Well, we’ve made it. The last challenge before the tents. Except, we already had the tents and the Top Nine showed, and then it gets edited for TV to just the Top Three.
That life in “reality” television folks.
This week they started off giving the designers a break, sending them to the Presidential Suite, or as April called it, The Big Ass Presidential Suite, at the Mandarin Oriental, where the designers finally got their PR Champagne Toast, albeit without Tim or Heidi.
Or even a rooftop.
They all waxed nostalgic about the show and the journey, and destiny. Gretchen announced she was there because she “set the intention” to be there. Odd, she mentioned nothing about talent….or lack of talent. April appreciated the growth, as a person and a designer, while Andy just loved the experience of finding out who he was as a creative person. Mondo saw it as a journey to freedom, not just design, because he let go of the fear of being HIV+. Michael C ate Chocolate Mousse.
Once again, we are high in the sky with Tim Gunn and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to assign the final task. New York City as inspiration…..again. The designers are told they can do whatever they want, but that the judges want to be wowed.
We’ll see about that.
Since she is such a female Bohemian, Gretchen toured the Lower East Side for her inspiration, and chose bricks. Yes. Bricks. She tells us as the challenge winds on that she is under inspired and I say, Bricks. They are so inspiring.
Her snark, however, was still inspiring. Michael C’s fabric looked like the curtains in her house, and she feels Michael C is in the same place she was….five years ago. He’s just a replicator with no vision, like she was five years ago. Except, Grecthen, you are both on Project Runway. You are both in the Top Five. You have both won two challenges. And you’ve both been on the bottom.
So, he isn’t where you were, he’s where you are…..bitch.
And then she calls Andy’s work Asian Hooker, which causes him to rethink his idea and second-guess himself. She calls April’s work witchy. For some odd reason, she leaves Mondo alone. Maybe she thinks he’ll win and, well, she could use a job.
See, Gretchen won’t win with this hideous thing she created. The jacket was kind of cool, in a Members Only 2010 Reboot kind of way, but the blouse was a throwaway, and the skirt was just sad. Michael Kors took one look at it and said he was confused….that she’d lost her steam. Her dress didn’t look downtown or uptown, it looked midtown street fair Skirt-Off-The-Rack-Rock-n-Roll-Secretary.
Nina just muttered, What happened? To which, Gretchen replied that she was tired–but so were the other designers who created something interesting–and that she was sick of the challenges and being locked in a box and edited down.
But, as Heidi pointed out, this challenge was one were they could do whatever they wanted and to Wow the judges, so her excuse is just that; an excuse.
Guest judge Christian Siriano, AKA Lady Fierce, liked that she did separates, and easy, ready-to-wear, but there was no excitement.
Still, Gretchen gets a pass to the Top Four, from which one will be Auf’d before the tents.
Mondo took a nap. And then woke up about two hours behind and spent the episode struggling. At least, that’s how it was edited. I, for one, had no doubt at all that he would finish and finish strong. He opted for the Brooklyn Bridge and was inspired by a photo of three cars–black, yellow, and white–driving across the bridge, and wanted to reference those colors in his design.
But he went with yellow sequined fabric, something he doesn’t know how to use. So, as the song says, Mondo fought the sequins, and the sequins won. Which, as Tim pointed out, was a good thing.
But without the sequins, Colorful Mondo was left Black-and-White. And this could have been tragic. But the judges liked the fact that he stepped away from the color wheel, and went in a different direction, although Heidi noted, as did I, that Mondo was once again using the large Houndstooth print.
Still, his Little Black Dress was chic, and cool, and Mondo, though Lady Fierce said it looked more uptown than Brooklyn Bridge. And then, after the designers left the runway, he said he wasn’t so impressed with Mondo. Green, like jealousy, is another color Mondo could use, but not on Siriano, because it doesn’t look good.
Micahel Kors loved the lack of color, and the use of patent leather, while Nina says she’s seen a good range of design from Mondo.
Still, Mondo missed the win by that much, though he did get the Golden Ticket to Lincoln Center.
