I need to apologize in advance, but the RLA came home just as the show was starting and he was in a chatty mood, so I missed the first five minutes of dialog. Then he settled down and I only missed things sporadically throughout.
OPEN: INTERIOR: DAY
We’re with the girls and Sweet P is really happy that it was Ricky who got the axe last week, and not her. She was also really surprised that it happened that way, because she was sure that she’d be packing her bags. Oh, the sweet sting of foreshadowing. And then the RLA started talking and the only thing that shut him up was the vision of Heidi in a really big wig and cute dress, coming out on the runway to do model selection.
Chris keeps his model and there is no muthafuckin’ walk-off. Heidi tells the designers that there will be one final field trip, one final challenge and then two of them will be auff’ed tonight. Oooooooo. Drama. The field trip will be to 5th Ave. and 82nd Street, and I immediately get my East Side/West Side dyslexia and chirp: Oh! Are they going to Bloomingdale’s? And the answer is no, idiot, they are going to the Met.
On the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art the designers meet Tim and Miz Shoes gets all twitterpated, because in the background is a banner for the Poiret show down in the Fashion Basement. But alas and alack, this is not to be.
The designers enter the Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery and Rami of the Heavenly Arms and Totally Stank Attitude gets a full-on draping chubby. They are completely alone in the museum, well, except for Tim and the camera crew, and Tim explains the challenge. We have chosen three galleries to open for you: The Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery, the European Paintings and the Temple of Dendur. Take your cameras; photograph things that inspire you. Pick one item and use it to create a couture vision. You have x amount of time. (Sorry, the RLA was yapping, so it was half an hour or 45 minutes.) Predictably, Rami doesn’t even leave the Greek and Roman statuary. He comes up to a sculpture of Aphrodite (sans head) and declares that it is a “soulmate situation” and that he need look no further. This is his love, his life, his inspiration, his schtick. OK. Maybe he didn’t say the last one.
In the European paintings, Christian, Chris, Sweet P and Jillian all find their directions. Christian is inspired by a portrait of a Spanish something or other. He says that it is a military portrait, but I don’t see that. I just see black and severe and nobleman. I can understand why it drew him in, and it certainly had a lot to work from. Chris is drawn to a French portrait of a noblewoman in pewter and oyster-colored satin. It, too, has a great deal of drama and could be the starting point of something big.
We next see the designers in the Temple of Dendur , and none of them, in Miz Shoes opinion, is suitably impressed. I was at the Temple when it opened for the King Tut exhibit. It’s outrageous. You have these enormous windows overlooking the park, letting in all this light, and you have an entire Egyptian temple/tomb that was lifted up out of the Valley of the Kings and set down in the middle of Manhattan, two or three stories up. People. Get a fucking grip. This is where you should have been taking pictures. Instead, we get Chris making a joke about Joan (Crawford or Rivers, I missed it thanks to the happy commentary the RLA was delivering on the other end of the couch) scratching her name on one of the pillars when she was a little girl.
I HAVE YOUR PICTURE
Back at Parsons, we get to see the designers’ choices. Chris’ painting he thinks looks like Zorro. I suppose. Rami has his draped Aphrodite, P has chosen a painting of a peacock, and has some yummy satins in ocher, teal and a rusty red, along with a muted print that contains all of those colors. It’s yummy, yes, but it isn’t saying peacock to me.
Jillian has chosen a military painting, too. Hers is the Master of the Argonauts, and it’s one of those great early Renaissance pieces where something historical is painted in the clothing style of the period and the patron is inserted as one of the main characters. When I was in college, I always wanted to paint a crucifixon, with a graduate student on the cross, and all the professors as the centurions and onlookers, in totally modern garb. But I digress. Jillian has fastened on to a man in a black coat, brocaded in gold, seated on horseback. She’s going to make a coat. Are you shocked?
Rami is draping the hell out of some purple fabric. Ho. Hum. Jillian is pressing pleats for three hours. Christian is giving her shit for it. They are over each other in a big way. P asks Jillian for help in drafting her neckline and Jillian sweetly tells her that at this stage of the competition, honey, you need to be doing it your own self.
So she does. And the models come in for fitting, except for P’s because she’s having some sort of personal crisis. Hey, unless you get hit by a bus, ain’t nothing should be keeping you from Parsons. Bitch. Jillian’s model is doing some weird new-agey hand jive to send her peace, tranquility and the winning lottery numbers. Where’s Elisa? Christian is creating an entire collection around his idea: giant, puffy shirt, cropped little jacket (SHOCKING!) and tight pants. In black. It’s just so totally like nothing he’s ever done before, right?
Rami just keeps draping shit and saying over and over and over that just because his design isn’t screaming and loud, doesn’t mean it isn’t fabulous. No. The fact that it’s just the millionth variation on the same old theme is what makes it less than fabulous.
Christian trash talks Chris for doing something so evocative of the design they did together. Jillian has finished her jacket (not an Apocalyptic Trench Coat, but a short, fitted jacket with a peplum and some fancy cutout in the back over the nipped waist). OK. OK. It’s really nice. There. Are you happy now? I said it was nice. Of course, her dress isn’t even started.
The L’Oreal Make Up Guy, Collier Strong, comes in to do the makeup look with the designers. Eyes. Eyebrows. Big hair. Androgeny. There are four hours left till the end of the day. P still hasn’t seen her model and is in a panic. Chris is happy with what he’s got and goes off to take a nap. Christian dissses him for that. We get to see Chris sleeping and snoring on the sofa in the break room. Nice, editor guys. Make fun of the fat, snoring person. It’s not like a person can help it if they snore, you know. Miz Shoes is just a little defensive about the snoring thing. Christian expounds on his history: Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, blah blah, I’m so European in my aesthetic, blah blah.
