So, here we are, The Finale. Mondo, Michael C, Andy and Gretchen.
Who got the pity edit? Who had the breakdown?
We are down to the Final Four, all of whom–plus another six or eight more that we’ll never see–will make a ten piece collection for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Only, this Final Four must choose three looks to show the judges–two from their completed collection, and one that they must create in about twenty minutes…I kid. They got 24 hours. Then, however, just three will go on to show at The Tents.
Well, maybe nine, but we’ll only see three…..gosh, it’s confusing. Real shows, decoy shows.
Tim Gunn–read his book, Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work, because it’s fabulousness personified–is charged with making the cross-country trek to visit each designer and give the crit for their collection. Tim adds frequent flyer miles to his account with a trip from New York to Oahu to Palm Springs to Denver to Portland and back to New York. I’d like that job.
Andy had fabrics made in Laos for his collection, so on Tim’s visit day he had nothing to show, but some pictures, some swatches, some jewels, and, well Chinese Catfish that left Tim jumping and squealing. If that doesn’t make you love Tim Gunn, you have no heart.
In Andy’s workspace, which seems a little bomb shelter chic, we get a peek at Andy’s fabric choices. But little else, because he was still waiting for more fabric, so there were no completed pieces. But I did get the sense that since he was harkening back to his Laotian roots, we’d be blessed with a little less Warrior Princess this time around.
Andy has work to do, and very little time to complete it.
And his mini-collection, well, at least the three pieces, was a couple of hits, and a big miss, though all were totally Andy.
His silver dress, was ruffly and pleat-y, and looked very chic, and short. What I didn’t get was the bug antenna headpiece he put on her. That took what looked like a fun flirty outfit and turned it into a reboot of My Favorite Martian.
Still, Tres Andy.
Not so Andy, was his bikini with the weird sheer cape flowing behind it. Was it an Ode to April, because it looked like something she might have done, since she was so fond of the sheer cape-y goodness? Or was it, as the judges implied, a little bit knockoff and little bit throwaway? It just didn’t seem to fit with the other pieces, and I’m hoping Andy dumps it, and the antennae, before the Big Show.
Then we got a glimpse of Andy’s extra piece, you know, the one he made in about a day. and, like the judges said, I think it was the hit of the show. The color–and Andy used the fabrics he ordered from Laos–was absolutely gorgeous, and his work was stunning. All those pleats done in a day; I can see Andy owning a wee little shop on Oahu: Pleats In A Day.
He’d be a hit.
But he was a miss with this mini-collection. He told the judges he wanted to give them just a taste of what he had done, but they wanted Wow, and didn’t get it. Andy seemed nearly on the verge of being Auf’d for misjudging what to show, but his little green dress probably saved him
He’ll be at the tents. And, Andy, lose the bikini.
Next stop was the heat of Palm Springs and Michael C, the king of productivity. Michael has made eighteen pieces for his ten piece show, though, to his credit, he has already Auf’d several pieces to the Reject Rack.
His inspiration is the sky; day sky, dusk sky, evening sky. Which I think will create a beautifully colored show, as long as the pieces are the usual Michael effortless, toss it on a model, chic.
And while we’re in Palm Springs, we meet Michael’s partner, Richard, from whom we learn that Michael’s family is not keen on the whole Gay Son, Fashion Designer nonsense. They just want him to settle down, marry a nce girl [again!] and be a manly man. Well, Richard ain’t playinin’ that, and so Michael’s family won’t be attending the show because, as Richard tells us, they don’t want that for their son.
Well, folks, if he makes it, you might be singing a different tune.
But it might be a one-colored tune, as was Michael’s mini-collection. His choice to show three pieces in the same color scheme was a mistake, even though, for me, I loved all three.
His Last Minute Piece was all Michael. Effortless and easy and beatifically worn by the model. His work often looks easy, but as Nina points out, easy is sometimes the best look ever.
And then we had what I though of as a Michael C take on Gretchen’s Bohemian vibe–and done a whole lot better. The fringed shirt was stunning, and very detailed–and, sad to say, did not look at all effortless–and the pants looked like some really chic rock’n’roll getup. They looked a little baggy, which made them seem dated, but as a whole, I liked the rocker look to it.
Last up was his feathered dress. Seen it before, and, sorry to say, better. One of the judges said “boxy” just as I said to Carlos, “It looks like a feathered box.” And we know that can’t be good.
Michael was called out for showing a one-color grouping, but then said he had greys, and warm greys, in his collection, and the judges once again seem shocked that the designers didn’t bring a better variety.
And, while I think Michael’s collection would have been a beautiful show, he gets Auf’d. And suffers one of the most painful breakdown ever on the PR.
