The Challenge: Create seasonal sportswear for a weekend getaway in a fashion face-off. Kara vs. Austin for spring; Mondo vs. Kenley for summer; Mila vs. Rami for autumn; and Jerell vs. Michael for winter.
Guest Judge: The adorable and clearly stoned Cynthia Rowley.
AUSTIN SCARLETT, Bottom 2
I’ll admit it: I loved this pant. It totally worked for me in that so-nerdy-it’s-cool kind of way. And though the cardigan is a bit too grandma for anyone, the blouse could have worked in a slightly less stuffy print or color combination. But the purse is beyond terrible, the shoes are really not my favorite, and the hair and makeup was atrocious. When it came to styling, Austin made all the wrong choices this week. A particular shame, because he had one of the best constructed outfits on the runway, and ruined what started out as a good idea.
KARA JANX, Top 4
I go into default hate mode whenever I see this sort of drapey thing, because I find it impossible to compare this to something that’s actually constructed. I mean, Kara’s look certainly met the challenge better than any other (in terms of sportswear for a weekend getaway), and I’d argue that her finished product is more aesthetically pleasing than anything else on the runway.
But from the back, you can see that this isn’t minimalism done brilliantly, it’s just fabric hanging off a model’s body. From the front, Kara managed to fake a look that put her in the top, but I think the ugly draping in the back shows how weak her whole concept really was. Her styling beat Austin’s by a mile, but at least he actually constructed three pieces. This? Not so much.
MONDO GUERRA, Bottom 4
It’s not my favorite Mondo look. The barrel curled bangs look beyond stupid, and the proportions of these shorts are really strange. I love Mondo mixed-prints, but when he gets this accessory-happy, he destroys the beauty of his own work. The top and shorts are a strong enough combination that he could add in just one little pop of color and be done. The model doesn’t need stripper shoes, a beach bag, a neon belt and tacky bracelets, too.
KENLEY COLLINS, Top 2
At one point during the episode, Mondo said, “I feel like Kenley is doing the same thing over and over and she has this attitude like, ‘I’m doing me. This is me.’ But it’s a very arrogant attitude. This is a competition. At least try something new.” And to be honest, I agree – to a certain extent. Certainly we’ve seen the polka-dots and the rounded collars before and the childhood color schemes before. But in Kenley’s defense, a romper was a brilliant idea. I might hate them, but fashion editors don’t. I agreed with the judges’ comment about how the polka dots that didn’t line up along the seams were a little distracting, but only so much can be done in a single day.
Was it the most wearable thing on earth? Not unless you’re Minnie Mouse (a comment I made aloud to my boyfriend ten minutes before Jerell said the same thing). And I’m not saying I love this – far from it. But Kenley did manage to make something that’s 1) true to her own aesthetic without being predictable, 2) well-constructed, 3) appropriate for the challenge, and 4) styled well. I don’t believe a single other designer accomplished all those things in this challenge. For that, I’d have given Kenley the win.
MILA HERMANOVSKI, Top 4
I hated this the moment it came down the runway. I’ve been staring at these pictures for two days trying to appreciate the great things that other people saw in this, but I still hate it with every fiber of my being.
Let’s begin with the obvious: the cape/poncho/sleeve situation. It looks stupid in pictures, but it looked infinitely more ridiculous on the runway. She could barely move in it and it made her whole silhouette look egg-shaped. Just awful. And I don’t give a flying fuck how well-constructed those pants are: SHE’S MADE SIXTY PAIRS OF THEM. Now she’s not just a one-note, she’s a one-note who dresses women up like pods.
RAMI KASHOU, Eliminated
Well, this was just painful to watch. The mix of colors – not just the blue and green, but the gray pants and burgundy accessories – it was atrocious. And while that jacket had the semblance of a great idea, there was SO much happening here and none of it was well-executed. That green turtleneck looks insane, and this jacket could do with at least two fewer elements.
JERELL SCOTT, Winner
I hated this when it came down the runway, but it’s grown on me in recent days. I still maintain that that “coat” is not a coat at all, but a homeless person’s blanket. You cannot convince me otherwise, so don’t bother trying. But I do like the vest, and I do feel that overall, this met the challenge pretty head-on. And the accessories, while imperfect, weren’t as awful as some of his competitors.
MICHAEL COSTELLO, Bottom 4
It was a much chic-er version of Jerell’s look, but that didn’t stop it from being completely ordinary and intensely unattractive. The leggings/pump combo was one of the worst styling decisions I’ve ever seen, and he used way too goddamn much of that thick, hideous fabric. It would have been great just for the cuffs on the arms, but when she’s entirely wrapped in it, it’s quite an eyesore.
Again, much better from the back, even if all he did was cut a hole in the coat and belt it. Overall, this was the longest I’ve struggled with who my favorites/least favorites were, because I really had a strong distaste for everything on the runway this week. Let’s pretend this silly little challenge never happened, and pray for some fabulousness next week!
Judges’ High Scores: Jerell (Winner), Kenley, Mila, Kara
Diva’s High Scores: Kenley, Jerell, Kara, Michael
Judges’ Low Scores: Michael, Mondo, Austin, Rami (Eliminated)
Diva’s Low Scores: Austin, Mondo, Mila, Rami
And, just for fun, a limerick:
The preview claimed “Best versus Best”
But I disagree, I confess:
Ms. Michael’s designs
Are worse than his whines
And Jerell needs to lose the V-necks.