awaited avant-garde challenge! Melissa can't contain herself: This is what she has been waiting for all season. Personally, I feel the term "avant-garde" is almost meaningless in fashion today, what with established houses like Alexander McQueen and Rick Owen turning shocking and unusual into the expected norm.
The Remy Martin Cognac button bag holds the names of the five designers. One day I would like to actually see the names on these buttons as they are being called. I'm just saying! The Enchanted Queen goes to Fabio. Next the Seductive Temptress to Sonjia. Dmitry receives the Wise Mystic, perfect for him. Artsy Muse falls to Melissa, also a great match. Christopher, chosen last…hmmm…gets to choose ANY of the leading ladies. I told you we were short a lady or two. He selects the Enchanted Queen. Christopher states he will be head-to-head with Fabio in proving who is the better Enchanted Queen. Take “enchanted” out of the title and honey, it's all yours!
They are given 45 minutes to sit outside in the summer heat, be inspired, sketch, then back into the vans. Almost as exciting as that trip to Europe. NOT! They have two days and $400 for this challenge. Mr. Gunn, with the wave of a finger, emphasizes that this challenge will decide who among them moves forward to Fashion Week. We know.
Dmitry focuses on the castle's architecture for his Wise Mystic. Sonjia has her mind on a sexy Seductive Temptress, revealing and complex. Christopher is turning his Enchanted Queen into a dark and evil villain. Apparently he feels huge hips and an hourglass shape are a sign of evil. I just hope for his sake that Kim Kardashian isn't the guest judge for this challenge. Melissa appears to be doing her funnel-neck-collared-short-cropped-jacket-we-have-seen-it-before look again! No stretch of the imagination there. Fabio, who I feel is the most ethereal of the five, is developing a personality for his Enchanted Queen: Strong on the outside but frail on the inside. Structured but sheer.
At MOOD the designers head off for the most important fabric selection of their lives. This is make it or break it time. Christopher is sure his Queen will out Queen Fabio. Sonjia is selecting a gold lame and emerald green moire taffeta. Very glam and potentially seductive. Melissa picks up the "whining baton" dropped by the sorely missed Elena. She is still moaning over not getting the Enchanted Queen and its dark palette. She doesn't work with "these colors". Awww…poor designer person.
Back at the nearly empty workroom, Mr. Gunn enters and states something about the judges expecting them to produce "two months' of work" in these two days. What the hell does that mean? Please elaborate! (He doesn't.)
Tragedy strikes in Seductive Temptress Land. Sonjia's gold lame fabric was apparently left behind at MOOD. Will we ever know really how this occurred, since the designers hand off their bags to production assistants upon leaving MOOD? How very odd. Maybe there will be a twist in this challenge allowing one more trip to buy fabric? Sorry, no such luck for Sonjia as there was for Anya in Season 9. I am impressed by Sonjia’s ability to immediately re-think her plan of action and move on with the challenge. Good job!
Critique time arrives. Melissa is doing her usual leather components. Nice, but hardly pushing any boundary except repetitiveness! Christopher is working on his foundation, which he appears to be executing extremely well. Mr. Gunn has a somewhat pained expression on his face but makes no comment. Dmitry is working on a jacket and skirt. I like the shape of the triangular sleeve but feel the jacket has way too many details. I agree with Mr. Gunn on this one I don't see anything remarkable or overly exciting about Dmitry’s look. Fabio is deep in the enchanted forest with his queen. He has a LOT going on. A whole hell of a lot! He receives a not-so-positive critique, but fortunately he takes it to heart and re-thinks his look.
Sonjia is next. With the loss of her gold fabric she has managed to create the beginnings of what could be a dramatic runway look. The emerald green moire taffeta alone with plain nude mesh to control the top is a statement of confidence and restraint. Love it. I just hope she will continue the organic elements from the top into the skirt.
The next day arrives and the designers contemplate what lies ahead. Christopher states "avant-garde is a lot of work...It's a month’s work in two days". Why? What makes avant-garde any different from the next category? It’s drama for drama's sake. Lets get to the workroom. Fabio has reworked his coat into a much more interesting silhouette. Dmitry's jacket apparently didn't have enough details so he is adding a detachable collar. Just three hours to go.
Mr. Gunn arrives for his final critique. Finally the word "epiphany" is uttered. About time! We can't go through an entire season without that word being said! Mr Gunn is amazed at the transformation of Fabio’s drab coat into something “buoyant and sculptural". Not only that, but you can wear it upside down. A total epiphany, for sure. Melissa is on track and on schedule. Mr. Gunn leaves her to work on her to-do list, oddly without comment about her design. Mr. Gunn doesn’t see the avant-garde in Sonjia’s look but rather a "student project." Maybe after looking at all the other crap in the room Mr. Gunn can't see the beauty and restraint in her design. Christopher makes it very clear he has absolutely no idea what the hell avant-garde really means. None! His look reminds me of “Gunsmoke” saloon owner Miss Kitty! Dmitry's look also falls way short of meeting this challenge. It’s more extreme 1980's "ladies who lunch" suiting than anything avant-garde.
Thankfully runway day arrives. Mr. Gunn enters the workroom to once again mention that today is the day the decision will be made regarding who goes on to Fashion Week and who doesn't. No pressure, okay? On the runway Heidi introduces this week's guest judge, Zoe Saldana, who was a guest judge just last season. Is there a shortage of guest judges out there?
First on the runway is Melissa's look with the same vest she did in the baby challenge. Who new she was being avant-garde all along? The floor-length skirt is not particularly well executed or flattering. Next is Fabio's model, who unfortunately removes the jacket way too soon. I don’t love the braided top and sheer palazzo pants. The jacket on a cleaner, slimmer look could be interesting. Not flattering, but interesting. Dmitry is next and now I see who his Wise Mystic inspiration was: Ivana Trump! The wide shoulders, odd removable collar, sheer back "V" on the jacket, the tight-fitting short skirt with nine thousand different hemlines and sheer side panels, and even the French twist hair styling are all classic Ivana at her most Trump-ish. In my book, this is really tacky. Sonjia's emerald and nude gown follows and it is a breath of clean fresh air. The draped green bodice, floating on the nude illusion is modern and minimal. My only critique is that I would have liked a stronger and more unconventional skirt. Now back to Christopher’s “Miss Kitty in saloon funeral attire on ‘Gunsmoke’”. (Who died? Chester or Doc?) While this design is well executed I actually like the back corset detailing it is basically a costume, padded hips and all.
Before we get to the judging I have to remark on the huge styling opportunity missed by all the designers by not creating any hairstyles that would enhance their avant-garde designs. Not one look was anything striking or out of the ordinary.
Now to the judging and the final offing! Sonjia with her Seductive Temptress is first to be critiqued. This is one of the looks that would have benefited from a more exaggerated hair styling. Heidi loves the color and the concept. She sees it on the red carpet, as do I. Her only negative is that she'd like to see the mesh match the model's skin color better. No problem. Heidi asks Nina for her opinion. Nina sees green as the color of envy and not temptation. We need a new script writer for Nina. She is way too smart to make such a dumb statement willingly. MK pushes his way in with his usual barrage of cliche comments: "Ice skating costume for Nancy Kerrigan skating through a banquet hall"...no, wait, it’s "banquet napkins and a table cloth that just blew all over her.” And he doesn't know any woman that would want that much Spanx-y illusion on their back. Comedian Kors isn't done yet. Now he’s impersonating an old woman. Not much of a stretch there! Saldana feels it is incomplete. Actually, she would look amazing in this gown just the way it is. Sonjia definitely could have gone further with this technique. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful, modern and sophisticated design.
Next is Christopher, whose description of his inspiration I find really boring and lame. Padding and overlay? That’s a detail, hardly an emotional description of his Enchanted Queen's persona. But he really enjoys it, so I'm happy for him. MK likes the makeup. Heidi likes the nail polish. Okay, what about the design? MK feels it's a little "goth-Victorian" and a bit costume-y. He adds that it's a couture dress in two daaaays! A lot of yapping about the bust being too small from MK and Saldana. Nina feels there are a few to many ideas on this design. They go on and on about the bust being too flat but not one single reference to this design being AVANT-frigging-GARDE or not.
Dmitry’s Wise Mystic lived in a castle (actually, it was Trump Tower). Heidi thinks it is amazing. There are angles she has never seen before. Could there be a reason for that? Saldana feels the sleeves are stunning, but unfortunately they get lost amid the dozen or so other details in this look. The only thing that is troubling MK are the shoulders and the “Vampira neckline”. We all know MK’s aesthetic and this is not it! Saldana nails it with her Chippendales comment. Nina states that the details are incredible and the work impeccable. Where's that new script writer?
Enchanted Queen #2, please step up. At least Fabio has a vision for his queen: Conflicted image and soul. He accomplished it. His overall look is a bit "Lord of the Rings" for me, but I do see his direction. The re-worked jacket is the strongest piece. The underpinning and pants are definitely costume-department worthy. Heidi and Saldana are not feeling this look. MK is not loving the palazzo pant. They flip the jacket upside down t lots of oohs and aahs. Nina loves the jacket. I say let’s see her wear it.
This painful runway critique continues with Melissa's Artsy Muse. Where did L'Oreal dig up these names? I can just see a customer walking up to the L'Oreal counter and asking for the "Enchanted Queen.” Imagine the possibilities! I guess the third time is the charm with Melissa’s vest. MK loves it. He finds the idea of separates thrilling. Say what? The skirt he finds interesting and flattering? No, MK, this is the table cloth that flew out the window at the banquet you were at earlier! The front is too long and the slit opening is a mess. Nina continues this song and dance, stating that she loves the vest and collar. She does recognize the issues with the skirt. Heidi is not drinking the Kool-Aid. She does not know which outfit is more ugly, Melissa's or Fabio's. It’s definitely a toss-up. Saldana likes it. Yeah, she'd look super in this. Maybe in Avatar 2.
Well, I have one or two I would definitely send home. My two least favorites were Melissa's and Dmitry's. Melissa because we have seen so much of this same jacket/vest thing from the beginning of this season all the way through to the end. Dmitry because his design was dated and the taste level questionable. Chippendales? Vampira?
I love it when they are asked who they would take with them to compete against at Fashion Week. Hello, pick the weakest links, kids. You want to win!
Unfortunately, Sonjia is sent home. Her design captures the best qualities of her muse, Seductive Temptress. It’s understated, glamorous, sexy, mysterious. She was totally robbed of her spot at Fashion Week!
The final tragedy is that Dmitry's homage to excess and dated tackiness wins.
Not the judges’ shining hour in this season, by a long shot. Enough said!
EPISODE 11….What exciting and fashion relevant challenge could there be waiting for the remaining six designers? Possibly a trip to Paris or Milan? Nope, a baby challenge? Gee…THANKS! That was at the top of MY list!