Weeping and crying, he says he doesn’t know how he’ll tell his family he didn’t make it. You can see the pain on his face as he wonders what he’ll do when he gets back to Palm Springs and gets an I told you so from his parents. I felt so awful for him, and then happy that he had Richard, who will support him in whatever he chooses to do, and not force him into some little box, feathered or not, just to save face.
And, getting political here, that’s the problem with some parents of gay men and women, They have these stereotypes of what a man is or isn’t; and, to Michael’s parents, a man isn’t a fashion designer. But, Michael is a designer, and quite good, and still a man, so I’m hoping he listens to his partner, and keeps on doing what he loves.
Mondo’s apartment is neon pink.
Mondo is Mondo is Mondo.
And his collection will be based on the circuses of Mexico, and Día de los Muertos celebrations there. It could be garish and scary, or it could be fabulous.
I’m betting on fabulous.
But, as usual, the brilliance–and by brilliance, I mean colors–got to Tim, and he worried that Mondo might go a bit overboard. It was a lot of look for the show, and a lot of stuff.
And, like with Michael C, we learned that Mondo’s parents also had a hard time with a son who was gay. Mondo was blackmailed into playing baseball with the promise that he could also play the piano. This could have broken him, but he realized that if he just gave baseball a chance, and wasn’t kicked off the team for throwing like a girl….Oh wait, that was me…..he could do, and be, the things he loved.
Mondo’s looks are all Mondo, all the time. His use of different patterns and fabrics is something only he does well, and other designers–I’m looking at your animal print Gretchen–should just stop. And this piece was also subtle in color, except for a slip of a pink belt. The downside? The headpieces. Michael Kors called one of them a cupcake, and not in a good way. I’m hoping that Mondo loses the headgear like I want Andy to lose the bug ears.
His next dress, the polka dot number, was just amazing. I mean, bold, and yet sexy. The back plunging down was just beautiful, and the fit was perfect. I loved this one. And Heidi did, too, which seemed to mean that Monod was already in.
But, alas, his third piece, the one created just the day before, was less Mondo and more last minute. The skirt print was true to his aesthetic, but the neon blue top was just off, when shown side-by-side with his other, more muted colors. It was ture to his style of using bold colors, but not true to the mini-collection he showed.
But still, with Mondo being Mondo, the only one with a distinct point of veiw throughout the whole season, and the only one that the judges think can bring a show to the tents, he’s the first one picked.
And I’m hoping he’ll be the first one picked next week.
Finally, Tim gets out to one of my favorite cities, Portland, Oregon, and a visit with one of my least favorite designers, Gretchen. And this is the pity edit. after a season of bitchitude and smacktalk, we learn that Gretchen came home from the Runway to a failed relationship, an empty bank account, and a house she must leave.Is it karma? Should I feel bad? Or is it all in the editing? Yes, I’ll pick ‘C’, too.And so, after we get the sob story, Tim gets a look at the sob collection. Gretchen is inspired by her rural roots as well as the rural roots of every other civilization throughout the world since the beginning of time.In other words, Ancient Boho Boring.She’s made separates and pants and dresses and bags and jewelry and…and…and…It was all too much. Tim thought it verged on costumey and I thought it skidded right into awful.Which means she’ll make it, right?
Her last minute piece was some kind of jumper thing, with a flap that seemed to rise out of her model’s ass and attache itself to a strap. Odd. Really odd.
Then we had the mix of patterns that Gretchen should have stayed away from since she was competing against Mondo, the Queen of Pattern Mixology. And with the necklace she made, and the bag she made, well, it looked like a reject costume from the old Cher show, and the Laverne character. It was just clownish.
Then we had the last look, and as it appeared on the runway I looked at Carlos, burst out laughing, and said, What the fuck is that?
It’s not an outfit. It’s a shorty robe with dyed granny pants underneath. But, I’m curious, if it’s a bathrobe and underwear, why the 70s pimp hat? Seriously, this is one of the most ridiculous pieces of….WTF is it?….that I have seen on the PR.
And to not hear one judge say WHAT IS IT? left me speechless.
But not nearly as speechless as I was when Gretchen’s name was called second.
She’s in? This clinking clanking clacking collection of caliginous junk [tap hit to The Wizard of Oz for that line] is in, and Michael is out? Gretchen’s would be a better show?
Oh, for the love of the Baby Jeebus, what is going on?
So, there you have it; Finale, Part 1.
And what can we expect?
A show from Mondo, and a win, I’m hoping.
Some last minute fixing on Andy’s part.
And a lot of Dear Jesus, Whats’ wrong with that woman, when Gretchen shows.