By CJ Bomb
Is this it? Could it be? The designers are down to four in this never ending saga and I’m wondering if it is going to be a four way showdown. We have the sister wives and Stanley. As these four have been the core focus of the show this season it seems natural that they would be the four horsemen of the fashion apocalypse that is this show. It truly is hard to picture anything else, but who knows?
We are in Washington D.C., fashion mecca of the United States (snort). The designers are walking through town looking quite dapper in their suits. They are the most fashionable people in D.C. at the moment. Stanley thinks they look like a boy band. They head over to the Smithsonian where Alyssa meets them wearing something her drunk stylist picked out for her. I have a theory this stylist got passed over for a job dressing Jennifer Love Hewitt and is taking it out on Alyssa. Just a theory. Their final challenge to to make a six piece collection to make their own mark on American fashion history. The designers freak out that it is the four of them and Anthony makes a sound that makes my dog jump up and start barking. It’s the final challenge! AND they get to shop at the Mood wearhouse which apparently somewhere nearby? They have a $2000 budget and one week to complete the challenge. Of course. Le sigh. They get to walk around the museum and sketch. Stanley points out that they are all so different it will be exciting to see each person comes up with. I have to say I’m excited as well. Excited for this to end! They hug and it is actually very sweet.
The designers see the First Ladies exhibit and rightly freak out over Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama’s gowns. Anthony makes another noise that sets my dog off. Stanley is super-inspired by Jackie and immediately starts sketching. Ann Lowe was an African American designer who created Jackie’s wedding dress. Google her, an INCREDIBLE talent who didn’t get the recognition she deserved. They head through the African American exhibit and are also rightly humbled and amazed. Ok, I’m getting more into this challenge. Ken is inspired by the Harriet Tubman exhibit. He wants to elevate his collection from his normal ready to wear looks. Anthony is going to go from Audrey Hepburn to Rihanna, inspiration wise AND surprise everyone by NOT just doing gowns.
They head to the roof for their model casting. They take turns picking these uber skinny women (guess embracing different sizes schtick is over in PR world….grrr) and it’s like the reverse junior high experience of four gay men picking the popular girls one by one for a fashion dodgeball team. At the Mood warehouse they have ONE HOUR to shop? Seriously WTF??? That place is huge! This sucks. Ken is picking a lot of light brocades and Stanley is going neutrals and focusing on cohesion. Ahhhhh COHESION. The ultimate drinking word when describing collections and watching any of these shows. You will be hammered by the end. Trust me. Fabio picks a bird print and then grabs fabric to compliment it. Anthony finds a cobalt blue neoprene faced with velvet. He thinks it will be fun. I’m thinking it looks hot. Like not sexy hot, but sweating out my water weight hot. He’s also getting a lot of feathers. Hmmm.
And we are back in NYC. Just to point out how brainwashed these guys are: they are excited to have one week to put all this together. And you just KNOW there is going to be some kind of idiotic last minute challenge thrown in for good measure. Fabio is wisely testing all of his techniques on muslin before he touches his fabrics. Anthony asks Ken if he is nervous and Ken admits he is and Anthony basically tells him he shouldn’t be because he is so talented. I must say it is lovely to see four people who genuinely like each other in the finale and aren’t bitchy to one another (cough, Joshua). Ken says he knows who he is now after being on the show last time and he feels good. I want whatever Ken is on this season. He is focusing on time management and editing. Stanley wants to make a stamp in the fashion world and references Willi Smith, an incredible designer who left this earth far too early during the AIDS epidemic. Google him as well. At the end of the day everyone’s feeling pretty good.