Heidi joins Mr. Gunn at Babies"R"Us where the designers get the news. They can hardly contain their excitement. WRONG! The thought that after surviving 10 challenges one of them will be sent home because they have a loosing "baby" design stinks like a dirty diaper. The two winning designs, one for a boy and one for a girl, will be manufactured and sold in Heidi's baby line "Truly Scrumptious." Dmitry states that "Heidi has like a 105 kids." He's not thrilled and feels "We are all screwed. Those babies are really, really small. It's like making an outfit for a cat." MEOW!
After Heidi sets the record straight with her having only four children we meet their mini clients and moms. The designers are given 30 minutes to consult with the mom's about their little bundles of joy after which the designers are sent back to the workroom with the the ever much dreaded comment from Heidi: "There is something special waiting for you back at the workroom." One can't fool Elena she knows it's not going to be a fun surprise. Yep, got that right! Not only are there life-sized baby mannequins, but life-sized, crying, peeing and you know what. Baby dolls with all the accoutrements…cribs, blankets, bottles and more. What's with the nursery lamps? For night time storytelling? Somewhere there is a scene writer on crack! What can the designers do except to go along with this silly farce. Possibly a great opportunity to grab some more screen time? Mr. Gunn informs them that "these are like real babies." Uh, no they aren't because mine would be in the trash by now. Okay Mr. Gunn? Elena is eyeing the thrash can…go for it!
Lets skip past all the cuddling, coo-cooing and fretting over inanimate plastic baby dolls and get some designing done! Fabio…it is JUST A DOLL! Put the damn thing down…NOW! One thing that immediately the designers have to take into consideration is how tiny their actual garments will be armholes, waistlines, crotches (Yes, a baby has a crotch). Also, function and ease is of PRIME importance. No parent OR uncle wants to struggle with a complicated garment while changing a poop filled diaper, trust me!
Dmitry unknowingly adds another endearing phrase, "cutesy fruitsey" to his "one way monkey" is drawing a hooded jumpsuit for his toddler. Elena is making a denim jacket with a pleated collar detail. This is appears to be a great "item" for such a challenge. A lot of baby clothes are impulse buys based on their hanger appeal. This definitely will have that. I just hope the rest of the outfit is as memorable. Melissa on the other hand is doing a very mediocre outfit with pink and navy zebra leggings. Yikes! Not even Honey Boo Boo would wear those! Uh correction, yes she would and THAT'S the problem!
Sonjia is making a sweat suit in grey cotton jersey accented with navy patch pockets, collar and trim along with a colorful printed tee shirt cute and fun.
Christopher seems to have his hands full with a VERY opinionated and "designer name dropping" glam mom. "Dior does a lot of tulle." Okay. She does understand this look is for her baby? Good thing she's not his client!
Nap time is over and all the little plastic things start crying and demanding attention. Fabio is very adamant that his little angel is fine. It's just going through a phase. Uh maybe it needs it's batteries changed? The amount of play acting with these little gadgets leads me to believe there must have been some coaxing from an unseen source.Maybe that "fourth wall" is adding a little pressure? Whatever, it's getting a tad tedious.
The monotonous life of a single parent is broken by the arrival of Auntie Heidi and Uncle Gunn, here to inspect their progress. I have to say, this is an odd challenge for Heidi to have "sexed up" her eye makeup? I love the Cleopatra like style. It is a super new glamorous look for her, which unfortunately will be lost on the toddlers in this challenge. Elena is up first. Heidi likes her denim jacket with pleated collar. She warns her with those amazing eyes wide open to not mess it up! Elena feels energized after the positive feed back.
Fabio is next with his boy's jumper accented with a large printed pocket on the back and lining detailing. Heidi comments that maybe Fabio is hiding too much detail on the inside is exactly what he needed to make this look pop! Very good critique Auntie!
Dmitry's jumpsuit looks a little like a garden gnome or something out of a Klu Klux Klan Christmas catalogue for kiddies, complete with pointed hoodie! All that it is missing is a mask and a plastic torch.
Sonjia's little grey suit is cute but I sort of see the shawl collar on the jacket as a tad girlie. Heidi encourages her to make the pant fun and interesting. Mr. Gunn interjects, "Not like an old fart outfit." He said it, not me.
Christopher explains the specific demands of his clients mom denim jacket in white, asymmetrical collar, on and on. Shame he couldn't get her to sew it? Heidi designs the remaining portion of his look: a little "A" line dress with white appliquéd flowers all over it. Boy, that was easy!
Melissa is still in "Honey Boo Boo land" with her pull on pants. Apparently so is Heidi she states she has a pair also? She means in her kids line and not in her wardrobe. Thank god! Melissa seems to be sinking fast. She has no real direction in this challenge. Heidi is not impressed and feels there is no "fun factor" at all in her look.
All in all, the designers seem to be breezing through this challenge. We can't have that, so here comes the "twist"…and I'm not talking about the dance. Heidi informs the designers that they get to make a companion look for the moms. Not so bad, but lets whine about it anyway! They are given fifteen minutes to sketch, $150 to spend at Mood and one more day to complete the challenge! And don't forget to bring your little bundles of joy. Does the humiliation ever end? The designers are not thrilled with this new addition to the baby challenge. Elena wants someone to shoot her. A few weeks, back half of the "PR" viewing audience would have volunteered, but now I am really getting to like her.
At Mood Mr. Gunn reminds them that the starring look on the runway is the babies outfit not the mom's. Okay so why bother? Dear Christopher is enamored with some "GORGEOUS" Oscar de la Renta fabrics. He is such a label W_ _ _ E! Melissa seems as off target on this part of the challenge as the baby portion. PPD maybe? Returning to the workroom the plastic babies are laid down for nap time allowing mommies and daddies get back to work! Melissa says bye bye to Honey Boo Boo land and starts on a new white dress too go under her denim jacket. Better? Elena is doing pistachio bloomers….okay. The day draws to a close, mercifully.
Next morning the designers are still being forced to play parents to plastic babies. Tedious, wouldn't you say? Yes, I can hear you say tedious! A few hours into the day and Uncle Gunn mercifully takes them off the designers' hands. I guess even the producers are getting tired of this gimmick by now! Hallelujah, back to focusing on design. I really like Christopher's, or should I say Heidi's and Christopher's white appliquéd dress. It' has a very Madison Avenue baby boutique air about it. Elena's little navy jacket is sweet also, but I'm not feeling the rest of the look. Melissa...girlfriend? That is not a dress for a little toddler. Side draped? Babies don't have a waist at this age so it makes NO sense to try and accent it with the draping. And a side zipper? No way! Totally wrong.
On to the adult looks. Apparently Christopher will have to make a look for his fashion diva mom after all. Maybe she will swoon over "Oscar" as much as Christopher did? The other designers, except Fabio who is using a white a grey floral, are all using tones of grey jersey for their moms. In walk the moms, babies and all.
Dmitry, yep, he has definitely designed an outfit for a garden gnome.
Melissa is finding out why you don't put a side zipper in a toddlers dress as the baby drools all over the neckline. Christopher's fashion diva mom does not like the babies outfit even after he compliments her on her eye makeup. Kiss ass a little more. Mention her lovely hair color and cut! WERQ IT! Actually it doesn't matter if she likes it the dress is adorable! He doesn't fare much better with Oscar's print. Just don't listen to momma. It works beautifully with the toddler's dress. Just fine tune the fit, add the belt and Easter Sunday at the PLAZA here we come! Sonjia say's it beautifully, "Don't be too concerned about what Mary J. Blige is thinking." I'm with her!
Runway day and now free of plastic screaming babies the designers head back to Parsons. The guys definitely see Melissa on the bottom. Christopher is adamant that none of them help her. As harsh as this seems, the fact is that this is a competition. In previous seasons, a winner here or there may not have made it if it hadn't been for the help of fellow designers. You know who I'm talking about!
Moms and babies arrive for final fittings. Christopher's mom is feeling bad about yesterday's comments and wants to make it work for him. Sonjia's toddler's suit is cute, but I love Fabio's. The hat, nautical like trim and back patch details are creative, fun and will have major hanger appeal in the store. Poor Melissa is so far behind she asks her mom to sew a few buttons on the babies outfit. She is still sewing as the designers and their clients head for the runway.
Heidi, wearing a sort of a "Trompe L 'Oeil Peter Pan collar" LBD announces that guest judge this week is Hilary Duff, a new mom herself.
First out is my favorite boys look, Fabio's adorable jumper. That little boy couldn't have enjoyed himself more all smiles and he was owning the runway! Mom's dress, while a tad short up front, is young and fresh. Great job.
Next is Melissa's mess. There is nothing about her babies look that would attract mom's to purchase any of it! The dress is a complete nothing and the jacket somewhere along the way lost it's sleeves. Mom's own outfit is better, but that is not what this challenge is about, right?
Dmitry's little garden gnome/KKK look is up next. Cute but very odd. The skimpy and tight leg proportions of this look doesn't help it either. Mom's look is clean, modern and comfortable.
Sonjia's little man follows in his jersey suit and colorful print t-shirt. The suit is nice. Not loving the "could be anything t-shirt" underneath. It could be a challenge in it's own to keep a toddler that young in a jacket for too long. I feel a sweatshirt/pullover with these sweat pants, basically a jogging suit, would have been a stronger and more practical design. It could have been brightened up with the print used on patch pockets, etc... Love mom's maxi dress and jacket.
Christopher's two looks are next. I love the little dress and jacket. His flower band accent in the hair nicely finishes this very uptown Easter Sunday look. Mom's design also make the cut. Good use of a print in such a clean design.
Elena's look suffers from over-accessorizing. Either the stuffed animal or the hair band have to go. Also her jacket looses its punch with that tacky sequin tee top underneath along with the pistachio bloomers. Great little jacket, not so great overall look. Mom on the other hand is modern and chic.
Kiddies, designer critique time! Sonjia's mom and toddler are first. They all love it. What do I know?
Melissa is not so well received. Heidi does love the jacket. First of all it's a vest. I really can't tell what the hell is going on with it. It's flung wide open and besides something on the back, has ZERO interesting detail or shape. Sorry but I am beginning to feel the producers manipulating this critique JUST a bit!. No producer could bluff through a positive critique about that pillowcase of a dress she is wearing. Considering Melissa'a previous skills of execution on other challenges this is a big FAIL! Mom's look is better but it's not about mom. Hilary has problems wit a lot of the outfit but ends with "other than that I think it is really cute." MK makes a few comments about fabric choices. He likes mom's look better than anyone else. Nina lets her slide by with a very soft critique/ She must be saving her wrath for some other unfortunate designer. Hilary pipes in that until one has a baby you don't know "those things." Come on! It's not rocket science.
Fabio is next and everyone love his look. It's a nod to nautical with out being literal. Heidi likes that it is one piece. She is not loving mom's dress. Does it matter? Nina likes both. She also feels a one piece is a smart choice for the toddler. Hilary also loves his toddler's look. So far my money is on Fabio for the boys win.
