Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

Fashion For All

By kim_messina 08/24/2012 04:55AM GMT

The "real woman" challenge: when we see the designersʼ true colors. I must say, I know they are different, but I was kind of surprised to see another "non-model" challenge so soon after the one in which designers had to design for other "PR" alum designers. The premise of a makeover challenge (sponsored by LʼOreal) is interesting, but while designed to make women feel better about themselves, it can have the opposite effect when dealing with designers who have never made clothes for anyone other than a mannequin or model.

We discover early on that while most designers have the right attitude and feel compassionate towards their "real life" subjects, others (or more specifically, Ven) do not. There is absolutely no excuse for his attitude and embarrassing behavior towards his client. A legit designer should be able to apply his/her aesthetic and skills to any body. It may be challenging, and no one said it was easy, but you have to figure it out and make it work. I was appalled at the things he said not only in interviews, but in front of and directly to his client (who by the way is not plus-sized). Who does he think will be buying his clothes one day? Not just size 5ʼ10” size 4 women!

It was not surprising to see some of the designers struggling in the workroom. There was a lot of problem solving going on for sure. The editing lead me to believe certain designers (Alicia) would have been in the bottom and others (Christopher) would have been in the top. This was not the case ... so good job this time, editors.


Poor Nathan. He was a bit doomed from the start, being assigned a that client who obviously has bad taste and is asking him to make something questionable. He obviously got caught up in trying to give her something that would make her happy without baring her midriff. The way he used the < a href="">sheer fabric seemed like it could have been a good solution, but unfortunately, the result looks like a cheap mall dress for a "Jersey Shore" character.


I thought Elena did a good job. She went outside her "box" (Although her client said she likes color and it would have been nice to see a different color on top; the pale peach was not the best for her). The fit is flattering. But the hem on the bodice is a bit of a roller coaster and itʼs difficult to tell if that was intentional or not.


Unfortunately there is not much to go on here, because the client was covering the dress with the wrap. I really like the use of the printed wrap, and Melissa succeeded in transforming her client and making her look very chic. Really great call on the hair color.


Another "meh" entry from Gunnar. Iʼm shocked the judges gave him a top score. The bodice makes her bust look smooshed, and both the neckline and empire line are too high. It certainly isnʼt a disaster, but I think his clientʼs attitude and walk totally sold it to the judges.?


Again not a catastrophe, but this is a dress that is very basic aside from the sheer details. Because it was so simple, the construction flaws were glaring. Her client was not particularly challenging fit-wise, but kudos to her for really going outside of her wheelhouse and pulling it off.


What a shame the client whipped that jacket off so quickly, because Christopher had a great concept here of making two versatile pieces for her. Itʼs always impressive when someone makes a jacket (as well as a dress) in one day; however without it, itʼs a dress weʼve all seen before. If the judges had seen more of the jacket, I wonder if heʼd have been in the top instead of Gunnar or Dmitry. The other thing I noticed (which was for the most part edited out) was that the dress was riding up in the back, big time. But maybe that happened when she was sitting backstage.


Cheap looking color and fabric. Matronly design. Itʼs like he had no respect for his client from the start. He and his attitude should have been eliminated this week.


The dress fits well, and the styling is hip and contemporary. But the design is so basic and he has made another sleeveless dress out of ponte jersey. The neckline is too conservative. Iʼm underwhelmed.


Hooray for Fabio, at last stepping it up and showing more of the creativity we know he has. I love the graphic element of the dress, and that he pieced the three greys together to make an artsy composition. His client was transformed wonderfully, from the hair to the outfit, and it was still very believable. My criticisms are the length of the dress (needs to be a couple inches shorter) and the styling. The red belt isnʼt nearly as bad as the red boots.


The first thing I thought was that she was relying on her "tricks" from the design she made when she won. She made a rather simple twisted jersey dress again: safe. As simple as it is, it needs to be perfect — it was way too short and the proportions were off. The whole thing needs a good yank down as the knot is falling in an unflattering place.

Random Thoughts:

-I wonder if the producers saw the sad state of the clothes in the workroom when the designers left the first night and decided to give them an extra hour, to make certain the "real women" were fully clothed. (This has been known to happen.)
-The way Gunnar holds his pencil (like a 5 year old) is very odd and really bothers me.
-I didnʼt think it was possible to trump the last episode, but the majority of the looks produced in this challenge pretty much amounted to a big lump of mediocrity.
-I want Heidiʼs striped dress. Badly. One of my favorite looks on her ever, especially as this season I havenʼt been a fan of any of them.