Tim arrives and has a minor stroke at finding Chris asleep. You can’t be done! Is it wowable? SHOW ME!!! And then he pokes a hole in Chris’ confidence, or at least tries to, and tells him to add more shit and at the same time, make the garment more refined. Chris owns it, but Tim’s worried.
Tim then rounds on Christian, and questions the mini-cape-jacket thing. “Is it an obfuscation? In term of cohesion? Does it make sense?” Christian assures Tim that it does make sense, that he has created a look out of separates.
P is the next designer under the Gunn, and is told to make it more exuberant, more apparent that it’s a peacock. Jillian has produced yet another fine looking jacket and needs to do a lot more work before she is ready for the runway. Which leaves…Rami, who says that his dress is stunning. Tim, however, reminds Rami that NinaGarcia is going to pass out from boredom if she sees another draped schmata from him. Rami says, hey! You people gave me the challenge and put me in the museum with Greek and Roman sculptures of togas. What do you want? I’m a draping junkie. Don’t ask me to put down the draping. I need the draping. Or, at least, that’s what I heard.
With two hours to midnight, P’s model wanders in. The dress fits, but there is still so much to do. Wah. They all go home.
It’s the morning of the runway and Christian is making sure that his hair is extra fierce and fabulous. This involves random blow drying and ironing. Meh. Back to Parsons, where P dashes straight to her sewing machine. Jillian and Rami discuss how and if they will kick ass today. Tim tells them all that they need to bring the magic! Knock NinaGarcia’s shoes clear across the runway! Make it work! Rally!
Jillian engages in a little smack talk about Christian’s “marshmallowy” poufy, extravaganza of organza. Chris says that going to Bryant Park would be like winning the lottery, and he’s not counting on it, but he’s not counting it out, either. Way to be decisive there, big guy. Jillian has a nervous breakdown regarding a broken iron that won’t steam, and then tries to steam her garment right on her model. Nice. She also cuts the hem on her model and then panics a little more because the hem looks like crap. P’s model has feathers in her hair. P is cutting threads. Everyone is nervous.
Heidi is on the runway, looking as amazing as ever. Sigh. I think I have a little bit of a girl crush on Heidi. The guest judge tonight is Roberto Cavalli. Wow. He requires sub-titles.
Chris’ giant collar and drapery and bows comes out. Then Christian’s over the top androgynous black and white. The hat on his model comes down all the way to the middle of her nose. So much for her exaggerated eyebrows. Rami’s draped grape. P’s sorta cool dress which is hardly haute, and not couture. Jillian’s sharp looking jacket comes off to reveal a mini-toga in gold lame.
Cavalli is impressed with Christian. He knows how to show. He is impressed with the whole male/female play. He loves when the jacket comes off to show the puffy shirt.
Cavalli is more impressed with Chris. He flat out says to Chris that he is the most artistic of the five designers. I can see you in Paris doing haute couture. The other judges are all, Meh. Seen it. Roberto stands by his statement, and praises Chris once more. HAH! Take that!
NinaGarcia says of Jillian that she consistently surprises in a good way. Cavalli offers her a position on his staff. Jillian says she’d be honored…because being on Ralph Lauren’s staff is a shit job, right?
Cavalli is disappointed in P. It is too commercial. This is what you put in your showroom, not on the runway.
And Rami of the Totally Stank Attitude and yet still Heavenly Arms gets his drapery handed to him on a pita bread platter. Too normal, says Cavalli. Kors expected more, not more predictable draping. NinaGarcia wanted to see him come out of his box.
The designers are sent backstage and the final confabulations take place. Jillian gets more praise for her jackets. Christian is seen as having the whole package: he can give you an over-the-top, emotional piece for the runway and turn it into a workable, real life garment. The judges agree that for an obnoxious and still green little twit, the boy has some serious and enviable style chops.
P can make dresses that every woman would want to wear. This is called damning with faint praise.
The other judges want to toss Chris out for doing the same outrageous collar that they saw in the couture challenge, but Roberto is having none of that. I saw ART, he states. He is my number one. He has drama in his blood, admits NinaGarcia, grudgingly. He IS a showman. And Cavalli just says again, that this, my friends, is real couture, drama and fashion. Ppppbbbbbbttttt.
Rami can drape and make a technically good design. But he doesn’t take risks. So.
THE ENVELOPE PLEASE
Christian wins, and (although it hurts to admit it) rightfully so. Jillian and her never-ending series of coats and jackets, is in. P, although the judges love her and believe in her talent, is out. So. Rami has consistently safe and well-made work. Chris brings the dram llama, but he did the same thing twice, and the judges wanted to see change. Not so much change that they ever said anything even once to little Princess Puffy Sleeves. She of the fierce, cropped, ruffled and slightly leg-o-mutton sleeved jackets.
Although they would rather he not be, Chris is in. (Thank you Mr. Cavalli.) But, since Cavalli wouldn’t budge on Chris, and the other designers wouldn’t budge on Rami, there is a deadlock. Both Rami and Chris will go off and produce a line, and when they all get back to New York, the judges will look again, and see who gets to have a real show, and who gets to be a decoy.
Miz Shoes is a little disgruntled about this, but thrilled that Chris gets a show, one way or another. Next week? Reunion, and everybody talks smack to each other’s face. Good times.