Elena is next. MK doesn't see this as a cohesive look but more like leftover items from a baby sample sale. I have to agree. While I like the jacket, as a whole the look falls flat! Heidi feels the same, calling the jacket a show stopper A bit of an overstatement, but it is a great item. Hilary also loves the jacket. Nina's critique is next. Here it comes. She feels the jacket "IS" the problem. She finds it unpractical. Apparently you have to be able to whip things on and off at the drop of a hat. How more difficult is it to take this jacket off than either Christopher's or Sonjia's? A little muttering under Elena's breath brings Nina's critique to an abrupt end. Heidi asks how she feels about the mom's look? "It was my favorite, but this is NOT a mom's challenge!" MEOW!
Dmitry is next. Sorry, what is it? Garden gnome or a Klu Klux Klan Christmas outfit? It is just to weird. Wait, it comes with a built in cape if you unzip the hood! That settles that argument. It's for the KKK. The judges see super heroes. Okay. Nina, try whipping that kid in and out of that get up at a moments notice! On a more sane note, Hilary loves the mom's outfit.
They saved the best for last, Christopher's white floral appliqué dress with denim jacket. Nina sees adorable, but unpractical. Heidi loves it and recognizes the hanger appeal it will have in her collection. Mom's dress also is given good marks. MK feels both mom and baby are dressed for the same event. Hilary likes both jacket and dress along with the head piece. Good accessorizing makes all the difference.
The boys outfits are judged first. MK likes Fabio's nod to nautical. Hilary sees it as practical with the velcro closures and on top of that, very cute. Nina loved Fabio's boyish, fun, easy and practical. Sonjia is next. Everyone likes this look. I just don't feel it as practical. I see mom, rushing to get Junior dressed and she's looking for either the jacket or pants. Maybe one's still in the laundry hamper? Dmitry's look is a success with the judges. Nina sees a red crayon, not a garden gnome? I'm disappointed in her.
Next are the girl's looks. Christopher is a hit with all the judges. Only MK sees a jacket for a toddler this small as being a tug of war to put on and keep on. Agree mom's going to wind up carrying it.
Elena is going down fast. As much as they loved the jacket the comment about hand me downs/sample sale is stuck in their minds.
Melissa fairs just as poorly. Her dress was too grown up for this toddler, draping, side zip and all. MK feels the vest is fantastic…NOT!
Sonjia wins the boy's challenge. I feel strongly that Fabio's look was better in so many ways. It definitely would have had major hanger appeal. Plus, being a total look in one piece it would be easier to care for and most definitely less expensive.
Christopher racks up another win. This one well-deserved.
Dear "beginning to grow on me" Elena is aufed for her sample sale mishmash of a look, even though her jacket was liked by all except Nina. This was a VERY tough choice. Melissa's look was equally as bad along with the fact that her vest was a total dud. Her prior wins definitely saved her. With five designers left, she may not be so lucky next time!
WOW, Episode 10. Where did the time fly? And no more Southern Charm Gunnar. He will be missed! Apparently Fabio has separation anxiety, he slept in Gunnar's bed to ease the pain. I had a cat like that once. Christopher and Ven are switching apartments, moving in with Dmitry and Fabio. Okay, everyone back to your own bed!
Christopher apparently does not enjoy being on the bottom? Ven is still trying to figure out how it was that the judges did not get where he was coming from. Trust me Ven, they knew exactly where you were coming from: Dullsville. I'd suggest not returning there anytime soon.
The girls are busy adding up the wins so far this season. Elena is the last designer still in the competition to not have designed a win. Maybe this time?
Radio City Music Hall, one of NYC most famous landmarks is the destination for the designers to meet Mr. Gunn. There he is on stage with all 36 of the Rockettes. What a vision not Mr Gunn the Rockettes. They are amazing high kicks, unison and sparkle. The huge stage curtain opens and out steps Heidi, looking like she is having the best time ever in her emerald green Rockette costume. She joins the dance line with out missing a step, kicking as high as any Rockette ever has! BRAVA! This new challenge is to design a costume for the Rockettes to be worn in a future production! That's a pretty amazing and exciting challenge for the designers. To have all 36 dancers wearing your design in a venue such as this, WOW! Hope that production isn't too far in the future?
Linda Haberman, director and choreographer of the Rockettes, emphasizes a look that is versatile and can be worn year round. Darn, no Santa outfits. Heidi also wants the designers to realize the importance of their designs having impact from not only up close but also from the upper balconies in this HUGE theater. They are shown a few current Rockette designs for construction purposes and are given 30 minutes to sketch. Ven is going to take his inspiration to the next level. Second balcony? Dmitry is ramping up the sex appeal. Melissa is taking her inspiration from the art deco interior of Radio City Music Hall. Fabio sees a tonal Rockette. Elena is feeling upbeat and confident. Hallelujah!
At Mood we are not sure of the budget or shopping time. Producers? Christopher is envisioning the NYC skyline actually a great idea for such an iconic venue as RCMH … if done well! Sonjia is not in the mood at Mood. She is not getting it at all. What she does get are purple feathers. Really? Feathers, more often than not, don't go over to well on PR. They can fall in that dreaded "pee pad" fugly category that MK loves to hate!
Ven can't find his modern crystals. Does this mean it's back to his flower power? HOPE NOT! It is true though that Mood for some reason has almost zero inventory in this category!
Elena's earlier confidence is ditched for her more familiar "OMG, WTF IS HAPPENING" emotion! That didn't take to long, did it? At the register she over shoots the budget of $250. Thank you Elena for filling us in on that little detail. That girl can shop. Luckily she hates everything she selected so it's not too painful to edit it down to the $250 budget.
In the workroom, the designers are informed they have only til 7:30 pm to work. What, half a day? Yep, so the designers can go out in the "real world" for dinner at a restaurant. Nice! The producers are turning the designers into softies this season. The next thing there will be conjugal visits!
As soon as Mr. Gunn exits the room, Elena doesn't miss a "voice of doom" nano second. She is envisioning her impending death due to her bad fabric and color choices She is really cracking up as she gets "jolly" with Dmitry to his horror!
Both Sonjia and Melissa are worried about their directions. Ven and Elena are at opposite ends of glitz spectrum. Ven wants to edit his look into "slumber land" and Elena is all about gluing on as much "sparkle" as possible.
Christopher … what can I say … ANYTHING to get camera time! At first I thought it was a re-incarnated Lena Horne sitting there. Unfortunately it wasn't.
Sonjia who apparently doesn't have a sketch OR idea appears to be channeling "Josephine Baker" with her purple feathered mess. Cock-a-doodle-do, this will not do!
Dinner time arrives and for the first time in weeks the designers are somewhat mingling amongst the living. It appears from a few wide yawns that some of the designers would have preferred an early bedtime to dinner on the outside. Elena's soft side opens up with a glass or two of wine. She recognizes her past bitchiness to Dmitry and offers her apology. More wine flows and now Ven breaks through his wall, describing his loneliness at being the youngest child in his family playing in the snow by himself and making "snow flowers" no doubt? Now he feels like the loner in the workroom. Dmitry is enjoying all the designer revelations. The wine is working.
Next morning and seven hangovers later we are back in the workroom. Several designers are still in limbo with the final direction of their designs with Sonjai being the most undecided. All that is on the mannequin is a purple feathered miniskirt. She had better start writing her exit speech if that's all she has!
Melissa has created a jigsaw of 18 pattern pieces. Fortunately of all the designers, she is the most disciplined and organized. I feel whatever she is making she will be able to pull it off.
There is a VERY fine line between what is a Rockettes costume and what a band majorette would wear. Elena has way passed it. All she needs are white boots with pompoms and a baton to twirl and you could put her at the head of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!
Christopher's NYC skyline is taking shape and I have to say it looks super. I can definitely see all 36 Rockettes kicking away in RCMH! Love the choice of the silvery white ottoman and the crystal detailing. Clean, fresh and modern!
The Mr. Gunn mentoring time begins. Sonjia is lost in nowhere land and stays there after her moment with Mr. Gunn. Elena doesn't fare any better. She is still marching and twirling at the head of a parade. Even Mr. Gunn sees the need for a Lord & Taylor baton. Do they sell batons?
Dmitry is using his experience with professional dancing to create his look. It has visual interest, movement and will read well from any distance. Christopher of course has to chime in with his astute opinion. Sorry Christopher, but I'm still recovering from the mess you sent down the runway last week.
Fabio has a bitch on his hands. The sequins he chose are not easy to work. "Bitch slap that bitch," Mr. Gunn suggests. Get down, gurrrlll! I am surprised there is no mention of the putty color spandex like full bodice. It is totally opaque. It's like a turtleneck warm up top. Definitely amps up the dumpy effect of this not so glam look! Big miss on that critique.
Christopher's look is definitely heading for the top. The sheer he chose "is" actually sheer, unlike Fabio's, and it works. All he is missing are more crystals for the NYC sky and it will be perfect!
Melissa's look at this point is void of any sparkle ort of a major requirement on such a huge stage. I do like the contrast of the hot pink with the black and her "deco" edge. Melissa, get sparkling and fast!
Poor Ven. No this isn't another Lord & Taylor dress challenge! Add a floor length chiffon skirt and you have a very basic mother of the bride dress! How exciting. Not!
Mr. Gunn is unimpressed with where most of the designers are at this stage of the challenge so it's back to Mood for more chatzky embellishments. Good news for Elena, Sonjia, Melissa and Christopher. Fabio, Dmitry and Ven decide to staybehind in the workroom. Ven ... go ... anything will help your look ... please go! All the hand work in the world will not accomplish what you need to deliver for this challenge! At Mood, Elena is over dosing on sparkles. Melissa is not quite sure what she needs to amp up her look. Christopher gives her $50 to help her finance her black sequins. NICE! Poor Sonjia still can''t figure out what direction her top needs to take. Why is she making this so hard? I feel her initial choice of feathers has created a design block that she can't seem to work around. More feathers are not what I was hoping for!
Back at Parsons the models arrive for the one and only fitting! Elena needs to stop re-enforcing the majorette theme and get back to the Rockettes! Melissa has a ton left to do on her design. Nary a sparkle or sequin has yet to appear anywhere. But she is miles ahead of Sonjia who doesn't even have a top to fit. She gets a monetary check in with her boyfriend. His encouragement is great a big help at a time like this for sure. This contact is finally what she needs to get her design moving! Hallelujah!
Ven continues his voyage down the river of denial "It's not too much and it's not to little." No Ven, it's not enough and yes it is way to little! Look around you. How does your look compare to the stage impact of the others? Mercifully the second day has come to an end. Sleep well everyone.
Next morning it is fairly easy to see who will score well, Dmitry and Christopher. Both looks complete the challenge exceptionally well. On the bottom, well, that's a slightly more crowded category. I feel if Melissa can finish her look with some degree of pizzaz she will be safe. The others ... not so sure. Two hours for hair and makeup along with a few miracles please! In the sewing room Melissa has the pull of her zipper come off in her hands. Major time issue replacing that for sure. Just what you need as you are trying to tweak the final touches of your design, right?
Miracles of miracles, Sonjia has a top a cute one at that. Not sure it meets the requirements, but cute none the less. Dmitry's look is totally RCMH. I just wish it wasn't quite so generic. Poor Melissa has to sew her model into the dress. As long as your not glueing her into it, right Oliver?