But the NEXT day they walk in and there is Alyssa. They are rightfully horrified. Stanley looks like he’s about to walk the plank. Alyssa tells them to breathe. There will be a presentation before the runway to see the signature look of each of the designers so that a panel of judges can steer them in the right direction. Ok. That’s good……right? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This will determine which THREE of them go on to present. I KNEW IT!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????? Does Alyssa have to get to some Lifetime movie set?? WHAT THE HELL???? Oh and the “exclusive presentation” is tomorrow. Of course. I can feel all the muscles that relaxed on my quick jaunt to Casa de Campo start to tighten in this moment. And I’m only recapping this. This is BULLSHIT. And now I have a terrible feeling that Ken is in trouble because they have featured him so heavily this episode. At least Anne will be there later to help (eye roll). They all point out that the signature look is usually the one you work on last and Ken laments that he hasn’t even made that pattern yet. FORESHADOWING. What the hell is the point of a design show when the designers don’t have time to actually DESIGN anything?? Project Seamstress.
Ken is trying to refocus and do his signature tailoring. Fabio is frantically painting and smocking. Stanley is going elegant. Anthony is making a gown using the blue neoprene velvet. Anns walks in and tells them not to panic. She tells Stanley everyone seems on edge today. Really Anne? What an astute observation. She tells Stanley that his choice to use gloves come come off as costumey and his garment is going to need to stand out since his color doesn’t. Stanley plans to edit. She tells Fabio his look so far is fascinating. She tells him she really wants to see the rest of the collection so he needs to make sure the look makes the judges want more. Fabio is touched by her words and tells her this is a first. She says she is happy he is letting his freak flag fly. I have to say that Fabio’s look reminds me of how I used to mix Esprit pieces in the eighties. Make of that what you will. Ken doesn’t get it. She loves Anthony’s theme. She loves that it is specific. She’s getting red carpet from Anthony’s dress which is great but red carpet tends not to be fashion forward. He’s going to have to put a little more Rhianna into it. Is Anne actually being helpful? Color me surprised. Anne wants more drama from Ken and when he mentions there will be a train she looks concerned. She tells him to make sure his look stands out on the runway…….and we are back to useless advice. Or she has written him off. FORESHADOWING. She tells them that she can feel the tension in the room and on that note wishes them luck.
Anthony is going to do an open back. Ken is struggling with his material and is worried his look is going costumey. Fabio is still high from his critique. His look is certainly the most original and I’m sort of digging it. Ken is debating taking away his dramatic sleeves and simplifying his look. Wouldn’t it be too similar to last weeks? Stanley is using an oxford shoe to toughen up his look. This is smart. Ken has taken off the sleeves. I have a bad feeling about this. Now he’s throwing on blue organza??
The next day no one feels good. Fabio is second guessing himself. Ken is going whimsical. Anthony feels good not great. Product pushing commences. In the last gasp moments bitchy commentary rears its ugly, funny head. My favorite comment was Anthony calling Fabio’s look “Crisco in a can” i.e. “fattening”. Anthony is under his model’s skirt. Stanley is sad someone is going home.
Alyssa walks onto the runway wearing the dress Jennifer Love Hewitt was supposed to wear to the People’s Choice Awards a few years ago. As always, pretty, but ill suited for her frame. At least she is consistent. Isaac tells them “Don’t fuck it up!” It’s a little late for this advice Isaac. The guest judges are DITA VON TEESE (thank you baby Jesus!!) and Senior fashion editor at Marie Claire and former mentor Zanna Roberts Rossi is also there. I could care less…DITA is there! The woman is exquisite with exquisite taste. She dresses HERSELF and always looks perfect. She can pull off a fascinator like nobody’s business and glamour is in her DNA. I’m a fan. Just in case you couldn’t tell. This is the type of judge I want on these shows. Not some random teen actress from a CW show I’ve never heard of. Rant over.
Stanley took a classic shape and modernized it. I’m loving the shoe with the skirt. If he had done different styling it could have come off fifties housewife. I like Ken’s look, but the organza looks out of place to me. I kind of wish he had kept the dramatic sleeves. I know TT is going to hate Fabio’s. It looks VERY young and VERY eighties. I don’t know if I love it or hate it, but I want to see more and that is the point of this, no? The makeup is unnecessary. Anthony’s is beautiful. I’m not getting Rhianna at all though. I have no idea who will be going home. Again, this one day crap messed everything up and I’m very disappointed by that. I’ve just now figured out that there is a LOT of time left on my DVR so there has to be some sort of final sew off because the judges can’t make up their minds. Or want to throw some more drama into the mix. Or both.
