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Are You Smarter Than an Art Student?

By CaitlinBergmann Thu., Sep. 8, 2011 ,5:22 pm EDT

The designers with the Harlem School of the Arts artists Oh my goodness!!! When you incorporate children into almost anything, it is a recipe for greatness……or disaster. I was super pleased to see that every designer embraced the idea of working with the kids. This challenge was so creative, inspiring, and beautiful. The innocence of a young mind is so fascinating to me.

Typically children learn from observing their surroundings and from what they are taught. The fascinating part is when they teach an adult something. I was blown away by Laura's young artist Kai, an eleven year old girl that said, "Failure is an opportunity in disguise". I had to pause my DVR and really think about that statement. I have always been a positive, extroverted person and try to learn from all experiences in life. Just hearing something so wise and unexpected from her was truly touching. I could see such an honest innocent beauty even in Kai's eyes. Every relationship that was formed between the designers and their student was inspiring to watch. It makes me want to go take an art class with kids.

I think part of what makes this show so successful is you get a peek into the mind and its creative process. All of the paintings were unique and pretty impressive. Once the masterpieces were done, then the real challenge began. Before the paint was even dry, the designers had to create an avant-garde look inspired by their art collaboration. The "mood" was tense at the fabric store as the designers frantically tried to fabricate their design.

After such a drama filled episode last week, this week was quite tame. The biggest personalities seemed to come from the kids. Viktor's artist Skyy was twelve years old going on twenty one. She had attitude and a clear point of view. Let's just say very outspoken. A great contrast to Viktor, who has been pretty quiet so far this season. I always felt one of the most stressful times of a challenge is when Tim comes to the design room for critiques. Skyy completely controlled the critique and let Tim know how fabulous their design was and that was all there was to it. I mean what is Tim going to say to a twelve year old?

So there was some pretty walking down the runway and then there was some pretty wacky. Laura's yellow organza gown was quite beautiful. Of course I love the gowns. The only thing I wish is that Laura would have used some of the other colors in the painting like the red or green. I did find it quite interesting that the judges loved seeing the boning through the sheer bodice, since just a few years ago they kinda dogged my couture dress I made in Paris. It was a gold sheer metallic corset with hand sewn, French lace on the bodice with an ombre silk chiffon skirt. Tim kept telling me he was worried for me because the corset was sheer and you could see the black boning through it. I did not go home that challenge and I get more comments from fans that that dress was absolutely their favorite and do not know what the judges were thinking.

Anthony Ryan's dress was one of my favorites because of how literal he interpreted the painting and the brush strokes. The look was truly avant-garde, yet completely wearable. This design definitely made a statement, but I have to agree with Kenneth Cole that the execution could have been a little cleaner. Viktor's gown was completely overlooked this week. The construction, fit, execution, and fabrication was pure perfection. The judges obviously like it enough because he was safe, but a true oversight. The judges might have just been confused by the unsightly creations this week.

The designers with the Harlem School of the Arts artistsI could not agree more with Micheal Kors that Oliviers clothes are like valium. Boring, and will put you to sleep. His artist's painting was so bright and lively, and the dress was just blah. Bitter Bert's teletubbie jumpsuit on the other hand was far from boring. I was slightly fascinated by it for some reason though. A little Mad-Hatter meets Humpty-Dumpty I guess from my childhood. Heidi must have smoked the same crack I did because she found it interesting as well. Poor Joshua Christensen had one of the most inspiring paintings of all and fell short this week with a cheap black and white hooker get up. Definitely not the taste level the judges were looking for, but I guess at least he can use black and white.

The biggest lesson learned for me this week was to appreciate beauty in its simplest form. Children see things so clearly sometimes because they are so eager to absorb information without all the adult confusion we surround ourselves in. Try to keep life simple, honest, and beautiful.

Posted in: episode 6