I am really enjoying Elena's personality this episode. She is funny, self-depreciating with humor and is relating so well to the other designers. Hope she has the opportunity to continue this behavior next episode?
On to the runway where we learn Debra Messing, star of "SMASH", is the quest judge for this challenge. Love her! Dmitry's look is first. It has great stage appeal, movement and sparkle, but does it make enough of statement to win? From the look on Heidi's face, YES! Melissa's deco inspired look is next. All her hard work paid off along with that much needed second trip to Mood. While there isn't the usual movement found in most dance costumes it definitely has the stage appeal needed to reach the furthest row of seats. Also I love the hat just the right touch.
Ven's very pale grey MOB design "cut off to mini-dress proportions" is next. Yes it is perfectly executed, except for a strangely bad hem (Ven, how did that slip by?). But it in no way meets the criteria of this challenge. He at least could have opened up the center triangle for a little relief and detail. Sorry, two thumbs down.
Sparkle mania explodes onto the runway next with Elena's design. OMG. Really, you needed to add two rhinestone and sequin cuffs along with a hair ornament to this? And that mass of crystals at the neck is QVC jewelry gone wild!
Christopher couldn't have asked for a better design to follow than Elena's. Her excess and lack of a modern point of view just enhances his beautifully designed and restrained look. Nothing here is done to excess and it is beautifully styled. I love her short wavy hair retro but in a very modern and subtle way. My only criticism is that the skirt doesn't allow for much movement, but hell it looks good so who cares!
I still see Josephine Baker singing "J' adieux amours" in Sonjia's design. Of course with just a touch more exposed skin! Do we really want to see 36 of these dancing across the RCMH stage? Certainement pas!
Next is what I think is the oddest design by far, Fabio's ode to a female gladiator who for some reason is compelled to wear a sleeveless turtleneck under her armor. Is the Colosseum chilly this time of year? This look is also very close to entering the dress category, minus the turtleneck of course.
On the runway the designers nervously await the pre-auffing selection. Fabio is safe, turtleneck and all. The remaining six have the highest and the lowest scores. With the models back on the runway each designer is asked to explain their looks. Sonjia is up first. Good luck! Her explanation doesn't fly, not even with all those feathers. Heidi expected looks that are show stoppers and she doesn't see that in this design. Nina sees the reality of girls who are dancing, kicking, etc... made out of feathers as a major problem. She sees a little purple bird not a Rockette! Debra Messing sees a not so great group of "molting" Rockettes. Nina finishes it off with a vision of a turkey fest! Not good how ever much you like turkey!
Dmitry fares much better. Heidi loves his look. The blue and black are a hit with all the judges. MK likes the attention to detail. Nina likes the bare to covered up ratio and the skirts movement. Modern and chic I'll settle for that! Debra loves it but feels it may be a tad to sexy for the little, little ones. Does she watch TV? "Jersey Shore" ring a bell? That's trashy. This is tasteful!
Poor Ven describes a design he has yet to create. Everything he describes as his intention is not presented in this look. It has zero stage appeal, up close or far away. If there are any design details in there I can't see them. All I see is a basic little party dress. Heidi sees boring. Ven definitely would have benefited from that second trip to Mood instead of staying behind to do his hand work. MK sees a yawn of a MOB with a chopped off hem.
Melissa explains her deco influence. Heidi feels it has potential but the more she looks at it the more she sees issues. Okay, what's with the #1 on the front? Just an overlook? Pass. MK also sees a chopped off cocktail dress. Nina likes the color but sees a cigarette girl and calls it a real miss. Ouch! Debra doesn't like the neckline. It is the exact neckline by the way that she used in the Lord & Taylor challenge. I'm paying attention!
Christopher's NYC Skyline is a big success with everyone. No surprise there. His explanation also validates their appreciation of the entire idea! MK sees a Bob Mackie moment! Christopher can't help himself with stating his love for Debra. A little brown nosing with the guest judge? Paaalease!Elena does a fairly good job of promoting the ideas behind her design, movement and color. Unfortunately all MK sees is a Las Vegas cheerleader: tacky, tacky, tacky and lets not forget busy and tacky!Debra sees a circus performer maybe atop a blind elephant! The biggest problem Nina sees is her choice of fabric along with all the matchy matchy cuffs, shoes and hair ornament. Heidi sees a cheesy Las Vegas mall. I'm beginning to feel bad for Las Vegas! Oh lord, here it comes: another stage breakdown. Fast forward please!
The judges confer…Dmitry and Christopher are on top. MK sees a long version of Dmitry's walking the red carpet at the Oscars! Debra sees a modern Rockette look. Nina points out that Christopher's skirt has no movement. MK and Debra love the iconic NYC vibe so the lack of movement is overlooked! Lack of movement is not overlooked in Melissa's design. Also I can't see dancers enjoying that crumb catcher of a neckline.
On the bottom we have Sonjia in what MK sees is a crazy disco turkey and worse with mashed boobs! Do turkeys even have boobs?
Next up is Ven and it doesn't look good. MK sets the mood with the RCMH curtain opening and 36 BLAHS come out! Yikes, not good. Neither is MK suggestion of "ORIGAMI ROSE" as his drag name. Poor guy, he just can't see the train wreck before it hits the wall. It's a little to late now!
Elena continues to drag Las Vegas through the mud with MK description of a "Vegas twirler." She does win for ugliest fabric. The big decision is who to "AUF"? Turkeys, blahs or twirlers? Not an easy decision.
The win is a much easier decision to make Christopher's stunning NYC Skyline. That will be a thrill for him to be seated in RCMH and actually get to see 36 of the world famous Rockettes perform in his design. Congratulations!
Ven is aufed. I am sorry he never managed to step out of his comfort zone. What true designer wants to continually do the same thing over and over? A designer needs to grow and expand their creativity just as any artist. I have serious doubts if he can embrace this concept!
Episode 9 opens with the designers reminiscing about the previous weeks on "Project Runway." They are about half way through the season at this point. I see by Christopher's bedside clock that they are letting the designers "sleep in" it's 6:25 am, a fairly late start on "Project Runway." I definitely can relate to Gunnar's view on how grueling, physically and mentally, this competition becomes at this point. For me, the isolation from the world outside was the most difficult to adjust to. I would have done anything at this point for a stroll "alone" through Central Park or have a cappuccino in a quiet cafe in the village. That's how I recharge my designer brain cells. "Alone" on "Project Runway" exists only in the bathroom.
Everyone is glad last week is behind them. Both Dmirty and Elena agree that they both want to stay as far away from one another as possible. That's a great plan.
On the runway, Heidi, in a sexy strapless leather accented dress, greets the remaining designers. Heidi is expecting to be WOWED by the designers in this challenge. Yes, please before the entire season is OVER! Setting his sights on winning the entire season sweet Gunnar has big plans for the prize money. He wants a new pair of boots for himself and a boob job for mom! Or is it the other way around?
Off to the workroom where Mr. Gunn and the ever so talented and fabulous Mondo Guerra introduce them to the "HP and Intel" challenge. The designers will be creating a textile design along with a modern runway look inspired by each designers "cultural heritage." This could be an exciting challenge for each designer to really look outside that darn "box" and be creative. Did you hear me VEN?
On Season 9, in the HP and Intel challenge, faced with a oversized "mechanical gear" print, I created one of my favorite looks of the season the one-shoulder mid-calf dress with black industrial zipper bodice detail. I said one of my favorites, definitely not the judges.
Mondo reminds us of his "coming out " on the runway during the HP and Intel challenge during Season 8 concerning his HIV status. That moment, he tells us, changed his life. Adding to this, his courage and honesty with revealing his HIV status has undoubtably helped others with HIV move forward. YEAH MONDO!
On to the challenge. One hour to sketch. But first, an overload of family reunions, as one close relative or significant other of the designers enters the workroom. One on one this is pleasant to watch, but all together just a bit to "UBER" gooey and sweet! Tears flow followed by hugs galore. I really am not interested, sorry! A full SIX PLUS minutes later and with the reunions behind us the designers finally get to work. Whew!
Christopher hates prints. Dmitry is pulling from his grandfather and father, both artist. Ven is doing ... FLOWERS! Why stop now? Gunnar, taking a que from Mondo, is expelling his past of being bullied as a young man is school. Good therapy. The print? Not so good. And by the way, his mom has great boobs! Off to Mood to select notions and anything else they may need to help WOW Heidi and the judges. With 30 minutes and $100 they definitely need to think about how they can enhance their final runway look.
Back at Parsons, Elena has trouble with patterning a straight skirt. Hmm? Gunnar is going equestrian. Close to his roots? Please explain. Is there a horse thief in the family tree? His initial look is borderline uptight. Does he ride side saddle? How else could one ride a horse in a below the knee straight skirt? Christopher is doing an abstract "ladybug" print. Ven needs to go into the florist business. He is obsessed with flowers. His new look has free form pleated hibiscus flowers. It's actually not a bad start. At least it's not that damn origami technique! Sonjia is making a printed pant with a simple top. Doesn't say WOW to me, but maybe to the judges. Dmitry is venturing off into "separates land." A good move. "OOOHHH," Dmitry states dramatically. His sense of humor definitely helps in situations like this. He is developing a beautiful jacket with triangular shapes, held together with mesh. Ralph Rucci, give him a call! Christopher is between two stale looks. Neither anywhere near "WOW LAND!" Also he has issues with not having the printed yardage at hand. Understandable? No. His designs are so simple that the print really won't impact how he uses it.
Has the Mr. Gunn inspection time arrived? Nope. He announces that the designers' loved ones are waiting for them back at the Atlas for more hugs and kisses along with hopefully some homemade food! It's almost like they are being reunited with their loved-ones after years of captivity by Columbian rebels! Sorry, way to forced emotional fodder for me. I'd have enjoyed a little more air time on the fashion front!
Next day, the printed fabrics are waiting the return of the designers. I have to say most of the prints are great. Christopher loves his print but is still stuck on which sooooo basic "silhouette" to make. Toss a coin. Gunnar's print is sort of like the pattern embroidered on mens corduroy pants ducks, lobsters, golf clubs and other WASPY notions. I like Elena's, Melissa's, Sonjia's and Dmitry's. They're all very vibrant and WOW-ABLE! The always intellectualizing Fabio sees fallopian tubes, vaginas, penises AND copulation in his pattern. Heidi said WOW not WOAH!
Ven embarks on his one-hundredth floral tribute. This time by placing pleated flowers diagonally across the front of his dress. Actually, I sort of like the idea. I just wish he had made the entire dress out of his print, not just the appliqués. That along with a more interesting silhouette. He wants it to "SCREAM" Ven. It snores.
Gunnar opens up about being bullied and harassed as a boy. His print with the bird being clawed at by "wretched hands" is a strong statement. I just wish his design reached deeper into that feeling. His look is so basic and unemotional that the energy and dynamics get lost!
Melissa is getting dizzy from staring at her print. I do like the balance, 50/50 red and white. It's very fresh and sharp.
Mr. Gunn enters, finally, for his long awaited critique session. First up is Christopher. He is still on the fence about his two looks. Jump!