The best part of Anthony’s look for Isaac is the length. He also thinks the back is flawless and loves the width of the straps. He loves the fabric but thinks the waist looks unresolved. Georgina doesn’t like the fabric because it feels too heavy but she does like the length and shape. Dita likes the reference and how he modernized it but thinks the waist looks wonky. Zanna is getting pinafore in a good way. She and Dita like the fabric. Alyssa loves the sides and points out that the weight of the fabric on the side is what is pulling the waist down. Georgina tells him if this is what he is going to use he needs to think about his understructure. I’m sure he would have done that IF HE HAD HAD MORE TIME.
Zanna tells Ken that she wished he had stuck with HIS signature look. She understands why he tried to change it up but thinks it was bad timing to do so. Dita loves the pants but was grappling with the sash and thinks it was too fussy. Georgina thinks there is too much going on. She hates the earrings. She does love the proportions. Isaac loves the fabrics and the colors but wishes the sash had been more dramatic. Alyssa got beauty pageant from the sash when it first came out but compliments him on how much he has grown as a designer. Uh-oh.
Georgina adores Fabio’s smocking and how his woman makes no apologies for who she is is. She asks who his muse is and he says Tilda Swinton. Good Muse. Isaac tells Fabio he puts himself together in a completely gauche way and he needs to do that in his design. He’s not digging the print or the shoe. Gauche Caviar is now a term I’m going to use with wild abandon. Dita loves the skirt and is okay with the blouse but doesn’t love them together. Zanna thinks there is too much going on. She tells him to edit. Alyssa loves it and wants it and tells him his unique perspective is awesome.
Georgina thinks Stanley did a wonderful job ad loves his references but thinks the skirt looks a touch heavy and might have one too many layers. Isaac loves this woman and says it’s not the plainest dress in the world but almost the plainest address in the world and has enough to make him tingle with excitement. Dita loves the look. This actually looks like an inverted version of what she is wearing, fascinator and all. She wants to see more. Zanna adores it and thinks it represents past present and future. Alyssa thinks the subtle elements of the outfit make it fabulous. They get goosebumps when he takes the collar off.
Alyssa has a surprise for them? FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Georgina gives them an evil look and smile. Oh Georgina? A big ole’ surprise is headed your way sistah.They have to follow Alyssa? She asks if they are ready and they say no. Emphatically. They wind up in the control room. Is this it? Nope they are now in a room where Alyssa starts schilling for the Skylight Group. They repurpose space apparently. The designers have to make a look from fabric that other designers have discarded this season and they have an hour. Only my love for Tamara, The Lady Cocotte and you guys at this point is keeping me from turning off my TV and walking away from the dumbest idea this show in ANY version has ever had. This is production gimmickry of the highest order and serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.
The hour begins. The models stand there in their underwear. The hour ends. They are happy with what they did. Isaac thanks them for doing this crap. They like Anthony’s draping and color. They think Stanley’s color blocking was smart. They think Ken’s tailoring in the time frame was wonderful. They are happy Fabio went for his weird aesthetic. This is the nicest critique they have gotten all season. They then trash the looks when the designers are offstage. Dita says that there are a lot of amazing designers who can’t even sew. This is the problem with these time constraints. It becomes Project best seamstress.
There is no winner this week. And that includes us. Oh and the three designers who are moving on have to create another look. To make a seven piece collection. Of course. Why not? Alyssa promises no more twists. Stanley, Fabio and Anthony are in. Anthony cries and hugs Ken. Ken is out. I’m spent and done. And still annoyed. I need to go on vacation again. This was CRAP. Do you agree? Ken hugs everyone goodbye. He is gracious and tells the other guys to kick ass. Ken if you are out there it has been a pleasure watching you this season. Thank you as always to the Lady Cocotte for finding the pics for this show and being generally awesome. Do yourself a favor and read her recaps. RIGHT NOW. My favorite is RuPaul’s Drag Race. I guess I will see you all next week for the finale. Hopefully…….xo