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Bert Keeter Blog

Reality Check, Please!

By kim_messina Fri., Aug. 24, 2012 ,12:38 pm EDT

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!