Sonjia's pant looks good. What's happening up top? Also, thats a lot of flare in those legs. Have you considered a slimmer pant?
Dmitry's jacket looks super. Very different from anything so far this season!
The" FTD" man, Ven, has created what Mr. Gunn sees as an "homage to a menstrual cycle"? Sorry, but that is not only a ridiculous statement, but it is also sort of really in bad taste. Either Mr. Gunn is having a "rorschach ink blot moment" from some horrible childhood memory or he is just trying to be shocking. No, he means it! He seems visibly disturbed. Now he sees maxi pads? He turns to the room and asks the other designers if he is crazy. Someone needs a day off. No, maybe an entire week would be good! "All right Ven. Thank you," and Mr. Gunn turns around and walks off without any constructive comment. Thanks!
On to Fabio and his sex imbued print. Mr Gunn doesn't notice anything. Guess he's not as familiar with penises and vaginas as he is with that other topic? But he does love the black organza over the print. That's a good thing!
Mr. Gunn feels Melissa is on the right track with her veins and arteries. Beautiful!
Elena's look is associated with a "Marlo Thomas/'That Girl'" look which draws a blank stare from Elena. Nope, sorry. She doesn't have a clue. "That Girl" apparently was not big on Ukrainian TV.
Gunnar's jacket has Mr. Gunn wiping his eyes. He is not a fan of it. He feels it is like a "don't bully me suit of armor." That WAS his inspiration by the way! I actually like the stark black and print proportions. Add a slim black or print pant, get the fit corrected and it would be a sharp runway look! It worked for Prada this season!
A successful designer has to stick to their guns, no pun intended. Once you start to listen to other voices and water down your original look it's all over. I feel both Ven and Gunnar are potentially headed to "aufsville."
The models come and go. We revisit Ven in his flower shop as he falls back into his origami routine. He should have worked out his first design. It had potential. This doesn't!
The designers and their loved ones head off for the runway. Enter Heidi in a subtly toned smokey print dress. Very nice. There are two guest judges, Mondo and Season 9 winner Anya. First out is Sonjia's printed pant and black cowl backed jersey top. Sonjis did a great job matching the print in the crotch area. I still feel the legs are way to wide giving them a sloppy appearance. at the hem. Narrow they would have looked very current and sharp.
Next on the runway is Elena's hip length jacket and short skirt. I love this entire look. Yep, that's what I said! She used a solid wide band of color to off set her vibrant print. And it works. Gunnar, are you paying attention? She adds further interest with a slight tonal variation in the short skit. Styled perfectly.
Next is Christopher's sad "ladybug in mourning" dress. Not much to say. Not much at all.
Ven's design is next. Seeing this I hope he realizes his mistake in not sticking to his original design. At least it was not the same old tired look, AGAIN! To make matters worse the shape of his flower print doesn't have any relation with the origami skirt, none at all. One more comment. I hate designs that have all the interest in the front and are bare bones in the back. Looks cheap.
Fabio's look is dark. His print is barely visible through the black organza nary a P or V in site!
Melissa's dress makes a strong runway statement. The print along with the proportions are sleek and clean. I'm loving the back neckline. This is a very uptown look from this somewhat downtown girl. Just a tad over-accessorized.
Gunnar is next with his cropped jacket. Again, I feel he should have stuck to his original design and made it work! The solid proportions like on Elena's jacket would have added the punch that print needed. Oh well.
Dmitry is last. I love the jacket technique and the print. My only criticism is I would have liked to see more of the print. Maybe a dress or pant instead of that flight attendant looking black skirt? Regardless, great job!
With all the designers on the runway, Heidi calls Elena and Fabio forward. They are safe. I am very surprised to not have Elena's look in the running for the win. I feel Mondo definitely would appreciate her vibe and colors in this challenge. Now for the wolves Christopher was worrying about. Melissa is the first to explain her print direction. She chose the colors of the Polish flag, red and white. How chic! MK is impressed by her PARK AVENUE vibe. She nailed it. Love Mondo mentioning how the neckline echoes the print. Smart guy! Anya feels she could have pushed it a little bit further. Okay, where?
Mr. FTD, Ven, is up next. Heidi sees a Hawaiian airline hostess. Heidi, that's flight attendant, okay? She points out that the ever so familiar flower on the bottom in no way relates to the Hibiscus print on top. Right on that. MK is loosing patience with seeing the same idea week after week after week! Mondo and Anya both feel there is way to much happening that is not accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Dmitry fares better. MK is very impressed with how far he stepped out of his dress comfort zone. Dmitry sort of holds it in when Mondo states he feels it is a little over designed. Most of the critiques are sort of vague until Nina steps in. She nails it with the connection between the print dictating the patterns shaped into the jacket. Love her! I am surprised no one mentions the skirt. Dated and well, just dated!
Gunnar is next. After his explanation of the feelings that inspired his print things go down hill FAST. Heidi is not liking it one bit. MK sees a sheet of bird postage stamps. That's a good one. Nina understands the angst he put into the design but questions the prints impact. Heidi doesn't want to wear his ANGST! Mondo sees the print as to chaotic. Anya doesn't get it. Maybe it's the sleeves?
Sonjia succeeds with her palazzo pant and simple black top. Mondo loves it. MK sees a potential "pac-man" crotch problem if the pattern isn't as well matched as Sonjia managed to accomplish.
Christopher gives a fairly weak intro to his design, "I think it's really pretty." Heidi expects more, especially at this stage of the game. It reminds me of the sloppy LBD he did much earlier in the season. Nina is very disappointed. Mondo feels it's over designed. MK sees Kitchen curtains. Definitely not a WOW moment!
Melissa fares well with the judges but Dmitry and Sonjia are on top. As I said earlier, I feel strongly Elena should have been in the top if not the winner. Dmitry's look is a conflict for Mondo. He wants more print. By the way this is a print challenge he reminds the other judges. They are not listening.
Wait, what the heck. Mr. Gunn is called on set to repeat his drama over envisioning his idea of an homage to you know what! Really? Instead of stifling Ven's new direction, Mr .Gunn could have inspired him to take it up a notch and really go for it. Nope. So here we are with this same look AGAIN! So much for mentoring!
Dmitry wins and it's about time. Good job on using the "least print in the print challenge and there by winning the print challenge." Go figure?
Sweet Gunnar is aufed. That's what can happen when you listen to voices other than your own. Gunnar dug deep, maybe too deep but as bad as it was he did try. FTD just delivered the same dried up old flowers once AGAIN!
Christopher is aghast that Gunnar is still in the line. He is soooo furious! Sweet.
On the runway, our platinum goddess Heidi announces that good negotiation skills are needed for this challenge? Back in the workroom the designers find 2nd grade arts and crafts materials waiting for them with Mr. Gunn. I'm shuddering at the possibilities. They designers' first challenge will be to create merchandise to sell on the street in the Meatpacking District of Greenwich Village. Ms. Negativity Elena is not thrilled … surprise. Actually can't blame her on this one. I wouldn't exactly embrace a challenge that entails all this waisted energy and pointless bruha. Oh and by they way, it is ANOTHER team challenge ... HAPPY, HAPPY!
No one wants to be on Elena's team. Why? Just kidding! Team One consists of Christopher, his little brother Gunnar and big sister Sonjia. Poor Dmitry's worst nightmare comes true he and Elena are on the same team. Medics stand by! He wonders what he did in a past life to deserve this? Maybe he was Joseph Stalin? Poor Alicia is their third member good luck. Team Three consists of Ven, Fabio and Melissa. This should be a mellow trio provided Ven can rein in his ego and origami tendencies! The designers are given three hours to develop and make their merchandise. T-shirts seem to be the most popular item on the list followed by totes and accessories. On Team One there seems to be tons of brotherly harmony between Christopher and Gunnar…. Team One is knocking out sharp stenciled tees. Always suspicious Christopher isn't quite sure little brother Gunnar is being totally sincere. And Christopher, are you?
Elena is not thrilled with her teams product: ugly tees spray painted neon colors. Meltdown number one has arrived. Dmitry is trying to swim upstream against Elena's negative and doom orientated comments and attitude! Alicia needs to step up and be just a bit more of a voice in this trio.
Not much to report on Team Three. At least there are no origami tees on the horizon so far!
Down in the Meatpacking District it's evident that Elena's lack of communication skills are not limited to designing. "We are trying to sell these crappy t-shirts." Good sales pitch! Appears to be a lot of scary stalking going down on 14th street. Doesn't that usually start way after dark? Oh well!
Somehow the designers unload several thousand dollars of CRAP on poor unsuspecting tourist from around the world. Back at Parsons, the actual challenge is to create two looks with one outerwear piece 7#151; piece of cake actually. The teams state sketching. I shudder as I see Ven sketching another damn origamis look! No, No, Noooooo! Elena is doing another Blade Runner in Hell look of a jacket! Alicia is making the under pinnings not much of a statement there.
Off to Mood and Team One has it down selecting textured and tonal fall colors. Team Two is mired in very predictable grey! Team Three is selecting ivory and pale tonals a bit more spring than fall.
Elena and Dmitry start off disagreeing right off the bat! I feel both are doing the same old same old that they both usually do. Elena, a butch coat and Dmitry, another basic dress with different detailing! Ands they don't go together AT ALL! Team Three okay Ven ... STOP THE F N ORIGAMI STUFF! Ven's skirt is tossed for a full pleated and below the knee skirt. I sort of like their color story, but not sure about the shapes yet! Team One is moving along. Gunnar has two dresses prepared along with Christopher's sleeveless camel trench. Sonjia is working on a sharp edged fitted jacket.
Dmitry is hoping for a silver bullet and wooden strake to take the witch Elena out! I think one or the other would do it? Christopher suggests a horse tranquilizer ... nah … a stake through the heart!
Models arrive and the fittings are stress free until the bitch in Gunnar erupts. He feels his dresses are the cats meow while both other team mates are lagging! Careful.
On to Heidi and the judges. This week Anna Sui is guest judge. She is know for fresh, romantic and detailed designs!
First out is Team Two. Dmitry's coat and soooo old fringed scarf. Dress looks fine but loose that homemade wrap. Next is Elena's two tone coat with Alicia's pant and underpinning. Meeeehhh. Same old TRON thing again. And poorly executed.
Next is Team One. Sonjia's jacket is sharp and has a great silhouette. Christopher's trench is a bit odd, but sort of cool! Gunnar's dresses are good, but not great!
Team Three has the most unusual and best vibe, I think. VERY Jill Sander. Very sophisticated and young. Melissa's ivory leather jacket is a great counterpoint to the the pale pink top and dove gray full pleated skirt. Fabio's grey coat also is young, although not well executed. The underpinning is WAY to sheer.
LINE UP PLEASE! Team One scores the highest. Sorry Team Three.
Next Team Two stumbles through their critique with Elena refusing to participate ... just bitch! Working with Elena is impossible. She needs psychiatric help! Dmitry is told the shawl is old. Correct. Elena is criticized for doing the same old same old jacket. And a bad one at that! Alicia is in trouble for being invisible.