Andy toured Central Park and was drawn to the organic shapes of the walkways and the trees, and the sunlight-dappled scenery. So, he did a fabulous nature inspired dress in the colors of spring.
He did an Asian Warrior dress. Again. In black. With cutouts in the back. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was beautiful, but I didn’t see any Central Park in that dress. I saw wet streets, which was okay, but not what he says inspired him.
Tim, however liked it, but told him to keep it from going too slutty, too Real Housewives Of New Jersey, which is Tim-speak for tacky and tasteless.
And, while some called it hooker chic, I thought it looked just chic. The lines were cool, and the mix of fabrics–which Mondo always gets praised for, though Andy doesn’t–really made what was a dull silhouette, into something more.
Kors called him out on the Central Park theme, and called it Blade Runner/Robert Palmer Back-up Singer. But he also called it excellent, and the perfect Little Black Dress. Still, he worries about an entire collection of Asian Warriors. Nina liked the look of the wet fabric, while Heidi liked the figure defining lines. Lady Fierce liked it, then loved it.
Andy also just missed the top spot, but still got the chance to hit the tents.
The youngest of the bunch also chose the Brooklyn Bridge as her inspiration, and stayed true to herself as a designer. Then she was called out for it, by all the judges, for going black again and again. But, to me, this is her aesthetic. Dark, and witchy. and a bit flowy and sheer.
And April, except for some smack talk throughout the season, was one of the few snarky designers. She, and I think it’s because she’s a recent design school graduate, just set out to work. We rarely saw her behind or panicking about not finishing. She has the kind of work ethic that makes for a good designer, if she would just broaden her viewpoint.
Her dress was once again black, and once again sheer, and once again full of cut-outs. And she got called out for that by Kors, who announced that he’s seen that dress before, and that sameness of April’s work is numbing.
Ouch. Though he has a point.
Heidi wanted color, and since this was a chance to wow the judges, why stick with what you know; do something different. The same dress, in a different color, might have been stunning. Nina saw no risks, no chances, no range, while Lady Fierce saw April in April’s work.
So, maybe April needs to try and design for people other that herself, and she’ll stretch. And, sad to say, she’ll have time, because she was Auf’d. And I really wanted an Andy-Mondo-April tent show.
The Statue Of Liberty?
Really? In all of New York, the Statue of Liberty. I was less than impressed.
I really thought doing a drapey dress based on a statue of a woman in a drapey dress was the epitome of uninspiring, but, well, apparently, what do I know.
Micahel once again made two dresses; or almost two dresses. Once Tim saw his overworked hot mess of a second dress, he suggested Micahel rethink; and he did.
And when it hit the runway i thought it was the most boring dress out there. A simple halter top, as ass-grazing back, and a waist-high slit. I thought even Gretchen’s awful dress was better. I mean, I’ve made the joke time and again about draping a sheet around yourself and calling it a dress, and this is exactly what he did.
So, when the judges asked him to explain his design, and he said he wanted to make a showstopper, I burst out laughing and waited for Kors to say, Well, you did make a showstopper, and it stopped any chance of you going to Lincoln Center.
Imagine my shock when Kors actually said, You wanted a showstopper and you got a showstopper.
Huh? What? Huh?
They loved the simplicity, and the drapiness and the fabric and, the boring-ness. I kept thinking that this must be an Alternate Universe Runway. Nina loved the movement, and Heid announced that she would wear it. Lady Fierce called it Old Hollywood, and I thought, Okay, Old Hollywood pool wrap, maybe.
And then comes word that Michael C didn’t even know what fabric he used. Lady Fierce thought that was bad, but Kors said he may not know the fabric but he knows what to do with it.
And so, Michael C, the bane of Gretchen’s existence, the butt of every one’s joke, the scourge of Ivy, gets the win. And I just sat there, wondering how…….why. I mean, it really was better than Gretchen’s but was it better than Andy or Mondo? No. Better than April? Barely.
So, there you have it. Micahel C, Gretchen, Mondo and Andy are the “televised” Final Four who get to make their collection and then prove to the judges that they are worthy of showing at the tents….even though they all show at the tents.
One more chance to send Gretchen packing.