Dust off your crack pipes, dear readers. It’s Runway time.
Previously: We met more designers than any of us can possibly remember.
The Challenge: The designers attend a “private movie screening” in a beautiful theater, where an extremely cheesy trailer about fashion plays before the film cuts to Tim. That is apparently the entire “movie.” Tim announces the unconventional challenge – the designers must create looks using the movie and movie experience items as materials. This includes everything from props and costumes (seemingly limited to feather boas) to tickets and 3D glasses. Then Tim walks into the theater to continue describing the challenge – why they were watching him on screen when he was actually in the room the whole time is beyond me, but whatevs. The designers are split into five teams of three to create a cohesive three-look mini-collection… in one day. The worst part is, there will be a winning team and losing team, which always guarantees that someone terrible will be in the top, and someone great will be in the bottom.
Guest Judge: Fashion blogger Garance Doré. Honestly, I spent so much of this episode angry at Heidi, Nina, and Zac that I don’t really remember anything about Garance as a judge. Let’s assume she was fine.
Silver Team: Korina, Kristine, Amanda (winning team)
It looks better in photographs than it did on TV, but this was one of my least favorite looks. I was shocked that this team was awarded the top spot – it seemed entirely contrived to give Amanda as much screen time and attention as humanly possible. For someone who couldn’t stop bragging about her team making their own textiles, she really only made half a textile. The top half is cool, but the rest of the shit attached to that plain white underlay looks absolutely terrible. It just seems apparent that she only finished about 1/3 of what she attempted to do. This reminded me of my least favorite dress in recent red carpet history – the Prada disaster Lupita Nyong’o wore to this year’s Met Gala. I know the judges feel the need to over-praise contestants they bring back from prior seasons, to justify bringing them back at all, but this entire judging session was just a crack-induced nightmare.
This was a little cheesy and tacky for me, but it was easily the chicest entry from this team. I’m not going to stop calling Korina “Jessa” anytime soon, but she’s definitely one of the designers to watch this season.
I really did not enjoy this look. I thought the bodice was ugly, I thought the letters were hideous, and I thought the silhouette was way too simple. I’m impressed that Kristine and her teammates were able to create cohesive looks in such a short amount of time, but I still can’t comprehend how this team ended up on the top when I was sure they were on the bottom.
Green Team: Emily, Alexander, Samantha
The Green Team certainly should have been contenders for the top spot. Their looks were cohesive, fascinating, fashionable, and just the right amount of weird. Alexander’s entry is dramatic and runway-ready. You can feel the spirit of the challenge in it, and it looks like something that’s fun to wear.
This had its execution problems, but at least the idea was there. The skirts made of cascading rolls of film really brought this mini-collection together, but this was a little too sloppy.
It’s not the most impressive look in photos, but this was by far my favorite thing on the runway. It moved so elegantly and looked impossibly cool. Maybe I’m biased because Samantha and I share a first name, but she’s another designer I’m keeping an eye on. I think she’s got some serious potential.
Red Team: Hernan, Sandhya, Carrie (losing team)
I feel just terrible for Carrie, another victim of this show’s crack-induced bullshit. Since Sandhya made a controversial garment that won last week, and then cried to Tim over how mean her teammates were this week, her team obviously had to be at the bottom for maximum drama. (While I like Sandhya, I think she overreacted to the criticisms her teammates gave her, and I do not at all agree that they were “picking on her,” as she claimed.) The judges desperately wanted to have a “first to worst” story, and punish Sandhya’s team for not working well together. But since Sandhya had immunity, this meant that Hernan or Carrie had to be sacrificed at the altar of contrivance.
It was entirely unfair, and I was very proud of Carrie and Hernan for standing up for themselves and basically calling the judges out on their bullshit. The judges were more callous and rude in this episode than ever before, and fought with the contestants just for answering their questions honestly. It was bad enough that they manipulated the show to create these results; things got worse when the contestants started to fight back, the judges reacted like bitchy little children. So goodbye to Carrie, who was one of the more talented designers of the group and did not at all deserve to be eliminated for a totally decent dress.
All my Carrie comments also apply to Hernan. His dress had a little more going on, which ended up saving his ass, but none of these people deserved to be in the bottom.
This was not nearly as bad as the judges made it out to be. And since when is being too cohesive a problem on this show? Yes, I did notice that all these dresses looked too much alike, and I agree that that was a flaw. But was it a worse problem than the other hot messes walking down this runway? Not even close. And honestly, this dress is pretty cool and wearable.
Purple Team: Mitchell, Kini, Char
The Purple Team did a fantastic job. They took themselves so much less seriously than the rest of the teams, and their looks were incredibly fun as a result. I cannot believe that Char was able to weave all these tickets into a textile in one day. The embellishments are funky and fashionable, and helped Char solidify herself as the early fan favorite. I think that having a sense of humor about yourself and your design is the most important part of the unconventional challenge, and in that regard, this team killed it.
The weakest of the three, and not particularly memorable, but it’s still chic and well-made and fun as hell.
Apparently, when Mitchell stops being a mean girl and shuts his mouth and gets to work, he can create some really terrific shit. I thought this crushed-CD dress was FANTASTIC. Yes, the silhouette is incredibly simple, but I think that enhances the crazy light-catching textured print. A more complex design would have made this go way over-the-top. I’m still not sure I actually like Mitchell, but he certainly was the most improved since the first challenge.
Blue Team: Sean, Angela, Fade
EVERYONE LEAVE ANGELA ALONE. Even though her team was in the middle, Heidi felt the (totally unnecessary) need to single Angela out and tell her that her design was so shitty, it almost brought her entire team from the top spot into the bottom spot. That just felt so needlessly mean-spirited, especially since the point of being in the middle of the pack is that Heidi & Co. don’t get to say mean (or nice) shit to you. This was not my favorite look on the runway, but it was miles better than the crap the judges gave the win to, so there was really no reason to single out Angela for random Heidi hatred. It still feels like everyone on this show is trying to break this woman, and I absolutely hate that. Everyone please stop picking on this nervous computer engineer-turned-designer. She so clearly means well, and she’s not even close to being the worst designer in the competition. Stay strong, honey. I’m on your side.
FÄDE ZU GRAU
A little weird, but in a good way, no? The bodice had an armor-like superhero vibe that I dug, and the fringe at the bottom looks effortlessly cool. I think it’s the black-and-white portion in the middle that didn’t really come together for me. Still, a strong look overall.
Sean kept bragging about how you couldn’t tell this dress was made of straws, but I’m not really sure that’s true. This just seemed heavy and unpleasant, and not nearly as innovative as an unconventional materials look should be.
Judges’ Top 3: Amanda, Korina, Kristine
Diva’s Top 3: Samantha, Mitchell, Char
Judges’ Bottom 3: Sandhya, Hernan, Carrie
Diva’s Bottom 3: Sean, Amanda, Kristine
Next time: The contestants reveal their sure-to-be-terrifying thoughts on futuristic fashion in S13 E03 – Past, Present, and Future.