Fabio introduces Team Three's looks. While not perfect, I feel this was the most interesting group. Sorry judges!
Sonjia wins. Yeah! Alicia is out. Boo hoo. I liked her. She was always steady and in control. I was hoping Miss Egovania would have been AUFED! Soon?
Heidi introduces Episode 7 looking like the supermodel she is, stunning in a bronze/deep orange tonal sequin shift! Beautiful!
The nine remaining designers while starting to show just a "bit" of fatigue after six challenges, all seem in great spirits and ready for this next challenge. They are off to meet Mr. Gunn somewhere on Fifth Ave. Their destination is the legendary Lord & Taylor flagship store to be exact. Lord & Taylor, like Sak's Fifth Avenue and Macy's has for generations been a shopping destination, offering fashion, style and value for New Yorker's and shoppers around the world. DECADES ago in the 70s, I and fellow Parsons design students regularly "shopped" Lord & Taylor for fashion and industry knowledge! It is probably "the NYC department" store most synonymous with the "dress"!
Mr. Gunn introduces Bonnie Brooks, the president of Lord & Taylor. I am surprised and excited to see that this challenge incorporates "Project Runway's" Fashion's Night Out event that nine former "PR" designers. Nick Verreos and myself among them, each designed a look, apparently to be rounded out by the tenth design, from the winner of this challenge! Now this challenge is what "Project Runway" should be all about. The dresses will retail between $200 - $300. The challenge is for one day and there will be NO TRIP TO MOOD. JS Collection, the manufacturer of the ten dresses, has provided all the fabrics and trimmings they will need. Designers, get designing! Sweet Gunnar, I like him now, is focusing on a LBD along the esthetic lines of Season 1 winner Jay McCarrol. Christopher has done some merchandising and decided to do a gown as there are only two gowns from former designers, Chris March and myself. Clever!
Elena, in her zipped up hooded parka (It's frigging July, okay!) seems like a lost child. She appears to be uncomfortable with this challenge. Come on, this is a breeze. DESIGN a DRESS … duh? Melissa has it down she totally connects with the challenge. I'm surprised to see Sonjia is floundering a bit. I would have thought this challenge would have sung to her, LOUD and CLEAR!
Back at Parsons, the designers select the fabrics provided by JS Collection. When I researched this company for my design I was amazed at the quality, stye and luxury they provide at the price points they offer. This is the type of challenge "PR" should develop more often, real fashion for a real market! Uh oh, Christopher is using his shredding technique, AGAIN! Sort of like Ven's origami ... and by the way he's also at it again. ZZZZzzzZZZZ!
11 pm is the deadline for the first day. What happened to like midnight, 1 am, 2 am? In Season 9 for Heidi's "sneaker" challenge, we were at Parsons from 7 am til 2 am the following day and we needed every second. Mopey Elena needs a Red Bull or something. And take your parka OFF! Considering this is the sweetest challenge all season you would think she could be just a tad excited. Finally we see muslin being ripped, mannequins being taped and a design or two taking shape. Gunnar is in love with black lace so much that it hurts? Careful. Finally, we hear from Ven. Okay that's just enough! Elena is moaning again. What exactly do they wear in the Ukraine? That's right, parkas. She makes it sound like designing a dress is from another world. Maybe she is a bit anxious, remembering her last few runway experiences not happy memories for her or us. Sonjai also continues down the road of anxiety. Alicia, cool and calm as always is developing a unique but classic twist on a Chanel dropped waisted silhouette form the 30s. Modern and young. Dmitry is executing another sleek little dress, unfortunately so very similar to all his previous sleek little dresses. Melissa wanted a hardware store challenge? Shhh, the producers are listening girlfriend!
The "Chiffonies" term is getting a tad old in this episode. Maybe some of the women are hanging on to it to deflect their fears of not having a clue about this what to design? Hmm? Ven opens his big mouth once more to insert his even bigger foot into it by commenting that "men are usually stronger designers, while women are a little more practical." First of all, those two terms don't relate. One can be strong and practical, OKAAAY! Ven, last episode you alienated most women over a size 4. Now you are narrowing any chance of possibly working for say, Donna Karen, Monique Lhullier, Vera Wang to mention just a few. Ferme la bouche, mon dieu! Christopher gives us a little "how to" on his fabric manipulation/shredding. I know after tonight, almost every home sewer across America will be manipulating/shredding after his detailed demonstration!
Mr. Gunn is strolling the work room. Gunnar's LBD accented with matte sequins and lace is conservative but tasteful. He is just a bit concerned it may be a bit "matadorish." Mr Gunn sees it. I don't.
Alicia's dress is looking a bit rough. Mr. Gunn sees Joan of Arc? Alicia is pleased he didn't see a princess. Please loose the electric blue inserts. I have to applaud her for doing such a subtle silhouette. Will the judges appreciate it?
Fabio is working on a LBD with too many details for my book. I'm OVER the exposed zipper idea! I especially don't like it with the asymmetric hem. Zip should be on left side leaving a clean back to accentuate the hem line.
Elena, Ms. PARKA 2012, is still struggling to find her Lord & Taylor vibe. Mr. Gunn opens the flood gates and Eena has another mini meltdown. .He walks her back off the ledge with some insightful "make it work" statements.
What ALL THE DESIGNERS need to know is that at this price point a design can have loads of detailing and construction interest. I am always amazed when I see designs in this market that are anything but basic. The customer expects fashion at every price!
Ven is creating what looks like "The Black Hole" on the bodice of his dress. Sort of nasty and a bit, "Uh, you know what that looks like?" Not sexy! Dmitry is executing a sleek grey and silver dress accented with body conscious seaming. It's nice, but how about another silhouette/proportion for a change?
Christopher is designing an ever so soft pink bodice with his shredding thing going on and a long slim black crepe skirt. The most important element of this run of the mill look is that it is a gown. It is nothing really new or exciting, but his thought of adding a third gown may just get him on top!
Melissa has created a design that says Melissa! A strapless brocade gown with an uber high "crumb catcher" neckline. It's dramatic and modern. I see Ms. Klum wanting this! Not quite sure what the drama is about with the fabric ... move on! A minute or two in the designer lounge to CALM DOWN! Models arrive, something I always enjoyed someone from the "outside world!" A possible chance to get some current news, like what's happening on the Kardashians, etc. :)
Melissa is pleased that her model likes the fabric. Mood change, yeah! Gunnar is happy with his look. Fabio is adding years to his model with a matronly three strand necklace. Sorry, styling not Fabio at all. Christopher loves the pale pink on his models skin tone, good choice. Hallelujah, Alicia got rid of the electric blue insert! Love the dress, but silhouette may not translate to the customer Lord & Taylor have in mind. She can't have any hips or boobs in that look. She loves it and that is what is important. Dmitry is on track with his fitted sheath. Sonjia is channeling the 80s with a retro peplum dress. Not bad but not current!
One hour left in the work day. Get moving and get worrying! The girls are all having some time management issues. Nighty night, get some rest. Right? Okay, wake up. It's probably not even sunrise and those pesky PA are nocking at your apartment door. God, I hated them! Off to Parsons where last night's drama is waiting patiently. Two hours for hair and makeup. Final fittings. Ven of course feels his design is the best. Well, honey, it ain't! I actually am liking Elena's bondage inspired Breakfast at Tiffany's bouffant LBD. Different, loads of interesting construction and YOUNG!
And as always when we were running out of time … sewing machine drama. Threads and needles break, tension is off. What ever can go wrong will. At this point in the season, there are several free machines so just jump up and go to the next one! Okay, just a little more sobbing and hand wringing in the workroom. Are we finished?
I'm ready for the runway even if they aren't! Guest judge is Bonnie Brooks from Lord & Taylor. LOVE Nina Garcia in that knit, almost chain mail, YSL dress. Heidi must have a date later. She looks stunning in what I think is a Dolce & Gabbana strapless pink sequined dress. WOW! Let the games begin. First out is Fabio's. Hate the styling way to conservative for him, but dress is well executed. The second look and the second asymmetrical hem ... Melissa's angst paid off. Dress is super hot. The hem just a bit to extreme, dress doesn't need it! Gunnar's LBD is chic and also well executed. A tad generic for such a special challenge. Elena's looks super. It's a totally different take on the challenge, very modern and edgy but tasteful. Fit my only issue here. Christopher's look is actually sort of "Downton Abbey," but not upstairs with the lords and ladies but but downstairs with the staff. Skirt is just to black and heavy. Sort of a poor version of what the ladies upstairs would have worn. And I hate the keyhole back. Let's take a dress anyone could wear and make it a bra issue. Really? Melissa is also channeling "Downton Abbey" in her sleek LBD. I actually love this. It is the most subtle shape any designer has executed so far this season. That said , this is not a dress for most figures. Okay, next is Sonji's tonal peplum dress. Well executed, but dated. Not loving the pointed back hem! The zillionth and one LBD arrives. Ven's. His dress is way under budget for this challenge. Absolutely no design in the silhouette, just a very bad sample of his "one note/origami" manipulation. ZZZzzzzzZZZ. The fabric Dmitry chose is a perfect match for his design. The details and metallic each set the other off perfectly! Again, what's with the dipped rear hem. That's not an easy detail for most women to carry of guys and girls! All in all a good runway show. No obvious outs and a few perfect designs for the Lord & Taylor event. Ven, Dmitry (bridesmaid again, sorry), Sonjia are all safe! She is beside herself with joy! Dmitry is confused.
Fabio does well with the judges. MK is of the same opinion as myself about the zipper not working the silhouette. Christopher also impresses the judges. Heidi loves the pale tone. MK likes the gown but hints that maybe we don't need to see more of the shredding. Thank you MK! Nina is not sure gown would be successful on many different types of women. She doesn't explain why. Darn, I want to hear her opinion. Producers? Melissa is on top. All that angst paid off. MK loves the bronze material and neckline. He is not as wowed by her extreme hemline. Wants to add a bell? Gunnar is not so fortunate. The judges have seen this dress before too many times. MK feels it actually may be in Lord & Taylor already. Gunnar accepts the feed back with style and maturity. Elena also does well. YEAH! I'm really pleased for her. She melded her esthetic into a exciting, wearable and commercial garment. After a mini meltdown she explains her struggles in past challenges along with the relief of getting to the top in this challenge. Nina loves it. Now thats a compliment. MK sees a ying yang in her design. Alicia I'm sad to say is in the bottom. Heidi likes it. Bonnie sees it not meeting the challenge. Nina wants it younger. MK sees a girls field hockey uniform?
Back in the designer lounge, Gunnar is a tad pissed and irritated. So much for my earlier maturity comment. But I do se his point they liked the dress, it fits into the Lord & Taylor brand. But Gunnar, it's not anything new. Elena appears totally energized for the next challenge!Well, Christopher is the winner. I was right, Bonnie feels it compliments the other nine looks! Fabio, Mellisa and Elena are also complimented for their work. Gunnar scores bland. Alicia, they didn't get except Nina who gets her contradiction in design for this challenge. She always knows! DRAMA! Gunnar and Alicia are left hanging. Alicia is safe. OH NO! We can't finish this season with out our Southern Charm. Poor Gunnar is out???? Thank's to Andrea, who bailed ship earlier in the season, he is mercifully saved this time. The producers WILL HAVE A FULL SEASON!
