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Cind-Anya-rella and Her Two Construction Stepsisters

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Oct. 14, 2011 ,12:10 pm EDT

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: “Cind-Anya-rella and her Construction Stepsisters.” Starring “Cind-Anya-rella” – the former beauty queen who just learned how to sew; her two “Construction Stepsisters,” Viktor and Joshua; and finally, the two supporting “Design Damsels,” Kimberly and Laura. How will this movie end? Stay tuned …

Boxers and Pumps
As the episode begins we are told that it is the final challenge, the outcome of which decides who will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The five remaining designers head out for a ferry trip to Governors Island. Kimberly is wearing her highest pumps, while Anya is sporting a pair of fur Uggs (?) and Joshua, bless his little heart, is wearing printed boxer shorts and combat boots! In those getups, did they think they were going to a gay club in Atlantic City? Anyhow, Tim Gunn is there, along with Leslie Koch, president of The Trust for Governors Island, and John Stern, president of the Storm King Art Center.

What, No Standard Hotel Rooftop Pool Bar at Governors Island?
Gunn announces the final challenge: to create three looks that show a “range” (meaning a dress, pants outfit, a skirt ensemble, etc.) inspired by the island, its landscape, architecture and/or the fabulous Mark di Suvero sculptures on the island. They have two days and a $500 budget (Lordy!). After 30 minutes exploring the island, Joshua realizes that there is no Standard Hotel with a Rooftop Pool, so he ends up going to a church for his inspiration. Kimberly decides to be motivated by one of the di Suvero sculptures, entitled “New Beginning.” Anya is drawn to the positive/negative spaces of the artwork. Laura is inspired by circles. And Viktor likes the juxtaposition of the NYC metropolis vs. the island’s scenery.

Hired Help
Back on the “mainland” at Mood Fabrics, Laura somehow thinks $500 is $700 as she almost ends up buying too much fabric. Laura, you’re not at the Plaza Frontenac Neiman Marcus in St. Louis! The designers then return to Parsons, where Tim enters with the dreaded button bag. “You could all benefit from help,” he says. The last five eliminated designers walk in to be “assistants.” How excited they must have been when they were allowed to leave their sequestered hotel and endless Netflix viewing, thinking they were going to go shopping on Fifth Avenue ... only to discover they were back at Parsons to work.

Kvetching Hour
Time to choose assistants: Kimberly picks Becky; Viktor picks Olivier (Did you catch the MOST APATHETIC hug in Reality Show History??); Laura picks cutie Anthony Ryan; Anya goes with Bert, and finally Joshua gets Bryce. Soon, it’s back to bitching. Joshua is in fine form, blathering (quite loudly) to Bryce about how he “just got $20,000 swept away from me by a beauty queen” and something about “Beauty” (Anya) vs. “Talent” (himself). Fellow “Construction Stepsister” Viktor is also kvetching but more “privately.” When he feels his “inner Chola” coming on, he just goes to the confessional and vents his displeasure with everyone that way – so they can see it later on TV.

It’s Zoe!!!
It’s Runway Day, and understandingly, stress is high, with lots of self-doubting and emotional hiccups. Kimberly and Laura change their looks at the last minute, scrapping already-made pants for skirts or dresses. But thank goodness not a single one of the assistants has been harmed by either Viktor or Joshua. In other words: a good day so far. Heidi introduces the guest judge, actress Zoe Saldana, with much fanfare (how come all the other judges didn’t get this kind of an A-list entrance?). The Governors Island–inspired mini-collections come out, and it’s truly a “fashion hodgepodge.”


Here are my two cents:

Anya Does Bert, Viktor Goes Bland and Joshua Goes Kooky
Anya’s three looks were very “Bert” (did Anya design them or did Bert?). The looks were simple and architectural and had hints of “Art Gallery Owner” sophistication. The judges LOVED it. She was the first to be let through for MBFW, so basically she was, once again, the winner. Viktor’s designs were well-merchandised and constructed marvelously (loved the cascade-front leather jacket). But, as Michael Kors said, his looks lacked that runway “punch.” He was in. Good. Joshua’s group of ladies was a mess. I disagree with the judges about that cream sheath dress; the back was gaping and not fitting well, but I liked the metallic-mesh shoulder detail. The vest-skirt-and-top look was very “Mean Girls” cheerleader, which made me smile, and then there was the “Statue of Liberty” gown that looked A LOT like a silver toga costume. But yes, kids, he was in. Why, you ask? Because he didn’t BORE anybody. What have I said before? Boring: OUT. Kooky: IN.

Neiman Marcus Called and They Miss You, Laura
Anyhow, Cind-Anya-rella and her Construction Stepsisters are all in, which leaves our two Design Damsels: Kimberly and Laura. I completely agreed with Heidi’s comments on Kimberly’s looks. The first was a hot girl at a Hollywood club, the second looked like a Dutch exchange student in London, and the other, a Las Vegas hoochie. Kimberly loves doing those side cowl-draped skirts that ENHANCE a woman’s hips; I don’t know why. But then there was Laura. I liked the gown, but I think she should have stopped with the overt use of that circle fabric right there. What destroyed Laura’s mini-collection was that boring (that dreaded word!) pillow-case-wrapped-with-a-tie dress. It came out of nowhere and essentially should have never made it to the runway. Therefore, it was Laura’s time to go. Now, go join your fellow designers and rent some Netflix movies and do some Web shopping at Neiman Marcus!

Speaking of Movies ... Movie Costume AMOUR from Nick
Recently, I was asked to give my “Nick Two Cents” (like I do here on the myLifetime.com blog) on the costumes of the upcoming film “Anonymous.” Starring Vanessa Redgrave, her daughter Joely Richardson and Rhys Ifans, “Anonymous” is set in the turbulent times of the succession of Queen Elizabeth, and it explores the question “Was Shakespeare a fraud”? I’m not sure if he was, but the Lisy Christl–designed costumes were FABULOUS! Now, I love “period” films, especially from that era. The farthingales, the plunging décolletage, the ÜBER-fashionable dandy men ... With “a little” help from my NIKOLAKI design partner, David Paul – who has a master’s in costume design from UCLA – and the many, many books on costume history that we both have in our “library,” I made sure to try to blend in the right amount of correct research and terminology but also add some fun “Nick-isms” to my take on the costumes. So, be sure not to miss my “Anonymous” costumes DISHING right here on myLifetime.com!

Posted in: episode 12