Wow, what an episode. Personally, if I were on a show where I was going to be awarded the prize for being the best American designer of the lot, I'd bristle over all these team challenges, such as that which the designers were put through last night.
[I forgot to mention: At the start of the episode, when Heidi introduced the models for their elimination session, each walked onto the runway sporting a hairstyle that featured "a lotta look," as Tim Gunn says. One looked like a rat's nest. Another was simply flowing waves. Another had a type of super-huge, woven-basket bun effect in the back. You get the idea. The designers were paired off and instructed to create an avant-garde couture look inspired by the hairstyle of one of their models.]
Christian and Chris were a fantastic pair on the team I dubbed Team Personality Plus. At long last, Christian showed some maturity, or at least decent leadership: by appreciating that he was paired with Chris, the king of costume, he knew they would do great work. They seemed to work seamlessly, each taking on the area where they excelled. Sure, the skirt on the ready-to-wear outfit looked like a Jones New York skirt I bought off the sale rack at TJ Maxx in 1992, but still, the blouse's ruffles alluded to the tiered organza in the couture piece. Bravo!
I admit, I was taken in by the editing job they did on the Jillian and Victorya pairing; until the end it seemed the two were destined for failure, time management slipping through their grasp. Who would have thought that punk and trench coat would be used together to describe the same garment? I liked the final couture piece, with the fun pink Tartan lining. The little black dress was totally unrelated to the couture piece and other than the fabric, did not look inspired by the couture outfit in the slightest. That's why they didn't win.
But it was Sweet P and Rami who looked the most at risk. Rami, domineering and insistent with his intense pronouncements and micromanaging. Over-emotional Sweet P teared up at every turn. At the end, when Rami was like a chicken with its head cut off, zipping this way and that, it's as if he took on parts of Sweet P's personality - she's usually the one sliding around the workroom in a panic. The couture gown was OK if a little flat (and I thought the whole trousers-with-dresses thing was so over?). But Sweet P's ready-to-wear dress was adorable, with all the pleating and the satin edging -very nice. I'd wear the thing!
And where the heck did Kit and Ricky's monstrosity come from? Like the dean of fashion design Michael Kors pointed out, the beribboned hoop skirt and apron combo recalled Scarlett O'Hara - only with less elegance and grace. Guest Judge Alberta Feretti giggled her critiques at them (and I would not be surprised if Kit went and purchased a Feretti gown only to rip it to shreds). The daytime dress looked like it was made out of wallpaper you'd find in a down-at-the-heels Bed and Breakfast at the Jersey shore.
Sneaking in that ready-to-wear project at the height of the contestants' angst was almost cruel. Not sure I like the producers' pulling this one, this time. But these designers really must be professionals because they make like Tim Gunn and make it work.
Final Three Picks: Christian, Jillian, and a tossup between Chris and Victorya