Season 15 Premieres September 15 at 9/8c

Mila Hermanovski's Blog

Season 13, Episode 2: From The Cutting Room Floor

By laurareineke 08/01/2014 12:40AM GMT

The unconventional challenge strikes again! The designers are invited to a “screening," which turns out to be a weird, quasi-trailer which doesn’t make any sense, except that it's a decoy for the bigger picture, when Tim emerges and announces the challenge. Honestly, I was shocked that this wasn’t another Miramax/Weinstein film plug!

I’m dying to know who selected all the “movie experience” stuff the designers had to choose from. At first it felt so staged, like someone went on a shopping spree at a party store and made it a cinema theme, but at least there were scripts and marquee letters. I just thought it was odd and inauthentic that there were things like costume accessories and props, like plastic cat-eye masks and feather boas. Luckily, no one chose the boas. The contestants scramble for whatever they can physically carry out of the building with them (in a large garbage bag provided by production, of course).

The double-whammy this week is that not only is this an unconventional materials challenge, but the designers must also work in teams of three with whomever they were randomly seated next to in the theater; there are five teams named by color. Not only does the unconventional challenge weed some people out because they cannot think outside the box or because they lack creativity, but a team challenge shows us who plays well with others and who has a big ego. They must individually make 3 cohesive looks, which is often hard enough to do using real fabrics and regular materials.

The editing was pretty transparent this week. I knew from camera time that the Purple team, for example, was going to be safe because they were hardly featured at all. I also knew somehow that Angela and Sandhya would not produce good work. It became very apparent early on that Angela was the weak link on the Blue team, obsessing over paper flowers and angels when her teammates were keen on a villain/femme fatale theme. The team concept seemed pretty foreign to her. Similarly, Sandhya was overly consumed with making sure her voice was heard, abandoning any sort of common thread in the designs. She just thought that if each person on the team did their own thing then they could somehow tie the looks together at the last minute. Honey, it doesn’t work like that. When Hernan put his foot down and took charge, she whimpered away like hurt puppy. Sandhya, how many times do I need to tell you THERE’S NO CRYING IN FASHION! This girl will never survive unless she thickens her skin. The whole sobbing to Tim episode she had was pathetic, sorry. I mean I know he is there to be a mentor, but sometimes you just have to figure these things out on your own and BUCK UP. Hernan perhaps did end up being a bit domineering, judging from the final looks, but the team were given a rough critique by Tim in which he called them out on an non-cohesive collection; Hernan’s reaction by controlling the situation bit them in the ass. I can’t help but wonder what the collection would have looked like had they stayed the course (without a direction or theme). Something tells me they may have been criticized for that, as well.

The rest was up in the air. The Silver team members were all on the same page and worked really well together, which typically means success. However, their work seemed underwhelming midway through the construction, even though I was excited about their concept. The Green team didn’t have much of a theme -- Avant garde/high fashion? Sorry, not a concept -- yet produced some nice enough looks which ended up leaving them safe.

And now for the runway:

RED TEAM: The lowest scorers produced three lackluster looks made entirely of film strips. Everything about these looks was monotonous: materials, silhouettes, colors. Heidi was spot on when she said they look like three women from a music video -- I thought "girl band in a B-movie." It just stinks for Carrie and Hernan that Sandhya had immunity (for a design which should have never won, by the way). I think Carrie is young and has likely has some growing to do as a designer, but I was interested to see more of her work. Bummer she was eliminated.

SILVER TEAM: I was happy to see the team pulled through in the end with their 1960’s futurism concept, winning the challenge. They used the most interesting and diverse assortment of materials to create three diverse yet cohesive silhouettes, and were smart to have a pop of color. Amanda’s winning design had great movement on the runway and a beautiful neckline. Do I think it was the BEST design of the entire challenge? No. But it was a team challenge and I believe she won because her design was very different from the others. I knew Kristine would do something fab when I saw those marquee letters, and she did not disappoint. Overall the graphic elements of this collection provided a great “wow” moment.

GREEN TEAM: This collection was very cohesive. They did achieve the avant garde and high fashion elements they wanted, and gave good runway drama. I adored Samantha’s white paillette top made of DVDs with the film strip bubble skirt, a great play of texture and shape.

BLUE TEAM: In the end the collection was very cohesive, and it is such a drag that Angela’s score prevented them from potentially being the top-scoring team. Sean’s innovative use of straws was fantastic and worked really well, yet contrasted with Fade’s use of assorted materials and a different silhouette; I like that he used film strips in moderation. Angela is proving to us that she is indeed a newbie fashion designer (admittedly in the midst of changing career paths). Her design was just a simple dress with paper embellishments, which were pretty, but in the need not nearly creative enough for an unconventional materials challenge.

PURPLE TEAM: Speaking of simple silhouettes relying on embellishment, here are three of them! It’s my biggest pet peeve when a designer simply hot-glues a bunch of materials onto a simple dress for an unconventional challenge. These designs have all been seen before. Heidi lit up, though, when she saw Mitchell’s short-tight-shiny number walk. I’m sure the colors looked good on stage, but for me the three of them were pretty much eyesores. Still, they are safe because there was nothing truly abominable.

Loved seeing Garance Doré as a guest judge. She’s an incredibly articulate, intelligent fashion blogger with a great eye, and one of my favorites. Zac is trying really hard to replace Michael in the judge’s seat; I haven’t decided if I love or hate how bitchy he was in this episode. I do love that he wouldn’t stand for any excuses!