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Season 13, Episode 6: It's a Nice Day for a Rock Wedding
The designers are wrangled to Webster Hall in Manhattan, which is set up for what appears to be a low-key wedding. Tim walks down the makeshift aisle with famed burlesque performer, lingerie designer, and next-level class act Dita Von Teese to introduce the designers' next task.
Challenge: Create an alternative wedding dress and a corresponding dress for the reception.
Parameters: The designers will work in pairs determined by the button bag (throw air quotes around that because at least one of these pairings seems deliberately arranged for maximum drama): Kini and Sean, Fade and Emily, Char and Sandhya, and Korina and Amanda (ahem). Budget of $400, one day to work. Sean has immunity.
Feels appropriate to make designers pair up for a wedding-related challenge, no? All that wedding talk about patience and compromise applies here, too. At Mood, some questionable choices are made: Samantha and Alexander grab oxblood lace and creamy-colored appliqué, while Sandhya pushes Char toward a highlighter-bright citron chartreuse-y shade. Tim's critiques are...not thrilling, but not utterly disastrous, either. Unlike last week, the designers are sticking to the plans they've made. Sean and Korina struggle to complete parts of their looks, but Amanda and Kini step in to shoulder the burden. Sandhya's dress looks like an actual half-eaten ear of corn but Char keeps her head down and focuses on her own look.
Amanda seems to be getting some hate from her fellow designers for winning so many challenges and absorbing the judges' attention and other nitpicky things, and the "seems to be" is key here because we don't actually see these confrontations (with Char and Korina, apparently), but rather Amanda's reaction to them. I am bored by all of it, so let's move on to the runway, where our guest judges are Ms. Von Teese and Italian style blogger Chiara Ferragni. (I'm still trying to figure out if the very particular "uh" sound she makes at the end of words is affectation or not. I can't lie to you, I found it kind of delightful.) Korina and Amanda are safe, which is surprising given how hard the editors were pushing their struggle on us this week, but not so surprising given their perfectly adequate final product. Sigh of relief for them!
Kini and Sean - Zac calls them the Dream Team. Nina likes the play on masculine and feminine that the looks offer. She thinks the skirt of Kini's garment is slightly too flamenco, and heavy-looking at that. Heidi and Zac don't see any problem with it. Dita says she'd wear both outfits. There's no question that Kini and Sean are the top team but there's some back-and-forth regarding which of the them deserves the win more. Sean gets it. Which is fine? I guess? Even though it seemed like Kini handled more of the work and is also overdue for a win? I'm not sure I really understand where that decision came from. Kini doesn't either: "I was robbed," he shrugs.
Emily and Fade - Emily describes their bride as an "introverted, artistic type" who gets married in Japan. Dita, who herself had a gothic wedding, finds Emily's hooded look cliche and over-the-top. Heidi likes the draping at the back, and the fabrication of Fade's dress gets compliments, too, but Chiara and Dita don't see any cohesion between the two looks. "I don't even think these girls would be hanging out together," Dita says. The designers aren't on the bottom, technically, but their critique wasn't great, so we're just gonna settle for them being safe.
Alexander and Samantha - Nina says the only thing missing from these messy looks is rhinestones, since Alexander and Samantha threw basically everything else on them anyway. The panel doesn't like how cheap both look, nor how '80s they are, nor the bizarre red-wine-stain ombre on the party dress. Zac's one compliment: The looks do seem like they come from the same world and belong to the same girl. (Though since that was the minimum requirement for the challenge, it's really not much of a compliment at all. Way to barely make it work, guys.) They're safe.
Sandhya and Char - Heidi calls it an epic fail. Zac says his takeaway is "Big Bird and Tweety bird." Dita thinks the girl looks like "a lemon heiress," which is maybe my favorite descriptor ever used on the show. Nina thinks working with the color in a more simplified form would have been better. Heidi agrees and goes on to call out the haphazard way the skirts on both looks were constructed. Char and Sandhya aren't in defense mode at all -- they know they messed this one up -- and actually sound grateful for the criticism. The judges put them in the bottom, and it's no surprise they choose Char for elimination. Sandhya's too much of a rising star to let go at this point in the season.
Tim says that if we were a bit later in the season, he would have used his Tim Gunn Save on Char. I admit that I forgot the Tim Gunn Save was a thing, and am now even more curious as to who Tim might have in mind to use it on should the need arise. (Fade, maybe? He's done consistently interesting work to little or no fanfare from the judges. I could see him landing on the chopping block by virtue of being a little too subdued, then Tim swooping in to make sure he gets another shot.) How do you feel about Char getting auf'd? Did you think her design was worse than Sandhya's? Do you think Kini deserved the win over Sean? (I do!) As we inch closer to the finale, are you getting any vibes about who you think might land at the top? Lemme know in the comments.