The Challenge: Design a uniform for the employees of SPiN, an NYC ping pong club/bar very randomly owned by Susan Sarandon. The teams must create looks for servers and ballboys, and thus, an hour and a half of ball-related punning begins.
Guest Judge: Noted ball-lover Susan Sarandon.
Winning Team: Keeping it Real
A strong opening look for Team Keeping it Real, who proved again that less ego and more teamwork are the key to success on this season. Perhaps a tad on the simple side, but the pants were expertly made and the uniform was practical and realistic.
KATE PANKOKE and PATRICIA MICHAELS
Unless the SPiN waitresses are also college freshmen stopping by a yoga class before a frat party, I don’t think this outfit is going to work. Also, the construction on the back of that blouse is a serious problem.
JOSEPH AARON SEGAL and RICHARD HALLMARQ
The shirt was stupidly tight, but the graphic logo on the pants pockets looked cool. And though the ball-retrieving harness looks ridiculous on the runway, it was one of the most practical and thoughtful ideas on the runway.
I honestly thought Amanda was going to get eliminated for this. She ignored the challenge completely and made an incredibly basic black babydoll dress – for a WAITRESS. Tell me how a woman is supposed to bend over in that, would you, Amanda? And I don’t know why the judges thought it was so genius that it was made of swimsuit material – who wants a work uniform that you can’t put in the dryer? Nothing at all distinguishes this as a waitress, or a ping pong club, and there’s no practicality to it whatsoever.
DANIEL ESQUIVEL and LAYANA AGUILAR, Winner
Daniel and Layana had an effortless, wonderful working relationship together, so it was no surprise that they churned out the judges’ favorite look. That skort/apron hybrid was brilliant, and though the idea of the bouncing ping pong balls in the vest was a little better than the execution, it was still a terrific look. It very clearly reflected the challenge and the practical needs of the person wearing this uniform, it incorporated a logo (hard to see in this photo, but it’s on the back over her shoulderblade), and it looked fashionable. Since Daniel had immunity from last week’s win, he graciously told the judges Layana should get the win for their joint creation. The man with the handlebar mustache continues to win me over, and Layana’s growing on me as well.
Losing Team: Dream Team
BENJAMIN MACH and MATTHEW ARTHUR
I loved the kilt, and though I thought the placement of the logo was a little too obvious, I thought the judges were being awfully prissy about it. Anyway, I respect Matthew for refusing to be boxed into a boring design he’d never be able to support, and stepping outside the box to make something beautiful and interesting, if a step over the top. But that shirt Benjamin designed looks absolutely terrible. He really did get too busy micromanaging his team to focus on his own work, and that will be the death of him before long.
SAMANTHA BLACK and TU SUTHIWAT NAKCHAT
The skirt is fine, but this vest-shirt thing is terrible, at least from the front. The back is pretty, but you’d never know she was a waitress from that angle. I was disappointed, because Tu’s work last week was fantastic, and Samantha has a great personal style (and a fabulous first name, because we have the same one). So I thought they’d be capable of something a bit better; perhaps in a more supportive team environment, they could have made something great.
JAMES MARTINEZ, Eliminated
This was all kinds of ill-fitting and terrible, but I’d still have given Amanda the auf for her “I’ll make a little black dress no matter WHAT the damn challenge is” attitude rather than James.
BENJAMIN MACH and CINDY MARLATT, Bottom 2
I liked the jacket, but the shorts are ill-fitting and poorly constructed, and there was nothing unique or remarkable about it. I’m almost positive Cindy’s next on the auf list.
MICHELLE LESNIAK FRANKLIN
A wrinkled sack of a dress in a sad, muddy color. Get your act together, Portland.
Judges’ Winner: Layana
Diva’s Winner: Layana
Judges’ Bottom 2: Cindy and James
Diva’s Bottom 2: James and Amanda