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Joshua McKinley Blog
Category: "episode 7"
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?
After last week’s shock of Benjamin going home over Amanda, its clear most don’t think Amanda will be able to rise to the occasion, but I have faith she’s still in the competition because we have yet to see what she is truly capable of. Plus, seeing how she is so articulate she’s the main reason I understand the premise of the challenges through her interviews. I mean hello, she’s pulling the weight for half the cast in being clear, audible and helping the viewer to comprehend the mess unfolding before our eyes each week. Thank you Amanda!
Heidi has truly taken the idea of wild animals on leashes and as pets to a new level, and introducing the challenge with her pet duck, seems even something Paris Hilton hasn’t attempted to tame. Like the designers I was lost on where we were headed with this challenge, but I should have guessed it was down sticky lane with Duct Tape! I truly think the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Wow, what a fabulous challenge!" While most designers are "fingers-crossed" in hopes to not be paired with Patricia or Amanda, Kate is merely focused on pointing out all the "b*tches" of the group, and praying she has Tu to put on a leash again just like Heidi’s pet duck!
Side note: Notice how Kate has seemed to only like to work with Tu? Ding dong folks, he doesn’t say much and it’s terribly hard to understand him when he does but still he always seems to be stuck with "It’s my way or the highway Kate!"
The wild thing is, I was so touched by her a few weeks ago, no seriously, I had a tears in my eye during her deliberation speak and then as the smoke lifted I wanted to shake Tu and say, "Boo, move on, your talent is being obscured and overridden!"
Always confident Stanley has no worries for this challenge of course, he has designed prom dresses for his nieces many times before…but I thought he and Richard were the only "high fashion" designers? I imagine he just meant the latter of that statement! And seeing how after he overlooked working with Richard, he’s clearly taken that statement back! Babes over bros clearly!
It’s the Gold Rush of 1849 with Richard and Daniel, and it’s for Beyoncé of course! But Layana is not happy with the boys claiming their stake on the lot of gold duct tape! She immediately takes it to the appropriate level of the challenge of "high school" and claims it to be Richard's jealously of her being chosen by Stanley! Wake up 6, it’s not that deep! Speaking of whining, my ears are bleeding listening to Kate! She has such a strong opinion about EVERYONE in the room, but is failing to see the horror on her dress form! She won’t let Tu have a say until Tim comes over and blows the lid off her confidence can and at that point it’s so condescending I would have duct taped her mouth shut for the rest of the challenge!
I think having a live show with actual high school students added a great element to the challenge; however it’s imperative as the designer to stand behind your look and not waiver your design based on such a subjective group of individuals. As I have said many times before this design competition is about displaying who you are as a designer and creating a voice for your esthetic. We need a hero, not someone that is going to serve everyone because even while sticking to what feels right chances are you are going to be criticized anyway, so why not be criticized for something you love.
The runway show is a hit with the students and I applaud how quickly the looks have come together! I know the time constraints and even I was pretty blown away with them! I of course am in love with Michelle and Amanda’s hounds tooth manipulation, its spot on! Speaking of manipulation, I have to raise both hands and clap obnoxiously for Patricia’s work on the skirt. I think it’s absolutely fabulous and even though it seems the consensus to work with her is rather taxing, I am sure each person, if they open themselves up to her, could learn a lot. Textile artists are some of the most creative people I have met, because they see things in a completely different way than most designers and in this case Patricia is able to apply those new and interesting techniques to her designs! So instead of being scared to work with Patricia, I would be volunteering myself!
Interesting enough, Patricia and Samantha won over the 20 percent vote of the students and I would imagine half would be the easy and fun silhouette and the other half would be the divine duct tape textile manipulation! While the petrified 80s baked potato falls flat along with Tu and Kate’s gala dress.
Congratulations FINALLY to Michelle first and foremost on her rightfully deserved win, the dress was EVERYTHING, and the lovely Amanda for making it out of her rut! Work it out girls!!
It’s always an uncomfortable moment when they ask each team who was the weakest link and should be sent home. In the case of Tu and Kate, it shows a lot of character to own the leadership role, and I applaud Kate for doing so. Ultimately I had the shock of my life when BOTH were sent home! I literally gasped at the television, and that I rarely do unless I find a Swarovski encrusted blazer!
In the end however, I do think it was the appropriate choice on the judges to make the double elimination, this is "Project Runway 'Teams'"if you have forgotten. And it seems as though Kate must have "forgotten" high school seeing how hot pink, zebra, gold and a "queens of hearts costume" trumped her dress. You may not be seeing any prom dresses from Tu and Kate in the near future, however you would most likely see that dress at a funeral…IN THE COFFIN!