Joshua McKinley Blog
Category: "Episode 12"
After losing both Alexander and Kate last week we are on the fast track to the finish line. I am sure like most of you, I was blown away that a double elimination happened! Kate might have missed the mark on her textile and fabric choice to do such a fitted garment, she however did not bore us with the design, and for that alone, I feel Alexandria should have been in the bottom and not safe. Ask yourself, when is the last time you saw any designer set in six half-circle godets into an six panel skirt? It’s definitely been a season of very amped up dramathank you Sandro and Kenbut the design has lacked, from a technical aspect and a high fashion aspect. There has been a lot of par work happening and I think Kate once again had fallen victim to game, I mean HELLO do you all remember the sombrero dress! That outfit gave me LIFE! After the season of tears, I think Kleenex is going to be on board as a sponsor next year, but with that said the show must go on!
This week is a very important week seeing how it will be the deciding factor on who goes to NY Fashion Week. Justin is clearly feeling the pressure, saying, "I definitely feel like I’m the underdog of this competition because I haven’t won a challenge yet but I’m ready to show all I’ve got!" Well Heidi is giving you the chance to do just that while being inspired to "spread your wings" by the beauty that is butterflies. We embark on a journey to Long Island’s Sweetbriar Nature Center, where on the contrary to Heidi’s statement, there is a sign that says, "Do NOT feed the butterflies carrots OR sausages. It will wilt their beauty!" Speaking of beauty, L’Oreal’s was so inspired by the butterfly that they created mascara with break-through technology which enables the eyelashes to flutter and fan out with the force and energy comparable to Woodstock! Oh please, if you are a mascara user like me, you know you watch the same commercials that I do, and all of that wondrous volume that you see is more than what mascara can produce. I swear any cosmetics brand in pumped full of helium and propaganda to have us as the consumer; buy, buy, buy, AND IT WORKS! I mean who doesn’t want to leave their house looking like Cindy Crawford or P!nk every day?
The focus of this challenge is to create an avant-garde look inspired by butterflies. It needs to illuminate experimentation, elements that are daring and contain design and techniques that are cutting edge. With two days and a suggested budget of $500, the remaining five designers are pulling out the GoBank plastic fierce, almost as though there is a sale on facelifts in Beverly Hills! We all too often forget what each designer had spent on materials by the time their looks hit the runway, so I have listed each of the designers budgets below in chronological order from lowest to highest: Dom - $628.20, Bradon - $984.00, Alexandria - $991.52, Helen - $1,057.00, and Justin - $1,167.00. It’s ironic that Dom spent the least seeing how she said, "I started pulling from the designer prints because they are more expensive, but feel nicer. I’m going to do some kind of crazy butterfly emotion effect in some kind of jumpsuit." While Bradon, having been frugal all season said, "I’m basically buying everything at Mood. I don’t even care how much a yard it is. I want all of it…I still don’t know what the silhouette of my garment is, but this is the last challenge and I don’t care if I’m over budget, I need to get back to the workroom with the right material." This statement is so true, and I must tell you from experience, if you didn’t get everything you needed leaving Mood, you would be entirely out of luck back in the workroom, and at this point everyone is out for themselves, so don’t think any "sharing" would be happening!
Back at Parsons, there is enough fabric in the room from all the designers to create an entire collection! Justin is making me gag over his exaggerated piping, while Alexandria is boring me with her mummified goth dress, and Dom agrees, saying, "Alexandria’s look is kind of flat and boring," while Justin thinks it’s "creepy." Well if you can rack your brain the entire season, Alexandria has never really been able to properly finish a garment and not everyone wants to walk around looking like they used a butcher knife to create their clothes. She said, "Playing it safe is going to send you home." Well Alexandria, why the hell are you hanging out in the Panic Room with Jodie Foster? Get out, show me risky, show me invention, but by all means, please don’t BORE Nina! Far from boring is Bradon who this week on Rachel Ray is creating "noodles." Perhaps they are going to complement the "boiling water" technique from a few weeks back? Dom is "still waiting for him to drape a body," while I’m wondering when the food will be served...by the end of the season, we will have an entire meal from him! With all this food talk, I’m becoming very peckish and hoping someone is going to deck me in the face like I’m drunk in a bar on a season of the "Bad Girls Club." I find Dom’s narrative of mixing prints to the interesting fact of "cross breeding" within the butterfly community very intriguing and parallels her design aesthetic very well. She was worried it might come across as too "costumey"; however Tim reassures her that it’s not too much. Tim however is perplexed on Helen's cloak and thinks she needs to recalibrate her design. I personally think the cloak with the cut out leather detailing was quite fabulous, but of course Helen has no self-confidence to stand behind her talent and design and again we see her weeping in despair! I had quite the giggle watching Tim’s face while she was having a mini breakdown because you can tell he is OVER IT. To be honest all I ever think when Helen gets so close to her face with those fabulous nails, is a reenactment of Jonny Depp in "Edward Scissorhands" when Dianne Wiest has to come in and save the day with a little Avon! Helen does acknowledge that Tim’s read was the "swift kick in the ass" that she needed.
