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Tartan Body Bag

By laurareineke Tue., Sep. 3, 2013 ,12:00 pm EDT

Nature called last week as Tim Gunn came to the rescue for Justin, as he felt it wasn't Justin's time to leave the competition and he had much more to show the judges. It's obvious Justin has talent or else he wouldn't be on the show, but I think being a sweet guy played more into his second chance than anything else. Is he a good designer? Sure, but is he a great designer? Well, that is up to him to show us moving forward, and he knows he definitely has a lot of pressure now more than ever to step up to the plate and perform. In his own words, this "graceful" gesture gave him the "fire to continue." Let's just hope this isn't a reenactment of Back Draft! Speaking of second chances, one of this season's powerhouse hitters, Kate, remembers the 7th challenge all too well from last season, because it was the day she was sent packing. From her statistics this season I am rest assured by FIDC that she won’t be a bench warmer anytime soon, so Kate: Batter up!

Keeping in the dialogue of one of America's favorite sports, we turn our attention to America's favorite accessory: SHOES, and not ONLY for women, Heidi! Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine, meets the designers in the closet at the Hearst headquarters where she informs the designers that "many women get dressed in the morning based on their shoes." Well of course they do, because they know their shoes can help offset the heinous ensemble they will try and put together, but I guess it's all about baby steps in the appropriate footwear. Questions like “Where are these shoes going to take me today?” and “Will it be a power meeting, a relaxed lunch, or even a hot date?” fill the heads of these women, supposedly. Regardless of the answer to these questions, chances are the main goal is to not look homeless, which will be achieved by few but feigned by most. With an impromptu fashion quiz, the designers have to rack their fried "educated" brains, except Ken, of course, who keeps reminding us of his self-taught talent. The selected shoes will be worn by each designer's model and act as the source of inspiration for their look. It's really a throwback to "Project Runway All Stars" Season 2 when Nine West lent us their '70s-inspired shoes for a challenge. Groundbreaking!

Alexandria gets the upper hand in choosing first since she won the last challenge with her poo-poo long johns and her denim sleeping bag straight jacket. Of course she is out to reenact "300" -- following the past few tumultuous challenges she faced, she is out to be vindictive, which is why she chooses the pair of gladiator thigh-high sandals EVERYONE was eye-balling. I must admit they are so hot, and extremely inspirational! Ken was fearful of being picked last but like Seabiscuit he nails the first quiz question pertaining to Christian Louboutins infamous “red sole” inspiration, which stems from an epiphany from the finger nail polish of one of his employees. Some would rival that answer with knowledge of King Louis XIV in the 1600s when only aristocratic men had the right to wear shoes with red heels – they were strictly reserved for the court. But I am sure Jeremy is aware of that history since he is giving everyone grief in his overly articulate British accent about how baffled he is that the designers are stumped on the quiz questions of the LBD! In fact did you know before Coco Chanel was a milliner BEFORE she was a fashion designer? In the words of Whitney Houston, "Show me the receipts!" With all the know-it-alls on one side of the well-lit closet, Miranda and Dom are puzzled to solidify a shoe choice. Miranda questions "Why can’t this be about wallpaper or photography?” This is a perfect time for an interlude into "The Devil Wears Prada" commentary break: Well Miranda, this is a fashion design competition and "having an interest in fashion is necessary."

Speaking of a mix up for Miranda, her and Alex both coincidentally pick up very similar tartan plaid fabric at Mood. It's a rare occasion that this happens, but this not one of those moments that great minds think alike. Miranda exclaims to Alex when he notices that they both have a tartan plaid, "I already have it in my basket, and it's basically up to him if he is going to take the risk and use it or change his mind and do something different!" This is where I insert a huge GASP, literally! How in the world does she have the audacity to even think that Alex should or would change his fabric let alone create something along a wavelength comparable to her? Alex should take his tartan fabric and sew up a body bag to put her in, because the caliber of talent is very much separated between the two designers.

While Ken is in the kitchen "bringing out the knives to play the game like it needs to be played," so is Braden, but he is merely boiling the water to drown himself in this week! He is creating a fabulous textile technique but that’s all, another textile technique. I feel like I'm watching Patricia from last season all over again with fabric treatments and techniques. What the hell ever happened to just designing something gorgeous? I love a good trick and treat, but this season is like Halloween with all these designers showing us their different masks and costumes, none of which are really fabulous, just scary. Luckily Braden is safe and realizes that moving forward he has to look at the big picture and step back from thinking, "Oh wow, this is a cool technique; let's make a blouse out of it!"

Helen had mentioned "It's time to get serious" and she realized there is "so much on the line, and I want it all." Well congratulations, Helen. I was in absolute awe of your garment and so were the judges! I think this is the first time all season that I agree 100 percent with the outcome! As they all said, her garment was something they would wear. I am on board with them, but Ken clearly thought different seeing how he said, "Helen's design was old," and he should have taken home the win. Well "old" won. Perhaps it's time you go to school, get an education, and learn about "demographics," Ken, then perhaps you would win a challenge knowing who your customer is.

Miranda is sent packing on a garment she actually liked after not taking Tim's advice during her critique, because last time she did she was in the bottom and this time around she wanted to follow her aesthetic and "do what feels right." Well Alex took the words out my mouth: "Your shit is ugly." And the judges agreed. Tim left his best closing statement of the season in saying "Stand by your convictions and believe in what you do!" I don't know about you, but that can't be any more on point! It seems to be a season full of designers second-guessing their talent, skill, and work. What do you think?