This was by far the best challenge and the best performances by the designers of the entire season so far. Wonder what lies in store next week?
Well here we go with another "not designers' favorite," the Client Challenge!
Heidi greets the designers on the runway with new clients for the designers, or actually friends of the clients to be exact! Sound a little familiar? Yeah, last season's significant other challenge. These new clients are in need of a wardrobe/makeover. Good luck to everyone!
Onto the workroom, where Mr. Gunn introduces the L'Oreal specialist, Johnny Lavoy. He will create a new hair style for each of the designer's clients. Random selection of the designer/client team ... sure. Sonjia gets Amanda, a bit of tomboy. She doesn't like to or know how to shop. They decide on a dress. Elena's client is Jenna, bubbly and colorful. That will be a stretch for monotone-loving Elena. Lets see where it goes. Christopher meets Kate, who likes dresses and blazers for work. Great match. Ven's client is Terri, mother of four and a professional woman here to update her style with a business casual look for the office. She likes a casual approach to fashion, tees and jeans. Hey, it's America. Jeans and tees are cool everywhere, but not 10 year old ones! Ven comes off almost from the get go with a negative tone. He is shocked, very disappointed and just not a happy camper. "You know THESE women have wide waistlines and hip lines," exclaims the not-so-petite designer! Dmitry is enjoying meeting Angela, a comfort-loving young woman. A perfect clean slate. Alicia is assigned Martina, who wants to meet a man!Melissa has Kandace, who I'm not sure what she wants ... good luck. Nathan has a little pistol of a client, Liana, who is an up and coming R&B singer. She wants sexy swag. That's a new one for me! Fabio has a perfect match with his client Ko-Rely, an androgynous young woman who doesn't want to be sexualized by her clothing. Gunnar is all smiles with Kim. They hit it off very well. It's great seeing Gunnar really understand that this "is" the challenge, dressing the woman on the street and not some idealized vision. He makes her feel totally comfortable and at ease. That's it right there, Ven take notes!
Off to Mood with an undisclosed budget? Excuse me producers, Mr. Gunn ... whats' the BUDGET? Whatever it is the designers are on a mission. Fabio has shades of grey in his sights! Dmitry is looking for metal zippers. Keep looking. I know they are in one of those nasty white boxes! Ven continues to create the hurdles to jump over! His esthetic is so above the regular gal. You know that's the trouble with these "one way monkeys"! Well thanks to a camera shot at the mood register we know the budget is at least $144.35.
Back at the workroom, muslin is being torn, mannequins taped and for once no workroom BS! Maybe last weeks antics wore them out OR they realized what nut jobs they must have looked like on national TV! Nathan seems bent on giving Liana exactly what she wants maybe he should add a bit more Nathan to that sexy swag of a vision?
In the L'Oreal salon, some of the clients are going for a complete change vibrant color! Courage, yeah! Ven, please learn just a little tact! He has this habit of acting as if his client isn't even in the room. Why not ask HER opinion? It's HER hair! Fabio and his client Ko-Rely are on the same page with the most drastic cut of all, cutting off a good eight inches! Ven continues to whine (Must be a leftover bottle from last weeks challenge) about the unfairness of not having a model size client as all the other designers. Look around you. You are not the only designer with a "not perfect" client to create for. Geez, grow up. And by the way life is not fair, deal with it!
The designers reminisce about siblings. Gunnar has a younger brother. Oddly, they didn't get a long till his brother joined the military. Not sure why that made a difference? Very odd. Maybe it was all that drilling? Fabio gets a chance to chat online with his partner, Jason, and their kitty cat. Really sweet! It's nice to know that their is a world out there to return to after all this crazy, crazy stuff ends!
The designs are ready for inspection by Mr. Gunn. Nathan describes his girl's figure as pear shape, but a shapely pear shape. Mr. Gunn shudders when he hears what was on her wish list, a bare midriff. The mesh, Nathan assures Mr. Gunn is not like that "old hooker mesh." Are you sure? Christopher is doing what he does well, a blazer and dress. Alicia is making a two piece high waisted something. Gunnar is creating a bold ombre look. Mr. Gunn sees a piñata effect! Humble as always, Ven sees Gunnar needing time to get his construction skill up to par and develop a point of view! Thanks, well be back to your point of view later. Fabio is blending his client's esthetics and his together in a tonal grey dress. Sonjia is working on a dress that has been done one million times, at every price point ... nothing new or exciting. Back in Ven world, he is still harping over the fact that his client is not a model size. I am starting to really get mad at this guy. His lack of enthusiasm is atrocious. He has no inspiration at all for his woman. First of all, Terri has a pretty average build and she definitely is not a PLUS size! The second sin is that she is almost 40 where does he get the gaul to be such a prick? I have designed made to order for women of all different sizes. Granted I had more time and an amazing workroom, but I was able to create looks that they loved, that flattered them and made them feel awesome. One client, probably a size 20, wore a lace gown to a wedding at the Ritz in Paris and tore up the dance floor in it! Another plus size client wore a gown to the Inaugural Ball for President Clinton and looked beautiful and chic! Ven needs to get his AMPLE derriere off the pity pot and get motivated FAST! The other designers are seeing and feeling the same. Mr. Gunn if ever you needed to utter your immortal phrase "make it work," it's now! I am sooo over Ven. Onto a designer with a positive attitude, Alicia. She is working in a pale, pale pink satin and lace. The dress is a total departure from her usual urban vibe and looks hot! Dmitry is sort of doing the same ole same old dress ... nice but eh!
I have to say I am enjoying the new Gunnar. He is relaxed and able to see the humor around him, even when Elena gives him a backhanded compliment: "It's so completely different, so chic and gorgeous! Not like what you usually make!"
The clients come in from the L'Oreal salon with their newly styled hair looking amazing. All the clients and designers are clicking except Ven and Terri! Almost all the clients are excited seeing their looks. Alicia's client is in love with her ever so pale cocktail dress. Ven is hating her design. Or is it the fact that he wants her client? Hmm. He just needs to shut up and get back to his ugly ass design that HE decided to make! Nathan's client is on board with the color and design of his dress. Gunnar is great with his client. She is totally at ease and enjoying the experience. She will definitely work it for her boy! Ven is just layering the BS on his client along with some really not so choice comments! He has no connection at all with her or his design a basic and styleless black dress. He is clueless as he hand his client belts that don't fit, one after another. Like he couldn't figure that out before hand? How many times did he say "too small" or "bigger"?
Runway day and Ven is still on the pity pot about his client. LAME! I am not sure what happened to his black dress. Now it is a HIDEOUS turquoise fluttery sleeved thing with a black zippered detailed "no point of view" skirt! Lets just chop her in half. If he is trying to flatter his client's silhouette he didn't. Terri is anything but thrilled. I'm with you Terri. It is really bad. Why not let Ven model it instead. He can point out all the no nos he incorporated in this mess while strutting down the runway to his theme song, "It's All About Me."
Okay, I want a runway show! Alice Temperley is this week's guest judge. Yeah, I love judges that really know what they are talking about and not just some actress that in it just for some free PR. First out is client Liana in Nathan's deep blue and black dress. I think it works on her it's flattering and at same time has the sexy swag she hinted about. Elena's client, Jenna, is next is a fairly bland top and skirt. As basic as one can get. Saving grace is that Jenna "works" the runway! Next is Kandace in Melissa's strapless black dress and what appears to be a curtain and a red place mat for accessories? Why ... dress looks hot, but really can't see it under the curtain! Gunnar's sweet talk and hugs pay off as Kim really walks the runway. Dress is OK, but she is awesome. Love her confidence! I have to say Alicia, you made a super little party dress for Martina to wear while out man hunting! Love the color, details and styling! Poor Christopher. I feel for him as Kate rips off her jacket the second she hits the runway. Did anyone see it at all? I have to let Terri know how professional she was in sticking it out with Ven during this entire process. Hey, if designers can split, so can clients. She did a great job working the runway. Ven's outfit is definitely "AUF" worth and the worst in the entire show! Ven is living in denial, feeling he did a great job. Angela's new hair is really awesome! Dmitri's dress is cute and a great color but just more of what we have already seen from him. Next is Fabio's design on Ko-Rely. Love the dress. Hate the styling. There I beat Michael Kors to it for once! I just don't get the braided brown mans belt, brown boots and silver necklace. Loose the belt and necklace, get some black boots and it's perfect! Last is Amanda in Sonjia's draped dress. While it is nothing new at all, it is very well-executed. Great styling. I like the length, young and flirty! I know what the judges will say ... too short!
On to the "one of you guys is out" line up. Sent safely off the runway are Melissa, Christopher, Alicia and Elena. I'm sorry Alicia's pale pink dress didn't get her in the top three. Christopher needs Ven's potty, he is sooo excited and relieved to be off the runway! I know the feeling.
Dmitry, Fabio and Gunnar are in the top! I definitely liked Alicia's design over Gunnar's. Oh well ... those damn producers! Nathan, Sonjia and Ven are in the bottom. Back in the designer lounge, Ven is still blaming his bad work on his client. The other designer's aren't buying it.
Dmitry gives us a good critique of his design ... apparently she can sleep in it. Angela loves it and her new look ... great transition. Heidi, Nina, MK and Alice Temperley are all pleased. Fabio's look is also well received. Alice really doesn't like the belt.
Gunnar wanted to match his client's spirit and they both had a great experience. It shows. The judges are impressed.
On to the bottom three. Sonjia is nailed on the fact that this dress has been around and around and around. Nina wants more exposure up top. I sort of feel the critiques of this dress not being right for her client are wrong. She looks great. All in all I feel she did a great job executing this design it looks real! Ven just had to keep on playing the victim, didn't he? This was his very first experience working with "real sized women." I doubt it. If he thinks this direction is new, he needs to go. He had to finish it very fast? Did he have less time than the others? I'm surprised the judges were so easy on him. Terri, let me get the bus started you need to throw his ass under it! The way he treated you, wow. Heidi nails him on the "real woman" comment! MK sees another smock, always a bad sign. Nathan's client loves her dress ... her friend loves it. What gives? I feel producer meddling here. Yep, definitely the producers are up to no good!
The judges have a field day with Ven's comment about the "real woman." MK, Nina and Heidi feel that he was selfish and not interested in dealing with Terri! Alice nails it when she states that this is definitely not what a woman would want to wear who drives four hours to and from work every day. Honey, if she walked lived around the corner from the office she still wouldn't wear that get up! Nathan is next. Heidi feels he was his clients seamstress….I don't get this. The client and her friend loved it. BAD, BAD Nathan, making a design that your client loves ... really, the nerve of you! The judges seem to be creating issues that aren't really valid. Something fishy here? Sonjia is faulted for delivering a banal dress ... Mr. Gunn loves words like that. Heidi has had maternity dresses like it? They do admit that the client LOVED IT.
