In a yellow Manhattan, Jesus weeps. OK, so not so much weeping as whining about being on the bottom again. Jesus speaks of himself in the third person. Jesse is from Orlando and is wearing a twee hat. Ping is a flake, forgetting one contact lens and her shoes. On the runway, Heidi asks the designers if they would like to meet iconic fashion designers from all times. Of course they say yes, and end up at the Metropolitan Museum in the recently refurbished Charles Englehard Court, which is filled with mannequins wearing some seriously fierce shit from the fashion collection. Is that pink cocoon coat a Poiret? Who knows, because we spend no time on them. The designers will be given an unprecedented $500, 45 minutes at Mood and two days to make their own iconic design statement. And they have to work in teams. Whoa. Bummer.
Jay, as last week’s winner, is a team leader and gets the first pick of the pack. He takes Maya. That’s the youthful but grim, black-bobbed Edith Head clone. Jesus chooses Amy, and Anthony (who has taken to wearing a twee little bow tie) grabs up Seth Aaron (Sad wanna-be rocker). Weepy McWeepersons aka Janeane opts to partner with Ben from Tampa. (Florida represent!) Mila nabs Jonathan for his construction skills. Ping ends up as a leader and picks Jesse, who is inconsolable at the horror of working with her. Emilio ends up with Anna Whoever. The designers wander around going ooh and aaaah. Yves St. Laurent! Seth Aaron gets within a micron of a Dior and bursts into tears. That’s it for Miz Shoes. She now loves Seth Aaron, sad wanna be rocker boy persona, chipped black nail polish and possibly dyed black hair and all. Madame Grès. Balenciaga.
In the Parson’s workroom, the team dynamics shape up quickly. Maya is certain that Jay is going to do basically nothing because he has immunity, which means that she’s going to have to push her ideas on him and try to be the leader. Jesse is pissy bitch who is certain that Ping is too much of a skill-less whack job who lacks focus to be the team leader. Anna Whoever is intimidated by the masterful Emilio. Jonathan assesses his team thusly: Mila is going to swan around having a vision (a fashion-forward nod to 60’s mod) and he’s going to have to be the little seamstress. Ping is unhappy with Jesse trying to constantly rein in the crazy. Jesse is unhappy that Ping is his partner/leader. They both express their unhappiness at five minute intervals for the rest of the show, both in the confessional and in the workroom. At the other end of the spectrum, Anthony and Seth Aaron are having a love fest. It’s sweet: emo rocker wanna be and Madea’s baby sister. Anthony says they’re making a black, yellow and red gown…for the VP of McDonald’s. Because everyone needs a ball gown, don’t they? Jesse is piecing together grey lace and moaning about time constraints.
Time for Tim to come in with the 11th hour twist! Now the teams have to do a second look: a low-end knock off of one of the other team’s iconic looks. Out comes the button bag and the picks go so fast Miz Shoes can’t keep track. $50 and 20 minutes for one person at Mood, then sewing till the end of day. Needless to say, Jesse hates the fabric that Ping brings back. Maya accuses Jay of slacking off. Ben and Weepy McWeepersons are collaborating well. Jonathan is a little stressed, because Mila is making a coat, and he’s doing everything else. Seth Aaron and Anthony have a little lover’s spat, while Ping and Jesse continue to loathe each other and the other designers just want them to Shut The Fuck Up already.
Now Tim comes in for his walkabout: Jay and Maya have time issues. Ping has cheap looking fabric that she says cost a lot of money and Jesse smugly adds that he TOLD her it sucked. TIm likes Seth Aaron and Anthony’s piece and can easily identify it as the look re-imagined on the cheap by Jonathan (and Mila). Jesse wears a twee hat, and bitches about Ping.
Day of Show
Jonathan is feeling the pain: he’s done 2/3s of the signature look and the inexpensive knock off. Mila has done the coat. Over in the girl’s dorm, two of the nameless faces are dressed in black and one of them says that they’re dressed for a funeral: the death of their hopes and dreams. Perfunctory trash talking: Emilio likes Anthony and Seth Aaron’s concept but not their execution. Jonathan and Mila discuss their division of labor and the likelihood of throwing each other under the bus (about 100% on either side). Ben’s concerned about Jesse and Ping, Ping loves her work and Jesse is merely shooting for safe. Then he sulks that it sucks to shoot so low.
The judges are Heidi, NinaGarcia, Michael Kors and some dude named Matthew Williamson who’s an acclaimed British designer of whom Miz Shoes has never heard. Let the runway commence. Anthony/Seth Aaron have done a big gown with a yellow bodice covered with black tulle. Emilio and Anna Whoever have done something short with a bolero. Mila’s vision is a pair of high waisted skinny black pants and a shiny tank under a cocoon/kimono jacket in black with big white inset circles that go through the sleeves and into the body. It is admittedly very true to her 60’s Mod, but the high waisted track pants and shiny tank deserve a Michael Kor’s disco put down. Janeane’s dress is short and black and boring and has a bolero. Miz Shoes detects a theme. Jay’s dress is glamorous, with ruffles that cascade down the front and back. Jesse has created a gorgeous bodice onto which Ping has attached her usual yardage…with big honking buttons over the ass, and the model has got it draped up around her shoulders like a steel grey Statue of Liberty.
Then the knock-off looks come out and except for Jonathan’s yellow and black baby doll dress, complete with black tulle caterpillar on the bodice which is clearly based on Seth Aaron and Anthony, they all look alike. Black sheaths with boleros. Or just dark grey sheaths. Janeane, Ben, Jesus, Amy, Emilio and Anna Whoever are safe. Ping and Anthony are the bottom two, Mila and Jay the tops.
Michael Kors leads off by loading the love onto Mila’s coat. Heidi would wear it. NinaGarcia would photograph it. As for the knock-off? Juniors! Genius, except for the baby doll silhouette, proving that one day you’re in and the next you’re out, since it wasn’t that long ago that every other winning dress on the PR runway was a cooed-over baby doll. Jay and Amy’s couture look is deemed collectible. NinaGarcia loves the bare side. Their little $47 knock off blows away the $500 original it was based on. Must have been one of the black sheaths. On the runway, Ping, Jesse and even the model whip out the long knives on each other. Jesse says he had to teach Ping to sew at the same time he was doing all the work. Ping says that Jesse was a total pain. The model(!) says that Ping didn’t even take the time to fit the potato sack she’s wearing. Oh, come on, that dress totally looked like last week’s before materials.
Anthony and Seth Aaron earn Michael Kors’ “southern cotillion from hell” and a Gone With the Wind reference. Their look for less is an acetate cocktail number from the cheap floor. NinaGarcia asks Seth Aaron why he didn’t step in to rescue this mess and he mans up and says that Anthony was the team leader and a good one, and that it was a 50/50 collaboration, and that he stands by their work. That’s it, Miz Shoes is officially on Team Seth Aaron.
The judges toss around the words edgy, chic, costumey and ill-fitting before Heidi announces that Jonathan is in and Mila is the winner. (Really? Meh.) Maya and Jay are in. Seth Aaron is in. Jesse is in. Anthony and his little bow tie are safe, and Ping is sent home to be a physical therapist and make togas for her Barbies out of scarves.