Let’s talk about a kick in the butt or the gut rather; the designers enter the room on what should be runway day to see the entire eliminated designers garments each on a dress form. As jaws drop and faces turn whiter then Dita Von Teese, the designers know Folgers has been brewing in the producer’s room. Tim enters to explain that this is the "Make it Work" challenge, where each of the designers needs to recreate a look using an eliminated designer’s garment and take it from a "loser to a winner." The catch is that the judges have to be able to identify that the original losing garment is the point of departure for the new look. Alexandria chose Miranda’s look and is "excited to take a $2 pair of pants to a $2,000 pair of pants," while Dom choses Jeremy’s "soccer mom" look and decides to save the integrity of the jacket and use the remnants of the sleeve for a collar to make it new and fresh. However the most difficult decision was Justin’s choosing to redo his own eliminated design. Dom said, "If I had the option to choose the design I went home for I don’t know if I would have chosen it. It is very inspiring to see him do something brave enough like that." Dom darling, it’s the PERFECT choice to make, and is the formula for a fantastic reality show and great story! Taking the unfortunate to fabulous!
Speaking of fabulous, the judging panel is on point this week and Nina looks like the epitome of a bondage goddess! I absolutely cannot get enough of the outfits she is serving this season and they complement her commentary so brilliantly. It’s that episode where the infamous questions arise of, "Why should you make it to Fashion Week?” and, "Who would you take with you?" Dom and Bradon secure two spots for the finale while the other three are given the opportunity to battle it out for the remaining spot. Honestly, why can’t this EVER just be cut and dry? Zac nailed it on the head this week giving the advice to the remaining three that fashion should be able to "transport, be magical and beautiful!"
Who do you think has what it takes to nail the third spot?
THAT was the "to be continued…" we were waiting for? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to see that they gave Michelle another chance, but I was waiting for something juicy to happen, weren’t you? I just had to giggle to myself when everyone was trying to console Michelle, because the girl was NOT having it! I feel for her, as I am sure many people did as well. We all can relate to those moments when you "just don’t want to be touched." It was really vulnerable of her and honestly human. Those are the moments that make reality TV its best and define EXACTLY what it is "reality"!
While Michelle is still in, she gets to enjoy her time in the Big Apple, while the other four each travel to their assigned respective cities: Berlin, London, Paris and Barcelona! Truly such an amazing opportunity to travel to a foreign European city, become inspired and purchase your textiles there. What makes this even more exciting is that the budget has just had some Botox and the limit is set at $1000. Even with the conversion in each of the respective cities, it’s a ton of money to buy more than what each designer will need to make a "high-end runway look."
Naturally the architecture in these cities is going to be breathtaking and Stanley and Layana are both extremely inspired by what they are seeing. Layana is honing in on the passion of Barcelona and is drawn to a lot of the tile work that she sees, while Stanley is deciding to go a little "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on us, with something a bit dark that is "ghostly or haunting, very modest (of course, darling we wouldn’t expect sex from you), that is long and lean."
Like Patricia, I too was just in Paris and I was so excited to see that she was drawn to the street art! There truly is an abundance of street art, and it’s not horrific like the graffiti we see in NYC and other US cities, it really is art. It’s thought out, it’s planned, and it really speaks to you if you let it. It’s almost like walking through an art gallery in the streets, so when Patricia points out how it’s like "layering of history" I was right on board with her and intrigued to see how she brings to life the "True gritty street, NOT the romantic Paris."
Meanwhile over in Berlin, Daniel is getting his first trip of European travel and what a city to start in! I had been some six years ago for New Year's in the winter and what a different place it looks like in the summer months. It is definitely sad to see how emotional he is getting, but I too would be just as overwhelmed. Like Paris, it has some amazing street art but what sets it apart is how raw it is. Speaking of raw, feelings that is, Michelle is back in NYC exploring for her inspiration. With so much around her, she should be glad she doesn’t have to deal with jetlag, and she finds her inspiration from the concrete jungle itself! She says she is "cleansing her feelings" which is sparked by seeing the stains of old chimneys when they were fueled by coal or wood.
The fabric shopping seems to go seamless for most, except for Patricia, who actually has to RETURN fabric! How hysterical is that? In America, "You break it, you bought it," or in terms of fabric stores, "You cut it, you bought it!" I was delighted to see how patient the saleswoman was while Patricia was acting like she was on an episode of "Hoarders"! I also love the guts Stanley has to spend almost his ENTIRE budget on four years of leather sequin fabric, so ballsy, but so confident!
After making it through customs safely, the designers meet back at 1407, where Michelle is not having it with them! I can understand her frustration and feeling of being left out, but I honestly think it was for the best!
Side note: Michelle, no tears boo, just win the damn show and take the 100 thousand dollars and visit whatever country you please!
The only thing you really missed out on was having the opportunity to shop of fabric that might not be at Mood, but like Tim infamously says, "MAKE IT WORK!" And for four of the designers, they did just that, unfortunately we lost Layana to what Heidi described as a "house coat," and that saddens me, because Layana leaves us on a design that was NOT EVEN her forte! So frustrating when that happens!
I kind of fell in love with the romantic Spanish flare; do you think the judges got it right?