On to the top three. Fabio had the biggest challenge. Yep ... sorry Ven. Fabio made it work. Gunnar is given high marks for Kim's transformation from super frumpy to really sassy. Dmitry is also given praise for his client's transformation head to toe! Apparently a fabulous relationship with a client is worth it's weight in gold. Fabio wins with his great design and execution! I'm glad he gets this win. Poor Dmitry and Gunnar, always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Hang in there fellas, it will happen.
Now on to the "aufing." Just as I thought, Nathan is out! I really have a problem with this decision. Really, a BIG problem! While Nathan's dress certainly would not have set the fashion world on fire, the client and her friend loved it. It was well-executed and styled. This decision was not, I believe made by the judges, but the invisible but ever present PRODUCERS! Not only was Ven's look a total mess, but he had no rapport with Terri! He should have been out for the look alone but combined with his bad bedside manner it was a no brainer that he should have gone bye bye! Back in the designer lounge, Ven continues to amaze me with his total lack of humility and character stating that he should not have been the last off the runway! I agree, you should just have been AUFED for good!
Good luck to you, Nathan. Even during the roughest moments on this show you held on to your character and work ethics. Onward and upward!
It is the morning after Buffi's departure and everyone is reminiscing over the previous days challenge. Melissa is moved into the other apartment. I'd sleep with one eye open from now on, girlfriend! Raul apparently has a soft spot for Christopher. He "loves" Christopher he hasn't felt this way about a guy in a loooong time. Lucky Christopher! On to the next challenge ... quick!
The designers are met by Heidi looking sleek in a sheer LBD. I love her hair this week! She is carrying the infamous little black bag. It always reminds me of the Chivas Regal packaging. So I'm a recovering alcoholic, okay!
Heidi brings Nina on to the stage. OMG, "Nitpcking Nina" exclaims Christopher! Alicia states that "Nina is just a little opinionated." Yeah… she is one of fashions most powerful editors. She had better be!
The challenge in a way is similar to last week's challenge, but focused on a strong powerful sophisticated woman in the work place. Empashsis on editorial! Oh, and did I mention that this is a team challenge!? The eleven designers are to be split into two teams. One team with five designers and the second with six. Let's start serving the WHINE!!! Alicia, "Uh, I'm really disappointed. I really don't like working in teams." Ven wants to kill himself. Please don't. We can't loose any more designers in a premature manner! Raul hates teams challenges to! Aw honey, you should be glad your tired ass is still on this show!
Nina also announces that the whining team, oops, winning team team will have their designs published in an editorial in Marie Claire @Work magazine! That seems to please, Dmitry, Melissa and Christopher!
Sonjia gets to pick the first designer to join her on Team 6. Alicia, odd choice if you ask me. Maybe she is tired of sleeping with that eye open? Gunnar would rather eat DIRT than work with Elena the first thing he has said all season I agree with.
Nathan gets to chose next. He picks Ven. Logical and strategic choice. On and on we go 'til Gunnar, Alicia, Fabio and the charming Raul are left on the bench! Raul's saddened that Christopher picked Fabio over him. WTF! Honey, you can't design and you can't sew go figure!
It is down to Gunnar and Raul. Gunnar really doesn't want to be on either team. More WHINE please!
Enter the workroom. Love Christopher's entrance, very Norma Desmond! As I not too fondly remember, the workroom is usually about 99 degrees, what with no air-conditioning and camera lights. What's with the studded denim jacket, black shawl wrapped around your neck and the shades? I can here MK saying, "I loved your design but I HATED your styling!"
Mr. Gunn informs Team 6 and Team 5 that they will have 30 minutes to consult and sketch then on to Mood, and that this is a one-day challenge. Elena's eyes pop out onto the floor.
Sonjia gets her co-designers focused on assigning specific items to each designer, keeping in mind that there needs to be a cohesive team look through out their collection. Won't take long for this camaraderie hat to got to hell in a handbag! Raul wants enough of something to cover his ass. PLEASE!
Team 5 is in the workroom and I can't believe my eyes! They are flipping through Marie Claire magazines? On Season 9 and all the other seasons of "Project Runway," the designers are cut off from anything that could be a fashion inspiration. We were not even allowed to look out the windows at Parsons in case we saw a passing advertisement on a bus! They get to peruse through current fashion magazines, for what … to bone up on editorial styling? That's part of the challenge for heavens sake! What gives?
Color is the concept for Team 5's collection! It all winds up basically black and white. Gunnar wants a touch of nautical? How about a anchor on a rope to hang yourself with ... hmm? He doesn't want to be micro-managed. He can get that rope around his neck without anyones help, thank you!
Team 6 is mired in "RAUL WORLD"! He must pursue his vision, such an artiste!
Off to Mood. Team 6 is still in conflict over color and fabric choices. Raul wants to use the colors that HE WANTS! So he picks black! My fear at Mood was always getting so wrapped up with running around looking for the right fabric that I'd forget about the basics, thread, zippers, snaps, buttons, trims, etc... Nathan is on the ball and makes sure his team has all they will need.
Back at Parsons, Team 6 realizes a bag was left behind at Mood. Hopefully they can work around that loss. I have a feeling they will have bigger obstacles ahead. Raul is trying to explain why he won't follow the teams suggestions. It's not who he is as a designer. He needs to follow his strength! Okay what is it?
Elena is prowling around her mannequin, snarling and hissing. Christopher feels she is like an animal that has just escaped from the woods. Yep, I agree!
Team 5 is mellow and already draping and cutting. All the designers have their work assigned and are "making it work," so far. Yep … had to happen. Gunnar doesn't feel comfortable with the direction his team wishes him to go. It's not his esthetic. He exclaims he is not a tailor. How on earth does making a soft dress have anything to do with tailoring? Gunnar, you're confusing me!
Back at Team 6, Raul is in love with his oh-so-basic, poorly executed, black top! I have to laugh when Elena exclaims that he doesn't have a team work ethic. Spot it, you got it! More on that later, time for some more Ukrainian WHINE!
Mr. Gunn enters for one of his awe inspiring critiques sessions. Team 6 is holding it in for the interview, barely. Melissa and Dmitry are clear about their looks. Mr. Gunn enquires about Raul's top with the pleated bib. Wasn't it the fascination with "bibs' that got what's her name aufed in episode two? Only this creation is much worse. Gunnar and I are on the same wave length (Scary!) concerning Raul's look! Tim likes the top having volume? Maybe he would like a barrel? That leads delusional Raul to think he is on there right track. Mr. Gunn then convinces Elena that her vampirish sleeved top is worth saving! They can thank him later!
Now over to Team 5 where we find Ven working on, can you guess, another origami design. Actually, it's quite chic and fresh looking in black and white. Nathan is doing something … it just hasn't happened yet. Mr. Gunn loves that god awful print they chose, but he's not feeling the black and white? Gunnar is oddly quiet. Their color choices remind him of a "Effing Drag Queen cocktail hour." He should know.
Time is running out and a lot has to happen before the end of the day! Elena hisses contempt for Dmitry's use of navy?Good for him to ignore her she is wacked! Models arrive. Raul's look would definitely benefit from a barrel … to cover it up! There is no love lost between Ven and Gunnar, who Ven states has no taste! Dmitry thinks Ven is a one way monkey/one trick pony with the same designs over and over. Love is in the air!
We find Raul fitting something on Elena. Apparently he can't even construct a vest! Who the hell chose him for this show. We need to know!
On to the photo shoot with EVERY possible accesorie from the Lord & Taylor wall. The designer's arrive at Go Studios for the Marie Claire photo shoot. This is another great opportunity to work together as the mature group of designers that they are, right? Wrong! Elena apparently sees herself as a the next Annie Leibovitz, directing photographer Tom Hines on how to shoot this session! Please, someone kick her. On she goes, telling the designers what to do, barking orders and generally making me never want too visit the Ukraine!
Team 5 maintains their cohesive calm. They have actually thought ahead and have drawn several options for Tom Hines to consider. Communication pays off. Bravo!
Back to the Annie Leibovitz wannabe barking orders, rushing the hair and makeup artist, (It is generally not a great idea to piss them off Ms Leibovitz), yelling at her team mate Melissa and joking about how bad the other designers garments look! Someone please kick her!
On to the runway, where Heidi looks amazing is a pair of sleek black leather pants and black silk blouse. MK, Nina are joined by guest judge editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, the awesome Joanna Coles!
First out is Nathan's white pants and one shoulder blouse, for the office? Next is Christopher's three piece, jacket, shirt and underpinning. Okay, but a bit generic. Gunnar's look, well, we will discuss that later! I love Fabio's simple black and white sheath! Not sure what happened to the shorts, but this dress is perfect! Okay, maybe just a bit tight over the hips. Ven's lady is definitely going to a chic lunch for sure. The office, I don't think so?
Team 6 opens with Melissa's blue funnel necked dress and asymmetrical back zipper detail. I like it, but the neckline is similar to last season's winner, Anya's gown. The judges felt it looked a bit like a condom. Let's see if they see safe sex in this design! Elena and Alicia's combo is next. It is nice and understated, if just a bit bland. Again with those hideous blue suede pumps! Third look out is missing the barrel. Raul's black pleated, bibbed front home economics top with Alicia's tailored pant. The next look is Alicia's black pleated ballon sleeved top that Mr. Gunn encouraged her to pursue, with Alicia's sleek tailored pant in a menswear tonal grey stripe. Next is Dmitry's little NAVY and black color blocked dress, perfectly executed. I love his humility in recognizing that he could improve upon his look! Last is Sonjia's draped striped organza skirt and Raul's leather vest.
On to the judging! Heidi feels that both teams showed well. I have to say I am surprised that a certain team did as well as they did ... Team 6!
First to be judged is Team 5. Overall the critique is good. Christopher knows how to work cheap fabric into a good look and Fabio's dress is a home run as far as MK is concerned. There photo shoot is equally as successful. Nathan's look is not so successful leave the origami to Ven! Back to Gunnar. The soufflé that flopped and puppies under a blanket, not the look he was going for. Gunnar is named as the designer the rest would auf!
Team 6 is also given high praise for the collection. Melissa's dress get's a nod from Nina for it's editorial appeal with nary a mention of condoms! Trouser's also are a hit with Nina women like trousers for work! Raul doesn't fare so well. No one is loving his ruffles. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Joanna feels it is a DULL idea. Yep, it is. If it had been executed somewhat professionally, it MAY have stood a chance! Heidi and Joanna have a bit of a toss up over if Dmitry's dress passes the work place code with the bare skin in the back! Joanna says NO! Elena's pleated top win's Heidi's least favorite award, but Joanna sees lots of women in finance and law wearing that. Where? In Transylvania?
Now who is the weakest link on the team? Raul finally wins a competition! Melissa wins best design and Team 6 is going to appear in Marie Clare @Work!
The bottom consists of the Annie Leibovitz wannabe, Elena, along with Raul and Gunnar. All good choices. Mercifully Raul is aued!
Back to a bitchy comment or two in the designer lounge between Raul and Elena. He's outta here, and I wouldn't be surprised if she is not far behind him in the next challenge or two!